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Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere
A synergy between academia and activism has long been a goal of both scholars and advocacy organizations in communications research. The essays in Communications Research in Action demonstrate, for the first time in one volume, how an effective partnership between the two can contribute to a more democratic public sphere by helping to break down the digital divide to allow greater access to critical technologies, democratizing the corporate ownership of the media industry, and offering myriad opportunities for varied articulation of individuals' ideas.Essays spanning topics such as the effect of ownership concentration on children's television programming, the media's impact on community building, and the global consequences of communications research will not only be valuable to scholars, activists, and media policy makers but will also be instrumental in serving as a template for further exploration in collaboration.
Communities in Fiction reads six novels or stories (one each by Trollope, Hardy, Conrad, Woolf, Pynchon, and Cervantes) in the light of theories of community worked out (contradictorily) by Raymond Williams, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Luc Nancy. _x000B_The book’s topic is the question of how communities or noncommunities are represented in fictional works. Such fictional communities help the reader understand real communities, including those in which the reader lives. As against the presumption that the trajectory in literature from Victorian to modern to postmodern is the story of a gradual loss of belief in the possibility of community, this book demonstrates that communities have always been presented in fiction as precarious and fractured. Moreover, the juxtaposition of Pynchon and Cervantes in the last chapter demonstrates that period characterizations are never to be trusted. All the features both thematic and formal that recent critics and theorists such as Fredric Jameson and many others have found to characterize postmodern fiction are already present in Cervantes’s wonderful early seventeenth-century “Exemplary Story,” “The Dogs’ Colloquy.” All the themes and narrative devices of Western fiction from the beginning of the print era to the present were there at the beginning, in Cervantes. _x000B_Most of all, however, Communities in Fiction looks in detail at its six fictions, striving to see just what they say, what stories they tell, and what narratological and rhetorical devices they use to say what they do say and to tell the stories they do tell. The book attempts to communicate to its readers the joy of reading these works and to argue for the exemplary insight they provide into what Heidegger called Mitsein, being together in communities that are always problematic and unstable. _x000B_
Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible
Hospitality is a multi-faceted concept that has been received by, and worked into, various academic realms and disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, anthropology, aesthetics, ethics, and translation studies. The essays collected in this volume, by a wide range of international contributors, examine how, in the wake of the work of Levinas and the late Derrida, this concept has entered into and transformed the thinking of these disciplines.
Rebel Children and Their Families in South Carolina
In this innovative book, Edmund L. Drago tells the first full story of white children and their families in the most militant Southern state, and the state where the Civil War erupted. Drawing on a rich array of sources, many of them formerly untapped, Drago shows how the War transformed the domestic world of the white South. Households were devastated by disease, death, and deprivation. Young people took up arms like adults, often with tragic results. Thousands of fathers and brothers died in battle; many returned home with grave physical and psychological wounds. Widows and orphans often had to fend for themselves.From the first volley at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor to the end of Reconstruction, Drago explores the extraordinary impact of war and defeat on the South Carolina home front. He covers a broad spectrum, from the effect of boy soldierson the ideals of childhood and child rearing to changes in education, marriage customs, and community as well as family life. He surveys the children's literature of the era and explores the changing dimensions of Confederate patriarchal society. By studying the implications of the War and its legacy in cultural memory, Drago unveils the conflicting perspectives of South Carolina children-white and black-today.
This book compares the role of a sense of justice in the ethical and political thought of Confucius and John Rawls. Erin Cline demonstrates that the Analects (the most influential record of Confucius' thought) and Rawls's work intersect in an emphasis on the importance of developing a sense of justice. Despite deep and important differences between the two accounts, this intersection is a source of significant philosophical agreement.The study does not simply compare and contrast two views by examining their similarities and differences; it also offers a larger argument concerning the reasons why comparative work is worthwhile, the distinctive challenges comparative studies face, and how comparative work can accomplish distinctive and significant ends.Not only can a comparative study of the capacity for a sense of justice in Confucius and Rawls help us better understand each of their views, but it also can help us to see new ways in which to apply their insights, especially with respect to the contemporary relevance of their accounts.
Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the Now-Time of History
Constellation is the first extended exploration of the relationship between Walter Benjamin, the Weimar-era revolutionary cultural critic, and the radical philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The affinity between these noncontemporaneous thinkers serves as a limit case manifesting the precariousness and potentials of cultural transmission in a disillusioned present. In five chapters, Constellation presents the changing figure of Nietzsche as Benjamin encountered him: an inspiration to his student activism, an authority for his skeptical philology, a manifestation of his philosophical nihilism, a companion in his political exile, and ultimately a subversive collaborator in his efforts to think beyond the hopeless temporality--new and always the same--of the present moment in history. By excavating this neglected relationship philologically and elaborating its philosophical implications in the surviving texts of both men, Constellation produces new and compelling readings of their works and through them triangulates a theoretical limit in the present, a fractured "now-time" suspended between madness and suicide, from which the collective future regains a measure of consequential and transformative vitality.
