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In Red Canyon, in the foothills of the Wyoming Rocky Mountains, lie three archaeological sites: a stagecoach station, a tipi ring campsite and a series of faded petroglyphs. Collectively, these three sites offer the opportunity to bridge the divide between the prehistoric and the historic, and to explore multiple forms of cultural entanglement in the American West. This article challenges the scholarly homogenisation of cultural diversity in this region by combining the narratives of these three archaeological sites to reconsider dichotomies between Native and Euro-American, immigrant and resident, and acculturation and tradition.
This chapter uses current theories in the cognitive science of religion (CSR) to examine the widespread popularity of hybrid monsters in ancient Syro-Palestinian and Near Eastern art and the role of material culture in enhancing memory and expanding the ordinary boundaries of the religious imagination. The chapter analyzes the iconography of hybrid figures from the perspective of two current cognitive frameworks: Dan Sperber’s epidemiological approach to cultural representations and Pascal Boyer’s theory of minimally counterintuitive (MCI) concepts. Artifacts and imagery include hybrid creatures on glyptic and minor art, monsters and demons, as well as a discussion of hybrid creatures such as the seraphim and cherubim in the biblical books of Isaiah and Ezekiel. It is argued that culturally specific depictions of hybrid animals exhibit a core set of properties, which helps to account for their stability across geographical and temporal distances. The MCI theory is also empirically tested with recourse to the ancient iconographic data.
This article offers a reading of nineteenth-century Roman Catholic theology through the sacred art produced by and for women religious. The practices and devotions that the article explores, however, are not those that drew from the institutional Church but rather from the legacies of mysticism, many of which were shaped in women’s religious communities. Scholars have proposed that mysticism was stripped of its intellectual legitimacy and relegated to the margins of theology by post-Enlightenment rationalism, thereby consigning female religious experience to the politically impotent private sphere. The article suggests, however, that, although the literature of women’s mysticism entered a period of decline from the end of the Counter-Reformation, an authoritative female tradition, expressed in visual and material culture, continued into the nineteenth century and beyond. The art that emerged from convents reflected the increasing visibility of women in the Roman Catholic Church and the burgeoning of folkloric devotional practices and iconography. This article considers two paintings as evidence that, by the nineteenth century, the aporias1 of Christian theology were consciously articulated by women religious though the art that they made: works which, in turn, shaped the creed and culture of the institutional Church. In so doing, the article contributes to the growing body of scholarship on the material culture of religion.
This chapter argues that we should take seriously Orwell’s claim, in his 1946 essay ‘Why I Write’, that ‘what I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art’. By examining how this ambition of yoking art to politics plays out in Orwell’s final novel, it places Nineteen Eighty-Four within the context of the literary problems and practices of Orwell’s precursors and contemporaries. First, it considers his relationship with literary modernism and its legacies, with particular reference to his analysis of the work of James Joyce and Henry Miller, for instance in the 1940 essay ‘Inside the Whale’. Next, it examines Nineteen Eighty-Four in the light of earlier dystopian and speculative fiction by William Morris, Aldous Huxley, E. M. Forster, Jack London, Katharine Burdekin, Storm Jameson, and others; it also considers the influence on Orwell of Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. Finally, it assesses depictions of writing and the politics of language within the novel, and how their treatment might relate to Orwell’s sense of his place within twentieth-century literature.
The unique gold pendant found at Chrysolakkos, Malia, Crete, in 1930 has been variously interpreted, and usually is said to represent a pair of bees. This vague interpretation is discussed, and it is pointed out that the three discs that are suspended from the pendant closely resemble the fruits of a native Cretan herb, Tordylium apulum. Megascolia maculata, a member of the order Hymenoptera, is proposed as the model for the insects. Like a gold toggle pin, also from Chrysolakkos, the pendant demonstrates that Cretan goldsmiths were capable of creating aesthetically pleasing work by paying close attention to the local flora and fauna and used examples as the models for their unique jewellery
This paper explores what happens when artists fail to execute their goals. I argue that taxonomies of failure in general, and of failed-art in particular, should focus on the attempts which generate the failed-entity, and that to do this they must be sensitive to an attempt’s orientation. This account of failed-attempts delivers three important new insights into artistic practice: (1) there can be no accidental art, only deliberate and incidental art; (2) art’s intention-dependence entails the possibility of performative failure, but not of failed-art; and (3) art’s intention-dependence is perfectly compatible with the role that luck plays in artistic creation.
