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The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin Book Summary:
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is an essay by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin that has been influential across the humanities, especially in the fields of cultural studies, media theory, architectural theory, and art history. Walter Benjamin wrote the work in an effort to describe a theory of art that would be useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art. He argued that, in the absence of any traditional, ritualistic value, art in the age of mechanical reproduction would inherently be based on the practice of politics. Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Walter Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. In addition, Walter Benjamin's work has also influenced politics & social sciences, politics & government, ideologies & doctrines, communism & socialism, and arts & photography.
Visual Peace by Frank Möller Book Summary:
This book introduces a new research agenda for visual peace research, providing a political analysis of the relationship between visual representations and the politics of violence nationally and internationally. Using a range of genres, from photography to painting, it elaborates on how people can become agents of their own image.
The Art of Art History by Donald Preziosi Book Summary:
What is art history? Why, how, and where did it originate, and how have its methods changed over time? The history of art has been written and rewritten since classical antiquity. Since the foundation of the modern discipline of art history in Germany in the late eighteenth century, debates about art and its histories have intensified. Historians, philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists among others have changed our notions of what art history has been, is, and might be. This anthology is a guide to understanding art history through critical reading of the field’s most innovative and influential texts, focusing on the past two centuries. Each section focuses on a key issue: art as history; aesthetics; form, content, and style; anthropology; meaning and interpretation; authorship and identity; and the phenomenon of globalization. More than thirty readings from writers as diverse as Winckelmann, Kant, Mary Kelly, and Michel Foucault are brought together, with editorial introductions to each topic providing background information, bibliographies, and critical elucidations of the issues at stake. This updated and expanded edition contains sixteen newly included extracts from key thinkers in the history of art, from Giorgio Vasari to Walter Benjamin and Satya Mohanty; a new section on globalization; and also a new concluding essay from Donald Preziosi on the tasks of the art historian today.
Radio by John Mowitt Book Summary:
In a wide-ranging, cross-cultural, and transhistorical assessment, John Mowitt examines radio’s central place in the history of twentieth-century critical theory. A communication apparatus that was a founding technology of twentieth-century mass culture, radio drew the attention of theoretical and philosophical writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, and Frantz Fanon, who used it as a means to disseminate their ideas. For others, such as Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, and Raymond Williams, radio served as an object of urgent reflection. Mowitt considers how the radio came to matter, especially politically, to phenomenology, existentialism, Hegelian Marxism, anticolonialism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. The first systematic examination of the relationship between philosophy and radio, this provocative work also offers a fresh perspective on the role this technology plays today.
Critical Neuroscience by Suparna Choudhury,Jan Slaby Book Summary:
Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.
An Archaeology of Architecture by Dennis Tedlock Book Summary:
Page by page, this book takes us on a journey through the built world that ranges from Greece to Guatemala and from New York to San Francisco. Tedlock practices what he calls photowriting, a creative process that brings photographer and writer together in the same person. It may be true enough that a photograph can show more than words can say, but it is equally true that words can say more than a photograph can show. A third space opens up in the middle, where the viewer reader can look back and forth between image and text at will. Tedlock looks at the built world with the eye of an archaeologist and ethnographer His long experience as a fieldworker has made him acutely aware of the ways in which buildings are continuously altered by human actions and natural forces Anthropology assigns ruins to archaeology and structures currently in use to ethnology, but Tedlock reminds the viewer that an occupied building bears marks of the same processes that produce archaeological remains. As he puts it, “Whenever I look around at the worlds humans build for themselves, I see archaeology in the making.”
The City of the Senses by K. DeFazio Book Summary:
Offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach which opens up new ways of understanding urban culture and space. The author approaches the city as essentially a 'material' place where people live, work, and participate in social practices within historical limits set not by sensory experience or cultural meanings but material social conditions.
