Rancière′s Sentiments

Rancière′s Sentiments
Book Pages: 160 Illustrations: 6 illustrations Published: February 2018

Author: Davide Panagia

Cultural Studies, Politics > Political Theory, Theory and Philosophy > Critical Theory

In Rancière’s Sentiments Davide Panagia explores Jacques Rancière’s aesthetics of politics as it informs his radical democratic theory of participation. Attending to diverse practices of everyday living and doing—of form, style, and scenography—in Rancière’s writings, Panagia characterizes Rancière as a sentimental thinker for whom the aesthetic is indistinguishable from the political. Rather than providing prescriptions for political judgment and action, Rancière focuses on how sensibilities and perceptions constitute dynamic relations between persons and the worlds they create. Panagia traces this approach by examining Rancière’s modernist sensibilities, his theory of radical mediation, the influence of Gustave Flaubert on Rancière’s literary voice, and how Rancière juxtaposes seemingly incompatible objects and phenomena to create moments of sensorial disorientation. The power of Rancière’s work, Panagia demonstrates, lies in its ability to leave readers with a disjunctive sensibility of the world and what political thinking is and can be.


“To understand Rancière, Panagia argues, is to set aside the search for prescriptive constructs and instead embrace the aesthetic sensibilities that create the world. Recommended.” — L. A. Wilkinson, Choice

"Against the politics of belonging that infuses so much democratic theory today, Davide Panagia offers a characteristically bold reading of Rancière that makes us feel the force of a very different path to emancipatory democratic politics. Grounded in an aesthetics and politics of impropriety, Rancière's Sentiments shows the transformative potential of the unauthorized sensibilities, words, and acts of those who 'have no part' in the scenes of democratic politics conventionally conceived. An exciting piece of work." — Sharon R. Krause, author of Freedom beyond Sovereignty: Reconstructing Liberal Individualism

"Proposing a singular and provocative reading of Rancière's oeuvre, Davide Panagia refuses hermeneutics in favor of a focus on dispositions, style, modes of appearance, and arrangement of things that acknowledges the permanence and ubiquity of division while illuminating the productivity, playfulness, and generative quality of lines of division. Panagia offers a reading that seeks to be faithful to the disjunctive moments that inspire Rancière's writings, celebrating scenes of change rather than engagement in philosophical interpretation. Panagia's Rancière does not hold out a theory to overcome inequalities. In its stead Panagia's reading makes visible the power of the makings and doings of anyone and everyone in transforming sensibilities, opening up new possibilities of imagination: in short, enacting the aesthetics of politics." — Aletta J. Norval, author of Aversive Democracy: Inheritance and Originality in the Democratic Tradition


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Davide Panagia is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of The Political Life of Sensation and The Poetics of Political Thinking, both also published by Duke University Press, as well as Ten Theses for an Aesthetics of Politics.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface  vii
Acknowledgments  xiii
Introduction. The Manner of Impropriety  1
1. Rancière's Partager  19
2. Rancière's Police Poetics  40
3. Rancière's Style  63
4. Rancière's Democratic Realism  85
Conclusion. Demotic Modernisms, Popular Occupations   99
Notes  105
Bibliography  129
Index  137
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper: 978-0-8223-7022-2 / Cloth: 978-0-8223-7013-0