What I’m reading… over the next few years
American graduate students in the humanities have to do this thing called qualifying exams or comprehensive exams or field exams. Which involves devising two or three reading lists of key texts for two or three chosen topics/disciplinary sub-fields — and then spending a year or so reading all or most of these books. (The topics or sub-fields are things like ’18th Century British Literature’ or ‘Baroque Sculpture’ or ‘Feminism and History’ or ‘Modern Architecture to 1975.’) And then they get tested on basic competencies in these sub-fields. The idea is that after going through the crucible of the qualifying exams, students will then be potentially capable of teaching a course or writing a textbook about two or three standard topics in their field (and hence become employable in a university).
British students don’t need to do this. Nevertheless I’ve just spent the last few months devising three (pseudo-)qualifying exam reading lists for myself. I started this half-heartedly before Cornell, then picked up steam at Cornell, and managed to more or less finish them over the last couple of weeks. Wasted time, you say? (since it’s not an official requirement for me?) Maybe. Actually it’s been really useful to draw up a map to help guide my usually very disorganized, meandering, unprogrammatic reading.
So here are my lists. I compiled them with the help of similar qualifying exam reading lists made available online by the University of Virginia, UCLA, University of Wisconsin Madison, the University of Oregon, various other online syllabi etc. The lists are huge and I don’t intend on reading everything in one year, or even within the course of my PhD, but the aim is to have familiarity with most of these books within, say, 5 years? A decade? Yikes. (I have read a number of these books already though, which helps).
MAJOR FIELD 1: FILM THEORY
WITH EMPHASIS ON EARLY CLASSICAL FILM THEORY BEFORE 1968; DELEUZE; INDEXICALITY; TEMPORALITY; MODERNITY
I’m happiest with this list — it’s just comprehensive enough and is orientated just right for my own research interests. For help with this list, see D N Rodowick’s Aesthetics and Philosophy of Film website.
Early classical film theory up to 1968, pt I: mainly French and Russian
- Vachel Lindsay, The Art of the Moving Picture (1915/1922).
- Hugo Münsterberg, Hugo Münsterberg on Film: The Photoplay: A Psychological Study and Other Writings (1916), ed. Allen Langdale (Routledge, 2002).
To get an understanding of Munsterberg’s neo-Kantianism, read The Eternal Values (1909), which is fullest account by Munsterberg of his neo-Kantian views.
— Richard Griffith’s foreword to 1970 Dover edition.
— Dudley Andrew in The Major Film Theories.
— Donald Fredericksen, The Aesthetic of Isolation in Film Theory–Hugo Münsterberg (New York: Arno, 1977), especially on HM’s neo-Kantian context.
— Mark R. Wicclair, “Film Theory and Hugo Munsterberg’s The Film: A Psychological Study, Journal of Aesthetic Education 12.3 (1978).
— Noel Carroll, “Film/Mind Analogies: The Case of Hugo Münsterberg,” (1988), reprinted in Theorizing the Moving Image (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996).
— Giuliana Bruno, “Film, Aesthetics, Science: Hugo Münsterberg’s Laboratory of Moving Images”, Grey Room, 36 (2009), 88-113; PDF on file.
— Eric Ames, “The Image of Culture–Or, What Münsterberg Saw in the Movies,” in German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America, ed. Matt Erlin and Lynne Tatlock (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005), 21-42.
- Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory and The Film Sense (essays from the 1920s to 40s).
- Sergei Eisenstein, Nonindifferent Nature (essays from the 1940s).
For commentary on Eisenstein, see:
— Jacques Aumont, Montage Eisenstein, trans. Lee Hildreth, Constance Penley, and Andrew Ross (Indiana UP, 1987).
— James Goodwin, Eisenstein, Cinema, and History (U of Illinois P, 1993). First chapter on SE’s relation to the revolution, agitprop movements, revolutionary thought, Plekhanov, etc.
— Ian Christie and Richard Taylor, eds., Eisenstein Rediscovered (Routledge, 1993) esp. Part 3 of this book on “The practice of theory”.
— Peter Wollen on Eisenstein in Signs and Meanings – see below.
— Robert Robertson, Eisenstein on The Audiovisual: The Montage of Music, Image and Sound in Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2009).
— Noel Carroll, “Eisenstein’s Philosophy of Film”, Camera Obscura, Camera Lucida: Essays in Honor of Annette Michelson, eds. Richard Allen and Malcolm Turvey (Amsterdam Univ Press, 2003).
- Dziga Vertov, Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov (essays from the 1920s), and intro by Annette Michelson.
- Richard Abel, ed., French Film Theory and Criticism: 1907-1939, Vol. 1: 1907-1929 (Princeton University Press). Read as many essays as possible, but especially:
— “Magnification”  235-241.
— “For a New Avant-Garde”  349-53.
— “Fragments of Sky”  421-422
— “The Cinema Continues” (1930) in Volume 2 of Abel; on file.
— “Photogenie and the Imponderable (1935) in Volume 2 of Abel, 188-93.
— “Bonjour Cinema and Other Writings” in Afterimage 10 (1981): 8-39; p/c on file.
— “Timeless Time” in October 3 (1977; p/c on file): 16-20.
— “The Universe Head Over Heels” in October 3 (1977; p/c on file): 20-25.
— “The Essence of Cinema” in P. Adams Sitney, ed., The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism, 24-25; p/c on file.
— “Cine-Mystique” in Millennium Film Journal 10-11 (1984): 191-93; p/c on file.
— “The Reality of Fairyland,” (from Esprit du Cinema,1955), trans. Gideon Bachman, Cinemages 2 (1956): 1-2.
— “Sound in Slow Motion,” trans. Gideon Bachmann. Cinemages 2 (1956): 3. Also translated by Robert Lamberton as “Slow-Motion Sound” in Film Sound: Theory and Practice, eds. Weis and Belton (Columbia UP, 1985), p. 143-44.
— Le Livre d’Or du Cinema, 1947-48, trans. Robert Lamberton, Anthology Film Archives notes, n.d., unpaginated.
— “A Conversation with Jean Epstein”, trans. Robert Lamberton, Anthology Film Archives.
For commentary on Jean Epstein:
– Ludovic Cortade, “Le Cinéma du diable: Jean Epstein and the Ambiguities of Subversion,” trans. Roxanne Lapidus, SubStance 34, no. 3 (2005): 3-16.
– Malcolm Turvey, “Jean Epstein’s Cinema of Immanence: The Rehabilitation of the Corporeal Eye,” October 83 (1998): 25-50.
– Malcolm Turvey, “Epstein, Bergson, and Vision”, European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova (Routledge, 2009).
– Malcolm Turvey, Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition (OUP, 2008).
– Rachel Moore, “A Different Nature”, in forthcoming University of Chicago Press volume on Jean Epstein.
– Stuart Liebman, Jean Epstein’s Early Film Theory: 1920-22, dissertation, NYU, 1980 (possibly available through ProQuest).
LOUIS DELLUC (in Abel I):
— “Beauty in the Cinema” 137-140
— “Antoine at Work” 140-42
— “Notes to Myself: La Dixieme Symphonie” 143-47
— “The Crowd” 159-65
— “Cinema: The Cold Deck” 171-72
— “Cinema: The Outlaw and His Wife” 188-89
— “Cadence” 228-29
— “From Orestes to Rio Jim” 255-58
— “Prologue” 285-91.
RICCIOTTO CANUDO (in Abel I):
— “Birth of a Sixth Art” : 58-65.
— “Reflections on the Seventh Art” : 291-302.
For commentary: Ara Merjian, “A Screen for Projection: Ricciotto Canudo’s Exponential Aesthetics and the Parisian Avant-Gardes,” in European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova (Routledge 2008).
“The Art of Cineplastics” (1922), in Abel 256-68.
- Paul Hammond, ed. The Shadow and its Shadow: Surrealist Writings on Cinema (San Francisco: City Lights, 2000). ALSO read Antonin Artaud, “Cinema and Abstraction” in Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings, trans. Helen Weaver (Berkeley: U of California P, 1988), PDF on file; AND Artaud, “The Premature Old Age of the Cinema” in Abel vol 2, 122-25; AND Andre Breton, “The First Surrealist Manifesto”, PDF on file.
NOTE: In Abel, the relevant texts on surrealism are Goudal, “Surrealism and the Cinema”  353-361 (also in Hammond); Desnos, “Fantômas, Les Vampires, Les Mystères de New York”  398-399; Artaud, “Cinema and Reality”  410-411; Desnos, “Avant-Garde Cinema”  429-431 (also in Hammond); Aron, “Films of Revolt”  432-435.
- Andre Bazin, What is Cinema?, trans. Timothy Barnard (Montreal: Caboose Books, 2009).
Plus additional essays from earlier Hugh Gray translation of What is Cinema? (vols. 1 and 2, U of California P).
Additional essays by Bazin:
— From Bazin at Work: Essays and Reviews from the Forties and Fifties, read “Cinema and Theology” (repr. in Journal of Religion and Film, on file), “The Life and Death of Superimposition” (repr. in Film Philosophy, on file), and “Farrebique or the Paradox of Realism”.
— “Death Every Afternoon” in Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema, ed. Ivone Margulies (Duke UP, 2003).
— Christopher Williams, “Bazin on Neo-Realism,” Screen 14 (Winter 1973–74): 61–68.
— Brian Henderson, “Two Types of Film Theory” [on Bazin and Eisenstein compared], Film Quarterly 24, no. 3 (1971): 33-42; pdf on file.
— Brian Henderson, “The Structure of Bazin’s Thought”, A Critique of Film Theory (1980).
— Brian Henderson, “Bazin Defended Against His Devotees”, Film Quarterly 32, no. 4 (1979): 26-37; pdf on file.
— Dudley Andrew, Andre Bazin (1978).
— Philip Rosen, “History of Image, Image of History: Subject and Ontology in Bazin”, Wide Angle 9.4 (winter 1987-88): 7-34, reprinted in Rites of Realism, ed. Margulies; different version as “Subject, Ontology, and Historicity in Bazin” in Change Mummified (U of Minnesota P, 2001).
— Daniel Morgan, “Rethinking Bazin: Ontology and Realist Aesthetics,” Critical Inquiry 32, no. 3 (2006): 441-81; pdf on file.
— Serge Daney, “The Screen of Fantasy (Bazin and Animals)”, in Rites of Realism, ed. Margulies.
— Lisabeth During, “Innocence and Ontology: The Truthfulness of Andre Bazin”, European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova (Routledge, 2009).
