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Mediating Order and Chaos

The Water-Cycle in the Complex Adaptive Systems of Romantic Culture

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Rodney Farnsworth

This literature-centered study offers an interdisciplinary approach to Romantic culture. If is pioneering in that it employs the complexity method of anthropology. Recent literary studies employ the complexity/chaos theory adapted from the natural sciences; however, here is presented for the first time a complexity method taken from the social/human sciences. This complexity method is useful in mediating not only contradictions within Romanticism, but the chaos of contemporary theories concerning it. One of the intensifying literary debates is that between the so-called “Greens” and “Reds,” naturalists and humanists.
Mediating Order and Chaos not only traces the split between nature and man to Romantic Culture but finds there, too, a Spinozian vision of man and nature in unity – thereby denying any naturalist/humanist split. This volume is of interest for those who wish to see essays in the holistic approach to culture. Centering on hydraulics, hydrology, and meteorology, this study examines literature, painting, music, economics, and the rhetoric of science, philosophy, and politics, it therewith demonstrates how the water cycle was transformed into a cosmic metaphor that mediated, in the form of several complex adaptive systems, between the chaos of too much change and that of not enough.

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Edited by Marc Hersant and Catherine Ramond

La représentation de la vie psychique dans les récits factuels et fictionnels de l’époque classique rassemble des études de spécialistes de l’histoire (au sens large, incluant les Mémoires ou l’autobiographie) et de la fiction narrative des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Cet ouvrage traite une question théorique rarement appliquée à la première modernité : l’entrée dans l’intériorité des personnages, ce que Dorrit Cohn a appelé la « transparence intérieure », est-elle réservée à la seule fiction ? Permet-elle d’établir une ligne de partage claire entre récit factuel et récit de fiction à une époque où se multiplient des catégories mouvantes et hybrides telles les pseudo-mémoires, les romans-mémoires ou les nouvelles historiques ?

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Edited by Hazel Barnes

Drama for Life, University of the Witwatersrand, aims “to enhance the capacity of young people, theatre practitioners and their communities to take responsibility for the quality of their lives in the context of HIV and AIDS in Africa. We achieve this through participatory and experiential drama and theatre that is appropriate to current social realities but draws on the rich indigenous knowledge of African communities.”
Collected here is a representative set of research essays written to facilitate dialogue across disciplines on the role of drama and theatre in HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and rehabilitation. Reflections are offered on present praxis and the media, as well as on innovative research approaches in an interdisciplinary paradigm, along with HIV/AIDS education via performance poetry and other experimental methods such as participant-led workshops.
Topics include: the call for a move away from the binaries of much critical pedagogy; a project, undertaken in Ghana and Malawi with people living with AIDS, to create and present theatre; the contradictions between global and local expectations of applied drama and theatre methodology, in relation to folk media, participation, and syncretism. Three case studies report on mapping as a creative device for playmaking; the methodology of Themba Interactive Theatre; and applying drama with women living with HIV in the Zandspruit Informal Settlement.
The essays validate the importance of play in both energizing those in positions of hopelessness and enabling the distancing essential to observe one’s situation and enable change. The book stimulates the ongoing investigation of current practice and extends an invitation to further develop innovative approaches.