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With a radically changing world, cultural identity and images have emerged as one of the most challenging issues in the social and cultural sciences. These changes provide an occasion for a thorough reexamination of cultural, historical, political, and economic aspects of society. The INOR (Iceland and Images of the North) group is an interdisciplinary group of Icelandic and non-Icelandic scholars whose recent research on contemporary and historical images of Iceland and the North seeks to analyze the forms these images assume, as well as their function and dynamics. The 21 articles in this book allow readers to seize the variety and complexity of the issues related to images of Iceland.
Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the North Atlantic
This cultural and environmental history sweeps across the dramatic North Atlantic landscape, exploring its unusual geology, saga narratives, language, culture, and politics and analyzing its emergence as a distinctive and symbolic part of Europe. The book closes with a discussion of Iceland's modern whaling practices and its recent financial collapse.
Studies in the History of An Idea
Over the centuries, European debate about the nature and status of images of God and sacred figures has often upset the established order and shaken societies to their core. Out of this debate, an identifiable doctrine has emerged of the image in general and of the divine image in particular. This fascinating work concentrates on these historical arguments, from the period of Late Antiquity up to the great and classic defenses of images by St. John of Damascus and Theodore of Studion. Icon extends beyond the immediate concerns of religion, philosophy, aesthetics, history, and art, to engage them all.
Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman
Angela Davis, Pam Grier, Alice Walker, Michelle Obama. Revolutionary black women have evoked strong reaction throughout American history. Magazines, political campaigns, music, television, and movies have relied upon deep-seated archetypes and habitually cast strong, countercultural black women as mammies and sexual objects. In Iconic Lakesia Johnson explores how this belittling imagery is imposed by American media, revealing an immense cultural fear of black women's power and potential.
But the media does not have the last word. Johnson chronicles how strong black women—truly revolutionary black women—have nonetheless taken control of their own imaging despite consistent negative characterizations. Through their speech, demeanor, fashion, and social relationships, women from Sojourner Truth to Michelle Obama have counteracted these depictions. With ingenuity, fortitude, and focus on the greater good, these revolutionary women transformed the cultural images of themselves and, simultaneously, those of American black women as a whole.
Seamlessly weaving together role models of past and present, from women in politics to artists and musicians, Johnson eloquently demonstrates how the revolutionary black woman in many public forums has been—and continues to be—a central figure in challenging long-standing social injustices.
For more, including photographs, videos, news, and author appearances, visit RevoutionaryBlackWomen.com.
The Dark Theology of Samuel Beckett's Drama
Iconic Spaces looks at Samuel Beckett's mature theatrical work as a displaced theology of the icon. Sandra Wynands rejects conventional existentialist or nihilist interpretations of Beckett's work, arguing instead that beneath the text, in the depths of language and being, Beckett creates an absolutely irreducible, transcendent space. She traces a nondual model of perception and experience through a selection of Beckett's art-critical and dramatic works, focusing in particular on four minimalist plays: Catastrophe, Not I, Quad, and Film. Iconic Spaces makes an important contribution to scholars and students of literature, philosophy, theatre studies, and religion by giving them an exciting new way of reading and experiencing Beckett's work.
A Writer's Meditation
"I started this meditation on the first day of Lent. I hope to keep going every day until Easter. Each day I go fishing in the water of this internal voice. This week the water's still, this angled pen a blue sail; the hook is lazy in the estuary, the water the color of lapis. So what if I don't catch a fish? I said that I would fish; that's all I promised. I bait the hook with each day's discipline. I have no guarantees that there is anything at all to catch in these particular waters, that something beneath the surface won't grab my pen and pull me under." -- from Iconography
When Susan Neville enrolls in an icon-painting class in the cellar of an Indianapolis monastery, she begins a journey into a fascinating hidden world where saints are fabricated of mineral and wood, yolk and blood, earth and time. The process is tedious, and she begins to make mistakes, to become impatient; she doesn't feel ready for the challenge. To prepare herself, Neville makes a vow to write during the 40 days of Lent. What emerges is a journal, a meditation, a series of confessions that we are invited to listen to as we follow Neville's sometimes painful attempts to reveal the truth and discover the mystery of her existence. In the layering of colors and moods, her writing is the spiritual equivalent of an icon. As she observes the world around her and applies the paint of language to her observations, she realizes that spirit and matter are not separate -- that now and then moments of meaning emerge from daily life, and the stillness and majesty of the universe shine through.
The "Last Things" in Catholic Imagination
In Icons of Hope: The "Last Things" in Catholic Imagination, John Thiel, one of the most influential Catholic theologians today, argues that modern theologians have been unduly reticent in their writing about "last things": death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Beholden to a historical-critical standard of interpretation, they often have been reluctant to engage in eschatological reflection that takes the doctrine of the "last things" seriously as real events that Christians are obliged to imagine meaningfully and to describe with some measure of faithful coherence. Modern theology's religious pluralism leaves room for a speculative style of interpretation that issues in icons of hope—theological portraits of resurrected life that can inform and inspire the life of faith. Icons of Hope presents an interpretation of heavenly life, the Last Judgment, and the communion of the saints that is shaped by a view of the activity of the blessed dead consistent with Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, namely, the view that the blessed dead in heaven continue to be eschatologically engaged in the redemptive task of forgiveness.
A Cultural History of Human Embryos
Icons of Life tells the engrossing and provocative story of an early twentieth-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect thousands of embryos for scientific study. Lynn M. Morgan blends social analysis, sleuthing, and humor to trace the history of specimen collecting. In the process, she illuminates how a hundred-year-old scientific endeavor continues to be felt in today's fraught arena of maternal and fetal politics. Until the embryo collecting project-which she follows from the Johns Hopkins anatomy department, through Baltimore foundling homes, and all the way to China-most people had no idea what human embryos looked like. But by the 1950s, modern citizens saw in embryos an image of "ourselves unborn," and embryology had developed a biologically based story about how we came to be. Morgan explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's medical career. By resurrecting a nearly forgotten scientific project, Morgan sheds light on the roots of a modern origin story and raises the still controversial issue of how we decide what embryos mean.
The debate is no longer whether to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in education in Africa but how to do so, and how to ensure equitable access for teachers and learners, whether in urban or rural settings. This is a book about how Africans adopt and adapt ICT. It is also about how ICT shape African schools and classrooms. Why do we use ICT, or not? Do girls and boys use them in the same ways? How are teachers and students in primary and secondary schools in Africa using ICT in teaching and learning? How does the process transform relations among learners, educators and knowledge construction? This collection by 19 researchers from Africa, Europe, and North America, explores these questions from a pedagogical perspective and specific socio-cultural contexts. Many of the contributors draw on learning theory and survey data from 36 schools, 66000 students and 3000 teachers. The book is rich in empirical detail on the perceived importance and appropriation of ICT in the development of education in Africa. It critically examines the potential for creative use of ICT to question habits, change mindsets, and deepen practice. The contributions are in both English and French.