We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online

The Legions of the Blind

Quinn, Malcolm (2002) The Legions of the Blind. In: The Philistine Controversy. Verso, p. 255. ISBN 1859843743

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Quinn, Malcolm

Quinn’s contribution to this book focused on a problem existing between (supposedly restrictive) aesthetic theory and (supposedly emancipatory) cultural studies/visual culture approaches. Quinn addressed issues of difference in visual culture/cultural studies, and recent critiques of the ambition to link a politics of difference to an emancipatory project. Quinn argued that Beech and Roberts had offered a nascent methodology to address the epistemological impasse reached by both cultural studies/visual culture and its critiques, without defining a set of critical tools. Accordingly, Quinn advocated appropriate critical tools to address these problems of cultural/studies/visual culture.

This chapter, commissioned because of Quinn’s role in the debates that formed the ‘controversy’ of the book’s title, was part of a summary of debates on ‘The Philistine’ in relation to both ‘The New Aesthetics’ and cultural studies. The debate was initiated by John Roberts and Dave Beech in articles in the 'New Left Review Journal' in the late 1990s. These articles had also informed a debate in the journal 'Third Text' with contributions from John Roberts ‘Mad For It!' (1996:35), Malcolm Quinn ‘Rethinking the Unthinkable’ (1997:40) and Julian Stallabrass ‘High Art Lite at the Royal Academy’ (1998:42). References to the Third Text debate, were included in Roberts and Beech’s text ‘Tolerating Impurities’ in 'The New Left Review, 218 (1998), which commented that ‘these exchanges have undoubtedly contributed to our concept of the philistine’.

Quinn’s chapter in ‘The Philistine Controversy’ focused on the revised concept of philistinism presented in ‘Tolerating Impurities’ that followed Quinn’s intervention and those of others, and advanced Quinn’s existing contribution to these debates.

Other chapters were by Malcolm Bull, Andrew Bowie, J.M Bernstein, Noel Burch, Esther Leslie and Gail Day.

Official Website: http://www.versobooks.com/books/ab/b-titles/beech_roberts_philistines.shtml
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Research Interests

Politics and aesthetics, art and the social bond, psychoanalytic models of the social bond


Dr Malcolm Quinn (PhD and MA RCA) is Reader in Critical Practice and Research Co-Ordinator at Wimbledon College of Art, where he leads the 'Agendas, Agendas, Agendas' research initiative. His writing deals with relations of aesthetics, politics and social structures, with particular emphasis on psychoanalytic models of the social bond. He is a member of the AHRC College and an editor of Journal for Lacanian Studies.

Current Research

Current research is focused on art and the social bond, employing the psychoanalytic model set out in Jacques Lacan's theory of four discourses, in his Seminar XVII (1969-70). The four discourses of the Master, the University, the Hysteric and the Analyst, express four different forms of the social bond. The four discourses are logical (i.e. not existential) forms of the social bond, constructed from Lacan's critique of the Oedipus myth (the father as the origin of the social bond) and of the myth of the commodity (calculation as basis of spectacular social links). An analysis
of the relationship of art practice and Lacan's four discourses is the subject of a seminar I am running with Dr Sharon Kivland at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, Birkbeck. Another outcome of this strand of research, is a review essay in Journal for Lacanian Studies dealing with two recent books, a new translation of Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book XVII, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated with notes by Russell Grigg, New York and London: WW Norton and Co. 2007, and a book of essays Jacques Lacan and the Other Side of Psychoanalysis : Reflections on Seminar XVII, Justin Clemens and Russell Grigg (eds.) Durham and London: Duke University Press 2006.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Verso
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 2002
Related Websites: http://www.malcolmquinn.com, http://informationenvironments.academia.edu/MalcolmQuinn, http://www.textandwork.org.uk/
Related Websites:
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009 23:21
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2010 09:16
Item ID: 1861
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1861

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction