From Hegel to Madonna: Towards a General Economy of

From Hegel to Madonna: Towards a General Economy of "Commodity Fetishism"

by Robert Miklitsch



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From Hegel to Madonna: Towards a General Economy of "Commodity Fetishism" by Robert Miklitsch

Moves from the discourses of dialectical negation to cultural-populist affirmation—that is, from Hegel to Madonna Studies—in order to envision a mode of critique that can persuasively describe and explain the cultural contradictions of late capitalism.

From Hegel to Madonna presents a genealogical survey of the discourses of negation and affirmation associated with the work of Hegel, Adorno, Deleuze, and Guattari; then, rotating from the philosophical to the political-economic axis, turns to the problem of a general economy of "commodity-fetishism." Drawing on the work of Marx and Freud, Miklitsch mobilizes a new, renewed understanding of "commodity fetishism"—what he calls the commodity-body-sign—in order to examine received notions of consumption and commodification. The aim is to envision a dialectical mode of critique, at once critical and affirmative, that can account for the cultural contradictions of late capitalism. The author also analyzes the phenomenon of Madonna Studies, reading the interest in the pop star as a sign of the academic times, a symptomatic figure not only of cultural studies in all its celebratory, cultural-populist excess but of a critical discourse responsive to postmodern culture in all its politically complex mutability.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791435397
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 02/28/1998
Series: SUNY series in Postmodern Culture Series
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Robert Miklitsch is Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University.

Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations

Excursion: Triptik

Introduction: From Adorno to the Clash

"Into the Groove": Dance, Distraction, Reproduction

The Body in Adorno, Adorno's Body

The Body in Dance

After Hegel: From Adorno to Barthes

General Economics

The Work of Affirmation


Vox Pop Theory

Part One:
From Negation to Affirmation

Working in and for the Negative: On Hegel's Dialectic

Late Hegelianism: On Adorno's Negative Dialectics

Affirming Affirmation: On Nietzsche and Deleuze and Guattari

Transit: From Negation/Affirmation to Critical Affirmation

Part Two:
The Commodity-Body-Sign

Turn: From "Affirmative Culture" to the Hysteria of Castration

Freud, Marx, Baudrillard, or That "Surplus" Which Is Sign-Value

Commodity-as-Art, Art-as-Commodity: Warhol's Coca-Cola Bottles, Shoes and Soup Cans

Hard-Core Commodity Aesthetics: Warhol's Sticky Fingers and the Popular-Cultural Phallus

Marx after Baudrillard: The Commodity-Body-Sign

Consumption Redux : Cultural Populism, Consummativity, and the Consumptive "Beast of Burden"

Marx avec Duchamp: Socialized Consumption and De-Commodification

Return: Contradiction, Circulation, and the Production of Sign-Value

Transit: (M)TV, The Art-Commodity in an Age of Electronic Reproduction

Part Three:
The Case of "Madonna Studies"

Corpus Delicti : The Rise of Madonna Studies

Madonna Overdrive: The Star Commodity-Body-Sign

Body of Evidence: The Fatality of Madonna Studies





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