Critical Theory

Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza 5th Edition
Gloria Anzaldúa
aunt lute books - 32.00€ -  out of stock

A new edition of Anzaldúa's classic text.

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza is a 1987 semi-autobiographical work by Gloria E. Anzaldúa that examines the Chicano and Latino experience through the lens of issues such as gender, identity, race, and colonialism. Borderlands is considered to be Anzaldúa’s most well-known work and a pioneering piece of Chicana literature.

Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. Borderlands/La Frontera remaps our understanding of what a border' is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.

Unpayable Debt
Denise Ferreira da Silva
Sternberg Press - 22.00€ -

An examination of the relationship between coloniality, raciality, and global capital through a black feminist poethical framework, inspired by Octavia E. Butler's sci-fi novel Kindred (first volume in the On the Antipolitical series).

Unpayable Debt examines the relationship between coloniality, raciality, and global capital through a black feminist poethical framework. Inspired by Octavia E. Butler's 1979 sci-fi novel Kindred, in which an African American writer is transported back in time to the antebellum South to save her owner-ancestor, Unpayable Debt relates the notion of value to coloniality—both economic and ethical. Focusing on the philosophy behind value, Denise Ferreira da Silva exposes capital as the juridical architecture and ethical grammar of the world. Here, raciality—a symbol of coloniality—justifies deployments of total violence to enable expropriation and land extraction.
First volume in the On the Antipolitical series, edited by Ana Teixeira Pinto, devoted to the historical study of the depoliticization process, situating it within the neocolonialcontinuum that animates the digital frontier as the new locus of settler becoming.
Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva's academic writings and artistic practice address the ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and ontoepistemological dimensions of modern thought. Currently, she is a Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute (the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice) at the University of British Columbia.

Edited by Ana Teixeira Pinto.

Towards a Transindividual Self
Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić
Oslo National Academy of the Arts - 20.00€ -  out of stock

A book that examines the process of performing the self, distinctive for the formation of the self in Western neoliberal societies in the 21st century. It approaches the self from a transdisciplinary angle where political and cultural anthropology, performance studies and dramaturgy intersect.

Starting from their concern with the crisis of the social, which coincides with the rise of individualism, Vujanović and Cvejić critically untangle individualist modes of performing the self, such as possessive, aesthetic, and autopoietic individualisms. However, their critique does not make for an argument for collectivism as a socially more viable alternative to individualism. Instead, it confronts them with the more fundamental problem of ontogenesis: how is that which distinguishes me as an individual formed in the first place? This question marks a turning point in the study, where it steps back into the process of individuation, prior to, and in excess of, the individual. 

The process of individuation, however, encompasses biological, social, and technological conditions of becoming whose real potential is transindividual, or more specifically, social transformation. A ‘theater of individuation’ (Gilbert Simondon) captures the dramaturgical stroke by which the authors investigate social relations (like solidarity and de-alienation) in which the self actualizes its transindividual dimension. This epistemic intervention into ontogenesis allows them to expand the horizon of transindividuation in an array of tangible social, aesthetic and political acts and practices. As with every horizon, the transindividual may not be closely at hand; however, it is certainly within reach, and the book encourages the reader to approach it.

"Towards a Transindividual Self is an ambitious and capacious effort to theorize a new way to approach collectivity for political purposes through the lens of performance. Convinced that the current neoliberal conjuncture has only heightened a form of capitalist individualism that blocks notions of the social, the authors aim to show that a "transindividual formation of the self can bring about different courses of action and a more socially driven imagination." Transindividuation, they assure us, shows how "we form ourselves on the basis of interdependence, sharing, commonality, as well as indispensability of the individual as the agent of creativity/ knowledge, freedom, and change, who 'possibilizes' their own conditions of formation."
— Professor Janelle Reinelt (University of Warwick), co-editor of Critical Theory and Performance (University of Michigan, 2006)

