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“Orchestral Parts” in a Symphony of Motion

The Aesthetics of Coaching in the Golden Age of Horse and Carriage

Markus Poetzsch

Drawing on the work of Alfred de Vigny and Thomas De Quincey, this article examines the aesthetic appeal of coaching, a ubiquitous but little theorized mode of transport, in the golden age of horse and carriage (c. 1805–1825). The roots of Vigny's nostalgia for the shepherd's caravan and De Quincey's thrill ride on the mail-coach lie in the sympathetic connections that coaching, unlike train travel, establishes between living beings. These connections or “inter-agencies” serve in vital ways to rupture the solipsism and self-assurance of the solitary traveler, revealing his limited role in the vast plexus of nineteenth-century transport and motion.

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Harry Beck's London Underground Map

A Convex Lens for the Global City

John D. Schwetman

After Harry Beck designed his map of the London Underground, it became an icon of the city and a model for maps in other large transit networks around the world. The map allowed its readers to see themselves as components of the large, organized structure of the metropolis but also confronted them with the possibility of losing themselves to that structure. An analysis of the post-Beck subway map tradition shows it to be a battleground between the zeal for order and the latent chaos at the heart of the urban communities that the map represents and also situates this conflict in a larger context of the emergence of a global societal structure bound together by the control of capital and of the information that enables such control.

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Henry Bacon

Bioculturalist approach can be fruitfully employed to explain why fictional violence is such an integral part of both our art and entertainment. In any cultural context aggression related biological traits are controlled and shaped in order to ensure both the internal order and the security of a community. William Flesch has argued that his process is guided by the tendency to admire altruistic punishers, who without self-interest assume the task of punishing evildoers. Spectators of such actions tend to react to it emotionally, both spontaneously and via reflection, thus giving the experience both an emotional and a meta-emotional aspect. This plays an important role in relating to the ways in which resorting to violence is justified in mainstream films. This scenario has a strong emotional appeal, even if the spectator would deplore such means in real life contexts. This discrepancy emerges even more strongly in the revenge scenario, which in a fictional context can appear satisfying and empowering despite the moral qualms the spectator might have concerning the ethics of revenge. Because of the deeply ingrained cult of individuality and doubts about the efficacy of government in maintaining law and order, these narrative patterns have developed especially strongly within American popular culture. However, judging by the worldwide success of such films, their appeal is nonetheless quite universal.

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Miriam L. Wallace

Best known as political radicals and novelists, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Holcroft each wrote a travel narrative: Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark ([1796] 1987) and Travels from Hamburg through Westphalia, Holland and the Netherlands to Paris (1804), respectively. Despite their specific differences, both Wollstonecraft and Holcroft reconfigure travel as a politically inflected act of cultural encounter, resisting both the Grand Tour tradition of elite education and Romantic travel as an asocial and personal experience of the sublime. Although Wollstonecraft's account has been examined as a kind of feminine sublime or roman à clef, her political project has frequently been elided, seen as separate from the personal affect of her account. Holcroft's narrative is simply neglected. Reading these two travel accounts as products of late eighteenth-century British radical reform and developing Romantic sensibility enhances our understanding of eighteenth-century travel narrative and British Romanticism itself.

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Wyatt Moss-Wellington

Cognitive dissonance provides a model for understanding how we experience film texts as profound. This article looks at the ways in which filmmakers might motivate or exploit the pleasure of resolving familiar narrative dissonance to inspire emotions associated with profundity, sublimity, or transcendence. David Lynch scholarship provides a primary case study in the conflation of cognitive dissonance and transcendence, however it is contended that moral obligations to rape and trauma victims are sublimated in the process. Alternative moral dissonances across a range of different cinematic modes are subsequently addressed. Comparative analysis of vigilantism in American revenge and “social cleansing” films, Ken Loach’s social realism, Richard Linklater’s Bernie (2011), and John Sayles’s Lone Star (1996) permits an exploration of variability in filmic dissonance and narrative comprehension, as well as alternative approaches to filmmaking ethics and responsibility. The article concludes with suggestions for an applied ethics extended from cognitive film theory.

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Sebald's Ghosts

Traveling among the Dead in The Rings of Saturn

Simon Cooke

W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn ([1998] 2002), originally published in German in 1995 as Die Ringe des Saturn: eine englische Wallfahrt [An English Pilgrimage], recounts a walking tour of the English county of Suffolk. As the narrative weaves through an array of histories, memories, dreams, and textual and visual forms, it creates an East Anglian arena for a world tour of death, destruction, and atrocity: the traveler attempts to unearth skulls, examines paintings of autopsies, spends time in graveyards, incorporates photographs of Nazi death camps, and patterns it into a work of sublime elegy. Is Sebald, then, the ultimate "dark tourist"? Or, as this article proposes, is it through an insistence on the omnipresence of death and the interconnections between different sites of trauma and the everyday that Sebald's work, while in one sense embodying a thanatological impulse, also powerfully resists the commodification of the thanatouristic attraction?

