Fredric Jameson (born April 14, 1934) is an American literary critic and Marxist political theorist. He is best known for his analysis of contemporary cultural trends, particularly his analysis of postmodernity and capitalism. Jameson's best-known books include Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) and The Political Unconscious (1981).
Jameson is currently Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Studies (French) and the director of the Center for Critical Theory at Duke University. In 2012, the Modern Language Association gave Jameson its sixth Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement.
|Born||April 14, 1934|
|Alma mater||Haverford College|
|Postmodernism · modernism · science fiction · utopia · history · narrative · cultural studies · dialectics · structuralism|
|Cognitive mapping · national allegory · political unconscious|
Jameson was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating in 1954 from Haverford College, where his professors included Wayne Booth, he briefly traveled to Europe, studying at Aix-en-Provence, Munich, and Berlin, where he learned of new developments in continental philosophy, including the rise of structuralism. He returned to America the following year to pursue a doctoral degree at Yale University, where he studied under Erich Auerbach.
Auerbach would prove to be a lasting influence on Jameson's thought. This was already apparent in Jameson's doctoral dissertation, published in 1961 as Sartre: the Origins of a Style. Auerbach's concerns were rooted in the German philological tradition; his works on the history of style analyzed literary form within social history. Jameson would follow in these steps, examining the articulation of poetry, history, philology, and philosophy in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Jameson's work focused on the relation between the style of Sartre's writings and the political and ethical positions of his existentialist philosophy. The occasional Marxian aspects of Sartre's work were glossed over in this book; Jameson would return to them in the following decade.
Jameson's dissertation, though it drew on a long tradition of European cultural analysis, differed markedly from the prevailing trends of Anglo-American academia (which were empiricism and logical positivism in philosophy and linguistics, and New Critical formalism in literary criticism). It nevertheless earned Jameson a position at Harvard University, where he taught during the first half of the 1960s.
His interest in Sartre led Jameson to intense study of Marxist literary theory. Even though Karl Marx was becoming an important influence in American social science, partly through the influence of the many European intellectuals who had sought refuge from the Second World War in the United States, such as Theodor Adorno, the literary and critical work of the Western Marxists was still largely unknown in American academia in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Jameson's shift toward Marxism was also driven by his increasing political connection with the New Left and pacifist movements, as well as by the Cuban Revolution, which Jameson took as a sign that "Marxism was alive and well as a collective movement and a culturally productive force". His research focused on critical theory: thinkers of, and influenced by, the Frankfurt School, such as Kenneth Burke, György Lukács, Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Louis Althusser, and Sartre, who viewed cultural criticism as an integral feature of Marxist theory. This position represented a break with more orthodox Marxism-Leninism, which held a narrow view of historical materialism. In 1969, Jameson co-founded the Marxist Literary Group with a number of his graduate students at the University of California, San Diego.
While the Orthodox Marxist view of ideology held that the cultural "superstructure" was completely determined by the economic "base", the Western Marxists critically analyzed culture as a historical and social phenomenon alongside economic production and distribution or political power relationships. They held that culture must be studied using the Hegelian concept of immanent critique: the theory that adequate description and criticism of a philosophical or cultural text must be carried out in the same terms that text itself employs, in order to develop its internal inconsistencies in a manner that allows intellectual advancement. Marx highlighted immanent critique in his early writings, derived from Hegel's development of a new form of dialectical thinking that would attempt, as Jameson comments, "to lift itself mightily up by its own bootstraps".
History came to play an increasingly central role in Jameson's interpretation of both the reading (consumption) and writing (production) of literary texts. Jameson marked his full-fledged commitment to Hegelian-Marxist philosophy with the publication of The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, the opening slogan of which is "always historicize" (1981). The Political Unconscious takes as its object not the literary text itself, but rather the interpretive frameworks by which it is now constructed. It emerges as a manifesto for new activity concerning literary narrative.