"Perhaps the most striking thing about this book is the manner in which it is able to engage with multiple discourses from political theory to aesthetics. In this way it both follows the ambitious scope of Simondon’s work on individuation, and expands into areas that Simondon did not cover, most notably politics and cultural politics, which is the book’s central concern. Rather than ask the question is the individual imagined or real, an effect of social relations or their distortion, the focus on the transindividual makes it possible to grasp individuation as a process: “Instead of pondering how the passage from one to many occurs, individuation permits us to immediately trace a bidimensional process in which both individual persons and the collectivities they form are altered. Another meaning of the crisis of the social has brought about a perfect slogan of such a process of transindividuation: ‘No one will be left alone in the crisis.” (…) Towards a Transindividual Self does a brilliant job of not only arguing for the importance and relevance for the transindividual as a concept for politics, performance, and the politics of performance, but of demonstrating a bold standard for political and aesthetic inquiry."
— Professor Jason Read (University of Maine), author of The Politics of Transindividuality (Brill, 2015)

Co-published by Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Sarma and Multimedijalni institut.

Hatred of Sex
Oliver Davis, Tim Dean
University of Nebraska Press - 22.00€ -  out of stock

Hatred of Sex links Jacques Rancière's political philosophy of the constitutive disorder of democracy with Jean Laplanche's identification of a fundamental perturbation at the heart of human sexuality. Sex is hated as well as desired, Oliver Davis and Tim Dean contend, because sexual intensity impedes coherent selfhood and undermines identity, rendering us all a little more deplorable than we might wish. Davis and Dean explore the consequences of this conflicted dynamic across a range of fields and institutions, including queer studies, attachment theory, the #MeToo movement, and "traumatology," demonstrating how hatred of sex has been optimized and exploited by neoliberalism.  

Advancing strong claims about sex, pleasure, power, intersectionality, therapy, and governance, Davis and Dean shed new light on enduring questions of equality at a historical moment when democracy appears ever more precarious.

K-Punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
Repeater Books - 29.00€ -  out of stock

A comprehensive collection of the writings of Mark Fisher (1968-2017), whose work defined critical writing for a generation. 

This collection brings together the work of acclaimed blogger, writer, political activist and lecturer Mark Fisher (aka k-punk). Covering the period 2004 - 2016, the collection will include some of the best writings from his seminal blog k-punk; a selection of his brilliantly insightful film, television and music reviews; his key writings on politics, activism, precarity, hauntology, mental health and popular modernism for numerous websites and magazines; his final unfinished introduction to his planned work on Acid Communism; and a number of important interviews from the last decade.

Edited by Darren Ambrose and with a foreword by Simon Reynolds.

La Gentrification des Esprits
Sarah Schulman
Éditions B42 - 20.00€ -  out of stock

La Gentrification des esprits est un retour captivant sur la crise du sida et l’activisme d’ACT UP dans le New York des années 1980 et 1990. Sarah Schulman, elle-même new-yorkaise et militante de la cause LGBT, se souvient de la disparition du centre-ville, pratiquement du jour au lendemain, de la culture rebelle queer, des loyers à bas coût et du prolifique mouvement artistique qui se développait au coeur de Manhattan, remplacés par des porte-parole gays conservateurs, ainsi que par le consumérisme de masse.

Elle décrit avec précision et engagement le « remplacement d’une communauté par une autre » et le processus de gentrification qui toucha ces quartiers concomitamment à la crise du sida. Sarah Schulman fait revivre pour nous le Lower East Side qu’elle a connu. Elle ravive autant le souvenir de ses ami•e•s de l’avant-garde queer que celui de l’ombre inquiétante des premières années de la crise du sida, telles que vécues par une militante. Les souvenirs personnels s’entremêlent à une analyse percutante des deux phénomènes, et du poids invisible qu’ils font aujourd’hui peser sur la société américaine.

L’auteure rend compte de son expérience en tant que témoin de la « perte de l’imagination » de toute une génération, et des conséquences entraînées par cette perte.

Le conflit n’est pas une agression
Sarah Schulman
Éditions B42 - 23.00€ -  out of stock

Des relations intimes aux politiques globales, Sarah Schulman fait le constat d’un continuum: individus comme États font souvent basculer les situations conflictuelles dans le registre de l’agression, criminalisant leurs opposants pour couper court à la contradiction et échappant ainsi à leur propre responsabilité dans les conflits. En distinguant conflit et agression, l’autrice interroge notre culture de la stigmatisation.

