New From Re-Press: Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity

Another boring new book post.  This too looks rather interesting.

Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity

Andrew Benjamin and Charles Rice (eds.)

Blurb: Walter Benjamin is universally recognized as one of the key thinkers of modernity: his writings on politics, language, literature, media, theology and law have had an incalculable influence on contemporary thought. Yet the problem of architecture in and for Benjamin’s work remains relatively underexamined. Does Benjamin’s project have an architecture and, if so, how does this architecture affect the explicit propositions that he offers us? In what ways are Benjamin’s writings centrally caught up with architectural concerns, from the redevelopment of major urban centres to the movements that individuals can make within the new spaces of modern cities? How can Benjamin’s theses help us to understand the secret architectures of the present? This volume takes up the architectural challenge in a number of innovative ways, collecting essays by both well-known and emerging scholars on time in cinema, the problem of kitsch, the design of graves and tombs, the orders of road-signs, childhood experience in modern cities, and much more. Engaged, interdisciplinary, bristling with insights, the essays in this collection will constitute an indispensable supplement to the work of Walter Benjamin, as well as providing a guide to some of the obscurities of our own present.

TOC below the fold:


Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity
Andrew Benjamin and Charles Rice

Aesthetics and Philosophy
Booking Benjamin: The Fate of a Medium
Henry Sussman
On the ‘Vital Significance’ of Kitsch: Walter Benjamin’s Politics of ‘Bad Taste’
Winfried Menninghaus
Modernity as an Unfinished Project: Benjamin and Political Romanticism
Michael Mack
Violence, Deconstruction, and Sovereignty: Derrida and Agamben on Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’
Robert Sinnerbrink
Graves, Pits and Murderous Plots: Walter Benjamin, Alois Riegl, and the German Mourning Play’s Dreary Tone of Intrigue
Joel Morris
Benjamin’s Critique of Aesthetic Autonomy
George Markus
Framing Pictures, Transcending Marks: Walter Benjamin’s ‘Paintings, or Signs and Marks’
Andrew Benjamin

Cities and Images
Interiority, Exteriority and Spatial Politics in Benjamin’s Cityscapes
Peter Schmiedgen
Time Without End: Exploring the Temporal Experience of Wong Kar‑Wai’s 2046 Through Walter Benjamin
Jo Law
Experience and Play: Walter Benjamin and the Prelapsarian Child
Carlo Salzani
Experimental Set-ups: Benjamin on History and Film 
Tara Forrest



A thought-provoking collection of essays exploring and extending the Benjaminian project. The range of concerns addressed by the contributors is impressive, and the collection provides an exciting and invaluable report on the current state of debate surrounding Benjamin’s architectural aesthetic.’
Howard Caygill, author of Walter Benjamin: The Colour of Experience

2 thoughts on “New From Re-Press: Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity

  1. Geez, while others got their projects lined up and ready to go, repeating like a mantra their favorite phrase (“surround yourself with people with projects!”) you and I are reading books – how boring! how passe!

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