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Critical Theory Quotes
Critical theory is an ideology that divides the world into oppressed groups and oppressor groups and seeks to liberate the oppressed.
politics  diamat  philosophy  criticaltheory 
12 weeks ago by neilscott
Dr. Michelle Fine on Willful Subjectivity and Strong Objectivity in Education Research - Long View on Education
"In this interview, Dr. Michelle Fine makes the argument for participatory action research as a sophisticated epistemology. Her work uncovers the willful subjectivity and radical wit of youth. In the last ten minutes, she gives some concrete recommendations for setting up a classroom that recognizes and values the gifts that students bring. Please check out her publications on ResearchGate [ ] and her latest book Just Research in Contentious Times (Teachers College, 2018). [ ]

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women’s Studies, American Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center CUNY.

Thank you to Dr. Kim Case and Professor Tanya L. Domi."
michellefine  reasearch  dispossession  privilege  resistance  solidarity  participatory  participatoryactionresearch  ethnography  education  benjamindoxtdatorcritical  pedagogy  race  racism  postcolonialism  criticaltheory  imf  epistemology  research  focusgroups  subjectivity  youth  teens  stories  socialjustice  criticalparticipatoryactionresearch  sexuality  centering  oppression  pointofview  action  quantitative  qualitative  injustice  gender  deficit  resilience  experience  radicalism  incarceration  billclinton  pellgrants  willfulsubjectivity  survivance  wit  radicalwit  indigeneity  queer  justice  inquiry  hannaharendt  criticalbifocality  psychology  context  history  structures  gigeconomy  progressive  grit  economics  victimblaming  schools  intersectionality  apolitical  neoliberalism  neutrality  curriculum  objectivity  contestedhistories  whiteprivilege  whitefragility  islamophobia  discrimination  alienation  conversation  disengagement  defensiveness  anger  hatred  complexity  diversity  self-definition  ethnicity 
november 2018 by robertogreco
The Subversion of Paradoxes: Remembering Better Near Futures
The complexity, lack of logic and apparent overwhelming nature of ‘current events’ (a.k.a. Trump, Brexit, Climate change, refugee crisis, nuclear vibes, etc.) is deriving in a threatening hypernormalisation, full of contradictions, collisions and coexistence of realities, where the internet is playing an active and defining role. So much so, in fact, that the ‘Upside Down’, Alice’s ‘Wonderland’, and other parallel universes aren’t exactly far off from our own…
internet  criticaltheory  culturalstudies  future  technology 
may 2018 by mildlydiverting
The Stifling Uniformity of Literary Theory - Quillette
“In stark contrast to the sometimes-wilful obscurantism of those he critiqued, Scruton wrote in plain prose and expressed ideas with clarity. Perhaps precisely because it laid the ideas bare, the book was greeted with howls of derision, and viciously attacked by scholars who had become disciples of Foucault et al. The publisher, Longman, was threatened with boycotts and risked being sent to the academic equivalent of the gulag if they did not stop selling the book, going as far as withdrawing copies from bookshops. As far as I can see, one thing that the episode did not produce is an intelligent response to any of the criticisms Scruton raised or, indeed, a single moment of critical self-reflection from any of those who had reacted so angrily. In effect, he was shut down and chased from academia.”