— Dudley Andrew and Herve Joubert-Laurencin, eds., Opening Bazin: Postwar Film Theory and Its Afterlife (OUP, 2011).
- Edgar Morin, The Cinema, or the Imaginary Man (1956; U of Minnesota P, 2005).
Early classical film theory up to 1968, pt II: Weimar/German film theory
- Bela Balázs, Visible Man (1924) and The Spirit of Film (1930), trans. Rodney Livingstone (Berghahn, 2009).
Plus additional sections from Theory of the Film: Character and Growth of a New Art (1949). From the latter, DN Rodowick’s syllabus recommends pp. 39-45, 52-77, 89-92.
AND “Filming Death”, in Movies, ed. Gilbert Adair (Penguin, 1999), 283-86.
— Dudley Andrew’s chapter on Balazs in The Major Film Theories.
— Gertrud Koch, “Béla Balázs: The Physiognomy of Things,” trans. Miriam Hansen, New German Critique 40 (1987): 167-177; pdf on file.
— Malcolm Turvey. “Balázs: Realist or Modernist?” October 115 (Winter 2006): 77-87; pdf on file.
— Hanno Loewy. “Space, Time, and ‘Rites de Passage’: Béla Balázs’ Paths to Film,” October 115 (Winter 2006): 61-76; pdf on file.
— Sabine Hake. The Cinema’s Third Machine: Writing on Film in Germany, 1907-1933. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1993. Chapter on Balázs.
- Rudolf Arnheim, Film as Art (1932). AND Arnheim’s essay “On the Nature of Photography”, Critical Inquiry 1.1 (1974; PDF on file). AND Arnheim’s essay “Art Today and the Film,” Art Journal 25.3 (Spring 1966): 242-244 (PDF on file). AND Arnheim’s essay “The Two Authenticities of the Photographic Media,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51.4 (Autumn 1993): 537-540 – PDF on file.
– Dudley Andrew, chapter on Arnheim in The Major Film Theories (OUP, 1976), 27-41.
– Noël Carroll, “Cinematic Expression: Rudolf Arnheim and the Aesthetics of Silent Film” Philosophical Problems of Classical Film Theory (Princeton U P, 1988), 17-91; on file.
– Sabine Hake, The Cinema’s Third Machine: Writing on Film in Germany, 1907-1933 (U of Nebraska P, 1993) – chapter on Arnheim.
– Ara Merjian, “Middlebrow Modernism: Rudolf Arnheim at the Crossroads of Film Theory and the Psychology of Art” in The Visual Turn: Classical Film Theory and Art History, ed. Angela Dalle Vacche (Rutgers U P, 2003).
- Walter Benjamin, from Selected Writings:
Vol I: “The Concept of Criticism in German Romanticism”, “Critique of Violence”, “The Task of the Translator”, “One Way Street”.
Vol II: “On the Present Situation of Russian Film”, “Chaplin”, “Surrealism”, “Chaplin in Retrospect”, “On the Image of Proust”, “Left-Wing Melancholy”, “Little History of Photography”, “Mickey Mouse”, “Berlin Chronicle”, “The Rigorous Study of Art”, “Doctrine of the Similar”, “On the Mimetic Faculty”, “The Author as Producer”.
Vol III: “Exchange with Adorno on ‘Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century'”, “The Formula in Which the Dialectical Structure of Film Finds Expression”, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility: Second Version”, “The Significance of Beautiful Semblance”, “The Storyteller”, “Letter from Paris (2): Painting and Photography”, “Eduard Fuchs: Collector and Historian”, “Theological-Political Fragment”, “Berlin Childhood Around 1900”.
Vol IV: “The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire”, “Exchange with Adorno on ‘The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire'”, “Review of Freund’s Photographie en France au dix-neuviéme siécle“, “Central Park”, “Exchange with Adorno on ‘The Flaneur’ Section…”, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility: Third Version”, “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”, “On the Concept of History”, “Paralipomena to ‘On the Concept of History'”.
— Miriam Hansen, “Benjamin, Cinema, Experience: ‘The Blue Flower in the Land of Technology'” in New German Critique 40 (1987): 179-224, 46pp. On file.
— Miriam Hansen, “Benjamin and Cinema: Not a One-Way Street”, Critical Inquiry 25 (1999): 306-343, 38pp. PDF on file.
— Miriam Hansen, “Room-For-Play: Benjamin’s Gamble with Cinema,” October 109 (2004): 3-45, 43pp (pdf on file).
— Miriam Hansen, “Benjamin’s Aura”, Critical Inquiry 34.2 (2008): 336-75, 40pp (pdf on file).
— Susan Buck-Morss, see below.
— Thomas Y. Levin, “Walter Benjamin and the Theory of Art History: An Introduction to ‘Rigorous Study of Art’,” October 47 (Winter 1988): 77-83.
— Andrew Benjamin, ed. Walter Benjamin and Art (Continuum, 2005); anthology of best essays on this topic, including many on the Work of Art essay.
- Siegfried Kracauer. The Mass Ornament (essays from the 1920s and 30s) – selected essays, esp. in ‘The Movies’ section.
AND Kracauer essays in Weimar Republic Sourcebooks, eds. Kaes, Jay, and Dimendberg:
– “Shelter for the Homeless” 189-90.
– “Working Women” 216-17.
– “On the Writer” 307-08.
– “Girls and Crisis” 565.
– “The Blue Angel” 630-31.
– “The Task of the Film Critic” 634-35.
– “Murder Trials and Society” 740-41.
— Miriam Hansen, “Decentric Perspectives: Kracauer’s Early Writings on Film and Mass Culture,” New German Critique 54 (1991): 47-76; pdf on file.
— Miriam Hansen, “America, Paris, the Alps: Kracauer (and Benjamin) on Cinema and Modernity” in Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life (U of California P, 1995), 362-402, 41 pp. On file.
— Heide Schlupmann, “Phenomenology of Film: On Siegfried Kracauer’s Writings of the 1920s,” New German Critique 40 (1987): 97-114; pdf on file.
— Sabine Hake, “Girls and Crisis – The Other Side of Diversion,” New German Critique 40 (1987): 147-64; pdf on file.
— Sabine Hake, The Cinema’s Third Machine: Writing on Film in Germany, 1907-1933 (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1993). Chapter on Kracauer.
— Temenuga Trifonova, “From Distraction to Indeterminacy to Distraction”, European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova (Routledge, 2009).
— Special issue of New Formations 61 (2007) on Kracauer, including essays by Janet Harbord and Esther Leslie.
- Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (1960).
— Miriam Hansen, Introduction to Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality by Siegfried Kracauer (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), vii-xlv, 39pp.
— Miriam Hansen, “’With Skin and Hair’: Kracauer’s Theory of Film, Marseille 1940,” Critical Inquiry 19, no. 3 (1993): 437-69; pdf on file.
— Heide Schlüpmann, “The Subject of Survival: On Kracauer’s Theory of Film,” New German Critique 54 (1991): 111-26; pdf on file.
— Dudley Andrew’s chapter on Kracauer as naive realist in The Major Film Theories.
— Special issue of New Formations 61 (2007) on Kracauer, including essays by Janet Harbord and Esther Leslie.
— Noel Carroll, “Kracauer’s Theory of Film“, Engaging the Moving Image (Yale UP, 2003); on file.
- Selected texts by Miriam Hansen.
On Weimar film theory and the Frankfurt School:
— Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno (U of California P, 2011).
Note that Chapter 4 is a version of “Benjamin’s Aura”, Critical Inquiry 34.2 (2008): 336-75, 40pp (pdf on file); Chapter 6 is a version of “Of Mice and Ducks: Benjamin and Adorno on Disney,” South Atlantic Quarterly 92.1 (1993): 27-61, 35 pp. (pdf on file); and Chapter 7 is a shortened and modified version of “Room-For-Play: Benjamin’s Gamble with Cinema,” October 109 (2004): 3-45, 43pp (pdf on file).
— “Of Lightning Rods, Prisms, and Forgotten Scissors: Potemkin and German Film Theory,” New German Critique 95 (2005): 162-81, 20pp.
— “Why Media Aesthetics?” Critical Inquiry 30.2 (2004): 391-95. PDF on file.
On the cinema as public sphere and as vernacular modernism:
— Introduction (“Cinema Spectatorship and Public Life”) and Part I (“Rebuilding the Tower of Babel: The Emergence of Spectatorship”) of Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Harvard UP, 1991); approx. 125 pp. total.
— “Early Cinema, Late Cinema: Permutations of the Public Sphere” in Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film (Rutgers University Press, 1995), 134-152, 19pp. On file.
— “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism”, Modernism / Modernity 6.2 (1999): 59-77, 19pp. PDF on file.
- Miscellaneous early writings on cinema, including Hans Richter and pure film:
– Hans Richter, “ The Badly Trained Sensibility” , The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism, ed. P. Adams Sitney (New York: New York U P, 1978), 22-23; pdf on file.
– Hans Richter, “Rhythm”, Little Review (Winter 1926), p. 21; pdf on file.
– Hans Richter, “Easel—Scroll—Film,” Magazine of Art (February 1952): 78-86; pdf on file.
– Hans Richter, “Film and Painting”, College Art Journal 11 (1952), pp. 10-4.
– Hans Richter, “On the Function of Film History Writing”, Film Culture 4, No. 3 (April 1958), pp. 25-26.
– Hans Richter, “ The Film as an Original Art Form” (1955), Film Culture Reader, ed. P. Adams Sitney (New York: Cooper Sq., 1970), 15-20; pdf on file.
– Hans Richter. Read excerpts from The Struggle for the Film [1934-39]. Hants: Wildwood House, 1986; pdf on file.
– Theo van Doesburg. “ Film as Pure Form”. 1929. Form 1 (1966). PDF on file.
– Georg von Lukacs, “Thoughts Toward an Aesthetics of Cinema”. 1913. Polygraph 13 (2001): 13-18. PDF on file.
– Erwin Panofsky. “Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures” [1934/1936]. Film Theory and Criticism. Eds. Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen. New York: Oxford U P, 1985. 215-233. Also in Panofsky’s Three Essays on Style.
– Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, essays in Painting, Photography, Film (1925).
– Virginia Woolf, “The Cinema” (1926) in The Captain’s Death Bed (1950). PDF on file.
– Elizabeth Bowen, “Why I Go to the Cinema”, in Footnotes to the Film, ed. Charles Davy (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1937); pdf on file.
– Theodor Adorno, “Chaplin Times Two” (1930, 1964), trans. John MacKay, Yale Journal of Criticism 9, no. 1 (1996): 57-61; pdf on file.
