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Author: Werner Wolf
One possible description of the contemporary medial landscape in Western culture is that it has gone ‘meta’ to an unprecedented extent, so that a remarkable ‘meta-culture’ has emerged. Indeed, ‘metareference’, i.e. self-reflexive comments on, or references to, various kinds of media-related aspects of a given medial artefact or performance, specific media and arts or the media in general is omnipresent and can, nowadays, be encountered in ‘high’ art and literature as frequently as in their popular counterparts, in the traditional media as well as in new media. From the Simpsons, pop music, children’s literature, computer games and pornography to the contemporary visual arts, feature film, postmodern fiction, drama and even architecture – everywhere one can find metareferential explorations, comments on or criticism of representation, medial conventions or modes of production and reception, and related issues. Within individual media and genres, notably in research on postmodernist metafiction, this outspoken tendency towards ‘metaization’ is known well enough, and various reasons have been given for it. Yet never has there been an attempt to account for what one may aptly term the current ‘metareferential turn’ on a larger, transmedial scale. This is what The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media: Forms, Functions, Attempts at Explanation undertakes to do as a sequel to its predecessor, the volume Metareference across Media (vol. 4 in the series ‘Studies in Intermediality’), which was dedicated to theoretical issues and transhistorical case studies. Coming from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds, the contributors to the present volume propose explanations of impressive subtlety, breadth and depth for the current situation in addition to exploring individual forms and functions of metareference which may be linked with particular explanations. As expected, there is no monocausal reason to be found for the situation under scrutiny, yet the proposals made have in their compination a remarkable explanatory power which contributes to a better understanding of an important facet of current media production and reception. The essays assembled in the volume, which also contains an introduction with a detailed survey over the possibilities of accounting for the metareferential turn, will be relevant to students and scholars from a wide variety of fields: cultural history at large, intermediality and media studies as well as, more particularly, literary studies, music, film and art history.
Cyberpunk at the Intersection of the Postmodern and Science Fiction
Author: Sabine Heuser
Virtual Geographies is the first detailed study to offer a working definition of cyberpunk within the postmodern force field. Cyberpunk emerges as a new generic cluster within science fiction, one that has spawned many offspring in such domains as film, music, and feminism. Its central features are its adherence to a version of virtual space and a deconstructivist, punk attitude towards (high) culture, modernity, the human body and technology, from computers to prosthetics. The main proponents of cyberpunk are analyzed in depth along with the virtual landscapes they have created - William Gibson’s Cyberspace, Pat Cadigan’s Mindscapes and Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse. Virtual reality is examined closely in all its aspects, from the characteristic narrative constructions employed to the esthetic implications of the ‘virtual sublime’ and its postmodern potential as a discursive mode. With its interdisciplinary approach Virtual Geographies opens up fresh perspectives for scholars interested in the interaction between popular culture and mainstream literature. At the same time, the science fiction fan will be taken beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre into such revitalizing domains as postmodern architecture and literature, and into cutting-edge aspects of science and social thought.
Author: Daniel Varisco
Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.

With forewords from Bryan S. Turner and Anouar Majid.
Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas
Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.
Volume Editors: Jana Gohrisch and Ellen Grünkemeier
Bringing together contributions from various disciplines and academic fields, this collection engages in interdisciplinary dialogue on postcolonial issues. Covering African, anglophone, Romance, and New-World themes, linguistic, literary, and cultural studies, and historiography, music, art history, and textile studies, the volume raises questions of (inter)disciplinarity, methodology, and entangled histories.
The essays focus on the representation of slavery in the transatlantic world (the USA, Jamaica, Haiti, and the wider Caribbean, West Africa, and the UK). Drawing on a range of historical sources, material objects, and representations, they study Jamaican Creole, African masks, knitted objects, patchwork sculpture, newspapers, films, popular music, and literature of different genres from the Caribbean, West and South Africa, India, and Britain. At the same time, they reflect on theoretical problems such as intertextuality, intermediality, and cultural exchange, and explore intersections – postcolonial literature and transatlantic history; postcolonial and African-American studies; postcolonial literary and cultural studies. The final section keys in with the overall aim of challenging established disciplinary modes of knowledge production: exploring schools and universities as locations of postcolonial studies. Teachers investigate the possibilities and limits of their respective institutions and probe new ways of engaging with postcolonial concerns.
