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The Nature Essay

Ecocritical Explorations

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Simone Schröder

The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations is the first extended study of a powerful literary form born out of the traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism. It traces the varied stylistic paradigms of the ‘nature essay’ down to the present day. Reading essays as platforms for ecological discourse, the book analyses canonical and marginalised texts, mainly from German, English and American literature. Simone Schröder argues that the essay’s environmental impact is rooted in its negotiation of scientific, poetic, spiritual, and ethical modes of perceiving nature. Together, the chapters on these four aspects form a historical panorama of the nature essay as a genre that continues to flourish in our time of ecological crisis.

Authors discussed include: Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, Ernst Jünger, W.G. Sebald, Kathleen Jamie, and David Foster Wallace.
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Patricia San José Rico

How do contemporary African American authors relate trauma, memory, and the recovery of the past with the processes of cultural and identity formation in African American communities?
Patricia San José analyses a variety of novels by authors like Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, and David Bradley and explores these works as valuable instruments for the disclosure, giving voice, and public recognition of African American collective and historical trauma.
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Edited by Helen Yitah and Helen Lauer

Philosophical Foundations of the African Humanities through Postcolonial Perspectives critiques recent claims that the humanities, especially in public universities in poor countries, have lost their significance, defining missions, methods and standards due to the pressure to justify their existence. The predominant responses to these claims have been that the humanities are relevant for creating a “world culture” to address the world’s problems. This book argues that behind such arguments lies a false neutrality constructed to deny the values intrinsic to marginalized cultures and peoples and to justify their perceived inferiority. These essays by scholars in postcolonial studies critique these false claims about the humanities through critical analyses of alterity, difference, and how the Other is perceived, defined and subdued. Contributors: Gordon S.K. Adika, Kofi N. Awoonor, E. John Collins, Kari Dako, Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu, James Gibbs, Helen Lauer, Bernth Lindfors, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Abena Oduro, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Olúfémi Táíwò, Alexis B. Tengan, Kwasi Wiredu, Francis Nii-Yartey
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Meaningful Absence Across Arts and Media

The Significance of Missing Signifiers

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Edited by Werner Wolf, Nassim Balestrini and Walter Bernhart

This volume focusses on a rarely discussed method of meaning production, namely via the absence, rather than presence, of signifiers. It does so from an interdisciplinary, transmedial perspective, which covers systematic, media-comparative and historical aspects, and reveals various forms and functions of missing signifiers across arts and media. The meaningful silences, blanks, lacunae, pauses, etc., treated by the ten contributors are taken from language and literature, film, comics, opera and instrumental music, architecture, and the visual arts. Contributors are: Nassim Balestrini, Walter Bernhart, Olga Fischer, Saskia Jaszoltowski, Henry Keazor, Peter Revers, Klaus Rieser, Daniel Stein, Anselm Wagner, Werner Wolf
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Rosa Maria Calcaterra

Richard Rorty’s “neo-pragmatism” launched a powerful challenge to entrenched philosophical certainties of modernity, articulating a powerful picture of normativity as a distinctive activity of human beings. This “contingentism,” with its emphasis on indeterminacy, ambiguity, uncertainty, and chance, depicts normativity as a practical human possibility rather than a metaphysical bottleneck which we must overcome at the cost of repudiating the concrete ways we grant epistemic and ethical meaning to our activities. The book is a critical survey of Rorty’s philosophy, in light of contemporary theoretical debates around language, truth, justification, and naturalism, as well as his own resourceful attempts to renew philosophy from within by using the conceptual tools and argumentative techniques of both analytic philosophy and pragmatism.
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Erotic Subjects and Outlaws

