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Embodiment in Information Aesthetics
In Materializing New Media, Anna Munster offers an alternative aesthetic genealogy for digital culture. Eschewing the prevailing Cartesian aesthetic that aligns the digital with the disembodied, the formless, and the placeless, Munster seeks to "materialize" digital culture by demonstrating that its aesthetics have reconfigured bodily experience and reconceived materiality.
Her topics range from artistic experiments in body-computer interfaces to the impact that corporeal interaction and geopolitical circumstances have on producing new media art and culture. She argues that new media, materiality, perception, and artistic practices now mutually constitute "information aesthetics." Information aesthetics is concerned with new modes of sensory engagement in which distributed spaces and temporal variation play crucial roles. In analyzing the experiments that new media art performs with the materiality of space and time, Munster demonstrates how new media has likewise changed our bodies and those of others in global information culture.
Materializing New Media calls for a re-examination of the roles of both body and affect in their relation to the virtual and to abstract codes of information. It offers a nonlinear approach to aesthetics and art history based on a concept of "folding" that can discern certain kinds of proximities and continuations across distances in time (in particular between the Baroque and the digital). Finally, it analyzes digital culture through a logic of the differential rather than of the binary. This allows the author to overcome a habit of futurism, which until now has plagued analyses of new media art and culture. Technology is now not seen as surpassing the human body but continually reconfiguring it and constitutive of it.
America, Place, and Diaspora Literatures
In Migrant Sites, Dalia Kandiyoti presents a compelling corrective to the traditional immigrant and melting pot story. This original and wide-ranging study embraces Jewish, European, and Chicana/o and Puerto Rican literatures of migration and diasporization through the literary works of Abraham Cahan, Willa Cather, Estela Portillo Trambley, Sandra Cisneros, Piri Thomas, and Ernesto Quinonez. The author offers a transformed understanding of the ways in which the sense of place shapes migration imaginaries in U.S. writing. Place is a crucial category, one that along with race, class, and gender, has a profound impact in shaping migration and diaspora identities and storytelling. Migrant Sites highlights enclosure as a prominent sense of place and translocality as its counterpart in diaspora experiences created in fiction. Repositioning national literature as diaspora literature, the author shows that migrant legacies such as colonialism, empire, borders, containment, and enclosure are part of the American story and constitute the "diaspora sense of place."
Transatlantic Alternatives to Companionate Marriage
Feminist literary critics have long recognized that the novel’s marriage plot can shape the lives of women readers; however, they have largely traced the effects of this influence through a monolithic understanding of marriage. New World Courtships is the first scholarly study to recover a geographically diverse array of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels that actively compare marriage practices from the Atlantic world. These texts trouble Enlightenment claims that companionate marriage leads to women’s progress by comparing alternative systems for arranging marriage and sexual relations in the Americas. Attending to representations of marital diversity in early transatlantic novels disrupts nation-based accounts of the rise of the novel and its relation to “the” marriage plot. It also illuminates how and why cultural differences in marriage mattered in the Atlantic world—and shows how these differences might help us to reimagine marital diversity today.
This book will appeal to scholars of literature, women’s studies, and early American history.
Performance Art and Audience
The changing role of the spectator in contemporary performance art At a moment when performance art and performance generally are at the center of the international art world, Frazer Ward offers us insightful readings of major performance pieces by the likes of Acconci, Burden, Abramović, and Hsieh, and confronts the twisting and troubled relationship that performance art has had with the spectator and the public sphere. Ward contends that the ethical challenges with which performance art confronts its viewers speak to the reimagining of the audience, in terms that suggest the collapse of notions like “public” and “community.” A thoughtful, even urgent discussion of the relationship between art and the audience that will appeal to a broad range of art historians, artists, and others interested in constructions of the public sphere.
Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, this collection—which gathers scholars in the fields of race, ethnicity, and humor—seems especially urgent. Inspired by Denmark’s Muhammad cartoons controversy, the contributors inquire into the role that racial and ethnic stereotypes play in visual humor and the thin line that separates broad characterization as a source of humor from its power to shock or exploit. The authors investigate the ways in which humor is used to demean or give identity to racial, national, or ethnic groups and explore how humor works differently in different media, such as cartoons, photographs, film, video, television, and physical performance.
