Scholar-in-Residence: Jacques Ranciere

Jacques Ranciere is widely regarded as one of Europe’s foremost contemporary intellectuals. His recent work, which has influenced scholars and artists alike, examines the relationships between aesthetics and politics. Interested in the questions of democracy, equality, and emancipation, his work insists that aesthetics is not an autonomous discourse. He is the author of many books: Aesthetics and its Discontents, Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics, The Emancipated Spectator, Disagreement, Hatred of Democracy, The Future of the Image, The Politics of Aesthetics, and The Ignorant Schoolmaster, to name just a few.

Describing Rancière’s ability to speak to multiple audiences and academic disciplines, Kristin Ross writes, “[Rancière’s] books address readers intimately aware of issues in local French politics and people who have never set foot in France; academic philosophers and amateurs; professionals trained in various fields and autodidacts. His art lies in being true to the rigor of his argument--its careful, precise unfolding--and at the same time not treating his reader, whether university professor or unemployed actress, as an imbecile.”

Ranciere taught at the University of Paris VIII, France, from 1969 to 2000, occupying the Chair of Aesthetics and Politics from 1990 until his retirement.