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ICI Library


The Argonauts

Maggie Nelson
New York: Macmillan, 2016

Maggie Nelson falls in love with Harry Dodge, an artist with a fluid gender identity. Harry already has a child, Maggie becomes pregnant, and the four of them build a life together. The Argonauts is a poignant story of queer family life, at the same time Maggie Nelson invents a form of philosophical exploration all her own. Memoir, theory, poetry: it is a book that defies classification and challenges our classifications with its radically open thinking. In the spirit of Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Maggie Nelson combines a theoretical and personal quest for knowledge to arrive at a new narrative of the nature of love and family.


Blockchain Chicken Farm - And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside

Xiaowei Wang
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020

In Blockchain Chicken Farm, the technologist and writer Xiaowei Wang explores the political and social entanglements of technology in rural China. Their discoveries force them to challenge the standard idea that rural culture and people are backward, conservative, and intolerant. Instead, they find that rural China has not only adapted to rapid globalization but has actually innovated the technology we all use today.




A Black Gaze : Artists Changing How We See

Tina M. Campt
Cambridge, MA ; London: The MIT Press, 2021

In A Black Gaze, Tina Campt examines Black contemporary artists who are shifting the very nature of our interactions with the visual through their creation and curation of a distinctively Black gaze. Their work - from Deana Lawson's portraits to Arthur Jafa's videos of the everyday beauty and grit of the Black experience, from Kahlil Joseph's films and Dawoud Bey's photographs to the multimedia artistic practice of Okwui Okpokwasili, Simone Leigh, and Luke Willis Thompson - requires viewers to do more than simply look; it solicits visceral responses to the visualization of Black precarity.


The Artist’s Studio : A Century of the Artist’s Studio 1920-2020

Dawn Ades, Iwona Blazwick et al. (Eds.)
London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2022

Accompanying a large-scale thematic exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, this catalogue charts the artists' studio through the last century: as a laboratory or stage set; as place of refuge, or a public space; as a site of resistance or an arena for communal activity. Featuring over 80 artists and collectives from around the world, the catalogue will focus in two sections on 'the public studio' and 'the private studio', accompanied by essays and full colour plate sections.


The Specter of Materialism: Queer Theory and Marxism in the Age of the Beijing Consensus

Petrus Liu
Durham: Duke University Press, 2023

In recent years, queer theory appears to have made a materialist turn away from questions of representation and performativity to those of dispossession, precarity, and the differential distribution of life chances. Despite this shift, queer theory finds itself constantly reabsorbed into the liberal project of diversity management. This theoretical and political weakness, Petrus Liu argues, stems from an incomplete understanding of capitalism’s contemporary transformations, of which China has been at the center.

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Penumbr(a) Issue 2: Beauty

Edited by Marta Aleksandrowicz and Fernanda Negrete

Issue 2 of Penumbr(a) - A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Modernity, edited and published by the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. One issue of the journal will appear each year.
Read here: Beauty


State, Law and Instituions : A Study on Juridification

Natascia Tosel
Soft Power, Vol. 9 (2), 2022

The paper aims to analyse the current process of juridification that is altering the relation between the political and the legal realms. Tosel discusses the existing literature on the theme: the dominant view — which finds in Habermas its precursor — reduce the increasing use of law to a process of bureaucratization, reification and depoliticization of the social field which transforms law into an instrument at the service of neoliberal governance.