– Theodor Adorno, “Transparencies on Film” (1967), trans. Thomas Y. Levin, New German Critique 24/25 (1981): 199-205; pdf on file.
For commentary on some of the above, see:
– Thomas Y. Levin, “From Dialectical To Normative Specificity: Reading Lukács on Film,” New German Critique 40 (Winter 1987): 35-61.
– Thomas Y. Levin, “Iconology at the Movies: Panofsky’s Film Theory,” Yale Journal of Criticism 9, no. 1 (1996): 27-55.
– Janelle Blankenship, “Futurist Fantasies: Lukacs’ ‘Thoughts Toward an Aesthetic of the Cinema'”, Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics 13 (2001): 21-29.
Althusserian-Lacanian film theory and its discontents
For general commentary, use:
— D.N. Rodowick, Crisis of Political Modernism.
— Dudley Andrew, Concepts in Film Theory, OUP, 1984.
— Jacques Aumont, Alain Bergala, Michel Marie, and Marc Vernet, Aesthetics of Film, trans. and rev. Richard Neupart, U of Texas P, 1992. (Rodowick says: “excellent translation of key pedagogical text published in France in 1983, includes important overviews in particular of semiological approaches to film language, narrative, spectatorship, and textual analysis.”)
— Francesco Casetti, Theories of Cinema, 1945-1995, trans. Francesca Chiotri, et al., U of Texas P, 1999. (Rodowick says: “important chapters on filmology and the debates on film language and signification”.)
- Brecht on Theatre and Brecht on Film and Radio – selected essays. Colin MacCabe, “Realism and the Cinema: Notes on Some Brechtian Theses” in Screen 15.2 (1974).
- Christian Metz. Psychoanalysis and Cinema: The Imaginary Signifier (1975).
AND additional essays:
– “On the Impression of Reality in the Cinema” (1965) in Film Language (1974).
– “The Cinema: Language or Language System?” (1964), in Film Language (1974), pp. 31-91.
– “Some Points in the Semiotics of Cinema” (1966), in Film Language (1974), pp. 92-107, repr. in Film Theory and Criticism, 4th edn., eds Mast, Cohen, and Braudy, pp. 168-78.
– “Problems of Denotation in the Fiction Film” (1968), in Film Language (1974), pp. 108-146, repr. in Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology, ed. Rosen.
– “Photography and Fetish”, October 34 (1985): 81-90; pdf on file.
For commentary on Metz:
– Stephen Heath, “The Work of Christian Metz”, Screen 14.3 (1973): 5-28.
– Ben Singer, “Film, Photography, and Fetish: The Analyses of Christian Metz”, Cinema Journal 27.4 (1988): 4-22; pdf on file.
– Richard Rushton, “Cinema’s Double: Some Reflections on Metz”, Screen 43.2 (2002): 107-118.
– Christian Metz and Film Theory, Special issue (festschrift for Metz) of Iris 10 (April 1990).
- Laura Mulvey:
Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (Reaktion, 2006).
AND other selected essays:
— From Visual and Other Pleasures, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”; and “Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema'”.
— From Fetishism and Curiosity, “Introduction: Fetishisms”, “Close-ups and Commodities”, and “Pandora’s Box: Topographies of Curiosity”. Also read “Cosmetics and Abjection: Cindy Sherman 1977-1987” if you have the occasion (originally published as “A Phantasmagoria of the Female Body: The Work of Cindy Sherman” in New Left Review 188, July/August 1991).
- Philip Rosen, ed., Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader (incl. Editors of Cahiers du Cinéma, “John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln”; Colin MacCabe, “Theory and Film: Principles of Realism and Pleasure”; Julia Kristeva, “Ellipsis on Dread and the Specular Seduction”; Jean-Louis Baudry, “Ideological Effects of the Cinematographic Apparatus” and “The Apparatus: Metapsychological Approaches to the Impression of Reality in Cinema”; Jean-Louis Comolli, “Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field”; Noel Burch, “Primitivism and the Avant-Gardes”).
AND Jean-Louis Comolli, “Machines of the Visible” in The Cinematic Apparatus (1980), eds. de Lauretis and Heath.
AND Jean-Louis Comolli and Paul Narboni, “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism”, Screen 12.1 (1971): 27-36.
- More British Screen theory:
— Peter Wollen, Signs and Meanings in the Cinema (1969); AND “Godard and Counter-Cinema” and “The Two Avant-Gardes” from Readings and Writings: Semiotic Counter-Strategies.
— Paul Willemen, “Cinematic Discourse: The Problem of Inner Speech”; “Photogenie and Epstein”; and “Through a Glass Darkly: Cinephilia Reconsidered”, in Looks and Frictions: Essays in Cultural Studies and Film Theory (1994).
- Stephen Heath, Questions of Cinema (Indiana University Press, 1981), especially first three chapters?
- Kaja Silverman. The Subject of Semiotics (OUP, 1983) – selected sections AND The Threshold of the Visible World (Routledge, 1996).
Commentaries and cribsheets:
— D.N. Rodowick, Gilles Deleuze’s Time Machine (Duke UP).
— Paola Marrati, Gilles Deleuze: Cinema and Philosophy (Johns Hopkins UP).
— Ronald Bogue, Deleuze on Cinema (Routledge).
— Richard Rushton, Cinema after Deleuze (Continuum, 2012).
— Gregory Flaxman, ed. The Brain is the Screen (University of Minnesota Press, 2000).
— D.N. Rodowick, ed. Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze’s Film Philosophy (University of Minnesota Press, 2010).
— Special Deleuze issue of Film Philosophy 5.2 (2001); mostly review essays by Tom Conley, Eleanor Kaufman, Amy Herzog, etc. Link.
— Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuillemiers, “The Cinema, Reader of Gilles Deleuze”, Gilles Deleuze and the Theatre of Philosophy, eds. Boundas and Olkowski. Routledge, 1994. 255-62.
- Gilles Deleuze. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1983).
AND “The Brain is the Screen: An Interview with Gilles Deleuze”, The Brain is the Screen, ed. Flaxman (University of Minnesota Press, 2000).
- Gilles Deleuze. Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1985).
AND “Having an Idea in Cinema (On the Cinema of Straub-Huillet)”, Deleuze and Guattari: New Mappings in Politics, Philosophy, and Culture, eds. Kaufman (1994).
- Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Duke U P, 2002)
- William Connolly, Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed (U of Minnesota P, 2002)
Additional major film theory texts
- Early writings on photography. Selected essays in:
– Classic Essays on Photography, ed. Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven, CT: Leete’s Island Books, 1980).
– Photography in Print: Writings from 1816 to the Present, ed. Vicki Goldberg (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988).
- Roland Barthes. Selected essays from Mythologies. AND essays from Image Music Text: “The Photographic Message,” “Rhetoric of the Image,” “The Third Meaning,” “Diderot Brecht Eisenstein,” and “Death of the Author.” AND Camera Lucida (1980). AND “Leaving the Moving Theater” (1975), in The Rustle of Language (U California P, 1981), 345-349. (Important thing here is to find and read Barthes’s main published work on photography, cinema, and visual culture.)
— Victor Burgin, “Rereading Camera Lucida”, The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity (Humanities Press International, 1986) 71-92.
— Victor Burgin, “Barthes’ Discretion” in The Remembered Film (Reaktion, 2004), 29-43.
— Dana B. Polan, “Roland Barthes and the Moving Image,” October 18 (Autumn 1981): 41-46.
— Jean-Michel Rabate, ed., Writing the Image After Roland Barthes (U of Pennsylvania P, 1997).
— Michael Fried, “Barthes’s Punctum”, Critical Inquiry 31.3 (2005).
- Selected essays in Pier Paolo Pasolini, Heretical Empiricism (1972), New Academic Publishing, 2005, or, Indiana UP, 1988. Use translation of “Observations on the Long Take” that appears in October 13 (1980), rather than the one that appears in HE as “Observations on the Sequence Shot”.
- Selected texts by Tom Gunning and Susan Buck-Morss on modernity, mass culture, early film, and other aspects of film theory.
— Part III (Dreamworlds of Mass Culture) in Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West; (Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2000), approx 60pp.
— “An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator”, Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film, ed. Linda Williams (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995), 114-133. On file.
— “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant Garde”, Early Cinema: Space Frame Narrative, eds. Thomas Elsaesser & Adam Barker (London: BFI, 1990), 56-62. On file.
— “’Now You See It, Now You Don’t’: The Temporality of the Cinema of Attractions”, The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film and Television 32 (1993): 3-12. PDF on file.
— “Phantom Images and Modern Manifestations: Spirit Photography, Magic Theater, Trick Films, and Photography’s Uncanny,” in Fugitive Images: From Photography to Video, ed. Patrice Petro (Indiana U P, 1995) 42-71; p/c on file.
— “‘Animated Pictures’: Tales of the Cinema’s Forgotten Future, After 100 Years of Film”, Michigan Quarterly Review 34, no. 4 (1995): 465-85. Reprinted in The Nineteenth Century Visual Culture Reader, edited by Schwartz and Przyblyski, pdf on file.
— “From the Kaleidoscope to the X-Ray: Urban Spectatorship, Poe, Benjamin, and Traffic in Souls (1913)”, Wide Angle 19.4 (1997): 25-61; pdf on file.
— “In Your Face: Physiognomy, Photography, and the Gnostic Mission of Early Film”, Modernism/modernity 4, no. 1 (1997), pp. 1-29
— “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of-the-Century.” Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition, eds. David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 39-60; p/c on file.
— “What’s the Point of an Index? or, Faking Photographs”, Nordicom Review 25.1-2 (2004): 39-49; p/c on file.
- David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960, Parts 1-3.
- Stanley Cavell. The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (1979). AND selected essays in Cavell on Film, ed. William Rothman (SUNY P, 2005)?
For commentary (recommendations from Rodowick):
– Rex Butler, “An ‘Exchange’ with Stanley Cavell,” Senses of Cinema (February-April 2001).
– Stephen Mulhall, Stanley Cavell: Philosophy’s Recounting of the Ordinary (OUP, 1994), excellent overview of Cavell’s philosophical works with a concise, yet useful chapter on his major writings on film.
– Rodowick, ” Ethics in film philosophy (Cavell, Deleuze, Levinas).”
– Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film (Harvard UP, 2007), extensive discussion of Cavell’s concepts of ontology and automatism in Part II, “What was cinema?”
– Rodowick, “ An Elegy for Theory,” October 121 (Summer 2007): 99-110; includes discussion of Cavell’s film philosophy in relation to the work of Gilles Deleuze.
