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Eros and Revolution

The Critical Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse

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Javier Sethness Castro

In Eros and Revolution, Javier Sethness Castro presents a comprehensive intellectual and political biography of the world-renowned critical theorist Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). Investigating the origins and development of Marcuse's dialectical approach vis-à-vis Hegel, Marx, Fourier, Heidegger, and Freud as well as the central figures of the Frankfurt School—Horkheimer, Adorno, Neumann, Fromm, and Benjamin—Sethness Castro chronicles the radical philosopher's lifelong activism in favor of anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, and anti-authoritarianism together with Marcuse's defiant revindication of global libertarian-socialist revolution as the precondition for the realization of reason, freedom, and human happiness. Beyond examining Marcuse's revolutionary life and contributions, moreover, the author contemplates the philosopher's relevance to contemporary struggle, especially with regard to ecology, feminism, anarchism, and the general cause of worldwide social transformation.

Marx and the Earth

An Anti-Critique

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John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett

A decade and a half ago John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett introduced a new, revolutionary understanding of the ecological foundations of Marx’s thought, demonstrating that Marx’s concepts of the universal metabolism of nature, social metabolism, and metabolic rift prefigured much of modern systems ecology. Ecological relations were shown to be central to Marx’s critique of capitalism, including his value analysis. Now in Marx and the Earth Foster and Burkett expand on this analysis in the process of responding to recent ecosocialist criticisms of Marx. The result is a full-fledged anti-critique—pointing to the crucial roles that dialectics, open-system thermodynamics, intrinsic value, and aesthetic understandings played in the original Marxian critique, holding out the possibility of a new red-green synthesis.

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Edited by Akinyinka Akinyoade, Wijnand Klaver, Sebastiaan Soeters and Dick Foeken

This volume attempts to dig deeper into what is currently happening in Africa’s agricultural and rural sector and to convince policymakers and others that it is important to look at the current African rural dynamics in ways that connect metropolitan demands for food with value chain improvements and agro-food cluster innovations. It is essential to go beyond a ‘development bureaucracy’ and a state-based approach to rural transformation, such as the one that often dominates policy debate in African government circles, organizations like the African Union and the UN, and donor agencies.

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Edited by Raji C. Steineck and Claudia Clausius

Origins and Futures: Time Inflected and Reflected provokes an interdisciplinary dialogue about culture, politics, and science’s strategies to divert the relentless trajectory of time. Literature, socio-political policy, physics, among other subjects, demonstrate the human refusal to enlist in temporal determinism. Articles ranging from how detective fiction and international terrorism manipulate the narration of events, to the unlocking of political trauma through forgiveness, to the genetic archaeology of the Human Genome project and the lacunar amnesia of nuclear energy corporations, all argue that wherever human minds meet they wrestle to undo the irrevocable, the irreversible, the fixed. Although such efforts look to the future, they rarely look straight ahead. Whatever their enterprise, writers, philosophers, and scientists believe that origins are alacritous keys to future hopes and aspirations.

Contributors include: Marcus Bullock, Michael Crawford, Patricia Engle, Carol Fischer, J. T. Fraser, Sabine Gross, Paul Harris, Rosemary Huisman, Karmen MacKendrick, Steven Ostovich, Walter Schweidler, Friedel Weinert, and Masae Yuasa.

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Edited by Ingo Berensmeyer and Christoph Ehland

Literature as cultural discourse has always courted mobility. From the nomadic wanderings of the heroes of Homer and Virgil through the adventures of the medieval knight-errants to the travellers of modern times, movement and mobility have been constitutive elements of story-telling. Since writers have begun to explore the experiential dimension of movement their texts have embraced the essential changeability and instability of ‘mobile worlds’. In this sense literature reflects and processes the transformative force of movement on the perception of the world and is part of the broader cultural discourses of mobility.
From the 1936 film Night Mail to the rapid movements of the dime novel detective and the metaphorical coding of automobility in Futurist poetry, the essays in this volume offer new perspectives on the phenomenon of mobility at the intersection between the literary imagination and cultural experience. They explore movement as a decisive force of change in the history of modernity and show how literature in its representation of mobility simultaneously aims both to mirror and to grasp the phenomenon.