The book's argument emphasized history as the "ultimate horizon" of literary and cultural analysis. It borrowed notions from the structuralist tradition and from Raymond Williams's work in cultural studies, and joined them to a largely Marxist view of labor (whether blue-collar or intellectual) as the focal point of analysis. Jameson's readings exploited both the explicit formal and thematic choices of the writer and the unconscious framework guiding these. Artistic choices that were ordinarily viewed in purely aesthetic terms were recast in terms of historical literary practices and norms, in an attempt to develop a systematic inventory of the constraints they imposed on the artist as an individual creative subject. To further this meta-commentary, Jameson described the ideologeme, or "the smallest intelligible unit of the essentially antagonistic collective discourses of social classes", the smallest legible residue of the real-life, ongoing struggles occurring between social classes. (The term "ideologeme" was first used by Mikhail Bakhtin and Pavel Nikolaevich Medvedev in their work The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship and was later popularised by Julia Kristeva. Kristeva defined it as "the intersection of a given textual arrangement ... with the utterances ... that it either assimilates into its own space or to which it refers in the space of exterior texts ...".)
Jameson's establishment of history as the only pertinent factor in this analysis, which derived the categories governing artistic production from their historical framework, was paired with a bold theoretical claim. His book claimed to establish Marxian literary criticism, centered in the notion of an artistic mode of production, as the most all-inclusive and comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding literature. According to Vincent B. Leitch, the publication of The Political Unconscious "rendered Jameson the leading Marxist literary critic in America."
In 1984, during his tenure as Professor of Literature and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Jameson published an article titled "Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" in the journal New Left Review. This controversial article, which Jameson later expanded into a book, was part of a series of analyses of postmodernism from the dialectical perspective Jameson had developed in his earlier work on narrative. Jameson viewed the postmodern "skepticism towards metanarratives" as a "mode of experience" stemming from the conditions of intellectual labor imposed by the late capitalist mode of production.
Postmodernists claimed that the complex differentiation between "spheres" or fields of life (such as the political, the social, the cultural, the commercial), and between distinct social classes and roles within each field, had been overcome by the crisis of foundationalism and the consequent relativization of truth-claims. Jameson argued against this, asserting that these phenomena had or could have been understood successfully within a modernist framework; the postmodern failure to achieve this understanding implied an abrupt break in the dialectical refinement of thought.
In his view, postmodernity's merging of all discourse into an undifferentiated whole was the result of the colonization of the cultural sphere, which had retained at least partial autonomy during the prior modernist era, by a newly organized corporate capitalism. Following Adorno and Horkheimer's analysis of the culture industry, Jameson discussed this phenomenon in his critical discussion of architecture, film, narrative, and visual arts, as well as in his strictly philosophical work.
Two of Jameson's best-known claims from Postmodernism are that postmodernity is characterized by pastiche and a crisis in historicity. Jameson argued that parody (which implies a moral judgment or a comparison with societal norms) was replaced by pastiche (collage and other forms of juxtaposition without a normative grounding). Relatedly, Jameson argued that the postmodern era suffers from a crisis in historicity: "there no longer does seem to be any organic relationship between the American history we learn from schoolbooks and the lived experience of the current, multinational, high-rise, stagflated city of the newspapers and of our own everyday life".
Jameson's analysis of postmodernism attempted to view it as historically grounded; he therefore explicitly rejected any moralistic opposition to postmodernity as a cultural phenomenon, and continued to insist upon a Hegelian immanent critique that would "think the cultural evolution of late capitalism dialectically, as catastrophe and progress all together". His failure to dismiss postmodernism from the onset, however, was perceived by many as an implicit endorsement of postmodern views.
Jameson's later writings include Archaeologies of the Future, a study of utopia and science fiction, launched at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2005, and The Modernist Papers (2007), a collection of essays on modernism that is meant to accompany the theoretical A Singular Modernity (2002) as a "source-book". These books, along with Postmodernism and The Antinomies of Realism (2013), form part of an ongoing study entitled The Poetics of Social Forms, which attempts, in Sara Danius's words, to "provide a general history of aesthetic forms, at the same time seeking to show how this history can be read in tandem with a history of social and economic formations". As of 2010, Jameson intends to supplement the already published volumes of The Poetics of Social Forms with a study of allegory entitled Overtones: The Harmonics of Allegory. The Antinomies of Realism won the 2014 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.