Sketching the Borders of Sexual Citizenship

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Edited by Serena Petrella

This book examines the intricacies of emergent sexual citizenship. Designed for academics and broader audiences alike, the collection covers the theorization of sexual citizenship, the exploration of case studies in law, the relationship between sexual citizenship and bio-politics, and finally the erotic dissidence of sexual outlaws. The borders of sexual citizenship are traced, as authors investigate what it means to be ‘inside,’ as erotic subjects, or outside, as ‘sexual outlaws.’ The issues of inclusion and exclusion are approached through diverse methodological and analytical lenses: some articles are theoretical and philosophical, others are empirically based, presenting the findings of sociological and ethnographic research projects; some are textual analyses, of religious texts, film texts, and of legal discourse. Contributors are Abidemi Fasanmi, René Hirsch, Elene Lam, Jaclyn Lanthier, Todd G. Morrison, Nick J. Mulé, Elly-Jean Nielsen, Serena Petrella, Olivia Schuman and Deww Zhang.
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Testimony and Trauma

Engaging Common Ground

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Edited by Christina Santos, Adriana Spahr and Tracy Crowe Morey

This book offers a collection of reflective essays on current testimonial production by researchers and practitioners working in multifaceted fields such as art and film performance, public memorialization, scriptotherapy, and fictional and non-fictional testimony. The inter-disciplinary approach to the question of testimony offers a current account of testimony’s diversity in the twenty-first century as well as its relevance within the fields of art, storytelling, trauma, and activism. The range of topics engage with questions of genre and modes of representation, ethical and political concerns of testimony, and the flaws and limitations of testimonial production giving testament to some of the ethical concerns of our present age. Contributors are Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Olga Bezhanova, Melissa Burchard, Mateusz Chaberski, Candace Couse, Tracy Crowe Morey, Marwa Sayed Hanafy, Rachel Joy, Emma Kelly, Timothy Long, Elizabeth Matheson, Antonio Prado del Santo, Christine Ramsay, Cristina Santos and Adriana Spahr.
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Leo Courbot

With Fred D'Aguiar and Caribbean Literature: Metaphor, Myth, Memory, Leo Courbot offers the first research monograph entirely dedicated to a comprehensive reading of the verse and prose works of Fred D'Aguiar, prized American author of Anglo-Guyanese origin. “Postcolonial” criticism, when related to the history of the African diaspora, regularly inscribes itself in the wake of Sartrean philosophy. However, Fred D'Aguiar's both typical and untypical Caribbean background, in addition to the singularity of his diction, call for a different approach, which Leo Courbot convincingly carries out by reading literature in the light of Jacques Derrida and Édouard Glissant's less conventional sense of the intrinsically metaphorical and cross-cultural nature of language.
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Fashion and Contemporaneity

Realms of the Visible

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Edited by Laura Petican

This book represents the voices of scholars, fashion designers, bloggers and artists, who speak to the pervasive nature of fashion in matters of politics, history, economics, sociology, religion, culture, art and identity. Dialogically open, the volume offers a broad apprehension of visual matter in the global contemporary context with fashion at its core, exploring its metamorphosing, media-oriented and ‘disordered’ modes of being in the early twenty-first century. The book’s contributors consider topics of universal import stemming from the realm of fashion, its dissemination and impact, from institutional, corporate, collective and individual perspectives, reflecting on the morphing, interchanging and revolutionary quality of the visual realm as the basis for continued research in fashion studies. Contributors are Shari Tamar Akal, Jess Berry, Naomi Braithwaite, Claire Eldred, Sarah Heaton, Hilde Heim, Demetra Kolakis, Sarah Mole, Lynn S. Neal, Laura Petican, Cecilia Winterhalter, Manrutt Wongkaew.
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Czesław Porębski

This book offers a synoptic introduction to an important chapter of Polish 20th century philosophy, by introducing the studies of Kazimierz Twardowski, Tadeusz Czeżowski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Roman Ingarden, Henryk Elzenberg, Maria Ossowska, and Józef Maria Bocheński and how they contributed to value theory, ethics and aesthetics. These philosophers differed in their more definite interests, methodological approaches, and main results and yet their investigations share a number of characteristic features. Questions of value, considered as extremely vital, are treated with care and precision. In spite of the richness of their insights and an impressive number of detailed results these philosophers refrain from hasty conclusions, trying here, as elsewhere, to conduct their studies in an intellectually and morally responsible way.