Aesthetics of contingency provides an important reconsideration of seventeenth-century literature in light of new understandings of the English past. Emphasising the contingency of the political in revolutionary England and its extended aftermath, Matthew Augustine challenges prevailing literary histories plotted according to structural conflicts and teleological narrative. In their place, he offers an innovative account of imaginative and polemical writing, in an effort to view later seventeenth-century literature on its own terms: without certainty about the future, or indeed the recent past. In hewing to this premise, the familiar outline of the period – with red lines drawn at 1642, 1660, or 1688 – becomes suggestively blurred. For all of Milton’s prophetic gestures, for all of Dryden’s presumption to speak for, to epitomise his Age, writing from the later decades of the seventeenth century remained supremely responsive to uncertainty, to the tremors of civil conflict and to the enduring crises and contradictions of Stuart governance. A study of major writings from the Personal Rule to the Glorious Revolution and beyond, this book also re-examines the material conditions of literature in this age. By carefully deciphering the multi-layered forces at work in acts of writing and reception, and with due consideration for the forms in which texts were cast, this book explores the complex nature of making meaning in and making meaning out of later Stuart England.
The book addresses late-Soviet and post-Soviet art in Armenia in the context of turbulent social, political and cultural transformations in the late 1980s, throughout the 1990s and in early 2000s through the aesthetic figure of the ‘painterly real’ and its conceptual transformations. It explores the emergence of ‘contemporary art’ in Armenia from within and in opposition to the practices, aesthetics and institutions of Socialist Realism and National Modernism. The book presents the argument that avant-garde art best captures the historical and social contradictions of the period of the so-called ‘transition,’ especially if one considers ‘transition’ from the perspective of the former Soviet republics that have been consistently marginalized in Russian- and East European-dominated post-Socialist studies. Throughout the two decades that encompass the chronological scope of this work, contemporary art has encapsulated the difficult dilemmas of autonomy and social participation, innovation and tradition, progressive political ethos and national identification, the problematic of communication with the world outside of Armenia’s borders, dreams of subjective freedom and the imperative to find an identity in the new circumstances after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This historical study outlines the politics (liberal democracy), aesthetics (autonomous art secured by the gesture of the individual artist), and ethics (ideals of absolute freedom and radical individualism) of contemporary art in Armenia. Through the historical investigation, a theory of post-Soviet art historiography is developed, one that is based on a dialectic of rupture and continuity in relation to the Soviet past. As the first English-language study on contemporary art in Armenia, the book is of prime interest for artists, scholars, curators and critics interested in post-Soviet art and culture and in global art historiography.
• 3 •
Film form and aesthetics
This chapter offers an introduction to film analysis. Although this work
emphasises the importance of film as a cultural and historical object,
it is crucial to recognise the textual specificity of film. As the work is
partly aimed at those who may not have studied film before, this chapter
will outline how to explore visual style and will draw attention to how
this is constructed through lighting, staging, performance, camerawork,
costumes and music.
The focus here is film and, while the examples are predominantly
Aesthetics and politics: between
Adorno and Heidegger
Antinomies of reason
The alignments of T. W. Adorno to the protracted, diﬃcult process of coming to
terms with a broken Marxist inheritance and of Martin Heidegger to the Nazi politics of rethinking the human might seem to leave them at opposite non-communicating poles of political diﬀerence.1 Their views on aesthetics seem similarly starkly
opposed, in terms both of judgements and of the place of aesthetics within the philosophical pantheon. Aesthetic theory for Adorno marks out a domain of
caring for and observing the care for Antoine. It is an enquiry into the possible shape of an aesthetics of care , drawn from the collision of professional practice, personal politics and domestic circumstances that inevitably occurred when a Congolese drama worker, with whom I had conducted theatre workshops in the DRC, ended up sharing my house. The political, ethical and ultimately intimate challenge this made forced me to rethink the boundaries of my practice. There is no claim in this writing that the experience was in any way easy, heroic or exemplary. It was in
In this chapter, I develop some of the thinking introduced in an article I wrote in 2015 around what I described as an ‘aesthetic of care’ (see Chapter 2 of this edited collection). To speak of care as a mode of aesthetics is to make two related claims. First, that reciprocal acts of caring, whether formal, informal, interpersonal or collective, have a sensory, crafted quality that could be called an aesthetic. Caring, thus, I suggest, has an artistry and there are inspirational carers who exhibit a virtuosity in the way they care for and with others. As
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone
The unsustainable aesthetics of
sustainability: the sense of an ending in
Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods
Jeanette Winterson’s 2007 novel, The Stone Gods, is a critique of progress,
both in the general sense of movement, journeying, or going forward,
and in the specialised sense of human development, particularly the
privileging of economic and scientific improvement that is often called
the myth or narrative of progress. In the spirit of so many of Winterson’s
novels, The Stone Gods places its several protagonists on journeys, most
‘The Gothic Aesthetics of Eminem’ examines key videos, lyrics, and performances of the white hip-hop celebrity, noting the reoccurrence of such Gothic tropes and narrational strategies as self-replication, the spectacle of monstrous proliferation, the spread of fakery and the counterfeit, as well as the abjection of women. The authors compare Stoker‘s Dracula to Eminem, whose cultural menace similarly functions to proselytise white young men into clones, refracting the racial and sexual anxieties of Stoker‘s novel. The article moves from a consideration of the rapper‘s songs and videos ‘My Name Is’, ‘The Real Slim Shady,’ and ‘Stan’ to the film, 8 Mile.
aesthetics might look like in the face of everyday violence and how it redefines activism
and resistance in differing contexts. It translates into a performance
of agency – conscious or unconscious political agency – and the finding of joy
in a world that criminalises you. It is a form of underground rebellion because it is about
refusing to play the role that the state expects of you. Sometimes fugitive aesthetics
translate into rage that finds space and visibility in the streets; at other times, it is
What is evaluative aesthetics?
What is evaluative aesthetics?
1.1 The origin and definition of aesthetics
The concept of the ‘aesthetic’ is best considered as a cluster of interrelated
meanings, and Part I will attempt to elaborate its multifaceted nature. Its
Greek origin is aisthesis, meaning perception by sense, or feeling; more
precisely it derives ‘from the Greek nominal aisthetikos, sensitive or sentient,
derived in turn from the verb aisthanesthai, meaning to perceive, feel, or
sense’ (Costelloe 2013: 1). Aesthetki is ‘the science of how