Critical thinking cannot flourish in conditions in which students cannot question the material they are being taught. 
CriticalTheory  LiteraryTheory  CriticalThought 
april 2018 by cbearden
‘A Sense of Myself as a Mother’: An Exploration of Maternal Fantasies in the Experience of ‘Circumstantial Childlessness’
However, for me this is not a wholly satisfactory explanation. On the face of it, the idea that nurturing is intrinsic to her would suggest that Deborah was conflating ‘woman’ and ‘nurturing’ in an essentialist way, but I do not think this is an adequate analysis. I argue rather that part of her difficulty in talking about these feelings is that she was very anxious not to adopt an essentialist approach, but she found it hard to talk about her responses without appearing to do so. It was clear that Deborah herself did not understand the issue in that way, and as I worked with the research materials over time it struck me how many of the women I interviewed were like her; highly articulate, educated, self-reflexive people who had grown up with mothers who identified as feminists, and did so themselves. These participants had a complex understanding of and engagement with the themes and issues that have dominated feminist debate throughout their lifetimes. In spite of this, they did not understand, refer to or explain their experience in these terms. The ways in which many of these participants demonstrated a sophisticated level of acuity around the feminist politics of gender discourse adds weight to my analysis that there is something about their experience that these discourses and feminist discourses of biological determinism do not account for; something that the research materials suggest was as an active part of their lives, cutting across the available discourses of maternity, and somehow eluding their capacity to speak of it.
It appears that the creative and satisfying ways in which Deborah and many of the circumstantially childless participants in this study have enacted their maternal fantasies evade available discourses of the maternal. This interpretation is consistent with their perception that their expression of what they experience to be the maternal aspects of their subjectivity in forms other than being ‘mother’ are always understood by others in their social worlds to be in some way inferior to the gold standard of ongoing biological mothering; at best as a ‘way of coping with childlessness’ (Letherby 2012, p. 14), at worst illegitimate and laughable.
psychoanalysis  criticaltheory  culturalstudies  motherhood 
april 2018 by mildlydiverting
The Intellectual We Deserve | Current Affairs
But, having examined Peterson’s work closely, I think the “misinterpretation” of Peterson is only partially a result of leftists reading him through an ideological prism. A more important reason why Peterson is “misinterpreted” is that he is so consistently vague and vacillating that it’s impossible to tell what he is “actually saying.” People can have such angry arguments about Peterson, seeing him as everything from a fascist apologist to an Enlightenment liberal, because his vacuous words are a kind of Rorschach test onto which countless interpretations can be projected.

Orwell flat-out says that anybody who evaluates the merits of socialist policies by the personal qualities of socialists themselves is an idiot. Peterson concludes that Orwell thought socialist policies was flawed because socialists themselves were bad people. I don’t think there is a way of reading Peterson other than as extremely stupid or extremely dishonest, but one can be charitable and assume he simply didn’t read the book that supposedly gave him his grand revelation about socialism.

Peterson is popular partly because he criticizes social justice activists in a way many people find satisfying, and some of those criticisms have merit. He is popular partly because he offers adrift young men a sense of heroic purpose, and offers angry young men rationalizations for their hatreds. And he is popular partly because academia and the left have failed spectacularly at helping make the world intelligible to ordinary people, and giving them a clear and compelling political vision.
philosophy  politics  criticaltheory 
march 2018 by mike
Félix Guattari; A Molecular Revolution – palmermethode
Today, societies that call themselves socialist, like those that invoke profit and capital, are constrained to cling more and more tightly, sometimes against the wishes of their most enlightened leaders, like Khrushchev and Kennedy, to modes of semiotic ‘subjection’ that run counter to the direction of history, and that in spite of all their attempts at adaptation, institutional innovation and miniaturisation of the equipment of desire that they inject into the masses. Thus, for quite some time already the conditions for revolution have reached maturity without any social class appearing on the horizon to attempt to adjust the socius to the immense deterritorialisation that is traversing it and to redirect productive forces that on a global scale are the object of fabulous squandering. From the point of view of the economy of desire and semiotic integration into the dominant values, the working classes have never fundamentally set themselves apart from the bourgeoisie and the bureaucrats, and everything leads one to think that they will be led to do this less and less. In fact, they tend everywhere, to differing degrees, to collaborate actively in the enterprises of subjection of capitalist societies.
CriticalTheory  MediaTheory  DigitalDiscourse 
february 2018 by didgebaba
Jordan B Peterson, Critical Theory, and the New Bourgeoisie - Quillette
“Which brings us back to the question of whether critical theory and the social justice movement it has inspired, is truly promoting universal values. From a psychological perspective, illuminated through psychometrics, people differ with respect to a variety of personality traits, and therefore also with respect to the type of society they want to live in. If we’re going to talk about values, this is a good starting point. But from this perspective, it’s difficult to imagine truly universal values; some societal arrangements are inevitably going to appeal to some people more than others.”
JordanPeterson  CriticalTheory  UriHarris 
january 2018 by cbearden
Chris Kraus (American writer) - Wikipedia
"The Chance Event: Three Days in the Desert: Primm, Nevada, November 1996. Curated by Chris Kraus, Chance brought together Jean Baudrillard, Rosanne Alluquere Stone, DJ Spooky, Diane di Prima, the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, visual artists, garage noise bands and 600 participants to investigate the mystery of chance at Whiskey Pete's Casino. Variously described as "a philosophy rave" and "one of the landmark LA events of the 90s," The Chance Event was reviewed on the front page of the LA Times and throughout the art press. Highlights, including a performance by Baudrillard wearing a gold Elvis-inspired blazer and accompanied by the 'Chance' band, were broadcast on European television. The event was funded by the French Cultural Service and Art Center College of Design."
criticaltheory  inspiration  art  igenuinelyhavenohashtagforthis 
january 2018 by mildlydiverting
Laziness in Postqualitative InquiryQualitative Inquiry - Ryan Evely Gildersleeve, 2018
“Laziness is commonly perceived as lethargy and carries a negative connotation. In this article, I argue to understand laziness as a political stance and suggest that lazy practices can become useful for postqualitative inquiry that seeks to disrupt normative explanations of the world. As political action, laziness, then provides postqualitative inquiry with an additional tool for contributing to social justice via social research. Laziness combats the neoliberal condition in which academic research is situated and might serve as a virtue of postqualitative inquiry.”
PoliticalCorrection  Academia  CriticalTheory 
january 2018 by cbearden
“My Working Will be the Work:” Maintenance Art and Technologies of Change – The New Inquiry
"In 1973, Mierle Laderman Ukeles staged a series of art performances at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut. In Transfer: The Maintenance of the Art Object, she took over the duties of the museum’s janitor and used his tools to clean a glass case containing a mummy. When she was finished, she stamped her cleaning tools and the mummy case with a rubber stamp, branding them “Maintenance Art Works.” She then transferred the cleaning duties to the museum’s curator, who alone was allowed to handle and conserve artworks. In another performance, Keeper of the Keys, Ukeles took the janitor’s keys and locked and unlocked various offices and rooms in the museum. Once Ukeles had locked an office, it became a Maintenance Artwork and no one was permitted to enter or use the room. Keeper of the Keys created an uproar, as it drastically impacted the work lives of the museum’s staff who pleaded to have certain floors exempted from the project so they could work undisturbed. Ukeles’ performances, examples of conceptual art called “Institutional Critique,” surfaced the hidden labor of maintenance in the museum setting, and the subsequent visibility of this labor proved to be incredibly disruptive to the institution of the museum.

