Can readers comment on this for me please? It is for a well known online Australian journal. Nothing concrete has been organised yet, just an idea floated.
Enthusiasm can be â€˜blindâ€™, yet without it, â€˜no great deed can be doneâ€™. What does it mean to be enthused or an enthusiast? Kant described enthusiasm as an excitation that exceeds the astonishment of novelty. Indeed, the Enlightenment conception of enthusiasm is a subjectively internal mode of the sublime that operated as a kind of motor for perseverance and action. For example, Lyotardâ€™s neo-Kantian enthusiasm describes it as a motor for an impasse of a historico-political blockage or break. [this bit needs work]
A post-structuralist typology of enthusiasm requires an appreciation of the schemas of appetition through which enthusiasts experience their enthusiasm. Beyond identity of subject or object, or relations between them, enthusiasm has a processual ontology. Tests of â€˜competitionâ€™, masculine â€˜riskâ€™, creative â€˜experimentâ€™, and political â€˜opportunityâ€™ and â€˜struggleâ€™ are all examples of the more general â€˜challengeâ€™ that manifests enthusiasm and mobilises bodies into action. Is there a political enthusiasm, the force of â€˜hopeâ€™, that drives constituencies for progress or revolution? The outcome is open and subject to the processing of multiplicity. Enthusiasm is a passage. Impasse and passage.
Subcultural scenes as much as classrooms rely on â€˜enthusiasmâ€™ for success or, at the minimum, survival — cultural studies academics often bring them together. In the post-Enlightenment era, as inspirational teachers or effective marketing executives know, enthusiasm becomes a resource to be cultivated. The culture industries at the forefront of convergence rely on transversal relations of enthusiasm produced across different media and organised around immanent media events. They invest in the infrastructures of enthusiasm so its mobilising power can be turned into surplus value. Are audiences no longer cultural dupes simply because they will their own enthusiastic participatory exploitation?