Alongside this continuing project, he has recently published three related studies of dialectical theory: Valences of the Dialectic (2009), which includes Jameson's critical responses to Slavoj Žižek, Gilles Deleuze, and other contemporary theorists; The Hegel Variations (2010), a commentary on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; and Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One (2011), an analysis of Marx's Das Kapital.
An overview of Jameson's work, Fredric Jameson: Live Theory, by Ian Buchanan, was published in 2007.
In 2008, Jameson was awarded the annual Holberg International Memorial Prize in recognition of his career-long research "on the relation between social formations and cultural forms". The prize, which was worth 4.6 million kr (approximately $648,000), was presented to Jameson by Tora Aasland, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, in Bergen, Norway, on 26 November 2008.
Jameson has had an enormous influence, perhaps greater than that of any other single figure of any nationality, on the theorization of the postmodern in China. In mid-1985, shortly after the beginning of the cultural fever (early 1985 to June Fourth, 1989)—a period in Chinese intellectual history characterized in part by intense interest in Western critical theory, literary theory, and related disciplines—Jameson introduced the idea of postmodernism to China in lectures at Peking University and the newly founded Shenzhen University. These were minor events amid the larger cultural ferment, yet ended up being quietly seminal: Jameson's ideas as presented at Peking University had a major impact on some gifted young students, including Zhang Yiwu and Zhang Xudong, budding scholars whose work would come to play an important role in the analysis of postmodernity in China.
Notwithstanding the impact of these lectures on a few future intellectuals, 1987 was the year of Jameson's truly enormous contribution to postmodern studies in China: a book entitled Postmodernism and Cultural Theories (Chinese: 后现代主义与文化理论; pinyin: Hòuxiàndàizhǔyì yǔ wénhuà lǐlùn), translated into Chinese by Tang Xiaobing. Although the Chinese intelligentsia's engagement with postmodernism would not begin in earnest until the nineties, Postmodernism and Cultural Theories was to become a keystone text in that engagement; as scholar Wang Ning writes, its influence on Chinese thinkers would be impossible to overestimate. Its popularity may be partially due to the facts that it was not written in a scholarly style and that, because of Jameson's specific critical approach, it was possible to use the text to support either praise or criticism of the Chinese manifestation of postmodernity. In Wang Chaohua's interpretation of events, Jameson's work was mostly used to support praise, in what amounted to a fundamental misreading of Jameson:
The caustic edge of Jameson's theory, which had described postmodernism as "the cultural logic of late capitalism," was abandoned for a contented or even enthusiastic endorsement of mass culture, which [a certain group of Chinese critics] saw as a new space of popular freedom. According to these critics, intellectuals, who conceived of themselves as the bearers of modernity, were reacting with shock and anxiety at their loss of control with the arrival of postmodern consumer society, uttering cries of "quixotic hysteria," panic-stricken by the realization of what they had once called for during the eighties.
The debate fueled by Jameson, and specifically Postmodernism and Cultural Theories, over postmodernism was at its most intense from 1994 to 1997, carried on by Chinese intellectuals both inside and outside the mainland; particularly important contributions came from Zhao Yiheng in London, Xu Ben in the United States, and Zhang Xudong, also in the United States, who had gone on to study under Jameson as a doctoral student at Duke.
Christopher Wise (born 1961) is a scholar and professor of English and Comparative Literature at Western Washington University.Ian Buchanan (philosopher)
Ian Buchanan (born 1969) is an Australian cultural theorist, currently serving as Director of the Institute for Social Transformation Research based at University of Wollongong. He has published works on Michel de Certeau, Gilles Deleuze and Fredric Jameson. Buchanan is the founding editor of the Deleuze Studies journal, as well as a number of important book series dedicated to the work of Gilles Deleuze.Jameson (surname)
Jameson is a patronymic surname meaning "son of James", originating on the Isle of Bute, Scotland, where the name has resided since ancient times. It is rare as a given name. Jameson may refer to:
Anna Brownell Jameson (1794–1860) artist and art critic
Antony Jameson (born 1934), aeronautical engineer
Arron Jameson (born 1989), English footballer
Betty Jameson, American golfer
Bobby Jameson, American singer and songwriter
David Jameson, Canadian field hockey player
Derek Jameson, British journalist and broadcaster
Fredric Jameson (born 1934), American social and literary theorist
George Jameson, Scottish painter
Green B. Jameson, chief engineer at the Alamo, who died at the Alamo.
