About this topic

Jacques Rancière was born in 1940 in Algiers. He entered the renowned Ecole Normale Superieure in 1960 and followed Louis Althusser’s seminar in the following years. In 1965, he took part in a seminar that was to become immensely influential in the humanities, when it became published under the title “Reading Capital”. However, a rift with Althusser following the events of 1968 led to a new direction in his work, one that sought to engage more directly with proletarian voices and concerns. This historiographical research led to the publication of a number of dense articles in the journal Révoltes Logiques. This period of intense archival research into “the archives of the proletarian dream” culminated with the publication of his major thesis in 1981, Proletarian Nights (La Nuit des Prolétaires). In 1969, Rancière had joined the Philosophy department at the newly founded Université Paris Vincennes. This was to be his university posting for the rest of his career.  In the 1990s Rancière articulated the philosophical underpinnings that had so far guided his historiographical research, with major studies on the poetics of historical writing (The Names of History), political philosophy  (Disagreement and On the Shores of Politics), the philosophy of education (The Ignorant Schoolmaster). He also thematised his critical standpoint in relation to philosophy itself (The Philosopher and his Poor). His writings in the last two decades have concentrated on topics and issues in aesthetics, from literature, to film, performance arts and applied arts. His thinking has gradually come into prominence in the English-speaking world in the last decade or so, especially in the fields of political theory, education and aesthetics. It is today an influential paradigm in those parts of the humanities and social sciences interested in continental philosophy.

Key works

Five books stand out in Rancière’s voluminous production, as single studies that make a book-length argument:  Proletarian  Nights  (history of the French workers’ movement); the Names of History; Disagreement (Rancière’s political philosophy); The Ignorant Schoolmaster (his highly influential account of the revolutionary educator Joseph Jacotot); Mute Speech, in which the most detailed account of his famous theory of the ‘regimes of the arts’ is laid out ; and finally Aisthesis, his most recent monograph, which extends the analyses of Mute Speech to the performing arts, the decorative arts, photography and cinema.

He has published many other collections of articles on all the topics listed above, some of which have also had a major influence on contemporary thinking. Most worth listing are: Film Fables; The Flesh of Words; and The Politics of Aesthetics.


