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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.

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An introduction
John J. Joughin and Simon Malpas

John J. Joughin and Simon Malpas The new aestheticism: an introduction The very notion of the ‘aesthetic’ could be said to have fallen victim to the success of recent developments within literary theory. Undergraduates now pause before rehearsing complacent aesthetic verities concerning truth, meaning and value, verities that used to pass at one time for literary criticism. The rise of critical theory in disciplines across the humanities during the 1980s and 1990s has all but swept aesthetics from the map – and, some would argue, rightly so. Critical theory, of

in The new aestheticism
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Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement
Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele

chap 7 13/8/04 4:17 pm Page 156 7 A new aesthetic of food? Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele Introduction In recent times, an apparent contradiction between high levels of output and improved food quality has arisen within the food sector. The development of mass food markets, alongside ‘Fordist’ methods of production and their associated economies of scale, has generated unprecedented abundance (Montanari 1994). Yet, at the same time, industrialisation processes have resulted, seemingly, in greater and

in Qualities of food
Yulia Karpova

gradual formation of new concepts, largely driven by people who had been connected to avant-garde movements in the 1920s. Therefore, the aesthetic turn refers to change without neglecting the importance of continuity. This chapter offers an overview of the key concepts of the new aesthetic regime of arts and provides background for my analysis of late socialist objects in the following chapters. In the overview I describe the following concepts: first, realism as a specific quality of things, not depictions of them; second, contemporaneity as a measure of the social

in Comradely objects
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Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Laura Chrisman

exclusion of social agency in the production of these texts. Furthermore, such theoretical textualism does not allow us to account for what is distinctive about new aesthetic expressions. There is no way, that is, of conceptualising the historical meaning of this new culture. With regards to professional self-legitimation, I want to quote Williams at length, in what may be his most polemical and exasperated mood: At just this moment [i.e., the formalisation of cultural studies in/by UK academe], a body of theory came through which rationalized the situation of this

in Postcolonial contraventions
Thomas Docherty

generat casum, the strong imagination creates the event. We might compare here the great poet so beloved of aestheticists, Keats, in whose famous letter of 22 November 1817 to Benjamin Bailey we find that ‘The Imagination may be compared to Adam’s dream – he awoke and found it truth’.22 Adam dreamt of companionship, and I shall return to the centrality of such companionship to our ‘new aestheticism’ in what follows. Montaigne’s essay is about the strength of an imagination that can realise things in material actuality. For example, Montaigne writes, when he is in the

in The new aestheticism
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Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

summarises, ‘the Khrushchev era represented a great but uneven leap forward in creating the basis for a modern way of everyday life and a radical stylistic reorientation in domestic spaces and the visual appearance of cities towards a new aesthetic of socialist modernism’.27 From the second half of the 2000s, a younger generation of scholars has been complementing and expanding the narrative of the ‘Khrushchev modern’, often tracing design developments after the early 1960s. They have explored the tensions within design reformism, identified earlier by Reid: tensions

in Comradely objects
The origins of the concept in Enlightenment intellectual culture
Nicholas Hudson

complicated view celebrating the supposed beauties of ‘primitive’ speech. Authors of this era increasingly acknowledged that pre-literate peoples could have a continuous tradition of history, government and poetry. This acknowledgment arose from a number of interrelated intellectual factors – doubts concerning the adequacy of writing, a connected revival of prosody, satire of European manners and society, a new aesthetic and moral taste for sentiment, the querelle des anciens et modernes. These factors led scholars to reassess not only non-European cultures but themselves

in The spoken word
Open Access (free)
Mark Harvey, Andrew McMeekin, and Alan Warde

globalisation to dissociate totally producers from consumers. These three movements, then, exhibit different perceptions and concerns with regard to quality. Yet, Murdoch and Miele argue, taken together they ‘promote a new aesthetic of food’ (p. 170), which they see as the main contribution of new social movements (though, in passing, they note that revalorisation is also concerned with conviviality and social justice). Roberta Sassatelli, in chapter 8, is also concerned with emergent orientations of recent years, but for her it is moral re-evaluation which is central. She

in Qualities of food