Critical Studies News

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Guilty: Le Coupable
State University of New York Press, 2011
Hardcover/paperback, 254 pages, $85/$29.95

Written by Georges Bataille and translated for the first time into English by Critical Studies faculty Stuart Kendall, Guilty: Le Coupable is a personal record of spiritual and communal crisis, wherein the death of god announces the beginning of friendship. To many Western critics, Bataille is one of the most arresting and influential writers of this century. The text is presented as series of reflections and meditations. Tellingly begun in September 1939, the author's philosophical inquiries are heightened by the war and its introduction of profound uncertainty: "I started this book as the result of an upheaval that ended up challenging everything and freed me from undertakings I was stuck in."

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Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy
Continuum, 2011
Hardcover, 240 pages, $130

Terrence Malick's four feature films have been celebrated by critics and adored as instant classics among film aficionados, but the body of critical literature devoted to them has remained surprisingly small in comparison to Malick's stature in the world of contemporary film. Critical Studies faculty Stuart Kendall edits this volume in which Malick's films are discussed as individual objects, as a corpus, within contemporary film studies, and within a wider cultural discussion. Each of the essays is grounded in film studies, philosophical inquiry, and the emerging field of scholarship that combines the two disciplines.

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Ends of Art and Design
Infra-Thin Press, 2011
Paperback, 108 pages, $14.75

The design arts are to our age of experience what the fine arts were to the era of representation, but with crucial differences. Whereas the fine arts offered critical-reflective experiences to independent subjects within the era of representation, the design fields now produce experience-events in a post-subjective world. Stuart Kendall (Visual Studies faculty) proposes a new way to think about the relationship between design and culture as well as new roles for design education within the Humanities, and for the Humanities within design education. If the design fields are the primary agents of contemporary culture, they should be the primary focus of contemporary cultural studies.

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Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Gender and Activism in a Little Magazine
Ashgate, 2011
Hardcover, 194 pages, $104.95

Interweaving nuanced discussions of politics, visuality, and gender, Director of Humanities and Sciences Rachel Schreiber uncovers the complex ways that gender figures into the graphic satire created by artists for the New York-based socialist journal, the Masses. This exceptional magazine was published between 1911 and 1917, during an unusually radical decade in American history and featured cartoons drawn by artists of the Ashcan School and others, addressing questions of politics, gender, labor, and class. Rather than viewing art from the Masses primarily in terms of its critical social stances or aesthetic choices, however, this study uses these images to open up new ways of understanding the complexity of early-20th-century viewpoints.

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Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Where a road had been
BlazeVOX, 2010
Paperback, 68 pages, $16

This is the first book by Writing and Literature faculty member Matt Shears. Cal Bedient says: "Matt Shears enters American poetry already far to the fore, just perceptible at the limit of a strenuous, refined thinking about the dirt and destructions of new beginnings.

At once super-sophisticated and an American original, Shears comes out of Gertrude Stein via the great late-20th century French thought about the constant coverings-up of language ('they were always covering up. / what they were saying, and so baroque'), and about the torsions and wipings-away, the fear and the featherings, in any attempt to arrive at (to be) the new, there 'where dis-covery [is] becoming. / in a fledgling sky, with a destructible wing.' Once or twice he tantalizes the reader with the possibility that the new might actually be, despite history, a pure 'yes / hosanna / hello'; but in the main, he's a tough-minded realist."

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Posted on Sunday, June 20, 2010 by Jim Norrena

(l to r) CCA chairs Julian Carter, Melinda L. de Jesús, and Tirza Latimer at the diversity conference [photo: Jim Norrena]

The “Doing ‘Diversity’: Making It or Faking It?” conference was the first-of-its-kind, all-day planning and discussion meeting devoted specifically to the issues of diversity representation and celebration here at California College of the Arts. The discussion panels laid the groundwork for the college to ratchet up its commitment to fostering greater diversity at CCA.

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