The Art of Global Power: Artwork and Popular Cultures as World-Making Practices, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Art of Global Power

Artwork and Popular Cultures as World-Making Practices, 1st Edition

Edited by Emily Merson


208 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138388284
pub: 2020-02-27
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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.

Table of Contents


Artwork and Popular Cultures as World-Making Practices

Emily Merson

Section One – 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’

Armağan Teke and Jessica Jurgutis

Chapter 3. Interracial Picturesque: Lorraine O’Grady’s History of the Americas

Andil Gosine

Section Two –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

Section Three – Creative Methods as World Politics

Chapter 7. The Praxis of Intersectional Curating: The World, the Street, the Hand

Vicky Moufawad-Paul

About the Editor

Emily Merson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Regina, Canada. 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).

About the Series

Popular Culture and World Politics

The Popular Culture World Politics (PCWP) book series is the forum for leading interdisciplinary research that explores the profound and diverse interconnections between popular culture and world politics. It aims to bring further innovation, rigor, and recognition to this emerging sub-field of international relations.

To these ends, the PCWP series is interested in various themes, from the juxtaposition of cultural artefacts that are increasingly global in scope and regional, local and domestic forms of production, distribution and consumption; to the confrontations between cultural life and global political, social, and economic forces; to the new or emergent forms of politics that result from the rescaling or internationalization of popular culture.

Similarly, the PCWP series wishes to provide a venue for work that explores the effects of new technologies and new media on established practices of representation and the making of political meaning. It encourages engagement with popular culture as a means for contesting powerful narratives of particular events and political settlements as well as explorations of the ways that popular culture informs mainstream political discourse. The PCWP series promotes investigation into how popular culture contributes to changing perceptions of time, space, scale, identity, and participation while establishing the outer limits of what is popularly understood as ‘political’ or ‘cultural’.

In addition to film, television, literature, and art, the PCWP series actively encourages research into diverse artefacts including sound, music, food cultures, gaming, design, architecture, programming, leisure, sport, fandom and celebrity. The series is fiercely pluralist in its approaches to the study of popular culture and world politics and is interested in the past, present, and future cultural dimensions of hegemony, resistance and power.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General