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Toward a Politics of Exhaustion
Applying Jean Baudrillard’s question “What are you doing after the orgy?” to the postmillennial climate that informs our contemporary cultural moment, this book argues that the imagination of apocalyptic endings has been an obsessive theme in post-Enlightenment culture. Dominic Pettman identifies and examines the dynamic tensions of various apocalyptic discourses, from the fin-de-siècle decadents of the 1890s to the fin-de-millènnium cyberpunks of the 1990s, in order to highlight the complex constellation of exhaustion, anticipation, panic, and ecstasy in contemporary culture. Through analyses of rapturous cults, cyberpunk literature, post-apocalyptic cinema, techno-paganism, death fashion, and the Y2K prophecy, After the Orgy explores why the twentieth century swung so violently between the poles of anticipation and anticlimax. In the process, the book raises pressing questions concerning the relevance of such ideas in our new millennium and points out alternatives to the monotonous horror of traditional narratives.
Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and Psychoanalytic Histories of Learning
In After-Education Deborah P. Britzman raises the startling question, What is education that it should give us such trouble? She explores a series of historic and contemporary psychoanalytic arguments over the nature of reality and fantasy for thinking through the force and history of education. Drawing from the theories of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, she analyzes experiences of difficult knowledge, pedagogy, group psychology, theory, and questions of loneliness in learning education. Throughout the book, education appears and is transformed in its various guises: as a nervous condition, as social relation, as authority, as psychological knowledge, as quality of psychical reality, as fact of natality, as the thing between teachers and students, as an institution, and as a play between reality and fantasy.
The Politics of Military Intervention
Why does political conflict seem to consistently interfere with attempts to provide aid, end ethnic discord, or restore democracy? To answer this question, Agency and Ethics examines how the norms that originally motivate an intervention often create conflict between the intervening powers, outside powers, and the political agents who are the victims of the intervention. Three case studies are drawn upon to illustrate this phenomena: the British and American intervention in Bolshevik Russia in 1918; the British and French intervention in Egypt in 1956; and the American and United Nations intervention in Somalia in 1993. Although rarely categorized together, these three interventions shared at least one strong commonality: all failed to achieve their professed goals, with the troops being ignominiously recalled in each example. Lang concludes by addressing the dilemma of how to resolve complex humanitarian emergencies in the twenty-first century without the necessity of resorting to military intervention.
The Cultural Semiotics of an Epidemic
Since public discourse about AIDS began in 1981, it has characterized AIDS as an apocalyptic plague: a punishment for sin and a sign of the end of the world. Christian fundamentalists had already configured the gay male population most visibly affected by AIDS as apocalyptic signifiers or signs of the “end times.” Their discourse grew out of a centuries-old American apocalypticism that included images of crisis, destruction, and ultimate renewal. In this book, Thomas L. Long examines the ways in which gay and AIDS activists, artists, writers, scientists, and journalists appropriated this apocalyptic rhetoric in order to mobilize attention to the medical crisis, prevent the spread of the disease, and treat the HIV infected. Using the analytical tools of literary analysis, cultural studies, performance theory, and social semiotics, AIDS and American Apocalypticism examines many kinds of discourse, including fiction, drama, performance art, demonstration graphics and brochures, biomedical publications, and journalism and shows that, while initially useful, the effects of apocalyptic rhetoric in the long term are dangerous. Among the important figures in AIDS activism and the arts discussed are David Drake, Tim Miller, Sarah Schulman, and Tony Kushner, as well as the organizations ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.
The Case of Marcel Duchamp
Acknowledged as the “Artist of the Century,” Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) left a legacy that dominates the art world to this day. Inventing the ironically dégagé attitude of “ready-made” art-making, Duchamp heralded the postmodern era and replaced Pablo Picasso as the role model for avant-garde artists. John F. Moffitt challenges commonly accepted interpretations of Duchamp’s art and persona by showing that his mature art, after 1910, is largely drawn from the influence of the occult traditions. Moffitt demonstrates that the key to understanding the cryptic meaning of Duchamp’s diverse artworks and writings is alchemy, the most pictorial of all the occult philosophies and sciences.
Thomas Jefferson and the Development of Public Administration
Study of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in public administration. Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to the development of administrative thought and practice in the United States have largely been overlooked in American history. His career in public service and his ideas concerning government and constitutional tradition have overshadowed his involvement with public administration. All But Forgotten explores this hidden contribution by investigating Jefferson’s two terms as president and the educational history of the University of Virginia, an institution whose early years were influenced by Jefferson’s theory and practice of administration. Throughout his later years, Jefferson developed a more comprehensive awareness of the effects of the political process on the administration of government, the theoretical and practical value of preserving constitutional tradition, and the constant need to connect contemporary public policy with the types of republican principles found in the Constitution. The end of Jefferson’s career is as important to the historical advancement of administrative theory and practice as the beginning is to political theory and democratic thought.
The Alliance Israélite Universelle—an international organization representing a community of over 240,000 Jews—was founded in France in 1860. Its goal was to achieve the intellectual regeneration and social and political elevation of the Jewish people. This book examines the impact of the AIU on Moroccan Jewry. It answers such questions as: How did the AIU establish itself in Morocco’s communities? How did it go on to become a power not to be underestimated by either the Moroccan government or the Europeans? And more importantly, how did the AIU improve the conditions of the Jews in Morocco, creating an important Frenchspeaking urban elite? Also discussed are such topics as Zionism and JewishMuslim relations in Morocco.
Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics
This book explores the fundamental issues in Jewish mysticism and provides a taxonomy of the deep structures of thought that emerge from the texts. This book demonstrates the complexity of Jewish mysticism in the history of religions. The author provides a morphology of the deep structures of thought that emerge from the basic texts of Jewish mysticism. Combining the most sophisticated philological and phenomenological methods, he explores fundamental issues.
Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism
Altered States examines the rise of Spiritualism—the religion of séances, mediums, and ghostly encounters—in the Victorian period and the role it played in undermining both traditional female roles and the rhetoric of imperialism. Focusing on a particular kind of séance event—the full-form materialization—and the bodies of the young, female mediums who performed it, Marlene Tromp argues that in the altered state of the séance new ways of understanding identity and relationships became possible. This not only demonstrably shaped the thinking of the Spiritualists, but also the popular consciousness of the period. In diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, scientific reports, and popular fiction, Tromp uncovers evidence that the radical views presented in the faith permeated and influenced mainstream Victorian thought.