Henry Lyster Jameson (1874–1922), Irish zoologist
James Jameson, Mayor of Christchurch (1871–1872)
J. J. Jameson, American convicted murderer
Jenna Jameson (born 1974), used as the stage name of porn actress real name Jenna Marie Massoli
John Jameson (disambiguation), several people with this name
Joyce Jameson (1932–1987), American actress
Julian "Jools" Jameson (1968-), game designer and now CEO of Greenhill EnviroTechnologies Inc.
J. Franklin Jameson (1859–1937) American historian
J. Jonah Jameson, fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe
Kate Wetzel Jameson (1870 - 1967), American college professor
Sir Leander Starr Jameson, also known as "Doctor Jim", British colonial statesman known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid
Louise Jameson, British actress
Malcolm Jameson, American science fiction writer
Percy Jameson, English footballer
Robert Jameson, Scottish naturalist and mineralogist
Robert William Jameson, Writer to the Signet, Councillor, Editor, poet and playwright
Rod Jameson, Australian rules footballer
Stephanie Jameson, Canadian field hockey player
Storm Jameson, British novelist
Susan Jameson (born 1941), British actress
William Jameson, several people with this name
Wilson Jameson British doctor
Jameson Parker, American actorList of works in critical theory
This is a list of important and seminal works in the field of critical theory.
Otto Maria Carpeaux
História da Literatura Ocidental, 8 vol. (Portuguese, 1959–66)
M. H. Abrams
The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition
Theodor Adorno & Max Horkheimer
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Lenin and Philosophy
Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
Discourse in the Novel
Rabelais and his World
Image, Music, Text
The Perfect Crime
Simulation and Simulacra
The Origin of German Tragic Drama
Homi K. Bhabha
The Location of Culture
A Rhetoric of Motives
A Grammar of Motives
New Historicism and Cultural Materialism
The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry
The Death and Return of the Author
Bodies That Matter
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Pursuit of Signs
Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction
Difference and Repetition
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari
Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (pt.1) and A Thousand Plateaus (pt.2)
Writing and Difference
The Limits of Disenchantment
The Logic of Disintigration
Marxism and Literary Criticism
The Idea of Culture
Seven Types of Ambiguity
Some Versions of Pastoral
The Structure of Complex Words
Language and Power
Critical Discourse Analysis
Black Skins, White Masks
Is There a Text in this Class?
Anatomy of Criticism
Literature Against Itself
The Theory of Communicative Action, volumes 1 & 2
The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
The Act of Reading: a Theory of Aesthetic Response
The Poverty of Structuralism
The Political Unconscious
Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
The Prison-House of Language
Desire in Language
Powers of Horror
The Great Tradition
Reason and Revolution. Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory
Eros and Civilization
Soviet Marxism. A Critical Analysis
Practical Criticism: A Study of Literary Judgement
Principles of Literary Criticism
Culture and Imperialism
What Is Literature? (1947)
Ferdinand de Saussure
Cours de linguistique générale (posthumously 1916)
The Concept of Nature in Marx (1962)
Zur Idee der Kritischen Theorie (German, 1974)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Epistemology of the Closet
Styles of Radical Will
Under the Sign of Saturn
Where The Stress Falls
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
"Can the Subaltern Speak?"
