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The English-German collection Herder on Empathy and Sympathy: Einfühlung und Sympathie im Denken Herders considers the meaning and role of the concepts of empathy and sympathy in Herder’s thought. Herder invokes sympathy in a number of disciplinary domains ranging from metaphysics, biology, anthropology, epistemology, psychology, morality, politics, history, aesthetics to homiletics. While Herder is shown as belonging to a long line of thinkers who view sympathy as a metaphysical principle contributing to the interconnectedness of all parts of nature, he also offers new insights about intra-/inter-species sympathetic communication and distinctively human varieties of sympathy for which he reserves the term “sich einfühlen”. Acknowledging the limits of the natural capacity for “sich einfühlen”, Herder nonetheless calls for its reflective cultivation in various domains.
Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.
Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance
This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.
The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations is the first extended study of a powerful literary form born out of the traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism. It traces the varied stylistic paradigms of the ‘nature essay’ down to the present day. Reading essays as platforms for ecological discourse, the book analyses canonical and marginalised texts, mainly from German, English and American literature. Simone Schröder argues that the essay’s environmental impact is rooted in its negotiation of scientific, poetic, spiritual, and ethical modes of perceiving nature. Together, the chapters on these four aspects form a historical panorama of the nature essay as a genre that continues to flourish in our time of ecological crisis.

Authors discussed include: Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, Ernst Jünger, W.G. Sebald, Kathleen Jamie, and David Foster Wallace.
Author: Sandra Mayer
Oscar Wilde in Vienna is the first book-length study in English of the reception of Oscar Wilde’s works in the German-speaking world. Charting the plays’ history on Viennese stages between 1903 and 2013, it casts a spotlight on the international reputation of one of the most popular English-language writers while contributing to Austrian cultural history in the long twentieth century.

Drawing on extensive archival material, the book examines the appropriation of Wilde's plays against the background of political crises and social transformations. It unravels the mechanisms of cultural transfer and canonisation within an environment positioned — like Wilde himself — at the crossroads of centre and periphery, tradition and modernity.
Winner of the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Stereotypical characters that promoted the Nazi worldview were repurposed by antifascist authors in Weimar Germany, argues Dagmar C.G. Lorenz. This is the first book to trace Nazi characters through the German and Austrian literature. Until the defeat of the Third Reich, pro-Nazi literature was widely distributed. However, after the war, Nazi publications were suppressed or even banned, and new writers began to dominate the market alongside exile and resistance authors. The fact that Nazi figures remained consistent suggests that, rather than representing real people, they functioned as ideological signifiers. Recent literature and films set in the Nazi era show that “the Nazis”, ambiguous characters with a sinister appeal, live on as an established trope in the cultural imagination.
Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism
From Ego to Eco – Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism investigates philosophical, political and aesthetic formations of ecocentrism. Representing a variety of disciplines and testing a broad scope of critical approaches, the contributors of this volume argue that anthropocentrism is not - as often claimed - a predominant world view but, rather, a widely contested concept. Within various historical and national contexts, the individual contributors of this book discuss the significance and relevance of ecocentrism and offer new avenues to emerging discourses in the humanities.

Contributors are: Darrell Arnold, Roman Bartosch, Aengus Daly, Gearoid Denvir, Elisabeth Jütten, Karla McManus, Sabine Lenore Müller, Maureen O’ Connor, Lillis Ó Laoire, Helen Phelan, Tina-Karen Pusse, and Christian Schmitt-Kilb.
Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth
In Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth, editors Misty Urban, Deva Kemmis, and Melissa Ridley Elmes offer an invigorating international and interdisciplinary examination of the legendary fairy Melusine. Along with fresh insights into the popular French and German traditions, these essays investigate Melusine’s English, Dutch, Spanish, and Chinese counterparts and explore her roots in philosophy, folklore, and classical myth.
Combining approaches from art history, history, alchemy, literature, cultural studies, and medievalism, applying rigorous critical lenses ranging from feminism and comparative literature to film and monster theory, this volume brings Melusine scholarship into the twenty-first century with twenty lively and evocative essays that reassess this powerful figure’s multiple meanings and illuminate her dynamic resonances across cultures and time.
Contributors are Anna Casas Aguilar, Jennifer Alberghini, Frederika Bain, Anna-Lisa Baumeister, Albrecht Classen, Chera A. Cole, Tania M. Colwell, Zoë Enstone, Stacey L. Hahn, Deva F. Kemmis, Ana Pairet, Pit Péporté, Simone Pfleger, Caroline Prud’Homme, Melissa Ridley Elmes, Renata Schellenberg, Misty Urban, Angela Jane Weisl, Lydia Zeldenrust, and Zifeng Zhao.
Georg Büchner: Contemporary Perspectives examines the continuing relevance of Büchner in the early twenty-first century in terms of politics, science, philosophy, aesthetics, cultural studies and performance studies. It situates Büchner’s interdisciplinary work in relation to the philosophical, scientific and religious discourses of his time, while also investigating the ways in which Büchner’s intersectional writings anticipated – sometimes uncannily – questions and problems which were to become central concerns in modernism and after. The nineteen essays in the book, some in English and some in German, uniquely combine close readings of individual passages and images with wide-ranging intertextual comparisons, linking Büchner to more than twenty-five writers, thinkers and theoreticians from his time and ours.


Der Band Georg Büchner: Contemporary Perspectives beschäftigt sich mit Büchners anhaltender Aktualität in den Bereichen Politik, Naturwissenschaft, Philosophie, Ästhetik, Kulturwissenschaft und Theater. Er setzt Büchners interdisziplinäres Werk in Beziehung zu den philosophischen, naturwissenschaftlichen und religiösen Themen seiner Zeit, untersucht aber auch wie sein Schreiben auf manchmal verblüffende Weise Fragen und Probleme vorwegnimmt, die für die Moderne und die Nachmoderne bis zum heutigen Tag zentral werden sollten. Die neunzehn, teils auf Englisch, teils auf Deutsch verfassten Beiträge zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass sie eingehende Einzelinterpretationen bestimmter Werkstellen mit weitreichenden intertextuellen Bezügen zu mehr als 25 SchriftstellerInnen, KünstlerInnen, DenkerInnen, und TheoretikerInnen verbinden.

Author: Janet Janzen
In Media, Modernity and Dynamic Plants, Janet Janzen traces the motif of the “dynamic plant” through film and literature in early 20th century German culture. Often discussed solely as symbols or metaphors of the human experience, plants become here the primary focus and their role in literature and film is extended beyond their symbolic function.

Plants have been (and still are) seen as closer to static objects than to living, moving beings. Making use of examples from film and literature, Janet Janzen demonstrates a shift in the perception of plants-as-objects to plants-as-living-beings that can be attributed to new technology and also to the return of Romantic and Vitalistic discourses on nature.