1st Edition

The Art of Global Power Artwork and Popular Cultures as World-Making Practices

Edited By Emily Merson Copyright 2020
    180 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    178 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Artwork and popular cultures are crucial sites of contesting and transforming power relationships in world politics. The contributors to this edited collection draw on their experiences across arts, activist, and academic communities to analyze how the global politics of colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy are expressed and may be transformed through popular cultures and artistic labour.

    Through their methodological treatment of artwork and popular cultures as material sites of generating aesthetic knowledge and embodying global power, the authors foreground an analysis of global hierarchies and transformative empowerment through critically engaged political imagination and cultural projects. By centralizing an intersectional analysis of the racialized, gendered, economic dimensions of the praxis of culture, The Art of Global Power demonstrates how artwork and popular culture projects, events, and institutions are vital sites of transgressing the material conditions that produce and sustain unjust global power hierarchies.

    This book intervenes in the international relations popular culture literature by problematizing the idea of a single homogenizing global popular culture and engaging with multiple popular cultures articulated from diverse global locations and worldviews. To the international relations aesthetics literature this book contributes an intersectional analysis of aesthetics as an embodied process of knowledge production and action that takes place within global conditions of colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy. This book will be of interest to students, researchers and practitioners of international relations, and gender, cultural and media studies.

    Artwork and popular cultures as world-making practices
    Emily Merson

    Part I – Artwork un/doing disciplinary boundaries
    Chapter 1. The art of crossing-over
    A. C. Imperial

    Chapter 2. Reproducing 'popular' empire: production, consumption and bodily labour in ‘America the Gift Shop’
    Armagan Teke Lloyd and Jessica Jurgutis

    Chapter 3. Interracial picturesque: Lorraine O’Grady’s history of the Americas
    Andil Gosine

    Part II – The colonial self/other and decolonial popular cultures

    Chapter 4. Pop goes the boycott
    John Greyson

    Chapter 5. Hybrid/fusion music and the cosmopolitan imaginary
    Elena Chou

    Chapter 6. Fashionably worn: Qaddafi’s radical dress and his shades
    Anna M. Agathangelou

    Part III – Creative methods as world politics

    Chapter 7. Intersectional curating: the world, the street, the hand
    Vicky Moufawad-Paul


    Emily Merson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Regina, Canada (1919-2020). Her research and teaching at the intersections of settler colonialism, Indigenous self-determination, and decolonizing global politics emphasizes the transformative power of artwork and popular cultures to unsettle international relations theories of power and popular imaginations of sovereignty. She is the author of a journal article published in Millennium: Journal of International Studies entitled "International Art World and Transnational Artwork: Creative Presence in Rebecca Belmore’s Fountain at the Venice Biennale" (2017), and a forthcoming book entitled Creative Presence: Settler Colonialism, Indigenous Self-Determination, and Decolonial Contemporary (2020).