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The concluding chapter describes the equal sharers as nonconformists, resisters of gendered norms, and recounts the social criticism that their lifestyle can evoke. The chapter identifies factors across diverse cultures that enable this resistance. They include couples’ conscious adoption of egalitarian principles and insistence that they be put into practice, which often entails women’s sense of entitlement to equality, and their ongoing communication with their partners. In addition, anti-essentialist beliefs, familism, and anti-materialism underwrite their equality. Lessons from their families of origin, whose lives they either imitate or reject also encourage their resistance to gendered norms. Finally, the chapter enumerates the rewards equal sharing provides for men, women, marriage/partnership, and children.
Queer of color critique emerged from within and across the epistemic fractures created by a set of late twentieth-century projects – such as queer studies, postcolonial studies, ethnic studies, indigenous studies, and feminist studies – that forcibly made visible the western settler-colonial white-male heterosexual social order that both liberal and radical critiques privileged, perpetuated, or ignored. It contributed to these interdisciplinary fields by stressing the co-constitutive weave of normalizing power, examined by post-structuralist queer critiques, with social and state dominative powers, which have been the focus of women of color and third world feminist critiques of heteropatriarchy, the “feminization” of transnationalized labor, and state/carceral management of de- and post-industrialization. Queer of color critiques identify aesthetics and politics that defy liberal and radical conceptions of engaged social critique and the (hetero)normative field of the “political” they enfranchise, secure, circulate, and expand through state apparatuses that violate and stigmatize our varied relatedness.
This chapter examines private transnational law, which is argued to be a prominent form of transnational authority in the global political economy today. It approaches private transnational governance from the vantage points of international relations theory and international legal theory, arguing that neither captures the ontological significance of transnational corporations and elites as agents of transnational governance. The chapter draws upon critical political economy to advance a praxis conception of transnational law that better articulates the importance of these private sources of power and authority in the contemporary global political economy and opens up space for more progressive governance.
This chapter surveys food and food practices in a variety of medieval texts, including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Havelok, and the mystic visions of Julian of Norwich, as well as recent scholarship in the field of medieval food studies. It argues that literary depictions of medieval eating, feasting, and mealtime decorum offer us crucial, if often overlooked, commentaries on political power and social pretensions as well as religious practice and hypocrisy, while also revealing key aspects of medieval food culture otherwise glossed over or omitted in culinary texts from the time, including the centrality of meat carving and the multi-sensory scale of medieval banquets.
In the concluding chapter I review the arguments presented in the book, such as that attention is evidence for a self with its own causal power, that attention is necessary for conscious perception, that consciousness can occur without the benefit of attention, and that action and responsibility do not require attention. I briefly discuss some possible extensions of the work and suggest how one might see this perspective of the mind to fit in with other contemporary accounts.
This chapter explores expanded forms of psychoanalytic methods that produce developmental accounts of perception and affect in relation to the external world. It turns to Melanie Klein’s ideas of object relations and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s redirection of Klein’s work through affect theory as particularly fruitful sites for ecocritical theorizations of affect in an era of generalized biospheric crisis. These theories and the associated affects they consider—particularly depression and dread—offer powerful conceptual tools for reading recent poetic representations of the disturbing affects associated with ecological relationality under crisis conditions. The chapter offers extended readings of the poetry of Inger Christensen, Jorie Graham, and Craig Santos Perez as examples of ecopoetics texts that portray the complex ways environmental relations shape subject formation and affective experience in a time of pervasive biospheric transformations.
The introduction considers ecological conservation movements in relation to modernity as a restless process of exhausting natural resources and human labor. I survey the emerging field of ecocritical modernist studies and situate my intervention as a focus on archival materials that chart the rhetorical development of environmental activists. I outline modernism as a strategic form of regeneration that avoids exhaustion through strategic breaks towards formal innovation. I consider the material and aesthetic basis of restlessness as it affects the artistic and contemplative life. I give the scope of the project and introduce the main authors in the study: D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Jean Rhys, and Chinua Achebe. I also look at E. M. Forster’s own environmental activism and Virginia Woolf’s new definitions of modern literature. I draw on aesthetic theories from Immanuel Kant, Walter Benjamin, and Fredric Jameson to show how artistic contemplation may still take place in the chaotic environments of modernity.
This introduction discusses the conceptual and theoretical framework of The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing, explaining the rationale behind its both linear and lateral structure as well as the selection of its contents. Flagging the difficulties of attempting to contain and articulate such an extensive, variegated, and still emerging field within ‘one’ history, it points to the complex historical and cultural pathways that have conditioned how the different strands of black and Asian writing have evolved. Written to provide readers with a cultural compass to map the often unstable political and historical contexts by which these literatures have variously been framed and named, it points to significant markers and milestones, contiguities and contingencies, which characterise the four centuries of black and Asian writing that this volume covers. One of the challenges of creating such a retrospective history has been to look both backwards and forwards, creating new literary vistas from what have often been limited critical frameworks and reductive political contextualisations.
