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What can a study of antiquity contribute to the interdisciplinary paradigm of the environmental humanities? And how does this recent paradigm influence the way we perceive human-'nature' interactions in pre-modernity? By asking these and a number of related questions, this Element aims to show why the ancient tradition still matters in the Anthropocene. Offering new perspectives to think about what directions the ecological turn could take in classical studies, it revisits old material, including ancient Greek religion and mythology, with central concepts of contemporary environmental theory. It also critically engages with forms of classical reception in current debates, arguing that ancient ecological knowledge is a powerful resource for creating alternative world views.
The aim of this Element is to provide a novel framework for gaining a critical grasp on the present situation concerning animals. It offers reflections on resisting the established order as well as suggestions on what forms alternative, pro-animal ways of life might take. The central argument of the book is that the search for an anthropological difference - that is, for a marker of human uniqueness determined by way of a sharp human/animal distinction - should be set aside. In place of this traditional way of differentiating human beings from animals, the author sketches an alternative way of thinking and living in relation to animals based on indistinction, a concept that points toward the unexpected and profound ways in which human beings share in animal life, death, and potentiality. The implications of this approach are then examined in view of practical and theoretical discussions in the environmental humanities and related fields.
Indians are everywhere and nowhere in the US South. Cloaked by a rhetoric of disappearance after Indian Removal, actual southeastern tribal groups are largely invisible but immortalized in regional mythologies, genealogical lore, romanticized stereotypes, and unpronounceable place names. These imaginary 'Indians' compose an ideological fiction inextricable from that of the South itself. Often framed as hindrances to the Cotton Kingdom, Indians were in fact active participants in the plantation economy and chattel slavery before and after Removal. Dialectical tropes of Indigeneity linger in the white southern imagination in order to both conceal and expose the tangle of land, labor, and race as formative, disruptive categories of being and meaning. This book is not, finally, about the recovery of the region's lost Indians, but a reckoning with their inaccessible traces, ambivalent functions, and the shattering implications of their repressed significance for modern southern identity.
This book offers a new reading of the relationship between money, culture and literature in America in the 1970s. The gold standard ended at the start of this decade, a moment which is routinely treated as a catalyst for the era of postmodern abstraction. This book provides an alternative narrative, one that traces the racialized and gendered histories of credit offered by the intertextual narratives of writers such as E.L Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Marilyn French, William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon and Don De Lillo. It argues that money in the 1970s is better read through a narrative of political consolidation than formal rupture as these histories foreground the closing down, rather than opening up, of serious debates about what American money should be and who it should serve. These novels and this moment remain important because they alert us to imagine the alternative histories of credit that were imaginatively proposed but never realized.
The thirteenth-century allegorical dream vision, the Roman de la Rose, transformed how medieval literary texts engaged with philosophical ideas. Written in Old French, its influence dominated French, English and Italian literature for the next two centuries, serving in particular as a model for Chaucer and Dante. Jean de Meun's section of this extensive, complex and dazzling work is notable for its sophisticated responses to a whole host of contemporary philosophical debates. This collection brings together literary scholars and historians of philosophy to produce the most thorough, interdisciplinary study to date of how the Rose uses poetry to articulate philosophical problems and positions. This wide-ranging collection demonstrates the importance of the poem for medieval intellectual history and offers new insights into the philosophical potential both of the Rose specifically and of medieval poetry as a whole.
Do we map as we read? How central to our experience of literature is the way in which we spatialise and visualise a fictional world? Reading and Mapping Fiction offers a fresh approach to the interpretation of literary space and place centred upon the emergence of a fictional map alongside the text in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bringing together a range of new and emerging theories, including cognitive mapping and critical cartography, Bushell compellingly argues that this activity, whatever it is called – mapping, diagramming, visualising, spatialising – is a vital and intrinsic part of how we experience literature, and of what makes it so powerful. Drawing on both the theory and history of literature and cartography, this richly illustrated study opens up understanding of spatial meaning and interpretation in new ways that are relevant to both more traditional academic scholarship and to newly emerging digital practices.
