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Tracing the Development of the Pirate Motif with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean
Postmodern Pirates offers a comprehensive analysis of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series and the pirate motif through the lens of postmodern theories. Susanne Zhanial shows how the postmodern elements determine the movies’ aesthetics, narratives, and character portrayals, but also places the movies within Hollywood’s contemporary blockbuster machinery. The book then offers a diachronic analysis of the pirate motif in British literature and Hollywood movies. It aims to explain our ongoing fascination with the maritime outlaw, focuses on how a text’s cultural background influences the pirate’s portrayal, and pays special attention to the aspect of gender. Through the intertextual references in Pirates of the Caribbean, the motif’s development is always tied to Disney’s postmodern movie series.
Intellectual Biography and Critical Balance-Sheet
Perhaps no philosopher is more of a conundrum than Nietzsche, the solitary rebel, poet, wayfarer, anti-revolutionary Aufklärer and theorist of aristocratic radicalism. His accusers identify in his ‘superman’ the origins of Nazism, and thus issue an irrevocable condemnation; his defenders pursue a hermeneutics of innocence founded ultimately in allegory. In a work that constitutes the most important contribution to Nietzschean studies in recent decades, Domenico Losurdo instead pursues a less reductive strategy. Taking literally the ruthless implications of Nietzsche's anti-democratic thinking – his celebration of slavery, of war and colonial expansion, and eugenics – he nevertheless refuses to treat these from the perspective of the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, he restores Nietzsche’s works to their complex nineteenth-century context, and presents a more compelling account of the importance of Nietzsche as philosopher than can be expected from his many contemporary apologists.

Translated by Gregor Benton. With an Introduction by Harrison Fluss.


Originally published in Italian by Bollati Boringhieri Editore as Domenico Losurdo, Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico, Turin, 2002.
Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.

With forewords from Bryan S. Turner and Anouar Majid.
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 Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster
The Baroque is back in contemporary culture. The ten essays authored by international scholars, and three interventions by artists, examine the return of the baroque as Neo-Baroque through interdisciplinary perspectives. Understanding the Neo-Baroque as transcultural (between different cultures) and transhistorical (between historical moments) the contributors to this volume offer diverse perspectives that suggest the slipperiness of the Neo-Baroque may best be served by the term ‘Neo-Baroques’. Case studies analysed reflect this plurality and include: the productions of Belgian theatre company Abattoir Fermé; Claire Denis’ French New Extremist film Trouble Every Day; the novel Lujuria tropical by exiled El Salvadorian Quijada Urias; the science fiction blockbuster spectacles The Matrix and eXistenZ; and the spectacular grandeur of early Hollywood movie palaces and the contemporary Las Vegas Strip.

Contributors: Jens Baumgarten, Marjan Colletti, Bolívar Echeverría, Rita Eder, Hugh Hazelton, Monika Kaup, Peter Krieger, Patrick Mahon, Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis, Richard Reddaway, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Saige Walton.
To date, the nascent consequential notion of ‘multiple modernities’ has been predominately grounded in historical research with the purpose of validating the theory. Yet, the notion of multiple modernities represents a radical transformation in the way modernity and, indeed, the contemporary world is viewed. As such, the central aim of this volume is to explore the implications and hidden understanding of the multiple modernities research project beyond historical analysis in order to investigate its wide ranging omnipresent implications as they exist in communication and in the social order of societal membership in contemporary societies.
This volume collects new research about multiple modernities and globalization. It shows the new turn of sociological theory in the contemporary scene with respect to multiple modernities, multi-centrism, transglobality, hybridization and multiculturalism, and explores it as a new area of societal communication – one that takes effect in the sectors of a global society as a ‘society of societies’.
The studies in this book converge to demonstrate that the route of Western modernization, its cultural program and its institutional structure, does not follow the pathway of modernization that we have thus far observed in the emerged new area. Rather, the continuation of the multiple modernities research program is given a new design, researching the social structure and dynamic of postmodern societies, their exchange and the debate about the flow of free resources. But the studies are also evidence that the sociological theory has no normative foundation.