With its integrative, interdisciplinary focus, this collection addresses readers interested in understanding how colonization and globalization have influenced societies and cultures around the world.
Contributors: Anja Bandau, Sabine Broeck, Sarah Fekadu, Matthias Galler, Janou Glencross, Jana Gohrisch, Ellen Grünkemeier, Jessica Hemmings, Jan Hüsgen, Johannes Salim Ismaiel–Wendt, Ursula Kluwick, Henning Marquardt, Dennis Mischke, Timo Müller, Mala Pandurang, Carl Plasa, Elinor Jane Pohl, Brigitte Reinwald, Steffen Runkel, Andrea Sand, Cecile Sandten, Frank Schulze–Engler, Melanie Ulz, Reinhold Wandel, Tim Watson
Volume Editor: Jerzy Topolski
Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation
Nathaniel Wallace’s Scanning the Hypnoglyph chronicles a contemporary genre that exploits sleep’s evocative dimensions. While dreams, sleeping nudes, and other facets of the dormant state were popular with artists of the early twentieth century (and long before), sleep experiences have given rise to an even wider range of postmodern artwork. Scanning the Hypnoglyph first assesses the modernist framework wherein the sleeping subject typically enjoys firm psychic grounding. As postmodernism begins, subjective space is fragmented, the representation of sleep reflecting the trend. Among other topics, this book demonstrates how portrayals of dormant individuals can reveal imprints of the self. Gender issues are taken up as well. “Mainstream,” heterosexual representations are considered along with depictions of gay, lesbian, and androgynous sleepers.
The Byzantine as Method in Modernity
Volume Editors: Roland Betancourt and Maria Taroutina
Byzantium/Modernism features contributions by fourteen international scholars and brings together a diverse range of interdisciplinary essays on art, architecture, theatre, film, literature, and philosophy, which examine how and why Byzantine art and image theory can contribute to our understanding of modern and contemporary visual culture. Particular attention is given to intercultural dialogues between the former dominions of the Byzantine Empire, with a special focus on Greece, Turkey, and Russia, and the artistic production of Western Europe and America. Together, these essays invite the reader to think critically and theoretically about the dialogic interchange between Byzantium and modernism and to consider this cross-temporal encounter as an ongoing and historically deep narrative, rather than an ephemeral or localized trend.
Contributors are Tulay Atak, Charles Barber, Elena Boeck, Anthony Cutler, Rico Franses, Dimitra Kotoula, Marie-José Mondzain, Myroslava M. Mudrak, Robert S. Nelson, Robert Ousterhout, Stratis Papaioannou, Glenn Peers, Jane A. Sharp and Devin Singh.
Author: Richard Murphet
In Acts of Resistance in Late-Modernist Theatre, Richard Murphet presents a close analysis of the theatre practice of two ground-breaking artists – Richard Foreman and Jenny Kemp – active over the late twentieth and the early twenty-first century. In addition, he tracks the development of a form of ‘epileptic’ writing over the course of his own career as writer/director.
Murphet argues that these three auteurs have developed subversive alternatives to the previously dominant forms of dramatic realism in order to re-think the relationship between theatre and reality. They write and direct their own work, and their artistic experimentation is manifest in the tension created between their content and their form. Murphet investigates how the works are made, rather than focusing upon an interpretation of their meaning. Through an examination of these artists, we gain a deeper understanding of a late modernist paradigm shift in theatre practice.
New European Perspectives / Nouvelles perspectives européennes
Volume Editors: Serge Jaumain and Marc Maufort
The essays collected here illustrate aspects of recent research conducted by graduate students in Canadian studies at various European universities. The methodological diversity displayed points to the very essence of the culture the contributors explore - what has been commonly termed the Canadian mosaic or, more recently, the Canadian kaleidoscope (Janice Kulyk-Keefer). In analysing the many facets of this mosaic, the numerous images of this kaleidoscope, the contributors offer fresh and youthful reappraisals of traditional visions of Canadianness.