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Reading Song Lyrics offers the first systematic introduction to lyrics as a vibrant genre of (performed) literature. It takes lyrics seriously as a complex form of verbal art that has been unjustly neglected in literary, music, and, to a lesser degree, cultural studies, partly as it cuts squarely across institutional boundaries. The first part of this book accordingly introduces a thoroughly transdisciplinary interpretive framework. It outlines theoretical approaches to issues such as performance and performativity, generic convention and cultural capital, sound and songfulness, mediality and musical multimedia, and step by step applies them to the example of a single song. The second part then offers three extended case studies which showcase the larger cultural and historical viability of this model. Probing into the relationship between lyrics and the ambivalent performance of national culture in Britain, it offers exemplary readings of a highly subversive 1597 ayre by John Dowland, of an 1811 broadside ballad about Sara Baartman, ‘The Hottentot Venus’, and of a 2000 song by ‘jungle punk’ collective Asian Dub Foundation. Reading Song Lyrics demonstrates how and why song lyrics matter as a paradigmatic art form in the culture of modernity.
In: Word and Music Studies
In opposition to an essentialist conceptualization, the social construct of the human body in literature can be analyzed and described by means of effective methodologies that are based on Discourse Theory, Theory of Cultural Transmission and Ecology, System Theory, and Media Theory. In this perspective, the body is perceived as a complex arrangement of substantiation, substitution, and omission depending on demands, expectations, and prohibitions of the dominant discourse network. The term Body-Dialectics stands for the attempt to decipher – and for a moment freeze – the web of such discursive arrangements that constitute the fictitious notion of the body in the framework of a specific historic environment, here in the Age of Goethe.
Freud’s Italian Journey takes the psychoanalytical texts of Freud on the visual arts and literature as its objects for analysis. While the biographical figure of Freud appears throughout its pages, it is not simply a psychobiographical reading of Freud, his personal circumstances and their relationship to his texts. Rather the processes of interpretation begun by Freud are turned on Freud himself, thus eventually displacing and questioning his theoretical mastery. Freud’s Italian Journey also argues that Freud’s interest in, frequent journeys to, and obsession with Italy profoundly shaped and informed his elaboration of psychoanalysis. The volume organizes its material around the major Italian cities which were the destinations of Freud’s travel, and the sites of the artworks he examined. Freud’s many Italian holidays were crucial for his self-analysis and methodology, but it is also argued here that his papers on Italian subjects must be read as texts marked by fascination and allurement, crossed with anxiety and resistance, inscribed by memory and forgetting. Journeys to Italy heightened Freud’s sense of the visual, and it is contended that the visual dimension of Freud’s writing is crucial to an understanding of his elaboration of the theory of psychoanalysis. The relation between image and text is at the heart of Freud’s analysis of works of art as he founds a critical methodology in which the two are interrelated, image illustrating idea and idea needing to express itself in image, but neither finally resolvable into the other. Thus the argument of Freud’s Italian Journey follows as its model the famous elaboration of the fort:da game by Freud, moving back and forth between Freud’s life and his texts, between psychoanalytical and philosophical systems, between the written and the visual. This leads to the broader conclusion that Freud might provide the key to a new practice of criticism, and a new way of ‘seeing’ and understanding visual images.
Editor: Herbert Rowland
The present volume is the first to address the interrelationship between Goethe’s scientific thought and work, his ideas on art and literary oeuvre, and chaos and complexity theories. The eleven studies assembled in it treat one or more elements or aspects of this interrelationship, ranging from basic concepts all the way to a model of an aesthetic-scientific methodology. In the process, the authors scrutinize chaos and complexity both as motif and motor of literary texts and nature within various contexts of past and present. The volume should be of interest to literary scholars, scientists, and philosophers of science, indeed, to all those who are interested in the continuities between the humanities and sciences, culture and nature.
