By Russ Castronovo
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Extra info for Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in a Global Era
Provides a starting point for taking the history of aesthetics as incitement to reconsider forms of the political that move unevenly back and forth between individual and collective, citizen and crowd, nation and globe. 1 . fl ower s and billy c lu b s The Beauty and Danger of Ethical Citizenship An election occurred—exactly how recently is uncertain—in which citizens did not have the opportunity to participate as they weighed in on issues of justice. This paradoxical vote without voting supposedly revealed the will of the people across generations so clearly that it might be said to constitute a mandate.
Howells picked up on this association between nature and state naturalization by likening sprigs of celandine, wood-sorrel, and dwarf larkspur poking through cracks in the city pavement to ideological messengers of the nation. S. principles— just as surnames were shortened and standardized at Ellis Island. ” 28 While Howells chooses a less programmatic approach than Riis, both writers act as social ecologists who look to ﬂowers, green space, and nature as pleasing alternatives to the rule of law.
32 But within the historical speciﬁcs of “Aesthetics 101,” the professional study of form and formalism animates undecidability with respect to political action—is it to be welcomed or feared? As an assortment of college textbooks, extension courses, curricula, and research, this discourse sought to shape people into citizens who would act in accordance with established forms. At the same time, ideas about “physiological aesthetics” and the “psychology of beauty” pointed to instinctual responses and creative principles through which groups of people might shape political interaction.
Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in a Global Era by Russ Castronovo