Affective Masculinity and Social Criticism. German Avant-Gardes Between Folly and Heterotopia

The project examines loose formations of radical social critique that took shape in various configurations before, during and after the First World War. The analysis is focused around three modes of critique: a) political critique (anarchism, pacifism, anarcho-syndicalism, communism); b) civilizational critique in the mask of the ‘other’ (primitivism, colonial critique, exoticism); and c) artistic critique or critique of the art world (avant-gardes, Expressionism, Dadaism). Common to these forms of critique are affectively loaded linguistic and pictorial spaces, lofty orchestrating gestures and the positioning of oneself beyond ‘normality’. We intend to investigate the locations of these extreme outsider and minority positions in changing “emotional communities” and in so doing explore practices of negotiating madness as a semantic field: in the poetic heroization of the figure of the madman and provocative gestures of mentally pathologizing oneself, as well as in analyses of bourgeois ‘Philistine nature’ and war enthusiasm as a ‘discursively mad’ social pathology. Of interest are precarious relations between radical critique and psychiatric descriptions of mentally excessive and expressive masculinities. A concept of historically specific Affective Masculinity is to be developed.

Principal Investigators
Binder, Beate Prof. Dr. (Details) (Gender Studies and European Ethnology)

Duration of Project
Start date: 06/2012
End date: 08/2015

Last updated on 2021-03-08 at 15:44