Resilience & Melancholy: Pop Music, Feminism, Neoliberalism

Front Cover
John Hunt Publishing, Feb 27, 2015 - Philosophy - 234 pages
0 Reviews
When most people think that “little girls should be seen and not heard,” a noisy, riotous scream can be revolutionary. But that’s not the case anymore. (Cis/Het/White) Girls aren’t supposed to be virginal, passive objects, but Poly-Styrene-like sirens who scream back in spectacularly noisy and transgressive ways as they “Lean In.” Resilience is the new, neoliberal feminine ideal: real women overcome all the objectification and silencing that impeded their foremothers. Resilience discourse incites noisy damage, like screams, so that it can be recycled for a profit. It turns the crises posed by avant-garde noise, feminist critique, and black aesthetics into opportunities for strengthening the vitality of multi-racial white supremacist patriarchy (MRWaSP). Reading contemporary pop music – Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Calvin Harris – with and against political philosophers like Michel Foucault, feminists like Patricia Hill Collins, and media theorists like Steven Shaviro, /Resilience & Melancholy/ shows how resilience discourse manifests in both pop music and in feminist politics. In particular, it argues that resilient femininity is a post-feminist strategy for producing post-race white supremacy. Resilience discourse allows women to “Lean In” to MRWaSP privilege because their overcoming and leaning-in actively produce blackness as exception, as pathology, as death. The book also considers alternatives to resilience found in the work of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Atari Teenage Riot. Updating Freud, James calls these pathological, diseased iterations of resilience “melancholy.” Melancholy makes resilience unprofitable, that is, incapable of generating enough surplus value to keep MRWaSP capitalism healthy. Investing in the things that resilience discourse renders exceptional, melancholic siren songs like Rihanna’s “Diamonds” steer us off course, away from resilient “life” and into the death.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Resilience
MRWaSP
Melancholy
Hearing Resilience
The Resilient Noisiness of Neoliberal
Chapter 2
Death asDivestment orNonResilience
Bending theCircuits of Biopolitical
MRWaSP Visualization
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Robin James is Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte, a contributor to Cyborgology and The New Inquiry, and a sound artist. Her writing has appeared in scholarly journals such as The Journal of Popular Music Studies and Hypatia, and her scholarly monograph The Conjectural Body: Gender, Race, and the Philosophy of Music was published by Lexington Books. She maintains a blog at its-her-factory.com.

Bibliographic information