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The Highway of Despair: Critical Theory After Hegel

Cambridge University Press (2015)

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  1. Infrastructures of Decolonization: Scales of Worldmaking in the Writings of Frantz Fanon.Begüm Adalet - 2022 - Political Theory 50 (1):5-31.
    Political theorists are increasingly drawn to the recovery of anticolonial thinkers as global figures. Frantz Fanon is largely excluded from these discussions because of his presumed commitment to the nation-state and its territorialist assumptions. This essay claims, by contrast, that Fanon’s writings reveal an alternative way of thinking about worldmaking, less as a question of political and economic institution-building spearheaded by leaders than as a multiscalar project that permeates the production of the built environment and the creation of selves. I (...)
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  • Adorno’s ‘Addendum’.Aaron Jaffe - 2017 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (8):855-876.
    Adorno’s ‘addendum’ names the experience by which socially constrained agents are jolted into resistance against their suffering. The impulse to action is simultaneously intra-mental and somatic, and thus forms the locus of a jointly conscious and bodily impetus to confronting the ideological and material forces that produce contemporary unfreedom. In this way the ‘addendum’ is a historically developing, indeterminate, yet inexhaustible glimmer of hope for both agents and theorists who make social suffering central to their critical analysis. This article explores (...)
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  • Laughter as dissensus: Kant and the limits of normative theorizing around laughter.Patrick T. Giamario - 2021 - Contemporary Political Theory 20 (4):795-814.
    Political theorists have traditionally grappled with laughter by posing a simple, normative question: ‘What role, if any, should laughter play in the polis?’ However, the outsized presence of laughter in contemporary politics has rendered this question increasingly obsolete. What good does determining laughter’s role in the polis do when the polis itself is to a large extent shaped by laughter? The present essay argues that Kant’s aesthetic investigations of laughter in the Critique of Judgment and Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point (...)
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  • Bataille’s Anti-Fascism.Robyn Marasco - 2022 - Contemporary Political Theory 21 (1):3-23.
    This article draws from the reading protocols developed by José Esteban Muñoz to advance a political reading of Georges Bataille. It argues for a consistent and coherent anti-fascism across Bataille’s work, from the early “political” writings to the mature turn toward mysticism. Focusing in particular on his writings from the 1930s, this article clarifies some of the key concepts in Bataille’s critical theory of fascism: expenditure, heterology, base materialism, and democratic anguish.
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  • Without Banisters: Adorno Against Humanity.Caleb J. Basnett - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (2):207-227.
  • Sheldon Wolin’s Theoretical Practice.Robyn Marasco, Jason Frank, Joan Tronto, Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo & Nicholas Xenos - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (1):65-115.
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  • Why Bother Teaching? Despairing the Ethical Through Teaching That Does Not Follow.F. Carusi - 2017 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 36 (6):633-645.
    Contemporary education policy discourse in the United States views teaching as the primary instrument to effect student achievement, and teachers are responding by leaving the profession and discouraging students from becoming teachers. While teaching is more commonly associated with hope, I argue that the growing dissatisfaction of teachers with their profession can be understood through despair as an ethical act. Rather than disavow the role of despair in teaching and education more broadly, the critical and provocative roles of despair are (...)
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