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Pact with the People? Popular Genres, Public Concerns, and the Politics of Representation

Pact with the People? Popular Genres, Public Concerns, and the Politics of Representation Pact with the People? Popular Genres, Public Concerns, and the Politics of Representation jonas teupert A review of Ethel Matala de Mazza, Der populäre Pakt: Verhandlungen der Moderne zwischen Operette und Feuilleton (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2018). Cited in the text as dp. Recent resurgences of “populist” parties, from the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany to the National Rally in France, haunt po- litical debates. While theorists like Chantal Mouffe present left- wing populism as a necessary strategy against the Right, Éric Fassin declares such a strategy ineffective, and Jan-Werner Müller even considers it a threat to democracy itself. What unites the divergent positions is the claim that there are no people as such preceding the populists’ evocation. Rather, there exist “diverse and even antago- nistic images of the people,” as Jacques Rancière puts it. Drawing on the insight that these images are fabricated by popular media and forms, Ethel Matala de Mazza’s study The Popular Pact: Negotia- tions of Modernity between Operetta and Feuilleton (my transla- tion) traces the sociocultural emergence of the elusive foundation qui parle Vol. 29, No. 1, June 2020 doi 10.1215/10418385-8241960 © 2020 Editorial Board, Qui Parle 204 qui parle june 2020 vol. 29 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences University of Nebraska Press

Pact with the People? Popular Genres, Public Concerns, and the Politics of Representation

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Editorial Board, Qui Parle
ISSN
1938-8020

Abstract

Pact with the People? Popular Genres, Public Concerns, and the Politics of Representation jonas teupert A review of Ethel Matala de Mazza, Der populäre Pakt: Verhandlungen der Moderne zwischen Operette und Feuilleton (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2018). Cited in the text as dp. Recent resurgences of “populist” parties, from the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany to the National Rally in France, haunt po- litical debates. While theorists like Chantal Mouffe present left- wing populism as a necessary strategy against the Right, Éric Fassin declares such a strategy ineffective, and Jan-Werner Müller even considers it a threat to democracy itself. What unites the divergent positions is the claim that there are no people as such preceding the populists’ evocation. Rather, there exist “diverse and even antago- nistic images of the people,” as Jacques Rancière puts it. Drawing on the insight that these images are fabricated by popular media and forms, Ethel Matala de Mazza’s study The Popular Pact: Negotia- tions of Modernity between Operetta and Feuilleton (my transla- tion) traces the sociocultural emergence of the elusive foundation qui parle Vol. 29, No. 1, June 2020 doi 10.1215/10418385-8241960 © 2020 Editorial Board, Qui Parle 204 qui parle june 2020 vol. 29

Journal

Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jul 4, 2020

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