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Title: Guy Debord's Situationism : theory, politics, ethics, protest
Author: Corcos, Alex
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 998X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Guy Debord (1931-1994) was the director of the International situationniste journal and de facto leader of the group of artists, writers, filmmakers and political agitators who went by the same name. This thesis will consider his many articles, signed and unsigned, that he contributed to the journal alongside his films and the theoretical work for which he is best known, La Société du spectacle (1967) in order to analyse and critique his written, filmic and organisational contribution to the group. The notion of ‘Situationism’, one Debord and the Situationists disdained, will be examined in the course of an assessment of the Situationists’ enduring relevance to contemporary debates in thought and politics as well as to the theory and practice of protest. In resistance to attempts to cast the Situationists as Romantic idealists who founded their critique of society upon a notion of unalienated human nature in need of freeing from the fetters of a capitalistic spectacle, it will be argued that the Situationists presented a radical rejection of such notions in elaborating their own conception of the capacities for egalitarian political subjectivation. The first chapter deals with the formative influence of Marx and Marxism on Debord’s La Société du spectacle and Situationist theory more generally. The second chapter examines the Situationist concept of détournement, the diversion or hijacking of pre-existing cultural elements in new works, with particular reference to Debord’s films. A third chapter presents a particular conception of ethics which emerges from both the writings and the organisational practice of the Situationist International before a final chapter assessing the Situationists’ pertinence to twenty-first century emancipatory politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BJ Ethics