The sublime now

Book


White, L. and Pajaczkowska, C. White, L. and Pajaczkowska, C. (ed.) 2009. The sublime now. Newcastle Upon Tyne Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
TitleThe sublime now
AuthorsWhite, L. and Pajaczkowska, C.
EditorsWhite, L. and Pajaczkowska, C.
Abstract

The Sublime now is a collection of essays dealing with the sublime in contemporary theory, culture and society. It includes papers by internationally renowned authors from the UK, America and Europe alongside the new voices of younger academics. The contributors were: Jane Bennett, Mark Bould, Eu Jin Chua, Gudrun Filipska, Cornelia Klinger, Esther Leslie, William McDonald, Laura Mulvey, Claire Pajaczkowska, Griselda Pollock, Gene Ray, Bettina Reiber, Jan Rosiek, Sherryl Vint, and Luke White.
Research Questions:
The book critically examines the legacy of the sublime in contemporary art, culture and society and sets out to assess the value and dangers of this concept as it is articulated in its current resurgence in thought and practice.
Research Context:
The book situates itself in a recent trans-disciplinary resurgence of interest in the notion of the sublime. It includes essays whose approaches come from aesthetics and ethics, ecological and political thought, psychoanalysis, feminism, film studies, literary studies, art history and popular culture. It sets out to critically reflect on, as well as contribute to this growing discourse. Its particular focus is around the visual.
The collection’s origins were in a two-day conference at the Tate Britain, organised by research staff and students at Middlesex University and the London Consortium. The book selected from the papers delivered at the conference and also added other essays not presented at the conference.
Findings:
The book identifies key issues and themes which surround the contemporary articulation of the sublime: ecological debates and current attitudes to nature; globalisation and to the recent politics of terror; current reappraisals of Kantian thought; contemporary art and its intertwinement with legacies stretching back to the Baroque; the aesthetics of cinema. It discovers the sublime as a concept closely bound into contemporary debates around popular culture, gender, the body, nature, violence, politics and globalised capitalism. The sublime is a complexly ambivalent category which on the one had points us beyond debates of the postmodern, but which is also implicated in the ideologies of contemporary society.

Keywordssublime; sublimity; sublimation; contemporary art; contemporary culture; contemporary society; aesthetics; politics; ecology; globalisation; capitalism; modernity; postmodernity; gender; the body; affect; Baroque; eighteenth-century thought; twentieth-century thought; twenty-first-century thought; nature; Immanuel Kant; Edmund Burke; Longinus; Theodor Adorno; cinema; death; excess; religion; Romanticism; subjectivity; technology; terror; transcendence; thing-power; ice; Winsor McCay; Caspar David Friedrich; Spinoza; Nietzsche; Wallace Stevens; Damien Hirst; Cornelia Parker; k r buxey; Bernini; Vermeer; film noir; immigration; CGI; back-projection; Alfred Hitchcock; Mark Lewis.
Research GroupDiasporas
Visual Culture and Curating cluster
LanguageEnglish
ISBN
Hardcover9781443813020
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Place of publicationNewcastle Upon Tyne
Publication dates
PrintOct 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Mar 2010
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Additional information

My contributions were: co-editorship of book; single authorship of essay, “Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull and the Capitalist Sublime”; single authorship of section introductions: “The Sublime After Kant,” “Capitalism, Terror, Art and the Sublime,” and “Baroque and Beyond: Art, Sex and the Sublime”; co-writing of book introduction; co-writing of essay “The Sublime in the Work of Cornelia Parker.”

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