Ce travail profond, aussi courageux qu’impertinent, montre comment la sanction et la répression prennent le pas sur l’auto-analyse à l’échelle individuelle et collective, et comment l’altérité sert de justification à la violence et à l’exclusion. Ce livre intentionnellement polémique offre un aperçu des dynamiques contemporaines et historiques qui prennent les différences intimes, raciales et géopolitiques pour des éléments déclencheurs de la course à l’injustice, à l’exclusion et à la répression.

Le conflit n’est pas une agression est un virulent plaidoyer contre le phénomène culturel de l’accusation, révélant combien les personnes en situation de pouvoir exacerbent et manipulent la crainte de l’« autre » pour éviter toute remise en question.

Mon musée de la Cocaïne
Michael Taussig
Éditions B42 - 27.00€ -

L’or et la cocaïne sont les deux matériaux bruts de Mon musée de la Cocaïne. C’est au cours de leur transformation et raffinement que ces deux substances ramènent avec elles une histoire de l’oppression et de l’esclavage.

Dans ce livre, l’anthropologue australien Michael Taussig prend comme point de départ la proposition de bâtir un musée de la Cocaïne (qui serait l’image reflétée du musée de l’Or de la Banque de la République à Bogotá) et dresse un portrait sans concession de la vie des mineurs afro-colombiens aspirés dans le monde dangereux de la production de cocaïne au fin fond de la forêt tropicale, sur la côte pacifique de la Colombie. Il décrit la violence, la pauvreté, mais aussi les croyances qui surgissent des marais envahis de mangroves et des rivières tropicales qui, pendant plus de cinq cent ans, ont attiré, ruiné et décontenancé Amérindiens, orpailleurs, conquistadors et pirates, esclaves africains, ingénieurs russes et guérilleros marxistes.

Mon musée de la Cocaïne se présente comme un assemblage éclectique d’histoires et d’anecdotes, présenté comme autant de salles d’un hypothétique musée de la Cocaïne, au sein desquelles le lecteur est invité à déambuler, en croisant des références qui vont de Charles Dickens à Franz Kafka en passant par la poésie de Seamus Heaney.

Mélancolie Postcoloniale
Paul Gilroy
Éditions B42 - 23.00€ -

Dans cet essai au verbe acéré, Paul Gilroy dénonce la pathologie néo-impérialiste des politiques mises en œuvre dans les pays occidentaux, sclérosés par les débats sur l’immigration, et propose en retour un modèle de société multiculturelle. De la création du concept de « race » à la formation des empires coloniaux, le sociologue britannique soulève quelques grandes questions de notre époque, et vise à faire émerger une réelle alternative aux récits édulcorés de notre passé colonial. En choisissant de mettre en avant la convivialité et le multiculturalisme indiscipliné du centre des grandes métropoles, Paul Gilroy défend une vision cosmopolite inclusive et plaide pour l’avènement d’une société qui refuse de céder aux discours de la peur et à la violence.

En examinant l’invention de catégories hiérarchisantes fondées sur la notion de race, et ses terribles conséquences, il démontre comment les écrits de penseurs tels que Frantz Fanon, W. E. B. Du Bois ou George Orwell peuvent encore faire avancer les réflexions sur le nationalisme, le postcolonialisme et les questions raciales. Mélancolie postcoloniale fait écho aux luttes postcoloniales d’aujourd’hui, en quête d’une pensée critique exigeante.

Palma Africana
Michael Taussig
Éditions B42 - 23.00€ -

Dans Palma africana, l’anthropologue australien Michael Taussig explore la production d’huile de palme en Colombie. Alors que cette dernière envahit tout, des chips au vernis à ongles, l’auteur examine les conséquences écologiques, politiques et sociales de cette exploitation.

Bien que la liste des horreurs induites par la culture du palmier à huile soit longue, nos terminologies habituelles ne permettent plus de rendre compte des réalités qu’elles décrivent. À travers cette déambulation anthropo-poétique au cœur des marécages colombiens, c’est donc la question du langage que l’auteur interroge. Comme William Burroughs, pour qui les mots sont aussi vivants que des animaux et n’aiment pas être maintenus en pages – Michael Taussig souhaite couper ces dernières, et les rendre à leur liberté.

