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Festivity and Representation in the Early Eighteenth Century
The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul offers the first holistic examination of an Ottoman public festival through an in-depth inquiry into different components of the 1720 event. Through a critical and combined analysis of the hitherto unknown archival sources along with the textual and pictorial narratives on the topic, the book vividly illustrates the festival’s organizational details and preparations, its complex rites (related to consumption, exchange, competition), and its representation in court-commissioned illustrated festival books (sūrnāmes).
To analyze all these phases in a holistic manner, the book employs an interdisciplinary approach by using the methodological tools of history, art history, and performance studies and thus, provides a new methodological and conceptual framework for the study of Ottoman celebrations.
Mutual Discoveries and First Encounters
In Europeans and Africans Michał Tymowski analyses the first contacts between the Portuguese and other Europeans and Western Africans in the 15th and early 16th centuries, the cultural and psychological as well as the organizational aspects of contacts. The territorial scope of the research encompasses the West African coast. Michał Tymowski describes and analyses the feelings and emotions which accompanied the contacts, of both Africans and Europeans, analyses the methods in which both parties communicated and organized the first encounters as well as the influence of these contacts on the cultures of both sides. The work is based on a variety of source material, written sources and works of African art, in which Africans’ opinions and emotions are reflected.
Performing Splendour in Catholic and Protestant Contexts
A multidisciplinary international group of leading scholars study the concept of magnificence as a social construction in seventeenth-century Europe. Although this period is previously described as the ‘Age of Magnificence’, thus far no attempts have been made to look how the term and the concept of magnificence functioned. The authors focus on the way crucial ethical, religious, political, aesthetic, and cultural developments interacted with thought on magnificence in Catholic and Protestant contexts, analysing spectacular civic and courtly festivities and theatre, impressive displays of painting and sculpture in rich architectural settings, splendid gardens, exclusive etiquette, grand households, and learned treatises of moral philosophy.
Contributors are: Lindsay Alberts, Stijn Bussels, Jorge Fernández-Santos, Anne-Madeleine Goulet, Elizabeth den Hartog, Michèle-Caroline Heck, Miguel Hermoso Cuesta, José Eloy Hortal Muñoz, Félix Labrador Arroyo, Victoire Malenfer, Alessandro Metlica, Alessandra Mignatti, Anne-Françoise Morel, Matthias Roick, Kathrin Stocker, Klaas Tindemans, and Gijs Versteegen.
Disability and Dissensus is a comprehensive collection of essays that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of critical cultural disability studies. The volume offers a selection of texts by numerous specialists in different areas of the humanities, both well-established scholars and young academics, as well as practitioners and activists from the USA, the UK, Poland, Ireland, and Greece. Taking inspiration from Critical Disability Studies and Jacques Rancière’s philosophy, the book critically engages with the changing modes of disability representation in contemporary cultures. It sheds light both on inspirations and continuities as well as tensions and conflicts within contemporary disability studies, fostering new understandings of human diversity and contributing to a dissensual ferment of thought in the academia, arts, and activism.

Contributors are: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Dan Goodley, Marek Mackiewicz-Ziccardi, Małgorzata Sugiera, David T. Mitchell, Sharon L. Snyder, Maria Tsakiri, Murray K. Simpson, James Casey, Agnieszka Izdebska, Edyta Lorek-Jezińska, Dorota Krzemińska, Jolanta Rzeźnicka-Krupa, Wiktoria Siedlecka-Dorosz, Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, Christian O’Reilly, and Len Collin.
Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages – Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies explores the significance of inheritance law from medieval times to the present through topical and in-depth studies that bring life to historical and contemporary inheritance practices. The contributions cover three themes: status of persons and options in the process of property devolution; wills, gift-giving and legal disputes as means to shape the working of the law; processes of inheritance legislation.

The authors focus on instances where legal strategies of various actors particularly reveal inheritance law as a contested and yet constrained space of action, and somewhat surprisingly show similar solutions to family law issues dealt with in other Western European countries.

Contributors are: Simone Abram, Gitte Meldgaard Abrahamsen, Per Andersen, Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, John Asland, Knut Dørum, Thomas Eeg, Ian Peter Grohse, Marianne Holdgaard, Astrid Mellem Johnsen, Már Jónsson, Mia Korpiola, Gabriela Bjarne Larsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Bodil Selmer, Helle I. M. Sigh, and Miriam Tveit.
Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility and Cultural Change
African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Hanna Getachew Amare, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, and Sophia Thubauville.
Author: Meryl Altman
Beauvoir in Time situates Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex in the historical context of its writing and in later contexts of its international reception, from then till now. The book takes up three aspects of Beauvoir's work more recent feminists find embarrassing: "bad sex," "dated" views about lesbians, and intersections with race and class. Through close reading of Beauvoir's writing in many genres, alongside contemporaneous discourses (good and bad novels in French and English, outmoded psychoanalytic and sexological authorities, ethnographic surrealism, the writing of Richard Wright and Franz Fanon), and in light of her travels to the U.S. and China, the author uncovers insights more recent feminist methodologies obscure, showing that Beauvoir is still good to think with today.
The current erotic landscape is contradictory: While the West sees greater sexual and erotic freedom than ever, there is also a movement to restrict the behaviour of various sexual minorities. Expanding and Restricting the Erotic addresses the way in which the erotic has been constrained and freed, both historically and at present. Topics range from the troubling way in which the mainstream media represents the erotic, to the concept of friends with benefits. Other chapters explore female eroticism, from contemporary female hip hop artists to Latin American women seeking to express their eroticism in the midst of sexual repression. Medieval and Early Modern medical conceptions of the female body are explored, as are ancient Greek erotic practices. Finally, the controversial area of teenage girls’ erotic representation is analysed.
Author: Renzo S. Duin
Thanks to Renzo Duin’s annotated translation, the voice of Lodewijk Schmidt—an Afrodiasporic Saramakka Maroon from Surinam—is finally available for Anglophone audiences worldwide. More than anything else, Schmidt’s three mid-twentieth-century ethnographic accounts tell the tragic story of Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands (northern Brazil, and southern Suriname and French Guiana). Schmidt’s is a story that takes account of the pathological mechanisms of colonialism, in which Indigenous Peoples and African Diaspora communities, both victims of colonialism, vilify each other falling privy to the divide-and-conquer mentality mechanisms of colonialism.

Accounts like that of the death and mourning of a magnificent Indigenous leader, Alapité, on 13-14 August 1941, suggest a deep respect on the part of the Maroon author, while his accounts also show his awareness of how the Indigenous Peoples vilified the Maroons. Beyond the ethnographic element, Duin argues that Schmidt was sent on a covert mission to determine whether or not the Nazis had engaged in covert missions and if they had established bases and airfields in the region.

As current ecological disasters, incurred by neocolonial, neoliberal and geopolitical practices, threaten to completely destroy the Amazonian forests that Schmidt describes, his meticulous accounts underscore the predetermined tragedy that is the result of the European and later North-American presence in present-day Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Duin’s profound knowledge of the history, topography, and fauna of the region contextualizes Schmidt’s ethnographic accounts and forces us to take account of the catastrophe that is deforestation and ethnocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands.