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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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The Alchemical Actor offers an imagination for new and future theatre inspired by the manifesto of Antonin Artaud. The alchemical four elements – earth, water, air and fire and the four alchemical stages – nigredo, albedo, citrino and rubedo serve as initiatory steps towards the performance of transmutational consciousness. The depth psychological work of Carl G. Jung, the theatre techniques of Michael Chekhov and Rudolf Steiner infuse ‘this’ Great Work. Jane Gilmer leads the reader through alchemical imaginations beyond material cognition towards gold-making heart-thinking - key to new and future theatre.
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In Pi (π) in Nature, Art, and Culture Marcel Danesi revisits the importance of π as a pattern in the structure of reality, fitting in with the Pythagorean view of Order. Pi has cropped up in formulas that describe natural and physical structures which, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with a circle, but might harbor the archetype of circularity as a principle.

Through π, this book thus revisits the implicit ancient Greek view that geometry was a 'hermeneutic science,' a discipline aiming to investigate the connectivity among numbers, shapes, and natural phenomena. It also examines its manifestations in aesthetic, symbolic and cultural structures, which point to an abiding fascination with the circle as an unconscious archetype. Hermeneutic geometry is ultimately about the exploration of the meanings of geometric-mathematical notions to science and human life.
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The old practices of interpretation have been exhausted, and the humanities and social sciences are facing a crisis. Is there a way out of the labyrinth of reading? In this book, Professor Neuman presents a challenging approach to interpreting texts and reading literature through the spectacles of conceptual mathematics. This approach strives to avoid the simplicity of a quantitative approach to the analysis of literature as well as both the relativistic and the ideological dangers facing a qualitative reading of a text. The approach is introduced in a rigorous and accessible manner and woven with insights gained from various fields. Taking us on a challenging journey from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro, the book shows how we may gain a deeper understanding of literature and the aesthetic experience of reading.
The Story of a Great Caravel, 1462-1475
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This study traces the chequered history of Peter von Danzig, a French caravel which was inadvertently taken over by Gdańsk (Danzig). Beata Możejko charts the fluctuating and often dramatic fortunes of the caravel, from her arrival in Gdańsk as a merchantman in 1462 to her demise near La Rochelle in 1475. The author examines the caravel’s role as a warship during the Anglo-Hanseatic conflict, and her most famous operation, when she was used by Gdańsk privateer Paul Beneke to capture a Burgundian galley with a rich cargo that included Hans Memling’s Last Judgement triptych.
Using literary and archival sources, Możejko provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the information available about the caravel and her colourful career.
The Study of Time XVI: Time’s Urgency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Society for the Study of Time. It includes a keynote speech by renowned physicist Julian Barbour, a dialogue between British author David Mitchell, Katie Paterson and ISST’s previous president Paul Harris. The volume is divided into dialogues and papers that directly address the issue of urgency and time scales from various disciplines.

This book offers a unique perspective on the contemporary status of the interdisciplinary study of time. It will open new paths of inquiry for different approaches to the important issues of narrative structure and urgency. These are themes that are becoming increasingly relevant during our times.

Contributors are Julian Barbour, Dennis Costa, Kerstin Cuhls, Ileana da Silva, Margaret K. Devinney, Sonia Front, Peter A. Hancock, Paul Harris, Rose Harris-Birtill, David Mitchell, Carlos Montemayor, Jo Alyson Parker, Katie Paterson, Walter Schweidler, Raji C. Steineck, Daniela Tan, Frederick Turner, Thomas P. Weissert, Marc Wolterbeek, and Barry Wood.
The Role of Visual Arts and Artists in the Making of the Latvian Identity, 1905-1940
Focusing on the role of arts in the construction of national identity, Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud has chosen to study the case of a country lacking an ancient state history of its own, Latvia. This book analyses the part played by the visual arts in transmuting the cultural concept of a nation, advocated by a small intelligentsia, into a widespread claim for independence. By the end of the 19th century, fretting under Russian political domination and German economic and cultural supremacy, the Latvians turned back to their own language, culture and folklore, with a special interest for their dainas, their timeless common heritage rooted into a mythical golden age. Latvian artists thus found themselves entrusted with the mission of creating a national iconographic representation and a specifically Latvian art, freed from Russian and German influences. The author shows how the links between the cultural and political spheres evolved between 1905 and 1940, including during the period of authoritarian government preceding WWII. An enlightening contribution to understanding how art and history can be turned into social and political instruments, this book reaches far beyond the Latvian case to a European and even global scope.

