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.
The Pathogenesis of Fear gathers together diverse conversations about cultural constructions of the monstrous. Interdisciplinary essays map the margins of monstrosity as follows: the cannibalistic paradox in Kleist’s late-Romantic
Penthesilea; intersections of the monstrous-feminine and the new Victorian psycho-physiology of consciousness in George Eliot’s early novels; the monster-formed citizens of Dickensian and later dystopias; the killing of African Americans targeted as monstrous entities in US cities; the post-human anguish of a television zombie-world; the monstrous mutilations of a Spanish horror film; psychosocial aberration in Martin Millar’s werewolf fiction; the demonization of the Other on the war-torn streets of Ireland; Derridean devouring sovereignty. Discursively correlated with different categories of body and mind, monstrosity, these essays argue, persists in taking many forms. Contributors are Elizabeth Hollis Berry, Niculae Gheran, Sarah Harris, Fiona Harris-Ramsby and Mubarak Muhammad, Michaela Marková, Kimberley McMahon Coleman, Judith Rahn, Cindy Smith and Marita Vyrgioti.
Art and Adaptability argues for a co-evolution of theory of mind and material/art culture. The book covers relevant areas from great ape intelligence, hominin evolution, Stone Age tools, Paleolithic culture and art forms, to neurobiology. We use material and art objects, whether painting or sculpture, to modify our own and other people’s thoughts so as to affect behavior. We don’t just make judgments about mental states; we create objects about which we make judgments in which mental states are inherent. Moreover, we make judgments about these objects to facilitate how we explore the minds and feelings of others. The argument is that it’s not so much art because of theory of mind but art as theory of mind.
From Ego to Eco – Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism investigates philosophical, political and aesthetic formations of ecocentrism. Representing a variety of disciplines and testing a broad scope of critical approaches, the contributors of this volume argue that anthropocentrism is not - as often claimed - a predominant world view but, rather, a widely contested concept. Within various historical and national contexts, the individual contributors of this book discuss the significance and relevance of ecocentrism and offer new avenues to emerging discourses in the humanities.
Contributors are: Darrell Arnold, Roman Bartosch, Aengus Daly, Gearoid Denvir, Elisabeth Jütten, Karla McManus, Sabine Lenore Müller, Maureen O’ Connor, Lillis Ó Laoire, Helen Phelan, Tina-Karen Pusse, and Christian Schmitt-Kilb.
Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction is a collection of essays examining the potential of the contemporary English-language novel to represent and inquire into various aspects of the human mind. Grounded in contemporary literary theory as well as consciousness studies, the essays consider both narrative techniques by means of which writers attempt to render various states of consciousness (such as multimodality in digital fiction or experimental typography in post-traumatic narratives), and novelistic interpretations of issues currently being investigated by neurobiologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers of the mind (such as the adaptive value of consciousness or the process of self-integration by means of self-narration). The volume thus offers critical reflection upon the novel’s cognitive accomplishment in this challenging area.
Contributors are: Nathan D. Frank, Judit Friedrich, Justyna Galant, Marta Komsta, Péter Kristóf Makai, Ajitpaul Mangat, Grzegorz Maziarczyk, James McAdams, Daniel Panka, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Joanna Klara Teske, Lloyd Issac Vayo, Dóra Vecsernyés, Sylwia Wilczewska
In her new book
Art and the Brain: Plasticity, Embodiment and the Unclosed Circle, Amy Ione offers a profound assessment of our ever-evolving view of the biological brain as it pertains to embodied human experience. She deftly takes the reader from Deep History into our current worldview by surveying the range of nascent responses to perception, thoughts and feelings that have bred paradigmatic changes and led to contemporary research modalities. Interweaving carefully chosen illustrations with the emerging ideas of brain function that define various time periods reinforces a multidisciplinary framework connecting neurological research, theories of mind, art investigations, and intergenerational cultural practices.
The book will serve as a foundation for future investigations of neuroscience, art, and the humanities.
Time holds an enduring fascination for humans.
Time and Trace investigates the human experience and awareness of time and time’s impact on a wide range of cultural, psychological, and artistic phenomena, from reproductive politics and temporal logic to music and theater, from law to sustainability, from memory to the Vikings. The volume presents selected essays from the 15th triennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Time from the arts (literature, music, theater), history, law, philosophy, science (psychology, biology), and mathematics. Taken together, they pursue the trace of time into the past and future, tracing temporal processes and exploring the traces left by time in individual experience as well as culture and society.
Contributors are: Michael Crawford, Orit Hilewicz, Rosemary Huisman, John S. Kafka, Erica W. Magnus, Arkadiusz Misztal, Carlos Montemayor, Stephanie Nelson, Peter Øhrstrøm, Jo Alyson Parker, Thomas Ploug, Helen Sills, Lasse C. A. Sonne, Raji C. Steineck, and Frederick Turner.
Truth Matters: Theory and Practice in Psychoanalysis, Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot offers an original construal of subjectivity as evolving from dynamic tensions between conflicting truths that inhabit and structure the psyche. The clinical endeavour is articulated in terms of unveiling these truths and allowing the multi-faceted nature of human experience to emerge. Yadlin-Gadot's notion of
truth axes combines philosophical investigation with an in-depth inquiry of psychoanalytic theory as it relates these truths to basic human needs and developmental challenges, alternating self-states and unconscious processes. Detailed clinical vignettes illustrate these insights and enrich psychoanalytic practice with innovative technique.
“This is a brilliant and original work that addresses a much-neglected issue in psychoanalytic thinking, the fundamental role of truth in psychoanalytic theory and practice. The author accomplishes this goal with panache and originality, in a style of exposition that is both accessible and illuminating. This book represents a major achievement in the annals of psychoanalytic scholarship.”
Michael Guy Thompson, Author of
The Death of Desire (Routledge) and
The Truth about Freud’s Technique (New York University Press).
Narrating Life explores the relationship between literature, science and the arts and the way in which they are informed by the process of narrating life. More specifically, it asks: how do literature, science and the arts affect and are affected by the emergence of a critical culture of biopolitics and its rhetorical figurations? Its topicality for literary and cultural studies lies therefore in its exploration of the question: to what extent could narratives of life (or life-writing) be understood as a special practice through which to access the contemporary discussion about biopolitics with its strategies of immunity, mutation, and contagion. The individual contributions address these questions through focusing on new forms of life writing in traditional and new media, science writing and artistic and critical creative practice. In doing so, they also explore and redraw the boundaries between fictional and factual experimental practices.
Contributors: Amelie Björck, Elisabeth Friis, Holly Henry, Stefan Herbrechter, Tom Idema, Moritz Ingwersen, Cristina Iuli, Tanja Nusser, Angela Rawlings, Manuela Rossini, Dorion Sagan, Laura Shackelford, Amalie Smith, Marianne Sommer, Steve Tomasula, David Wagner , Jeff Wallace, Dominik Zechner.
Traffic: Media as Infrastructures and Cultural Practices presents a collection of texts by distinguished international media and cultural scholars that addresses fundamental relationships between the logistic, symbolic, and infrastructural dimensions of media. The volume discusses the role of traffic and infrastructures within the history of media theory as well as in a broader cultural context: Traffic is shown to constitute an important epistemological and technical principle, a paradigm for exchanges and circulations between discoursive and non-discoursive cultural practices. This opens an encompassing perspective of media ecology, and at the same time illuminates the formative power of traffic as structuring time and space: material and informational traffic creates, maintains, and undermines power, configures meaning, and facilitates appropriation and resistance.