The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life by Shawn Chandler BinghamThe Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life by Shawn Chandler Bingham

The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life

EditorShawn Chandler BinghamContribution bySven Arvidson, Markus Breitschmid

Hardcover | February 2, 2012

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From novelists to political cartoonists, artists have long brought a unique perspective to important public discussions of social and political issues. Yet, fury and debate over the role of the artist has resulted in blacklisting, banning, and symbolically burning artists who use their work as a means of social critique and social change. The Art of Social Critique makes a case for the complexity of artistic ways of "seeing" social life - observing, analyzing and portraying society - by examining the interdisciplinary nature of imagination. The authors cover a range of novelists, painters, musicians, cartoonists, poets and others whose explorations of the human condition directly connect to complex methods of social inquiry often associated with other disciplines. Specific parallels are drawn between the social sciences and the theories, lenses, and aesthetics that allow these artists to gain a clearer view of social life. Artistic techniques, such as metaphor, caricature, and irony, are examined as unique methods of social inquiry, while the novelist and poet become ethnographers of social life. By treading the common ground between the arts, humanities and social sciences, The Art of Social Critique raises a number of important questions about the role of art in society: What are the relationships between imagination, creativity, perspective, experimentation and unveiling social life? How does the artistic perspective engage in representation, give voice, or unveil? How have artists examined the relationship between the individual and society, social structures, or social norms that we take for granted? Each chapter explores how the "artistic eye," as a form of qualitative social inquiry, helps both the artist and the audience arrive at a more complex understanding of society. From art as a social movement to the important relationship between art and collective memory, The Art of Social Critique covers imagination as an interdisciplinary concept that draws on the sociological, psychological, historical, and political. Together these essays reveal art as more than mere entertainment or amusement - it is an interdisciplinary way of knowing our social world.
Shawn Chandler Bingham directs the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences program at the University of South Florida. His recently authored books include Thoreau and the Sociological Imagination (Rowman & Littlefield 2008) and a forthcoming book on disability and comedy.
Title:The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:594 pages, 9.18 × 6.14 × 1.78 inPublished:February 2, 2012Publisher:Lexington BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739149237

ISBN - 13:9780739149232

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSeeing Beyond the Verge of Sight: Imagination(s) and Social InquiryShawn Chandler BinghamPart I. Novel VisionsChapter 1: Sociology on the Road: The Sociological Imagination of Jack Kerouac Valerie Chepp and Paul DeanChapter 2: Jean Genet: A Case Study of the Artist's Explication and Alteration of Social Practice William Koch Chapter 3: James Baldwin: The Novelist as Historian and Public Intellectual Brent Lamons Part II. Poetic InquiryChapter 4: Carolyn Forché and the Fraught Nature of Poetic Witness Andrea ScarpinoChapter 5: American Poetry: Process as VisionGregg Mosson Part III. Building Social StructuresChapter 6: Frank Lloyd Wright: Building an American Architecture from Within Outward Gail SatlerChapter 7: The Architect as "Molder of the Sensibilities of the General Public": Bruno Taut and his ArchitekturprogrammMarkus BreitschmidPart IV. Painting MirrorsChapter 8: Tellin' It Like It Is: Social Realism and the Art of Aaron DouglasDamon PowellChapter 9: Political Cartoons: Artful Commentary Elaine MillerChapter 10: Mourning America's War Harms: Alan Magee's Trauerbeit Robert StantonImage GalleryPart V. Performing LifeChapter 11: Other People's Dancers: Paul Taylor's Choreography by Messenger Paul RutzChapter 12: Reconceptualization through Theater: Reflections on Mirror Theatre's "(Re)ProductionsJoe NorrisChapter 13: Standing Up Racism: Richard Pryor and the Development of a Contentious Racial Politics James Michael Thomas Part VI. Sounding OffChapter 14: Learning from Lennon: Using Songs and Stardom to Promote Peace and JusticeJames R. Pennell Chapter 15: "She is Risen": Creating Feminist Identities and Challenging Patriarchy through the Music of Tori Amos Adrienne Trier-Bieniek and Patricia Leavy Chapter 16: Propagandhi and the Politics of Subcultural Resistance Philip G. Lewin and Timothy M. GillPart VII. Reel Life Chapter 17: Staging Truth: Errol Morris's Pursuit of the Objective in the SubjectiveJared Del Rosso

Editorial Reviews

Shawn Bingham's The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life is a tour de force of how artists of all kinds use their talents, skills, and visions to embrace, interpret, and change the world. This collection of essays proves without a doubt that artists play crucial roles in the politics of cultural values and norms, not just policy and protest. Thus, these articles go beyond the clichéd debate over whether artists should be political-their work is inevitably and inescapably political. Instead this book investigates the myriad ways in which artists are sociological in their representations of and conversations with the social world. From architecture to poetry, from stand-up comedy to rock music, Bingham's anthology will give readers an array of tools for investigating how art and artists provide us with the most powerful interdisciplinary depictions of our life and times-something all students of the social world will want to know.