Publics and Counterpublics
Distributed for Zone Books
An investigation of how the idea of a public as a central fiction of modern life informs our literature, politics, and culture.
Most of the people around us belong to our world not directly, as kin or comrades, but as strangers. How do we recognize them as members of our world? We are related to them as transient participants in common publics. Indeed, most of us would find it nearly impossible to imagine a social world without publics. In the eight essays in this book, Michael Warner addresses the question: What is a public? According to Warner, the idea of a public is one of the central fictions of modern life. Publics have powerful implications for how our social world takes shape, and much of modern life involves struggles over the nature of publics and their interrelations. The idea of a public contains ambiguities, even contradictions. As it is extended to new contexts, politics, and media, its meaning changes in ways that can be difficult to uncover. Combining historical analysis, theoretical reflection, and extensive case studies, Warner shows how the idea of a public can reframe our understanding of contemporary literary works and politics and of our social world in general. In particular, he applies the idea of a public to the junction of two intellectual traditions: public-sphere theory and queer theory.
HardcoverOut of Print ISBN: 9781890951283 336 pp. | 9 in x 6 in
Paperback$24.95 T ISBN: 9781890951290 336 pp. | 9 in x 6 in
With Michael Warner's Publics and Counterpublics, that growing discourse on what constitutes a public (and counterpublic) takes a giant step forward in a provocative collection of eight thematically linked essays that draw upon the author's wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary knowledge.
Magill's Literary Annual