Orthodox by Design by Jeremy Stolow Book Summary:
Orthodox by Design, a groundbreaking exploration of religion and media, examines ArtScroll, the world’s largest Orthodox Jewish publishing house, purveyor of handsomely designed editions of sacred texts and a major cultural force in contemporary Jewish public life. In the first in-depth study of the ArtScroll revolution, Jeremy Stolow traces the ubiquity of ArtScroll books in local retail markets, synagogues, libraries, and the lives of ordinary users. Synthesizing field research conducted in three local Jewish scenes where ArtScroll books have had an impact—Toronto, London, and New York—along with close readings of key ArtScroll texts, promotional materials, and the Jewish blogosphere, he shows how the use of these books reflects a broader cultural shift in the authority and public influence of Orthodox Judaism. Playing with the concept of design, Stolow’s study also outlines a fresh theoretical approach to print culture and illuminates how evolving technologies, material forms, and styles of mediated communication contribute to new patterns of religious identification, practice, and power. Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the scholarship category, Jewish Book Council
Benjamin's -abilities by Samuel Weber,Samuel M. Weber,Walter Benjamin Book Summary:
In this book, Weber, a leading theorist on literature and media, reveals a new and productive aspect of Benjamin's thought by focusing the critical suffix "-ability" that Benjamin so tellingly deploys in his work. The result is an illuminating perspective on Benjamin's thought by way of his language - and one of the most penetrating and comprehensive accounts of Benjamin's work ever written.
The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult by Dr Tatiana Kontou,Dr Sarah Willburn Book Summary:
Designed both for those new to the field and for experts, this volume is organized into sections covering the relationship between Victorian spiritualism and science, the occult and politics, and the culture of mystical practices. The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult brings together some of the most prominent scholars working in the field to introduce current approaches to the study of nineteenth-century mysticism and to define new areas for research.
Occupy Time by J. Adams Book Summary:
While secondary texts on Paul Virilio typically see no way out of the tempo- and techno-dystopia he articulates, Occupy Time engages the events of Occupy Wall Street to fix attention on what such readings circumvent: Virilio's elusive theory of resistance.
Postal Culture by Gabriella Romani Book Summary:
The nationalization of the postal service in Italy transformed post-unification letter writing as a cultural medium. Both a harbinger of progress and an expanded, more efficient means of circulating information, the national postal service served as a bridge between the private world of personal communication and the public arena of information exchange and production of public opinion. As a growing number of people read and wrote letters, they became part of a larger community that regarded the letter not only as an important channel in the process of information exchange, but also as a necessary instrument in the education and modernization of the nation. In Postal Culture, Gabriella Romani examines the role of the letter in Italian literature, cultural production, communication, and politics. She argues that the reading and writing of letters, along with epistolary fiction, epistolary manuals, and correspondence published in newspapers, fostered a sense of community and national identity and thus became a force for social change.
Inception and Philosophy by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein Book Summary:
You have to go deeper. Inception is more than just a nail-biting heist story, more than just one of the greatest movies of all time. The latest neuroscience and philosophy of mind tell us that shared dreams and the invasion of dreams may soon become reality. Inception and Philosophy: Ideas to Die For takes you through the labyrinth, onto the infinite staircase, exploring the movie’s hidden architecture, picking up its unexpected clues. How will Inception change your thinking? You can’t imagine. How will Inception and Philosophy change your life? You simply have no idea.
Dictionary of Visual Discourse by Dr Barry Sandywell Book Summary:
This substantial and ambitious dictionary explores the languages and cultures of visual studies. It provides the basis for understanding the foundations and motivations of current theoretical and academic discourse, as well as the different forms of visual culture that have come to organize everyday life. The book is firmly placed in the context of the 'visual turn' in contemporary thought. It has been designed as an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary introduction to the vocabularies and grammars of visuality that inform thinking in the arts and humanities today. It also offers insight into the philosophical frameworks which underpin the field of visual culture. A central theme that runs throughout the entries is the task of moving away from a narrow understanding of visuality inherited from traditional philosophy toward a richer cultural and multi-sensorial philosophy of concrete experience. The dictionary incorporates intertextual links that encourage readers to explore connections between major themes, theories and key figures in the field. In addition the author's introduction provides a comprehensive and critical introduction which documents the significance of the visual turn in contemporary theory and culture. It is accompanied by an extensive bibliography and further reading list. As both a substantive academic contribution to this growing field and a useful reference tool, this book offers a theoretical introduction to the many languages of visual discourse. It will be essential reading for graduate students and scholars in visual studies, the sociology of visual culture, cultural and media studies, philosophy, art history and theory, design, film and communication studies.
Gesammelte Schriften by Walter Benjamin Book Summary:
Selections from the canon of Walter Benjamin focus on history, technology, and the nature of modernism, in essays on Charles Baudelaire, the crisis of meaning in the modern world, the value of the written word, and other topics. (Philosophy)