Her study is one of the first to combine an in-depth engagement with philosophical aesthetics, especially the work of Theodor W. Adorno, with women's literary modernism, particularly the writing of Virginia Woolf and Nella Larsen, along ...
The relation between gender and aesthetics is central to any formulation of feminist aesthetics, and yet the meanings of these terms are continually contested and revised. Both gender and aesthetics carry diverse, interdisciplinary significations, which are shaped by complex histories of disagreements. When the term “aesthetic” was first introduced in the eighteenth century by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten, it did not refer to artistic production but rather to the mode of knowledge gained through the senses. Aesthetics today can have (...) at least three different meanings: (1) a general theory of artistic practices; (2) a theory of reception, focused upon how we appreciate or judge natural beauty and artworks; and (3) a theory of sensibility shaping our experience, practice, and knowledge. In this last sense aesthetics does not have to refer to art at all, but is rather concerned with the role of different senses, such as touch, sight, taste, smell, or with different affects: pleasure, pain, or disgust (Korsmeyer 2012). One could make an argument that the affective turn in feminist and queer theory today is also implicitly informed by this third historical meaning of aesthetics, even if theorists themselves do not engage aesthetics directly (Ahmed 2004; Berlant 2011). Gender is also a contested category in feminist philosophy and theory (Chanter 2007); in general it refers to social and political determinations and regulations of biological sex and sexual practices, but there is no consensus on the relationship of gender to power, the body, sexuality, or sensibility. Following feminist theories of intersectionality, introduced by black feminists (Crenshaw 1991), I assume in this chapter that the category of gender is relational, political, and historical; that is, that its significance and its relation to embodiment are shaped by desire and power relations, which also determine the meaning of class, race, labor, environment, and other political phenomena. (shrink)
This essay diagnoses systemic interconnections between COVID-19 pandemics, anti-Black racism, and the intensification of digital capitalism. By drawing on Charles Mills’ rectificatory justice and Hannah Arendt’s reflections on understanding and action, it argues that the role of philosophy lies in safeguarding racial justice and understanding against the hegemony algorithmic governmentality.
There are two interrelated questions that I would like to explore in the context of Pleshette DeArmitt’s work. The first one pertains to the intellectual stakes in the eloquent style of her writing, its elegance and playfulness, which accompanies the philosophical order of argumentation. And the second one refers to the issue of female friendship. How can one discuss such friendship without resorting to merely biographical, historical, or autobiographical terms? Yet what kind of philosophical theories of female friendship could I (...) possibly refer to? Perhaps to none. DeArmitt, whose life has created so many friendships, did not live long enough to write about friendship, at least not directly. And yet I would like to suggest that her captivating—the adjective that I use here deliberately—book, The Right to Narcissism: A Case for Im-possible Self-Love, leaves us traces of female friendship in her philosophical argument that narcissistic self-love is inseparable from the love of another. (shrink)