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Record identifier : 569102
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Hite, Christian
Title and statement of responsibility : Technologies of arousal: Masturbation, aesthetic education, and the post-Kantian auto [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Southern California, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of Southern California
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation considers masturbation as a kind of reading practice in which the responsibility--or response-ability--of the reader becomes a concern. This concern of the masturbating reader, I argue, emerges in the eighteenth century with the post-Kantian notion of aesthetic education. The conceit of this project, then, is not only that "masturbation" and "aesthetics" emerge at the same time, but that these discourses--and the practices they entail--mutually (de)constitute each other. As structured around "perverse" moments in the history of media technics--i.e., from the hands-on readers of books, to the embodied spectators of movies, to the digital manipulation of vibrator users--this project thus attempts to defamiliarize (and queer) present notions of "interactivity" by focusing on the "masturbatory response" at the heart of "aesthetics." Unlike other accounts of the rise of aesthetics, however, this project tries not to be just another repression-sublimation narrative. Aesthetic education, I argue, does not repress masturbation. Rather than saying "No" ("You can't"), aesthetic education is post-Kantian (or post-Can't-ian) in its repeated attempts to normalize a self-legislating (auto-nomous) being through practices of response-ability in which readers are incited to "express themselves" and "their feelings." In my first section, therefore, I read Kant and Schiller through scenes of aroused book-reading dramatized in the texts of Franz Kafka, James Joyce, and Jean Genet, where the (im)possibility of taking responsibility for "one's own" response-ability is played out between notions of auto-nomy and auto-maticity. I then move to one of the first texts of film aesthetics, Hugo Mnsterberg's The Photoplay (1916), where the mimetic response-ability of the masturbating hand deconstructs notions of autotelic cinema. In my final section, I consider the electromechanical vibrator as a vehicle of auto-nomous (female) auto-eroticism in the Women's Liberation Movement, where the question of auto-eroticism as a (political) "auto-motive" is raised only to be resignified in the work of David Cronenberg's Crash. In aesthetic education, as Schiller says, the question, indeed, is that of "man" (the human, the human hand, and the humanities) and its heteronomous other(s): "technicity," "writing," "addiction," "animality," "mimicry," "femininity," "prosthesis." These keywords, then, constitute the constellation of this dissertation and its reading of the bio-politics of "aesthetics..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Modern literature
: German literature
: Romance literature
: Philosophy
: English literature
: Film studies
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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