Kathrin Thiele is associate professor of gender studies and critical theory in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. Trained transdisciplinarily in gender studies, sociology, literary studies, and critical theory, her research focuses on questions of ethics and politics from queer feminist, decolonial and posthuman(ist) perspectives. Birgit M. Kaiser is associate professor of comparative literature and transcultural aesthetics at Utrecht University. Her research spans literatures in English, French and German of the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, always with a focus on literature as a mode of poetic knowledge production, on the relation of literature, aesthetics, and affect, as well as on writing subjectivity in transcultural and post/colonial constellations of power. Together, Kathrin Thiele and Birgit M. Kaiser founded and coordinate the international group Terra Critica: Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities (http://terracritica.net). Timothy O’Leary is Head of the School of Humanities & Languages at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He researches in contemporary European philosophy, in particular the work of Michel Foucault. Recently he has focused on the transformative potential of the engagement with works of literature.
Introduction / Birgit M. Kaiser, Kathrin Thiele, Timothy O’Leary
Part I: Visions of critique
Chapter 1. “After Humanism?” Time and Transformation in Critical Thinking / Kathrin Thiele
Chapter 2. The Most Difficult Task: On the Idea of an Impure Pure Non-Violence in Derrida / Leonard Lawlor
Chapter 3. The Changeability of the World: Utopia and Critique/ Sam McAuliffe
Chapter 4. Seeking Intelligent Life in the Time of COVID-19; Or, Thinking ‘Epicritically’ / Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor
Part II: Critical Reading
Chapter 5. Suspicious Minds: Critique as Symptomatic Reading / Esther Peeren
Chapter 6. The Ends of Critical Intimacy. Spivak, Fanon, and Appropriative Reading / Birgit M. Kaiser
Chapter 7. Critical Vivisection: Transforming Ethical Sensibilities / Timothy O’Leary
Part III: Institutions and Technologies
Chapter 8. Unwinding the Abstraction of Whiteness / Shannon Winnubst
Chapter 9. How Not to be Governed like that by Our Digital Technologies / Mercedes Bunz
Chapter 10. Defective Institutions; Or, Critique / Jacques Lezra
How to sustain criticality as a living force, when the critical stance seems readily assumed today by the right and the left alike? I applaud the authors’ concerted interventions in this hazardous terrain. The result is a richly stimulating collection that brings the ends of critique up to date with a commendably ethical vision.
This fascinating volume provides an accessible and informative engagement with current debates over the supposed deaths and putative aims of critique. Engaging with diverse forms of cultural, literary and political criticism, it provides a compelling demonstration that critique serves a range of different ends and is far from over.
Open Access PDF can be downloaded here.