Form and Class: a response to Sean McCann

In the May 2018 Issue of the Politics/Letters quarterly, Sean McCann offered an insightful critique of Walter Benn Michaels’ book The Beauty of a Social Problem. This is the author’s response. At the heart of Sean McCann’s critique of The Beauty of a Social Problem are two good questions: “Is there really anything distinctive about an artist who wants her work to be more than just a commodity?” and “do I really need a formally sophisticated work of photography to understand the structural reality of economic inequality?” His answer to both is no; in fact, however, “The Soul of Man...

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