Critical Theory and Political Engagement: From May 1968 to the Arab Spring

Hardcover | July 5, 2013

byChris Pawling

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The 'moment' of May 1968 offered a vivid example of intellectual engagement with radical politics, which dominated the late 1960s and 1970s but arguably became passé thereafter with the emergence of a depoliticised post-modernism and the seeming demise of Marxism after the fall of Soviet Communism. However, more recently, there has been a revival of interest in political engagement, with actions such as the demonstrations against the Iraq War and the Occupy movement. Pawling focuses on a number of key writers who have made significant contributions to critical theory in what can be called the 'spirit of '68', including Sartre, Derrida, Badiou, Jameson and Said. These figures do not necessarily share the same perspective on questions such as the role of the 'subject' and the political relevance of art in cultural struggle; however, Pawling concludes that they do share a key problematic: namely, how to understand the dialectical relationship between the formal imperatives of critical theory and its political conditions of existence.

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The 'moment' of May 1968 offered a vivid example of intellectual engagement with radical politics, which dominated the late 1960s and 1970s but arguably became passé thereafter with the emergence of a depoliticised post-modernism and the seeming demise of Marxism after the fall of Soviet Communism. However, more recently, there has bee...

Christopher Pawling was formerly Subject Leader in Communications and is now an Honorary Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. His publications include Popular Fiction and Social Change (ed., Macmillan, 1984), Christopher Caudwell: Towards A Dialectical Theory of Literature (Macmillan, 1989) and Narrating the Thirties (c...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9.66 × 5.61 × 0.84 inPublished:July 5, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230275656

ISBN - 13:9780230275652

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Critical Theory and Radical Politics in the late '60s
2. Marxism and Artistic Commitment
3. Humanism and Post-Humanism: the Antinomies of Critical Theory, Post-'68
4. Rediscovering Commitment: Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx
5. Reviving the Critical Spirit of May '68: Alain Badiou and the Cultural Politics of the 'Event'
6. Badiou and the Search for an Anti-Humanist Aesthetic
7. Totality and the Dialectic in the Critical Theory of Fredric Jameson
8. Back to the Future? From Post-Modernism to the 'Communist Idea'

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