– William Rothman and Marian Keene, Reading Cavell’s The World Viewed (Wayne State UP, 2000).
- Bill Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary (1991).
Additional material on documentary film and reality:
— selected essays from Theorizing Documentary, ed. Michael Renov (Introduction, Michael Renov, Brian Winston, Philip Rosen, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Paul Arthur, plus Bill Nichols as well only if the essay here is not an excerpt from Representing Reality).
— selected essays from Collecting Visible Evidence, ed. Jane Gaines and Michael Renov (Introduction, Elizabeth Cowie, Tom Gunning, Akira Mizuta Lippit, Jane Gaines, Michael Renov, Vivian Sobchack, Afterword).
Other key texts:
— Dai Vaughan, For Documentary: Twelve Essays, U of California P, 1999 (recommended by David T Johnson, editor of Literature/Film Quarterly).
— Michael Chanan, The Politics of Documentary (BFI, 2007).
— Brian Winston, Claiming the Real, 2nd updated edn (BFI, 2008).
Remember to use the bibliographic essay at the end of Bill Nichols’s Introduction to Documentary to determine other relevant texts.
- Jonathan Crary. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (MIT, 1991). AND Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture (MIT, 1999).
- Mary Ann Doane. The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (Harvard U P, 2002).
— “‘…When the Direction of the Force Acting on the Body is Changed’: The Moving Image” (1985), in Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 1991), pp. 188-206.
— “Technology’s Body: Cinematic Vision in Modernity,” differences: a Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 5.2 (1993): 1-23; hardcopy on file.
— “Real Time: Instantaneity and the Photographic Imaginary,” in Stillness and Time: Photography and the Moving Image, ed. David Green (Brighton: Photoworks/Photoforum, 2006), pp. 23-38.
— “The Indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity,” differences 18.1 (Spring 2007); pdf on file. Seems to be same as “Indexicality and the Concept of Medium Specificity,” The Meaning of Photography, ed. Robin Kelsey and Blake Stimson (Yale U P, 2008).
— “The Close-up: Scale and Detail in the Cinema,” differences, 14.3 (2003); PDF on file.
— “Scale and the Negotiation of ‘Real’ and ‘Unreal’ Space in the Cinema,” NTU Studies in Language and Literature 20 (2008): 1-38; PDF available at www.press.ntu.edu.tw/ejournal/files/Studies%5C20%5C1.pdf
- Robert B. Ray, The Avant-Garde Meets Andy Hardy (Harvard U P, 1995); and selected essays in How a Film Theory Got Lost and Other Mysteries in Cultural Studies (Indiana U P, 2001).
- Vivian Sobchack, The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience (Princeton U P, 1991); and selected chapters from Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture (U of California P, 2004).
- Vilem Flusser:
— Towards a Philosophy of Photography (1983), 75 pp.
— Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985/2011), 171 pp.
— Selected essays on images, photography, film, and media, in Writings (U of Minnesota P, 2002).
- Sean Cubitt, The Cinema Effect (MIT Press, 2005).
- D.N. Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film (Harvard UP, 2007). AND selected essays by Rodowick:
– “Dr. Strange Media, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and to Love Film Theory,” PMLA 116.5 (October 2001): 1396-1404.
– “An Elegy for Theory,” October 121 (Summer 2007): 99-110.
- Jacques Ranciere on film and photography:
– Selected essays from Film Fables (2001/2006).
– “The Emancipated Spectator” and “The Pensive Image” in The Emancipated Spectator, trans. Gregory Elliott (Verso, 2009; approx. 50 pp. total). Earlier version of “The Emancipated Spectator” previously published in Artforum 45.7 (March 2007): 171-180.
– “The Future of the Image” and “Sentence, Image, History” in The Future of the Image (2003/2007; 67 pp. total).
– Jacques Rancière, “Notes on the Photographic Image,” Radical Philosophy 156 (July/August 2009).
– Tom Conley, “Fabulation and Contradiction: Jacques Ranciere on Cinema”, European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova (Routledge, 2009).
– Nico Baumbach, “Jacques Ranciere and the Fictional Capacity of Documentary,” New Review of Film and Television Studies 8, no. 1 (2010): 57-72.
– Duncan Chesney, “Rancière, Deleuze and Contemporary Film Aesthetics,” New Review of Film and Television Studies 8, no. 1 (2010): 22-40.
— Jonathan Beller, The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press—University Press of New England, 2006).
— Noel Burch, Life to those Shadows (U of California P, 1990).
— One of: Stan Brakhage, Metaphors on Vision (1964), OR Hollis Frampton, On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: The Writings of Hollis Frampton (MIT Press, 2009). (The other one can wait.)
— Tom Gunning, “Narrative Discourse and the Narrator System” in Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, eds. Braudy and Cohen.
— Garrett Stewart, Between Film and Screen: Modernism’s Photo Synthesis (U of Chicago P, 2000).
— Steven Shaviro, Postcinematic Affect (Zero Books, 2010).
— Steven Shaviro. The Cinematic Body (Univ of Minnesota Press,1993).
— Richard Allen, Projecting Illusion: Film Spectatorship and the Impression of Reality (1995).
— Noel Carroll, Mystifying Movies: Fads and Fallacies in Contemporary Film Theory (1988); AND skim the essays by David Bordwell and Noel Carroll in Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, paying attention especially to their suggestions for alternatives to psychoanalytic film theory.
— Mary Ann Doane. Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (1991) – selected essays, esp. “Film and the Masquerade”. Get these in the form of the original journal essays?
— Selected essays in German Essays on Film, eds. Richard W. McCormick and Alison Guenther-Pal (London: Continuum, 2004): All essays in Section I: Late Wilhelmine Germany; all essays in Section 2: Weimar Republic, except for Balazs, Kracauer, Brecht, and Arnheim which are already covered elsewhere in this list; all essays in Section 3: Nazi Germany; and Those Who Fled.
MAJOR FIELD 2: THEORY & CONTINENTAL THOUGHT WITH TWO EMPHASES: (i) DELEUZE’S IMMANENTIST THOUGHT; (ii) CONTINENTAL AESTHETICS AND MARXIST/CRITICAL MATERIALIST AESTHETICS
This list is way way way way ambitious. Also, a key point here is that the main aim is to get foundational competence in areas that would help my own research interests, hence, I made a conscious decision to have very little Derrida, no Levinas, less emphasis on literary topics and more on non-literary aesthetics, lots of Bergson to help with Deleuzian film theory, etc.
Key texts and foundational texts
- Plato: from the Dialogues: Symposium; Phaedrus; selections from the Republic: Books II and III, 376C-412B, 414b-415d, Book VII [? – recommended at UPenn], Book X
- Aristotle, Metaphysics, OR Nicomachean Ethics, OR Politics.
- Descartes, Discourse on Method (1637), and Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), and skim Passions of the Soul (1649).
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651). [Recommended sections for political theorists: Introduction: Part 1: Chapters 1-6, 12-15; Part 2: entire; Part 3: Chapters 32, 34, 37, 38, 43; Review and Conclusion. I might just want to read the first part “On Man”, plus important chapters from the rest???]
- Leibniz, “Discourse on Metaphysics” (1686), “The Monadology” (1714), and other essays in Philosophical Writings, ed. G.H.R. Parkinson (Everyman / J.M. Dent).
- David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) – Google Books PDF on file (in vol. 4 of the complete Philosophical Works, Edinburgh, 1826).
- Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason (1781).
Or maybe justProlegomena to any Future Metaphysics (1783), plus a few sections from Critique of Pure Reason?
When reading the first Critique, use Jonathan Bennett’s plain language translation.
As well as Ernst Cassirer (Kant’s Life and Thought, 1981***) and Deleuze on Kant, the following books are recommended (in various syllabi at Sheffield, Bristol, etc) as guides and commentary on the first Critique (asterisks mean that the book has been especially recommended by someone):
— Henry Allison, Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defence (Yale UP, 1983).
— Sebastian Gardner, Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason (Routledge Philosophy Guidebook series, 1999)***
— Paul Guyer, Kant and the Claims of Knowledge (Cambridge U P, 1987).
— Peter Strawson, The Bounds of Sense. An Essay on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (Routledge, 1989).
- Immanuel Kant: Critique of Practical Reason (1788).
- Kant’s political philosophy. Use the following anthologies of Kant’s writings: *Humphrey, trans., Perpetual Peace, and other essays on politics, history, and moral practice (Hackett, 1983); *Gregor, ed., Practical Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 1999); *Reiss, ed., Political Writings (Cambridge UP, 1991).
Note that the Reiss anthology has very fluid translations by Nisbet, but fluidity is at expense of accuracy (for example, Nisbet translates “walking cart” with “leading strings” on the first page of “What is Enlightenment”). Reiss also has no Akademie pagination.
Read the following essays (availability in which volumes):
— “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?'”, 1784 (Humphrey, Gregor).
— “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose”, 1784 (Humphrey, Reiss).
— “On the Common Saying: That May Be Correct in Theory, But it is of No Use in Practice”, 1793 (Humphrey, Gregor, Reiss).
— “Conjectures on the Beginning of Human History”, 1786 (Humphrey, Reiss).
— “Towards Perpetual Peace”, 1795 (Humphrey, Gregor, Reiss).
— “The Conflict of the Faculties” in all editions of Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, excerpt also in Reiss.
Eventually also need to read:
— Groundwork for The Metaphysics of Morals (full translation in Gregor).
— Metaphysics of Morals (full translation in Gregor, excerpts in Reiss).
Use The Origins of Modern Critical Thought, ed. David Simpson, for mapping the area.
- G. W. F. Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), selections by Howard Kainz.
UW Madison recommends: from The Phenomenology of Mind, trans J. B. Baillie–pp. 131-145 (Introduction), pp. 228-240 (The Master-Slave Relationship), pp. 241-267 (Scepticism and the Unhappy Consciousness), pp. 507-513 (Spirit in Self-estrangement), pp. 550-579 (The Beautiful Soul).
UVa recommends The Philosophy of Spirit, Section 1, Part C, 440-468; from the Phenomenology of Mind, Section B, Part A, 178-261; from Phenomenology of Spirit, Section VI, part A, “Antigone”.
For commentary and aids to understanding, Robert Stern in Routledge Guidebook recommends the following overview pieces:
— Dudeck, C. V. (1981), Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Mind’: Analysis and Commentary, Washington: University Press of America.
— Franco, P. (1999), Hegel’s Philosophy of Freedom, New Haven: Yale UP, pp. 81–119 only.
— Harris, H.S. (1995), Hegel: Phenomenology and System, Indianapolis: Hackett.