In Other Worlds
The Verbal Icon
A Room of One's Own
The Sublime Object of Ideology
The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political OntologyMarxist aesthetics
Marxist aesthetics is a theory of aesthetics based on, or derived from, the theories of Karl Marx. It involves a dialectical and materialist, or dialectical materialist, approach to the application of Marxism to the cultural sphere, specifically areas related to taste such as art, beauty, etc. Marxists believe that economic and social conditions, and especially the class relations that derive from them, affect every aspect of an individual's life, from religious beliefs to legal systems to cultural frameworks. From one classic Marxist point of view, the role of art is not only to represent such conditions truthfully, but also to seek to improve them (social/socialist realism); however, this is a contentious interpretation of the limited but significant writing by Marx and Engels on art and especially on aesthetics. For instance, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, who greatly influenced the art of the early Soviet Union, followed the secular humanism of Ludwig Feuerbach more than he followed Marx.
Marxist aesthetics overlaps with the Marxist theory of art. It is particularly concerned with art practice, with the prescribing of artistic standards that are deemed socially beneficial. This materialist and socialist orientation may be seen to invoke (however problematically) the traditional aims of scientific inquiry and the scientific method.
Some notable Marxist aestheticians include Anatoly Lunacharsky, Mikhail Lifshitz, William Morris, Theodor W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukács, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Louis Althusser, Jacques Rancière, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Raymond Williams. Roland Barthes must also be mentioned here.
Not all of these figures are solely concerned with aesthetics: in many cases, Marxist aesthetics forms only an important branch of their work, depending on how one defines the term. For example, a Marxist aesthetic may be latent in Brecht's work, but he formulated his own distinct theory of art and its social purpose.
One of the chief concerns of Marxist aesthetics is to unite Marx and Engels’ social and economic theory, or theory of the social base, to the domain of art and culture, the superstructure. These two terms, base and superstructure, became an important dichotomy in The German Ideology (1846), which however was not published during their lifetimes. Likewise Marx's early Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, which, though widely regarded as important for treating the themes of sensuousness and alienation, first appeared only in 1932 (the slated 1846 publication was canceled) and in English only in 1959. The manuscripts were therefore unknown to art theorists during, for instance, the often antagonistic debates on art in the early Soviet Union between the constructivist avant garde and the proponents of socialist realism. The controversy over the unusual design of the original documents adds another twist.Many theorists touch upon important themes of Marxist aesthetics without strictly being Marxist aestheticians, Joel Kovel, for instance, has extended the concepts of Marxian ecology which deeply implicates aesthetics. He is also a part of the struggle to bridge the space between Marx and Freud, which has Marxist aesthetics as a central concern. Current themes within the field include research on the effect of mass-produced industrial materials on the sensed environment, such as paints and colors. A strong current within the field involves linguistics and semiotics, and arguments over structuralism and post-structuralism, modernism and post-modernism, as well as feminist theory.
Visual artists, as diverse as Isaak Brodsky or Diego Rivera and Kasimir Malevich or Lyubov Popova, for example, for whom written theory is secondary, nevertheless may be said to be connected to Marxist aesthetics through their production of art, without necessarily declaring themselves aestheticians or Marxists in writing. Likewise, in this spirit Oscar Wilde, Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein, Orson Welles, Jean-Luc Godard, Pablo Picasso, Richard Paul Lohse, for example. Such a view could apply to many visual and other artists in many fields, even those who have no apparent and/or voiced connection to Marxist politics or even those ostensibly opposed; in this respect consider Anton Webern.
Probably it would be fair to say that two of the most influential writings in Marxist aesthetics in recent times, and apart from Marx himself and Lukacs, have been Walter Benjamin's essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and Herbert Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man. Louis Althusser has also contributed some small but significant essays on art and his theory of ideology also impacts in this area ("Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses").