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This book analyses Darwin’s influence on art and the effect of his science on experiences of beauty. The first chapter discusses Darwin’s great forerunner, Alexander von Humboldt, and his contribution to thinking about the relationship between science and beauty. The second examines the public reception of Darwin in Germany, focusing on the German Naturalists and the important scientific controversies which Darwin’s idea provoked. It shows the political use of science (Häckel and Virchow) and foreshadows present-day debates between Darwinism and Creationism, science and an idealized view of nature.
Against this background the book shows the effect of Darwin on three important fields: the perception of landscape in major writers (Zola, Lawrence, Jacobsen, Benn and Brecht) before 1920; the portrayal of wild life, as revealed in bird-painting; and the understanding of the relationship between the human body and character.
The book brings together for the first time Darwin’s The Expression of Emotion with the work of major European novelists (Eliot, Gutzkow and Freytag), focusing on the place of the older understandings contained in physiognomy, which Darwin challenged, on the portrayal of ethnicity, and on debates about acting, including for the young Brecht.
Indigenous Cultures in Australia
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How does one read across cultural boundaries? The multitude of creative texts, performance practices, and artworks produced by Indigenous writers and artists in contemporary Australia calls upon Anglo-European academic readers, viewers, and critics to respond to this critical question.
Contributors address a plethora of creative works by Indigenous writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and painters, including Richard Frankland, Lionel Fogarty, Lin Onus, Kim Scott, Sam Watson, and Alexis Wright, as well as Durrudiya song cycles and works by Western Desert artists. The complexity of these creative works transcends categorical boundaries of Western art, aesthetics, and literature, demanding new processes of reading and response. Other contributors address works by non-Indigenous writers and filmmakers such as Stephen Muecke, Katrina Schlunke, Margaret Somerville, and Jeni Thornley, all of whom actively engage in questioning their complicity with the past in order to challenge Western modes of knowledge and understanding and to enter into a more self-critical and authentically ethical dialogue with the Other.
In probing the limitations of Anglo-European knowledge-systems, essays in this volume lay the groundwork for entering into a more authentic dialogue with Indigenous writers and critics.
The Practice of Non-Duality
Focusing on the most definition-resistant art movement in history and departing from its two chief characteristics: intermediality and interactivity, this book develops an original theory of practice, the experiential philosophy of non-duality, which is the philosophy of dynamic co-constitutivity. This is done by tracing the performativity of intermedial works – works that fall conceptually between the art and the life media, such as Bengt af Klintbergs’s event score: “Eat an orange as if it were an apple” – in five key areas of human experience: language, temporality, the sensorium, social rites and rituals, and systems of economic exchange. The main argument, woven with the aid of the Derridian blind tactics, the Gramscian production of social life and the Zen-derived interexpression of Kitaro Nishida, is that the practical philosophy of co-constitutivity arises from the logic of the intermedium. In pursuing this argument, the book does three things: (1) it theorises an oeuvre that has remained under-theorised due to its fundamentally non-discursive nature and in doing so reinstates Fluxus as an influential cultural, rather than a “merely” artistic paradigm; (2) it serves as a companion to thinking by doing since most Fluxus intermedia are ready-mades, and, as such, readily available in the everyday environment; and (3) it establishes the counter-hegemonic logic of fluxing while tracing its legacy in contemporary practices as diverse as the culture-jamming activism of The Yes Men, the paradoxical performance work of Song Dong and the pervasive game worlds of Blast Theory.