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Using a broad definition of the Durkheimian tradition, this book offers the first systematic attempt to explore the Durkheimians’ engagement with art. It focuses on both Durkheim and his contemporaries as well as later thinkers influenced by his work. The first five chapters consider Durkheim’s own exploration of art; the remaining six look at other Durkheimian thinkers, including Marcel Mauss, Henri Hubert, Maurice Halbwachs, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Michel Leiris, and Georges Bataille. The contributorsscholars from a range of theoretical orientations and disciplinary perspectivesare known for having already produced significant contributions to the study of Durkheim. This book will interest not only scholars of Durkheim and his tradition but also those concerned with aesthetic theory and the sociology and history of art.
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About the Author
Alexander Tristan Riley is Professor of Sociology at Bucknell University. With the aid of the late Philippe Besnard, he edited the war correspondence of Robert Hertz, Un ethnologue dans les tranchées. He is the author of Godless Intellectuals?: The Intellectual Pursuit of the Sacred Reinvented (Berghahn Books, 2010) and currently he is contemplating a book on literary autobiography, cultural sociology, and the writing of Michel Leiris.
William Watts Miller is editor of Durkheimian Studies/Etudes Durkheimiennes and a member of the board of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies. He has published extensively in the field, collaborated in translations, and is a member of the team producing a new critical edition of Durkheim's Complete Works. His most recent book is A Durkheimian Quest: Solidarity and the Sacred (Berghahn Books, 2012).
W.S.F. Pickering † taught sociology in Canada from 1958 to 1966 and then at Newcastle-upon-Tyne until he retired in 1987. Although his original interest was in the sociology of religion, he later turned to the work of Durkheim. In 1975 he published Durkheim on Religion (Routledge) and in 1984 Durkheim’s Sociology of Religion: Themes and Theories (Routledge). He also contributed to and helped produce other books on Durkheim and his followers. In 1991, he helped found the British Centre of Durkheimian Studies, of which he was the General Secretary.
Table of ContentsList of Illustrations
Chapter 1. Total Aesthetics: Art and The Elemental Forms
William Watts Miller
Chapter 2. Durkheim, the Arts, and the Moral Sword
Chapter 3. Durkheim and Festivals: Art, Effervescence, and Institutions
Chapter 4. The Power of Imagination and the Economy of Desire: Durkheim and Art
Chapter 5. Dostoevsky in the Mirror of Durkheim
Donald A. Nielsen
Chapter 6. Durkheim, L’Année sociologique, and Art
Chapter 7. Marcel Mauss on Art and Aesthetics: The Politics of Division, Isolation, and Totality
Chapter 8. Too Marvelous for Words...: Maurice Halbwachs, Kansas City Jazz, and the Language of Music
Chapter 9. Total Art – The Influence of the Durkheim School on Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Reflections on Art and Classification
Stephan Moebius and Frithjof Nungesser
Chapter 10. Sex, Death, the Other, and Art: The Search for Mythic Life in the Work of Michel Leiris
Chapter 11. Apophasis in Representation: Georges Bataille and the Aesthetics and Ethics of the Negative
S. Romi Mukherjee
Chapter 12. Acéphale/Parsifal: Georges Bataille contra Wagner
Notes on Contributors