Throughout his career, Cormac McCarthy has produced a rich body of literature that examines the complicated and often fraught interactions between humans and the more-than-human world. Encompassing tales about precarity and abandonment, failures of the Western dream to provide new beginnings and new freedoms, philosophical meditations on the limits of human knowledge, and apocalyptic revisions of agency in end times, McCarthy’s writings examine complex entanglements between human and nonhuman characters in an ever-changing material world. His place-based writings reconfigure spatial categories as they unfold across diverse geographical scales that are local, regional, national, transnational, and at times even planetary. Drawing on new developments in materialist ecocriticism and the environmental humanities, this chapter explores how the author engages intersections between economy and ecology; addresses agency across humans, animals, and the more-than-human world; and examines challenges posed by the Anthropocene. Through its depictions of ecology and agriculture, the role of the written word in the conquest of the Americas, and the Great Acceleration resulting from the Cold War global arms race, McCarthy’s writings help readers assess some of the more baffling complexities of our new geologic age.
This essay reads the landscape of Roberto Bolaño’s fictional Santa Teresa through a new materialist lens. In the fourth section of Bolaño’s epic novel 2666, “The Part about the Crimes,” the bodies of 112 women, victims of a series of unsolved murders, accumulate as part of a postglobal dystopic narrative of material and existential waste. Critics have especially noted the text’s clinical narration of events, which effectively reduces the victims’ bodies to interchangeable parts of a larger assemblage that also includes the factories (maquiladoras) where the women work, the northern capital that funds them, the police force that repeatedly fails to solve the murders, and the trash heaps and landfills where many of the bodies appear. It is, however, the women’s inert, mutilated bodies that animate Bolaño’s novel. Dehumanized by the text, the bodies’ materiality paradoxically gives human heft to an otherwise mechanistic account of undifferentiated carnage.
This article considers the ethico-aesthetic potential of British choreographic practices that respond to questions raised by the current sociopolitical moment by staging im/possibilities and dis/orientation and by envisioning alternative understandings of the present. It embraces Karen Barad's new materialist onto-epistemology as an inspiring framework to discuss the significance of choreography that troubles accepted patterns of relationality and engages in a creative-critical remapping of experience.
The textual history of Pound’s Cantos is among the most complex of any work commonly (or indeed uncommonly) associated with Anglo-American modernism. Notwithstanding the intricate problems facing any scholar keen on tracing the development of Pound’s poem through its stages of composition and revision, the record of published texts alone presents serious obstacles. As Lawrence Rainey notes, written over a period of almost fifty years, published discretely in more than twenty-five magazines and at least as many different collected volumes across seven countries, ‘no reader other than Pound could ever have traced all the parts of The Cantos’, nor even does any library in world contain copies of every published version. For numerous reasons owing both to the poet’s personal temperament and to the social nature of literary production, non-identical changes were made to different in-print versions.
Theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of education and activism in the Anthropocene will be enriched by an embrace of non-hegemonic thinking. Lakshmi Ashram, a small girls’ school in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand, India, provides an object lesson in thinking differently: in an imbrication of education/research/activism. This article acknowledges a continuing lack of attention in the literature to local, cultural and place-based diversity in transformative learning for sustainable community. However, the central story in this article is not one of critique, but rather one of a Himalayan approach to creating the pedagogical conditions for transformation in thinking and behaviour, in a connected socio-ecological community. Writing across an intercultural space, the two authors describe their ethnographic methodologies, exploring the long-term impact of a Lakshmi Ashram education on students and inhabiting the pedagogical experience of the school. A seamless flow of socio-material practice between pedagogy, research and activism in the school’s educational approach speaks to a Gandhian philosophy-in-action that is worth considering as a contribution to global educational praxis in the Anthropocene. In telling this tale of one small school’s pedagogical philosophy, the authors aim not towards ideological posturing, but towards creating further openings in thinking differently in education.
The chapter argues that one partial explanation for the curious lack of religious opposition to the patenting of life forms in the United States is the rise of Christian Libertarianism and Christian Materialism. The chapter sets forth the sparse history of religious objections to patent life by prominent denominations and then, following Kevin Kruse, charts the entanglement of evangelical Christianity, corporate advocacy, and governmental religious practice in the U.S. in the latter half of the 20th Century. As libertarian and materialistic strains of Christianity gain prominence and embrace a theology where property rights are central, the ability to make religious arguments against patenting are greatly diminished.
This chapter reconstructs the philosophy of history on which the Christian Democratic ideology is predicated through a discussion of the role this ideological tradition has assigned to the critique of materialism and other related concepts such as naturalism, immanentism, gnosticism and atheism. Reference to these concepts is pervasive in Christian Democratic discourse. In the opening speech he gave as Secretary of the Italian PPI, at its first national congress in 1919, for instance, Luigi Sturzo asserted that the newly founded organization’s purpose was to “participate in the public life of the nation … in order to contrast the materialism and laicism in which contemporary society has become soaked, and of which it has already experienced the consequences in the catastrophic war that just ended” (Sturzo 1919b, 83).
This paper expands upon some of the arguments and issues surrounding object agency that have been discussed in this journal (Lindstrøm 2015; 2017; Ribeiro 2016a; 2016b; Sørensen 2016; 2018). More specifically, it challenges Sørensen’s support of object agency in his latest discussion on the topic (2018). The paper is divided into three parts: first, it questions the relevance of replacing the conventional usage of ‘agency’, generally attached to sociological studies and reserved to describe human action, with one supported by the New Materialists; second, it identifies a series of contradictions in how agency is defined according to the New Materialisms, namely how it can be very labile and scalable yet simultaneously universal and applicable across all cultures and time periods; and lastly, it questions the quality of the philosophical ideas supporting the New Materialist conception of agency, and its disadvantages in light of the current re-emergence and repopularization of processual archaeology.