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Eisenstein in New Cultural and Critical Contexts
This book of essays is quite unique in that it intervenes in a still contested area within many universities, that of the relevance of film to literature, critical theory, politics, sociology and anthropology. The essays were commissioned by Jean Antoine-Dunne whose research has explored the impact of Eisenstein’s aesthetics on different areas of modernist literature and drama. The essays in this collection use Eisenstein as a point of departure into divergent fields of analysis and are concerned with the principle of montage as a transforming idea. They gather within the pages of one work contributions from Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Richard Taylor, Paul Willemen and emerging scholars entering and altering the field of interdisciplinary scholarship, film and literature. These hitherto unpublished essays not only extend and elaborate on previous treatments of Eisenstein and montage in areas such as semiotics, film theory, and feminist film practice, but also introduce his work to areas which have not yet been considered in relation to Eisenstein and montage, such as Beckett scholarship, Caribbean aesthetics, Third Cinema, and debates around digital imagery. No other collection of essays has explored the idea of montage as a structuring cultural and critical principle and the elasticity of Eisenstein's legacy in quite this way.
International Walter Benjamin Congress 1997
The first volume of Benjamin Studies publishes the keynote lectures of the first Congress of the International Walter Benjamin Association, which took place in Amsterdam, July 1997. Its title bears witness to the most central concepts of Benjamin’s philosophy of culture. Strongly influenced as he was by Kant, Benjamin never lost his inclination to analyse the components of reality as fashioned by ourselves. Because he was also a materialist, for him the modes of fashioning were shaped in turn by the times and places we occupy in history. As a consequence, Benjamin’s theory assigns a pivotal role in the interaction between the world and its inhabitants to the media: language with its plethora of discourses, the arts, and the whole technology of reproduction. The historical and social development of the media is, translated, according to him, into our instruments of perception, and this perception constructs the elements of the world, the knowledge of this construction and the knowledge of the constructor. The self-knowledge of the constructor is what we call ‘experience’.
Within this broad epistemological framework, the diversity and complexity of Benjamin’s project acquires a fundamental coherence and is therefore able to accommodate the temporal volatility of the phenomena of our world. It’s not surprising, therefore, that Perception & Experience offers the most stimulating variety of topics, and that the keynote lectures reflect merely an intensification of interest in certain areas within a much larger field of investigation. The texts presented here pinpoint the central preoccupations of today’s debates amongst Benjamin scholars, preoccupations which are themselves responses to our own historical imperatives.