This is a timely and necessary study that will appeal to scholars across disciplines.
Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century
The sestina (of medieval French origin) is a complex poetic form of 39 lines (six sestets and a three-line "envoy") in which the six end-words (teleutons) of the lines of the first sestet stanza are repeated in a specific order as teleutons in the five succeeding sestets. In the envoy, the six teleutons are again picked up, one of them being buried in, and one finishing, each line.
Because of the complexity of the form, the sestina fell out of favor with poets for several decades. However, a twenty-first century revival of the form is underway. This is the first anthology of sestinas that showcases both traditional and innovative examples of the form by modern and contemporary poets, award winners, and emerging writers alike. Organized by such themes as Americana; Art; Love and Sex; and Memory, Contemplation, Retrospection, and Death, the collection also includes sestinas with irregular teleutons and unconventional sestinas. An evocative introduction by Marilyn Krysl acquaints readers with the form. The volume concludes with useful indexes of first lines and teleutons, increasing access to the poems beyond the poets' names.
Pathways to Healing and Health
Currently in medicine, theories of pain regard pain and suffering as one and the same. It is assumed that if pain ceases, suffering stops. These theories are not substantiated in clinical practice, where some patients report little pain and extreme suffering and other individuals have a lot of pain and virtually no suffering.
Based on the results of a scientific questionnaire, as well as evidence from and conversations with hundreds of patients, Beverley M. Clarke argues convincingly that suffering is often separate from pain, has universal measurable characteristics, and requires suffering-specific treatments that are sensitive to the patient's individual psychology and cultural background. According to Clarke, suffering occurs when individuals who have experienced a life change because of medical issues perceive a threat to their idea of self and personhood. This kind of suffering, based on a lost "dream of self," affects every aspect of an individual's life. Treating the patient as a whole person--an approach that Clarke strongly advocates--is an issue overlooked in the majority of chronic care and traumatic injury treatments, focused as they are on pain reduction.
Clarke believes passionately that the management of suffering in medicine is the responsibility of all health care practitioners. Until they come to identify and understand suffering as distinct from pain, the entire health care system will continue to carry the financial and moral burden of incomplete diagnoses, inappropriate referrals for care, ineffective treatment interventions, and lost human potential.
Race as Face Value
In this landmark work of critical theory, black studies, and visual culture studies, Alessandra Raengo boldly reads race as a theory of the image. By placing emphasis on the surface of the visual as the repository of its meaning, race presents the most enduring ontological approach to what images are, how they feel, and what they mean. Having established her theoretical concerns, the author's eclectic readings of various artifacts of visual culture, fine arts, cinema, and rhetorical tropes provoke and destabilize readers' visual comfort zone, forcing them to recognize the unstated racial aspects of viewing and the foundational role of race in informing the visual.
Over the past decade, historical studies of photography have embraced a variety of cultural and disciplinary approaches to the medium, while shedding light on non-Western, vernacular, and “other” photographic practices outside the Euro-American canon. Photography, History, Difference brings together an international group of scholars to reflect on contemporary efforts to take a different approach to photography and its histories. What are the benefits and challenges of writing a consolidated, global history of photography? How do they compare with those of producing more circumscribed regional or thematic histories? In what ways does the recent emphasis on geographic and national specificity encourage or exclude attention to other forms of difference, such as race, class, gender, and sexuality? Do studies of “other” photographies ultimately necessitate the adoption of nontraditional methodologies, or are there contexts in which such differentiation can be intellectually unproductive and politically suspect? The contributors to the volume explore these and other questions through historical case studies; interpretive surveys of recent historiography, criticism, and museum practices; and creative proposals to rethink the connections between photography, history, and difference.
A thought-provoking collection of essays that represents new ways of thinking about photography and its histories. It will appeal to a broad readership among those interested in art history, visual culture, media studies, and social history.