The French philosopher Jacques Rancière has influenced disciplines from history and philosophy to political theory, literature, art history, and film studies. His research into nineteenth-century workers’ archives, reflections on political equality, critique of the traditional division between intellectual and manual labor, and analysis of the place of literature, film, and art in modern society have all constituted major contributions to contemporary thought. In this collection, leading scholars in the fields of philosophy, literary theory, and cultural criticism engage Rancière’s work, illuminating its originality, breadth, and rigor, as well as its place in current debates. They also explore the relationships between Rancière and the various authors and artists he has analyzed, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Flaubert, Rossellini, Auerbach, Bourdieu, and Deleuze.
The contributors to this collection do not simply elucidate Rancière’s project; they also critically respond to it from their own perspectives. They consider the theorist’s engagement with the writing of history, with institutional and narrative constructions of time, and with the ways that individuals and communities can disturb or reconfigure what he has called the “distribution of the sensible.” They examine his unique conception of politics as the disruption of the established distribution of bodies and roles in the social order, and they elucidate his novel account of the relationship between aesthetics and politics by exploring his astute analyses of literature and the visual arts. In the collection’s final essay, Rancière addresses some of the questions raised by the other contributors and returns to his early work to provide a retrospective account of the fundamental stakes of his project.
Contributors. Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Bruno Bosteels, Yves Citton, Tom Conley, Solange Guénoun, Peter Hallward, Todd May, Eric Méchoulan, Giuseppina Mecchia, Jean-Luc Nancy, Andrew Parker, Jacques Rancière, Gabriel Rockhill, Kristin Ross, James Swenson, Rajeshwari Vallury, Philip Watts