political theory | cultural studies | aesthetics
How the Arts Think the Political
MICHAEL J. SHAPIRO In Punctuations Michael J. Shapiro examines how punctuation—conceived not as a series of marks but as a metaphor for the ways in which artists engage with intelligibility—opens pathways for thinking through the possibilities for oppositional politics. Drawing on Theodor Adorno, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Roland Barthes, Shapiro demonstrates how punctuation’s capacity to create unexpected rhythmic pacing makes it an ideal tool for writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists to challenge structures of power. In works ranging from film scores and jazz compositions to literature, architecture, and photography, Shapiro shows how the use of punctuation reveals the contestability of dominant narratives in ways that prompt readers, viewers, and listeners to reflect on their acceptance of those narratives. Such uses of punctuation, he theorizes, offer models for disrupting structures of authority, thereby fostering the creation of alternative communities of sense from which to base political mobilization. Michael J. Shapiro is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the author of numerous books, most recently, The Political Sublime, also published by Duke University Press.
HOW THE ARTS THINK THE POLITICAL
michael j. shapiro
November 232 pages, 32 illustrations, including 3 in color paper, 978-1-4780-0656-5 $25.95/£20.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0588-9 $99.95/£83.00
sound studies | philosophy
The Sonic Episteme Acoustic Resonance, Neoliberalism, and Biopolitics
ROBIN JAMES In The Sonic Episteme Robin James examines how twenty-first-century conceptions of sound as acoustic resonance shape notions of the social world, personhood, and materiality in ways that support white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Drawing on fields ranging from philosophy and sound studies to black feminist studies and musicology, James shows how what she calls the sonic episteme—a set of sound-based rules that qualitatively structure social practices in much the same way neoliberalism uses statistics to achieve similar ends—employs a politics of exception to maintain hegemonic neoliberal and biopolitical projects. Where James sees the normcore averageness of Taylor Swift and Spandau Ballet as contributing to the sonic episteme’s marginalization of non-normative conceptions of gender, race, and personhood, the black feminist political ontologies she identifies in Beyoncé’s and Rihanna’s music challenge such marginalization. In using sound to theorize political ontology, subjectivity, and power, James argues for the further articulation of sonic practices that avoid contributing to the systemic relations of domination that biopolitical neoliberalism creates and polices.
December 264 pages paper, 978-1-4780-0664-0 $26.95/£20.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0578-0 $99.95/£83.00
Robin James is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and author of Resilience and Melancholy: Pop Music, Feminism, Neoliberalism and The Conjectural Body: Gender, Race, and the Philosophy of Music.
The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.