The field remains polemical, with camps of modernists, post modernists, anti modernists, the avant garde, constructivists, social realists and socialist realists all referencing back to an ostensible Marxist aesthetic theory that would underpin their art practices by grounding an art theory.Mediations (journal)
Mediations is the journal of the Marxist Literary Group. It was established by Fredric Jameson as a theoretical newsletter in the early 1970s and transformed into a peer-reviewed academic journal in 1990-1991 by Ron Strickland and Chris Newfield. The journal was reorganized in 2007 as a web-based journal, appearing twice yearly and publishing dossiers of translated material on special topics and open-submission issues, usually in alternation.Michael Denning
Michael Denning (born 1954) is an American cultural historian and William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American Studies at Yale University. His work has been influential in shaping the field of American Studies by importing and interpreting the work of British Cultural Studies theorists. Although he received his Ph.D. from Yale University and studied with Fredric Jameson, perhaps the greatest influence on his work is the time he spent at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies working with Stuart Hall.He is married to historian Hazel Carby.Not / But
'Not / But, or the "not…but" element, is an acting technique that forms part of the Brechtian approach to performance. In its simplest form, fixing the not/but element involves the actor preceding each thought that is expressed by their character in the dialogue or each action performed by their character in the scene with its dialectical opposite. Rather than portraying a thought or action as "naturally" arising from the given circumstances of the scene or "inevitably" following from them, this technique underlines the aspect of decision in the thought or action. "He didn't say 'come in' but 'keep moving'", Brecht offers by way of example; "He was not pleased but amazed":
They include an expectation which is justified by experience but, in the event, disappointed. One might have thought that ... but one oughtn't to have thought it. There was not just one possibility but two; both are introduced, then the second one is defamiliarized, then the first as well.
This technique is a rehearsal exercise; the verbalizing of the alternative (the "not" of the "not/but") is not necessarily preserved in performance. Its main function is to inscribe traces of the alternatives that were available to the character at each 'nodal point' in their journey within the finished portrait in performance. The effect gives the impression of a "sketching" in the actor's performance, in the sense that with an artist's sketch traces of alternative lines and movements are preserved, overlapping the main defining line rather than being erased. It is this quality that leads Fredric Jameson to contrast Brechtian theatre favourably with what he calls the "well-made production", insofar as its preservation of the actor's process in the final product acts as a form of demystification and de-fetishization, and exploits a potential strength of the medium of theatre:
The well-made production is one from which the traces of its rehearsals have been removed (just as from the successfully reified commodity the traces of production itself have been made to disappear): Brecht opens up this surface, and allows us to see back down into the alternative gestures and postures of the actors trying out their roles: so it is that aesthetic experimentation generally—which has so often been understood as generating the new and the hitherto unexperienced, the radical innovation—might just as well be grasped as the "experimental" attempt to ward off reification (something the other arts, from novels and films to poetry, painting, and musical performance, even aleatory performance, are structurally and materially less qualified to do).
The result of the technique of fixing the not/but is to shape and clarify the character's behaviour in a particular, interpretative direction (a historical materialist one).Political subjectivity
Political subjectivity is a term used to indicate the deeply embedded nature of subjectivity and subjective experience in a socially constructed system of power and meaning. The notion of political subjectivity is an emerging idea in social sciences and humanities. In some sense the term political subjectivity reflects the converging point of a number of traditionally distinct disciplinary lines of investigation, such as philosophy, anthropology, political theory, and psychoanalytic theory. Above all, the current conceptualization of political subjectivity has become possible due to a fundamental shift in humanities and social sciences during the 20th century, commonly known as the linguistic turn.
Major figures associated with the question of political subjectivity come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, such as German philosopher GWF Hegel, French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, French historian Michel Foucault, American literary critic Fredric Jameson, American cultural anthropologist Clifford Geertz, American medical anthropologist Byron J. Good, American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler, Canadian medical anthropologist Sadeq Rahimi, Argentine political theorist Ernesto Laclau, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, Greek political theorist Yannis Stavrakakis, and many others.
