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This volume proposes a new and radically inclusive approach to the study of the book by using gender as a tool of analysis. While female authors and women in the book trades have long been studied, gender itself has yet to be explored as a methodology rather than a subject in book history. We argue that putting gender analysis into practice requires thinking inclusively about both the book world and the interactions of its participants from the beginning.

With twenty-five pioneering case studies that stretch from colonial Peru to modern Delhi, using a variety of intersectional methodologies including network analysis, critical bibliography, and queer theory, Gender and the Book Trades sets out an innovative method of analysing the printed book.

Contributors include: Rebecca Baumann, Montserrat Cachero, Verônica Calsoni Lima, Matthew Chambers, Kanupriya Dhingra, Nora Epstein, Natalia Fantetti, Jessica Farrell-Jobst, Agnes Gehbald, Rabia Gregory, Laura Guinot Ferri, Elizabeth Le Roux, Sarah Lubelski, Natalia Maillard Álvarez, Charley Matthews, Susan McElrath, Kirk Melnikoff, Malcolm Noble, Kate Ozment, Joanna Rozendaal, Kandice Sharren, Valentina Sonzini, Elise Watson, Joëlle Weis, Helen Williams, Alexandra E. Wingate, and Georgianna Ziegler.
Narratives and Mental Health offers a forum for dialogue between the arts, humanities and other disciplines interested in mental health and well-being.

Narrative is a central tool for meaning-making. Yet, its relevance has long been sidelined in the mental health sector including psychiatry, clinical psychology, medicine and social work.

To explore the intersection of narratives and mental health, the peer-reviewed book series takes an interdisciplinary approach and accommodates studies which investigate, for one, the uses and usefulness, but also the possible limitations of narrative in mental health care settings. The series is also very interested in studies that examine mental health issues in the representation, conceptualization, medialization and dissemination of mental health-narratives in areas as varied as literature and life-writing, the arts and film, journalism and (oral) history, digital and graphic storytelling, and many more.

Monographs and themed volumes are invited that include perspectives from comparative literary studies, history, narratology, psychology and philosophy, amongst others.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals for manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL, Masja Horn.
Please advise our Guidelines for a Book Proposal.
Author:
From tenth-century South India to twenty-first-century cultural events, from the court assemblies to the public space: Attentive Minds takes you on a journey through the fascinating world of avadhāna, a complex and long-living performative art of India whose practitioners showcase highly developed cognitive skills (like attention, ability to multitask, memory) and specialized knowledge.
With the help of epigraphic and literary sources and field research, Hermina Cielas reconstructs avadhāna’s history in its socio-cultural context and provides a detailed systematization of the art. Her multifaceted study investigates the cultural phenomenon scarcely known outside of India. It explores avadhāna’s multiple forms, from games and puzzles, through a display of mnemonic or motor skills, to multilingual literary feasts.
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Across a powerfully wide-ranging set of themes, theoretical registers and historical examples, John Roberts analyses the key problems that continue to confront art after conceptual art, in the light of art’s longstanding relationship to market and institution the commodity and mass culture: namely, artistic labour and technology, modernity and the ‘new’, art and negation, identity and subjectivity, agency and audience, form and value. In these terms, the book provides a rigorous and ambitious, examination of the limits and possibilities of art’s contribution to emancipatory discourse and practice.
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Larisa Reisner (1895--1926), fighter, commissar, diplomat, was one of the most brilliant and popular writers of the Russian Revolution, whose journalism from her travels in Russia and Ukraine, Germany, Persia and Afghanistan was read by millions in the new mass circulation Soviet press. Together here for the first time in translation are the six books of her journalism, The Front, Afghanistan, Berlin October 1923, Hamburg at the Barricades and In Hindenburg’s Country, all written in the last nine years of her life, before her death at the age of thirty, published as the companion volume to Cathy Porter’s Larisa Reisner. A Biography.
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Abstract

Through the investigation of textual records of avadhāna and the translations of relative passages, the chapter draws the portraits of the most famous avadhānīs and presents their achievements. The author demonstrates how literary sources attest to the continuous presence of avadhāna on the cultural arena of India and help reconstruct the characteristics of the art in the past. The material analysed is varied and shows that avadhāna penetrated numerous cultural milieus of India; among the analysed texts are Sāhityaratnākara of Dharmasūri (ca. 14th-15th centuries), the works by Hemavijaya (16th-17th century) and Siddhicandra (17th century), the 17th-century Ālāol’s Bengali translation of Haft Peykar by Nizāmī Ganjavī, the works by Madhuravāṇī and Rāmabhadrāmbā and other sources that confirm the activity of women in avadhāna at the Nāyaka court of Tanjore, an 18th-century work of Vāñcheśvara entitled Mahiṣaśataka, the examples of Tamil viṟaliviṭutūtu works from the 18th-19th centuries, and others. The author of the present book gathers the literary evidences of avadhāna from the past and, based on their analysis, traces the modifications in the art.

In: Attentive Minds: A History of the Indian Performative Art of Avadhāna from the Origin to Modern Times
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The chapter includes information on the role of concentration, retention, memory, and memorization in Indian culture. The described cognitive skills are the basis for the art of avadhāna. The chapter presents the definitions and discourses on attentiveness, retention, and memory proposed by Indian theoreticians and provides translations of relative passages from their works. It introduces the practice of Veda chanting and certain ritualized verbal contests (brahmodyas) and shows how they influenced the development of avadhāna.

In: Attentive Minds: A History of the Indian Performative Art of Avadhāna from the Origin to Modern Times
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Abstract

The last chapter reconstructs the reasons that led to the crisis of avadhāna in the first half of the 20th century. The author hypothesizes that the main cause of such a state of affairs was the changes in the modes of patronage that forced practitioners to search for financial gratification outside the courts and perform in public, often in front of uneducated spectators who accused the avadhānīs of fraud or use of black magic. The chapter also elaborates on the other factors that contributed to the critique of the art, such as the arguments between the practitioners or the questioning of the quality of poetry created in the course of literary avadhānas. Then, the author describes the revival of the art, the influence of technology and media on the transformation of avadhāna, and the process of its commercialization. A separate sub-chapter focuses on the organization of a performance and challenges faced by the organizers. The chapter ends with an analysis of the prospects of avadhāna and possible development routes.

In: Attentive Minds: A History of the Indian Performative Art of Avadhāna from the Origin to Modern Times
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Abstract

The chapter sums up information on the position of avadhāna practitioners in society and investigates the position and role of women, teachers, and questioners in the practice. The author hypothesizes that even though the ability to perform avadhāna is highly prized by society and practitioners often have the status of local or national authorities or celebrities, the gratifications for performing the art are no longer economically sufficient like before the 20th century. The chapter traces how the society’s perception of avadhānīs changed throughout the history, examines the role of women in the art, and specifies the reasons for the limited presence of female practitioners of avadhāna. Here, the author focuses also on teachers who train future performers and questioners who examine the avadhānīs during spectacles. The chapter answers the questions of whether it is possible to teach avadhāna, what are the qualities of a good questioner, and is the presence of questioners in the avadhāna performance necessary.

In: Attentive Minds: A History of the Indian Performative Art of Avadhāna from the Origin to Modern Times
In: Attentive Minds: A History of the Indian Performative Art of Avadhāna from the Origin to Modern Times