One of the most celebrated authors of twentieth-century France, Marguerite Duras loved crime. Indeed, criminal faits divers from the newspaper represented a key element in her literary project. Sensational news stories made their way into her novels, plays and screenplays, inspired numerous journalistic pieces and media interventions, and even informed the way that she discussed her life and work in the press. The Crimes of Marguerite Duras offers an innovative framework for analyzing Duras's literary works and journalism as they relate to the mass media and broader cultural debates. Anne Brancky reveals how Duras's predilection for provocatively blurring the line between truth and fiction on various media platforms helped make her a best-selling author and a public intellectual ahead of her time. Exploring the movement between serious literature and public scandal, this readable book affirms literature's abiding role in political debate and the public sphere.
This Companion provides a guide to queer inquiry in literary and cultural studies. The essays represent new and emerging areas, including transgender studies, indigenous studies, disability studies, queer of color critique, performance studies, and studies of digital culture. Rather than being organized around a set of literary texts defined by a particular theme, literary movement, or demographic, this volume foregrounds a queer critical approach that moves across a wide array of literary traditions, genres, historical periods, national contexts, and media. This book traces the intellectual and political emergence of queer studies, addresses relevant critical debates in the field, provides an overview of queer approaches to genres, and explains how queer approaches have transformed understandings of key concepts in multiple fields.
What does it mean to write in and about sound? How can literature, seemingly a silent, visual medium, be sound-bearing? This volume considers these questions by attending to the energy generated by the sonic in literary studies from the late nineteenth century to the present. Sound, whether understood as noise, music, rhythm, voice or vibration, has long shaped literary cultures and their scholarship. In original chapters written by leading scholars in the field, this book tunes in to the literary text as a site of vocalisation, rhythmics and dissonance, as well as an archive of soundscapes, modes of listening, and sound technologies. Sound and Literature is unique for the breadth and plurality of its approach, and for its interrogation and methodological mapping of the field of literary sound studies.
The global rise of festival culture and experience has taken over that which used to merely be events. The Cambridge Companion to International Theatre Festivals provides an up-to-date, contextualized account of the worldwide reach and impact of the 'festivalization' of culture. It introduces new methodologies for the study of the global network of theatre production using digital humanities, raises questions about how alternative origin stories might impact the study of festivals, investigates the festivalized production of space in the world's 'Festival Cities', and re-examines the social role and cultural work of twenty-first-century theatre, performance, and multi-arts festivals. With chapters on festivals in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Arab world, the francophone world, Europe, North America, and Latin America it analyses festivals as sites of intercultural negotiation and exchange.
Revealing the web of mutual influences between nineteenth-century scientific and cultural discourses of appearance, Mimicry and Display in Victorian Literary Culture argues that Victorian science and culture biologized appearance, reimagining imitation, concealment and self-presentation as evolutionary adaptations. Exploring how studies of animal crypsis and visibility drew on artistic theory and techniques to reconceptualise nature as a realm of signs and interpretation, Abberley shows that in turn, this science complicated religious views of nature as a text of divine meanings, inspiring literary authors to rethink human appearances and perceptions through a Darwinian lens. Providing fresh insights into writers from Alfred Russel Wallace and Thomas Hardy to Oscar Wilde and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Abberley reveals how the biology of appearance generated new understandings of deception, identity and creativity; reacted upon narrative forms such as crime fiction and the pastoral; and infused the rhetoric of cultural criticism and political activism.
Presenting a fresh perspective on one of the most celebrated print canons in literary history, Valerie Rumbold explores the expressive force of print context, format, typography, ornament and paratext encountered by early readers of Jonathan Swift. By focusing on the books, pamphlets and single sheets in which the Dublin and London book trades published his work, this revealing whole-career analysis, based on a chronology of publication that often lagged years behind dates of composition, examines first editions and significant reprints throughout Swift's lifetime, and posthumous first editions and collections in the twenty years after his death. Drawing on this material evidence, Rumbold reframes Swift's publishing career as a late expression of an early modern formation in which publishing was primarily an adjunct to public service. In an age of digital reading, this timely study invites a new engagement with the printed texts of Swift.
The aim of this Element is to offer a reassessment of Beckett's alleged Cartesianism using the theoretical framework of extended cognition – a cluster of present-day philosophical theories that question the mind's brain-bound nature and see cognition primarily as a process of interaction between the human brain and the environment it operates in. The principal argument defended here is that, despite the Cartesian bias introduced by early Beckett scholarship, Beckett's fictional minds are not isolated 'skullscapes'. Instead, they are grounded in interaction with their fictional storyworlds, however impoverished those may have become in the later part of his writing career.