As both the record of and rationale for a settler construct, “Native American literature” has always been uniquely embattled: a body of production marked by particularly divergent opinions about what constitutes “authenticity,” sovereignty, and even literature. As such, its texts announce a culture beset by paradox: simultaneously primordial and postmodern; oral and inscribed; outmoded and novel; quixotic and quotidian. Above all, its texts are a site of political struggle, shifting to meet expectations both external and internal. This Introduction sets out the plural, capricious, and contested character of both Indigenous texts and our habits of evaluating them.
Ecphrasis dramatizes a form of attention, the reflective gaze at an object. An ecphrasis also performs an interpretative process with which the reader is made complicit: the strategies of viewing comprehended by an ecphrasis are normative, even and especially when contested. When Marcel, Proust’s narrator in À la recherche du temps perdu, stands for almost three-quarters of an hour lost in admiration in front of paintings by Elstir, keeping his host and dinner guests waiting, we are invited by Proust’s prose not merely to imagine the entrancing paintings, but also to recognize and respect the aesthetic prowess and self-regard of the narrator – as well as to stand at some distance with the author from the narrator’s youthful fascination and social indiscretion. It is a passage that highlights aesthetic response as a function of modern social protocol, with Proust’s customary self-aware humour.1 How to stand in front of a picture, how long to look at it, what to look at, and, above all, in what language to articulate a response, are all expressive aspects of the cultural spectacle of ecphrastic performance, in antiquity as much as in fin-de-siècle Paris.2
In this and the next chapter, I turn to a poetic form that plays a particular role in the aesthetics of late antiquity, namely, the hexameter narratives generally known as epyllia. In this chapter I will be looking specifically at how an epyllion narrates a story of eros. The parochial fights over definition – what precisely is or is not an epyllion, and is it a genre recognized in antiquity? – need not detain us here, though such debates have repeatedly vexed scholars.1 I have already indicated that questions of form need to go far beyond such restricted, formal perspectives. This chapter is primarily more concerned with the issue of scale, namely, what the effect is of taking a grand subject and renarrating it in the space of a few hundred lines. If scale matters, then the epyllion’s treatment of eros should prove to be a particularly telling space in which to interrogate how the scale of narrative – its form – affects its perspective. What can and cannot be said in a love story? How long should a love story be? How does size matter?
As part of the ongoing project of decolonization and cultural critique, indigenous artists and writers take on the role of autobiographers, ethnographers, historians, activists, and visionaries, often in the form of visual autobiography. Their storytelling crosses fields of study (art practice, history, anthropology, and literature), media (text, photographs, drawings, paintings, and maps), as well as geographies and cultures. Collectively they bear witness to transgenerational trauma, challenge official settler-colonial myths, share tribal stories and epistemologies as well as personal narratives, and insist on indigenous presence, witness, and continuity. This essay traces indigenous visual self-narrative forms from pre-contact pictography to ledger book art to their adaptation into contemporary modes as well as the indigenization of Western forms such as comics and memoir. Two streams—one arising from and referring to earlier pictography and a second arising from Western literary or artistic traditions, but with indigenous inflections—are discussed.
