Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 122 items for :

  • All: "Subjectivity" x
  • Social History x
  • African Studies x
  • Environmental History x
  • Status (Books): Published x
Clear All
Subjectivity is one of the central issues of twentieth-century philosophy, literature and art. Modernism, which “discovered” the subconscious, put an end to the belief in the Cartesian Subject as the autonomous centre of knowledge and self-consciousness. Instead, the subject became something uncontrollable, unreliable, incomplete and fragmentary. The attempts to recapture the unity of the subject led to the existential quest and the flight into ideology (nazism, communism).
Postmodernism, the cultural movement of the second half of the twentieth century, did not consider the subject any longer as an important category. Attention was focused on the “I” and the “Other”, on dialogism and polyphonism (Bakhtin). Ideology lost its appeal and so did the “great” stories (Lyotard).
In this issue of Avant-Garde Critical Studies the problem of subjectivity in twentieth-century culture is discussed from various angles by specialists in the field of philosophy, literature, film, music and dance.
The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art
Editor: Giovanni Aloi
Winner of the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Why Look at Plants? proposes a thought-provoking and fascinating look into the emerging cultural politics of plant-presence in contemporary art. Through the original contributions of artists, scholars, and curators who have creatively engaged with the ultimate otherness of plants in their work, this volume maps and problematizes new intra-active, agential interconnectedness involving human-non-human biosystems central to artistic and philosophical discourses of the Anthropocene.

Plant’s fixity, perceived passivity, and resilient silence have relegated the vegetal world to the cultural background of human civilization. However, the recent emergence of plants in the gallery space constitutes a wake-up-call to reappraise this relationship at a time of deep ecological and ontological crisis. Why Look at Plants? challenges readers’ pre-established notions through a diverse gathering of insights, stories, experiences, perspectives, and arguments encompassing multiple disciplines, media, and methodologies.
The Image in French Philosophy challenges dominant interpretations of Bergson, Sartre, Lyotard, Baudrillard and Deleuze by arguing that their philosophy was not a critique but a revival of metaphysics as a thinking pertaining to impersonal forces and distinguished by an aversion to subjectivity and an aversion of the philosophical gaze away from the discourse of vision, and thus away from the image. Insofar as the image was part of the discourse of subjectivity/representation, getting rid of the subject involved smuggling the concept of the image out of the discourse of subjectivity/representation into a newly revived and ethically flavored metaphysical discourse—a metaphysics of immanence, which was more interested in consciousness rather than subjectivity, in the inhuman rather than the human, in the virtual rather than the real, in Time rather than temporalization, in Memory rather than memory-images, in Imagination rather than images, in sum, in impersonal forces, de-personalizing experiences, states of dis-embodiment characterized by the breaking down of sensory-motor schemata (Bergson’s pure memory, Sartre’s image-consciousness, Deleuze’s time-image) or, more generally, in that which remains beyond representation i.e. beyond subjectivity (Lyotard’s sublime, Baudrillard’s fatal object). The book would be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy, aesthetics, and film theory.
Morality and Marginality: Towards Sentient Conservation?
Nature conservation in southern Africa has always been characterised by an interplay between Capital, specific understandings of Morality, and forms of Militarism, that are all dependent upon the shared subservience and marginalization of animals and certain groups of people in society. Although the subjectivity of people has been rendered visible in earlier publications on histories of conservation in southern Africa, the subjectivity of animals is hardly ever seriously considered or explicitly dealt with. In this edited volume the subjectivity and sentience of animals is explicitly included. The contributors argue that the shared human and animal marginalisation and agency in nature conservation in southern Africa (and beyond) could and should be further explored under the label of ‘sentient conservation’.

