Critique of Authenticity

Thomas Claviez, Britta Sweers, Kornelia Imesch (Eds.)

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The volume provides a critical assessment of the concept of authenticity and gauges its role, significance and shortcomings in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Many of the contributions communicate with each other and thus acknowledge the enormous significance of this politically, morally, philosophically and economically-charged concept that at the same time harbors dangerous implications and has been critically deconstructed. The volume shows that the alleged need or desire for authenticity is alive and kicking but oftentimes comes at a high price, connected to a culture of experts, authority and exclusionary strategies.

T. Claviez/K. Imesch/B. Sweers: “Introduction”

Part 1 Overture: Authenticity at stake – a debate

Alessandro Ferrara:
“The dual paradox of authenticity in the 21st century”

Thomas Claviez:
“The dual paradox of authenticity in the 21st century – a response”

Alessandro Ferrara:
“Authenticity and deconstruction – a rejoinder”

Part 2 Authenticity: Theoretical and philosophical reflections

Thomas Claviez:
“A critique of authenticity and recognition”

Timothy Campbell:
“Authentic power as care and repetition”

Viola Marchi:
“The alienation of the common: a look into the ‘authentic origin’ of community”

Ryan Kopaitich:
“Authentic surfaces: toward a concept of transformational authenticity”

Part 3 Music and authenticity

Tina K. Ramnarine:
“Hegel and Sibelius on the Starship Enterprise: beyond the frontiers of musical authenticity“

Marcello Sorce Keller:
“How did we get into ‘authenticity thinking,’ and why is it so hard to get out of it?”

Marcello Ruta:
“Ontology of music and authenticity – a pragmatic approach”

Lea Hagmann / Franz Andres Morrissey:
“Multiple authenticities in folk song performance”

Part 4 Authenticity in Culture and Society: Case Studies

Dietmar Wetzel:
“Transformative communities as alternative forms of life? Conceptual reflections and empirical findings”

Sophie Junge:
“Authenticity required: writing the visual history of AIDS in current art exhibitions”

Kornelia Imesch:
“Authenticity as branding tool: generic architecture versus critical regionalism in the United Arab Emirates and in Qatar”

Thomas Claviez holds the chair for Literary Theory at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He has published widely on issues of community, recognition, literary theory and moral philosophy. He is the author of several books and is currently working on a monograph.

Kornelia Imesch is Professor for Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She focuses her research on national, international and non-Western art and architecture; the art system; the relationship between art, architecture, and branding; art and film; and art and gender.

Britta Sweers is Professor of Cultural Anthropology of Music at the Institute of Musicology and Director of the Center for Global Studies (since 2015) at the University of Bern (Switzerland). Since 2015 she has also been President of the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM). Sweers is co-editor of the European Journal of Musicology and of the Equinox book series Transcultural Music Studies.

Authenticity, recognition, experts, deconstruction, ethics, community, authority, music, performance, museums, folklore, contingency