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Revolting senses : the contrapuntal aesthetics of revolt in Tunisia

(2018)
Author
Promoter
(UGent) and Christel Stalpaert
Organization
Abstract
Combining key insights from aesthetic theory and various postcolonial critiques, this research looks into the aesthetics of revolt. Taking the recent and exceptional sequences of revolts in Tunisia as a case study and thus starting from an extensive and unique fieldwork, it follows the aesthetic turn in political science and wants to contribute to the further development of an epistemologically more self-conscious and recognizable academic field of study that engages with aesthetics, politics and revolt in the region, the continent and beyond in the Global South. By unraveling contrapuntally the complex entanglement of processes concerning the politicization of aesthetics and the aestheticization of politics, revolting senses show how state aesthetics are always historically formed and how the sensible, or that what can be seen, imagined or embodied, is consequently shared, divided and distributed, but also how accumulated aesthetic agency can question and possibly alter this shared distribution in times of revolt. Attention is directed on the aesthetics of revolt, especially on the visible and corporeal or embodied qualities of sense experience. This study apprehends revolt in a phenomenological way as a lived, embodied and visual experience and thus as a process of diversion or reappropriation of spectacular power. It contends that revolt has the potential to alter a given police order, its properties of space and possibilities of time, to re-determine the distribution of the roles and modes of participation, its dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, and thus to restructure the shared division of the sensible. Nevertheless, the often too precipitated contentions that the moving body politic would have radically altered the order of the sensible, during the latest sequences of revolt in Tunisia, is altogether tempered. This dissertation points at the intricacies that accompany the processes of revolt against a firmly seated police order, especially the difficulty of creating different conditions of intelligibility and possibility that entail a fundamental transformation of what appears to sense experiences. These particular intricacies could somehow have been foreseen as aesthetics was explicitly grasped as a historically formed contrapuntal ensemble or as an all-encompassing realm that is made of different intermeshed, overlapping, and mutually embedded histories traversed by a colonial divide.
Keywords
Aesthetics, Revolt, Tunisia

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Ben Yakoub, Joachim. Revolting Senses : The Contrapuntal Aesthetics of Revolt in Tunisia. 2018.
APA
Ben Yakoub, J. (2018). Revolting senses : the contrapuntal aesthetics of revolt in Tunisia.
Chicago author-date
Ben Yakoub, Joachim. 2018. “Revolting Senses : The Contrapuntal Aesthetics of Revolt in Tunisia.”
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Ben Yakoub, Joachim. 2018. “Revolting Senses : The Contrapuntal Aesthetics of Revolt in Tunisia.”
Vancouver
1.
Ben Yakoub J. Revolting senses : the contrapuntal aesthetics of revolt in Tunisia. 2018.
IEEE
[1]
J. Ben Yakoub, “Revolting senses : the contrapuntal aesthetics of revolt in Tunisia,” 2018.
@phdthesis{8584001,
  abstract     = {Combining key insights from aesthetic theory and various postcolonial critiques, this research looks into the aesthetics of revolt. Taking the recent and exceptional sequences of revolts in Tunisia as a case study and thus starting from an extensive and unique fieldwork, it follows the aesthetic turn in political science and wants to contribute to the further development of an epistemologically more self-conscious and recognizable academic field of study that engages with aesthetics, politics and revolt in the region, the continent and beyond in the Global South.
By unraveling contrapuntally the complex entanglement of processes concerning the politicization of aesthetics and the aestheticization of politics, revolting senses show how state aesthetics are always historically formed and how the sensible, or that what can be seen, imagined or embodied, is consequently shared, divided and distributed, but also how accumulated aesthetic agency can question and possibly alter this shared distribution in times of revolt. 
Attention is directed on the aesthetics of revolt, especially on the visible and corporeal or embodied qualities of sense experience. This study apprehends revolt in a phenomenological way as a lived, embodied and visual experience and thus as a process of diversion or reappropriation of spectacular power. It contends that revolt has the potential to alter a given police order, its properties of space and possibilities of time, to re-determine the distribution of the roles and modes of participation, its dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, and thus to restructure the shared division of the sensible. 
Nevertheless, the often too precipitated contentions that the moving body politic would have radically altered the order of the sensible, during the latest sequences of revolt in Tunisia, is altogether tempered. This dissertation points at the intricacies that accompany the processes of revolt against a firmly seated police order, especially the difficulty of creating different conditions of intelligibility and possibility that entail a fundamental transformation of what appears to sense experiences. These particular intricacies could somehow have been foreseen as aesthetics was explicitly grasped as a historically formed contrapuntal ensemble or as an all-encompassing realm that is made of different intermeshed, overlapping, and mutually embedded histories traversed by a colonial divide.},
  author       = {Ben Yakoub, Joachim},
  keywords     = {Aesthetics,Revolt,Tunisia},
  language     = {eng},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Revolting senses : the contrapuntal aesthetics of revolt in Tunisia},
  year         = {2018},
}