In two recent articles I offered a solution to an old problem in Kant’s account of the categorical imperative, that of finding a unitary interpretation of all four of the Groundwork’s applications of the Formula of the Law of Nature (FLN). In this article I bring out the unity of this solution and defend the principle of suitability interpretation of FLN from objections raised by Samuel Kahn.
Lefebvre describes how ‘space is lived not represented (or conceived)’ in the context of his spatial triad of perceived, conceived and lived spaces. This article focuses on the extent to which Shakespeare can enable those who feel imprisoned (whether literally or through social, mental, physical or economic constraints) to expand the space in which they exist. Drawing on the work of Lefebvre and Foucault in their consideration of spatial creation, manipulation and alteration by the social experiences within it, I develop on these theories to focus specifically on the use of Shakespeare’s plays to evolve these, often constraining, spaces into somewhere that gives the participants the freedom and space to explore alternatives to their previous experiences of life. This article considers the impact of using Shakespeare as a method of creating space for a group of men in Leicester Prison as part of their 2017 Talent Unlocked Arts Festival.
Revisiting Arendtian Forgiveness in the Politics of Reconciliation
The idea of forgiveness is omnipresent in the transitional justice literature, yet this body of work, taken as a whole, is marked by conceptual, terminological and argumentative imprecision. Equivocation is common, glossing moral, theological, therapeutic and legal considerations, while arguments proceed from political, apolitical and even antipolitical premises. With forgiveness as a praxis linked to reconciliation processes in at least ten countries, concerns have grown over its negative implications for the relationship between the state and victims of state-authored injustices. Many of these debates reference Hannah Arendt. Drawing from a range of Arendt’s published and unpublished work, this article challenges the academic claim that forgiveness has no place in the politics of reconciliation. Through this ‘returning to the source’, it presents a promising mode of thinking about political forgiveness in contemporary Settler-colonial states.
A Reply to Alfred Betschart
Alfred Betschart has claimed that the project of existential Marxism is a contradiction in terms, but this argument, even when supported by many experts and quotes from Sartre's 1975 interview, misses the point of my Boston Review article, “The Philosophy of Our Time.” I believe the important argument today is not about whether we can prove that Sartre ever became a full-fledged Marxist, but rather about the political and philosophical possibility, and importance today, of existentialist Marxism.
Ronald Aronson praises Jean-Paul Sartre's existential Marxism in an essay in the Boston Review. I argue that existential Marxism is a case of a contradictio in adiecto. Sartre was never recognized as a Marxist by his contemporaries. He not only failed to show any interest in the question of economic exploitation, but most of the answers he gave in the Critique even contradicted Marxist theory. His expression of Marxism as the philosophy of our time seems to have rather been more an act of courtesy than the expression of deep conviction. As Sartre himself later said, Marxism and existentialism are quite separate philosophies.
Intertextuality and the Art of Narrative Bricolage
Reuven Kiperwasser and Serge Ruzer
The article examines rabbinic and Christian, Syriac and Greek, narratives of miraculous rescue on a storm-tossed sea from a comparative perspective. Taking note of the narrators’ engagement in an ongoing intertextual dialogue with the biblical story of prophet Jonah, the authors highlight the new emphases introduced by late antique storytellers. The function of the adventures on the high seas as a means of establishing the protagonists’ religious identity and, consequently, strengthening the identity of the projected audience is shown to be shared by Jewish and Christian sources. Moreover, the article investigates the role assigned to the Other in Jewish and Christian travel fiction. The results may point to different attitudes toward the Other entrenched in the two cultures.
Applied Theatre in a National Park
Katherine Steele Brokaw and Paul Prescott
Shakespeare in Yosemite, founded in 2017, consists of an annual outdoor production of Shakespeare in Yosemite National Park on the weekend closest to World Earth Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. The productions are site-specific and heavily adapted for a general audience; admission is free. In this article, the co-founders describe the origins and aims of the festival within the contexts of applied theatre, eco-criticism and the American tradition of free outdoor Shakespeare. In describing the festival’s inaugural show – a collage piece that counterpointed Shakespeare’s words with those of early environmentalist John Muir – we make the case for leveraging Shakespeare’s cultural currency to play a part (however small or unknowable) in encouraging environmental awareness and activism.
A Piece in a Peacebuilding Mosaic
In November 2017, Ratko Mladic, a war-time leader and a commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, was sentenced by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal to life imprisonment for the genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the region the verdict was received with conflicting reactions, emphasising yet again how extensive the ethnic division is within the society. Through close analysis of the theatre project Shakespeare’s Comedies performed by ethnically segregated youth in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article aims to understand how Shakespeare’s work functions as a vehicle to address the consequences of war and to support the complex process of reconciliation under circumstances in which the issues of war crimes cannot be tackled in a straightforward and direct manner. The study takes a cross-disciplinary approach to research, drawing from theory of reconciliation, applied theatre practice and comedy studies.
An Exploration of <i>A Midsummer Night's Dream</i>
Sue Emmy Jennings
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the experience of the other world is a central theme, symbolised by the world of the fairies. The play traces a journey from the rigid laws of the court to the seeming chaos of the forest to a return to a place of compromises. It is within the forest that several characters experience ‘other worldliness’; indeed, the forest itself becomes the other world. In my fieldwork with the Senoi Temiar peoples in Malaysia, there is also a belief in other world journeys. In addition to the other world, there are issues addressed in terms of applying Shakespeare with children with special needs as well as troubled teenagers and adults. I describe my own learning from the tribe in terms of understanding child attachment and development. Finally, I suggest that Shakespeare’s plays, in particular Dream, provide rites of healing. These are provided in other societies by their own culturally embedded rituals of healing.
Cognitive and Affective Learning in an Inclusive Shakespearean Curriculum
Sheila T. Cavanagh and Steve Rowland
Sheila T. Cavanagh and Steve Rowland link Shakespeare classrooms in distinctive venues: Cavanagh is a professor at Emory University in Atlanta, whose students are enrolled in undergraduate degree programmes; Rowland teaches at Monroe Correctional Facility in Washington State, under the auspices of University Beyond Bars. This article describes some of the practical and theoretical challenges emerging through this collaboration, many of which result from the instructors’ desires to construct their classes with pedagogic goals and assignments drawn from both cognitive and affective learning principles. Geography precludes the students meeting in person and they are not currently able to employ videoconferencing in this endeavour, but regular exchanges of essays and responses to each other’s writing allows these disparate groups of Shakespeareans to expand their knowledge of the drama while sharpening their critical and writing skills and learning to develop their affective understandings of the subject.