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Edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes

Radical Planes? 9/11 and Patterns of Continuity, edited by Dunja M. Mohr and Birgit Däwes, explores the intersections between narrative disruption and continuity in post-9/11 narratives from an interdisciplinary transnational perspective, foregrounding the transatlantic cultural memory of 9/11. Contesting the earlier notion of a cataclysm that has changed ‘everything,’ and critically reflecting on American exceptionalism, the collection offers an inquiry into what has gone unchanged in terms of pre-9/11, post-9/11, and post-post-9/11 issues and what silences persist. How do literature and performative and visual arts negotiate this precarious balance of a pervasive discourse of change and emerging patterns of political, ideological, and cultural continuity?

Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War

That Better Whiles May Follow Worse

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Edited by David Owen and Maria Cristina Pividori

Through chapters dedicated to specific writers and texts, Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War is a collection of essays examining literary responses to the Great War, particularly the confrontation of two distinct languages.
One of these reflects nineteenth-century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other portrays the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.
The ultimate aim of this volume is to convey and reinforce the notion that no explicit literary language can ever be regarded as the definitive language of the Great War, nor can it ever hope to represent this conflict in its entirety. The collection also uncovers how memory constantly develops, triggering distinct and even contradictory responses from those involved in the complex process of remembering.

Contributors: Donna Coates, Brian Dillon, Monique Dumontet, Dorothea Flothow, Elizabeth Galway, Laurie Kaplan, Sara Martín Alegre, Silvia Mergenthal, Andrew Monnickendam, David Owen, Andrew Palmer, Bill Phillips, Cristina Pividori, Esther Pujolrás-Noguer, Richard Smith

Series:

Joshua Parker

Of all European cities, Americans today are perhaps most curious about Berlin, whose position in the American imagination is an essential component of nineteenth-century, postwar and contemporary transatlantic imagology. Over various periods, Berlin has been a tenuous space for American claims to cultural heritage and to real geographic space in Europe, symbolizing the ultimate evil and the power of redemption. This volume offers a comprehensive examination of the city’s image in American literature from 1840 to the present. Tracing both a history of Berlin and of American culture through the ways the city has been narrated across three centuries by some 100 authors through 145 novels, short stories, plays and poems, Tales of Berlin presents a composite landscape not only of the German capital, but of shifting subtexts in American society which have contextualized its meaning for Americans in the past, and continue to do so today.

Dawn Woolley

Marx suggested that capitalist modes of production offer society the promise of the naturalization of humanity and the humanization of nature but result instead in the mechanization of both. Through the consumption of commodities I improve my commodity appeal and my body becomes a display case for sign-values. I participate in a system of sign-value exchange that reinforces existing social norms and structures. The body does not escape this process of signification. The ‘healthy body’ acts as a sign-value for success, a strong work ethic and self-control; it is viewed as a productive resource and medium for creating ‘bodily capital’. The unhealthy body is a signifier for a lack of morals and is deemed to be an obstacle to productive labour. There is a conflict at the heart of consumer culture, between the imperative to work hard and delay gratification, and the consumer dictum of instant pleasure. Fitness and working out demonstrate the individual’s ability to balance these opposing forces. Health is a way of exerting control over the population, transforming leisure into a form of body labour that compliments the individual’s economic function. Through writing and art practice I consider the eating disordered body as a potential disruptive figure in capitalist society. Simultaneously demonstrating conformity to and rebellion against social norms, the imperatives to over-indulge in celebration or control the body against its appetites could be read in the extremes of binging and restriction. These aberrant consumers transform the body from an object of health and desire into an unsettling distortion of cultural norms. This paper examines the disruptive social and economic positions of eating disordered bodies using Marxist and psychoanalytical theory.

Patricia Fennell and Sara Rieder Bennett

Chronic pain was once considered a symptom of illness but is gaining attention as an independent condition. Typical classifications of pain disorders include persistent, intense pain that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in addition to psychosocial problems, such as rumination about pain and avoidance behaviours. Chronic pain conditions are pervasive and often intractable problems which cause significant suffering, emotional and financial cost, and potential disability. Due to chronicity and poor prognosis for curative treatments, an important goal in chronic pain is adapting to and accepting the condition as part of one’s existence. The Fennell Four Phase Treatment Model provides a framework for the process of adaptation to life-changing circumstances. The Four Phases (Crisis, Stabilization, Resolution, and Integration) allow for a blending of therapeutic techniques aimed at the particular developmental and social context of the individual with chronic pain. Stabilization, in particular, is characterized by a growing awareness that the symptoms one faces fail to return to normal, regardless of interventions. Therapeutic interventions in this phase aim to facilitate the development of a ‘new normal,’ and may include mindfulness skills to accept the chronicity of suffering and begin to understand the suffering as part of one’s experience. The authors speak from the perspective of providers of care and individuals who have faced chronic conditions with the intent of elaborating on treatment as integration and acceptance of chronic pain, rather than cure. This paper will introduce the Fennell Four Phase Model, mindfulness techniques as they apply in the model, and how this process unfolds from the perspective of provider and patient.

