This volume explores the relationship among beauty, violence, and representation in a broad range of artistic and cultural texts, including literature, visual art, theatre, film, and music.
Charting diversifying interests in the subject of violence and beauty, dealing with the multiple inflections of these questions and representing a spectrum of voices, the volume takes its place in a growing body of recent critical work that takes violence and representation as its object. This collection offers a unique opportunity, however, to address a significant gap in the critical field, for it seeks to interrogate specifically the nexus or interface between beauty and violence. While other texts on violence make use of regimes of representation as their subject matter and consider the effects of aestheticization, beauty as a critical category is conspicuously absent. Furthermore, the book aims to "rehabilitate" beauty, implicitly conceptualized as politically or ethically regressive by postmodern anti-aesthetics cultural positions, and further facilitate its come-back into critical discourse.
Introduction: Beauty, Representation, Violence Lisa Dickson & Maryna Romanets Part I: Histories 1. "Þus for thy goode I shedde my bloode": Violence and Beauty in the Late Medieval English Biblical Cycles Leanne Groeneveld 2. Staging Beauty; or, A History of Violence: Rending the Aesthetic in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Compleat Female Stage Beauty Deneen Senasi 3. Beauty, Violence, and the East: Paradigms of Femininity in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century British Women’s Oriental Narratives Marianna D’Ezio 4. "Hearts as innocent as hers": The Drowned Woman in Victorian Literature and Art Lynn Alexander Part II: Aesthetics 5. Violence and Beauty: Jacques Lacan’s Antigone Andrew Slade 6."All beauty must die": The Aesthetics of Murder, from Thomas De Quincey to Nick Cave David McInnis 7. Environmentality and Air Travel Disasters: Representing the Violence of Plane Crashes Christopher Schaberg Part III: Resistance 8. Deconstructing Neoliberalism: Sledgehammering the End of History Robert Bennett 9. A Queer Craving: Muscle and the Dynamics of Beauty, Homoerotic Desire, and Sadomasochism in Japanese Gay Pink Cinema Mark DeStephano 10. Subversion of the Violent Gaze: Sins Invalid and the Aesthetics of Disabled Bodies Tara Wood 11. Coming Home from Iraq: Women Warriors and Feminine Vistas of Violence Elizabeth Bonjean