New Books Network

Elisabeth Anker

Orgies of Feeling

Melodramatic Politics and the Pursuit of Freedom

Duke University Press 2015

New Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network November 8, 2015 Heath Brown

Elisabeth (Libby) Anker has recently published Orgies of Feeling: Melodramatic Politics and the Pursuit of Freedom (Duke University Press, 2014). Anker is an associate...

Elisabeth (Libby) Anker has recently published Orgies of Feeling: Melodramatic Politics and the Pursuit of Freedom (Duke University Press, 2014). Anker is an associate professor of American Studies and political science at The George Washington University. Joining the conversation as guest host is, Lilly Goren. She is professor of political science at Carroll University and editor of Madmen and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury, 2015).

How does melodrama advance a political narrative? In Orgies of Feeling, Anker reframes political theories of sovereignty, freedom, and power by analyzing the work of melodrama in contemporary politics. Based on her reading melodramatic discourses in the War on Terror, neoliberal politics, anticommunist rhetoric, Hollywood film, and post-Marxist critical theory, she argues that melodrama animates desires for unconstrained power.