A Time for the Humanities: Futurity and the Limits of Autonomy

James J. Bono (Editor), Tim Dean (Editor), Ewa Plonowska Ziarek (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book brings together an international roster of renowned scholars from disciplines including philosophy, political theory, intellectual history, and literary studies to address the conceptual foundations of the humanities and the question of their future. What notions of the future, of the human, and of finitude underlie recurring anxieties about the humanities in our current geopolitical situation? How can we think about the unpredictable and unthought dimensions of praxis implicit in the very notion of futurity?

The essays here argue that the uncertainty of the future represents both an opportunity for critical engagement and a matrix for invention. Broadly conceived, the notion of invention, or cultural poiesis, questions the key assumptions and tasks of a whole range of practices in the humanities, beginning with critique, artistic practices, and intellectual inquiry, and ending with technology, emancipatory politics, and ethics. The essays discuss a wide range of key figures (e.g., Deleuze, Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray), problems (e.g., becoming, kinship and the foreign, disposable populationswithin a global political economy, queerness and the death drive, the parapoetic, electronic textuality, invention and accountability, political and social reform in Latin America), disciplines and methodologies (philosophy, art and art history, visuality, political theory, criticism and critique, psychoanalysis, gender analysis, architecture, literature, art).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherFordham University Press
Number of pages273
ISBN (Electronic)9780823229215
ISBN (Print)9780823229208, 9780823229192
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • humanities
  • philosophy
  • political theory
  • intellectual history
  • literary studies
  • emancipatory politics
  • ethics
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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