Search Results

Time, Memory, Consciousness and the Cinema Experience

Revisiting Ideas on Matter and Spirit


Martha Blassnigg

In this book cinema spectators are presented as ‘observing participants’, that is, agents who take part in their own perceptual processes. It takes experience into the centre of its investigation to propose the spectators’ active participation. It applies this to understanding cinema, from its outset, as a philosophical dispositif. To this end, the book explores crucial interconnections between the various constituencies that shaped moving image technologies and their reception at the nexus of science, art and popular culture at the end of the 19th century and some of the prevailing concerns about time, movement, memory and consciousness. It discusses in particular the interrelations between the works by the philosopher Henri Bergson, the physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey and the art-historian Aby Warburg’s intervention with the Mnemosyne Atlas. Bergson’s main themes germane to these concerns are discussed in detail in order to show how, during the perceptual processes, the seemingly contradictory tendencies of the mind — intellect and intuition — can help us understand the so-called ‘spiritual’ dimension of the emerging cinema from the perspective of the spectators’ cognitive engagement. This perspective invites us to include the experiential qualities of mental processes, such as the interaction between affect, thought and action and the interrelation between memory, perception and consciousness in the study of audio-visual media and elsewhere.

Writing the Nation

Patrick White and the Indigene


Cynthia Vanden Driesen

The time for new approaches to White’s work is overdue. Central to the present study are Edward Said’s ideas about the role of the intellectual (and the writer) – of speaking “truth to power,” and also the importance of tracing the “affiliations” of a text and its embeddedness in the world. This approach is not incompatible with Jung’s theory of the ‘great’ artist and his capacity to answer the deep-seated psychic needs of his people. White’s work has contributed in many different ways to the writing of the nation. The spiritual needs of a young nation such as Australia must also comprehend its continual urge towards self-definition. Explored here is one important aspect of that challenge: white Australia’s dealings with the indigenous people of the land, tracing the significance of the Aboriginal presence in three texts selected from the oeuvre of Patrick White: Voss (1957), Riders in the Chariot (1961), and A Fringe of Leaves (1976). Each of these texts interrogates European culture’s denigration of the non-European Other as embedded in the discourse of orientalism. One central merit of White’s commanding perspective is the constant close attention he pays to European hubris and to the paramount autonomy of indigenous culture. There is evidence even of a project which can be articulated as a search for the possibility of white indigeneity, the potential for the white settler’s belonging within the land as does the indigene.

Enduring Resistance / La Résistance persévère

Cultural Theory after Derrida / La théorie de la culture (d’)après Derrida


Edited by Sjef Houppermans, Rico Sneller and Peter van Zilfhout

Addressing both the humanities and the social sciences, this volume aims to explore the enduring significance of the work of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) in the field of cultural theory. It assembles a variety of articles by internationally renowned scholars from different academic disciplines and traditions. Contrary to recent commemorative publications on Derrida’s oeuvre, this volume proposes to critically evaluate and rethink key concepts in Derrida’s work within the present state of affairs in cultural theory. Centred around four main topics (manoeuvres, societies, images and fictions), the sections propose a creative and contemporary reading of ‘Derrida’ and its openings to new work in cultural theory.

Ce livre qui se destine à la fois aux humanités et aux études sociales tente d’explorer la signification durable de l’œuvre de Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) dans le champ de la théorie culturelle. Il rassemble un ensemble d’articles variés écrits par des chercheurs de renommée internationale provenant de différentes disciplines et traditions académiques. S’opposant par là à la majorité du flot de publications récentes sur l’œuvre de Derrida ce volume se propose d’évaluer et de repenser d’un point de vue critique les concepts clé de Derrida tenant compte de l’état actuel de la recherche en études culturelles. Centrées autour de quatre domaines majeurs (manœuvres – sociétés – images – fictions), les sections offrent une lecture créatrice et actuelle de ‘Derrida’ et des ouvertures que sa pensée permet vers une nouvelle idée de la théorie culturelle.

Making Russians

Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus after 1863


Darius Staliūnas

Making Russians is an innovative study dealing with Russian nationalities policy in Lithuania and Belarus in the aftermath of the 1863 Uprising. The book devotes most attention to imperial confessional and language policy, for in Russian discourse at that time it was religion and language that were considered to be the most important criteria determining nationality. The account of Russian nationalities policy presented here differs considerably from the assessments usually offered by historians from east-central Europe primarily because the author provides a more subtle description of the aims of imperial nationalities policy, rejecting the claim that the Russian authorities consistently sought to assimilate members of other national groups. At the same time the interpretation this study offers opens a discussion with western and Russian historians, especially those, who lay heavy emphasis on discourse analysis. This study asserts that the rhetoric of officials and certain public campaigners was influenced by a concept of political correctness, which condemned all forms of ethnic denationalisation. A closer look at the implementation of discriminatory policy allows us to discern within Russian imperial policy more attempts to assimilate or otherwise repress the cultures of non-dominant national groups than it is possible to appreciate simply by analysing discourse alone.

