The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze was one of the most innovative and revolutionary thinkers of the twentieth century. Author of more than twenty books on literature, music, and the visual arts, Deleuze published the first volume of his two-volume study of film, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, in 1983 and the second volume, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, in 1985. Since their publication, these books have had a profound impact on the study of film and philosophy. Film, media, and cultural studies scholars still grapple today with how they can most productively incorporate Deleuze's thought.
The first new collection of critical studies on Deleuze's cinema writings in nearly a decade, Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze's Film Philosophy provides original essays that evaluate the continuing significance of Deleuze's film theories, accounting systematically for the ways in which they have influenced the investigation of contemporary visual culture and offering new directions for research.
Contributors: Raymond Bellour, Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifiques; Ronald Bogue, U of Georgia; Giuliana Bruno, Harvard U; Ian Buchanan, Cardiff U; James K. Chandler, U of Chicago; Tom Conley, Harvard U; Amy Herzog, CUNY; András Bálint Kovács, Eötvös Loránd U; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U; Timothy Murray, Cornell U; Dorothea Olkowski, U of Colorado; John Rajchman, Columbia U; Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier, U Paris VIII; Garrett Stewart, U of Iowa; Damian Sutton, Glasgow School of Art; Melinda Szaloky, UC Santa Barbara.
Rodowick takes after the theories of Hannah Arendt and argues that thinking is an art we practice with and for each other in our communities.
In An Education in Judgment, philosopher D. N. Rodowick makes the definitive case for a philosophical humanistic education aimed at the cultivation of a life guided by both self-reflection and interpersonal exchange. Such a life is an education in judgment, the moral capacity to draw conclusions alone and with others, and letting one’s own judgments be answerable to the potentially contrasting judgments of others. Thinking, for Rodowick, is an art we practice with and learn from each other on a daily basis.
In taking this approach, Rodowick follows the lead of Hannah Arendt, who made judgment the cornerstone of her conception of community. What is important for Rodowick, as for Arendt, is the cultivation of “free relations,” in which we allow our judgments to be affected and transformed by those of others, creating “an ever-widening fabric of intersubjective moral consideration.” That is a fragile fabric, certainly, but one that Rodowick argues is worth pursuing, caring for, and preserving. This original work thinks with and beyond Arendt about the importance of the humanities and what “the humanities” amounts to beyond the walls of the university.
Rhetorically charged debates over theory have divided scholars of the humanities for decades. In Elegy for Theory, D. N. Rodowick steps back from well-rehearsed arguments pro and con to assess why theory has become such a deeply contested concept. Far from lobbying for a return to the "high theory" of the 1970s and 1980s, he calls for a vigorous dialogue on what should constitute a new, ethically inflected philosophy of the humanities.
Rodowick develops an ambitiously cross-disciplinary critique of theory as an academic discourse, tracing its historical displacements from ancient concepts of theoria through late modern concepts of the aesthetic and into the twentieth century. The genealogy of theory, he argues, is constituted by two main lines of descent—one that goes back to philosophy and the other rooted instead in the history of positivism and the rise of the empirical sciences. Giving literature, philosophy, and aesthetics their due, Rodowick asserts that the mid-twentieth-century rise of theory within the academy cannot be understood apart from the emergence of cinema and visual studies. To ask the question, "What is cinema?" is to also open up in new ways the broader question of what is art.
At a moment when university curriculums are everywhere being driven by scientism and market forces, Elegy for Theory advances a rigorous argument for the importance of the arts and humanities as transformative, self-renewing cultural legacies.
Theory has been an embattled discourse in the academy for decades. But now it faces a serious challenge from those who want to model the analytical methods of all scholarly disciplines on the natural sciences. What is urgently needed, says D. N. Rodowick, is a revitalized concept of theory that can assess the limits of scientific explanation and defend the unique character of humanistic understanding.
Philosophy’s Artful Conversation is a timely and searching examination of theory’s role in the arts and humanities today. Expanding the insights of his earlier book, Elegy for Theory, and drawing on the diverse thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. H. von Wright, P. M. S. Hacker, Richard Rorty, and Charles Taylor, Rodowick provides a blueprint of what he calls a “philosophy of the humanities.” In a surprising and illuminating turn, he views the historical emergence of theory through the lens of film theory, arguing that aesthetics, literary studies, and cinema studies cannot be separated where questions of theory are concerned. These discourses comprise a conceptual whole, providing an overarching model of critique that resembles, in embryonic form, what a new philosophy of the humanities might look like.
Rodowick offers original readings of Gilles Deleuze and Stanley Cavell, bringing forward unexamined points of contact between two thinkers who associate philosophical expression with film and the arts. A major contribution to cross-disciplinary intellectual history, Philosophy’s Artful Conversation reveals the many threads connecting the arts and humanities with the history of philosophy.
As almost (or, truly, virtually) every aspect of making and viewing movies is replaced by digital technologies, even the notion of “watching a film” is fast becoming an anachronism. With the likely disappearance of celluloid film stock as a medium, and the emergence of new media competing for an audience, what will happen to cinema—and to cinema studies? In the first of two books exploring this question, D. N. Rodowick considers the fate of film and its role in the aesthetics and culture of moviemaking and viewing in the twenty-first century.
Here Rodowick proposes and examines three different critical responses to the disappearance of film in relation to other time-based media, and to the study of contemporary visual culture. Film, he suggests, occupies a special place in the genealogy of the arts of the virtual: while film disappears, cinema persists—at least in the narrative forms imagined by Hollywood since 1915. Rodowick also observes that most so-called “new media” are fashioned upon a cinematic metaphor. His book helps us see how digital technologies are serving, like television and video before them, to perpetuate the cinematic as the mature audiovisual culture of the twentieth century—and, at the same time, how they are preparing the emergence of a new audiovisual culture whose broad outlines we are only just beginning to distinguish.
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