Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime

Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime

by Mark Canuel


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Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime by Mark Canuel

In the past ten years, theorists from Elaine Scarry to Roger Scruton have devoted renewed attention to the aesthetic of beauty. Part of their discussions claim that beauty—because it arises from a sense of proportion, symmetry, or reciprocity—provides a model for justice. Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime makes a significant departure from this mode of thinking.

Mark Canuel argues that the emphasis on beauty unwittingly reinforces, in the name of justice, the constraints of uniformity and conventionality. He calls for a more flexible and inclusive connection between aesthetics and justice, one founded on the Kantian concept of the sublime. The sublime captures the roles that asymmetry, complaint, and disagreement play in a complete understanding of a just society—a point, the author maintains, that was appreciated by a number of Romantic writers, including Mary Shelley.

Canuel draws interesting connections between the debate about beauty and justice and issues in cosmopolitanism, queer theory, and animal studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421405872
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 05/17/2012
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark Canuel is professor and the head of the English department at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the author of The Shadow of Death: Romanticism, Literature, and the Subject of Punishment.

Table of Contents

1. Beautiful People
2. Justic and the Romantic Sublime
3. The Reparative Impulse
4. Biopolitics and the Sublime
5. Aesthetics and Animal Theory

What People are Saying About This

Colin Jager

"Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime sits at the intersection of literary studies and political theory. This alone makes it an important contribution to several interrelated discussions. This book makes a powerful argument for the importance of Romanticism in contemporary thinking."

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