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Art, Material Culture, and British-Russian Relations
Volume Editor: Louise Hardiman
“Courtly Gifts and Cultural Diplomacy” explores the history of British-Russian state relations from the perspective of art and material culture. This richly illustrated book presents manifold practices of courtly gift-giving and vivid case studies of British-Russian artistic diplomacy over the centuries. It traces a visual and material history of cross-cultural dialogue that starts with an early English map of Russia made in the 16th century and ends with gifts of Fabergé art objects and domestic photographs exchanged between the British royal family and the family of Tsar Nicholas II in late Imperial Russia. Twelve expert authors from academia, the arts, and the museum sectors in Britain, Russia, and the United States present new narratives and critical interpretations based on material from previously unexplored archives. Their diverse approaches reveal the importance of artistic diplomacy and the agency of gifts of art and material culture in courtly and state relations.
Action, Identification and Experience
Author: Maik Niemeck
The book offers new answers to two central questions that have been heavily debated, especially in recent years, in the debate on so-called de se skepticism: Is there something special about first-person thinking? And how does it relate to other forms of self-consciousness? The answer to the first question is a resounding "yes." This assertion is justified by the double-reflexive structure, motivational force, and specific concern that first-personal thinking involves. Regarding the second question, the book concludes that there are non-linguistic forms of self-consciousness. However, these should not be understood as representational contents or non-relational properties, but as mental relations that, without themselves being represented, can contribute to the phenomenal character of conscious states. In this respect, the book also provides a justification for the rarely considered impure intentionalism.
Author: Pia Wiegmink
Abolitionist Cosmopolitanism redefines the potential of American antislavery literature as a cultural and political imaginary by situating antislavery literature in specific transnational contexts and highlighting the role of women as producers, subjects, and audiences of antislavery literature. Pia Wiegmink draws attention to locales, authors, and webs of entanglement between texts, ideas, and people. Perceived through the lens of gender and transnationalism, American antislavery literature emerges as a body of writing that presents profoundly reconfigured literary imaginations of freedom and equality in the United States prior to the Civil War.
This book argues that, notwithstanding problems encountered on the ground in some situations, African governments, peoples, and institutions have firmly endorsed the universality of human rights as defined in international human rights law. It explores the endorsement of the values of human dignity, equality, respect, and democratic governance reflected by their participation in the United Nations, the African Union, and in sub-regional organizations, as well as their adoption of stunning Democracy Charters. The African Commission and Court of Human Rights have repeatedly affirmed the universality of human rights, as have spearhead institutions such as the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The volume concludes that the fifty-four African States in the United Nations stand proudly in support of universal human rights as defined in international and African human rights law.
Already in 1854, Henry David Thoreau had declared in Walden that “Most men appear never to have considered what a house is” (225). Like Thoreau, many other renowned American writers have considered what houses are and, particularly, what houses do, and they have created fictional dwellings that function not only as settings, but as actual central characters in their works. The volume is specifically concerned with the structure, the organization, and the objects inside houses, and argues that the space defined by rooms and their contents influences the consciousness, the imaginations, and the experiences of the humans who inhabit them.

Contributors are: Cristina Alsina Rísquez, Rodrigo Andrés, Vicent Cucarella-Ramon, Arturo Corujo, Mar Gallego, Ian Green, Michael Jonik, Wyn Kelley, Cynthia Lytle, Carme Manuel, Paula Martín-Salván, Elena Ortells, Eva Puyuelo-Ureña, Dolores Resano, and Cynthia Stretch.