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41. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Richard A. Jones The Politics of Black Fictive Space: Utopian Archetypes
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Historically, for Black writers, literary fiction has been a site for transforming the discursive disciplinary spaces of political oppression. From 19th century “slave narratives” to the 20th century, Black novelists have created an impressive literary counter-canon in advancing liberatory struggles. W.E.B. Du Bois argued that “all art is political.” Many Black writers have used fiction to create spaces for political and social freedom—from the early work of Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859)—to the enduring works of the Harlem Renaissance (Toomer, Hurston, and Schuyler)—to the great revolutionary Black literature after WWII (Wright, Baldwin, Williams)—to contemporary Black writers (Toni Morrison, Edward Jones, Samuel Delany)—Black fictive space continues to be a necessary site for resistance. Black literary fiction is a vast counter-canon to mainstream literature which unquestioningly reinforces global white supremacy, capitalistic political oppressions, and the dominance/subordinance relations upon which they depend.
42. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Anne Bartlett, Gerard Kuperus, Marjolein Oele Aesthetic Sensibility and Political Praxis: Foucault, Lyotard, and the Darfur Crisis
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This paper develops insights from Foucault and Lyotard to examine the Darfur crisis and the transformative potential of spaces of alterity. We show that Foucault’s quest for an aesthetics of existence is an attempt to found an alternative form of ethics based on wakefulness, sensibility, and suspicion on the part of the subject. In the final part of the paper we link this idea to Lyotard’s sensibility of the sublime. We show how aesthetic sensibility can be transformed in a political sensibility which bears witness to political injustices that result from the incommensurability of different genres of discourse. We illustrate this point using aesthetic representations of Darfur.
43. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Rachel N. Hastings Performative Decolonization: Critical Performance Ethnography, Rize and the Battle to Articulate Race
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The montage of personal and social identities displayed in the documentary Rize indicate that there are multiple historical, psychological, and performative responses to racialized conditions. This essay analyzes how the body is used as an instrument of resistance against a society that operates within and among racial symbol systems. Drawing upon critical ethnography and race philosophies, this essay suggests David LaChapelle’s examination of Krump dancers is a process of performative decolonization. To begin, Rize is articulated as a project representative of critical performance ethnography. Next, a discussion of the genesis of race as a political instrument of oppression is offered. In conclusion, an analysis of the dialectal tension between the spiritual and material realms within the documentary Rize is discussed.
44. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Joseph Weiss Transforming Mimetic Play: Adorno’s Resistance to the Formalism of the Death Drive
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At stake in Adorno’s aesthetics in general, and his analysis of musical development in particular, is the manner in which artworks resist the formal, subjective characteristics of the death drive’s play. In order to win back control, as it were, of a mastery that has hardened nature’s particularity, Adorno conceives of a transformed, critical mimesis. Ultimately the work of the contemporary Finish composer, Kaija Saariaho, is revealed as an exemplary instance of a transformed mimetic play which critiques the menacing elements of the death drive, but does not altogether discard it.
45. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Samy Azouz Amiri Baraka’s Repertory Theatre Revisited: Art, Praxis, and Engagement versus the Liberal Ethos
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The turbulent 1960s in America testifies to the artistic and intellectual need and move beyond the liberal cult of fantasy and inaction. Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) views the social and political reality in its dynamism, and not in its immutability or stasis. Black art, within a repressive society, must be perceived as an arm, a weapon and not a means of banter or fun. Werner Sollors considers him as the engagé artist par excellence. The political art that Baraka espouses is drastic and functional, an art that exposes common predicaments and plights. Entailed in Baraka’s dramatic art is the diatribe against art for art’s sake, thefusion of art and activism, and the finality of human action. Baraka considers theatrical playwriting as didactic, telic, and constructive. In this light, art, playwriting, and engagement constitute one monolithic unity that could stand in the face of liberal reactionary politics and arrangements.
46. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Nick Braune, Joan Braune Erich Fromm’s Socialist Program and Prophetic Messianism, in Two Parts
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This paper begins by examining Erich Fromm’s “Manifesto and Program” written for the Socialist Party in 1959 or 1960, and addresses a simple question: Why would Fromm speak of something so apparently arcane as “prophetic messianism,” in his socialist program? When he insists that we have forgotten thatsocialism is “rooted in the spiritual tradition which came to us from prophetic messianism, the gospels, humanism, and from the enlightenment philosophers,” is this simply a literary flourish, a concession to liberalism, or religious sentimentality? Part I, written by Nick Braune, answers the question by examining Fromm’ssocialist organizing commitments in the context of the late 1950s. Part II, written by Joan Braune, offers further defense of the term “prophetic messianism,” distinguishes two types of messianism, and suggests that Fromm may be attempting to address a problem in the Frankfurt School.
47. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Andrew Feenberg Radical Philosophy of Technology: From Marx to Marcuse and Beyond
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The most effective way to silence criticism is a justification on the very terms of the likely critique. When an action is rationally justified, how can reason deny its legitimacy? This paper concerns critical strategies that have been employed for addressing the resistance of rationality to rational critique especially with respectto technology. Foucault addressed this problem in his theory of power/knowledge. This paper explores Marx’s anticipation of that approach in his critique of the “social rationality” of the market and technology. Marx got around the silencing effect of social rationality with something very much like the concept ofunderdetermination in his discussion of the length of the working day. There are hints of a critique of technology in his writings as well. In the 1960s and ‘70s, neo-Marxists and post-structuralists demanded radical changes in the technological rationality of advanced societies. Marcuse proposed the most developed Marxist theory of alternative technology, based on a synthesis of aesthetics and technical rationality. The concept of underdetermination was finally formulated clearly in contemporary science and technology studies, but without explicit political purpose. Nevertheless, this revision of the academic understanding of technology contributes to weakening technocratic rationales for public policy. A new era of technical politics has begun. It is time to reevaluate the history of technology critique in the light of this unprecedented situation.
48. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1/2
Fei Shi The Impossible Bodies: Gender and Radical Performances in Contemporary China
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This paper attempts to engage with theoretical discourses to address these intersections of gender, body, and space in the forefront of contemporary Chinese visual artists’ radical performances. From Cui Xiuwen’s scandalous video installation Lady’s of the female bathroom in Tianshang Renjian Hotel to Ma Liuming’s iconic androgynous walk on the Great Wall, contemporary Chinese visual/performance artists have challenged the limits and borders of body as art in radically experimental ways. Feminist art has been liberated from female painting in the post-socialist era, and gender hierarchy and norms have been more profoundly critiqued in these performative events. Pressed by the post-socialist political conditions, market economy, the influence of western art in the era of late capitalism, and the Confucian-Taoist tradition, the Chinese artists have embarked on an experimental journey, attempting to articulate a newness of their complicated lived experiences and to call for social and political transformations.
49. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Matthias Lievens Towards an Eco-Marxism
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For about the last ten years, a steadily growing stream of publications is feeding a fascinating international debate on the development of an Eco-Marxism. In this paper, the attempts to “ecologize” Marxism are critically discussed, starting with John Bellamy Foster’s path-breaking reconstruction of Marx’s conceptof “metabolic rift” and the Marxian analysis of the privatization of the commons. Although Marx’s understanding of the limits of nature is only partial, authors such as Paul Burkett have convincingly shown a reconstructed Eco-Marxism follows the fundamental tenets of ecological economics. This approach can also fruitfully inform the development of an ecosocialist political project.
50. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Harry van der Linden, Richard A. Jones Editors’ Introduction
51. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Stefan Gandler The Concept of History in Walter Benjamin’s Critical Theory
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The point of departure of this study is Walter Benjamin’s last text, “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” Benjamin appeals to the significance of theology for historical materialism in order to overcome one of the decisive reasons why Marx’s unique theoretical project, in its positivistic interpretations, was not understood with the necessary radicality and had been in danger of losing its explanatory power and revolutionary impulse. The necessity of looking back to the past constitutes the basic theme of the study, and it is analyzed at the epistemological, ontological and political levels. The view backwards is also necessary because the past shows how all its atrocities, which we think have been overcome, may at any time return in a way which we are unable to imagine.
52. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Abby Wilkerson “Obesity,” the Transnational Plate, and the Thin Contract
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This article explores how the notion of obesity as health problem (1) functions to obscure or justify global inequities related to food production and access and (2) indicates still deeper problems of injustice and the neglected role of embodiment in analyses of justice and injustice, and notions of political subjecthood. Food, the need to eat, and the food system shape social existence profoundly yet are underexplored in philosophy, especially political philosophy. Drawing on disability theory and food studies, this article uses the crisis of body weight to explore relationships between neoliberalism, transnational capitalism, the industrialized agro-food system, and world health. Obesity discourse spotlights lifestyle choices of individuals, casting women especially as making irresponsible decisions for their families. A politically informed (and more medically sophisticated) perspective suggests that the real crisis is a social pact, which I term the ThinContract, predicating personhood and full social inclusion on body type.
53. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Michael Philip Brown Recognition of the Other and Our Requirements to Kill: Thoughts on The Chickenhawk Syndrome
54. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Joshua Rayman Entrenched: A Genealogy of the Analytic-Continental Divide
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The conventional view is that analytic philosophy has dominated American philosophy departments since 1950 and that continental philosophy and pragmatism have been marginalized almost out of existence due to philosophical inferiority or McCarthyist persecution. But a precise historical treatment of transformations in the field shows that this is, in fact, the golden age of continental philosophy and pragmatist scholarship, that McCarthyism had nothing to do with pragmatism’s fall from dominance, and that the shape of the field depends more on larger academic-historical trends. However, McCarthyism likely had lasting effects on analytic control of powerful qualifying institutions.
55. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Anatole Anton The Twilight of Martial Liberalism: Reflections on Cheyney Ryan’s The Chickenhawk Syndrome
56. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Harry van der Linden A Note from the Coordinator
57. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Cheyney Ryan Under Discussion: The Chickenhawk Syndrome: War, Sacrifice, and Personal Responsibility
58. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Cheyney Ryan Replies to Anatole, Michael, and Harry
59. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Harry van der Linden From Combat Boots to Civilian Shoes: Reflections on The Chickenhawk Syndrome
60. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Peter Gratton Editors’ Introduction