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Author: Marcel Danesi
In Pi (π) in Nature, Art, and Culture Marcel Danesi revisits the importance of π as a pattern in the structure of reality, fitting in with the Pythagorean view of Order. Pi has cropped up in formulas that describe natural and physical structures which, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with a circle, but might harbor the archetype of circularity as a principle.

Through π, this book thus revisits the implicit ancient Greek view that geometry was a 'hermeneutic science,' a discipline aiming to investigate the connectivity among numbers, shapes, and natural phenomena. It also examines its manifestations in aesthetic, symbolic and cultural structures, which point to an abiding fascination with the circle as an unconscious archetype. Hermeneutic geometry is ultimately about the exploration of the meanings of geometric-mathematical notions to science and human life.
Author: Yair Neuman
The old practices of interpretation have been exhausted, and the humanities and social sciences are facing a crisis. Is there a way out of the labyrinth of reading? In this book, Professor Neuman presents a challenging approach to interpreting texts and reading literature through the spectacles of conceptual mathematics. This approach strives to avoid the simplicity of a quantitative approach to the analysis of literature as well as both the relativistic and the ideological dangers facing a qualitative reading of a text. The approach is introduced in a rigorous and accessible manner and woven with insights gained from various fields. Taking us on a challenging journey from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro, the book shows how we may gain a deeper understanding of literature and the aesthetic experience of reading.
The Study of Time XVI: Time’s Urgency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Society for the Study of Time. It includes a keynote speech by renowned physicist Julian Barbour, a dialogue between British author David Mitchell, Katie Paterson and ISST’s previous president Paul Harris. The volume is divided into dialogues and papers that directly address the issue of urgency and time scales from various disciplines.

This book offers a unique perspective on the contemporary status of the interdisciplinary study of time. It will open new paths of inquiry for different approaches to the important issues of narrative structure and urgency. These are themes that are becoming increasingly relevant during our times.

Contributors are Julian Barbour, Dennis Costa, Kerstin Cuhls, Ileana da Silva, Margaret K. Devinney, Sonia Front, Peter A. Hancock, Paul Harris, Rose Harris-Birtill, David Mitchell, Carlos Montemayor, Jo Alyson Parker, Katie Paterson, Walter Schweidler, Raji C. Steineck, Daniela Tan, Frederick Turner, Thomas P. Weissert, Marc Wolterbeek, and Barry Wood.
This book proposes a new approach to the problem of aesthetic experience in Western culture. Noting how art world phenomena evoke conventional psychoanalytic speculations about narcissism, the authors turn the tables and “apply” aesthetic questions and concerns to psychoanalytic theory. Experimenting with Freudian and post-Freudian concepts, they propose a non-normative theory of the psychic drive to address and embrace deep tensions in the post-Renaissance aesthetic project, the rise of modernism, and the contemporary art world. It is argued that these tensions reflect central conflicts in the development of patriarchal civilization, which the emergence of the aesthetic domain, as a specialized range of practice, exposes and subverts. The postmodern era of aesthetic reflection is interpreted as the outcome of a complex narcissistic dialectic of idealization and de-idealization that is significant for the understanding of contemporary culture and its historical prospects.
Volume Editor: James Day
Volume Editor: Pascale Guibert
Too many landscapes have been reduced to silent commodities by being put into golden frames on top of our fireplaces. Too many landscapes have been reified by being considered as objects holding forth referents to an omnipotent looker-on, with his/her language ever ready to seize and transcribe. The articles gathered here, prolonging an international conference held at the University of Caen Basse-Normandie (France), 14-16 June 2007, set the landscapes loose again by engaging with their essentially relational quality.
What makes this volume particularly stimulating and critically innovative is this initial acknowledgement of a landscape’s reflectiveness – that is the fact that it contains unthought thought, and thus presents itself to us both passively and actively. This straightaway appraisal of the lines of flight in the seemingly static, tranquil images facing us, has opened the way to deeply critical readings bent on questioning old tracks, testing new itineraries, denying the closure of the subject. At the same time, and by way of consequence, it leads us to encounter the force in landscape. A force like an energy, an impetus, which makes it possible – if not advisable! – to still compose, read and enjoy landscapes in the XXIst century.
Author: Don Gifford
Don Gifford in Zones of Re-membering shows clearly, thoughtfully, yet entertainingly how no one explanation will account for the depth and complexity of human experience and its grounding in Memory. Because consciousness is a function of Memory, “life without Memory is no life at all” as Alzheimer’s all too frequently demonstrates. Both our individual and collective Memory is stored in the arts, he contends, which in turn provide a way of knowing and of nourishing Memory and consciousness. Memory, like language, is never really stable or accurate but appears as narrative and these narratives collectively form our entire culture. For Gifford, the profoundest explorer of the human consciousness, time, and memory is James Joyce and in its range of reference, wit, and humanity the spirit of Joyce permeates this book.
This volume sheds twenty-first-century light on the charged interactions between memory, mourning and landscape. A century after Freud, our understanding of how memory and mourning function continues to be challenged, revised and refined. Increasingly, scholarly attention is paid to the role of situation in memorialising, whether in commemorations of individuals or in marking the mass deaths of late modern warfare and disasters. Memory, Mourning, Landscape offers the nuanced insights provided by interdisciplinarity in nine essays by leading and up-and-coming academics from the fields of history, museum studies, literature, anthropology, architecture, law, geography, theology and archaeology. The vital visual element is reinforced with an illustrated coda by a practising artist. The result is a unique symbiotic dialogue which will speak to scholars from a range of disciplines.
Photographic Aesthetics, Temporality, Aging
Who isn’t seduced by the idea of an affinity between aging and aesthetics? Yet, when does aging truly begin? What attributes does the aesthetic embrace? Looking into startling photographic art of the past three decades, this book is prompted by such questions and turns them into a meditation on how aesthetics mediates our relation to time.
The photographic approach of the corporeal is at the center of the book. Within a phenomenological framework, Cristofovici brings into focus the physical and the psychic body to read aging as a process of change and becoming over time. Her understanding of aging sees beyond difference into larger patterns of perceptions that we share.
Offering valuable insights into aging as a process of subject construction, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of visual culture, photography, art history, age studies, and theories of knowledge. This cross-disciplinary study that puts theory to the test of life’s and art’s paradoxes in an evocative style will also appeal to a wider readership interested in how photography and aging illuminate each other.
Urban mindscapes are structures of thinking about a city, built on conceptualisations of the city’s physical landscape as well as on its image as transported through cultural representation, memory and imagination.
This book pursues three main strands of inquiry in its exploration of these ‘landscapes of the mind’ in a European context. The first strand concerns the theory and methodology of researching urban mindscapes and urban ‘imaginaries’. The second strand investigates some of the representations, symbols and collective images that feed into our understanding of European cities. It discusses representations of the city in literature, film, television and other cultural forms, which, in James Donald’s phrase, constitute ‘archives of urban images’. The third and last section of the volume concentrates on the relationship between the collective mindscapes of cities, urban policy and the practice of city marketing.