Pensé à partir d’une vie d’exploration philosophique et ethnographique, Palma africana cherche à contrecarrer la banalité de la destruction du monde et offre une vision pénétrante de notre condition humaine. Illustré de photographies prises par l’auteur et écrit avec la verve expérimentale propre à l’anthropologue, ce livre est le Tristes Tropiques de Michael Taussig pour le XXIe siècle.

Traduit de l’anglais par Marc Saint-Upéry.

Posthuman Feminism
Rosi Braidotti
Polity Press - 26.00€ -

In a context marked by the virulent return of patriarchal and white supremacist attitudes, a new generation of feminist activists are continuing the struggle: these are very feminist times. But how do these and other movements relate to the contemporary posthuman condition? 

In this important new book, Rosi Braidotti examines the implications of the posthuman turn for feminist theory and practice. She defines the posthuman turn as a convergence between posthumanism on the one hand and post-anthropocentrism on the other, and she examines their complex relationship and joint impact. Braidotti claims that mainstream posthuman scholarship has neglected feminist theory, while in fact feminism is one of the precursors of the posthuman turn, through diverse social movements and political traditions. Posthuman Feminism is an analytic and creative response to contemporary conditions and a call to action. It highlights the constraints but also the potentialities available to feminist political subjects as they confront the ever-growing injustices of sexism, racism, ecocide and neoliberal capitalism. 

This bold new text by a leading feminist philosopher will be of great interest to students and scholars throughout the humanities and social sciences.

Ce que Sylvère Lotringer n'écrivait pas
Sylvère Lotringer, François Aubart, François Piron
Paraguay Press - 15.00€ -

A book of interviews with Sylvère Lotringer.

French philosopher Sylvère Lotringer (1938-2021) was the general editor of Semiotext(e). A younger contemporary of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio and Michel Foucault, he was one of the main introducers and interpreters of French Theory in the United States. He is the author of Overexposed: Perverting Perversions (Semiotext(e), 2007).

François Aubart is an art critic, independent curator and publisher (co-founder of <o> future <o> and Même pas l'hiver).

The Melancholia of Class: A Manifesto for the Working Class
Cynthia Cruz
Repeater Books - 16.00€ -  out of stock

In The Melancholia of Class, Cynthia Cruz analyses how this choice between assimilation or annihilation has played out in the lives of working-class musicians, artists, writers, and filmmakers — including Amy Winehouse, Ian Curtis, Jason Molina, Barbara Loden, and many more — and the resultant Freudian melancholia that ensues when the working-class subject leaves their origins to "become someone," only to find that they lose themselves in the process.  

Part memoir, part cultural theory, and part polemic, The Melancholia of Class shows us how we can resist assimilation, uplifting and carrying our working-class origins and communities with us, as we break the barriers of the middle-class world. There are so many of us, all of us waiting. If we came together, who knows what we could do.

Cynthia Cruz is the author of six collections of poems: Dregs, How the End Begins, Wunderkammer, The Glimmering Room, Ruin, and Guidebooks for the Dead. Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of critical essays on marginalization and silence, was published by Book*hug in 2019. Her first work of fiction, a novella, Steady Diet of Nothing, is forthcoming. She teaches at the City College of New York and in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University.

Published 2021

The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech
Avital Ronell
University of Nebraska Press - 60.00€ -  out of stock

The telephone marks the place of an absence. Affiliated with discontinuity, alarm, and silence, it raises fundamental questions about the constitution of self and other, the stability of location, systems of transfer, and the destination of speech. Profoundly changing our concept of long-distance, it is constantly transmitting effects of real and evocative power. To the extent that it always relates us to the absent other, the telephone, and the massive switchboard attending it, plugs into a hermeneutics of mourning.

