Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory


This transdisciplinary project represents the most comprehensive study of imagination to date. The eclectic group of international scholars who comprise this volume propose bold and innovative theoretical frameworks for (re-) conceptualizing imagination in all of its divergent forms. Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory explores the complex nuances, paradoxes, and aporias related to the plethora of artistic mediums in which the human imagination manifests itself. As a fundamental attribute of our species, which other organisms also seem to possess with varying degrees of sophistication, imagination is the very fabric of what it means to be human into which everything is woven. This edited collection demonstrates that imagination is the resin that binds human civilization together for better or worse.

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Keith Moser, Ph.D. (2007), The University of Tennessee, is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Mississippi State University. He has published seven full-length book projects including The Encyclopedic Philosophy of Michel Serres (2016), sixty-six articles, and numerous book chapters.
Ananta Ch. Sukla, Ph.D. (1974), Jadavpur University, India, is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Sambalpur University, India. He is the author of numerous books including Art and Representation, Art and Experience, Art and Essence, and Fiction and Art.

Contributors are: David Konstan, Claude Calame, Allen Speight, Adrienne Mayor, Charles Altieri, Jody Azzouni, Warren Heiti, Carol Steinberg Gould, Rob van Gerwen, Michel Dion, Wendy Wheeler, Fiora Salis, Justin Humphreys, Keith Moser, Victor E. Taylor, Erik Bormanis, David Collins, Reshmi Mukherjee, A. Samuel Kimball, Chandra Kavanagh, Dominic Gregory, Jiri Benovksy, David Fenner, Deborah Fillerup Weagel, Renee Conroy, Roderick Nicholls, Ton Kruse, Riyukta Raghunath, Arindam Chakrabarti, Yanping Gao, Amy Lee, Ali Hussain, Marion Renauld, Jesse Graves, Umar Timol, Louise Dupré, Lisa Fay Coutley
'At the end of this wonderful journey through the theories of imagination and the various types of imaginaries, one is certainly fascinated by a polysemic view of the concept of imagination. Moser and Sukla have managed to find the best way to organise and channel a multitude of expert opinions towards a single goal: the revival of interest in the subject of imagination and its profound meaning in human life.' - Carlo Alessandro Caccia, in: enthymema (2021).
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Historical Imagination and Judgement

 1 Imagination and Art in Classical Greece and Rome
  David Konstan

 2 Poetic Imagination and Cultural Memory in Greek History and Mythology
Claude Calame

 3 History, Imagination and the Narrative of Loss: Philosophical Questions about the Task of Historical Judgment
  Allen Speight

Part 2: Gendered Imagination

 4 Imagining the Captive Amazon: Myth, Art, and History
  Adrienne Mayor

 5 Gender and Imagination: A Feminist Analysis of Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men<
  Reshmi Mukherjee

Part 3: Imagination and Ethics

 6 Psychoanalysis, Imagination, and Imaginative Resistance: A Genesis of the Post-freudian World
  Carol Steinberg Gould

 7 Craving Sameness, Accepting Difference: Imaginative Possibilities for Solidarity and Social Justice
  Chandra Kavanagh

 8 The Importance of Imagination/Phantasia for the Moral Psychology of Virtue Ethics
  David Collins

 9 The Infanticidal Logic of Mimesis as Horizon of the Imaginable
  A. Samuel Kimball

 10 The Relationship Between Imagination and Christian Prayer
  Michel Dion

Part 4: Phenomenological and Epistemological Perspectives

 11 The Work Texts Do: Toward a Phenomenology of Imagining Imaginatively
  Charles Altieri

 12 Conceiving and Imagining: Examples and Lessons
  Jody Azzouni

 13 The Dance of Perception: The Role of the Imagination in Simone Weil’s Early Epistemology
  Warren Heiti

 14 One Imagination or Many? or None?
  Rob van Gerwen

 15 Nietzsche on Theatricality and Imagination
  Roderick Nicholls

Part 5: Postmodern Perspectives

 16 Simulacral Imagination and the Nexus of Power in a Post-marxist Universe
  Keith Moser

 17 Jean-François Lyotard, the Radical Imagination, and the Aesthetic of the Differend
  Victor E. Taylor

 18 The Possibility of a Productive Imagination in the Work of Deleuze and Guattari
  Erik Bormanis

Part 6:Imagination in Scientific Modeling and Biosemiotics

 19 Of Predators and Prey: Imagination in Scientific Modeling
  Fiora Salis

 20 Geometry and the Imagination
  Justin Humphreys

 21 Art and Imagination: The Evolution of Meanings
  Wendy Wheeler

Part 7: Aesthetic Perspectives

 22 Image, Image-making and Imagination
  Dominic Gregory

 23 Depiction, Imagination, and Photography
  Jiri Benovksy

 24 Imagination and Identification in Photography and Film
  David Fenner

 25 Imagination in Musical Composition, Performance, and Listening: John Cage’s Blurring of Boundaries in Music and Life in 4′33″
  Deborah Fillerup Weagel

 26 Kinesthetic Imagining and Dance Appreciation
  Renee M. Conroy

 27 Imagination in Games: Formulation, Re-actualization and Gaining a World
  Ton Kruse

 28 “‘I AM not mad, most noble Festus.’ No. But I have been”: Possible Worlds Theory and the Complex, Imaginative Worlds of Sarban’s The Sound of his Horn
  Riyukta Raghunath

Part 8: Non-western Perspectives

 29 The Deep Frivolity of Life: An Indian Aesthetic Phenomenology of Fun
  Arindam Chakrabarti

 30 The Symbolic Force of Rocks in the Chinese Imagination
  Yanping Gao

 31 Magic from the Repressed: Imagination and Memories in Contemporary Japanese Literary Narratives
  Amy Lee

 32 The Metaphysics of Creativity: Imagination in Sufism, from the Qurʾan into Ibn al-ʿArabi’
  Ali Hussain

Part 9: Artists Reflect on Imagination: An Imaginative Epilogue

 33 Free Thinking about Imagination: How is it to Imagine What Imagination is?
  Marion Renauld

 34 The Nativity of Images
  Ton Kruse

 35 Signal: Poetry and Imagination
  Jesse Graves

 36 The Echo of Voices
  Umar Timol

 37 Poem, Liberty
  Louise Dupré

 38 Why to Wish for the Witch
  Lisa Fay Coutley

Graduate students and professors interested in the study of imagination from numerous disciplines including philosophy, world literature, literary criticism, classical studies, art, ethics, and image studies.
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