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Homo Mimeticus 2.0 in Art, Philosophy and Technics
Volume Editor:
It is tempting to affirm that on and about November 2022 (post)human character changed. The revolution in A.I. simulations certainly calls for an updated of the ancient realization that humans are imitative animals, or homo mimeticus. But the mimetic turn in posthuman studies is not limited to A.I.: from simulation to identification, affective contagion to viral mimesis, robotics to hypermimesis, the essays collected in this volume articulate the multiple facets of homo mimeticus 2.0. Challenging rationalist accounts of autonomous originality internal to the history of Homo sapiens, this volume argues from different—artistic, philosophical, technological—perspectives that the all too human tendency to imitate is, paradoxically, central to our ongoing process of becoming posthuman.
Literary, Cultural and Political Essays, 2009–2021
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Crisis and Criticism is a series of interventions from 2009 to 2021 engaging with the literary, cultural and political responses to the capitalist crisis of 2007–8. Challenging the tendency to treat crisis as natural and beyond human control, this book interrogates our cultural understanding of crisis and suggests the necessity of ruthless criticism of the existing world. While responses to crisis have retreated from the critical, choosing to inhabit apocalyptic fantasies instead, only a critical understanding of the causes of crisis within capitalism itself can promise their eventual overcoming.
This book discusses hagiographical sources from Morocco taking in consideration the often-overlooked oral tradition. Orality, as is shown in this study, completes and enriches the vision of hagiography that written sources traditionally has offered. The most relevant example in this book is the high presence of female saints in oral narratives that were not included in any other written sources. Recovering oral tradition to study hagiography as well as the role of female saints in Morocco has been one of the main areas of focus in this study as well as problematizing the dependence and dialogue between written and oral culture and can help to understand the diffusion and presence of similar phenomena in other areas of Morocco.
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Louis Althusser argued that Marx initiated a transformation of philosophy, a new way of doing philosophy. This book follows that provocation to examine the way in which central Marxist concepts and problems from primitive accumulation to real abstraction animate and inform philosophers from Theodor Adorno to Paolo Virno. While also examining the way in which reading Marx casts new light on such philosophers as Spinoza. At the centre of this transformation is the production of subjectivity, the manner in which relations of production produces ways of thinking and living.
An Ethnography of the Classics-reading Movement in Contemporary China
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Sandra Gilgan’s Utopia in the Revival of Confucian Education examines the classics-reading movement in contemporary China as not only driven by attraction to certain elements of tradition, but even more by caesuras in the past that caused people to detach from their cultural roots. The author argues that activism in the classics-reading movement arises from an entanglement of past, present, and future. Social and political upheaval in the near past of the twentieth century caused people to disconnect from their traditional culture and ways of living, resulting in the present need to reconnect with perceived “original” culture and tradition from the more distant past. Through peoples’ imaginaries of a better future that are informed by past traditions, new ways of the past find entrance into life and education in study halls and academies. This new study draws on multi-sited ethnographic field research in ten Chinese cities, with the broadest database currently available. It combines theoretical elements from anthropology, history, sociology and sinology in a grounded theory approach. As an interdisciplinary study, the book is of interest for academics in Asian and Chinese studies, heritage and memory studies, religious studies, educational sciences, history, and cultural anthropology, as well as social and political sciences.
The Spatial Practices series is premised on the observation that places are inscribed with cultural meaning, not least of all in terms of collective constructions of identity. Such space-based constructions can manifest in material and immaterial, explicit and implicit forms of heritage, and they are crucial factors in the promotion of a group’s wellbeing. It is this intersection of spaces, heritage and wellbeing that the present volume takes at its object. It considers ways in which institutional spaces in their materiality as well as in their cultural inscriptions impact on the wellbeing of the subjects inhabiting them and explores how heritage comes to bear on these interrelations within specific institutions, such as prisons, hospitals or graveyards.
This interdisciplinary volume of essays explores how the notion of time varies across disciplines by examining variance as a defining feature of temporalities in cultural, creative, and scholarly contexts. Featuring a President’s Address by philosopher David Wood, it begins with critical reassessments of J.T. Fraser’s hierarchical theory of time through the lens of Anthropocene studies, philosophy, ecological theory, and ecological literature; proceeds to variant narratives in fiction, video games, film, and graphic novels; and concludes by measuring time’s variance with tools as different as incense clocks and computers, and by marking variance in music, film, and performance art.
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Inspired by Raymond Williams’ cultural materialism, H.F. Pimlott explores the connections between political practice and cultural form through Marxism Today’s transformation from a Communist Party theoretical journal into a ‘glossy’ left magazine. Marxism Today’s successes and failures during the 1980s are analysed through its political and cultural critiques of Thatcherism and the left, especially by Stuart Hall and Eric Hobsbawm, innovative publicity and marketplace distribution, relationships with the national UK press, cultural coverage, design and format, and writing style. Wars of Position offers insights for contemporary media activists and challenges the neglect of the left press by media scholars.
Notions of Europe and the European among Participants in EU Cultural Initiatives
In this book, Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Katja Mäkinen, Viktorija L. A. Čeginskas, and Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus scrutinize how people who participate in cultural initiatives funded and governed by the European Union understand the idea of Europe. The book focuses on three cultural initiatives: the European Capital of Culture, the European Heritage Label, and a European Citizen Campus project funded through the Creative Europe programme. These initiatives are examined through field studies conducted in 12 countries between 2010 and 2018. The authors describe their approach as ‘ethnography of Europeanization’ and conceptualize the attempts at Europeanization in the European Union’s cultural policy as politics of belonging.