Proceedings of the First International Conference on Word and Music Studies at Graz, 1997
The nineteen interdisciplinary essays assembled in WORD AND MUSIC STUDIES I were first presented in 1997 at the founding conference of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA) in Graz, Austria. Diverse in subject matter, theoretical orientation, critical approach, and interpretive strategy, they share a keen scholarly interest in contemporary word-music reflection. Registering the impact of cultural studies on word-music relations, as manifested in the 'new musicology' and other 'historicist' approaches, the volume aims to assess the entire field of word and music studies, to define its subject, objectives, and methodology and to describe the field's state of the art. Within the broader context of generic, structural, performative, and ideological considerations concerning the manifold interrelations between literature and music, contributors explore wide-ranging topics, such as the vexing question of terminology (e.g. 'word and music', 'melopoetics', 'interart', 'intermedial', 'transmedial'); inquiry into the meaning, narrative potential, and verbalization of music; analysis of texted music (the Lied and opera) and instrumental music; and discussion of individual issues (e.g. 'ekphrasis', 'musicalization of fiction', 'word music', and 'verbal music') and interart loanwords (e.g. 'narrativity', 'counterpoint', and 'leitmotif').
Essays in Honor of Steven Paul Scher and on Cultural Identity and the Musical Stage
The eighteen interdisciplinary essays in this volume were presented in 2001 in Sydney, Australia, at the Third International Conference on Word and Music Studies, which was sponsored by The International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA). The conference celebrated the sixty-fifth birthday of Steven Paul Scher, arguably the central figure in word and music studies during the last thirty-five years. The first section of this volume comprises ten articles that discuss, or are methodologically based upon, Scher’s many analyses of and critical commentaries on the field, particularly on interrelationships between words and music. The authors cover such topics as semiotics, intermediality, hermeneutics, the de-essentialization of the arts, and the works of a wide range of literary figures and composers that include Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, T. S. Eliot, Goethe, Hölderlin, Mann, Britten, Schubert, Schumann, and Wagner. The second section consists of a second set of papers presented at the conference that are devoted to a different area of word and music studies: cultural identity and the musical stage. Eight scholars investigate – and often problematize – widespread assumptions regarding ‘national’ and ‘cultural’ music, language, plots, and production values in musical stage works. Topics include the National Socialists’ construction of German national identity; reception-based examinations of cultural identity and various “national” opera styles; and the means by which composers, librettists, and lyricists have attempted to establish national or cultural identity through their stage works.
Dedicated to Walter Bernhart on the Occasion of his Retirement
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.
This volume on anthropology and authority in the writings of Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) offers its reader nineteen timely discussions of two fundamental categories pertaining to the literary, philosophical, and theological production of this prominent 19th century Danish thinker, whose vast influence upon 20th century intellectual life continues to grow as the new millennium approaches.
The volume's nineteen contributors - from Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, and the United States - inquire into such complex problematics in Kierkegaard's oeuvre as the interrelationship between the human, the divine, and the spiritual; between the secular and the Christian; between human and Christian love; between state and church institutions and the single individual of faith; and between this individual's concern for quality in civic and religious life and the quantitative forces of modern society's masses and crowds. Special attention is given to the indisputable authority of God, Christ, and the apostles as opposed to the debatable authority, or non-authority, of the author. Of particular interest is the nexus between Kierkegaard's existential and religious concerns, on the one hand, and his intricate textual conceptions, multifarious poetic strategies, and various means of pseudonymous and indirect communication, on the other.
Between the covers of Anthropology and Authority some chapters seek to refine received knowledge of Kierkegaard in such disciplines as theology and moral philosophy. Conversely, other chapters submit rather postmodern critiques of the author's stylistic and rhetorical devices. A summary assessment of the nineteen contributions would fail to recognize this considerable methodological and theoretical diversity. Instead, the reader's access to the smorgasbord of insights has been facilitated by an introduction in which one of the American editors briefly outline the individual contributions on a general historical and intellectual background.
Altogether, the probing insights of Anthropology and Authority go to the core of Søren Kierkegaard's authorship. Individual chapters either update previous responses to the many challenges presented by this work, or the chapters face new challenges and/or present critical challenges on their own.
Trajectories, Strategies, and Myths
Amy Ione’s Innovation and Visualization is the first in detail account that relates the development of visual images to innovations in art, communication, scientific research, and technological advance. Integrated case studies allow Ione to put aside C.P. Snow’s “two culture” framework in favor of cross-disciplinary examples that refute the science/humanities dichotomy. The themes, which range from cognitive science to illuminated manuscripts and media studies, will appeal to specialists (artists, art historians, cognitive scientists, etc.) interested in comparing our image saturated culture with the environments of earlier eras. The scope of the examples will appeal to the generalist.