Critical theory and feeling
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Reviews
This book explores the crucial role played by feeling and affect within the early work of the Frankfurt School. Engaging with recent developments in the field of affect theory, the author argues that critical theory has always had an affective politics at its heart. While one of the leading legacies of the Frankfurt School aligns it with a rationalist critique of ideology and mass culture, this book draws attention to critical theory's affective, extra-rational side. Aiming to move beyond conventional readings of key texts, Critical theory and feeling instead addresses a selection of topics that meet at the intersection of critique and affect - melancholia, hope, (un)happiness, mimesis, objects. Such themes have received little attention since the philosophical appropriation and gradual de-politicization of critical theory. Against this background, the author strives to re-establish the connection between thought and feeling, and to restate the political, visceral, and vital demands of the early Frankfurt School. Bringing contemporary theory and interpretation to bear on the work of key thinkers including Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch and Kracauer, Critical theory and feeling outlines both how and why any renewal of critical theory today needs to seriously reckon with the politics of affect. This volume will prove an excellent resource to advanced students, researchers, and leading scholars working primarily in critical theory, variants of Marxist social and political thought, and affect theory. Readers from related disciplines such as psychology, literary theory, and the sociology of emotions will also find much to engage with in this book.
Endorsements
This book explores the crucial role played by feeling and affect within the early work of the Frankfurt School. Engaging with recent developments in the field of affect theory, the author argues that critical theory has always had an affective politics at its heart. While one of the leading legacies of the Frankfurt School aligns it with a rationalist critique of ideology and mass culture, this book draws attention to critical theory's affective, extra-rational side. Aiming to move beyond conventional readings of key texts, Critical theory and feeling instead addresses a selection of topics that meet at the intersection of critique and affect - melancholia, hope, (un)happiness, mimesis, objects. Such themes have received little attention since the philosophical appropriation and gradual de-politicization of critical theory. Against this background, the author strives to re-establish the connection between thought and feeling, and to restate the political, visceral, and vital demands of the early Frankfurt School. Bringing contemporary theory and interpretation to bear on the work of key thinkers including Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch and Kracauer, Critical theory and feeling outlines both how and why any renewal of critical theory today needs to seriously reckon with the politics of affect. This volume will prove an excellent resource to advanced students, researchers, and leading scholars working primarily in critical theory, variants of Marxist social and political thought, and affect theory. Readers from related disciplines such as psychology, literary theory, and the sociology of emotions will also find much to engage with in this book.

Critical theory and feeling

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School

Simon Mussell, Darrow Schecter

Description
This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. Resisting the overly rationalist tendencies of political philosophy, it argues that critical theory actively cultivates a powerful connection between thinking and feeling, and rediscovers a range of often neglected concepts that were of vital importance to the first generation of critical theorists, including melancholia, hope, (un)happiness, objects and mimesis. In doing so, it brings the dynamic work of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch and Siegfried Kracauer into conversation with more recent debates around politics and affect. An important intervention in the fields of affect studies and social and political thought, Critical theory and feeling shows that sensuous experience is at the heart of the Frankfurt School's affective politics.
Author Biography
Darrow Schecter is Reader in Intellectual History in the School of Humanities at the University of Sussex
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Bibliographic Information
Publish State
Published
Readership
General/trade; College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
Publisher / Imprint
Manchester University Press
Publication Country / Place
United Kingdom / Manchester
Title Identifier (ISBN/ISSN)
9781526105707 / 1526105705
Published Date
January 2017
Primary Price
110 USD
Dimensions
234 X 156
Series
Critical Theory and Contemporary Society
Reference Code
7807