Davis 2011 Deranty 2010

Tanke 2011
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Rancière: Works
  1. Lire Le Capital, Tome I: L. Althusser, J. Ranciere, P. Macherey; Tome II: L. Althusser, E. Balibar, R. Establet.Francesc Agües - 1971 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):133-134.
  2. Lire le Capital.Louis Althusser, Etienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey & Jacques Rancière - 1968 - F. Maspero.
  3. De onwetende meester als voorbeeld - Jacques Ranciere: van praktijk naar principe.Martijn Boven - 2017 - Wijsgerig Perspectief 3 (57):6-15.
    Bestaat de kernactiviteit van de meester erin om zijn eigen kennis uit te leggen en over te dragen? De Franse filosoof Jacques Rancière laat zien dat een gelegenheidsexperiment van Joseph Jacotot ons een ander voorbeeld aanreikt: de onwetende meester. In zijn boek De onwetende meester: vijf lessen over intellectuele emancipatie (Le maître ignorant: Cinq leçons sur l'émancipation intellectuelle) stelt hij dat de onwetende meester evengoed of zelfs beter in staat is leerlingen iets te leren dan de wetende meester. Rancière neemt (...)
  4. Arrêt Sur Histoire.Jean-Louis Comolli & Jacques Rancière - 1997
  5. Jacqueline CARROY, Nathalie RICHARD (sous la dir.), La découverte et ses récits en sciences humaines, Paris, L'Harmattan, 1998, 318 p. [REVIEW]Nicole Edelman - 1998 - Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 2:27-27.
    Ont contribué au volume : David Allen, Gabriel Bergounioux, Claude Blanckaert, Jacqueline Carroy, Jean François Chiantarretto, Françoise Couchard, Gérard Lagneau, Sophie-Anne Leterrier, Laurent Muchielli, Jean Yves Pautrat, Paule Petitier, Jacques Postel, Jacques Rancière, Marc Renneville, Nathalie Richard et Geneviève Vermès. A priori, loin de la problématique des relations entre les sexes, ce recueil de textes issu d'un colloque organisé par la Société française pour l'histoire des s..
  6. Le Philosophe Plébéien.Gabriel Gauny & Jacques Rancière - 1983
  7. Jacques Rancière, Politique de la littérature. [REVIEW]Giovanna Gioli - 2008 - la Società Degli Individui 33.
  8. Jacques Ranciere: Literature, Politics, Aesthetics: Approaches to Democratic Disagreement.Solange Guenoun, James H. Kavanagh & Roxanne Lapidus - 2000 - Substance 29 (2):3.
  9. Rancière, J. , Le Fil Perdu. Essais Sur la Fiction Moderne.Firmin Havugimana - 2014 - Ithaque 15:163-168.
  10. The Published Works of Jacques Rancière.Cody Hennesy - 2011 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 15 (2):120-149.
    This bibliography is the most comprehensive compilation of Jacques Rancière's published works to date. It is not intended, however, to be the definitive catalogue of his intellectual output. In the first instance, it does not include works and interviews published in languages other than French and English. Some publications, particularly shorter works in French periodicals, have not been included, and a few of the more obscure publications listed below have been confirmed only through their appearance in secondary sources. Unpublished materials, (...)
  11. Der Anteil der Anteilslosen. Uber: Jacques Ranciere: Das Unvernehmen.A. Hetzel - 2004 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 52 (2):322.
  12. Hatred of Democracy by Jacques Rancière.James D. Ingram - 2010 - Constellations 17 (1):175-178.
  13. The Order of the City.Ranciere Jacques - 2004 - Critical Inquiry 30 (2).
  14. 2.On the Relationship of Art History and Art Theory': Translators' IntroductionOn the Relationship of Art History and Art Theory': Translators' Introduction (Pp. 33-42). [REVIEW]Katharina Lorenz, Erwin Panofsky, Bill Nichols, Kent Puckett, James I. Porter, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun & Jacques Rancière - 2008 - Critical Inquiry 35 (1).
  15. The Flesh of Words: The Politics of Writing.Charlotte Mandell (ed.) - 2004 - Stanford University Press.
    This new collection of challenging literary studies plays with a foundational definition of Western culture: the word become flesh. But the _word become flesh_ is not, or no longer, a theological already-given. It is a millennial goal or telos toward which each text strives. Both witty and immensely erudite, Jacques Rancière leads the critical reader through a maze of arrivals toward the moment, perhaps always suspended, when the word finds its flesh. That is what he, a valiant and good-humored companion (...)
  16. Post-Democracy, Politics and Philosophy: An Interview with Jacques Ranci Re.Kate Nash - 1996 - Angelaki 1 (3):171 – 178.
  17. Rancière, Jacques. Aisthesis: Scenes From the Aesthetic Regime of Art. Trans., Zakir Paul. London: Verso, 2013. $29.95. 304 Pp. [REVIEW]Davide Panagia - 2015 - Critical Inquiry 41 (2):464-465.
  18. Dissenting Words: A Conversation with Jacques Rancière.Davide Panagia & Jacques Ranciére - 2000 - Diacritics 30 (2):113-126.
  19. Assemblies in Art and Politics: An Interview with Jacques Ranciere.N. Papastergiadis & C. Esche - 2014 - Theory, Culture and Society 31 (7-8):27-41.
  20. Jacques Rancière. The Intervals of Cinema. Trans. John Howe. Brooklyn: Verso, 2014. 160 Pp. [REVIEW]Abhijeet Paul - 2016 - Critical Inquiry 42 (2):411-412.
  21. Politics and Aesthetics an Interview.Jacques Ranci - 2003 - Angelaki 8 (2):191 – 211.
  22. Un-What? Rancière - 2016 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 49 (4):589-606.
    “Pedagogics of Unlearning”: this phrase obviously echoes a notion and a figure that I had set up in my own way when I published a book entitled The Ignorant Schoolmaster with the subtitle “Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation”.1 Both entail the idea of a specific form of learning, which is a negative one: learning how to unlearn, teaching as an ignoramus, learning the emancipatory virtue of ignorance. This idea raises two interrelated problems. First, how are we to understand the type (...)
