ASCP Members' Books 2020

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 2020.

shams butler2020

Parisa Shams, Judith Butler and Subjectivity: The Possibilities and Limits of the Human (Palgrave Macmillan: 2020)

This book contextualises philosophy by bringing Judith Butler’s critique of identity into dialogue with an analysis of the transgressive self in dramatic literature. The author draws on Butler’s reflections on human agency and subjectivity to offer a fresh perspective for understanding the political and ethical stakes of identity as formed within a complex web of relations with human and non-human others. The book first positions a detailed analysis of Butler’s theory of subject formation within a broader framework of feminist philosophy and then incorporates examples and case studies from dramatic literature to argue that the subject is formed in relation to external forces, yet within its formation lies a space for transgressing the same environments and relations that condition the subject’s existence. By virtue of a fundamental dependency on conditions and relations that bring human beings into existence, they emerge as political and ethical agents capable of resisting the formative forces of power and responding – ethically – to the call of others.



Magdalena Zolkos, Restitution and the Politics of Repair. Tropes, Imaginaries, Theory (EUP: 2020)

This book analyses the social imaginary of undoing, repair and return underpinning the international norm of restitution-making. 

Challenging assumptions about restitution in the Western legal and political tradition, where it has become nearly synonymous with reacquisition of property and where legal studies focus on material objects and claims to their ownership, this book argues that the development of restitutive norms has been auxiliary to the emergence of modern state sovereignty, and excavates the restitutive tradition’s mythical-religious substrate.

Bringing together texts from within and outwith the Western canon of political theory and philosophy, including the writings of Grotius, Durkheim, Freud, and Klein, as well as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the book undertakes a dual task: reading literary texts as a political theorising of restitution, and reading political or sociological texts as literary narratives with distinctive ‘restitutive tropes’ of repair, undoing and return.

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