The Shock of the Other

Situating Alterities


Alterity is not a mere synonym of difference; what it signifies is otherness, a distinction or separation that can entail similarity as well as difference. The articles collected here explore ways to define, situate and negotiate alterity in a manner that does not do away with the other through negation or neutralization but that instead engages alterity as a reconfiguring of identities that keeps them open to change, to a becoming without horizon. Alterity and its situated negotiations with identity are configured through the body, through the psyche and through translational politics. From critical readings of angels, specters, grotesque bodies, online avatars, Sex and the City, pornography in French literature, Australian billboard art, Pina Bausch, Adrian Piper, Kashmiri poetry, contemporary German fiction, Jacques Brault and Northern-Irish poetry, there emerges a vision of identities as multi-faceted constructions that are continually being transformed by the various alterities with which they intersect and which they must actively engage in order to function effectively in the social, political, and aesthetic realm.
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Table of contents

Esther PEEREN and Silke HORSTKOTTE: Introduction: The Shock of the Other
I. Bodily Alterities – Between Matter and Specter
Peter HITCHCOCK: The Impossibly Intersubjective and the Logic of the Both
Brian McHALE: What Was Postmodernism? or, The Last of the Angels
Sara COHEN SHABOT: The Grotesque Body: Fleshing Out the Subject
Kate KHATIB: Auto-Identities: Avatar Identities in the Digital Age
Esther PEEREN: Vocal Alterities: Voice-Over, Voice-Off and the Cultural Addressee
II. Psychic Alterities – Traumatic Encounters
Victoria BEST: Eros and Extimité: Viewing the Pornographic Self in Bataille, Cixous and Houellebecq
Lucia RUPRECHT: Choreography and Trauma in Pina Bausch’s Bluebeard – While Listening to a Taped Recording of Béla Bartók’s “Bluebeard’s Castle”
Kate MACNEILL: Art that Matters: Identity Politics and the Event of Viewing
Alexis SHOTWELL: Shame in Alterities: Adrian Piper, Intersubjectivity, and the Racial Formation of Identity
III. Negotiating Alterities – Spaces of Translation
Ananya KABIR: A Language of One’s Own?: Linguistic Under-Representation in the Kashmir Valley
Silke HORSTKOTTE: Transgenerational Mediations of Identity in Rachel Seiffert’s The Dark Room and Marcel Beyer’s Spies
Nicole CÔTÉ: The Braultian Path to the Other: Estrangement and Nontranslation
Ingo BERENSMEYER: Mapping Cultural Space in Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry
List of Figures


Collection Information