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Jean Baudrillard was one of the most influential, radical, and visionary thinkers of our age. His ideas have had a profound bearing on countless fields, from art and politics to science and technology. Once hailed as the high priest of postmodernity, Baudrillard’s sophisticated theoretical analyses far surpass such simplistic caricatures. Bringing together Baudrillard’s most accomplished and perceptive commentators, this book assesses his legacy for the twenty-first century. It includes two outstanding essays by Baudrillard: a remarkable, previously unpublished work entitled ‘The vanishing point of communication,’ and one of Baudrillard’s final texts, ‘On disappearance’, a veritable tour de force that serves as a culmination of his theoretical trajectory and a provocation to a new generation of thinkers. Employing Baudrillard’s key concepts, such as simulation, disappearance, and symbolic exchange, and deploying his most radical strategies, such as escalation, seduction, and fatality, the volume’s contributors offer a series of thought-provoking analyses of everything from art to politics, and from laughter to terror. It will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the fate of the world in the new millennium.
Introduction The evil genius of Jean Baudrillard David B. Clarke, Marcus A. Doel, William Merrin and Richard G. Smith 1. The vanishing point of communication Jean Baudrillard 2. On disappearance Jean Baudrillard 3. Commentaries on Jean Baudrillard’s Rex Butler, ‘On disappearance’ David B. Clarke, Marcus A. Doel,
Gary Genosko, Douglas Kellner, Mark Poster, Richard G. Smith, Andrew Wernick 4. Baudrillard’s taste Rex Butler 5. Floral tributes, binge-drinking and the Ikea riot considered as an up-hill bicycle race William Merrin 6. Better than butter: margarine and simulation Gary Genosko 7. Baudrillard and the art conspiracy Douglas Kellner 8. ‘Mirror, mirror:’ The Student of Prague in Baudrillard, Kracauer and Kittler Graeme Gilloch 9. The Gulf War revisited Philip Hammond 10. Fate of the animal Paul Hegarty 11. Reality: now and then – Baudrillard and W-Bush’s America Diane Rubenstein 12. Baudrillard’s sense of humour Mike Gane 13. The (un)sealing of the penultimate Andrew Wernick
The International Library of Sociology (ILS) is the most important series of books on sociology ever published. Founded in the 1940s by Karl Mannheim, the series became the forum for pioneering research and theory, marked by comparative approaches and the identification of new directions in sociology, publishing major figures in Anglo-American and European sociology, from Durkheim and Weber to Parsons and Gouldner, and from Ossowski and Klein to Jasanoff and Walby.
Its new editors, John Holmwood (University of Nottingham, UK) and Vineeta Sinha (National University of Singapore), plan to develop the series as a truly global project, reflecting new directions and contributions outside its traditional centres, and connecting with the original aim of the series to produce sociological knowledge that addresses pressing global social problems and supports democratic debate.