  23. Reply to Levy.J. Ranciere - 1977 - Télos 1977 (33):119-122.
  24. Althusser and Ideology.J. Ranciere - 1974 - Radical Philosophy 7.
  25. Jacques Rancière: Literature, Politics, Aesthetics: Approaches to Democratic Disagreement. An Interview.(R. Lapidus, Trans.). [REVIEW]J. Rancière, S. Guénoun & J. H. Kavanagh - 2000 - Substance 29 (2):2-3.
  26. Auerbach and the Contradictions of Realism.Jacques Rancière - 2018 - Critical Inquiry 44 (2):227-241.
  27. Art, Life, Finality: The Metamorphoses of Beauty.Jacques Rancière - 2017 - Critical Inquiry 43 (3):597-616.
  28. The Method of Equality: Interviews with Laurent Jeanpierre and Dork Zabunyan.Jacques Ranciere - 2016 - Polity.
  29. Rethinking Modernity.Jacques Rancière - 2014 - Diacritics 42 (3):6-20.
  30. Béla Tarr, the Time After.Jacques Rancière - 2013 - Univocal Publishing.
  31. Is the Time of Emancipation Over?Jacques Ranciere - 2012 - Filozofski Vestnik 33 (1).
  32. La haine de la démocratie Paris: La Fabrique (El odio a la democracia. Buenos Aires: Amorrortu editores. Traducción de Irene Agoff 2006).Jacques Rancière - 2012 - Enrahonar 48:161.
  33. The Intellectual and His People.Jacques Rancière - 2012 - Verso.
    The people's theatre : a long drawn-out affair -- The cultural historic compromise -- The philosopher's tale : intellectuals and the trajectory of Gauchisme -- Joan of Arc in the Gulag -- The inconceivable revolution -- Factory nostalgia (notes on an article and various books) -- The ethics of sociology.
  34. Mute Speech.Jacques Rancière - 2011 - Columbia University Press.
  35. Chronicles of Consensual Times.Jacques Rancière - 2010 - Continuum.
    The head and the stomach January 1996 -- Borges in Sarajevo March 1996 -- Fin de siècle and new millenarium May 1996 -- Cold racism July 1996 -- The last enemy November 1996 -- The grounded plane January 1997 -- Dialectic in the dialectic August 1997 -- Voyage to the country of the last sociologists November 1997 -- Justice in the past April 1998 -- The crisis of art or a crisis of thought July 1998 -- Is cinema to blame (...)
  36. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics.Jacques Rancière - 2010 - Continuum.
    Translator's introduction -- Preface -- Part I: The aesthetics of politics -- Ten theses on politics -- Does democracy mean something? -- Who is the subject of the rights of man? -- Communism : from actuality to inactuality -- The people or the multitudes -- Bio-politics or politics -- September 11 and afterwards : a rupture in the symbolic order -- Of war as the supreme form of advanced plutocratic consensus -- Part II: The politics of aesthetics -- The aesthetic (...)
  37. The Aesthetic Heterotopia.Jacques Rancière - 2010 - Philosophy Today 54 (Supplement):15-25.
  38. The Aesthetic Unconscious.Jacques Ranciere - 2010 - Polity.
    This book is not concerned with the use of Freudian concepts for the interpretation of literary and artistic works. Rather, it is concerned with why this interpretation plays such an important role in demonstrating the contemporary relevance of psychoanalytic concepts. In order for Freud to use the Oedipus complex as a means for the interpretation of texts, it was necessary first of all for a particular notion of Oedipus, belonging to the Romantic reinvention of Greek antiquity, to have produced a (...)
  39. The Janus-Face of Politicized Art.Jacques Rancière - 2010 - In Christopher Want (ed.), Philosophers on Art From Kant to the Postmodernists: A Critical Reader. Columbia University Press.
  40. Aesthetics and its Discontents.Jacques Ranciere - 2009 - Polity.
    Only yesterday aesthetics stood accused of concealing cultural games of social distinction. Now it is considered a parasitic discourse from which artistic practices must be freed. But aesthetics is not a discourse. It is an historical regime of the identification of art. This regime is paradoxical, because it founds the autonomy of art only at the price of suppressing the boundaries separating its practices and its objects from those of everyday life and of making free aesthetic play into the promise (...)
  41. Et tant pis pour les gens fatigues.Jacques Rancière - 2009 - Editions Amsterdam.
  42. Notes on the Photographic Image.Jacques Rancière - 2009 - Radical Philosophy 156:8-15.
  43. The Aesthetic Dimension: Aesthetics, Politics, Knowledge.Jacques Rancière - 2009 - Critical Inquiry 36 (1):1-19.
  44. The Emancipated Spectator.Jacques Rancière - 2009 - Verso.
  45. The Future of the Image.Jacques Rancière - 2009 - Verso.
  46. Aesthetics Against Incarnation: An Interview by Anne Marie Oliver.Jacques Rancière - 2008 - Critical Inquiry 35 (1):172-190.
  47. Why Emma Bovary Had to Be Killed.Jacques Rancière - 2008 - Critical Inquiry 34 (2):233-248.
  48. Le travail de l'image.Jacques Rancière - 2007 - Multitudes 1 (1):195-210.
    To represent is to stand for something else, it is thus to lie about the truth of thing. The work of Esther Shalev-Gerz doubly refutes this presupposition : on the one hand, the thing itself is never there, there is only representation : words borne by bodies, images which present to us, not what words say but what these bodies do ; on the other hand, there is never any representation, one is always confronted with presence : things, the hands (...)
  49. On the Shores of Politics.Jacques Rancière - 2007 - Verso.
  50. Democracy, Republic, Representation.Jacques Ranciere - 2006 - Constellations 13 (3):297-307.
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