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 It includes two outstanding essays by Baudrillard: a remarkable, previously unpublished work entitled ‘The vanishing point of communication,’ and one of Baudrillard’s final texts, ‘On disappearance’, a veritable tour de force that serves as a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.
Table of Contents
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
David B. Clarke is Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Centre for Urban Theory at Swansea University. His research focuses on social theory and urban space. His publications include The Consumer Society and the Postmodern City, The Cinematic City, and The Consumption Reader.
Marcus Doel is Professor of Human Geography, Head of the School of the Environment and Society, and Co-director of the Centre for Urban Theory at Swansea University. He is the author of Poststructuralist Geographies (Edinburgh University Press), and has written widely on poststructuralism and space.
William Merrin is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at Swansea University. He is the author of Baudrillard and the Media (2005). His research and teaching interests centre on media theory, new media, cyberculture, media history, and popular music.
Richard G. Smith is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Theory at Swansea University. He has published extensively on poststructuralism, urban theory and global cities. His work has been widely cited in academic publications and in the popular press.