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New Poetry and New Subjects in Early Modern Spain
Present scholarly conversations about early European and global modernity have yet to acknowledge fully the significance of Spain and Spanish cultural production. Poetry and ideology in early modern Spain form the backdrop for Imperial Lyric, which seeks to address this shortcoming. Based on readings of representative poems by eight Peninsular writers, Imperial Lyric demonstrates that the lyric was a crucial site for the negotiation of masculine identity as Spain’s noblemen were alternately cajoled and coerced into abandoning their identifications with images of the medieval hero and assuming instead the posture of subjects. The book thus demonstrates the importance of Peninsular letters to our understanding of shifting ideologies of the self, language, and the state that mark watersheds for European and American modernity. At the same time, this book aims to complicate the historicizing turn we have taken in the field of early modern studies by considering a threshold of modernity that was specific to poetry, one that was inscribed in Spanish culture when the genre of lyric poetry attained a certain kind of prestige at the expense of epic. Imperial Lyric breaks striking new ground in the field of early modern studies.
The Divided Individual in the Political Thought of G. W. F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche
G. W. F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche are often considered the philosophical antipodes of the nineteenth century. In Infinite Autonomy, Jeffrey Church draws on the thinking of both Hegel and Nietzsche to assess the modern Western defense of individuality—to consider whether we were right to reject the ancient model of community above the individual. The theoretical and practical implications of this project are important, because the proper defense of the individual allows for the survival of modern liberal institutions in the face of non-Western critics who value communal goals at the expense of individual rights. By drawing from Hegelian and Nietzschean ideas of autonomy, Church finds a third way for the individual—what he calls the “historical individual,” which goes beyond the disagreements of the ancients and the moderns while nonetheless incorporating their distinctive contributions.
The Origins of the New Left and Radical Liberalism, 1945–1970
Born in 1966‚ a generation removed from the counterculture‚ Kevin Mattson came of political age in the conservative Reagan era. In an effort to understand contemporary political ambivalence and the plight of radicalism today‚ Mattson looks back to the ideas that informed the protest‚ social movements‚ and activism of the 1960s. To accomplish its historical reconstruction‚ the book combines traditional intellectual biography—including thorough archival research—with social history to examine a group of intellectuals whose thinking was crucial in the formulation of New Left political theory. These include C. Wright Mills‚ the popular radical sociologist; Paul Goodman‚ a practicing Gestalt therapist and anarcho-pacifist; William Appleman Williams‚ the historian and famed critic of "American empire"; Arnold Kaufman‚ a "radical liberal" who deeply influenced the thinking of the SDS. The book discusses not only their ideas‚ but also their practices‚ from writing pamphlets and arranging television debates to forming left-leaning think tanks and organizing teach-ins protesting the Vietnam War. Mattson argues that it is this political engagement balanced with a commitment to truth-telling that is lacking in our own age of postmodern acquiescence. Challenging the standard interpretation of the New Left as inherently in conflict with liberalis‚ Mattson depicts their relationship as more complicated‚ pointing to possibilities for a radical liberalism today. Intellectual and social historians‚ as well as general readers either fascinated by the 1960s protest movements or actively seeking an alternative to our contemporary political malais‚ will embrace Mattson’s book and its promise to shed new light on a time period known for both its intriguing conflicts and its enduring consequences.
Vol. 14 (2012) through current issue
The hallmark of research today is “interdisciplinary,” and Interdisciplinary Literary Studies exemplifies the diversity, complexity, and rewards of integrating literary study with other methodologies. Drawing upon a broad base of critical theories and applying these to a wide range of literary genres, contributors reward us with daring interpretations, such as a mathematical reading of triangles in Robert Frost’s poetry or an “engaged Buddhist response to trauma” reading of Le Ly Hayslip’s Child of War, Woman of Peace. Editor Kenneth Womack, an author of both nonfiction and fiction (including John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel [Switchgrass, 2010]) has placed Interdisciplinary Literary Studies squarely in the middle of the conversation.
Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment; Essays in Honor of Robert Darnton
The famous clash between Edmund Burke and Tom Paine over the Enlightenment’s “evil” or “liberating” potential in the French Revolution finds present-day parallels in the battle between those who see the Enlightenment at the origins of modernity’s many ills, such as imperialism, racism, misogyny, and totalitarianism, and those who see it as having forged an age of democracy, human rights, and freedom. The essays collected by Charles Walton in Into Print paint a more complicated picture. By focusing on print culture—the production, circulation, and reception of Enlightenment thought—they show how the Enlightenment was shaped through practice and reshaped over time. These essays expand upon an approach to the study of the Enlightenment pioneered four decades ago: the social history of ideas. The contributors to Into Print examine how writers, printers, booksellers, regulators, police, readers, rumormongers, policy makers, diplomats, and sovereigns all struggled over that broad range of ideas and values that we now associate with the Enlightenment. They reveal the financial and fiscal stakes of the Enlightenment print industry and, in turn, how Enlightenment ideas shaped that industry during an age of expanding readership. They probe the limits of Enlightenment universalism, showing how demands for religious tolerance clashed with the demands of science and nationalism. They examine the transnational flow of Enlightenment ideas and opinions, exploring its domestic and diplomatic implications. Finally, they show how the culture of the Enlightenment figured in the outbreak and course of the French Revolution. Aside from the editor, the contributors are David A. Bell, Roger Chartier, Tabetha Ewing, Jeffrey Freedman, Carla Hesse, Thomas M. Luckett, Sarah Maza, Renato Pasta, Thierry Rigogne, Leonard N. Rosenband, Shanti Singham, and Will Slauter.
Parma in the Communal Age
During the long thirteenth century, the cities of northern Italy engendered a vital and distinctive civic culture despite constant political upheaval. In The Italian Piazza Transformed, Areli Marina examines the radical transformation of Parma’s urban center in this tumultuous period by reconstructing the city’s two most significant public spaces: its cathedral and communal squares. Treating the space of these piazzas as attentively as the buildings that shape their perimeters, she documents and discusses the evolution of each site from 1196, tracing their construction by opposing political factions within the city’s ruling elite. By the early fourteenth century, Parma’s patrons and builders had imposed strict geometric order on formerly inchoate sites, achieving a formal coherence attained by few other cities. Moreover, Marina establishes that the piazzas’ orderly contours, dramatic open spaces, and monumental buildings were more than grand backdrops to civic ritual. Parma’s squares were also agents in the production of the city-state’s mechanisms of control. They deployed brick, marble, and mortar according to both ancient Roman and contemporary courtly modes to create a physical embodiment of the modern, syncretic authority of the city’s leaders. By weaving together traditional formal and iconographic approaches with newer concepts of the symbolic, social, and political meanings of urban space, Marina reframes the complex relationship between late medieval Italy’s civic culture and the carefully crafted piazzas from which it emerged.