1st Edition

Critical Theory and New Materialisms

Edited By Hartmut Rosa, Christoph Henning, Arthur Bueno Copyright 2021
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    Bringing together authors from two intellectual traditions that have, so far, generally developed independently of one another – critical theory and new materialism – this book addresses the fundamental differences and potential connections that exist between these two schools of thought. With a focus on some of the most pressing questions of contemporary philosophy and social theory – in particular, those concerning the status of long-standing and contested separations between matter and life, the biological and the symbolic, passivity and agency, affectivity and rationality – it shows that recent developments in both traditions point to important convergences between them and thus prepare the ground for a more direct confrontation and cross-fertilization. The first volume to promote a dialogue between critical theory and new materialism, this collection explores the implications for contemporary debates on ecology, gender, biopolitics, post-humanism, economics and aesthetics. As such, it will appeal to philosophers, social and political theorists, and sociologists with interests in contemporary critical theory and materialism.

    1. Introduction: Critical Theory and New Materialisms: Fit, Strain, or Contradiction?

    Hartmut Rosa, Christoph Henning and Arthur Bueno

    Part 1: Nature in/of Critical Theory

    2. Comprehending Society’s "Other": Nature in Critical Theory

    Arne Johan Vetlesen

    3. Sovereign Territory and the Domination over Nature

    Petra Gümplová

    4. Resonance and Critical Theory

    Charles Taylor

    5. Responsive Encounters: Latour’s Modes of Being and the Sociology of World-Relations

    Hartmut Rosa

    Part 2: The Powers of Matter, Life, and Affect

    6. Power, Affect, Society: Critical Theory and the Challenges of (Neo-)Spinozism

    Martin Saar

    7. Transindividuality: The Affective Continuity of the Social in Spinoza

    Kerstin Andermann

    8. The Paradox of Capacity and the Power of Beauty

    Christoph Menke

    9. Life as the Subject of Society: Critical Vitalism as Critical Social Theory

    Heike Delitz

    10. Pathology and Vitality: On the Crisis of Modern Life-Forms

    Arthur Bueno

    Part 3: Critique in/of New Materialism

    11. Doing Justice to That Which Matters: Subjectivity and the Politics of New Materialism

    Rick Dolphijn

    12. Reading after Barad (and Blumenberg): Diffraction and Human Agency

    Kai Merten

    13. Adventures in Anti-Fascist Aesthetics

    Claire Blencowe

    14. Visiting Artists with Latour: The Materiality of Artistic Practices and the Claims of Critical Theory

    Christoph Henning

    15. Materialism, Energy and Acceleration: New Materialism vs. Critical Theory on the Momentum of Modernity

    Elmar Flatschart


    Hartmut Rosa is Professor of Sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and Director of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He is the author of Resonance: A Sociology of the Relationship to the World and Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity and the coeditor of Lost in Perfection: Impacts of Optimisation on Culture and Psyche.

    Christoph Henning is Philosophy Fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany. He is the author of Philosophy after Marx: 100 Years of Misreadings and the Normative Turn in Political Philosophy and the coeditor of The Good life beyond Growth: New Perspectives and Social Capital, Social Identities: From Ownership to Belonging.

    Arthur Bueno is Lecturer and Research Fellow at the University of Frankfurt, Visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo and President of the Georg Simmel Gesellschaft in Bielefeld, Germany. He is the author of Economies of Life: Simmel on Money and Art and the coeditor of De-Centering Global Social Theory and Research: The Peripheral Turn in Sociology.