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Accounting for Imaginary Presence

Husserl and Sartre on the Hyle of Pure Imagination

Di Huang

Both Husserl and Sartre speak of quasi-presence in their descriptions of the lived experience of imagination, and for both philosophers, accounting for quasi-presence means developing an account of the hyle proper to imagination. Guided by the perspective of fulfillment, Husserl’s theory of imaginary quasi-presence goes through three stages. Having experimented first with a depiction-model and then a perception-model, Husserl’s mature theory appeals to his innovative conception of inner consciousness. This elegant account nevertheless fails to do justice to the facticity and bodily involvement of our imaginary experience. Sartre’s theory of analogon, based on his conception of imaginary quasi-presence as ‘magical’ self-affection, embodies important insights on these issues. Kinesthetic sensations and feelings are the modes in which we make use of own body to possess and be possessed by the imaginary object, thus lending it a semblance of bodily presence.

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‘All the world's a [post-apocalyptic] stage’

The Future of Shakespeare in Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven

Charles Conaway

Abstract

Emily St. John Mandel's 2014 novel, Station Eleven, follows the Traveling Symphony, a small troupe of actors and musicians who perform concerts and stage Shakespeare's plays in the scattered communities of survivors of an influenza pandemic. Tattooed on the arm of Kirsten Raymonde, an actress in the troupe, are the words ‘Because survival is insufficient’, a phrase borrowed from Star Trek: Voyager, indicating that the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven can enrich the lives of the survivors of the pandemic. But even if survival in this post-apocalyptic landscape is considered insufficient, it cannot be taken for granted. In a world without electricity and modern technology, encounters with strangers on the road occasionally turn confrontational, even deadly. The novel thus dramatises a constant struggle that complicates the idea that survival is insufficient, and ceaselessly probes the notion that Beethoven and Shakespeare can enrich our lives in post-apocalyptic times.

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Keith Jones

Abstract

Taking Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Gary Schmidt's Wednesday Wars as test cases, this article explores generic considerations in modern novels that employ Shakespeare but do not retell or recast the plot of any particular work by Shakespeare. Questions to be considered include how the works employ the Shakespearean genres of comedy, tragedy, history, romance and tragicomedy to create their own genres – and, conceivably, to transcend them. The article will also consider the mainstream appropriation of Shakespeare in Mandel and Schmidt. The Three Fates by Linda Lê will be briefly examined as a less straightforward reworking of the material of a single Shakespeare play (King Lear).

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Amílcar Cabral and Amartya Sen

Freedom, Resistance and Radical Realism

Lawrence Hamilton

This article compares the ideas of Amílcar Cabral and Amartya Sen on capability, freedom, resistance and political change, thereby revealing the importance of radical realism in political thought and development studies. Sen’s path-breaking work has been transformative for multiple disciplines, not least development. Yet, reading Sen alongside the ideas of one of Africa’s most successful anti-colonial political leaders is revelatory: it provides the basis for the argument that radical realism is most valuable if it is action-guiding, comparative and about context-specific change. This involves a distinction between realistic political theory and realism in political thought where only the latter demands utopian thinking. What follows from this regarding democracy, impartiality and justice? In answering this with reference to some social movements, the article then defends the political potential of conflict, partisan positions, resistance and political change directed towards overcoming domination.

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An Anti-Imperial Mythology

The Radical Vision of Howards End

Charles Campbell

Abstract

Critics have read Howards End as if Forster ‘specifically barred’ the poor from the novel (Trilling), so that only the middle classes are considered and not in a ‘truly radical’ way (Crews). Yet Forster does, after all, concern himself with the very poor in his depiction of Leonard Bast, Jacky and other characters, and extensively in the thoughts of Margaret. Furthermore, he creates the myth he says England lacks, and, considered in relationship to the main narrative events and to the novel's imagery, this takes the form of an anti-imperialist mythology. Mythic elements include epic journeys and battles, a symbolic sword and tree, a sacrificial death and a redemptive child. In the novel's poetic passages and in its account of Margaret's education on the ‘hard road of Henry's soul’, the nature of England's imperialism is revealed and defeated by an alternative radical and feminist vision of society.

