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Rancière and Film

Edited by Paul Bowman

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The first collection of critical essays on the film work of the philosopher Jacques Rancière

Jacques Rancière rose to prominence as a radical egalitarian philosopher, political theorist and historian. Recently he has intervened into the discourses of film theory and film studies, publishing controversial and challenging works on these topics. This book offers an exciting range of responses to and assessments of his contributions to film studies and includes an afterword response to the essays by Rancière himself.

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1. Rancière and the Disciplines: An Introduction to Rancière before Film Studies, Paul Bowman
2. What Does It Mean To Call Film An Art?, Nico Baumbach
3. After the Passage of the Beast: ‘False Documentary’ Aspirations, Acousmatic Complications, Rey Chow
4. The Spectator Without Qualities, Abraham Geil
5. Memories of Modernism: Jacques Rancière, Chris Marker, and the Image of Modernism, Bram Ieven
6. Aesthetic Irruptions: Politics of Perception in Alex De La Iglesia’s La Comunidad, Mónica López Lerma
7. Inhuman Spectatorship, Patricia MacCormack
8. Cinemarxis: Rancière and Godard, Mark Robson
9. Jacques Rancière’s Animated Vertigo
or, how to be specific about medium, Richard Stamp
10. The Medium Is Not the Message: Rancière, Eschatology, and the End of Cinema, James A. Steintrager
11. Remarks by way of a Postface, Jacques Rancière
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Paul Bowman is Reader in Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. He is the author of Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies (2007), Deconstructing Popular Culture (2008), Theorizing Bruce Lee (2010), Culture and the Media (2012), Beyond Bruce Lee (2013) and Reading Rey Chow (2013).


'The sheer amount of research, scope of contributions and argument put into Ranciere and Film make it an engaging and thought-provoking text for study into Ranciere’s writings and of film study. Researchers in the field will find much to praise as the scholars critically engage with the material and frame new angles for consideration, leading to a far more enriching experience than merely spelling out where they believe the answers lie. Informative and provoking, it is a welcome encouragement to explore film study further.'

- Sam Beaton, Scottish Journal of Performance

Rancière and Film’s strength is that it both introduces readers to the timely ideas of an un-conventional thinker and sets forth some provocative interpretations. Those who know Rancière may find its applications intriguing, and those who are not familiar with the thinker may find themselves wanting to read the original, to think things through for themselves. In this way, the collection is faithful to the real democratic potential of cinema and the true force of Rancière’s egalitarian thought.

- Nina Belmonte, University of Victoria, Philosophy in Review

These magnificent essays set Rancière's writings on film squarely in the context of his work on aesthetics, politics, and cultural studies. No less, readers will marvel at Rancière's tersely drawn postface, in dialogue with the preceding chapters, attesting to the origins, the trajectory, and the impact of a lifelong relation with cinema.

- Tom Conley, Harvard University

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