Crisis Style: The Aesthetics of Repair
Stanford University Press, 2021
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.