— Pinkard, T. (1999), “History and Philosophy: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”, in Glendinning (ed.), The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy (Edinburgh UP), 57–68.
— Pinkard, T. (2000b), “Hegel’s Phenomenology and Logic: An Overview”, in The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism, ed. Ameriks (Cambridge UP), pp. 161–79.
— Pippin (1993), “You Can’t Get From Here to There: Transition Problems in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit“, in Beiser (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Hegel (Cambridge UP, 1993), pp. 52–85.
— Rockmore (1997), Cognition: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (University of California Press).
— Solomon, R. (1993), “Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”, in Solomon and Higgins (eds), The Age of German Idealism (Routledge History of Philosophy Vol. VI) (Routledge, 1993), pp. 181–215.
— Houlgate, Freedom, Truth and History: An Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy (Routledge, 1991).
For more advanced and detailed studies, Stern says: see Findlay’s analysis in Miller translation | Flay Hegel’s Quest For Certainty 1984 | Forster Hegel’s Idea of a ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ 1998 | Harris Hegel’s Ladder (2 vols) 1997 | Heidegger Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ 1994 | Hyppolite Genesis and Structure of Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ 1974 | Kainz Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology’ (2 parts) 1976 and 1983 | Kojève Introduction to the Reading of Hegel 1969 | Lauer A Reading of Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ 1976 | Loewenberg Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology’: Dialogues on the Life of Mind 1965 | Pinkard Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology’: The Sociality of Reason 1994 | Simpson Hegel’s Transcendental Induction 1998 | Solomon In the Spirit of Hegel 1983 | K. R. Westphal Hegel’s Epistemological Realism 1989 | M. Westphal History and Truth in Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology’ 1998b | …and finally Stewart “The Architectonic of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit” in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1995): 747–76; reprinted in Stewart (ed.) (1998), The ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ Reader (SUNY Press), pp 444–77.
Also read Susan Buck-Morss’s “Hegel and Haiti”, Critical Inquiry 26.4 (2000): 821-65.
- Charles Sanders Peirce — selected essays from The Essential Peirce (Indiana University Press, 2 volumes). AND a few additional essays from the Collected Writings (Harvard U P, 8 volumes), and from the Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition (Indiana U P, 6 volumes so far). Which ones?
- Essays by William James:
— Selected chapters from Principles of Psychology (1890). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy recommends “The Stream of Thought”, “The Consciousness of Self”, “Sensation”, “Emotions”, and “Will”. UW Madison recommends “The Stream of Thought”. Use online versions.
— Selected essays in The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897). SEP recommends “The Sentiment of Rationality”, “The Will to Believe”, “Reflex Action and Theism”, and “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”. Google Books PDF on file.
— “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings” from Talks to Teachers (1899), full text html on file.
- William James, Pragmatism (1907). UW Madison recommends: from Pragmatism–Lecture 2 (“What Pragmatism Means”), Lecture 6 (“Pragmatism’s Conception of Truth”).
AND selected essays in Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912), including “Does Consciousness Exist?”, “A World of Pure Experience”, and “How Two Minds Can Know One Thing” (these are also anthologized in Library of America collection).
- John Dewey:
– Democracy and Education (1915).
– The Public and Its Problems (1927).
Don’t bother reading Lippmann’s The Phantom Public, just read the summaries available online at Wikipedia, etc.
- Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900).
- Sigmund Freud:
Earlier metapsychological essays in Standard Edition vol. 14: “On Narcissism” (1914), “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes” (1915), “Repression” (1915), “The Unconscious” (1915), “Mourning and Melancholia” (1915). Also read “Fetishism” (1927 SE21).
Later metapsychological essays: “A Child is Being Beaten” (1919 SE17), “The Uncanny” (1919 SE17), “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (1920 SE18), “The Ego and the Id” (1923 SE19), “The Economic Problem of Masochism” (1924 SE19).
- Sigmund Freud: Civilization and its Discontents (1930) and Moses and Monotheism (1939).
- Alfred North Whitehead, chapters I, II, XII, and IX in The Concept of Nature (1920; paginated full-text html on file), AND Science and the Modern World (1925).
- Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality (1929).
- Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas (1933), 295pp.
- Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought (1938), 179pp. AND skim The Function of Reason (1929), 72pp, PDF on file from Internet Archive.
These two books, plus Adventures and Nature and Life (1934), apparently re-explicate and flesh out sections of Process and Reality in more accessible form.
- Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations: an Introduction to Phenomenology (1931).
- Martin Heidegger — Essays in Poetry, Language, Thought: “The Origin of the Work of Art”, “What Are Poets For?” “Building Dwelling Thinking”, “Poetically Man Dwells,” and “The Thing.” Essays in The Question Concerning Technology and other essays: “The Question Concerning Technology” and “The Age of the World Picture”. Also read the one remaining important essay in Basic Writings: “Letter on Humanism”.
- Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (1927).
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty: The Phenomenology of Perception (1945). AND “The Intertwining–The Chiasm” in The Visible and the Invisible (1964). AND “Eye and Mind” in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader?
Use The World of Perception for help?
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958)
- Michel Foucault: The Order of Things (1966)
- Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (1975); The History of Sexuality volume 1 (1976)
UVa recommends “The Subject in Power,” in Art After Modernism, ed. Brian Wallis [cites Technologies of the Self, Vol. 1 — ?]
- Biopolitics and bare life, part I: Michel Foucault, College de France Lectures. Either: Security, Territory, Population (1977-78) or the Birth of Biopolitics (1978-79) or Society Must Be Defended (1975-76).
Thomas Lemke, “‘The birth of bio-politics’: Michel Foucault’s lecture at the Collège de France on neo-liberal governmentality”, Economy & Society 30.2 (2001) – PDF on file.
- Biopolitics and bare life, part II: Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995) AND The Open: Man and Animal (2002).
Also see, in the other sections above and below, texts on aesthetics by Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Walter Benjamin, Susan Buck-Morss, Guy Debord, Bourdieu, Deleuze (What is Philosophy and Francis Bacon), etc.
- Immanuel Kant: Critique of Judgment (1790).
As well as Ernst Cassirer (Kant’s Life and Thought) and Deleuze on Kant, the following books are recommended (in various syllabi at Concordia, Bristol, etc) as guides and commentary on the third Critique (asterisks mean that the book has been especially recommended by someone):
— Henry E. Allison, Kant’s Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001)***
— Douglas Burnham, An Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Judgement (Edinburgh UP, 2000)***
— Heinrich Cassirer, A Commentary on Kant’s Critique of Judgment  (London: Methuen, 1970).
— Donald Crawford, Kant’s Aesthetic Theory (U of Wisconsin P, 1974)***
— Paul Guyer, Kant and the Claims of Taste (Harvard UP, 1979) – long and detailed.
— Salim Kemal, Kant’s Aesthetic Theory: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Macmillan, 1997)***
— Eva Schaper, Studies in Kant’s Aesthetics (Edinburgh UP, 1979).
– John E. Zammito, The Genesis of Kant’s Critique of Judgment (U of Chicago P, 1992)***
– Ted Cohen and Paul Guyer (eds.), Essays on Kant’s Aesthetics (U of Chicago P, 1982).
– Jean-Francois Lyotard, Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime (1994).
Sebastian Gardner recommends the following short chapter-length intros (use his syllabus — is very good):
– M. Beardsley, Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present, 1975, pp. 209-25.
– E. Schaper, “Taste, sublimity, and genius: the aesthetics of nature and art”, in Paul Guyer ed., The Cambridge Companion to Kant.
– Otfried Höffe, Immanuel Kant, trans. Farrier (SUNY P, 1994) pt. V.
– Stephan Körner, Kant, 1960, ch. 8, ‘Kant’s theory of aesthetic taste’.
– Werner Pluhar, Translator’s Introduction to Hackett edn of CJ, sects. 4-9.
– Roger Scruton, Kant, ch. 6, ‘Beauty and design’.
– Ralph C. Walker, Kant, 1989, ch. 10, pp. 141-7.
- Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the origin of our ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757).
Essays on the sublime by Jean-Francois Lyotard in The Inhuman, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby (1991):
— “The Sublime and the Avant-Garde”.
— “Newman: The Instant”.
— “After the Sublime, the State of Aesthetics”.
— “Representation, Presentation, Unrepresentable”.
— “After the Sublime, the State of Aesthetics”.
[Note: Lyotard’s “Representation, Presentation, Unrepresentable” is a reworking of “Presenting the Unpresentable: The Sublime,” trans. Lisa Liebmann, Artforum 20:8 (1982). A version of Chap. 7 of Lyotard’s Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime was previously published as “The Interest of the Sublime” in Of the Sublime: Presence in Question by Jean-Francois Courtine, et. al., trans. Jeffrey Librett (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993).]
For further commentary on Lyotard and the sublime, read Jacques Rancière, “Are Some Things Unrepresentable?” in The Future of the Image (2003/2007).
- German Romantic aesthetics:
— Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795). Nicholas Halmi at U of Washington prescribes letters 2-4, 6, 9 14, 155.
— Friedrich Schiller, “Kallias or Concerning Beauty: Letters to Gottfried Korner” (1793) in Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics, ed. J.M. Bernstein (Cambridge UP).
— Gottfried Ephraim Lessing, Laocoon (1766) in Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics, ed. J.M. Bernstein (Cambridge UP).
Have a brief look as well at the Novalis fragments in Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics? [For more Novalis, see his Philosophical Writings, ed. Margaret Mahony Stoljar (SUNY Press, 1997) — this collection looks to be more general and less about aesthetics.]
- Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on the Fine Arts, trans. T.M. Knox (OUP). Read the Introduction and Part I (these contain most of the theory).
— Stephen Bungay, Beauty and Truth: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics (OUP, 1984).
— William Desmond, Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics (SUNY Press, 1986).
— Robert Wicks, Hegel’s Theory of Aesthetic Judgment (Peter Lang, 1994).
— William Maker, ed., Hegel and Aesthetics (SUNY Press, 2000), esp. Maker’s Introduction, and the essays by William Desmond, Carl Rapp, Brian Etter, Jere Surber, Stephen Houlgate, and Edward Halper.
- Friedrich Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy (1872) in Basic Writings. AND “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1873 — important for aesthetics?) in The Continental Aesthetics Reader, PDF on file.
- John Dewey, Art as Experience (1934). Also skim Experience and Nature (1925) to get an idea of what Dewey means by experience?
- Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory (1970)
From Aesthetic Theory, Stephen Clucas at Birkbeck suggests , ‘The Ugly, the beautiful and Technique’, pp. 45-61, ‘Natural Beauty’, pp. 61-78, ‘Art Beauty’, pp. 78-100, ‘Towards a Theory of the Art-Work’, 175-199.
- Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, Bloch, and Lukacs: Aesthetics and Politics; with afterword by Fredric Jameson (Verso).
Susan Buck-Morss, “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics” in October 62 (1992): 3-41.
- Jacques Derrida, “Parergon” in The Truth in Painting (1978), and “Economimesis” in Diacritics 11.3 (1981): 3-25.
(Aid to understanding: Susan Blood, first part of “The Poetics of Expenditure”, MLN 117.4 (2002) 836-857.
- Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (Blackwell, 1990).
- Jacques Rancière on politics and aesthetics:
– Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy (1995/1999; 140pp.)
– “Introducing Disagreement”, trans. Steven Corcoran, Angelaki 9.3 (2004): 3-9.
– Main essay in The Politics of Aesthetics (2000/2006; 55 pp.).
– “Ten Theses of Politics”, Theory & Event 5, no. 3 (2001).
– “The Aesthetic Revolution and its Outcomes: Emplotments of Autonomy and Heteronomy.” New Left Review 14 (2002): 133-51.
John Baldacchino at Columbia Teachers College prescribes, for the most salient points from Disagreement, pp.1-20, 95-121, 141-144; and from Politics of Aesthetics, pp. 12-66.
And skim the following articles by Rancière:
— “Politics and Aesthetics: An Interview”, Angelaki 8, no. 2 (2003): 191-211.
— “Is there a Deleuzian aesthetics?” in Qui Parle 14.2 (2004): 1-14.
Marxism and culture / Frankfurt School critical theory / critical sociology
The anthology Marxism and Art edited by Maynard Solomon may be useful. Walter Benjamin is covered in the Film Theory section.
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels:
— “Theses on Feuerbach” (1845).
— The German Ideology, (1845), selections (Birkbeck students read Chapter 1).
— The Communist Manifesto (1848).
- Karl Marx:
— “The Eighteenth Brumaire” (1852).
— Preface to A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy (1859).
— The Grundrisse, selections.
- Karl Marx, Capital Volume 1 (1867).
- Max Weber, “Science as a Vocation”, and “Bureaucracy,” in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology; AND The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904)
- Georg Lukacs, History and Class Consciousness (1923) – read the following selections only: prefaces, “What is Orthodox Marxism?,” “Class Consciousness,” and “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat.” PDF on file; also online.
For help and background, use Gareth Stedman Jones, “The Marxism of the Early Lukacs: An Evaluation,” New Left Review 70 (1971); and Georg Lukacs – Interview: “Lukacs on his Life and Work,” New Left Review 68 (1971).
- Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, including “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century” (both versions).
For help, use Susan Buck-Morss’s commentaries:
— The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (MIT, 1989.
— “Walter Benjamin — Revolutionary Writer” New Left Review part one in vol. 128 (1981), part two in vol. 129 (1981), both PDFs on file.
— “Benjamin’s Passagen-Werk: Redeeming Mass Culture for the Revolution,” New German Critique 29 (1983): 211-40, PDF on file.
— “The Flâneur, the Sandwichman and the Whore: The Politics of Loitering” in New German Critique 39 (1986): 98-140.
— “Benjamin’s Dialectics of Seeing,” Modernity and the Hegemony of Seeing, ed. David Michael Levin (U of California P, 1994).
– “The City as Dreamworld and Catastrophe” in October 73 (1995): 3-26.
For additional commentary, see Beatrice Hanssen, ed., Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project(Continuum, 2006), which includes essays by Esther Leslie, Irving Wohlfarth, Stanley Cavell, Detlef Mertins, Barbara Johnson, etc.
- Negative critique: Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics (1966 – wait for forthcoming Univ of Minnesota Press translation by Robert Hullot-Kentor, or use online translation by Dennis Redmond); AND “The Idea of Natural History” (1934), trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor, repr. in Things Beyond Resemblance by Robert Hullot-Kentor (Columbia UP, 2006).
- Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947).
- Louis Althusser: “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (1970) in Lenin and Philosophy. AND Althusser’s contribution to Reading ‘Capital’ by Althusser and Etienne Balibar (1965); also read Balibar’s contribution if there is time. AND selections from Althusser’s Essays in Self Criticism (1976).
- Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle (1967). PLUS Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), online at marxists.org.
- Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society (1962), trans. Thomas Burger & Frederick Lawrence (Polity, 1992).
AND Habermas’s “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article” (1964), trans. Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox, New German Critique 3 (1974): 49-55.
For commentary and additional reading on Habermas and the public sphere:
— Peter Hohendahl, “Jürgen Habermas: ‘The Public Sphere’ (1964),” trans. Patricia Russian, New German Critique 3 (1974): 45-48.
— Craig Calhoun, ed., Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993).
— Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere, trans. Peter Labanyi et al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993).
— Miriam Hansen, introduction to Negt and Kluge, Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere.
— Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (Zone, 2005). Versions of chapters from this book published as: “Publics and Counterpublics,” Public Culture 14, no. 1 (2002): 49-90; “The Mass Public and the Mass Subject” in Calhoun (ed.), Habermas and the Public Sphere; “Something Queer about the Nation-State” in After Political Correctness, eds. Newfield and Strickland (Westview P, 1995); with Lauren Berlant, “Sex in Public,” Critical Inquiry 24, no. 2: 547-66; “Styles of Intellectual Publics,” Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena, ed. Jonathan Culler and Kevin Lamb (Stanford UP, 2003); ‘‘Public and Private, ’’ in Critical Terms for Gender Studies, eds. Stimpson and Herdt (Univ. of Chicago P, forthcoming); “A Soliloquy ‘Lately Spoken at the African Theatre'” in American Literature 73.1 (2001): 1-46.
- Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (1979).
- Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Duke Univ Press, 1991).
Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson, Deleuze: immanence, materialism, vitalism
- Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe (55 BCE).
For a related contemporary text, see Michel Serres, The Birth Of Physics (1977).
- Benedict de Spinoza: Ethics (1677)
- Benedict de Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise (1670).
- Benedict de Spinoza:
— Short Treatise (c. 1660).
— Political Treatise (1677, 75pp.).
— Letters, selected.
- Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra (1885). AND “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life” (1874) in Untimely Meditations.
- Nietzsche: The Gay Science (1887).
- Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1886) AND On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), both in Basic Writings.
- Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (1888) and The Anti-Christ (1888) and Ecce Homo (1888).
- Henri Bergson, Time and Free Will (1889).
- Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory (1896).
- Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (1907).
- Henri Bergson, essays I-VI in The Creative Mind.
For commentary on Bergson:
– William James, “Bergson and His Critique of Intellectualism”, A Pluralistic Universe, in Writings 1902-1910 731-55.
— William James, “Bradley or Bergson?”, in Writings 1902-1910 1266-71.
— John Dewey, “Perception and Organic Action”, Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 9, no. 24 (1912), pp. 645-668; PDF on file.
— Jean Hyppolite, “Various Aspects of Memory in Bergson” (1949), trans. Athena V. Colman, in The Challenge of Bergsonism by Leonard Lawlor (Continuum, 2003), 112-27.
- Gilles Deleuze: Bergsonism (1966) AND Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (1970).
- Gilles Deleuze: Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (1968).
- Gilles Deleuze: Difference and Repetition (1968).
Sue Ruddick suggests reading the chapters in this order: 3, 2, 5, 1, 6, 7[? – does she mean by Ch. 7 the conclusion or Ch. 4?].
- Gilles Deleuze: The Logic of Sense (1969).
- Gilles Deleuze: Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (1981).
- Gilles Deleuze: The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (1988).
For commentary on the fold and the baroque, see Ronald Bogue, “The New Harmony”, Gilles Deleuze: The Intensive Reduction, ed. Boundas (London: Continuum, 2009).
- Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (1972).
In concert with Diff & Rep, Sue Ruddick suggests that it will be useful to read, in AO, Part 2 ch. 3-6, and Part 3 ch. 2, 6, 9.
- Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, selections from A Thousand Plateaus (1980).
- Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy? (1991).
For commentaries on Deleuze & Guattari, go to this post: https://mysocalledintellectuallife.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/deleuze-commentaries/
— Herbert Marcuse, The Aesthetic Dimension: Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics
— David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (1989). Also need to eventually read Harvey’s Limits to Capital (1982).
MAJOR FIELD 3: ECOLOGICAL THOUGHT: THE HUMAN AND THE NONHUMAN
A difficult reading list to compile because the topic is a rather nebulous one. I guess this list is less about familiarizing myself with a standard canon of key texts in a more or less traditional field, and more about drawing together various texts from various fields in order to get to know the parameters of a particular theoretical question. Namely, the question of how to dismantle the old human/non-human, nature/culture, subject/object divisions that we’ve inherited and beyond which it is difficult to think. So this list involves, for example, readings in the old ‘social construction of nature’ debate. But also readings from the post-classical sciences — complexity theory, chaos theory, cybernetics, systems theory.
For more recommendations of recent books, remember to refer to Adrian Ivakhiv’s list of the best books on “ecocultural theory”.
PART I: BACKGROUNDS AND BEGINNINGS / THE RECEIVED IDEA OF NATURE
- Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620) AND The Advancement of Learning (1605).
- Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798 edition), ed. Antony Flew (London: Penguin, 1985).
- Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle chapters 1-4, 7-11, 17, and 21 (second  or third  edition, not the first  edition). AND Origin of Species chapters 1-4 and 14 (preferably first edition ). Google Books PDFs on file for both. [Also on file – paginated html of The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).]
The beginnings of modern environmental ideas: American transcendentalism and others
- Thoreau: Walden (1854).
For commentary, see Jane Bennett’s Thoreau’s Nature: Ethics, Politics and the Wild (1994; rev. ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).
- Nineteenth century nature and conservation:
– Primary texts in Part One (The Received Wilderness Idea) of The Great New Wilderness Debate anthology, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson: writings by Jonathan Edwards, Emerson, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Marshall, Sigurd Olson, The Leopold Report, Wilderness Act of 1964.
– Emerson, “Nature” (1836) – PDF on file.
– Thoreau, “Walking” (1862).
– William Morris, “Art and Socialism” (1884).
- Aldo Leopold, “The Land Ethic” in A Sand County Almanac (1949); AND Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)
- Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 (1968): 1243-48. AND Lynn White Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”, Science 155, no. 3767 (1967): 1203-1207. AND UN World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future [the Brundtland Report] (OUP: 1987) – available online.
Arne Naess, deep ecology and its critics (do I also need Murray Bookchin and social ecology?)
