According to Rita Felski in Uses of Literature (2008), “[t]hat works of art cannot topple banks and bureaucracies, museums and markets, does not mean, according to the theoretical back-flip demanded by an absolutist logic, that they are therefore doomed to be impotent and inert, stripped of all power to challenge perception or shake up the psyche” (109). The power of literature and other art forms can seem subtle and even questioned altogether due to the intimate relationship between a reader and a text—literary or otherwise—but it can also be decisive for eliciting new dispositions that fight to disrupt the status quo. By showcasing societal change or its imperative need, art can be a powerful site for moving the masses.
The next issue of FRAME will focus on the topic of “Literature and Activism.” We have invited scholars of literature and related fields to consider the mutual influence that artistic texts and activism can have on each other. How has art, and particularly literature, intersected with activism? How has literary critique been a tool for societal change? And in which ways has activism through art and literature been limited by opposing forces?
This issue will be released in May of 2021. Click here to subscribe and get it.
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