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Edited by Theo D'haen and Hans Bertens

The Theater of Transformation

Postmodernism in American Drama

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Kerstin Schmidt

The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama offers a fresh and innovative reading of the contemporary experimental American theater scene and navigates through the contested and contentious relationship between postmodernism and contemporary drama. This book addresses gender and class as well as racial issues in the context of a theoretical discussion of dramatic texts, textuality, and performance. Transformation is contemporary drama's answer to the questions of postmodernism and a major technique in the development of a postmodern language for the stage. In order to demonstrate the multi-faceted nature of the postmodern theater of transformation, this study draws on a wide range of plays: from early experimental plays of the 1960s by Jean-Claude van Itallie through feminist plays by Megan Terry and Rochelle Owens to more recent drama by the African-American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.
The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama is written for anyone interested in contemporary American drama and theater as well as in postmodernism and contemporary literary theory. It appeals even more broadly to a readership intrigued by the ubiquitous aspects of popular culture, by feminism and ethnicity, and by issues pertaining to the so-called 'society of spectacle' and the study of contemporary media.

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Edited by Savaş Çoban

Media, Ideology and Hegemony contains a range of topics that provide readers with opportunities to think critically about the new digital world. This includes work on old and new media, on the corporate power structure in communication and information technology, and on government use of media to control citizens. Demonstrating that the new world of media is a hotly contested terrain, the book also uncovers the contradictions inherent in the system of digital power and documents how citizens are using media and information technology to actively resist repressive power. This collection of essays is grounded with a critical theoretical foundation, and is informed by the importance of undertaking the analysis in historical perspective.

Contributors are: Alfonso M. Rodríguez de Austria Giménez de Aragon, Burton Lee Artz, Arthur Asa Berger, Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Marco Briziarelli, Savaş Çoban, Jeffrey Hoffmann, Junhao Hong, Robert Jensen, Douglas Kellner, Thomas Klikauer, Peter Ludes, Tanner Mirrlees, Vincent Mosco, Victor Pickard, Padmaja Shaw, Nick Stevenson, Gerald Sussman, Minghua Xu.

The Philosophical Baroque

On Autopoietic Modernities

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Erik S. Roraback

In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will be of value to all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies

A New Kind of Public

Community, Solidarity, and Political Economy in New Deal Cinema, 1935-1948

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Graham Cassano

In 1936, director John Ford claimed to be making movies for “a new kind of public” that wanted more honest pictures. Graham Cassano’s A New Kind of Public: Community, solidarity, and political economy in New Deal cinema, 1935-1948 argues that this new kind of public was forged in the fires of class struggle and economic calamity. Those struggles appeared in Hollywood productions, as the movies themselves tried to explain the causes and consequence of the Great Depression. Using the tools of critical Marxism and cultural theory, Cassano surveys Hollywood’s political economic explanations and finds a field of symbolic struggle in which radical visions of solidarity and conflict competed with the dominant class ideology for the loyalty of this new audience.