Recently within the history of science and technology, scholars have focused an increasing amount of attention on the maintenance of technology and systems. Maintenance has been long overlooked in favor of a focus on innovation and design practices; the very beginnings of technology have always been more appealing than their often messy or disappointing longer lives. One important aspect of this “turn” to maintenance histories is that the un-and-underpaid labor of women and marginalized people, who are disproportionately relegated to maintenance work, has again become an important site for articulating the history of technology. A similar turn was initiated by scholars, like historian of technology Ruth Schwartz Cowan and others, in the 1980s.

Even before these early efforts, however, art historian and curator Helen Molesworth has argued that women artists, like Ukles and Martha Rosler, were making significant contributions to a discourse about public and private life, and the hidden labor that sustains both. Ukeles and Rosler, despite often being marginalized as “feminist artists,” were in the 1970s making strikingly political art about labor and gender, about technology and potential violence, and about the ability of art itself to sustain and renew utopia and revolution.

In her video piece The Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), Rosler appears behind a table laden with kitchen tools, with the refrigerator, sink, and cupboards of her kitchen as backdrop. The artist works through her collection of kitchen gadgets one by one, alphabetically: A is for apron, K is for knife. But her gestures clash with the setting. Instead of using the knife to mime cutting food, she stabs violently at the air. She ladles invisible soup, but then flings it over her shoulder. Rosler’s deadpan stare and her gestural subversion of the audiences cooking-show set-up expectations make a mockery, or perhaps even a threat, out of the labor of the kitchen. Her misuse of the tools of the kitchen has the effect of stripping the technology of its meaning, making it more “thingy” and, thus, somehow threatening or alienating.

Helen Molesworth has used Ukeles’ performances and Rosler’s video pieces to unpick a largely unquestioned binary had existed for much of the 1980s and 90s between “essentialist” feminist art and the more theory-driven works, which succeeded them in critical estimation. Essentialist works focused on more straightforward imagery of the feminine and the female — of this school, Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (1974-79) is considered emblematic. Theory-based works are represented in this debate by conceptual artist Mary Kelly in the Post-Partum Document (1973-79), which consists of text and artifacts that document and analyze Kelly’s relationship to and experience of mothering her son. Molesworth shows that by adding Rosler and Ukeles to this longstanding binary, we can see that all four artists are actually working in an expanded field that investigates maintenance and other forms of hidden labor.