The irreducibly constitutional nature of the Civil War's prelude and legacy is the focus of this absorbing collection of nine essays by a diversity of political theorists and historians. The authors examine key constitutional developments leading up to the War, the crucial role of Abraham Lincoln's statesmanship, and how the constitutional aspects of the War and Reconstruction endured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This thoughtful, informative volume covers a wide range of topics: from George Washington's conception of the Union and his fears for its future to Martin Van Buren's state-centered, anti-secessionist federalism; from Lincoln's approach to citizenship for African-Americans to Woodrow Wilson's attempt to appropriate Lincoln for the goals of Progressivism. Each essay zeroes in on the constitutional causes or consequences of the War, and emphasizes how constitutional principles shape political activity. Accordingly, important figures, disputes, and judicial decisions are placed within the broader context of the constitutional system to explain how ideas and institutions, independently and in dialogue with the courts, have oriented political action and shaped events over time.
Human Being as Mutuality and Response
Responding to how little theological research has been done on intellectual (as opposed to physical) disability, this book asks, on behalf of individuals with profound intellectual disabilities, what it means to be human. That question has traditionally been answered with an emphasis on an intellectual capacity the ability to employ concepts or to make moral choicesand has ignored the value of individuals who lack such intellectual capacities.The author suggests, rather, that human being be understood in terms of participation in relationships of mutual responsiveness, which includes but is not limited to intellectual forms of communicating.She supports her argument by developing a phenomenology of how an individual with a profound intellectual disability relates, drawn from her clinical experience as a physical therapist. She thereby demonstrates that these individuals participate in relationships of mutual responsiveness, though in nonsymbolic, bodily ways.To be human, to image God, she argues, is to respond to the world around us in any number of ways, bodily or symbolically. Such an understanding does not exclude people with intellectual disabilities but rather includes them among those who participate in the image of God.
Reals and Ideals
The essays in this book have grown out of conversations between the authors and their colleagues and students over the last decade and a half. Their germinal question concerned the ways in which Charles Sanders Peirce was and was not both an idealist and a realist. The dialogue began as an exploration of Peirce's explicit uses of these ideas and then turned to consider the way in which answers to the initial question shed light on other dimensions of Peirce's architectonic.The essays explore the nature of semiotic interpretation, perception, and inquiry. Moreover, considering the roles of idealism and realism in Peirce's thought led to considerations of Peirce's place in the historical development of pragmatism. The authors find his realism turning sharply against the nominalistic conceptions of science endorsed both explicitly and implicitly by his nonpragmatist contemporaries. And they find his version of pragmatism holding a middle ground between the thought of John Dewey and Josiah Royce. The essays aims to invite others to consider the import of these central themes of Peircean thought.
How Air Conditioning Changed Everything
It’s a contraption that makes the lists of “Greatest Inventions Ever”; at the same time it's accused of causing global disaster. It has changed everything from architecture to people’s food habits to their voting patterns, even the way big business washes its windows. It has saved countless lives . . . while causing countless deaths. Most of us are glad it's there. But we don't know how, or when, it got there._x000B__x000B_It's air conditioning._x000B__x000B_For thousands of years, humankind attempted to do something about the slow torture of hot weather. Everything was tried: water power, slave power, electric power, ice made from steam engines and cold air made from deadly chemicals, “zephyrifers,” refrigerated beds, ventilation amateurs and professional air-sniffers. It wasn't until 1902 when an engineer barely out of college developed the “Apparatus for Treating Air”—a machine that could actually cool the indoors—and everyone assumed it would instantly change the world. _x000B__x000B_That wasn't the case. There was a time when people “ignored” hot weather while reading each day's list of heat-related deaths, women wore furs in the summertime, heatstroke victims were treated with bloodletting . . . and the notion of a machine to cool the air was considered preposterous, even sinful. _x000B__x000B_The story of air conditioning is actually two stories: the struggle to perfect a cooling device, and the effort to convince people that they actually needed such a thing. With a cast of characters ranging from Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Nixon to Felix the Cat, Cool showcases the myriad reactions to air conditioning—some of them dramatic, many others comical and wonderfully inconsistent—as it was developed and presented to the world. Here is a unique perspective on air conditioning's fascinating history: how we rely so completely on it today, and how it might change radically tomorrow._x000B_