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The Political Subject: Essays on the Self from Art, Politics and Science

Wendy Wheeler

The Political Subject: Essays on the Self from Art, Politics and ScienceFollowing her A New Modernity?, which looked at ways in which we could rethink Enlightenment values to include more of the world of the emotions and the body, in this volume Wendy Wheeler gathers together essays which explore the complex nature of the contemporary 'self', which - as she argues - is the starting point for politics.

Wheeler's contributors show that looking creatively and imaginatively across the different disciplines, art, literature, science, psychology - we can see the emergence of new ideas about the nature of politics, and of the human beings which are the subject of politics. In particular we can see the poverty of much contemporary political discourse, which tends to lose sight of human beings in its focus on managerialism, efficiency and a rather narrowly defined realism. By rethinking fundamental questions about the nature of political subjects, we can begin to develop a new and more humane politics.

The book has a historical section which looks at ways in which ideas about the self have been both shaped by past political cultures and reflected in them. The contemporary section includes essays on psychoanalysis, crowd psychology, modernisation, colonialism, political poetry, complexity theory, emotional literacy, ethics, masculinity and computer prosthetics. Wheeler's trawling of the disciplines in her quest for a new politics has resulted in an original and illuminating series of reflections on new ways of 'doing politics'.

Contributors Erica Fudge Colin Counsell Paul McSorley Mary Peace Jenny Bourne-Taylor Carolyn Burdett Sebastian Kraemer Stephen Reicher Alan Finlayson Ashok Bery Peter Middleton Paul Cilliers Tanya de Villiers Jonathan Rutherford Kevin Warwick

Wendy Wheeler is Reader in English Literature in the School of Arts and Humanities, University of North London, and author of A New Modernity? Change in Science, Literature and Politics, Lawrence and Wishart 1999.

Paperback 284pp, All rights L&W.
ISBN: 0 85315 914 9
ISBN13: 9780853159148
Price: £14.99