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Adventures in Modernism: Thinking with Marshall Berman


Adventures in Modernism: Thinking with Marshall Berman


Jennifer Corby, Editor

Contributors: Jamie Aroosi; Marshall Berman; Todd Gitlin; Marta Gutman; Owen Hatherley; Esther Leslie; Andy Merrifield; Ali Mirsepassi; Joan Ockman; Kirsteen Paton; Robert Snyder

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Marshall Berman was a political theorist, urbanist, and public intellectual who gave generations a way to think about what it means to be modern. He offered a vision of Marx as a pre-eminent modernist and humanist, which served as a touchstone for his exploration into the complexity of our modern world and our lives. Marshall seamlessly wove together the ideas of Dostoevsky and Kurtis Blow as well as the experiences of St. Petersburg and the South Bronx. In so doing, he made sense of the maelstrom of modern life and inspired a feeling of optimism in the midst of the chaos, where all that is solid melts into air.

Adventures in Modernism: Thinking with Marshall Berman begins with Marshall’s unpublished essay, "Emerging from the Ruins." With contributions by theorists, architects, media critics, urbanists, and historians from across the globe, it is a testament to the broad influence of Marshall’s work. Some essays demonstrate the potential for applying his methods of analysis into places like Iran or Scotland. Others return to familiar places such as the South Bronx or Times Square in order to stretch or update Marshall’s analyses. And a few essays engage Marshall as a theorist and educator, examining his ideas of public, urban life, modernity, and modernism in and beyond the classroom. Collectively, the essays that comprise this volume reflect deeply on Marshall’s work, and speak to its continued relevance in deciphering and finding meaning in our modern world. 

Jennifer Corby studied with Marshall Berman at the CUNY Graduate Center, and is also a former colleague of his at City College, where they both taught political theory. Jennifer’s work is driven by an interest in the forces that shape perceptions of time, and the impact these perceptions have on the development of subjectivity and political agency. She is the former recipient of the Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for the Committee on Globalization and Social Change, and is currently a fellow at the Macaulay Honors College, CUNY. 


176 pages, black and white interior, softcover, 6” x 9”, isbn 978-0-9960041-6-9, printed in United States, 2016.



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