Critique and Praxis By: Bernard Harcourt Critical philosophy has always challenged the division between theory and practice. At its best, it aims to turn contemplation into emancipation, seeking to transform society in pursuit of equality, autonomy, and human flourishing. Yet today’s critical theory often seems to engage only in critique. These times of crisis demand more. Bernard E. Harcourt challenges us to move beyond decades of philosophical detours and to harness critical thought to the need for action. In a time of increasing awareness of economic and social inequality, Harcourt calls on us to make society more equal and just. Only critical theory can guide us toward a more self-reflexive pursuit of justice. Charting a vision for political action and social transformation, Harcourt argues that instead of posing the question, “What is to be done?” we must now turn it back onto ourselves and ask, and answer, “What more am I to do?” Critique and Praxis advocates for a new path forward that constantly challenges each and every one of us to ask what more we can do to realize a society based on equality and justice. Joining his decades of activism, social-justice litigation, and political engagement with his years of critical theory and philosophical work, Harcourt has written a magnum opus.
Video / Audio
The End of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century America examines the dissolution of landscape painting in the late nineteenth-century United States. Maggie M. Cao explores the pictorial practices that challenged, mourned, or revised the conventions of landscape painting, a major cultural project for nineteenth-century Americans. Through rich analysis of artworks at the genre’s unsettling limits—landscapes that self-destruct, masquerade as currency, or even take flight—Cao shows that experiments in landscape played a crucial role in the American encounter with modernity. Landscape is the genre through which American art most urgently sought to come to terms with the modern world.
From a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.
In this landmark theoretical investigation, Wael B. Hallaq reevaluates and deepens the critique of Orientalism in order to deploy it for rethinking the foundations of the modern project. Refusing to isolate or scapegoat Orientalism, Restating Orientalism extends the critique to other fields, from law, philosophy, and scientific inquiry to core ideas of academic thought such as sovereignty and the self. Hallaq traces their involvement in colonialism, mass annihilation, and systematic destruction of the natural world, interrogating and historicizing the set of causes that permitted modernity to wed knowledge to power. Restating Orientalism offers a bold rethinking of the theory of the author, the concept of sovereignty, and the place of the secular Western self in the modern project, reopening the problem of power and knowledge to an ethical critique and ultimately theorizing an exit from modernity’s predicaments. A remarkably ambitious attempt to overturn the foundations of a wide range of academic disciplines while also drawing on the best they have to offer, Restating Orientalism exposes the depth of academia’s lethal complicity in modern forms of capitalism, colonialism, and hegemonic power.
Book Launch for Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography, by Rebecca M. Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis. Testosterone is not what you think it is, and it is decidedly not a “male sex hormone.” Here is the debunking life story of a molecule we thought we all knew. Testosterone is a familiar villain, a ready explanation for innumerable social phenomena, from the stock market crash and the overrepresentation of men in prisons to male dominance in business and politics. It’s a lot to pin on a simple molecule.
In Working for Respect, Adam Reich and Peter Bearman examine how workers make sense of their jobs at places like Walmart in order to consider the nature of contemporary low-wage work, as well as the obstacles and opportunities such workplaces present as sites of struggle for social and economic justice. They describe the life experiences that lead workers to Walmart and analyze the dynamics of the shop floor. As a part of the project, Reich and Bearman matched student activists with a nascent association of current and former Walmart associates: the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). They follow the efforts of this new partnership, considering the formation of collective identity and the relationship between social ties and social change. They show why traditional unions have been unable to organize service-sector workers in places like Walmart and offer provocative suggestions for new strategies and directions.
Claudio Lomnitz's most recent book, Nuestra América, is an essay on the story of his maternal grandparents-- and to some degree the story of his father. It starts with a shipwreck, a story of language loss. A reflection on why he lacks four of the languages that would have been of great use to properly write this book. And it works from that low point toward reunion with his past, in a sustained reflection on Jewish history, the destruction of Europe, and their place in South American cultural and intellectual history of the twentieth century.
Calvo and Murillo consider the non-policy benefits that voters consider when deciding their vote. While parties advertise policies, they also deliver non-policy benefits in the form of competent economic management, constituency service, and patronage jobs. Different from much of the existing research, which focuses on the implementation of policy or on the delivery of clientelistic benefits, this book provides a unified view of how politicians deliver broad portfolios of policy and non-policy benefits to their constituency. The authors' theory shows how these non-policy resources also shape parties' ideological positions and which type of electoral offers they target to poorer or richer voters. With exhaustive empirical work, both qualitative and quantitative, the research documents how linkages between parties and voters shape the delivery of non-policy benefits in Argentina and Chile.
- December 18, 2017 A Poetics of Politics? A talk by Terrance Hayes
- March 28, 2012 The Money Series: An Anthropologist on Wall Street
- November 9, 2011 The Money Series: The Global Minotaur: The Crash of 2008 and the Euro-Zone Crisis
- February 10, 2011 Egypt Arising, Part 1 of 2
- heyman center (86)
- columbia (49)
- heyman center for humanities (34)
- literature (28)
- history (25)
- politics (23)
- writing (17)
- medical humanities (16)
- explorations in the medical humanities (16)
- economics (16)
- reading (14)
- writing lives series (14)
- poetry (13)
- public humanities (13)
- phi (13)
- gender (12)
- gender studies (12)
- women's history (12)
- science (10)
- globalization (9)
- public humanities fellow (8)
- politics of the present (8)
- british feminist scholars (8)
- public humanities fellowship (8)
- fellowship (8)
- the wire (8)
- john berryman (7)
- new books (7)
- joseph stiglitz (6)
- narrative medicine (6)
- public humanities initiative (6)
- philosophy (6)
- edward said (6)
- arab (6)
- edward said memorial lecture (6)
- arab spring (6)
- government (5)
- religion (5)
- natura (5)
- natural history (5)
We feature talks with professors about their recent work, publications, novels and more. Hear them read from their work, and also responses from other professors in their fields. Hosted by Anne Levitsky.