Kimberley McMahon-Coleman

Martin Millar’s trilogy Lonely Werewolf Girl (2007), The Curse of the Wolf Girl (2010) and The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf (2013) focuses on the life of an adolescent Scottish werewolf, attempting to live and study in London but continually being drawn back into the politics of her family. Kalix’s life is one marked by her own difference: addiction, aggression, and violence. In the family’s castle in Scotland, Kalix was the youngest of the Thane’s children by a large margin, and one of the few werewolves ever to have been born on the night of the full moon in her werewolf shape. In contemporary London, she struggles to emulate normality as she moves in with human friends and attends a remedial college while staving off werewolf hunters and murderous relatives. Kalix exhibits all the signs of an addictive personality, with her monstrous hungers and desires extending to a torrid love affair at the age of 14; well-established eating disorders and experimentation with alcohol while still in her mid-teens; and anxiety, depression, self-harm, addiction to laudanum, murderous rages and exile by the age of 17. Throughout the novels various members of her family muse that these excesses in personality must be related to the unusual circumstances of her birth. Kalix’s difference, then, is marked as congenital or a birth defect: the very way that the term ‘teratology’—or the study of monsters—was used historically. This chapter examines the ways in which Kalix’s lycanthropic monstrous hungers are depicted as a kind of birth injury with which she must live, and her attempts to create some agency within her own life.

N. Berrin Aksoy

This chapter describes how the graphic novel was initially translated, adapted, and,appropriated in the Turkish cultural and literary polysystem from the West in the,early years of the Turkish Republic (1923). The transfer enabled the graphic novel,to be used as popular genre to contribute to the construction of a national identity,of Turkishness through icons and heroes of Turkish history going back to Central,Asia before moving to Asia Minor (Anatolia). Hence, the evolution of the graphic,novel in Turkey goes parallel with the growth of popular culture under the,influence of state-led westernisation efforts in the Turkish society. The initiatives,towards creating a modern, west-oriented society necessitated the dissemination of,culture among layers of society which was producing its dynamics to absorb these,efforts within the frame of economic and social developments on a global scale.,Steps towards creating a modern Turkish literature and to enrich culture and,strengthen a national identity fit in with the adoption of the graphic novel genre in,the early years. The translations enabled Turkish artists to develop their own,examples in the genre to produce an awareness of national identity and links with,history in a creative and easily comprehensible way. The graphic novel as an,accessible form of production became a part of the developing cultural polysystem.,According to Tynjanov, literature of a nation or culture contains a multi-layered,structure of elements which relate to and interact with each other. The evolution of,the graphic novel in the Turkish polysystem comprised several layers of texts, i.e.,visual texts, and verbal texts. It does not hold such a significant role now in the,cultural polysystem but has become an influential genre in creating global fantastic,icons, norms and images.

Stelios Manganis

This paper investigates how mechanical works of art in contemporary galleries can assist in transferring and translating notions of affect, or instantaneous emotional impulses, based on the viewers’ visual literacy levels with regard to specific mechanical parts. In practice, the examination entails associating affective symbols with mechanical forms and functions of exhibited sculptures. During a practice-based study, still mechanical sculptures were exhibited in UK galleries, in an attempt to establish the presence of affective transfer between the works and the viewers. The analysis of data collected from more than 400 participants (using validated psychometric tests, internationally reliable PANAS and I-PANAS-SF scales of affect measure, CCTV recordings and participant observation) reveals that the success of this impulsive transference depends on a number of factors, including the viewers’ visual familiarity with the mechanical parts, properties and functions employed in the sculptures. Parallel case studies on artwork by Francis Picabia have revealed the mechanism’s potential to portray human traits and conditions. Additional studies have exposed the particular characteristics of viewers’ visual thinking processes and emotional responses to specific mechanical parts and mechanical installations, as well as the relation of these responses to their ability to assign meaning to the artwork. The theory forwarded here has been informed by the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on affect and the encountered sign, whilst emphasis was also placed on recent writings by Jill Bennett and Simon O’Sullivan in terms of rhizomatic connectivity. Through this interdisciplinary study, the research undertakes a novel methodological approach, informed and guided by affective notions, as it attempts to shed light on an affective dynamic between the artwork and the spectator’s sensory and emotional perception.

Regan Lance Reitsma

The French moral philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville regards the moral virtue of humility as including, at its very core, both a lucid recognition of, and a profound moral dissatisfaction with, the low quality of one’s own moral character. In this brief chapter, I argue against Sponville’s particular vertical conception of humility as a ‘truthful sadness’ or even an ‘informed contempt for self’, a conception which leads to unnecessary paradoxes within his broader moral outlook. I gesture at an account that better coheres not only with several seemingly sensible insights, but also with Sponville’shighly idealistic agapic morality.