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Scanning the Hypnoglyph

Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation

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Nathaniel Wallace

Nathaniel Wallace’s Scanning the Hypnoglyph chronicles a contemporary genre that exploits sleep’s evocative dimensions. While dreams, sleeping nudes, and other facets of the dormant state were popular with artists of the early twentieth century (and long before), sleep experiences have given rise to an even wider range of postmodern artwork. Scanning the Hypnoglyph first assesses the modernist framework wherein the sleeping subject typically enjoys firm psychic grounding. As postmodernism begins, subjective space is fragmented, the representation of sleep reflecting the trend. Among other topics, this book demonstrates how portrayals of dormant individuals can reveal imprints of the self. Gender issues are taken up as well. “Mainstream,” heterosexual representations are considered along with depictions of gay, lesbian, and androgynous sleepers.

Peripheral Visions in the Globalizing Present

Space, Mobility, Aesthetics

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Edited by Esther Peeren, Hanneke Stuit and Astrid Van Weyenberg

This volume sheds new light on how today’s peripheries are made, lived, imagined and mobilized in a context of rapidly advancing globalization. Focusing on peripheral spaces, mobilities and aesthetics, it presents critical readings of, among others, Indian caste quarters, the Sahara, the South African backyard and European migration, as well as films, novels and artworks about marginalized communities and repressed histories. Together, these readings insist that the peripheral not only needs more visibility in political, economic and cultural terms, but is also invaluable for creating alternative perspectives on the globalizing present. Peripheral Visions combines sociological, cultural, literary and philosophical perspectives on the periphery, and highlights peripheral innovation and futurity to counter the lingering association of the peripheral with stagnation and backwardness.

J.G. Ballard

Landscapes of Tomorrow

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Edited by Richard Brown, Christopher Duffy and Elizabeth Stainforth

An innovative volume of interdisciplinary essays on the significant British writer J. G. Ballard (1930-2009), exploring the physical, cultural and intertextual landscapes in several key novels with a central focus on The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), one of the most challenging texts in contemporary literature. Contributors include established critics of Ballard alongside newcomers. Different spatial concepts underpin the essays, from the landscapes of Ballard’s youth in Shanghai and his life in suburban London, to nuclear testing spaces and outer space exploration. Figurative locations typical of Ballard’s work are explored, including the beach, the motorway, the high-rise and the shopping mall. Textual spaces are explored through Ballard’s affiliation with modernist literary forms, including surrealist prose writing and collage, and poetic romanticism.

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Wietse de Boer, Karl A.E. Enenkel and Walter Melion

The Jesuit investment in images, whether verbal or visual, virtual or actual, pictorial or poetic, rhetorical or exegetical, was strong and sustained, and may even be identified as one of the order’s defining characteristics. Although this interest in images has been richly documented by art historians, theatre historians, and scholars of the emblem, the question of Jesuit image theory has yet to be approached from a multi-disciplinary perspective that examines how the image was defined, conceived, produced, and interpreted within the various fields of learning cultivated by the Society: sacred oratory, pastoral instruction, scriptural exegesis, theology, collegiate pedagogy, poetry and poetics, etc. The papers published in this volume investigate the ways in which Jesuits reflected visually and verbally on the status and functions of the imago, between the foundation of the order in 1540 and its suppression in 1773. Part I examines texts that purport explicitly to theorize about the imago and to analyze its various forms and functions. Part II examines what one might call expressions of embedded image theory, that is, various instances where Jesuit authors and artists use images implicitly to explore the status and functions of such images as indices of image-making.

Contributors include Wietse de Boer, James Clifton, Ralph Dekoninck, Karl Enenkel, Pierre Antoine Fabre, David Graham, Agnès Guiderdoni, Anna Knaap, Walter Melion, Jeffrey Muller, Hilmar Pabel, Aline Smeesters, Andrea Torre, and Steffen Zierholz

Holocaust Impiety in Jewish American Literature

Memory, Identity, (Post-)Postmodernism

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Joost Krijnen

The Holocaust is often said to be unrepresentable. Yet since the 1990s, a new generation of Jewish American writers have been returning to this history again and again, insisting on engaging with it in highly playful, comic, and “impious” ways. Focusing on the fiction of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander, this book suggests that this literature cannot simply be dismissed as insensitive or improper. It argues that these Jewish American authors engage with the Holocaust in ways that renew and ensure its significance for contemporary generations. These ways, moreover, are intricately connected to efforts of finding new means of expressing Jewish American identity, and of moving beyond the increasingly apparent problems of postmodernism.

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Edited by Fabienne Liptay and Burcu Dogramaci

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this volume brings together contributions by distinguished experts from different disciplinary fields for a multidimensional view on immersion in the visual arts and media. In the current media debate, immersion has frequently been linked to the advent of digital technology and its capacity to provide vivid sensations of being placed in or surrounded by an artificial space. The idea of ‘liquidity’ contained in this promise to plunge into another world informs wide areas of contemporary cultural imagination, referring to a myriad of phenomena that relate to experiences of uncertainty and instability, of complexity and change. Considering the fact, however, that the idea of ‘liquid’ spaces appeared long before the digital creation of augmented or virtual environments, the contributors to this volume trace its reemerging throughout the history of the visual arts and media. By focusing on selected works of painting and architecture, photography and cinema, video installation and media art, they explore the variability of immersive experiences according to the different media environments and interfaces that constitute the actual sites of historically shifting relations between media and users.

