Writing Politics is a methods book designed to instruct on politically focused literary inquiry.
Exploring the political sensibilities that arise from the way literary fiction re-textualizes historical periods and events, the book features a series of violence-themed inquiries that emphasize forms of writing as the vehicles for politically attuned historiography. Each investigation treats the way the literary genre, within historiographic metafiction, enables political inquiry. It's a form of writing that inter-articulates history and fiction to rework a textual past and unsettle dominant understandings of events and situations. Central to the diverse chapters are fictional treatments of authoritarian, fascist, or zealous mentalities. Featured, for example, are Radovan Karadzic (the architect of the Bosnian genocide), Reinhard Heydrich (the architect of the Holocaust's "final solution"), and the Trotsky assassin Ramon Mercader.
Michael J. Shapiro has produced another original and sophisticated bookshelf staple; the only contemporary investigation in Political Studies that instructs on method in this way.
About the Author:
Michael J. Shapiro is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of political theory and philosophy, critical social theory, global politics, politics of media, politics of aesthetics, politics of culture, and indigenous politics. Among his recent publications are The Cinematic Political: Film Composition as Political Theory (2020); Punctuations: How the Arts Think the Political (2020); The Political Sublime (2018); Politics and Time: Documenting the Event (2017); and Deforming American Political Thought: Challenging the Jeffersonian Legacy, 2nd edition (2016). In 2021, he received the 2018-2020 Pamela Grande Jensen Award for the Best Book in Politics, Literature, and Film.