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.
The Plant Contract argues that visual and performance art can help change our perception of the vegetal world, and can return us to nature and thought. Via an investigation into the wasteland, robotany, feminist plants, and nature rights, this phytology-love story investigates how contemporary art is mediating the effects of plant-blindness, caused by human disassociation from the natural world. It is also a gesture of respect for the genius of vegetal life, where new science proves plants can learn, communicate, remember, make decisions, and associate. Art is a litmus test for how climate change affects human perception. This book responds to that test by expressing plant-philosophy to a wider public, through an interrogation of plant-art.
Monsters have taken many forms across time and cultures, yet within these variations, monsters often evoke the same paradoxical response: disgust and desire. We simultaneously fear monsters and take pleasure in seeing them, and their role in human culture helps to explain this apparent contradiction. Monsters are created in order to delineate where the acceptable boundaries of action and emotion exist. However, while killing the monster allows us to cast out socially unacceptable desires, the prevalence of monsters in both history and fiction reveals humanity’s desire to see and experience the forbidden. We seek, write about, and display monsters as both a warning and wish fulfilment, and monsters, therefore, reveal that the line between desire and disgust is often thin. Looking across genres, subjects, and periods, this book examines what our conflicted reaction to the monster tells us about human culture.
Reflecting current trends in scholarly analysis of evil and the feminine, the chapters contained in
Re-visiting Female Evil focus upon various ‘re-interpretations’ of evil femininities as a cultural signifier of agency, transgression and crisis, re-interpreting them through rewriting of ‘other’ stories, hermeneutic re-interpretations of ancient/classical texts, and revised film/ stage adaptations. These papers illustrate how gendered cultural myths of women’s intrinsic connection to evil still persist in today’s patriarchal society, though in variant and updated forms. Mischievous, beguiling, seductive, lascivious, unruly, carping, vengeful and manipulative – from the Disney princess to the murderous Medea, these authors grapple with our understanding of what it is to be and do ‘evil’, exploring the possible sources of the fear and hatred of women and the feminine as well as their continual fascination and appeal, and how these manifest in a range of 'real life' and fictional narratives that cross times, cultures and media.
This volume sheds new light on how today’s peripheries are made, lived, imagined and mobilized in a context of rapidly advancing globalization. Focusing on peripheral spaces, mobilities and aesthetics, it presents critical readings of, among others, Indian caste quarters, the Sahara, the South African backyard and European migration, as well as films, novels and artworks about marginalized communities and repressed histories. Together, these readings insist that the peripheral not only needs more visibility in political, economic and cultural terms, but is also invaluable for creating alternative perspectives on the globalizing present.
Peripheral Visions combines sociological, cultural, literary and philosophical perspectives on the periphery, and highlights peripheral innovation and futurity to counter the lingering association of the peripheral with stagnation and backwardness.
An innovative volume of interdisciplinary essays on the significant British writer J. G. Ballard (1930-2009), exploring the physical, cultural and intertextual landscapes in several key novels with a central focus on
The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), one of the most challenging texts in contemporary literature. Contributors include established critics of Ballard alongside newcomers. Different spatial concepts underpin the essays, from the landscapes of Ballard’s youth in Shanghai and his life in suburban London, to nuclear testing spaces and outer space exploration. Figurative locations typical of Ballard’s work are explored, including the beach, the motorway, the high-rise and the shopping mall. Textual spaces are explored through Ballard’s affiliation with modernist literary forms, including surrealist prose writing and collage, and poetic romanticism.