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The Art of Revolutionary Praxis

Ghosting a History without Shadows

Duane H. Davis

Merleau-Ponty, in Humanism and Terror (1947), addresses the spectrum of problems related to revolutionary action. His essay, Eye and Mind (1960), is best known as a contribution to aesthetics. A common structure exists in these apparently disparate works. We must reject the illusion of subjective clairvoyance as a standard of revolutionary praxis; but also we must reject any idealised light of reason that illuminates all—that promises a history without shadows. The revolutionary nature of an act must be established as such through praxis. The creative praxes of the political revolutionary or the revolutionary artist are recognised ex post facto; yet each involves the creation of its own new aesthetic wherein the value of that praxis is to be understood spontaneously and all at once.

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Audit failure and corporate corruption

Why Mediterranean patron-client relations are relevant for understanding the work of international accountancy firms

Cris Shore

Abstract

Patron-clientelism and corruption were traditionally viewed as problems endemic to underdeveloped marginal countries with weak states, powerful self-serving elites, and widespread civic disengagement. However, recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in corruption scandals in the Global North, particularly its more developed banking and financial sectors. Paradoxically, this has occurred despite a massive expansion in auditing by international accountancy firms (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY) who often portray themselves as warriors of integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct. How are these trends connected? Drawing on anthropological studies of Mediterranean patron-clientelism, I illustrate how collusive relations between accountancy firms and their clients create ideal conditions for corruption to flourish. Finally, I ask how can these accountancy scandals help us rethink patron-clientelism in an age of “audit culture”?

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Battlegrounds of dependence

Reconfiguring labor, kinship and relational obligation

Keir Martin, Ståle Wig, and Sylvia Yanagisako

Abstract

Interdependence is a fundamental characteristic of human existence. The way in which certain dependencies are acknowledged as opposed to those that are hidden, or the ways in which some are validated while others are denigrated, is central to how social inequalities are reproduced and recreated. In this introduction we explore how particular dependencies are categorized, separated, and made visible or invisible as part of their performative effect. In particular, we explore the distinction between wage labor and kinship as two forms of relatedness that are often separated in terms of the (in)dependence that they are seen to embody. Even though they are practically entangled, their conceptual separation remains important. These conceptual separations are central to how gender difference is imagined and constituted globally.

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Jan Ifversen

Abstract

In March 2020, Melvin Richter, one of the founders of international, conceptual history passed away. This sad occasion makes it timely in our journal to reflect on the process that turned national projects within conceptual and intellectual history into an international and transnational enterprise. The text that follows—published in two parts, here and in the next issue—takes a closer look at the intellectual processes that led up to the founding meeting of the association behind our journal, the History of Concepts Group. It follows in the footsteps of Melvin Richter to examine the different encounters, debates and protagonists in the story of international, conceptual history. The text traces the different approaches that were brought to the fore and particularly looks at Melvin Richter's efforts to bridge between an Anglophone tradition of intellectual history and a German tradition of Begriffsgeschichte.

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Ben Page, Olga R. Gulina, Doğuş Şimşek, Caress Schenk, and Vidya Venkat

MIGRANT HOUSING: Architecture, Dwelling, Migration. Mirjana Lozanovska. 2019. Abingdon: Routledge. 242 pages. ISBN 9781138574090 (Hardback).

THE AGE OF MIGRATION: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 6th ed. Hein de Haas, Stephen Castles, Mark J. Mille. 2020. London: Red Globe Press. 446 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1352007985.

REFUGEE IMAGINARIES: Research across the Humanities. Emma Cox, Sam Durrant, David Farrier, Lyndsey Stonebridge, and Agnes Woolley, eds. 2020. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 642 pages. ISBN 9781474443197 (hardback).

MIGRATION AS A (GEO-)POLITICAL CHALLENGE IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE: Border Regimes, Policy Choices, Visa Agendas. Olga R. Gulina. 2019. Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag. 120 pages. ISBN: 9783838213385.

COMPARATIVE REVIEW: Migration and Development in India: Provincial and Historical Perspectives

INDIA MOVING: A History of Migration. Chinmay Tumbe. 2018. New York: Penguin Viking. 285 pages. ISBN: 9780670089833.

PROVINCIAL GLOBALISATION IN INDIA: Transregional Mobilities and Development Politics. Carol Upadhya, Mario Rutten, and Leah Koskimaki, eds. 2020. New York: Routledge. 193 pages. ISBN: 978-1-138-06962-6.