Contributors are Malcolm Draper, Vupenyu Dzingirai, Jan-Bart Gewald, Michael Glover, Paul Hebinck, Tariro Kamuti, Lindiwe Mangwanya, Albert Manhamo, Dhoya Snijders, Marja Spierenburg, Sandra Swart, Harry Wels.
Hosting the Monster responds to the call of the monstrous with, not rejection, but invitation. Positing the monster as that which defies classification, the essays in this collection are an ongoing engagement with that which lies outside of established boundaries. With chapters ranging from the monstrous mother or the deformed child to subjectivity in transition, this volume is not only of interest to film and gender scholars and literary and cultural theorists but also students of popular culture or horror. Its wide appeal stems from its invitation both to entertain the monster and to widen the call to and the listening for the monsters that have not yet, and perhaps must not yet, come calling back. This sense of hospitality and non-hostility is one guiding principle of this collection, suggesting that the ability to survey and research the otherwise may reveal more about the subjectivity of the self through the wisdom of the other, however monstrous the manifestation.
Aesthetic Anxiety analyzes uncanny repetition in psychology, literature, philosophy, and film, and produces a new narrative about the centrality of aesthetics in modern subjectivity. The often horrible, but sometimes also enjoyable, experience of anxiety can be an aesthetic mode as well as a psychological state. Johnson’s elucidation of that state in texts by authors from Kant to Rilke demonstrates how estrangement can produce attachment, and repositions Romanticism as an engine of modernity.
Editor: Murat Aydemir
In the West, once apparently progressive causes such as sexual equality and lesbian and gay emancipation are increasingly redeployed in order to discipline and ostracize immigrant underclass subjects, primarily Muslims. Gender and sexuality on the one hand and race, culture, and/or ethnicity on the other are more and more forced into separate, mutually exclusive realms. That development cannot but bear on the establishment of queer and postcolonial studies as separate academic specializations, among whom relations usually are as cordial as they are indifferent. This volume inquires into the possibilities and limitations of a parceling out of objects alternative to the common scheme, crude but often apposite, in which Western sexual subjectivity is analyzed and criticized by queer theory, while postcolonial studies takes care of non-Western racial subjectivity. Sex, race: always already distinguished, yet never quite apart.
Roderick A. Ferguson has described liberal pluralism as an ideology of discreteness in that it disavows race, gender and sexuality's mutually formative role in political, social, and economic relations. It is in that spirit that this volume advocates the discreet, hence judicious and circumspect, reconsideration of the (in)discrete realities of race and sex. Contributors: Jeffrey Geiger, Merill Cole, Jonathan Mitchell and Michael O'Rourke, Jaap Kooijman, Beth Kramer, Maaike Bleeker, Rebecca Fine Romanow, Anikó Imre, Lindsey Green-Simms, Nishant Shahani, Ryan D. Fong, and Murat Aydemir
Author: Carlos Pereda
This book, winner of the 2007 Siglo XXI International Essay Prize, is unique in its approach to exile and offers remarkable insights into the subject. It discusses both human nature and the phenomenon of exile with depth and exactness from the combined perspectives of philosophy, morality, politics, anthropology, and history. After retracing the lessons learned through diverse experiences of exile from antiquity to modern times, it uses poetry as metatestimony to examine exile, subjectivity, and the many moral and political implications involved. The result is a series of thoughtprovoking connections between exile and the way we assume our lives.
Essays on the Aesthetic Creation of Mind
Editors: Tone Roald and Johannes Lang
Art has the capacity to shape and alter our identities. It can influence who and what we are. Those who have had aesthetic experiences know this intimately, and yet the study of art’s impact on the mind struggles to be recognized as a centrally important field within the discipline of psychology. The main thesis of Art and Identity is that aesthetic experience represents a prototype for meaningful experience, warranting intense philosophical and psychological investigation. Currently psychology remains too closed-off from the rich reflection of philosophical aesthetics, while philosophy continues to be sceptical of the psychological reduction of art to its potential for subjective experience. At the same time, philosophical aesthetics cannot escape making certain assumptions about the psyche and benefits from entering into a dialogue with psychology. Art and Identity brings together philosophical and psychological perspectives on aesthetics in order to explore how art creates minds.