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Edited by Terrie Waddell

Cultural Expressions of Evil and Wickedness: Wrath, Sex, Crime, is a fascinating study of the a-temporal nature of evil in the West. The international academics and researchers who have contributed to this text not only concentrate on political, social and legally sanctioned cruelty from the past and present, but also explore the nature of moral transgression in contemporary art, media and literature. Although many forms and practices of what might be called ‘evil’ are analysed, all are bound by violence and/or the sexually perverse. As this book demonstrates, the old news media axiom, ‘if it bleeds it leads,’ also extends to the larger pool of popular culture. This absorbing volume will be of interest to anyone who has ever pondered on the exotic, extraordinary and surreal twists of human wickedness.

At the Interface

Continuity and Transformation in Culture and Politics

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Edited by Joss Hands and Eugenia Siapera

In a world increasingly characterised by perpetual re-invention through the dynamic flows of capital, persons and ideas, understanding change and transformation is an imperative. The purpose of this book is a first step in a project to engage the dynamics of transformation at the interface of culture and politics, through contextualisation, reflection and a sharing of intellectual resources. Bringing together the work of academics from a range of disciplines, who share an overarching aim to map such transformations, the volume covers themes ranging from popular culture, the Internet, to film and cinema. Casting a contemporary gaze on cultural phenomena, the contributors all seek to trace trajectories of change and continuity from within their own specific field, using a range of approaches from theoretical reflection to empirical case studies. Of general interest to students of the humanities and social sciences, and of particular interest for students of cultural studies and communication at all levels, this volume constitutes a unique opportunity to reflect on recent transformations but also on the persistence of certain cultural and political practices.

Image into Identity

Constructing and Assigning Identity in a Culture of Modernity

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Edited by Michael Wintle

The pervading theme of this book is the construction and allocation of identity, especially through images and imagery. The essays analyse how the dominant social discourses and imageries construct identity or assign subject positions in relation to the categories of race, nation, region, gender and language. The volume is designed to inform the study of those categories in cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, literary studies, philosophy and history. Its coverage is geographically global, multidisciplinary, and theoretically eclectic, but also accessible. The authors include both established and rising scholars from historical, literary, media, gender and cultural studies. This innovative collection will appeal to all those who are interested in the mechanisms of constructing and evolving personal and group identities, in past and present.

Gateway to the Promised Land

Ethnic Cultures on New York’s Lower East Side

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Mario Maffi

For the first time told in its entirety, the social and cultural experience of New York's Lower East Side comes vividly to life in this book as that of a huge and complex laboratory ever swelled and fed by migrant flows and ever animated by a high-voltage tension of daily research and resistance - the fascinating history of the historical immigrant quarter that, in Manhattan, stretches between East 14th Street, East River, the access to the Brooklyn Bridge, and Lafayette Street. Irish and Germans at first, then Chinese and Italians and East European Jews, and finally Puerto Ricans gave birth, in its streets and sweatshops, cafés and tenements, to a lively multi-ethnic and cross-cultural community, which was at the basis of several modern artistic expressions, from literature to cinema, from painting to theatre. The book, based upon a rich wealth of historical materials (settlement reports, autobiographies, novels, newspaper articles) and on first-hand experience, explores the many different aspects of this long history from the late 19th century years to nowadays: the way in which immigrants reacted to the new environment and entered a fruitful dialectics with America, the way in which they reorganized their lives and expectations and struggled to defend a collective identity against all disintegrating factors, the way in which they created and disseminated cultural products, the way in which they functioned as a gigantic magnet attracting several outside artists and intellectuals. The book thus has a long introduction detailing the present situation and mainly depicting the realities within the Chinese and Puerto Rican communities and the fight against gentrification, six chapters on the Lower East Side's past history (its social and cultural geography, the relationship among the several different communities, the labor situation, the literary output, the development of an ethnic theatre, the neighborhood's influences upon turn-of-the-century American culture in the fields of sociology, photography, art, literature and cinema), and a conclusion summing up past and present and discussing the main aspects of a Lower East Side aesthetics.

Uncertain Territories

Boundaries in Cultural Analysis

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Inge E. Boer

Tracing and theorizing the concept of the boundaries through literary works, visual objects and cultural phenomena, this book argues against the reification of boundaries as fixed and empty non-spaces that simply divide the world. Expanding on her previous work on gender and Orientalism, Inge Boer takes us into uncertain territories of fashion and art, tourism and travel, skilfully engaging the ambivalence of boundaries, as both protecting and confining, as bringing distinction while existing by virtue of their ability to be transgressed. In her close readings of that boundaries as desert, as frame, as home (or lack of it), Boer shows that boundaries are spaces within, through, and in the name of which negotiations take place. They are not lines but spaces ; neither fixed nor empty but flexible and inhabited.
With the publication of this book, Boer’s intellectual legacy stretches beyond her untimely passing. The writings that she left behind can be said to have inaugurated the future of her work, presented in the latter part by several of Boer’s intellectual companions. In their original essays, the contributors elaborate on Boer’s theme of boundaries as spaces where opposition yields to negotiation. Committed to the artefact as cultural stimulant, as the embodiment of thought, their analyses span a multitude of artefacts and media, ranging from literature to photography, to art installation and presentation, to film and song. Fanning out from Boer ‘s central focus – Orientalism – to other places of contestation, boundaries are shown to mediate the relationship between self and other ; they are, ultimately, spaces of encounter.

