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ASCP Members' Books 2017

The ASCP community is prolific in producing work that encompasses a variety of areas of scholarship in Continental Philosophy. The following book descriptions provide some recent examples of this work published in 2017.

mallarme

Christian R. Gelder  &  Robert Boncardo (eds.) Mallarmé: Rancière, Milner, Badiou (Rowman and Littlefield: 2017)

From the post-War writings of Sartre and Blanchot to the post-structuralism of Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, French philosophers have consistently debated the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, almost as a rite of passage. Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner and Jacques Rancière — three of the most important philosophers alive today — are no exception, having written extensively about the poet since the 1960s and 70s up until today. This book contains a series of interviews with these three figures on Mallarmé, as well as an extended introduction that places their thought on literature into dialogue. Speaking about their personal and philosophical relationships with each other, on methods of reading, on poetry and politics, and poetry and mathematics, each philosopher reflects on their life-long engagement with Mallarmé, as well as on the different, often incommensurable, images of the poet their philosophies have generated. As Rancière, Milner and Badiou point to the past importance and future directions Mallarmé gives to thought, these interviews lend credence to Barthes’ remark that “all we can do is repeat Mallarmé – and it is good that we do so”.

https://www.amazon.com/Mallarm%C3%A9-Ranciere-Insolubilia-Contemporary-Philosophy/dp/1786603101

ngo 2017

Helen Ngo, The Habits of Racism A Phenomenology of Racism and Racialized Embodiment (Lexington Books: 2017)

The Habits of Racism examines some of the complex questions raised by the phenomenon and experience of racism. Helen Ngo first draws on the resources of Merleau-Ponty to argue that the conceptual reworking of habit as bodily orientation helps to identify the more subtle but fundamental workings of racism; to catch its insidious, gestural expressions, as well as its habitual modes of racialized perception. Racism, on this account, is equally expressed through bodily habits, and this in turn raises important ethical questions regarding the responsibility for one's racist habits. 

Ngo considers what the lived experience of racism and racialization teaches about the nature of the embodied and socially-situated being, arguing that racialized embodiment problematizes and extends existing accounts of general embodied experience, which calls into question dominant paradigms of the “self” in philosophy, as coherent, fluid, and synchronous. Drawing on thinkers such as Fanon, she argues that the racialized body is “in front of itself” and “uncanny” (in the Heideggerian senses of “strange” and “not-at-home”), while exploring the phenomenological and existential implications of this disorientation and displacement.

Finally, she returns to the visual register to take up the question of “objectification” in racism and racialization. While she critically examines the subject-object ontology presupposed by Sartre's account of “the gaze” (le regard), recalling that all embodied being is always already relational and co-constituting, drawing on Merleau-Ponty's concept of the intertwining, she argues that racialized embodiment reveals to us the ontological violence of racism—not a merely violation of one's subjectivity as commonly claimed, but also a violation of one's intersubjectivity.

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498534642/The-Habits-of-Racism-A-Phenomenology-of-Racism-and-Racialized-Embodiment

ogden-s-church authority foucault

Steven G. Ogden, The Church, Authority, and Foucault: Imagining the Church as an Open Space of Freedom (Routledge: 2017)

The Church, Authority, and Foucault addresses the problem of the Church's enmeshment with sovereign power, which can lead to marginalization. Breaking new ground, Ogden uses Foucault’s approach to power and knowledge to interpret the church leader's significance as the guardian of knowledge. This can become privileged knowledge, under the spell of sovereign power, and with the complicity of clergy and laity in search of sovereigns. Inevitably, such a culture leads to a sense of entitlement for leaders and conformity for followers. All in the name of obedience.

The Church needs to change in order to fulfil its vocation. Instead of a monarchy, what about Church as an open space of freedom? This book, then, is a theological enterprise which cultivates practices of freedom for the sake of the other. This involves thinking differently by exploring catalysts for change, which include critique, space, imagination, and wisdom. In the process, Ogden uses a range of sources, analysing discourse, gossip, ritual, territory, masculinity, and pastoral power. In all, the work of Michel Foucault sets the tone for a fresh ecclesiological critique that will appeal to theologians and clergy alike.

sharpe-reynolds-100years

Matthew Sharpe, Rory Jeffs, & Jack Reynolds (eds.) 100 years of European Philosophy Since the Great War (Springer: 2017)

This book is a collection of specifically commissioned articles on the key continental European philosophical movements since 1914. It shows how each of these bodies of thought has been shaped by their responses to the horrors set in train by World War I, and considers whether we are yet ‘post-post-war’. The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 set in chain a series of crises and re-configurations which have continued to shape the world for a century: industrialized slaughter, the end of colonialism and European empires, the rise of the USA, economic crises, fascism, Soviet Marxism, the gulags and the Shoah. Nearly all of the major movements in European thinking (phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Hegelianism, Marxism, political theology, critical theory and neoliberalism) were forged in, or shaped by, attempts to come to terms with the global trauma of the World Wars. This is the first book to describe the development of these movements after World War I, and as such promises to be of interest to philosophers and historians of philosophy around the world.

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-50361-5

slow phil

Michelle Boulous Walker, Slow Philosophy: Reading against the Institution (Bloomsbury: 2017)

In an age of internet scrolling and skimming, where concentration and attention are fast becoming endangered skills, it is timely to think about the act of reading and the many forms that it can take. Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution makes the case for thinking about reading in philosophical terms. Boulous Walker argues that philosophy involves the patient work of thought; in this it resembles the work of art, which invites and implores us to take our time and to engage with the world. At its best, philosophy teaches us to read slowly; in fact, philosophy is the art of reading slowly – and this inevitably clashes with many of our current institutional practices and demands.

Slow reading shares something in common with contemporary social movements, such as that devoted to slow food; it offers us ways to engage the complexity of the world. With the help of writers as diverse as Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Woolf, Adorno, Levinas, Critchley, Beauvoir, Le Dœuff, Irigaray, Cixous, Weil, and others, Boulous Walker offers a foundational text in the emerging field of slow philosophy, one that explores the importance of unhurried time in establishing our institutional encounters with complex and demanding works.

http://www.bloomsbury.com/au/slow-philosophy-9781474279918/

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