The Spirit of Revolution: Beyond the Dead Ends of Man

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In recent years, feminist and queer theory have effectively disavowed both “the human” and revolutionary politics. In the face of massive geopolitical crisis, posthumanists have called for us to reconsider fundamentally the superiority and centrality of mankind and “the human,” and question how Man can presume to change the world by revolutionary action, particularly when Marx’s dreams seem to have been swept into the dustbin of history.

This provocative book reaffirms what is most basic in feminism – the attack on the “universality” and sovereignty of Man – but contends that the only way this can mean anything other than pessimistic rhetoric is to embrace human agency and the struggle against colonialism and capitalism. In a series of “creolized” readings – Foucault with Ali Shari’ati, Lacan with Fanon, and Spinoza with Sylvia Wynter – the authors demonstrate what is at stake in the ongoing debate between humanism and posthumanism, putting this debate in the context of contemporary global crises and the possibilities of revolution.

In its defense of “political spirituality,” this book pushes for a new trajectory in response to the gross inequalities of today, one that offers us a very different view of revolution and its present-day potential.
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About the author

Drucilla Cornell is Professor of Political Science, Women's Studies, and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University.

Stephen D. Seely is a PhD candidate in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jan 19, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9780745690780
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In this risk-taking book, a major feminist philosopher engages the work of the actor and director who has progressed from being the stereotypical man's manto pushing the boundaries of the very genres-the Western, the police thriller, the war or boxing movie-most associated with American masculinity. Cornell's highly appreciative encounter with the films directed by Clint Eastwood revolve around the questions What is it to be a good man?and What is it to be, not just an ethical person, but specifically an ethical man?Focusing on Eastwood as a director rather than as an actor or cultural icon, she studies Eastwood in relation to major philosophical and ethical themes that have been articulated in her own life's work.In her fresh and revealing readings of the films, Cornell takes up pressing issues of masculinity as it is caught up in the very definition of ideas of revenge, violence, moral repair, and justice. Eastwood grapples with this involvement of masculinity in and through many of the great symbols of American life, including cowboys, boxing, police dramas, and ultimately war-perhaps the single greatest symbol of what it means (or is supposed to mean) to be a man. Cornell discusses films from across Eastwood's career, from his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me to Million Dollar Baby.Cornell's book is not a traditional book of film criticism or a cinematographic biography. Rather, it is a work of social commentary and ethical philosophy. In a world in which we seem to be losing our grip on shared symbols, along with community itself, Eastwood's films work with the fragmented symbols that remain to us in order to engage masculinity with the most profound moral and ethical issues facing us today.
In this risk-taking book, a major feminist philosopher engages the work of the actor and director who has progressed from being the stereotypical "man's man" to pushing the boundaries of the very genres--the Western, the police thriller, the war or boxing movie--most associated with American masculinity. Cornell's highly appreciative encounter with the films directed by Clint Eastwood revolve around the questions "What is it to be a good man?" and "What is it to be, not just an ethical person, but specifically an ethical man?" Focusing on Eastwood as a director rather than as an actor or cultural icon, she studies Eastwood in relation to major philosophical and ethical themes that have been articulated in her own life's work.

In her fresh and revealing readings of the films, Cornell takes up pressing issues of masculinity as it is caught up in the very definition of ideas of revenge, violence, moral repair, and justice. Eastwood grapples with this involvement of masculinity in and through many of the great symbols of American life, including cowboys, boxing, police dramas, and ultimately war--perhaps the single greatest symbol of what it means (or is supposed to mean) to be a man. Cornell discusses films from across Eastwood's career, from his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me to Million Dollar Baby.

Cornell's book is not a traditional book of film criticism or a cinematographic biography. Rather, it is a work of social commentary and ethical philosophy. In a world in which we seem to be losing our grip on shared symbols, along with community itself, Eastwood's films work with the fragmented symbols that remain to us in order to engage masculinity with the most profound moral and ethical issues facing us today.

In this risk-taking book, a major feminist philosopher engages the work of the actor and director who has progressed from being the stereotypical "man's man" to pushing the boundaries of the very genres--the Western, the police thriller, the war or boxing movie--most associated with American masculinity. Cornell's highly appreciative encounter with the films directed by Clint Eastwood revolve around the questions "What is it to be a good man?" and "What is it to be, not just an ethical person, but specifically an ethical man?" Focusing on Eastwood as a director rather than as an actor or cultural icon, she studies Eastwood in relation to major philosophical and ethical themes that have been articulated in her own life's work.

In her fresh and revealing readings of the films, Cornell takes up pressing issues of masculinity as it is caught up in the very definition of ideas of revenge, violence, moral repair, and justice. Eastwood grapples with this involvement of masculinity in and through many of the great symbols of American life, including cowboys, boxing, police dramas, and ultimately war--perhaps the single greatest symbol of what it means (or is supposed to mean) to be a man. Cornell discusses films from across Eastwood's career, from his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me to Million Dollar Baby.

Cornell's book is not a traditional book of film criticism or a cinematographic biography. Rather, it is a work of social commentary and ethical philosophy. In a world in which we seem to be losing our grip on shared symbols, along with community itself, Eastwood's films work with the fragmented symbols that remain to us in order to engage masculinity with the most profound moral and ethical issues facing us today.

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