- Arne Naess: “The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement,” Inquiry 16 (1973).
AND “The Apron Diagram,” “Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World,” and with George Sessions, “Platform Principles of the Deep Ecology Movement” (all in The Deep Ecology Movement: Introductory Readings, ed. Alan Drengson and Yuichi Inoue (Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1995);
AND “The Deep Ecological Movement, Some Philosophical Aspects,” Philosophical Inquiry 8 (1986): 10-13.
AND “A Defense of the Deep Ecology Movement,” Environmental Ethics 6 (1984): 265-70.
Skim Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered (1985).
The debate on Spinoza and deep ecology: George Sessions, “Spinoza and Jeffers on Man in Nature,” Inquiry 20 (1977): 481-528; AND Arne Naess, “Spinoza and Ecology” (1977); Genevieve Lloyd, “Spinoza’s Environmental Ethics” (1980); Arne Naess, “Environmental Ethics and Spinoza’s Ethics. Comments of Genevieve Lloyd’s Article” (1980); K.L.F. Houle, “Spinoza and Ecology Revisited” (1997) – all rpt. in Spinoza: Critical Assessments edited by Lloyd. Copies on file, except for Sessions.
For critiques of deep ecology, skim selections from Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology, edited by Katz, Light, and Rothenburg (2000): “Introduction: Deep Ecology as Philosophy”; all essays in Part I: Deep Ecology and its Critics except maybe “Ontological Determinism” by Humphrey; plus “Possible Political Problems” by Michael E. Zimmerman; “The Postmodernism of Deep Ecology” by Arran Gare; “Deep Ecology and Desire” by Jonathan Maskit; “Deep Ecology and its Social Philosophy” by Bron Taylor.
PART II: CRITICAL THEORY, SOCIAL THEORY, & THE PRODUCTION OF NATURE
The natural and the social, Marxism, poststructuralism
- Friedrich Engels, Introduction to Dialectics of Nature (1875); “The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man” (1876); and Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880). AND Karl Marx, “Estranged Labour” and “The Meaning of Human Requirements” in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844)??? Use Marx and Engels on Ecology, edited by Howard L. Parsons, to figure out what I need to read. All should be available online, but also some in Marx/Engels collections.
For additional help, also see John Bellamy Foster’s Marx’s Ecology (Monthly Review, 2000).
For commentary, try Noel Castree, “Marxism and the production of nature” in Capital and Class 72 (2000): 5-36.
- Herbert Marcuse, “Ecology and the Critique of Modern Society” (1979), Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 3.3 (1992): 29-38; AND Marcuse, “Ecology and Revolution” (1972) in The New Left and the 1960s: The Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, vol. 3 (Routledge, 2005; PDF on file); AND Marcuse, “Nature and Revolution” in Counterrevolution and Revolt (Boston: Beacon, 1972; also reprinted in The Essential Marcuse, eds Feenberg and Leiss).
AND skim William Leiss, The Domination of Nature (1972).
For commentary on Marcuse, see Timothy W. Luke, “Marcuse’s Ecological Critique and the American Environmental Movement,” Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader, ed. John Abromeit and W. Mark Cobb (New York: Routledge, 2004), 236-239.
- Raymond Williams: “Ideas of Nature” in Problems in Materialism and Culture. AND “Nature” in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. AND “Socialism and Ecology” (1982) in Resources of Hope hardcopy on file. AND SKIM The Country and the City (1973)
- David Harvey. “The Nature of Environment: The Dialectics of Social and Environmental Change” in The Socialist Register, eds. Miliband and Panitch (1993) – PDF on file. AND “What’s Green and Makes the Environment Go Round?” in The Cultures of Globalization edited by Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi (1998) – copy on file. AND Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference, Parts I and II? (1996)
For commentary, use “Towards a New Earth and a New Humanity: Nature, Ontology, Politics” by Bruce Braun in David Harvey: A Critical Reader.
- Neil Smith, Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space (1984; second edition 1990) – full paginated scanned PDF on file.
- Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin, The Dialectical Biologist (Harvard UP, 1985).
- Ulrich Beck, Risk Society (1986), AND Ecological Politics in an Age of Risk (1988)
- Donna Haraway, Modest_Witness@ Second_Millennium. FemaleMan© _Meets_OncoMouse™: Feminism and Technoscience (Routledge, 1997). AND the following essays from Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Routledge, 1990) — “A Cyborg Manifesto”, “Situated Knowledges”, and “The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies”.
- Selections from Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, edited by William Cronon (1995):
Cronon, “Introduction: In Search of Nature”; Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness”; Anne Whiston Spirn, “The Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted”; Carolyn Merchant, “Reinventing Eden”; Jeffrey C. Ellis, “Essentialist Tendencies in Environmentalist Discourse”; Michael R. Barbour, “Ecological Fragmentation in the Fifties”; N. Katherine Hayles, “Simulated Nature and Natural Simulation”; Robert P. Harrison, “Toward a Philosophy of Nature”; “Toward a Conclusion.”
– The debate on “The Trouble with Wilderness” in Environmental History 1:1 (1996) may be helpful.
– On the backlash to Uncommon Ground, skim selections from Reinventing Nature: Responses to Postmodern Deconstruction, edited by Michael E. Soulé and Gary Lease (1995): “Preface”; Gary Lease, “Introduction: Nature under Fire”; Paul Shepard, “Virtually Hunting Reality”; Albert Borgmann, “The Nature of Reality and the Reality of Nature”; N. Katherine Hayles, “Searching for Common Ground”; Donald Worster, “Nature and the Disorder of History”; Michael E. Soulé, “The Social Siege of Nature”.
– Selections from Parts Three and Four of The Great New Wilderness Debate anthology, edited by J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson: – J. Baird Callicott (all), Holmes Rolston, Donald M. Waller, Dave Foreman
AND William Chaloupka, “Jagged Terrain: Cronon, Soule´, and the Struggle over Nature and Deconstruction in Environmental Theory,” Strategies 13:1 (2000).
Ecocriticism and its discontents
On the history of the idea of wilderness, see Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind , 3rd ed. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983).
- Some sample essays in ecocriticism:
— Introduction and a chapter or two of Jonathan Bate’s Romantic Ecology (Routledge, 1991).
— Introduction and a chapter or two of Lawrence Buell’s The Environmental Imagination (Harvard U P, 1995).
— Selected essays in The Ecocriticism Reader, eds. Glotfelty and Fromm (U of Georgia Press, 1996), mainly the ones by William Howarth, William Rueckert, SueEllen Campbell, and Glen A. Love.
- Dana Phillips, The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America (Duke U P, 2003).
Landscape: art, nature, ideology
- The picturesque – SKIM the following: William Gilpin, Observations on the River Wye (1782) and selections from Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty… (1794). AND Uvedale Price, Essay on the Picturesque (1794 – chapters 4 & 5 recommended by David Miall, U of Alberta). AND Richard Payne Knight, An Analytical Inquiry Into the Principles of Taste (1805). Full-text Google-scanned ebooks on file.
For commentary, use:
– Christopher Hussey, The Picturesque: Studies in a Point of View (London: Frank Cass, 1967);
– Sidney K. Robinson, Inquiry into the Picturesque (U of Chicago P: 1991);
– John Macarthur, The Picturesque: Architecture, Disgust and Other Irregularities (London: Routledge, 2007).
– Stephanie Ross, section on Picturesque in What Gardens Mean (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001); earlier version published as “The Picturesque: An Eighteenth-Century Debate,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46, no. 2 (Winter 1987): 271-279, PDF on file.
– Malcolm Andrews, The Search for the Picturesque: Landscape, Aesthetics and Tourism in Britain, 1760-1800 (Scolar Press and Stanford UP, 1989).
- Essays on landscape:
— Rilke, Rainer Maria. “Concerning Landscape.” Selected Works. Vol. 1: Prose. Trans. G. Craig Houston. London: Hogarth Press, 1954. On file.
— Denis Cosgrove, introduction and a chapter or two from Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape (1984).
— Selected essays in W.J.T. Mitchell, ed., Landscape and Power (U of Chicago P, 1994; use 2nd edition, 2002, with new essays by Edward Said, Mitchell, Michael Taussig, etc).
— Kenneth Olwig, introduction, conclusion, and a chapter or two from Landscape, Nature, and the Body Politic (U of Wisconsin P, 2002).
— The roundtable discussion (“Art Seminar”) in Landscape Theory, eds. James Elkins and Rachael DeLue (Routledge, 2008).
- Land art: Selections from Robert Smithson, The Collected Writings (U of California Press, 1996), especially “Entropy and the New Monuments”, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”, “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects”, “A Cinematic Atopia”, “The Spiral Jetty”, and “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape”.
PART III: SCIENCE STUDIES; CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE; COMPLEXITY THEORY & POSTCLASSICAL SCIENCES; ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY
Steven Johnson’s popularization Emergence:The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software may be helpful for complexity theory. Even better: use Roger Lewin’s Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos (1992).
- Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).
- Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985).
- Chaos: Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, Order out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue with Nature (1984). AND skim Ilya Prigogine in collaboration with Isabelle Stengers, The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature (New York: Free Press, 1997).
- Chaos: Edward Lorenz, The Essence of Chaos (U of Washington P, 1993).
- Systems theory: Ludwig von Bertalanffy, General System Theory (George Braziller, 1968).
- Cybernetics: Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (1950, rev. 1954; New York: Da Capo, 1988).
- Autopoiesis: Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana, Autopoeisis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living (1973, 1980).
- Gregory Bateson, selected essays in Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), AND Mind and Nature (1979).
- David Bohm: Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980), AND selections from The Essential David Bohm, ed. Lee Nichol (Routledge, 2003).
- Stuart Kauffman: SKIM At Home in the Universe:The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (1995). AND SKIM Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion (New York: Basic Books, 2008).
Steven Shaviro has good commentary on the latter on his blog.
- Jakob von Uexküll:
— A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, with A Theory of Meaning, trans. Joseph D. O’Neil (U of Minnesota P, 2010). Trans. of Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen (1934) and Bedeutungslehre (1940). Previously translated as “A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds”, in Instinctive Behavior: The Development of a Modern Concept, trans. Claire H. Schiller (New York, 1957), 5-80; and “The Theory of Meaning,” Semiotica 42, no. 1 (1982): 25-82.
— “Environment (Umwelt) and Inner World of Animals” in G. M. Burghardt (ed.), Foundations of Comparative Ethology (Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1985, pp. 222-245). Partial translation of Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere (1909). P/c on file.
