The face is central to contemporary politics. In Deleuze and Guattari’s work on faciality we find an assertion that the face is a particular politics, and dismantling the face is also a politics.
This book explores the politics of such diverse issues as images and faces in photographs and portraits; expressive faces; psychology and neuroscience; face recognition; face blindness; facial injury, disfigurement and face transplants through questions such as:
- What it might mean to dismantle the face, and what politics this might entail, in practical terms?
- What sort of a politics is it?
- Is it already taking place?
- Is it a politics that is to be desired, a better politics, a progressive politics?
The book opens up a vast field of further research that needs to be taken forward to begin to address the politics of the face more fully, and to elaborate the alternative forms of personhood and politics that dismantling the face opens to view. The book will be agenda-setting for scholars located in the field of international politics in particular but cognate areas as well who want to pursue the implications of face politics for the crucial questions of subjectivity, sovereignty and personhood.
Introduction, 1. Faces in Photographs, 2. Moving Faces, 3. From Face Capture to Face Blindness, 4. Facelessness: Another Politics?
'An extraordinary and beautifully written study of the politics of the face. Building on her earlier Missing: Persons and Politics, Jenny Edkins unpacks in masterful detail the implications of Deleuze and Guattari's claim that 'the face is a politics'. How does the face relate to personality and individuality, images and imagination, to subjectivity and the self? These are some of the questions examined in this book. Setting an agenda, and the standards for following it, Face Politics is an urgent and crucial addition to Edkins's already substantial work.' - Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography, University of Warwick, UK.
'In this remarkable cross-disciplinary tour de force Jenny Edkins places the face at the center of politics. We now see ourselves no longer as singular and autonomous beings, but as inherently interconnected. A must read.' - Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland, Australia.
'Face Politics is a remarkably innovative investigation. It's philosophically profound, politically astute, data rich, and (in the Edkins style) empathically written.' - Michael J. Shapiro, Professor of Political Science, University of Hawai'i, Manoa