Rita Felski, Stephen Muecke (dir.)
Latour and the Humanities
John Hopkins University Press
How does the work of influential theorist Bruno Latour offer a fresh angle on the practices and purposes of the humanities?
In recent years, defenses of the humanities have tended to argue along predictable lines: the humanities foster empathy, the humanities encourage critical thinking, the humanities offer a counterweight to the cold calculations of the natural and social sciences. The essays in Latour and the Humanities take a different approach. Exploring the relevance of theorist Bruno Latour's work, they argue for attachments and entanglements between the humanities and the sciences while looking closely at the interests, institutions, and intellectual projects that shape the humanities within and beyond the university.
The collection, which is written by a group of highly distinguished scholars from around the world, is divided into two sections. In the first part, authors engage in depth with Latour's work while also rethinking the ties between the humanities and the sciences. Essays argue for greater attention to the nonhuman world, the urgency of climate change, and more nuanced views of universities as institutions. The second half of the volume contains essays that reflect on Latour's influence on the practices of specific disciplines, including art, the digital humanities, film studies, and political theory.
Inspiring conversation about the relevance of actor-network-theory for research and teaching in the humanities, Latour and the Humanities offers a substantial introduction to Latour's work while discussing the humanities without falling back on the genres of either the sermon or the jeremiad. This volume will be of interest to all those searching for fresh perspectives on the value and importance of humanistic disciplines and thought.
Introduction, by Rita Felski
I. What Do the Humanities Do?
1. Stephen Muecke, An Ecology of Institutions: Recomposing the Humanities 00
2. Antoine Hennion, From ANT to Pragmatism: A Journey with Bruno Latour at the CSI 00
3. Graham Harman, Demodernizing the Humanities with Latour
4. Heather Love, Care, Concern, and the Ethics of Description
5. Anders Blok and Casper Bruun Jensen, Redistributing Critique
6. Steven Connor, Decomposing the Humanities
7. Dipesh Chakrabarty, Humanities in the Anthropocene: The Crisis of an Enduring Kantian Fable
8. Yves Citton, Fictional Attachments and Literary Weavings in the Anthropocene
9. Simon During, Are the Humanities Modern?
10. Nigel Thrift, The University of Life
II. Latour and the Disciplines
11. David J. Alworth, Critique, Modernity, Society, Agency: Matters of Concern in Literary Studies
12. Claudia Breger, Cinematic Assemblies: Latour and Film Studies
13. Michael Witmore, Latour, the Digital Humanities, and the Divided Kingdom of Knowledge
14. Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Anthropotheology: Latour Speaking Religiously
15. Gerard de Vries, Politics Is a "Mode of Existence": Why Political Theorists Should Leave Hobbes for Montesquieu
16. Patrice Maniglier, Art as Fiction: Can Latour's Ontology of Art Be Ratified by Art Lovers? (An Exercise in Anthropological Diplomacy
17. Francis Halsall, Actor-Network Aesthetics: The Conceptual Rhymes of Bruno Latour and Contemporary Art
Life among Conceptual Characters, by Bruno Latour