Frances Hodgson Burnett is remembered today as the author of the children�s classic The Secret Garden, but in her lifetime she had a long and successful career as a novelist, dramatist and writer of children�s stories. Of high literary quality, her novels covered a range of genres, including industrial novels, American-themed social novels, historical novels, transatlantic novels and post�World War I novels. The Novels of Frances Hodgson Burnett reads her novels in the context of the changing literary field in England and the United States in the years between the death of George Eliot in 1880 through to the Great War. Read as a body of literary fiction in relation to Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James and T. S. Eliot among others, and read in the context of literary realism, historical fiction, the sensation novel and so on, Burnett�s novels constitute an important thread that chronicles the changing contexts and forms of English and American fiction from the end of the Victorian period to the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
Knowledge evolution punctuates the equilibrium of society and requires us to develop adaptive solutions. One new rule is that as the discovery of fresh knowledge grows more difficult, more complex organizational and institutional arrangements have to be adopted. Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations proposes a new paradigm based on the evolution of knowledge that synthesizes existing social science theories at three analytical levels. Its central theme is how knowledge creates new problems and explains growing inequality. The book suggests systemic networks in education, economy and political system to solve these problems.
New Medieval Literatures is an annual of work on medieval textual cultures, aiming to engage with intellectual and cultural pluralism in the Middle Ages and now. Its scope is inclusive of work across the theoretical, archival, philological, and historicist methodologies associated with medieval literary studies, and embraces the range of European cultures, capaciously defined.Essays in this volume investigate a range of writers from late antiquity to the fifteenth century. They explore encounters between humans and animals in French romance; reflect on what contemporary sound studies can offer to Anglo-French poetry; trace how the reception of Trojan history is influenced by late medieval military practices; attend to the complex multilingualism of a devotional poetry that tests the limits of both language and theology; analyse the ways in which Christ's sexuality upsets religious typology in late medieval drama; document the lines of national and European affinities found in French poetic manuscripts; and argue for why we should study "ugly" manuscripts of practical instruction not only for what they teach us but also for their insights into medieval literacy. Texts discussed include romances such as Chrétien de Troyes's Yvain and Béroul's Tristan; the theologian John of Howden's adaptation of the Philomela legend in his Rossignos; Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde read alongside siege chronicles of the Hundred Years War; Bruder Hans's quadrilingual Ave Maria; the York Corpus Christi Plays; the poetry of Charles d'Orléans; and a group of late medieval manuscripts which include herbals, account books, and medical treatises.
Improvisations of Empire offers a historical, biographical and literary study of the life and writings of Thomas Pringle (1789–1834), the son of a Lowland tenant farmer in Scotland. It examines his Scottish journalistic and literary career, his emigration to the Cape Colony as the head of a party of Scottish settlers and his subsequent relocation to London where he gained prominence as the secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society and the editor of a popular annual, Friendship’s Offering. The central concern of the book is with Pringle’s poetry and his affiliated prose, and how these writings reflect the negotiation of his deeply conflicted colonial experience from the perspectives of his Scottish background, his shifting colonial locations and his subsequent period of residence in London.
"Network Persistence and the Axis of Hierarchy" shows how networks, modestly redefined as a strong, yet imperfect tendency for pairings to recur day after day, that is, stickiness, imply a singular axis of stratification. This is contrary to the nearly universal insistence that stratification is multidimensional. Reanalysis of three central mobility data sets sustains the novel claim. Network concepts provide a supple base for analysis whereby order and regularity are strongly sustained in network neighborhoods but are not necessarily uniform or universal. This provides new takes, often quite radical, on accounts of structure and order by authors such as Bourdieu, Collins and Parsons.
This book explores for the first time the literature of absolute war in connection to World War II. From a transnational and comparative standpoint, it addresses a set of theoretical, historical, and literary questions, shedding new light on the nature of absolute war, the literature on the world war of 1939–45, and modern war writing in general. It determines the main features of the language of absolute war, and how it gravitates around fundamental semantic clusters, such as the horror, terror, and the specter. The Literature of Absolute War studies the variegated responses given by literary authors to the extreme and seemingly unsolvable challenges posed by absolute war to epistemology, ethics, and language. It also delves into the different poetics that articulate the writing on absolute war, placing special emphasis on four literary practices: traditional realism, traumatic realism, the fantastic, and catastrophic modernism.