Cruel Optimism: New Social Text Periscope Dossier

Lauren Berlant’s most recent book, Cruel Optimism (Duke UP, 2011), undertakes the ambitious and necessary project of thinking the political present. Cruel Optimism attends closely to what goes undernoticed about living in relation to waning or worn-out models of legibility, sovereignty and sustainability. This dossier assembles responses to the book by scholars Kandice Chuh, Lisa Duggan, Micki McGee, José Muñoz, Sianne Ngai, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, and Rebecca Wanzo. In a dialogue with dossier editor Dana Luciano, Berlant engages these responses in turn and reflects on her own recent and forthcoming projects. All files can be freely accessed online.

Social Text Collective

The Social Text Collective began in 1979.