Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media

Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media. Co-authored by Quentin J. Schultze, Roy M. Anker, James D. Bratt, William D. Romanowski, John William Worst, and Lambert Zuidervaart. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991.

Find it on: Chapters/Indigo

“Believers of every faith will find Dancing in the Dark a source of revelation and provocation as they try to make sense of contemporary American culture. I daresay even skeptics will find light in its pages, and the beginning point for important conversations about how to create a more humane society.” —Bill Moyers

“This is an outstanding critical examination of the role of the electronic media in packaging popular culture for youthful consumption. By integrating insightful historical, sociological, artistic, and literary analysis, the authors of Dancing in the Dark avoid simplistic judgmental explanations. The relationship between youth and the electronic media is seen instead as a symbiotic one—the media need the youth market for their economic survival, while youth, who are in search for their own identity, need the guidance, nurture, and constructed reality which the media provide…. This book is must reading for youth workers, ministers, teachers, parents, or anyone who wants a better understanding of the effect of popular culture, contained in the electronic media, upon youth today.” —Jack Balswick, Fuller Theological Seminary

Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory: The Redemption of Illusion

Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory: The Redemption of Illusion. Lambert Zuidervaart. Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought series. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991; paperback 1993.

Find it on: Chapters/Indigo

Theodor W. Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory is a vast labyrinth that anyone interested in modern aesthetic theory must at some time enter. Because of his immense difficulty—of the same order as Derrida’s—Adorno’s reception has been slowed by the lack of a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the intentions of his aesthetics. This is the first book to put Aesthetic Theory into context and outline the main ideas and relevant debates, offering readers a valuable guide through this huge, difficult, but revelatory work. Its extended argument is that, despite Adorno’s assumptions of autonomism, cognitivist, and aesthetic modernism, his idea of artistic truth content offers crucial insights for contemporary philosophical aesthetics.

The eleven chapters are divided into three parts: Context, Commentary, and Critique. The first part offers a brief biography, describes Adorno’s debates with Benjamin, Brecht, and Lukács, and outlines his philosophical program. The second is an interpretation of Adorno’s aesthetics, examining how he situates art in society, production, politics, and history and uncovering the social, political, and historical dimensions of his idea of artistic truth. The third part evaluates Adorno’s contributions by confronting it with the critiques of Peter Bürger, Fredric Jameson, and Albrecht Wellmer.