In Ranciere's Sentiments Davide Panagia explores Jacques Ranciere's aesthetics of politics as it informs his radical democratic theory of participation. Attending to diverse practices of everyday living and doing-of form, style, and scenography-in Ranciere's writings, Panagia characterizes Ranciere as a sentimental thinker for whom the aesthetic is indistinguishable from the political. Rather than providing prescriptions for political judgment and action, Ranciere focuses on how sensibilities and perceptions constitute dynamic relations between persons and the worlds they create. Panagia traces this approach by examining Ranciere's modernist sensibilities, his theory of radical mediation, the influence of Gustave Flaubert on Ranciere's literary voice, and how Ranciere juxtaposes seemingly incompatible objects and phenomena to create moments of sensorial disorientation. The power of Ranciere's work, Panagia demonstrates, lies in its ability to leave readers with a disjunctive sensibility of the world and what political thinking is and can be.
Davide Panagia is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of The Political Life of Sensation and The Poetics of Political Thinking, both also published by Duke University Press, as well as Ten Theses for an Aesthetics of Politics.