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Re-reading worldliness: Hannah Arendt and the question of matter

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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2018, 11:39 by Angela Last
Both new and historical materialisms have attracted a reputation for leading to ‘bad politics’. Historical materialisms have been accused of reducing too much to material relations and their production, whereas new materialisms have been accused of avoiding politics completely. This article reads the critique directed at materialisms against Hannah Arendt’s exceptional distrust of matter. Focusing on her concept of ‘worldliness’, it grapples with the question ‘why do we need an attention to matter in the first place?’ The attempted re-reading takes place through a feminist and postcolonial lens that draws out the contributions and failures of Arendt’s (anti)materialist framework in its banishing of matter from politics. Arendt’s focus on the prevention of dehumanisation further serves as a means to discuss materialism’s risk in negotiating the tension between deindividuation and dehumanisation.

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Citation

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2017, 35 (1), pp. 72-87

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

0263-7758

eissn

1472-3433

Copyright date

2016

Available date

04/05/2018

Publisher version

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0263775816662471

Language

en

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