June 04, 2022

Crisis Style: The Aesthetics of Repair

By Michael Dango, Assistant Professor of English and Media Studies
Stanford University Press, 2021

Book cover of ?Aesthetics of Repair? by Michael Dango. How do people deal with the stress of living in a constantly chaotic world?

Michael Dango, assistant professor of English and media studies, theorizes how aesthetic style, evident in contemporary art and literature, architecture, fashion design, and social media, is one way of coping with and managing crises.

“This is a book about how people live in a world where they seem to have lost control and lost forms of recognition in which they can see themselves as belonging to some mappable and shared order,” Dango writes.

He identifies four distinct “crisis styles” based on aesthetic trends across media: detox, binge, filter, and ghost. Each emerges as an attempt to repair what crisis has displaced, either as a response to a lack of personal control in a chaotic globe or a response to recognition in a fragmented and privatized public sphere.

Dango teaches 20th and 21st century American culture, aesthetics, queer and feminist theory, and the environmental humanities. His classes explore how contemporary art, media, and literature are frameworks for making sense of political, social, and environmental questions.


Also In This Issue

  • Beloit’s 172nd Commencement unfolded on a perfect spring day on May 15, the first large-scale celebration of graduation in two years — after the pandemic pre-empted, then altered Beloit’s traditional ceremony on the Middle College lawn. The class of 2022 reveled in coming together with families, friends, faculty, and staff, and President Bierman remarked that no one would take such a gathering for granted again. “It is great to be here all together in all three dimensions!” he said.

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  • Portraits that visiting professor Jason Scott collected from thrift stores attract faculty members Beth Dougherty, Daniel Youd, and John Rapp at the “Beloit Collects!” opening.

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  • Book cover of “The Wongs of Beloit Wisconsin” by Beatrice Loftus McKenzie.

    The Wongs of Beloit Wisconsin

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  • The Americares Emergency Response team assesses a map of Ukraine and discusses potential points of distribution for medicines and medical supplies in Rzeszów, Poland, in March. Adam Keehn’80, director of complex humanitarian emergencies for Americares, is on the far right.

    Addressing a health crisis in a war zone

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