RRP: $40 (AUD)
Format: 234x156 mm (6x9 in) Paperback
Pub. Date: July 2009
Walter Benjamin is universally recognized as one of the key thinkers of modernity: his writings on politics, language, literature, media, theology and law have had an incalculable influence on contemporary thought. Yet the problem of architecture in and for Benjamin’s work remains relatively underexamined. Does Benjamin’s project have an architecture and, if so, how does this architecture affect the explicit propositions that he offers us? In what ways are Benjamin’s writings centrally caught up with architectural concerns, from the redevelopment of major urban centres to the movements that individuals can make within the new spaces of modern cities? How can Benjamin’s theses help us to understand the secret architectures of the present? This volume takes up the architectural challenge in a number of innovative ways, collecting essays by both well-known and emerging scholars on time in cinema, the problem of kitsch, the design of graves and tombs, the orders of road-signs, childhood experience in modern cities, and much more. Engaged, interdisciplinary, bristling with insights, the essays in this collection will constitute an indispensable supplement to the work of Walter Benjamin, as well as providing a guide to some of the obscurities of our own present.
Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity
Andrew Benjamin and Charles Rice
Aesthetics and Philosophy
Booking Benjamin: The Fate of a Medium
On the ‘Vital Significance’ of Kitsch: Walter Benjamin’s Politics of ‘Bad Taste’
Modernity as an Unfinished Project: Benjamin and Political Romanticism
Violence, Deconstruction, and Sovereignty: Derrida and Agamben on Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’
Graves, Pits and Murderous Plots: Walter Benjamin, Alois Riegl, and the German Mourning Play’s Dreary Tone of Intrigue
Benjamin’s Critique of Aesthetic Autonomy
Framing Pictures, Transcending Marks: Walter Benjamin’s ‘Paintings, or Signs and Marks’
Cities and Images
Interiority, Exteriority and Spatial Politics in Benjamin’s Cityscapes
Time Without End: Exploring the Temporal Experience of Wong Kar?Wai’s 2046 Through Walter Benjamin
Experience and Play: Walter Benjamin and the Prelapsarian Child
Experimental Set-ups: Benjamin on History and Film
‘A thought-provoking collection of essays exploring and extending the Benjaminian project. The range of concerns addressed by the contributors is impressive, and the collection provides an exciting and invaluable report on the current state of debate surrounding Benjamin’s architectural aesthetic.’ -- Howard Caygill, author of Walter Benjamin: The Colour of Experience
About the Author
Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Critical theory and Philosophical Aesthetics at Monash University, Australia. His most recent book is Style and Time, Essays on the Politics of Appearance (2006).
Tara Forrest is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is the author of The Politics of Imagination: Benjamin, Kracauer, Kluge (2007) and the editor of a special issue of Cultural Studies Review on the topic of 'History Experiments' (2008).
Jo Law is an artist and film maker. She currently teaches visual art and media art at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
Michael Mack is a Research Fellow in the Department of German at the University of Reading. His most recent book is German Idealism and Anti-Semitism (2004).
George Markus is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has published widely on Philosophy of Culture, History of Aesthetics, Modernity, European Philosophy, and Dialectics.
Winfried Menninghaus is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the Free University Berlin. He has published extensively on German literature and particularly on Walter Benjamin. His most recent book is Hälfte des Lebens. Versuch über Hölderlins Poetik (2007).
Joel Morris is completing a PhD in German and Northwestern University.
Alex Regier is a Junior Research Fellow at Kings College Cambridge. He has published on German literature and philosophy.
Charles Rice is Associate Professor of Architecture in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author of The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity (Routledge, 2007). His writings on Walter Benjamin and architecture have appeared in anthologies including Intimate Metropolis (Routledge, 2009), Critical Architecture (Routledge, 2007) and Walter Benjamin and History (Continuum, 2005), as well as in journals including Home Cultures and The Journal of Architecture.
Carlos Salzani is a Research Assistant in Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Monash University Australia.
Peter Schmiedgen teaches philosophy and cultural studies at Macquarie University. He has published on Levinas and Benjamin.
Robert Sinnerbrink is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Macquarie University. His most recent publications include Understanding Hegelianism (2007) and Critique Today (edited with Jean-Philippe Deranty, Nicholas Smith, and Peter Schmiedgen) (2006).
Henry Sussman is Julian Park Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Buffalo. His publications include, The Aesthetic Contract: Statutes of Art and Intellectual Work in Modernity (1997) and Psyche and Text: The Sublime and the Grandiose in Literature, Psychopathology, and Culture (1993).