The term "political subjectivity" had been used in earlier literature, such as Steven Brown's book, Political subjectivity: Applications of Q methodology in political science to refer to individual political view points as affected by social and personal psychological processes. But the term was later re-appropriated to refer to the much more intricate idea that the very experience of subjectivity is fundamentally political. According to Sadeq Rahimi in Meaning, Madness and Political Subjectivity, "Politicality is not an added aspect of the subject, but indeed the mode of being of the subject, that is, precisely what the subject is."An early (1981) book by Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, can be considered one of the forerunners of the notion of political subjectivity. In his book Jameson attributed what he termed a "political unconscious" to text, asserting that all text has embedded in it, albeit in an implicit form, the encodings of the political history of the environment in which they have been produced. He then proposed “the doctrine of a political unconscious,” as an analytic method for unearthing the hermeneutically repressed political memories of text, and “restoring to the surface of the text the repressed and buried reality of this fundamental history” (p. 20). While Jameson's original theory of the political unconscious was primarily a neo-Marxist approach to literary criticism, later proliferation and interdisciplinary cross-fertilization of theories of subjectivity have greatly expanded Jameson's original ideas to include the range of political, cultural and psychological processes within the framework of political subjectivity.Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism and that marked a departure from modernism. The term has also more generally been applied to the historical era following modernity and the tendencies of this era. (In this context, "modern" is not used in the sense of "contemporary", but merely as a name for a specific period in history.)
While encompassing a wide variety of approaches, postmodernism is generally defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the meta-narratives and ideologies of modernism, often calling into question various assumptions of Enlightenment rationality. Consequently, common targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, language, and social progress. Postmodern thinkers frequently call attention to the contingent or socially-conditioned nature of knowledge claims and value systems, situating them as products of particular political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence.Postmodern critical approaches gained purchase in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, economics, linguistics, architecture, feminist theory, and literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature and music. Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as deconstruction and post-structuralism, as well as philosophers such as Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, and Fredric Jameson. Some philosophers have criticized the term.Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism is a 1991 book by Fredric Jameson, in which Jameson offers a critique of modernism and postmodernism from a Marxist perspective. The book began as a 1984 article in the New Left Review.Robert Tally
Robert T. Tally Jr. (born 1969) is a professor of English at Texas State University. His research and teaching focuses on the relations among space, narrative, and representation, particularly in U.S. and comparative literature, and he is active in the emerging scholarly fields of geocriticism, literary geography, and the spatial humanities. Tally is the editor of "Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies," a Palgrave Macmillan book series established in 2013. The translator of Bertrand Westphal's Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces and the editor of Geocritical Explorations, In addition to his numerous essays on literature, criticism, and theory, Tally has written books on Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, and Kurt Vonnegut, as well as a critical introduction to the work of Fredric Jameson.Tally received an M.A. in literature and Ph.D. in critical and cultural studies from the University of Pittsburgh, a J.D. from the Duke University School of Law, and an A.B. (philosophy) from Duke University.Roland Robertson
Roland Robertson (born 1938) is a sociologist and theorist of globalization who lectures at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, United Kingdom. Formerly, he was a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and in 1988 he was the President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion.
Robertson's theories have focused significantly on a more phenomenological and psycho-social approach than that of more materialist oriented theorists such as Immanuel Wallerstein or Fredric Jameson. For Robertson, the most interesting aspect of the modern (or postmodern) era is the way in which a global consciousness has developed. He lays down a progression of "phases" that capture the central aspects of different eras in global history, asserting that the fifth phase, Global Uncertainty, has been reached.
Robertson's main works are Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (1992) and the edited volume Global Modernities. In 1985, he was the first sociologist to use the term globalization in the title of a sociological article. His 1992 definition of globalization as "the compression of the world and the intensification of the consciousness of the world as a whole" has been credited as the first ever definition of globalization, through a more detailed analysis of the history of this term indicates it has many authors. He is also said to have coined the term glocalization in 1992.Sabri Gürses
Sabri Gürses (born February 7, 1972) is a Turkish writer. He has published poetry, novels, and short stories. His best-known novel in Turkey is Sevişme ("Making Love"), which is a science fiction novel about the way people use their bodies in a postmodern age. He has also written a science fiction trilogy, Boşvermişler (which may be translated as "The Ones Who Gave Up").