Contributors are: Matthias Bauer, Jörg von Brincken, Robin Curtis, Burcu Dogramaci, Thomas Elsaesser, Ole W. Fischer, Gundolf S. Freyermuth, Ursula Frohne, Henry Keazor, Matthias Krüger, Katja Kwastek, Fabienne Liptay, Karl Prümm, Martin Warnke.

Politics of Art

The Creation Society and the Practice of Theoretical Struggle in Revolutionary China

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Zhiguang Yin

In Politics of Art Zhiguang Yin investigates members of the Creation Society and their social network while in Japan. The study contextualises the Chinese left-wing intellectual movements and their political engagements in relation with the early 20th century international political events and trends in both East Asia and Europe.

The Creation Society was largely viewed as a subject of literary studies. This research, however, evaluates these intellectuals in the context of Chinese revolution and elaborates their theoretical contribution to the Chinese Communist Party’s practice of “theoretical struggle” as a main driving force of ideological construction. As this study tries to demonstrate, theoretical struggle drives the ideological politics forward while maintaining its political vigour.

Transculturation and Aesthetics

Ambivalence, Power, and Literature

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Edited by Joel Kuortti

This collection is a timely reflection on the momentous concept of transculturalism. With its historical roots in globalization, transculturation, oriented to (new) aesthetics, seeks new cultural formations, and, with its heterogeneous author- and readership, enlists active participation by the individual.
The volume focuses on the interplay between and lapses within interrelated domains of study – postcolonial, diaspora, and world-literary – which attend to the material and discursive circumstances of the literary work. The various readings argue for a situated mode of reading that attends to literary meaning emerging from transaction across, struggle between, and appropriation of cultures, both intra- and internationally, and, by definition, not tied exclusively to a colonial historical paradigm.
The overarching themes – ambivalence, power, and literature – are approached transculturally and aesthetically with four distinct concerns in mind: theorization of transculturation; diaspora and migration; the African legacies of colonial slavery and its global aftermath; and localized topics that diversify the interpretation and definition of transculturation and its relation to an (emerging) aesthetic that goes beyond nationally constrained (geographical, cultural, linguistic, literary, etc.) boundaries.
Themes range from literary representations of archaeological sites to the contest over meaning that follow efforts to exhume the past, from the ethics of queer love in diaspora to the effects of global literary marketing, from the development of transcultural identities in the colonial encounter to domestication and foreignization in the translation of Aboriginal texts.
Authors discussed include Michael Ondaatje, Vernon Anderson, Barry Unsworth, Salman Rushdie, Yvonne Vera, Chiang Hsun, Sally Morgan, Doris Pilkington, Sarfraz Manzoor, Sathnam Sanghera, Yasmin Hai, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Timothy Wangusa, Fred D’Aguiar, Amitav Ghosh, and Jack Kerouac.

Where Heaven and Earth Meet

The Spiritual in the Art of Kandinsky, Rothko, Warhol, and Kiefer

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W. Stoker

Art has always been important for religion or spirituality. Secular art displayed in museums can also be spiritual, and it is this art that is the subject of this book.
Many of the works of art produced by Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and Anselm Kiefer are spiritual in nature. These works reveal their own spirituality, which often has no connection to official religions. Wessel Stoker demonstrates that these artists communicate religious insights through images and shows how they depict the relationship between heaven and earth, between this world and a transcendent reality, thus clearly drawing the contours of the spirituality these works evince.

Collective Creativity

Collaborative Work in the Sciences, Literature and the Arts

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Edited by Gerhard Fischer and Florian Vassen

Collective Creativity combines complex and ambivalent concepts. While ‘creativity’ is currently experiencing an inflationary boom in popularity, the term ‘collective’ appeared, until recently, rather controversial due to its ideological implications in twentieth-century politics. In a world defined by global cultural practice, the notion of collectivity has gained new relevance. This publication discusses a number of concepts of creativity and shows that, in opposition to the traditional ideal of the individual as creative genius, cultural theorists today emphasize the collaborative nature of creativity; they show that ‘creativity makes alterity, discontinuity and difference attractive’. Not the Romantic Originalgenie, but rather the agents of the ‘creative economy’ appear as the new avant-garde of aesthetic innovation: teams, groups and collectives in business and science, in art and digital media who work together in networking clusters to develop innovative products and processes.
In this book, scholars in the social sciences and in cultural and media studies, in literature, theatre and visual arts present for the first time a comprehensive, inter- and transdisciplinary account of collective creativity in its multifaceted applications. They investigate the intersections of artistic, scientific and cultural practice where the individual and the collective merge, come together or confront each other.