Travel Sketches from Liberia

Johann Büttikofer's 19th Century Rainforest Explorations in West Africa

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Edited by Henk Dop and Phillip Robinson

In the 1880s a Swiss-born biologist, Johann Büttikofer, while working for the Royal Museum of Natural History in Leiden, The Netherlands, carried out two extended expeditions to Liberia, West Africa. In 1890 he published the results of his work in German in two-volumes, entitled Reisebilder aus Liberia (Travel Sketches from Liberia).
Büttikofer worked extensively in the forested regions of coastal Liberia and made the acquaintance of many prominent Liberians and other personalities of that era. His zoological work there is actually exceeded by his detailed descriptions of the state of Liberia some 50 years following its colonization by freed American slaves and their descendents. It constitutes the first comprehensive monograph on the Republic of Liberia.

No Maps for These Territories

Cities, Spaces, and Archaeologies of the Future in William Gibson

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Karin Hoepker

No Maps for These Territories offers an archaeology of seemingly tried and trusted concepts: cartography, architecture, urban space. While rethinking Michel Foucault’s theories, Karin Hoepker reconstructs the cartographic dispositives of spatial order. The futuristic fictional cityscapes of science fiction writer William Gibson are the touchstone for this epistemological analysis and typology of spatial formations. In seven probing chapters that focus on architectural blueprints, forms of inhabitation, Wunderkammern, and economic formations of retail, consumption, and entertainment such as shopping malls, amusement parks, and gambling meccas, Hoepker investigates a set of exemplary phenomena crucial to the fields of architecture, geography, philosophy, cartography, history of science, literary studies, and the arts. No Maps for These Territories thus offers close readings of fictional, philosophical, and theoretical texts, and examines instructive examples of the workings of spatial production. In a form of contrastive writing, the monograph sheds critical light on theoretical and fictional texts equally.

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Edited by Pascale Guibert

Too many landscapes have been reduced to silent commodities by being put into golden frames on top of our fireplaces. Too many landscapes have been reified by being considered as objects holding forth referents to an omnipotent looker-on, with his/her language ever ready to seize and transcribe. The articles gathered here, prolonging an international conference held at the University of Caen Basse-Normandie (France), 14-16 June 2007, set the landscapes loose again by engaging with their essentially relational quality.
What makes this volume particularly stimulating and critically innovative is this initial acknowledgement of a landscape’s reflectiveness – that is the fact that it contains unthought thought, and thus presents itself to us both passively and actively. This straightaway appraisal of the lines of flight in the seemingly static, tranquil images facing us, has opened the way to deeply critical readings bent on questioning old tracks, testing new itineraries, denying the closure of the subject. At the same time, and by way of consequence, it leads us to encounter the force in landscape. A force like an energy, an impetus, which makes it possible – if not advisable! – to still compose, read and enjoy landscapes in the XXIst century.

Process

Landscape and Text

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Edited by Catherine Brace and Adeline Johns-Putra

While the relationship between place and creative effort has been the focus of pronounced new interest in various disciplines, the contours and co-ordinates of the process by which one informs the other, by which landscape shapes text and vice versa, have yet to be delineated in any systematic fashion. This volume sheds light on that process, investigating the ways in which it is both reciprocal and interstitial: how does text shape our perception of landscape as much as it is shaped by it, and how do we account for the points at which text and landscape intersect? The first part of the volume introduces us to the question of process in landscape and literary studies; the second part examines the moments within the process by which landscape and text come to bear upon each other; and the final part deals with the relationship between the material experience of landscape and the formal characteristics of a given text, using this to reflect back on the processes of landscape perception and creativity. This volume spans the disciplines of geography, literary studies, and the visual arts. It also brings together scholarly and creative perspectives, interspersing academic commentary with poetic-photographic essays.

Touching Surfaces

Photographic Aesthetics, Temporality, Aging

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Anca Cristofovici

Who isn’t seduced by the idea of an affinity between aging and aesthetics? Yet, when does aging truly begin? What attributes does the aesthetic embrace? Looking into startling photographic art of the past three decades, this book is prompted by such questions and turns them into a meditation on how aesthetics mediates our relation to time.
The photographic approach of the corporeal is at the center of the book. Within a phenomenological framework, Cristofovici brings into focus the physical and the psychic body to read aging as a process of change and becoming over time. Her understanding of aging sees beyond difference into larger patterns of perceptions that we share.
Offering valuable insights into aging as a process of subject construction, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of visual culture, photography, art history, age studies, and theories of knowledge. This cross-disciplinary study that puts theory to the test of life’s and art’s paradoxes in an evocative style will also appeal to a wider readership interested in how photography and aging illuminate each other.