We might venture to expand the field once more, and place these maintenance artworks in a more explicit story about technology. In her influential book More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave, Ruth Schwartz Cowan takes pains to remind us that the modern industrialized household is intimately dependent on the large technological systems of modernity. No plumbing, electricity, gas means no housework. No access to the manufacture of tools and appliances, textiles and packaged foods means no dinner on the table. These artworks show us how the larger technological world as the public sphere, which Ukeles and Rosler contrast with a degraded private sphere, is itself intimately dependant on the invisible labor and technological systems of the home and the invisible labors of maintenance.

Recontextualizing of the labor and tools of housework, and the slightly unsettling effect this has on audiences, is the most important feature of both Ukeles’ and Rosler’s works. They give the viewer a little glimpse of the power that has, ironically, been vested in the home and its laborers by the public sphere that insists, indeed depends, on the private remaining private. These caches of unseen power, levers that can move an economy in their numbers, are also technological levers that rely on tools and systems that have been degraded and devalued because of their connection to maintenance labor.

Ukeles and Rosler remind us the invisible labor of women and marginalized people ensures that those permitted in the public sphere, white able-bodied men, are properly clothed and housed and supported and separated from waste so that they can innovate in comfort. By surfacing this labor and critiquing the ways it has been made invisible, Ukeles and Rosler prefigure scholarly critiques about the labor of women and marginalized people and the hidden histories of maintenance technology that support a public culture of innovation.

In an interview for Artforum, Ukeles talks about how two of the most famous Minimalist artists of the 20th century, Richard Serra and Donald Judd, made artworks that “skimmed the surface” of the industrial, technological world of the public sphere. The universalism of their work depends on the labor of making them which remains invisible and only the artwork itself is available for critique. Meanwhile, Ukeles felt that as both an artist and a mother her labor had become all about care and maintenance. Her decision to commit to an artistic practice of maintenance was an investment in the personal and political act of melding her artistic self to the aspects of herself that were defined by care-work. “My working will be the work,” she declared in her Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!.

Ukeles’ radical intervention was to name this invisible work of cleaning, repairing, cooking, and mending Maintenance Art, and to force this labor into spaces that had always privileged the result, not the work that sustains it. Rosler’s critique of the labor of the kitchen is enacted through her alienation from kitchen technologies, a transformation of the object that was mirrored in Ukeles’ branding of the cleaning rag as an artwork and her taking possession of the building keys. These are technology stories, but not the kind we may find most familiar.

Obsession with innovation over preservation is an obsession with those who are allowed to innovate and an indifference to those who are made to maintain. It’s not just an aesthetic matter of what kind of labor seems more appealing; it’s a power structure that requires the domination of others in order to “maintain the change” created by the innovators. Yet, Ukeles meant “maintain the change” in a much more utopian sense, a thread that Molesworth notes in her expanded field of feminist-informed art. The maintenance needed to preserve positive change is itself a worthy and humanistic pursuit and deserves the same status as change itself. The technologies and labors of maintenance, wielded and performed by the marginalized, have the power to disrupt as much as they have the power to sustain.

Further Reading

Helen Molesworth, “House Work and Art Work,” October vol. 92 (Spring 200): 71-97.

Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technologies form the Open Hearth to the Microwave (Basic Books, 1983). "
art  maintenance  criticaltheory  feminism  annareser  2017  1973  mierleladermanukeles  performance  science  technology  care  caring  caretakers  ruthschartzcowan  1980s  martharosler  1970s  utopia  revolution  resistance  work  labor  productivity  gender  violence  1975  kitchens  helenmolesworth  judychicago  marykelly  ruthschwartzcowan  richardserr  donaldjudd  innovation  preervation 
january 2018 by robertogreco
"The Disaster of Half-Education," by Benjamin Y. Fong
'Flooding areas untouched by “high” culture, the culture industry was, from its inception, a new kind of church, a new spur to collective effervescence; but in place of moral orientation, it delivers a compulsory half-education.'
criticaltheory  essay  frankfurtschool 
december 2017 by dsavage

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