Hardcover ISBN: 9780804744355
Paperback ISBN: 9780804744362
Since its publication in 1936, Walter Benjamin’s “Artwork” essay has become a canonical text about the status and place of the fine arts in modern mass culture. Benjamin was especially concerned with the ability of new technologies—notably film, sound recording, and photography—to reproduce works of art in great number. Benjamin could not have foreseen the explosion of imagery and media that has occurred during the past fifty years.
Does Benjamin’s famous essay still speak to this new situation? That is the question posed by the editors of this book to a wide range of leading scholars and thinkers across a spectrum of disciplines in the humanities. The essays gathered here do not hazard a univocal reply to that question; rather they offer a rich, wide-ranging critique of Benjamin’s position that refracts and reflects contemporary thinking about the ethical, political, and aesthetic implications of life in the digital age.
About the authors
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is Albert Guérard Professor of Literature and Professor in the Departments of French and Italian, Comparative Literature, Modern Thought and Literature, and Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University. Michael Marrinan is Associate Professor of Art History at Stanford University.