Contributors are: Mehdi P. Amineh, Barrie Axford, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, Mark Jarzombek, Werner Krawietz, Judit Bokser Liwerant, Manussos Marangudakis, Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Gerhard Preyer, Roland Robertson, Luis Roniger, Yitzhak Sternberg, and Michael Sussman.



Pratchett, Pullman, Miéville and Stories of the Eye
“The books are true while reality is lying…” Championing the popular Fantasy genre on the same terms as its readers, Rayment casts a critical eye over the substance and methods of political critique in the Fantasy novels of Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and China Miéville. Ranging across subjects as diverse as exquisite fundamentalism and revolutionary trains, encountering pervert-priests, dwarf hermaphrodites and sex-scarred lovers and pondering the homicidal tendencies of fairy tales and opera, Fantasy, Politics, Postmodernity develops a theoretically wide-ranging and illuminating account of how the novels of these writers do and do not sustain politically insightful critique of the real world, while bringing intellectual and ethical concerns to bear on the popular Fantasy form.
William S. Burroughs’ Narrative Revolution
William S. Burroughs’ experimental narratives, from the 1959 publication of Naked Lunch through the late trilogy of the 1980s, have provided readers with intriguing challenges and, for some, disheartening frustrations. Yet, these novels continue to generate new interest and inspire new insights among an increasing and evolving readership. This book addresses the unique characteristics of Burroughs’ narrative style in order to discover strategies for engaging and navigating these demanding novels. Bolton advises, “Burroughs’ subversive themes and randomizing techniques do not amount to unmitigated attacks on conventions, as many critics suggest, but constitute part of a careful strategy for effecting transformations in his readers”. Utilizing various poststructuralist theories, as well as recent theories in electronic literature and posthumanism, Mosaic of Juxtaposition examines the various strategies that Burroughs employs to challenge assumptions about textual interpretation and to redefine the relationship between reader and text.
Intertextuality & Subversion
Poetic Revolutionaries is an exploration of the relationship between radical textual practice, social critique and subversion. From an introduction considering recent debates regarding the cultural politics of intertextuality allied to avant-garde practice, the study proceeds to an exploration of texts by a range of writers for whom formal and poetic experimentation is allied to a subversive politics: Jean Genet, Monique Wittig, Angela Carter, Kathy Acker, Kathleen Mary Fallon, Kim Scott and Brian Castro. Drawing on theories of avant-garde practice, intertextuality, parody, representation, and performance such as those of Mikhaïl Bakhtin, Julia Kristeva, Gérard Genette, Margaret A. Rose, Linda Hutcheon, Fredric Jameson, Ross Chambers and Judith Butler, these readings explore how a confluence of writing strategies – covering the structural, narratological, stylistic and scenographic – can work to boost a text’s subversive power.
Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption
Collage Culture develops a comprehensive theory of the origins and meanings of collage and readymades in modern and postmodern art, literature, and everyday life. Demonstrating that the origins of collage are found in assembly line technologies and mass media forms of layout and advertising in early twentieth-century newspapers, Collage Culture traces how the historical avant-garde turns the fragmentation of Fordist production against nationalist, fascist, and capitalist ideologies, using the radical potential unleashed by new technologies to produce critical collages. David Banash adeptly surveys the reinvention of collage by a generation of postmodern artists who develop new forms including cut-ups, sampling, zines, plagiarism, and copying to cope with the banalities and demands of consumer culture. Banash argues that collage mirrors the profoundly dialectical relations between the cut of assembly lines and the readymades of consumerism even as its cutting-edges move against the imperatives of passive consumption and disposability instituted by those technologies, forms, and relations. Collage Culture surveys and analyzes works of advertising, assemblage, film, literature, music, painting, and photography from the historical avant-garde to the most recent developments of postmodernism.