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In Faces of Charisma: Image, Text, Object in Byzantium and the Medieval West, a multi-disciplinary group of scholars advances the theory that charisma may be a quality of art as well as of person. Beginning with the argument that Weberian charisma of person is itself a matter of representation, this volume shows that to study charismatic art is to experiment with a theory of representation that allows for the possibility of nothing less than a breakdown between art and viewer and between art and lived experience. The volume examines charismatic works of literature, visual art, and architecture from England, Northern Europe, Italy, Ancient Greece, and Constantinople and from time periods ranging from antiquity to the beginning of the early modern period.
Contributors are Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Paul Binski, Paroma Chatterjee, Andrey Egorov, Erik Gustafson, Duncan Hardy, Stephen Jaeger, Jacqueline E. Jung, Lynsey McCulloch, Martino Rossi Monti, Gavin Richardson, and Andrew Romig.
Editor: Carl Niekerk
This volume investigates the impact of the Radical Enlightenment on German culture during the eighteenth century, taking recent work by Jonathan Israel as its point of departure. The collection documents the cultural dimension of the debate on the Radical Enlightenment. In a series of readings of known and lesser-known fictional and essayistic texts, individual contributors show that these can be read not only as articulating a conflict between Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, but also as documents of a debate about the precise nature of Enlightenment. At stake is the question whether the Enlightenment should aim to be an atheist, materialist, and political movement that wants to change society, or, in spite of its belief in rationality, should respect monarchy, aristocracy, and established religion.

Contributors are: Mary Helen Dupree, Sean Franzel, Peter Höyng, John A. McCarthy, Monika Nenon, Carl Niekerk, Daniel Purdy, William Rasch, Ann Schmiesing, Paul S. Spalding, Gabriela Stoicea, Birgit Tautz, Andrew Weeks, Chunjie Zhang
Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France
Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France examines questions of self-construction in the works of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627-1693), the wealthiest unmarried woman in Europe at the time, a pro-women advocate, author of memoirs, letters and novels, and the commissioner of four châteaux and other buildings throughout France, including Saint-Fargeau, Champigny-sur-Veude, Eu, and Choisy-le-roi. An NEH-funded project, this study explores the interplay between writing and the symbolic import of châteaux to examine Montpensier’s strategies to establish herself as a woman with autonomy and power in early modern France.
Court Ladies and Courtly Verse in Fifteenth-Century Spain
In Secrets of Pinar’s Game, Roger Boase is the first to decipher a card game completed in 1496 for Queen Isabel, Prince Juan, her daughters and her 40 court ladies. This game offers readers access to the cultural memory of a group of educated women, revealing their knowledge of proverbs, poetry and sentimental romance, their understanding of the symbolism of birds and trees, and many facts ignored in official sources. Boase translates all verse into English, reassesses the jousting invenciones in the Cancionero general (1511), reinterprets the poetry of Pinar’s sister Florencia, and identifies Acevedo, author of some poems about festivities in Murcia c. 1507. He demonstrates that many of Pinar’s ladies reappear as prostitutes in the anonymous Carajicomedia two decades later.
Comic Subversions and Unlaughter in Contemporary Historical Re-Visions
This volume highlights humour’s crucial role in shaping historical re-visions of the long nineteenth century, through modes ranging from subtle irony, camp excess, ribald farce, and aesthetic parody to blackly comic narrative games. It analyses neo-Victorian humour’s politicisation, its ideological functions and ethical implications across varied media, including fiction, drama, film, webcomics, and fashion. Contemporary humour maps the assumed distance between postmodernity and its targeted nineteenth-century referents only to repeatedly collapse the same in a seemingly self-defeating nihilistic project. This collection explores how neo-Victorian humour generates empathy and effective socio-political critique, dispensing symbolic justice, but also risks recycling the past’s invidious ideologies under the politically correct guise of comic debunking, even to the point of negating laughter itself.


"This rich and innovative collection invites us to reflect on the complex and various deployments of humour in neo-Victorian texts, where its consumers may wish at times that they could swallow back the laughter a scene or event provokes. It covers a range of approaches to humour utilised by neo-Victorian writers, dramatists, graphic novelists and filmmakers – including the deliberately and pompously unfunny, the traumatic, the absurd, the ribald, and the frankly distasteful – producing a richly satisfying anthology of innovative readings of ‘canonical’ neo-Victorian texts as well as those which are potential generic outliers. The collection explores what is funny in the neo-Victorian and who we are laughing at – the Victorians, as we like to imagine them, or ourselves, in ways we rarely acknowledge? This is a celebration of the parodic playfulness of a wide range of texts, from fiction to fashion, whilst offering a trenchant critique of the politics of postmodern laughter that will appeal to those working in adaptation studies, gender and queer studies, as well as literary and cultural studies more generally."
- Prof. Imelda Whelehan, University of Tasmania, Australia
from Technological Optimism to Contemporary Environmentalism
Water in Social Imagination considers how human communities have known, imagined and shaped water – and how water has shaped both material culture and the imagination. Essays from diverse perspectives offer histories of water at different scales – from community water wells and sacred springs to Siberian rivers and the regulated space of the Baltic Sea. From early modernization through Soviet style technological optimism to contemporary environmentalism, water’s ideological uses are multiple. With sustained attention not just to state policy and the technologies of high modernity, but to creative resistance to utilitarian imaginations, these essays insist on fluidities of meaning, ambiguities that derive both from water’s physical mutability and from its dual nature as life necessity and agent of destruction.
In: Water in Social Imagination
In: Water in Social Imagination
In: Water in Social Imagination
In: Water in Social Imagination