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Edited by Daniel Riha and Anna Maj

This book aims to present how emergent media penetrate all fields of human cultural activity. The content of this volume reflects theoretical and practical discussions on cultural issues influenced by increased adoption of information and communication technologies. New media and Web 2.0 raise increasing attention of academics from wide range of disciplines. Papers, included in this volume, cover a coherent choice of topics selected with respect to the actual state of inter-disciplinary debate on emerging media.

From Conflict to Recognition

Moving Multiculturalism Forward

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Edited by Michael Kearney

This volume will be of interest to scholars examining the relationship between culture and identity, concepts of individual and group agency in multicultural settings, and the effect that our globalising world has on regional cultural systems and local communities. From Conflict to Recognition: Moving Multiculturalism Forward grew out of research presented at the 3rd Global Conference of Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging held by Inter-Disciplinary.net at Mansfield College, Oxford University in September 2009. The conference provided a platform for researchers from diverse regions of the world and a variety of fields to present their work and engage each other on the major cultural transformations and epistemological shifts occurring in the current global paradigm. A unique aspect of the volume is its dialogic structure: each author refers to the work of other authors in the book; thus forming threads through-out the work, which link what are often perceived as unrelated issues. The volume is comprised of thirteen chapters divided into four thematic sections: Rights, Culture and Recognition; Complex Stories of Identity Formation; The Interweaving of Self and Other – Being and Belonging; and Crossing Boundaries and the Language of the Aesthetic.

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Edited by J. Peter Burgess

The present volume assembles essays from a broad cultural and professional spectrum around the question of European cultural identity. The heterogeneity of the contributors — their differing points of departure and methods — attests to a tension in intellectual communities which today is more intense than ever. Europe’s identity crisis is not merely an empirical matter. It reflects a far deeper, and far older, discursive crisis. The mandate of Europe’s traditional intellectual institutions to preserve and police their own cultural heritage has proved incapable of evolving in a manner sufficient to account for the mutation in its object: European culture. It is not merely that Europe’s identity, like any identity in the flux of history, has changed. Rather, the notion of identity, the very basis of any questions of who we are, where we are going, and the appropriate political forms and social institutions for further existence, all rely on a logic of identity which has, at best, become extremely problematic. It is this problematization which provides the common thread unifying the following essays. Each contributor, in his/her own way and with respect to his/her own research object, confronts the adequacy of the concept of cultural identity. The hidden presuppositions of this concept are indeed remarkable, and the logic of cultural identity prescribes that they remain undisclosed.

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Edited by Geoffrey T. Harris

André Malraux’s output, spanning some 55 years, ranges from novels to philosophical essays, studies on the plastic arts and memorialist essays. The present volume is significantly innovative in that it sets out to elucidate this diversity by focusing, for the first time and from a variety of perspectives, on the erosion of boundaries which characterises Malraux’s work. This erosion is multi-faceted and includes the crossing of genre boundaries; the appropriation of the literary text as political vehicle; the exploitation of the literary text as historical document; contemporary history as a source of literary texts; the slippage between autobiography and the novel, autobiography and the memorialist essay and between fiction and the memorialist essay. Contributors to this volume explore the complex relationship between fact and fiction underpinning Malraux’s writing, and also his life. An understanding of Malraux’s determination to ignore boundaries is crucial to the understanding of his life and work. In this respect the present study will interest academics and students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, of French literary and cultural studies.

Genealogies of Identity

Interdisciplinary Readings on Sex and Sexuality

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Edited by Margaret Sönser Breen and Fiona Peters

Genealogies of Identity examines issues of sex and sexuality across a range of critical and cultural perspectives. The volume considers historically specific discourses of sex and sexuality, their effect within public contexts such as the church and the workplace, and the link of those discourses to understandings of individual identity, citizenship, nation, and human rights. As well, the volume analyses representations of sexuality and desire in art, literature, theatre, and theory – representations that serve both to codify and to subvert social norms and aesthetic and theoretical traditions. Finally and more broadly, the volume attests to the critical importance of inter- and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding constructions of gender, sex, and sexuality. Genealogies of Identity consists of fifteen essays, versions of which were presented at the First Global Conference on Critical Issues in Sexuality, held in Salzburg, Austria, in October 2004.