Ausgewählte Publikationen

EUXEINOS - Culture and Governance in the Black Sea Region.

"Beetls". Drawing from the notebook of Oleg Grin, a 13-year old boy from Vatutino (Cherasky Region, Soviet Ukraine), written in May 1972. The inscription on the drums probably refers to the Polish skiffle band No To Co. Private collection Sergei I. Zhuk.

Nr. 25-26 - 12.2018: Pop and Politics in Late Soviet Society. Ed. by Peter Collmer and Carmen Scheide.

Zur Aktualität von Jacques Ranciere. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2016.

Zur Aktualität von Jacques Ranciere. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2016.

Das Buch bietet einen hervorragenden Einstieg in die Arbeiten von Jacques Rancière. Zentrale Theorieannahmen werden dargestellt und deren Bedeutung für die Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften der Gegenwart aufgezeigt. Ist es notwendig, angesichts der Rezeptionsflut der letzten Jahren, überhaupt noch Worte bezüglich der Aktualität der Arbeiten von Jacques Rancière zu verlieren? Tatsächlich gibt es wahrscheinlich gegenwärtig wenige Philosophen, die in ganz unterschiedlichen Kontexten so stark aufgegriffen und zitiert werden wie der französische Denker Rancière. Dieses Buch führt - mit einem durchaus kritischen Impetus - in das Denken und in die Arbeiten Jacques Rancières ein.

Ko-Autoren: Dietmar J. Wetzel und Thomas Claviez

The Common Growl: Towards a Poetics of Precarious Community. New York: Fordham UP, 2016.

The Common Growl: Towards a Poetics of Precarious Community. New York: Fordham UP, 2016.

No longer able to read community in terms colored by a romantic nostalgia for homogeneity, closeness and sameness, or the myth of rational choice, we nevertheless face an imperative to think the common. The prominent scholars assembled here come together to articulate community while thinking seriously about the tropes, myths, narratives, metaphors, conceits, and shared cultural texts on which any such articulation depends. The result is a major contribution to literary theory, postcolonialism, philosophy, political theory, and sociology. 

Contributors: Jean-Luc Nancy, Thomas Claviez, Robert J. C. Young, Homi K. Bhabha, Djelal Kadir, Jacques Rancière, Paul Gilroy, Nancy Fraser, Dietmar Wetzel.

The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. New York: Fordham UP, 2013.

The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. New York: Fordham UP, 2013.

Hospitality is a multifaceted concept that has been received by, and worked into, various academic realms and disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, anthropology, aesthetics, ethics, and translation studies. The essays collected in this volume, by a wide range of international contributors, examine how, in the wake of the work of Levinas and the late Derrida, this concept has entered into and transformed the thinking of these disciplines.

Contributors: Pheng Cheah, Thomas Claviez, Anne Dufourmantelle, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Ulrik Pram Gad, Bonnie Honig, Luce Irigaray, Nikos Papastergiadis, Mireille Rosello, Paola Zaccaria.

“Globalization has brought us instant forms of communication and diverse networks of connectivity. But has it made us better neighbors to one another? Have we evolved new ethical and political forms of hospitality to accompany the crossing of borders, the subduing of national and regional sovereignties, as we take our first, faltering steps toward an international civil society? These essays raise questions fundamental to our political condition. But they do more than that. They make a compelling case for an aesthetic and ethical enhancement of our sense of political rights and responsibilities.”
Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University.

“This volume does something new with hospitality, reanimating and redeploying it in ethical, political, and aesthetic directions. Its effect is prismatic: It brings together and then reflects, refracts, and redistributes hospitality across the intellectual spectrum of philosophy, political theory, and cultural studies.”
William Robert, Syracuse University.

“A timely constellation of trenchant statements on one of the most ancient and most sacred human conventions. In an increasingly inhospitable world, this is an opportune and eloquent volume on hospitality as institution, as political act, and as ethical practice. An invaluable touchstone for interdisciplinary study of the subject.”
Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University.

Aesthetics & Ethics: Moral Imagination From Aristotle to Levinas and From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to House Made of Dawn. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008.

In recent years, American Studies have taken a turn toward the political. However, although poststructuralism and deconstruction have undermined numerous of the moral-philosophical dogmas of the Western metaphysical tradition, many of the political claims that the revisionist turn in American Studies has voiced still rest, if tacitly, on these moral and ethical assumptions. As the latter often collide with the theoretical axioms that inform these revisionist works, some resort to what one could call the “pathos of marginality” and rather vague concepts of “otherness.” Moreover, these political-ideological readings often completely blot out aesthetic aspects, as these are suspected to be carriers of implicit and hegemonic strategies of representation.