The Telephone Book, itself organized by a "telephonic logic," fields calls from philosophy, history, literature, and psychoanalysis. It installs a switchboard that hooks up diverse types of knowledge while rerouting and jamming the codes of the disciplines in daring ways. Avital Ronell has done nothing less than consider the impact of the telephone on modern thought. Her highly original, multifaceted inquiry into the nature of communication in a technological age will excite everyone who listens in. The book begins by calling close attention to the importance of the telephone in Nazi organization and propaganda, with special regard to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. In the Third Reich the telephone became a weapon, a means of state surveillance, "an open accomplice to lies." Heidegger, in Being and Time and elsewhere, elaborates on the significance of "the call." In a tour de force response, Ronell mobilizes the history and terminology of the telephone to explicate his difficult philosophy.

Ronell also speaks of the appearance of the telephone in the literary works of Duras, Joyce, Kafka, Rilke, and Strindberg. She examines its role in psychoanalysis—Freud said that the unconscious is structured like a telephone, and Jung and R. D. Laing saw it as a powerful new body part. She traces its historical development from Bell's famous first call: "Watson, come here!" Thomas A. Watson, his assistant, who used to communicate with spirits, was eager to get the telephone to talk, and thus to link technology with phantoms and phantasms. In many ways a meditation on the technologically constituted state, The Telephone Book opens a new field, becoming the first political deconstruction of technology, state terrorism, and schizophrenia. And it offers a fresh reading of the American and European addiction to technology in which the telephone emerges as the crucial figure of this age.

Les sous-communs – Planification fugitive et étude noire
Fred Moten & Stefano Harney
Brook - 18.00€ -  out of stock

A political and aesthetic critique of racial capitalism and modes of social experimentation in the form of resistance to the colonial commons.

Stefano Harney (born 1962) is Honorary Professor at The Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia and a Visiting Critic at Yale School of Art. He has held teaching positions in New York, Leicester, London, and Singapore. He now teaches at the Dutch Art Institute. An interdisciplinary scholar, his research spans (the intersections of) social sciences, arts and humanities, as well as the fields of business and management.

Preface by Jack Halberstam.
Collective translation (original title: The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Minor Compositions, 2013).

Graphic design: Sophie Demay & Maël Fournier-Comte (In the Shade of a Tree).
published in February 2022
French edition
12,5 x 19,5 cm (softcover)
208 pages

Beyond the World's End
T. J. Demos
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -

In Beyond the World's End T. J. Demos explores cultural practices that provide radical propositions for living in a world beset by environmental and political crises.

Rethinking relationships between aesthetics and an expanded political ecology that foregrounds just futurity, Demos examines how contemporary artists are diversely addressing urgent themes, including John Akomfrah's cinematic entanglements of racial capitalism with current environmental threats, the visual politics of climate refugees in work by Forensic Architecture and Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, and moving images of Afrofuturist climate justice in projects by Arthur Jafa and Martine Syms.

Demos considers video and mixed-media art that responds to resource extraction in works by Angela Melitopoulos, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ursula Biemann, as well as the multispecies ecologies of Terike Haapoja and Public Studio. Throughout Demos contends that contemporary intersections of aesthetics and politics, as exemplified in the Standing Rock #NoDAPL campaign and the Zad's autonomous zone in France, are creating the imaginaries that will be crucial to building a socially just and flourishing future.

Sara Ahmed
Duke University Press - 30.00€ -  out of stock

In Complaint! Sara Ahmed examines what we can learn about power from those who complain about abuses of power.

Drawing on oral and written testimonies from academics and students who have made complaints about harassment, bullying, and unequal working conditions at universities, Ahmed explores the gap between what is supposed to happen when complaints are made and what actually happens. To make complaints within institutions is to learn how they work and for whom they work: complaint as feminist pedagogy. Ahmed explores how complaints are made behind closed doors and how doors are often closed on those who complain. To open these doors—to get complaints through, keep them going, or keep them alive—Ahmed emphasizes, requires forming new kinds of collectives.

This book offers a systematic analysis of the methods used to stop complaints and a powerful and poetic meditation on what complaints can be used to do. Following a long lineage of Black feminist and feminist of color critiques of the university, Ahmed delivers a timely consideration of how institutional change becomes possible and why it is necessary.

