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The Culture of Boredom is a collection of essays by well-known specialists reflecting from philosophical, literary, and artistic perspectives, in which the reader will learn how different disciplines can throw light on such an appealing, challenging, yet still not fully understood, phenomenon. The goal is to clarify the background of boredom, and to explore its representation through forgotten cross-cutting narratives beyond the typical approaches, i.e. those of psychology or psychiatry. For the first time this experienced group of scholars gathers to promote a cross-border dialogue from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Devising New Stage Idioms
In the years that followed the end of apartheid, South African theatre was characterized by a remarkable productivity, which resulted in a process of constant aesthetic reinvention. After 1994, the “protest” theatre template of the apartheid years morphed into a wealth of diverse forms of stage idioms, detectable in the works of Greg Homann, Mike van Graan, Craig Higginson, Lara Foot, Omphile Molusi, Nadia Davids, Magnet Theatre, Rehane Abrahams, Amy Jephta, and Reza de Wet, to cite only a few prominent examples. Marc and Jessica Maufort’s multivocal edited volume documents some of the various ways in which the “rainbow” nation has forged these innovative stage idioms. This book’s underlying assumption is that creolization reflects the processes of identity renegotiation in contemporary South Africa and their multi-faceted theatrical representations.

Contributors: Veronica Baxter, Marcia Blumberg, Vicki Briault Manus, Petrus du Preez, Paula Fourie, Craig Higginson, Greg Homann, Jessica Maufort, Marc Maufort, Omphile Molusi, Jessica Murray, Jill Planche, Ksenia Robbe, Mathilde Rogez, Chris Thurman, Mike van Graan, and Ralph Yarrow.
The contributors to this volume share the assumption that popular narrative, when viewed with an evolutionary lens, offers an incisive index into human nature. In theory, narrative art could take a near infinity of possible forms. In actual practice, however, particular motifs, plot patterns, stereotypical figures, and artistic devices persistently resurface, indicating specific predilections frequently at odds with our actual living conditions. Our studies explore various media and genres to gauge the impact of our evolutionary inheritance, in interdependence with the respective cultural environments, on our aesthetic appreciation. As they suggest, research into mass culture is not only indispensable for evolutionary criticism but may also contribute to our understanding of prehistoric selection pressures that still influence modern preferences in popular narrative.

Contributions by David Andrews, James Carney, Mathias Clasen, Brett Cooke, Tamás Dávid-Barrett, Tom Dolack, Kathryn Duncan, Isabel Behncke Izquierdo, Joe Keener, Alex C. Parrish, Todd K. Platts, Anna Rotkirch, Judith P. Saunders, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Dirk Vanderbeke, and Sophia Wege.
"Il buono amore è di bellezza disio"
Beauty is a central concept in the Italian cultural imagination throughout its history and in virtually all its manifestations. It particularly permeates the domains that have governed the construction of Italian identity: literature and language. The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language assesses this long tradition in a series of essays covering a wide chronological and thematic range, while crossing from historical linguistics to literary and cultural studies. It offers elements for reflection on cross-disciplinary approaches in the humanities, and demonstrates the power of beauty as a fundamental category beyond aesthetics.
The theme of Medea in Portuguese literature has mainly given rise to the writing of new plays on the subject. The central episode in the Portuguese rewritings in the last two centuries is the one that takes place in Corinth, i.e., the break between Medea and Jason, on the one hand, and Medea’s killing of their children in retaliation, on the other. Besides the complex play of feelings that provides this episode with very real human emotions, gender was a key issue in determining the interest that this story elicited in a society in search of social renovation, after profound political transformations – during the transition between dictatorship and democracy which happened in 1974 – that generated instability and established a requirement to find alternative rules of social intercourse in the path towards a new Portugal.
Negotiating Literary and Cultural Geographies
Editors: Anne Collett and Leigh Dale
In Postcolonial Past & Present twelve outstanding scholars of literature, history and visual arts look to those spaces Epeli Hau’ofa has insisted are full not empty, asking what it might mean to Indigenise culture. A new cultural politics demands new forms of making and interpretation that rethink and reroute existing cultural categories and geographies. These ‘makers’ include Mukunda Das, Janet Frame, Xavier Herbert, Tomson Highway, Claude McKay, Marie Munkara, Elsje van Keppel, Albert Wendt, Jane Whiteley and Alexis Wright. Case studies from Canada to the Caribbean, India to the Pacific, and Africa, analyse the productive ways that artists and intellectuals have made sense of turbulent local and global forces.

Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, Debnarayan Bandyopadhyay, Anne Brewster, Diana Brydon, Meeta Chatterjee—Padmanabhan, Anne Collett, Dorothy Jones, Kay Lawrence, Russell McDougall, Tekura Moeka’a, Tony Simões da Silva, Teresia Teaiwa, Albert Wendt, Lydia Wevers, Diana Wood Conroy
Oscar Wilde in Vienna is the first book-length study in English of the reception of Oscar Wilde’s works in the German-speaking world. Charting the plays’ history on Viennese stages between 1903 and 2013, it casts a spotlight on the international reputation of one of the most popular English-language writers while contributing to Austrian cultural history in the long twentieth century.

Drawing on extensive archival material, the book examines the appropriation of Wilde's plays against the background of political crises and social transformations. It unravels the mechanisms of cultural transfer and canonisation within an environment positioned — like Wilde himself — at the crossroads of centre and periphery, tradition and modernity.
A Communicative Strategy
Pathos as Communicative Strategy in Late-Medieval Religious Drama and Art explores the strategies employed to trigger emotional responses in late-medieval dramatic texts from several Western European traditions, and juxtaposes these texts with artistic productions from the same areas, with an emphasis on Britain. The aim is to unravel the mechanisms through which pathos was produced and employed, mainly through the representation of pain and suffering, with mainly religious, but also political aims.
The novelty of the book resides in its specific linguistic perspective, which highlights the recurrent use of words, structures and dialogic patterns in drama to reinforce messages on the salvific value of suffering, in synergy with visual messages produced in the same cultural milieu.
Shakespeare as German Author, edited by John McCarthy, revisits in particular the formative phase of German Shakespeare reception 1760-1830. Following a detailed introduction to the historical and theoretical parameters of an era in search of its own literary voice, six case studies examine Shakespeare’s catalytic role in reshaping German aesthetics and stage production. They illuminate what German speakers found so appealing (or off-putting) about Shakespeare’s spirit, consider how translating it nurtured new linguistic and aesthetic sensibilities, and reflect on its relationship to German Geist through translation and cultural transfer theory. In the process, they shed new light, e.g., on the rise of Hamlet to canonical status, the role of women translators, and why Titus Andronicus proved so influential in twentieth-century theater performance.

Contributors are: Lisa Beesley, Astrid Dröse, Johanna Hörnig, Till Kinzel, John A. McCarthy, Curtis L. Maughan, Monika Nenon, Christine Nilsson.
Fields of Action, Fields of Vision
Representing Wars from 1860 to the Present examines representations of war in literature, film, photography, memorials, and the popular press. The volume breaks new ground in cutting across disciplinary boundaries and offering case studies on a wide variety of fields of vision and action, and types of conflict: from civil wars in the USA, Spain, Russia and the Congo to recent western interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the case of World War Two, Representing Wars emphasises idiosyncratic and non-western perspectives – specifically those of Japanese writers Hayashi and Ooka.
A central concern of the thirteen contributors has been to investigate the ethical and ideological implications of specific representational choices.

Contributors are: Claire Bowen, Catherine Ann Collins, Marie-France Courriol, Éliane Elmaleh, Teresa Gibert, William Gleeson, Catherine Hoffmann, Sandrine Lascaux, Christopher Lloyd, Monica Michlin, Guillaume Muller, Misako Nemoto, Clément Sigalas.