Gürses is also making translations from Russian and English to Turkish; among his translations are works by Mikhail Bakhtin, Yuri Lotman, Andrei Bely, Werner Sombart, Joseph Campbell, John Smolens, Jonathan Lethem, Kim Stanley Robinson, Shusha Guppy, Charles Nicholl, Don Delillo, William Guthrie, Werner Sombart, Fredric Jameson, William Shakespeare, Niall Lucy, David Foster Wallace, Richard Stites, Slavoj Žižek and Annie Proulx. He has made a complete translation of the famous revolutionary Sultan Galiev's writings from Russian to Turkish in 2006. This is the first complete translation of Galiev's Russian writings to another language.
As of 2005, he is publishing an online magazine/blog, Çeviribilim, focused on translation and its studies in Turkey.Simulacrum
A simulacrum (plural: simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means "likeness, similarity") is a representation or imitation of a person or thing. The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god. By the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original. Literary critic Fredric Jameson offers photorealism as an example of artistic simulacrum, where a painting is sometimes created by copying a photograph that is itself a copy of the real. Other art forms that play with simulacra include trompe-l'œil, pop art, Italian neorealism, and French New Wave.Teresa de Lauretis
Teresa de Lauretis (born 1938 in Bologna) is an Italian author and Distinguished Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her areas of interest include semiotics, psychoanalysis, film theory, literary theory, feminism, women's studies, lesbian- and queer studies. She has also written on science fiction. Fluent in English and Italian, she writes in both languages. Additionally, her work has been translated into sixteen other languages.
De Lauretis received her doctorate in Modern Languages and Literatures from Bocconi University in Milan before coming to the United States. She joined the History of Consciousness with Hayden White, Donna Haraway, Fredric Jameson and Angela Davis. Has held Visiting Professorships at universities worldwide including ones in Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Argentina, Chile, France, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Mexico and the Netherlands.
She currently lives in San Francisco, CA, but often spends time in Italy and the Netherlands.The Political Unconscious
The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act is a 1981 book by Fredric Jameson, a Marxist literary theorist. Often cited as a powerful overview and methodological guide, it is the work with which Jameson made his greatest impact. The book has been the subject of a commentary, Jameson, Althusser, Marx (1984), by William C. Dowling, who believes that its main idea had been previously outlined by Terry Eagleton and notes that it is influenced by such thinkers as A. J. Greimas, Northrop Frye, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Jameson's interpretive framework, including his neo-Lacanian idea of unconscious ideology and his invocation of structural causality to reconcile Marxist and post-Marxist perspectives, was largely borrowed from Louis Althusser.The book opens with one of Jameson's most famous bons mots, 'Always historicise!'.Vanishing mediator
A vanishing mediator is a concept that exists to mediate between two opposing ideas, as a transition occurs between them. This mediating concept exists just long enough to facillitate such an interaction: at the point where one idea has been replaced by the other, the concept is no longer required and thus vanishes. In terms of Hegelian dialectics the conflict between the theoretical abstraction and its empirical negation (through trial and error) is resolved by a concretion of the two ideas, representing a theoretical abstraction taking into account the previous contradiction, whereupon the mediator vanishes.
In terms of psychoanalytic theory, when someone is caught in a dilemma they experience hysteria. A conceptual deadlock exists until the resulting hysteric breakdown precipitates some kind of resolution, therefore the Hysteria is a vanishing mediator in this case.In terms of political history, it refers to social movements, which operate in a particular way to influence politics, until they either are forgotten or change their purpose.Fredric Jameson introduced the term in a 1973 essay ("The Vanishing Mediator: Narrative Structure in Max Weber," in New German Critique 1 [Winter, 1973]: 52-89). Alain Badiou uses a similar, but more explicitly post-structuralist term (″terme évanouissant″ or ″vanishing term″) in Théorie du sujet.
Since, this concept has been adopted by Žižek in "For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a Political factor", where he uses it in a political sense, similar to Marx's Analysis of Revolution.Wells Fargo Center (Los Angeles)
Wells Fargo Center is a twin tower skyscraper complex in Downtown Los Angeles on Bunker Hill, in Los Angeles, California. It comprises South and North towers, which are joined by a three-story glass atrium.
The project received the 1986–1987 and 2003-2004 Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Office Building of the Year Award, and numerous others. A branch of the Wells Fargo History Museum is located at the center.