In the first part, this study analyses what role “otherness” plays in the most influential moral-philosophical approaches to date - from Aristotle and the Neo-Aristotelians (Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum) via Kantianism and its deconstructors (Jean-François Lyotard, J. Hillis Miller) to the works of Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas - and sheds light on its highly problematic status in Western notions of justice. Moreover, on the background of these analyses it examines the role that aesthetics plays not only for, but within these approaches, with a special focus on what task literature is accorded to dramatize the clash of sameness and otherness.

Starting from a revised notion of the sublime, the second part “applies” the different approaches to four American novels: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Richard Wright’s Native Son, and N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, and examines how far the moral-philosophical systems carry to elucidate these texts. What becomes clear is that none of these works can be captured in their complexity by either one moral philosophy or one political agenda, in that every literary “exemplification” of such theory inevitably falls prey to the treacherous dynamics of the example - a dynamics that inhabits literature and haunts ethics, and that defies literature’s instrumentalization by either ethics or ideologies.

Claviez’s book is a notable contribution to the field of ethics and aesthetics. The author moves with ease between the leading representatives of the two main trends within the ethical turn, spelling out their theories on alterity and analysing with rigour their different stances on the particular otherness of the fictional text… a must for scholars and advanced students of ethics, aesthetics and American studies, interested in exploring the synergies between ethics and literature.

Aesthetics and Ethics avoids sketchy presentations and provides the reader with a thorough and highly elaborated exposition of the theories… Claviez has produced an excellent book, impressive in its scope and a perfect blend of theory and analysis. His mastery at unravelling dense theories is patent throughout. He guides the reader smoothly through the intricacies of ethics and aesthetics, from Aristotle to Paul Ricoeur. The most refreshing aspect of the book is Claviez’s wit, a rarity in academic writing.

Bárbara Arizti, Atlantis

Through his spirited confrontations with major thinkers like Nussbaum, McIntyre, Ricoeur and Levinas, Claviez provides insightful answers to complex moral conundrums and at the same time explores and highlights literature’s openness to a wide range of modern ethicophilosophical interpretations. Aesthetics & Ethics is a notable read that will appeal not only to scholars with an interest in the field of Ethics and Literature, but to all those interested in the current status of literary theory and/or moral philosophy.

Lefteris Kalospyros, European journal of American Studies

Grenzfälle: Mythos – Ideologie – American Studies. Trier: wvt, 1998

Obwohl die Begriffe “Mythos” und “Ideologie” für sich genommen Gegenstand zahlloser Untersuchungen in den Bereichen der Wissenssoziologie, Anthropologie, Politik- und Literaturwissenschaft geworden sind, so existiert bis heute keine umfassende Analyse des Verhältnisses dieser beiden Konzepte. Diese Lücke schließt die Studie Grenzfälle: Mythos - Ideologie - American Studies.

Anhand der bedeutendsten neueren Beiträge zur Mythos- und Ideologietheorie - u.a. von Max Horkheimer und Theodor W. Adorno, Hans Blumenberg, Kurt Hübner, Giambattista Vico, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Karl Mannheim, Louis Althusser, Juergen Habermas, Pierre Bourdieu und Clifford Geertz - entwirft der Autor einen positiven Mythosbegriff, der der weitverbreitenen Tendenz, den Mythos qua Mystifizierung der Ideologie gleichzusetzen, entgegentritt. In einem zweiten Teil wird auf der Grundlage eines geschärften definitorischen Instrumentariums das sich ändernde Verhältnis dieser beiden Konzepte in der Geschichte der American Studies - von der Myth & Symbol School bis zum New Historicism - erstmalig untersucht. Zu den hier untersuchten Ansätzen zählen die Beiträge von Henry Nash Smith, Leo Marx, Richard Slotkin, Annette Kolodny, Will Wright, John Cawelti und Sacvan Bercovitch.

Durch die stark interdisziplinär angelegte Ausrichtung der Untersuchung ist dieses Buch nicht nur für Amerikanisten, sondern auch für Soziologen, Politologen, Philosophen und Kulturwissenschaftler von Interesse.

“It is obvious that both Claviez’ notion of what his study is to achieve and the extraordinary number of complex approaches he considers demand great care and analytical competence … However, [he] proves to be always in full command of his material… Hidden assumptions and implications are revealed, scientific disputes are commented upon with great expertise, and the contribution of every scholar is critically appreciated… Claviez’ critical revision reveals a great deal of self-confidence, a high intellectual level, and is refreshingly combative… [A]n impressive and significant contribution to the field of American Studies.”

Georg Schiller, Amerikastudien/American Studies