Designs on the Contemporary: Anthropological Tests

University of Chicago Press (2014)

Abstract

_Designs on the Contemporary_ pursues the challenge of how to design and put into practice strategies for inquiring into the intersections of philosophy and anthropology. Drawing on the conceptual repertoires of Max Weber, Michel Foucault, and John Dewey, among others, Paul Rabinow and Anthony Stavrianakis reflect on and experiment with how to give form to anthropological inquiry and its aftermath, with special attention to the ethical formation and ramifications of this mode of engagement. The authors continue their prior explorations of the contemporary in past works: How to conceptualize, test, and give form to breakdowns of truth and conduct, as well as how to open up possibilities for the remediation of such breakdowns. They offer a surprising and contrasting pair of case studies of two figures who engaged with contemporary breakdowns: Salman Rushdie and Gerhard Richter. Approaching Richter’s artistic struggles with form and technique in the long wake of modernism and Rushdie’s struggles to find a narrative form—as well as a form for living—to respond to the Iranian fatwa issued against him, they show how both men formulated different new approaches to anthropology for the twenty-first century

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