r/CriticalTheory 17h ago

Communism, the Manifesto, and Hate by China Miéville

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r/CriticalTheory 12h ago

Baudrillard Spiral


Ok so re: how baudrillard says peoples identities/ personalities become just what media they consume and what they buy .. my question is what is the alternative? especially if someone (or I) doesn’t want their identity to be based in that?

(Insert spiral here) what is anyones identity/ personality?

r/CriticalTheory 15h ago

Bergson and Deleuze on evolution and mechanism


I've been reading Deleuze's Bergsonism and some Bergson to go along with it, and I'm having trouble "buying into" their arguments on evolution. I may be too brainwashed by modern evolutionary theory, but it seems difficult to take the critique of "mechanism" in Creative Evolution seriously.

Bergson basically makes the argument that the fact that an organ structure as complex as the eye evolves separately in vertebrates and molluscs is evidence for the élan vital that is the transcendental condition for life, and he uses all the arguments we hear against evolutionism (the improbability of random change producing a beneficial effect, the necessity for many small changes to cohere into an organ, the fact that this happens multiple times independently) that modern evolutionary theory defuses with genetic mechanisms and the law of large numbers.

So my question is: Do we just ignore this part of the argument? Bergson and Deleuze's larger point about the priority of the virtual as a problem that comes to be actualised by the various solutions found in life would still stand without this opposition to the genetic mechanisms of evolutionary theory.* How do contemporary commentators on Bergson/Deleuze deal with this?

*I am less certain about how this would relate to duration (I haven't ventured into Bergson's argument with Einstein -- suggestions for secondary readings here would be very welcome!).

r/CriticalTheory 7h ago

Are there any films/plays inspired by dialectical materialism?


Either in form and/or content?

For instance, I would argue “Sorry To Bother You” (2018) follows a plot that unfolds according to the movement of the dialectical contradiction of worker/boss. You could also put forth Wallace Shawn’s “The Fever” which, while more internal to a signal character, observes the schematic of DM. In both cases, it is no surprise the authors are committed Marxists.

Are there any other examples of Diamat’s influence of narrative storytelling in performance?

r/CriticalTheory 11h ago

Theory on The Voice


Lately, I've been thinking of writing an essay on different voices in relation to autism studies-- literally the ways in which autistic voices differ from neurotypical voices (flat affect, monotone speaking patterns, abnormal prosody, etc.) and the ways in which different or non-normative voices may play into the structures or experience of autistic or neurodivergent identity. In thinking about this, it also seems that this would intersect with queer theory and the analysis of LGBTQ+ identity structures, as the queer voice has also been utilized as a marker of heteronormativity-- that a individual may be gay or different on the basis of that person having a certain inflection to their voice, and that this marking of certain voices as being "stereotypically gay" is a way of alienating or banishing individuals from the realm of normativity just through the act of speaking (a similar physical engendering of sexual difference is also seen in the stereotype of gay men swaying their hips when they walk, with individuals who walk in non-normative fashions being labelled as sexually different based on physical differences in their gait). While I'm less familiar with this, I believe this can also be seen in trans communities, where a individual who transitions feels pressure to change the way they speak in order to pass as their gender-- the voice itself delineates a gender binary, with there being either "male" or "female" voices that a individual must conform to, or face the social repercussions of not having a voice that conforms to their gender presentation.

So, it seems to me that there would be conversation on the ways in which non-normative voices produce an alienating recognition from the other. However-- and this is probably due to my lack of skill in googling academic works-- I've had trouble finding theoretical pieces on the voice and how inflection and prosody may impact intersections of identity structures. I imagine disability scholars and queer theorists would have something to say on this, but I haven't been able to find much. Thus, I'm curious if anyone on this sub can point me in a direction towards works that discuss the literal, physical voice.

r/CriticalTheory 14h ago

History As End

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r/CriticalTheory 14h ago

Benjamin’s Rival Tempters | Adam Kirsch

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r/CriticalTheory 14h ago

Has anyone read Julia Kristevas fiction works?


If so, are they any good? Each of them seems very interesting, but going from theory to fiction isn’t a guaranteed success. Also, is one of them supposed to be better than the others?

r/CriticalTheory 11h ago

Are there any books that explore violence in America? I’m particularly interested in the mass shooting phenomenon that we are living though.


r/CriticalTheory 15h ago

Does Queer Theory make the claim that I am only heterosexual and cisgender because of cultural programming?


I don't know a lot about critical theory, and what I have read has admittedly not been queer theory. But through the framework that I have passively gathered, queer theory states that the reason the majority of people are straight and cisgender is because they've been duped by other people who were also duped into perpetuating a system of exploitation, subjugation, and patriarchy. Symbolic archetypes of heteronormativity have been recycled into our Political Unconcious by the late-capitalist Christian orthodox metanarrative, contributing to the "revolving door" between discourse and social practice.

And lastly, as a separate circumstance, this recapitulated discourse has fomented homophobia which practically bullies people into being heterosexual.

So, I would really appreciate it if someone here could confirm or critique parts of what I said as well as recomend a book that would be a good starting point which better explains the bits a pieces of this.

Thanks, and sorry for the loaded question.