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The interest in aesthetics in philosophy, literary and cultural studies is growing rapidly. This book contains exemplary essays by key practitioners in these fields which demonstrate the importance of this area of enquiry. New aestheticism remains a troubled term and in current parlance it already comes loaded with the baggage of the 'philistine controversy' which first emerged in an exchange that originally that took place in the New Left Review during the mid-1990s. A serious aesthetic education is necessary for resisting the advance of 'philistinism'. Contemporary aesthetic production may be decentred and belonging to the past, but that is not a reason to underestimate what great works do that nothing else can. Despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics 'is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s'. The book focuses on the critical interrogation of the historical status of mimesis in the context of a gendered and racial politics of modernity. Throughout the history of literary and art criticism the focus has fallen on the creation or reception of works and texts. The book also identifies a fragmentary Romantic residue in contemporary aesthetics. The Alexandrian aesthetic underlies the experience of the 'allegorical'. 'Cultural poetics' makes clear the expansion of 'poetics' into a domain that is no longer strictly associated with 'poetry'. The book also presents an account of a Kantian aesthetic criticism, discussing Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and Critique of Judgement.

Feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek

3 Ewa Plonowska Ziarek Mimesis in black and white: feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance As Sarah Worth suggests, despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics ‘is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s’, and thus still open to contestation and new formulations.1 In this context it might seem paradoxical that one of the founding texts of feminist aesthetics, Rita Felski’s Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change, proclaims its impossibility

in The new aestheticism
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An introduction
John J. Joughin and Simon Malpas

-critical formations. Ewa Ziarek interrogates the recent history of feminist aesthetics and in a post-culturalist reading which draws upon advances within post-colonialism and feminism, including the theories of female masquerade and colonial mimicry of Joan Riviere, Frantz Fanon and Homi Bhabha, she offers a reformulation of Adorno’s social history of mimesis in the context of a ‘gendered and racial politics of modernity’. In a reading which resonates powerfully with Docherty’s chapter Andrew Bowie reminds us that theory’s suspicion of identificatory modes of thinking and its

in The new aestheticism
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Gertrude Stein and Alfred North Whitehead
Kate Fullbrook

Metropolitan Museum in New York. Stein wrote frequently on Picasso and her writing on her friend was gathered together in 1970 in a volume now available as Gertrude Stein, Picasso: The Complete Writings, Boston, Beacon Press, 1985. For interesting and relevant discussions of the history of the notion of genius see Christine Battersby, Gender and Genius: Towards a Feminist Aesthetics, London, The Women’s Press, 1989, and Andrew Bowie, Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1990. Gertrude Stein, Lectures in America, London

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