— “An Introduction to Umwelt”, Semiotica 134.1/4 (2001), pp. 107-110. Translated excerpt from Niegeschaute Welten (1936).
— “The New Concept of Umwelt: A Link between Science and the Humanities”, Semiotica 134.1/4 (2001), pp. 111-123. Translation of “Die Neue Umweltlehre…”, journal article from 1937.
- Gilbert Simondon, Psychic and Collective Individuation, trans. Arne de Boever et al. (U of Minnesota P, forthcoming).
Note: introductory chapter of above text is available as “The Position of the Problem of Ontogenesis,” trans. Gregory Flanders, Parrhesia 7 (2009): 4-16; which was also previously translated as “The Genesis of the Individual” in Incorporations (Zone, 1992).
- Manuel DeLanda, “Non-organic Life” in Incorporations (Zone, 1991); AND Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002). Skim DeLanda’s A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997) and A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006) as additional material.
- Michel Serres, The Parasite (Johns Hopkins UP, 1980).
- Michel Serres, The Natural Contract (1990). AND selected essays in Hermes: Literature, Science and Philosophy, ed. Josué V. Harari and David F. Bell (Johns Hopkins U P, 1982).
- Bruno Latour, Science in Action (1987); AND Michel Callon, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of Saint Brieuc Bay” in Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge?, ed. John Law – also reprinted in The Science Studies Reader, edited by Mario Biagioli.
- Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern (1991); AND “Irreductions” in The Pasteurization of France (1988).
- Bruno Latour, Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies (1999).
- Bruno Latour, Politics of Nature: How to bring the sciences into democracy (2004).
- Isabelle Stengers: Cosmopolitics I and Cosmopolitics II (Univ of Minnesota Press, 2010 & 2011).
Other books by Stengers in English, to skim if possible: The Invention of Modern Science (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000); AND Power and Invention: Situating Science (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997).
- Felix Guattari, The Three Ecologies (1989), AND sections from Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm (Indiana U P, 1995).
- Johns Hopkins:
Jane Bennett’s The Enchantment of Modern Life (Princeton U P, 2001), and Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Duke U P, 2010). AND William E. Connolly’s A World of Becoming (Duke U P, 2011).
Other books that could be in the ecological thought reading list:
Technology vs. nature; philosophy of technology
Use Carl Mitcham, Thinking through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy (1994) as a ‘textbook’ guide. Heidegger on technology is covered in the Critical Theory reading list.
– Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (1954).
– Hans Jonas, The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethic for the Technological Age, trans. Jonas and David Herr (1979).
– Albert Borgmann, Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (University of Chicago Press, 1984).
Use Technology and the Good Life? edited by Higgs, Light, and Strong (U of Chicago P, 2000), for commentary on Borgmann.
– SKIM Andrew Feenberg, Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited (revised edition of Critical Theory of Technology, OUP, 1991), AND Questioning Technology (Routledge, 1999)
On the history of the ecological sciences
– William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (Norton, 1991).
– Richard White, The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River (Hill & Wang, 1996). Two best books on environmental history are White’s and Cronon’s, according to Ivakhiv and lots of others.
– Donald Worster, Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
– Robert P. McIntosh, The Background of Ecology: Concept and Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
– Daniel B. Botkin, Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) — postclassical ecology? influenced Dana Phillips.
– Michael R. Barbour, “Ecological Fragmentation in the Fifties” in Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground.
– Dana Phillips, “Ecology Then and Now” in The Truth of Ecology.
– Leslie A. Real and James H. Brown, eds., Foundations of Ecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991) – primary texts.
– David R. Keller and Frank B. Golley, eds., The Philosophy of Ecology: From Science to Synthesis (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2000) – primary texts that expound the basic theoretical concepts of ecology, e.g. Frederic Clements’s idea of what an entity is (a community or a superorganism).
– Peter J. Bowler, The Earth Encompassed: A History of the Environmental Sciences (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005).
– Frank B. Golley, A History of the Ecosystem Concept in Ecology: More than the Sum of the Parts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996).
– Frank B. Golley, A Primer for Environmental Literacy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998).
– Anna Bramwell, Ecology in the 20th Century, Yale UP, 1989 – of interest because Bramwell herself had youthful ties to the extreme right wing, and this book concentrates on the environmentalist fervour of the far right (National Socialism, etc).
– R.H. Peters, A Critique for Ecology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) – more of a polemic than a history – argues that the ecological sciences have shortcomings that need to be overcome, such as lack of scientific rigour, low predictive capacities, etc (p. 1).
More science studies and philosophy of science (‘Stanford school’ and others)
– Ian Hacking: The Taming of Chance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); and The Social Construction of What? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000).
– Nancy Cartwright: The Dappled World : A Study of the Boundaries of Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); and How the Laws of Physics Lie (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983).
– Peter Galison, How Experiments End (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
– Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, Objectivity (New York: Zone Books, 2007).
– Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007).
Etc etc – many of these can be used as advanced commentary on the core texts in the main list.
– Freya Mathews, For Love of Matter: A Contemporary Panpsychism (SUNY Press, 2003).
– David Skrbina, Panpsychism in the West (MIT Press, 2005).
– Kate Soper, What is Nature? Culture, Politics, and the Non-Human (Blackwell,1995)
– Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution (1980) AND SKIM Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture (2004).
– Timothy W. Luke, Capitalism, Democracy, and Ecology: Departing from Marx (Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1999).
– Timothy W. Luke, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy and Culture (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997).
– Timothy W. Luke, “Critical Theory and the Environment.” Critical Theory and the Human Condition: Founders and Praxis, eds. Michael Peters, Colin Lankshear, and Mark Olssen. New York: Peter Lang, 2003. 238-250.
– John Bellamy Foster, Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000).
– John Bellamy Foster, Ecology Against Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002).
– Steven Vogel, Against Nature: The Concept of Nature in Critical Theory (SUNY, 1996); AND also by Vogel, “Nature as Origin and Difference: On Environmental Philosophy and Continental Thought” in Philosophy Today 42 (SPEP Supplement, 1998):169-181.
For commentary, see the special symposium on Vogel’s Against Nature in Rethinking Marxism 11.4 (1999), with contributions by Andrew Light, Vogel, Andrew Feenberg.
– Landscape: Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875 (1980) and Barbara Maria Stafford, Voyage into Substance: Art, Science, Nature and the Illustrated Travel Account, 1760-1840 (1984)
– Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature.
– Verena Andermatt Conley, Ecopolitics: The Environment in Poststructuralist Thought
– Michael E. Zimmerman, Contesting Earth’s Futures: Radical Ecology and Postmodernity
– Marjorie Hope Nicolson, Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite (1959)
– RG Collingwood, The Idea of Nature
– Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (1989)
– Timothy Morton, Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (Harvard U P, 2007)
– Erazim Kohak, The Embers and the Stars: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Moral Sense of Nature (1984)
– David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous
– Arnold Berleant on environmental aesthetics.
– Neil Evernden: The Social Creation of Nature (1992); “Nature in Industrial Society” in Cultural Politics in Contemporary America, edited by I. Angus and S. Jhally (Routledge, 1989). Maybe skim The Natural Alien (1985). As examples of the phenomenological approach?
– Niklas Luhmann, Social Systems (1984)
Use Hans-Georg Moeller, Luhmann Explained for help; and William Rasch, Niklas Luhmann’s Modernity; also see the Observing Complexity collection edited by Rasch and Cary Wolfe, incl. Marjorie Levinson’s “Pre- and Post-Dialectical Materialisms”.
– Niklas Luhmann, Art as a Social System (1995)
– Also, architecture-related: Andrew Light, “The Urban Blind Spot in Environmental Ethics,” Environmental Politics 10.1 (2001): 7-35, rpt. in various anthologies.
I realize that most American universities require one of the reading lists to be on a genre or period — e.g. ‘The Novel’ or ‘Sculpture’ or ‘Architecture’ for a generic emphasis, or ’18th Century’ or ‘Baroque’ or ‘Modern’, etc for a historical emphasis — so that the student has at least a ‘traditional’ area of expertise. None of my reading lists have anything to do with a period or genre — it’s all theory. I probably should have replaced one of these reading list topics with a generic emphasis list — ‘Avant-Garde, Documentary, and Animation Film’ would probably have been my choice. But whatever. Employability schmempoyability.
Theory of modern/contemporary art and visual culture
The bibliographic essay at the end of Andrew Causey’s Sculpture After 1945 is very good for reading recommendations on contemporary sculpture.
— Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture: Critical Essays, esp. “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” and “American Type Painting”. And other essays including “Modernist Painting” (1960), reprinted in Collected Essays and Criticism, vol. 4.
— Leo Steinberg, Other Criteria (1972).
— Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood” (1967), plus Absorption and Theatricality in the Age of Diderot (1980).
— Rosalind Krauss, Passages in Modern Sculpture (1977).
— Rosalind Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths. (Plus The Optical Unconscious, 1994?)
— Hal Foster, The Return of the Real (1996).
— Donald Crimp, On The Museum’s Ruins.
— T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers (1984; revised ed. Princeton Univ Press, 1999). (Plus The Sight of Death, 2006?)
— Alex Potts, The Sculptural Imagination (Yale U P, 2000).
— Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space (Univ. of California Press, 1986).
— Martin Jay, Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought (1993).
— Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde (1974/1984).
— Thierry de Duve, Kant after Duchamp (MIT Press, 1998).
— Charles Harrison, “Abstraction” in Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction by Harrison, Gill Perry, and Francis Frascina.
— Thomas Crow, The Intelligence of Art (U of North Carolina Press, 1999); and selected essays from Modern Art in the Common Culture (Yale U P, 1996). (includes chapter on site-specificity)
— Rosalyn Deutsche, Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (MIT Press, 1996).
— Mieke Bal, Louise Bourgeois’s Spider: The Architecture of Art Writing (U of Chicago P, 2001).
— Boris Groys, Art Power (MIT Press, 2008).
Theories of art before modernism that will also be helpful in understanding modern and contemporary art:
— Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (U of California P, 1983).
— Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (Yale UP, 1984).
— Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy.
— Michael Baxandall, The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany.
— Hubert Damisch, The Origin of Perspective (1987/1994).
— Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form (1927)
— Erwin Panofsky, Studies in Iconology (1939).
For a survey of the history of art history, see Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art (Yale UP, 1982).
Yet another list:
The New Aesthetics
– Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just (London: Duckworth, 2000).
— Peter de Bolla, Art Matters (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).
— Isobel Armstrong, The Radical Aesthetic (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000).
— Jonathan Loesberg, A Return to Aesthetics: Autonomy, Indifference, and Postmodernism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005).