imaginary but palpable distended and
aggrandizing West/Europe as modernity – for all those awaiting
its second coming in prior places, anachronistic spaces, lagging in
In artistic, intellectual, and aesthetic arenas,
modernism(s) in South Asia have variously, often critically, engaged
with these projections and presuppositions: but they have also been
unable to easily escape
, ‘ Public Discourse and Cosmopolitan Political Identity: Imagining the European Union Citizen ,’ Futures , 38 ( 2006 ), 139 . By stifling imagination and the ability to fantasise [ Phantasie ], which is crucial to creating new structures that go beyond the nation-state, the EU is dooming its own project.
30 S. Benhabib , The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt ( Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield , 2003 ), xliv ; H. Arendt , ‘ Approaching the German Question ,’ in Jerome Kohn (ed), Essays in Understanding, 1930–1954 ( New York : Harcourt, Brace & Co
developmental idea of a supersession of the past is crucial to modern
imaginaries. This is true of academic assumption and everyday
understanding, and also underlies the mutual articulations of modernity,
modernization, and modernism. Such splitting of the past from the
present is simultaneously temporal and spatial. Here the singular
temporal trajectory and the exclusive spatial location of
Culturalisms – Truth – Enlightenment and autonomy – Reason – Norms of modernism – Culture, creativity and reflexivity – Institutionalisation versus reflexivity – Simmel: an excursus – The antinomy of culture
This chapter seeks to get clear of – if hardly to refute – various understandings of culture so as to make way for the conception of the scope of modern cultural theory which is to animate our treatment here. The first section – Culturalisms – is, then, largely about what modern cultural theory is not. It attempts only to lay the basic
, Essays in Understanding , 391; also Benhabib, The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt , 86–95. For more on the connection between Arendt and Habermas, see P. J. Verovšek , ‘ A Case of Communicative Learning: Rereading Habermas’s Philosophical Project through an Arendtian Lens ,’ Polity , 51 : 3 ( 2019 ), 597 –627 .
22 Frank, Constituent Moments , ch. 1.
23 Verovšek, ‘Unexpected Support for European Integration,’ 389–413.
24 H. Arendt , On Revolution ( New York : Penguin Classics , 1990 ), 204 .
25 S. Benhabib , ‘ Democratic Exclusions and
Modernism and postmodernism
O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
If life did ride upon a dial’s point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
And if we live, we live to tread on kings.
William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 5.2.82–7.
So we should not expect Foucault to give us a philosophical theory that
deploys … notions. Still, philosophy is more than theories.
‘Foucault and Epistemology’ by Richard Rorty in David Couzens Hoy
(ed.), Foucault: A Critical Reader1
Foucault: the catcher in the modern rye
When discussing modernity, one
. Sznaider , ‘ Memory Unbound: The Holocaust and the Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory ,’ European Journal of Social Theory , 5 : 1 ( 2002 ); N. G. Finkelstein , The Holocaust Industry: Reflection on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering ( New York : Verso , 2000 ).
41 S. Benhabib , The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt ( Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield , 2003 ), 92 .
42 J. Winter , Dreams of Peace and Freedom: Utopian Moments in the Twentieth Century ( New Haven : Yale University Press , 2006 ).
43 Winter, Sites of Memory, Sites of
see, all of this shores up, as well, what the work might
contribute to discussions of modernity after so much has been said and
written about the subject.
It warrants emphasis that the
conditions of possibility for this work lie in a series of critical
questions concerning modernity, history, and the West/Europe, which have
been raised by distinct perspectives
population, served to undermine or discredit the idea that life itself might be the object of an art. Life instead became a matter of government, or what Foucault was later to call ‘governmentality’. From pastoralism to bio-power, life has become amenable to management.
Hence cue, now, aesthetics of existence and their (albeit sparse) latter-day progeny. For Foucault insists that the idea of an aesthetics of existence in the modern world – as it reappeared after antiquity in the European Renaissance – functions as a kind of implicit, if fragmented and periodic
compelled, for the most part, to accept the separation of the ministry
of the economy/treasury from the de facto power of an independent central
bank in their respective countries, not to mention the power of the European
Central Bank within the eurozone. One obvious risk is the regression towards
a personalised and discretionary exercise of power that is likely to ensue if
newly articulated and durable compromises cannot be established across a
range of national, systemic, and environmental boundaries. To some degree,
this is certainly a question of fairer income