The direct dating of rock paintings is not always possible due to the lack of organic carbon compounds in pigments, or because sampling from a heritage site is often restricted. To overcome these limitations, dating laboratories have to develop new approaches. In this study, we consider sampling calcium oxalate crusts covering the painted artworks as a way to indirectly date the rock art. This stratigraphic approach includes isolating and extracting pure oxalate from the crusts. The approach was tested on natural bulk accretions collected in the open-air sites of Erongo Mountains in Namibia. The accretions were separated into two phases (pure oxalate and the remaining residues) with a special pretreatment. This process removes carbonates through acidification (HCl 6N) and dissolves the oxalate into the supernatant, leaving the minerals and windblown organic compounds in the residue. The efficiency of the separation was checked on the two phases by FTIR analyses and by 14C dating and showed that pure oxalate powders were indeed obtained. AMS radiocarbon results of various accretions on the same art panels provided ages from modern periods to 2410 ± 35 BP. From these first results, more targeted sampling campaigns can be considered to provide a terminus ante quem for the rock art.
Globally, rock art is one of the most widely distributed manifestations of past human activity. Previous research, however, has tended to focus on the art rather than artists. Understanding which members of society participated in creating such art is crucial to interpreting its social implications and that of the sites at which it is found. This article presents the first application of a method—palaeodermatoglyphics—for the estimation of the sex and age of two later prehistoric individuals who left their fingerprints at the Los Machos rockshelter in southern Iberia. The method has the potential to illuminate the complex socio-cultural dimensions of rock art sites worldwide.
Clinical outcomes following frozen–thawed cleavage embryo transfer versus frozen–thawed blastocyst transfer in high responder patients undergoing in vitro fertilisation/intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles are still debated. In a retrospective study, 106 high responder patients who were candidate for ‘freeze-all embryos’ were recruited. Frozen–thawed embryos were transferred at the cleavage stage (n = 53) or the blastocyst stage (n = 53). Clinical pregnancy was considered as the primary outcome and chemical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, implantation rate, and fertilization rate, as well as miscarriage rate, were measured as the secondary outcome. Clinical (47.2% vs. 24.5%), chemical (56.6% vs. 32.1%), and ongoing pregnancy rates (37.7% vs. 17%) as well as implantation rates (33.6% vs. 13.5%) were significantly higher in the blastocyst group compared with the cleavage group respectively (P < 0.05). Miscarriage rate was comparable between groups (P > 0.05). Transfer of frozen–thawed embryos at the blastocyst stage was preferable in the high responder patients to increase implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates compared with cleavage stage embryo transfer.
The introduction describes the ten chapters of the volume, and how they provide models for a historically grounded musicology that recognizes relationships between gestures and words, music and dance, human bodies and social acts over time. It describes how these chapters address many of the challenges that arise in the study of European music and dance together: the ephemerality of performance, the fuzzy boundaries between theatrical and social dance, the legacies and inequalities associated with colonialism and imperialism, the complexity of the sources (choreographic notation and its absence, musical scores and their absences, film, treatises and reviews, to name just a few). It also grapples with the divides among related areas, disciplines and fields, including performance studies, theatre and dance history, comparative literature, film studies, philosophy, cognitive psychology, music theory, history, anthropology and sociology as well as musicology.
Previous research on art therapy (AT) in cognitive aging has been lacking. AT can potentially engender significant cognitive gains, due to its rigorous cognitive involvement, making it useful to tackle age-related cognitive decline. Along with these cognitive gains, associated neuroplastic changes are hypothesized to arise from AT as well. The current intervention examined the effects of an AT intervention on cognitive outcomes and cortical thickness (CT) among participants with mild cognitive impairment.
Participants were assigned to AT (n = 22) and an active control group (n = 27). In both, weekly 45-min sessions were carried out across 3 months. Cognitive assessments and structural magnetic resonance imaging scans were carried out at baseline and 3-month follow-up. Whole brain analyses on CT were carried out. Cognitive outcomes were analyzed using hierarchical linear models.
Significant gains in immediate memory and working memory span were observed in the AT group, relative to the control group. Significantly increased CT in the AT group, relative to controls, was observed in a right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) cluster. Furthermore, CT changes in this cluster were significantly and positively correlated with changes in immediate memory.
These findings highlighted the role of MFG neuroplasticity in enhancing certain cognitive functions in AT. AT is a neuroplastic intervention capable of engendering significant cognitive gains and associated cortical changes in the context of age-related cognitive decline, even when executed as a low-intensity intervention across 3 months. Given the preliminary nature of these findings, future larger sampled studies are needed.
This article questions whether traditional Christian liturgical vesture has any intrinsic gendered identity. Vestments are worn by the clergy of various denominations, including in traditions where women are ordained into all orders. For some early female clergy, there was a discomfort about wearing garments traditionally associated solely with male figures, and even today certain vestment manufacturers distinguish between the type of products available for female clergy and for male clergy, or target select gendered clientele. This brief cross-disciplinary examination, of some scriptural, historic and socio-cultural understandings of vesture, concludes that, despite some seeming modern misconceptions to the contrary, vestments are inherently non-gendered, and that they appear predominantly to have been regarded as such at various stages of history. This is consistent with the liturgical understanding that vesture is not meant to be a statement of personal identity, but a symbol of ritual function and office within the gathered assembly.
Chapter 5 locates Beirut historically within the geopolitics of revolutionary Third Worldism in the aftermath of the devastating 1967 Arab–Israeli war. It investigates the aesthetic emergence of Palestinian revolutionary struggle in and through the printscapes that marked Beirut’s public culture and street life. It analyses the visual culture that reclaimed the Arab city as a revolutionary nodal site in the imagination of its inhabitants and in networks of solidarities, Arab intellectuals and artists — Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi and Egyptian — who crossed paths in Beirut’s long 1960s. The chapter reveals how Arab artists responded to the 1967 defeat and were radicalized by the revolutionary promise of the Palestinian liberation struggle. It argues that the radicalization of the role of the Arab artist in society at this particular historical juncture was productive of new aesthetic sensibilities that were carried in and through the reproducibility of printed media. The mobility of magazines, posters, mail art and artists’ books lent visibility to the Palestinian struggle and aestheticized its revolutionary discourse in the public realm. It demonstrates how the cosmopolitanism of Beirut as the ‘Paris of the East’ was displaced into the radical cosmopolitanism of ‘Arab Hanoi’ in this revolutionary quest.
The question of how to make art speak in the modern world is fundamental to MacMillan’s thought. Theologian Olivier Davies describes ‘the reorientation’ of Transformation Theology as like ‘a new tonality in music’, an apposite image for MacMillan’s work. This study begins with an exegesis of two strains of thought. First, like composers such as Messiaen and Pärt, MacMillan creates a topical form of absolute music that sublimates the aesthetics of desire for the absolute. MacMillan’s project also relates to the aesthetics of post-Tridentine violence and realism. Second, with reference to Transformational Theology, MacMillan’s thought configures Christ as present not merely in images but as ‘presently real’. This belief in the ‘real presence of Jesus’ in the world is manifest in images of embodiment in MacMillan’s music that seek to overcome mere representation to function as a form of (en)activism: Jesus - wounded, ascended, glorified - but present and corporeal. The final section draws these ideas together through analysing images of embodiment in MacMillan’s output including in Veni, Veni Emmanuel, the Cello Concerto, and Seven Last Words that profess MacMillan’s resurrection theology, and finding comparison with artists such as Caravaggio.
While Gothic scholars of the last two or three decades have explored forms of Gothic sensation, spectacle or visuality, they have generally had as their focus illustrations, caricature prints, graphic ephemera and advertising material rather than oil paintings and watercolours by the famous artists associated with Romanticism. This chapter considers precisely those works of art that have defined Romanticism. The more circumscribed notion of art and the artist associated with the ‘autonomisation’ of art around 1800 is here tied to the emergence of Gothic forms and themes within painting. It is argued that it is more than coincidental that the chronology of the original phase of Gothic literary and cultural production matches that of the development of aesthetics as philosophical discourse, and the ‘invention of art’ as a relatively autonomous field of activity. That a full-blooded Gothic art subsequently resurfaces only intermittently in the history of ‘high art’ exposes not only the volatility and inconstancy of Gothic culture, or the irreconcilability of the Gothic and art, but also the general ambivalence towards the indeterminacies of art in the modern era.