New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics

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Diana Coole, Samantha Frost
Duke University Press, Aug 19, 2010 - Political Science - 348 pages
4 Reviews
New Materialisms brings into focus and explains the significance of the innovative materialist critiques that are emerging across the social sciences and humanities. By gathering essays that exemplify the new thinking about matter and processes of materialization, this important collection shows how scholars are reworking older materialist traditions, contemporary theoretical debates, and advances in scientific knowledge to address pressing ethical and political challenges. In the introduction, Diana Coole and Samantha Frost highlight common themes among the distinctive critical projects that comprise the new materialisms. The continuities they discern include a posthumanist conception of matter as lively or exhibiting agency, and a reengagement with both the material realities of everyday life and broader geopolitical and socioeconomic structures.

Coole and Frost argue that contemporary economic, environmental, geopolitical, and technological developments demand new accounts of nature, agency, and social and political relationships; modes of inquiry that privilege consciousness and subjectivity are not adequate to the task. New materialist philosophies are needed to do justice to the complexities of twenty-first-century biopolitics and political economy, because they raise fundamental questions about the place of embodied humans in a material world and the ways that we produce, reproduce, and consume our material environment.

Sara Ahmed
Jane Bennett
Rosi Braidotti
Pheng Cheah
Rey Chow
William E. Connolly
Diana Coole
Jason Edwards
Samantha Frost
Elizabeth Grosz
Sonia Kruks
Melissa A. Orlie


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Review: New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

Some of this stuff is total and complete bullshit. Some of it I did not understand. Some of it is excellent. Read full review

Review: New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics

User Review  - Carisa - Goodreads

Intro & Bennett chapters were excellent. Cheah and Coole chapters also quite good. Got a bit repetitive, and some of the chapters retread quite closely work the authors have published elsewhere. Still, the good stuff was really meaty. Read full review


Introducing the New Materialisms Diana Coole Samantha Frost
The Force of Materiality
Political Matters
Economies of Disruption

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About the author (2010)

Diana Coole is Professor of Political and Social Theory at Birkbeck College, University of London, England. She is the author, most recently, of Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics after Anti-Humanism. She is a Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2010–13.

Samantha Frost is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Lessons from a Materialist Thinker: Hobbesian Reflections on Ethics and Politics.

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