Feminist Interpretations of Theodor Adorno (Re-Reading the Canon)

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9780271028804: Feminist Interpretations of Theodor Adorno (Re-Reading the Canon)
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Adorno is often left out of the “canon” of influences on contemporary feminist theory, but these essays show that his work can provide valuable material for feminist thinking about a wide range of issues.

Theodor Adorno was a leading scholar of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, otherwise known as the Frankfurt School. With Max Horkheimer he contributed to the advance of critical theorizing about Enlightenment philosophy and modernity. Inflected by Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, Adorno’s thinking defies easy categorization. Ranging across the disciplines of philosophy, musicology, and sociology, his work has had an impact in many fields. His Dialectic of Enlightenment (written with Max Horkheimer) was profoundly influential as a critique of fascistic and authoritarian impulses in Enlightenment thinking in the context of late capitalism.

Questions addressed in the volume range from dilemmas in feminist aesthetic theory to the politics of suffering and democratic theory. The essays are exemplary as works in interdisciplinary scholarship, covering a wide range of issues and ideas in feminism as authors critically interpret the many facets of Adorno’s work. They take Adorno’s historical situatedness as a scholar into consideration while exploring the relevance of his ideas for post-Enlightenment feminist theory. His philosophical and cultural investigations inspire reconsideration of Enlightenment principles as well as a rethinking of “postmodern” ideas about identity and the self.

Feminist Interpretations of Theodor Adorno will introduce feminists to Adorno’s work and Adorno scholars to modes of feminist critique. It will be especially valuable for senior undergraduate and graduate courses in contemporary political, social, and cultural theory. In addition to the editor, contributors are Paul Apostolidis, Mary Caputi, Rebecca Comay, Jennifer Eagan, Mary Ann Franks, Eva Geulen, Sora Han, Andrew Hewitt, Gillian Howie, Lisa Yun Lee, Bruce Martin, and Lambert Zuidervaart.

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Renée J. Heberle is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toledo.

Review:

“The essays are uniformly excellent and show exciting possibilities for Adorno’s relevance to feminism.”

—Judith Grant, Ohio University



“The most successful of the fifteen essays in this volume use the insights of feminism to reread crucial Adornian works . . . to rethink critical terms within these works, such as mimesis, suffering, identity, and aesthetic autonomy. The variety of contributors—political theorists, philosophers, literary and legal scholars—ensures that the re-readings presented here are not monolithic.”

—Marianne Tettlebaum, APA Newsletter

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