Braider, "Unlearning the Sublime"

The essay argues that, if the sublime continues to fascinate scholars and philosophers long after the critical dismantling of its metaphysical underpinnings in Kant, Hegel, and Romanticism, it is because it has found a refuge in the topology of critical thought as such. The solution of the ongoing problem of the sublime accordingly lies in investigating the afterlife this topology grants not only the sublime itself but metaphysics even (if not especially) for writers like Benjamin, Derrida, Agamben, and Zizek committed to the skeptical and/or materialist deconstruction of the transcendental pretensions the sublime keeps alive. This essay appears in _The Sublime and Education_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.