Metareference across Media: Theory and Case Studies

Dedicated to Walter Bernhart on the Occasion of his Retirement


Edited by Werner Wolf, Katharina Bantleon and Jeff Thoss

Strange as it may seem, Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, Marc Forster’s film Stranger than Fiction, Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pere Borrell del Caso’s painting “Escaping Criticism” reproduced on the cover of the present volume and Mozart’s sextet “A Musical Joke” all share one common feature: they include a meta-dimension. Metaization – the movement from a first cognitive, referential or communicative level to a higher one on which first-level phenomena self-reflexively become objects of reflection, reference and communication in their own right – is in fact a common feature not only of human thought and language but also of the arts and media in general. However, research into this issue has so far predominantly focussed on literature, where a highly differentiated, albeit strictly monomedial critical toolbox exists.
Metareference across Media remedies this onesidedness and closes the gap between literature and other media by providing a transmedial framework for analysing metaphenomena. The essays transcend the current notion of metafiction, pinpoint examples of metareference in hitherto neglected areas, discuss the capacity for metaization of individual media or genres from a media-comparative perspective, and explore major (historical) forms and functions as well aspects of the development of metaization in cultural history. Stemming from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds, the contributors propose new and refined concepts and models and cover a broad range of media including fiction, drama, poetry, comics, photography, film, computer games, classical as well as popular music, painting, and architecture.
This collection of essays, which also contains a detailed theoretical introduction, will be relevant to students and scholars from a wide variety of fields: intermediality studies, semiotics, literary theory and criticism, musicology, art history, and film studies.

The GDR and its History

Rückblick und Revision. Die DDR im Spiegel der Enquete-Kommissionen


Edited by Peter Barker

Ten years have now passed since the political changes in the GDR which led to unification. A central feature of the past decade has been the discussion concerning the process of historical evaluation of the GDR's 40-year existence. This volume takes as its main focus the official process of 'Geschichtsaufarbeitung', as represented by the two Enquete Commissions set up by the Bundestag which completed their work in 1994 and 1998 respectively. Several of the contributions are by leading participants in the Commissions, such as Dorothee Wilms, the last CDU Minister for Inner-German Relations and Markus Meckel MdB (SPD), the last Foreign Minister of the GDR and the original proposer of the Commissions in the Bundestag. Other chapters look at the various independent initiatives in the area of ‘Geschichtsaufarbeitung', the role of the Commissions in the context of the overall 'Geschichtsdebatte' in relation to the GDR and the attitude of the PDS to the official process of ‘Geschichtsaufarbeitung’. Other topics include an analysis of the way in which Buchenwald was presented to the public after unification, a re-evaluation of the 'Zwangsvereinigung' of the KPD and SPD, an examination of the role of education in the GDR, the controversial way in which the Churches were treated in the work of the first Commission which led to the dissenting report by the SPD members and the legacy of GDR architecture.
This is the first volume in English on the Enquete-Commissions and will be of interest to students and teachers of contemporary German politics and history. It contains thirteen contributions, seven in English and six in German.


Edited by Işil Baş and Donald C. Freeman

Challenging the Boundaries seeks to transcend the limits of literary genres and national cultures, exploring both old and new frontiers in language and literature from an interdisciplinary, multifaceted, and challenging perspective. Selected from the pathbreaking Istanbul conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association, these papers treat topics ranging from contemporary neurobiology’s insights into the sources of poetic creativity to the cultural theories of Michel Foucault and Hélène Cixous and their literary consequences; from the films of the American director David Lynch to those of the Senegalese artist Djibril Diop Mambéty; from the work of the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk to James Joyce’s Ulysses and the stories of Virginia Woolf. This volume will be of particular interest to readers who might wish to become acquainted with the work of able young scholars from an exceptionally wide array of academic cultures and theoretical commitments. The authors whose essays appear in Challenging the Boundaries reflect in their approaches and subjects both the breadth and depth of the international academic community. PALA Papers is a series of volumes comprising essays selected and edited from presentations at the annual conferences of the Poetics and Linguistics Association, an international body of scholars whose work focuses on the interdisciplinary nexus of linguistics, discourse theory, and literary analysis, criticism, and theory. Each volume will present studies that provide models to scholars throughout the world for conducting their own research in this multidisciplinary paradigm on such topics as, among many others, close linguistic analysis of canonical literary works, corpus-based studies of literary narrative, and the linguistic basis of contemporary social and cultural theory.

'Mission is a must'

Intercultural theology and the mission of the Church


Edited by Frans Wijsen and Peter J.A. Nissen


Edited by Richard Littlejohns and Sara Soncini

Myths of Europe focuses on the identity of Europe, seeking to re-assess its cultural, literary and political traditions in the context of the 21st century. Over 20 authors – historians, political scientists, literary scholars, art and cultural historians – from five countries here enter into a debate. How far are the myths by which Europe has defined itself for centuries relevant to its role in global politics after 9/11? Can ‘Old Europe’ maintain its traditional identity now that the European Union includes countries previously supposed to be on its periphery? How has Europe handled relations with the non-European Other in the past and how is it reacting now to an influx of immigrants and asylum seekers? It becomes clear that founding myths such as Hamlet and St Nicholas have helped construct the European consciousness but also that these and other European myths have disturbing Eurocentric implications. Are these myths still viable today and, if so, to what extent and for what purpose? This volume sits on the interface between culture and politics and is important reading for all those interested in the transmission of myth and in both the past and the future of Europe.

African Cultures, Visual Arts, and the Museum

Sights/Sites of Creativity and Conflict


Edited by Tobias Döring