Between Gaia and Ground
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

In Between Gaia and Ground Elizabeth A. Povinelli theorizes the climatic, environmental, viral, and social catastrophe present as an ancestral catastrophe through which that Indigenous and colonized peoples have been suffering for centuries. In this way, the violence and philosophies the West relies on now threaten the West itself.

Engaging with the work of Glissant, Deleuze and Guattari, Césaire, and Arendt, Povinelli highlights four axioms of existence—the entanglement of existence, the unequal distribution of power, the collapse of the event as essential to political thought, and the legacies of racial and colonial histories. She traces these axioms' inspiration in anticolonial struggles against the dispossession and extraction that have ruined the lived conditions for many on the planet. By examining the dynamic and unfolding forms of late liberal violence, Povinelli attends to a vital set of questions about changing environmental conditions, the legacies of violence, and the limits of inherited Western social theory.

Between Gaia and Ground also includes a glossary of the keywords and concepts that Povinelli has developed throughout her work.

Dear Science and Other Stories
Katherine McKittrick
Duke University Press - 24.00€ -  out of stock

In Dear Science and Other Stories Katherine McKittrick presents a creative and rigorous study of black and anticolonial methodologies. Drawing on black studies, studies of race, cultural geography, and black feminism as well as a mix of methods, citational practices, and theoretical frameworks, she positions black storytelling and stories as strategies of invention and collaboration.

She analyzes a number of texts from intellectuals and artists ranging from Sylvia Wynter to the electronica band Drexciya to explore how narratives of imprecision and relationality interrupt knowledge systems that seek to observe, index, know, and discipline blackness. Throughout, McKittrick offers curiosity, wonder, citations, numbers, playlists, friendship, poetry, inquiry, song, grooves, and anticolonial chronologies as interdisciplinary codes that entwine with the academic form.

Suggesting that black life and black livingness are, in themselves, rebellious methodologies, McKittrick imagines without totally disclosing the ways in which black intellectuals invent ways of living outside prevailing knowledge systems.

Cruel Optimism
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.”

Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.

The Queer Art of Failure
Judith Halberstam
Duke University Press - 26.00€ -

The Queer Art of Failure is about finding alternatives—to conventional understandings of success in a heteronormative, capitalist society; to academic disciplines that confirm what is already known according to approved methods of knowing; and to cultural criticism that claims to break new ground but cleaves to conventional archives.

Jack Halberstam proposes “low theory” as a mode of thinking and writing that operates at many different levels at once. Low theory is derived from eccentric archives. It runs the risk of not being taken seriously. It entails a willingness to fail and to lose one’s way, to pursue difficult questions about complicity, and to find counterintuitive forms of resistance.

Tacking back and forth between high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture, Halberstam looks for the unexpected and subversive in popular culture, avant-garde performance, and queer art. Halberstam pays particular attention to animated children’s films, revealing narratives filled with unexpected encounters between the childish, the transformative, and the queer. Failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world, even as it forces us to face the dark side of life, love, and libido.

Paul B. Preciado
Zone Books - 26.00€ -  out of stock

Published for the first time in 1953, Playboy was not only the first pornographic popular magazine in America; it also came to embody an entirely new lifestyle through the construction of a series of utopian multimedia spaces -- from the Playboy Mansion and fictional Playboy's Penthouse of 1959 to the Playboy Clubs and hotels appearing around the world in the 1960s. Simultaneously, the invention of the contraceptive pill provided access to a biochemical technique that separated (hetero) sexuality and reproduction.

Addressing these concurrent cultural shifts, Paul Preciado investigates the strategic relationships between space, gender, and sexuality in popular sites related to the production and consumption of pornography that have tended to reside at the margins of traditional histories of architecture: bachelor pads, multimedia rotating beds, and design objects, among others.  

Combining historical perspectives with contemporary critical theory, gender and queer theory, porn studies, the history of technology, and a range of primary transdisciplinary sources -- treatises on sexuality, medical and pharmaceutical handbooks, architecture journals, erotic magazines, building manuals, and novels -- Pornotopia explores the use of architecture as a biopolitical technique for governing sexual relations and the production of gender in the postwar United States.

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