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Political aesthetics / Crispin Sartwell

Main Author Sartwell, Crispin Country Estados Unidos. Publication Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2010 Description 270 p. ; 24 cm ISBN 978-0-8014-4890-4 CDU 7.01 321.01
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUM 7.01 - S Available 452767
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

"I suggest that although at any given place and moment the aesthetic expressions of a political system just are that political system, the concepts are separable. Typically, aesthetic aspects of political systems shift in their meaning over time, or even are inverted or redeployed with an entirely transformed effect. You cannot understand politics without understanding the aesthetics of politics, but you cannot understand aesthetics as politics. The point is precisely to show the concrete nodes at which two distinct discourses coincide or connive, come apart or coalesce."?from Political Aesthetics

Juxtaposing and connecting the art of states and the art of art historians with vernacular or popular arts such as reggae and hip-hop, Crispin Sartwell examines the reach and claims of political aesthetics. Most analysts focus on politics as discursive systems, privileging text and reducing other forms of expression to the merely illustrative. He suggests that we need to take much more seriously the aesthetic environment of political thought and action.Sartwell argues that graphic style, music, and architecture are more than the propaganda arm of political systems; they are its constituents. A noted cultural critic, Sartwell brings together the disciplines of political science and political philosophy, philosophy of art and art history, in a new way, clarifying basic notions of aesthetics?beauty, sublimity, and representation?and applying them in a political context. A general argument about the fundamental importance of political aesthetics is interspersed with a group of stimulating case studies as disparate as Leni Riefenstahl's films and Black Nationalist aesthetics, the Dead Kennedys and Jeffersonian architecture.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. vii)
  • Introduction: The Idea of Political Aesthetics (p. 1)
  • 4 Prehistory of Political Aesthetics (p. 128)
  • 5 Red, Gold, Black, and Green: Black Nationalist Aesthetics (p. 150)
  • Conclusion: Political Styles and Aesthetic Ideologies (p. 235)
  • Appendix: Riffing on Political Aesthetics: Suggestions for Case Studies and Research (p. 245)
  • References (p. 249)
  • 1 Leni Riefenstahl Meets Charlie Chaplin: Aesthetics of the Third Reich (p. 15)
  • Index (p. 255)
  • 2 Artphilosophical Themes (p. 48)
  • 3 Dead Kennedys and Black Flags: Artpolitics of Punk (p. 99)
  • 6 Arthistorical Themes (p. 187)
  • 7 Political Power and Transcendental Geometry: Republican Classicism in Early America (p. 212)

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Juxtaposing and connecting the art of states and the art of art historians with vernacular or popular arts such as reggae and hip-hop, Crispin Sartwell examines the reach and claims of political aesthetics. Most analysts focus on politics as discursive systems, privileging text and reducing other forms of expression to the merely illustrative. He suggests that we need to take much more seriously the aesthetic environment of political thought and action. Sartwell argues that graphic style, music, and architecture are more than the propaganda arm of political systems; they are its constituents. A noted cultural critic, Sartwell brings together the disciplines of political science and political philosophy, philosophy of art and art history, in a new way, clarifying basic notions of aesthetics--beauty, sublimity, and representation--and applying them in a political context. A general argument about the fundamental importance of political aesthetics is interspersed with a group of stimulating case studies as disparate as Leni Riefenstahl's films and Black Nationalist aesthetics, the Dead Kennedys and Jeffersonian architecture. Excerpted from Political Aesthetics by Crispin Sartwell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Sartwell (art/art history, Dickinson College) proposes to expound and defend the bold and provocative view that although not all art is political, all politics is aesthetic: "at their heart political ideologies, systems, and constitutions are aesthetic systems, multimedia artistic environments." Such a thesis must depend on suitably framed definitions of the key concepts of art, aesthetics, and politics, and Sartwell devotes his introduction and chapters 2, 4, and 6 to the task of spelling out what he means by them. The odd-numbered chapters are case studies that illustrate and further develop the theoretical material. The first chapter, on Nazi Germany, explores the relation between the political and the aesthetic; here Sartwell discusses the careers of Albert Speer and Leni Riefenstahl. The third chapter is on punk, and the fifth on black nationalism (particularly focusing on the career of Marcus Garvey). The final chapter is an especially intriguing discussion of classicism in the founding of the American republic. Designed as an unconventional and unorthodox treatment of aesthetics and politics, this book is nicely written without too much jargon, and enlivened by flashes of wit and insight. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. R. Bonzon Augustana College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Crispin Sartwell is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Dickinson College as well as a music journalist. He is the author of several books, including Against the State , Six Names of Beauty , and Extreme Virtue .

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