Critical Studies

Articles

Vol. 37, 2014

Impossible Communities? on Gender, Vulnerability and Community
The title of the present volume, D~(ferences in Common, is intended as a statement on its theoretical framework: the editors maintain that the usual opposition between `difference(s)' and `the common,' or between the needs of the individual and those...
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The Reason(s) of Nation and Gender
The paper explores the relationship of the historically constructed institutions, of gender, reason and nation in a philosophical approach. The reason why the subjection (as an aspect of subjectivation) of women is so important is that, through the "gendering"...
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Nationalism and the Imagination 1
Nationalism is produced by tapping the most private attachment to ground for the purposes of the most public statecraft. It is predicated on reproductive heteronormativity: birthright. "Naturalization" is to legalize a simulacrum of displaced birth,...
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The Hostage of the Womb by the Motherland 1
Women's bodies have been systematically used as metonyms of the land and the nation in patriarchal nationalist discourses since immemorial times. What are the consequences that such symbolic identification holds for women's real lives? What factual realities...
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Women and Citizenship: Poetry of Power, Time and Space
The poetry of Concha Zardoya (1914-2004) and Juana Castro (b. 1945), two Spanish women poets, is read from the perspective of citizenship, understood as a performative act and marked by the intersection of time and space. Special attention is given to...
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Bodily Vulnerability, Coalitions, and Street Politics
The goal of this essay is to reflect on the ways in which bodies come to perform resistance, through vulnerability, coalitions and the logics of the street as a site for public demonstrations. The question of who, when and how spaces are used in resistance-and...
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More Than Vulnerable: Rethinking Community 1
The aim of this paper is to disentangle some aspects of the link established between community and mourning. It will be done in order to highlight in which sense the community of mourners would be an impossible political community. In order to discuss...
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Passionately Losing Oneself
This essay reflects on two of Isabel Coixet's films and the topic of "relationality." It analyzes the strategies often used in her movies to create characters in transition. In this case, their thawing from impossible and imposed patriarchal isolationist...
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Opaque Encounters, Impossible Vicinities
The neighbor, both as a sociological reality and as an ethical ideal, interested Herman Melville, who questioned whether one's life may re-present the moral failure to comply with the religious and secular obligation of loving one's neighbor as oneself...
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Community and the Politics of Memory
This essay reflects on the "politics of memory" essential to the construction of a national community in relation to Jacques Derrida's conception of the archive. To do so, it focuses precisely on two films by the Franco-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb...
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Fiction Traces: The Ideal Community and Historical Sabotage
After the failure of all communisms it seems quite appropriate and necessary to rethink the supposed homogeneity of community and to propose new readings, outside of the canonical point of view. To discuss the conventional ideas linked to community we...
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What Does Difference Have to Do with Community? Derrida's Diacritic Difference
This essay explores the ways in which difference can be preserved within a community. It departs from Jacques Derrida's critique of the image of community as immediately present to itself, without difference and his criticism on the minorities which...
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Community as Transit and Stammering in Collaborative Writing
Collaborative writing projects developed in blogs constitute interesting textual locations where some of the practices most characteristic of virtual communities can be traced. Gender studies and Jean-Luc Nancy's thinking on community offer an approach...
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Blood Ties: Interpretive Communities and Popular (Gendered) Genres
The aim of this paper is to reflect on interpretive communities and their impact on the cultural production and consumption of literary and media texts. Focusing on the case of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries paranormal romantic saga and...
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Vol. 36, 2012

Foreword & Acknowledgements
What do G. W. Hegel's dialectics of recognition, Luk Perceval's theatrical staging of Penthesilea, a French politician's hunger strike and Richard Serra's sculptures for urban space all have in common? They can be described as pertaining to various interconnected...
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Two Saints and the Power of the Auditive
Friedrich Schiller, Heinrich von Kleist, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe each address in different ways the power of music and the manifold symbolic representation of sound. Music possesses the power to generate as well as to destroy order, producing...
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Hegemonic Listening and Subversive Silences: Ethical-Political Imperatives
Hegemonic "norms of recognition" determine what can be read, heard and understood as legible. Intelligibility is deeply linked to survival, whereby the very possibility of life depends on being recognized as a legitimate subject. At the heart of critical...
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Acoustic Violence in Contemporary German Theatre
In contemporary German theatre, acoustic phenomena (i.e. music, voices, sounds and noises) play a crucial role. Their aesthetic function is no longer restricted to representing dramatic actions; it consists above all in the sensual and emotional effect...
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Introduction: Destruction in the Performative
Cultural transformation tends to be described in one of two ways: either with reference to what comes about, is created or emerges in the process of change, or with reference to what is destroyed or obscured in that process. Within a performative paradigm,...
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Salomania - Trans and Trans-Temporal: A Queer Archaeology of Destructiveness
The figure of Salome and the image of her dance have had a particular appeal. They have been taken up by a long list of cultural producers such as Oscar Wilde, Alla Nazimova, Loie Fuller, Aida Walker, or - in a modified version - by the choreographer...
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Asceticism Poses a Threat: The Enactment of Voluntary Hunger
Hunger striking is a practice of abstention that operates with an inherent risk of damage to one's own self. The hunger strike must be enacted in a particular way in order for the renunciation of food to be seen as a tool of political resistance in the...
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Masochistic Self-Shattering between Destructiveness and Productivity
Masochistic self-shattering challenges an economy of the self mat aims at efficiency and productivity. In line with Sigmund Freund, some theoretical approaches assume a 'death drive' to explain the pleasure in self-destruction. Moreover, they highlight...
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Creative Destructions: Gabriel Tarde's Concept of a Passionate Economy
This paper traces the connection between destruction and performativity in the light of Gabriel Tarde's concept of economics. At the start of the twentieth century, Tarde formulated a theory of economic process as an innovation process that is driven...
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Triggering Latency Zones in Modern Society: Richard Serra's Sculptures within the Urban Setting
Richard Serra's "claim to an absoluteness of direct and immediate aesthetic presence and to absolute experience of mis presence" (Buchloh 1989, 115) gives way to the creation of strong formal objects that overwhelm observers and guide mem toward a new...
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Code Decay: Organizational Performance and Destructivity
In software development, "code decay" refers to the increasing difficulty and intricacy of code modification. Software developers and programmers often report that code that has been modified over a longer period of time becomes "buggy" and finally "decays,"...
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Recognition and Disrespect: Lordship and Bondage in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
With regard to the contemporary discussion of recognition and disrespect in social philosophy, this chapter argues that Hegel is not only a seminal 'theorist of recognition,' but also a sophisticated 'theorist of disrespect.' By means of the relationship...
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