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Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom by Elisabeth R. Anker (review)

Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom by Elisabeth R. Anker (review) symploke reminds us is this: Foucault was first and foremost a brilliant storyteller, writing and performing fictions that continue to challenge our unacknowledged theologies. Ryan Topper, University of Leeds Elisabeth R. Anker. Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom. Durham: Duke UP, 2014. 338pp. Elisabeth R. Anker's Orgies of Feeling provides an original and important account of the "War on Terror," highlighting the central role that a "melodramatic political discourse" has played in generating support for U.S. imperialism by "legitimating violent and intrusive governing and corporate powers as a moral imperative for the practice of sovereign freedom" in the post-9/11 era (19). Anker deftly politicizes the melodramatic genre, wrenching it from its literary and cultural roots and situating it as a defining feature of post-9/11 American affective life and domestic and foreign governance. According to Anker, a new melodramatic political discourse that figures the "other" (Muslims and Arabs most explicitly) as utterly evil and threatening, while casting Americans as virtuous and innocent, has become a legitimizing narrative for violent and anti-democratic state action, both foreign and domestic. In making these claims, Anker draws on a theoretical archive that includes Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Weber, and Foucault, as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom by Elisabeth R. Anker (review)

symploke , Volume 23 (1) – Dec 31, 2015

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627
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Abstract

symploke reminds us is this: Foucault was first and foremost a brilliant storyteller, writing and performing fictions that continue to challenge our unacknowledged theologies. Ryan Topper, University of Leeds Elisabeth R. Anker. Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom. Durham: Duke UP, 2014. 338pp. Elisabeth R. Anker's Orgies of Feeling provides an original and important account of the "War on Terror," highlighting the central role that a "melodramatic political discourse" has played in generating support for U.S. imperialism by "legitimating violent and intrusive governing and corporate powers as a moral imperative for the practice of sovereign freedom" in the post-9/11 era (19). Anker deftly politicizes the melodramatic genre, wrenching it from its literary and cultural roots and situating it as a defining feature of post-9/11 American affective life and domestic and foreign governance. According to Anker, a new melodramatic political discourse that figures the "other" (Muslims and Arabs most explicitly) as utterly evil and threatening, while casting Americans as virtuous and innocent, has become a legitimizing narrative for violent and anti-democratic state action, both foreign and domestic. In making these claims, Anker draws on a theoretical archive that includes Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Weber, and Foucault, as

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Dec 31, 2015

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