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Holocaust Tourism in Berlin

Global Memory, Trauma and the 'Negative Sublime'

Andrew S. Gross

This essay argues that the construction of the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial constitutes a paradigm shift in Holocaust commemoration in Germany. The structures architecturally resemble their US counterparts and particularly the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum more than they do the other memorials and museums in Berlin’s complex commemorative landscape. American responses to the European catastrophe have significantly impacted European commemorative forms. Indeed, an internationally recognizable memorial architecture seems to be emerging, one emphasizing gaps, voids, incongruities and the personal relation to what theorists and commentators have begun to call ‘negative’ or ‘evil sublime’. Contemporary memorials and museums are not designed to ‘merely’ house collections; rather, they draw attention to themselves as symbols and symptoms of traumatic memory. They act out the trauma of the Holocaust as architecture; walking through them is supposed to be a step towards working through that trauma as feeling and experience.

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Many a Standard at a Time

The Ottomans' Leverage with Imperial Studies

Marc Aymes

This article aims to explore the consequences of including Ottoman studies in the larger field of imperial studies. It strives to combine a close reading of the Ottoman imperial epithets with considerations of how the Ottomans may contribute to theorizing empire as a model. In particular, the article engages in a discussion of whether the "sublime sultanate" developed into a colonial pattern of empire over its final century of existence. As it turns out, the Ottoman practice of administration did not come down to a simulacrum of European colonialism; the article points instead to a semiotics of empire that took its cue from a multidimensional logic of governmentality. Accordingly, archival idiosyncrasies are taken to imply the contrary of an Ottoman exceptionalism. They serve rather to highlight that concepts carry with them a vast repertoire of meanings to be activated in practice.

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Comparative regional integration in SADC and ASEAN

Democracy and governance issues in historical and socio-economic context

Robert W. Compton Jr.

English abstract: Both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) support regional and national integration, the protection of human rights and civil society involvement, and non-interference in member states' internal affairs. Sometimes these goals at the regional level become mutually exclusive. Human rights groups, international organizations, and Western states have criticized human rights abuses and democracy and governance shortcomings in several ASEAN states (e.g., Vietnam and Myanmar) and SADC countries (e.g., Swaziland, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe). This article addresses ASEAN and SADC's historical context and continued development related to these issues. It also evaluates the regional organizations' effectiveness in balancing o en mutually exclusive goals and concludes that existing regional organizational strength and cohesion impact the approaches used to manage conflict and external criticism and build greater social cohesion regionally and within states. SADC utilizes a “regional compliance model“ based on political criteria whereas ASEAN utilizes a “constructive engagement“ or “economic integration first“ model. SADC places greater emphasis on placing good governance, especially as it relates to human rights, at the forefront of regionalism. ASEAN sublimates human rights to regional integration through constructive engagement and greater emphases on economic relations. Two distinct models of regional integration exist.

Spanish abstract: La Comunidad de Desarrollo de África Austral (SADC por sus siglas en inglés), y la Asociación de Naciones del Sudeste Asiático (ASEAN en inglés), apoyan la integración regional/continental y nacional, la protección de los derechos humanos, la participación de la sociedad civil, y la no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los estados miembros. A veces, estas metas son mutuamente excluyentes a nivel regional. Grupos de derechos humanos, organizaciones internacionales y estados occidentales han criticado las violaciones de los derechos humanos y las deficiencias en democracia y gobernabilidad en varios Estados de la ASEAN (por ejemplo, Vietnam y Myanmar) y en algunos países de la SADC (por ejemplo, Suazilandia, Madagascar y Zimbabue). En este artículo se aborda el contexto histórico de la SADC y la ASEAN y su continuo desarrollo relacionado con los temas mencionados. También se evalúa la eficacia de las organizaciones regionales, haciendo el balance entre los objetivos a menudo mutuamente excluyentes, y concluye que la existente fuerza regional de organización y cohesión impacta los enfoques utilizados para manejar el conflicto y la crítica externa, y promueve la construcción de una mayor cohesión social regionalmente y dentro de los estados. La SADC utiliza un “modelo de cumplimiento regional“ basado en criterios políticos, mientras que la ASEAN utiliza un modelo de “compromiso constructivo“ o “integración económica primero“. La SADC pone mayor énfasis en afianzar la buena gobernanza, especialmente en lo relacionado con los derechos humanos, a la vanguardia del regionalismo. La ASEAN vincula los derechos humanos a la integración regional a través de un compromiso constructivo y pone un mayor énfasis en las relaciones económicas. Dos existentes modelos diferentes de integración regional.

French abstract: La Communauté de développement d'Afrique australe (SADC en anglais), aussi bien que L'Association des nations de l'Asie du SudEst (ANASE) soutiennent respectivement les principes relatifs à l'intégration régionale et nationale, à la protection des droits de l'homme, à la participation de la société civile dans l'agenda publique, ainsi qu'à la non-ingérence dans les affaires internes des Etats. Toutefois, il arrive que ces objectifs deviennent mutuellement exclusifs au niveau régional. Les organisations de défense des droits de l'homme et les gouvernements occidentaux n'ont jamais cessé de critiquer les violations des droits de l'homme, ainsi que les lacunes en matière de démocratie et de gouvernance qui prévalent dans les pays membre de l'ANASE (ex : le Viet Nam, Myanmar) et ceux de la SADC (ex : le Swaziland, Madagascar et le Zimbabwe). Cet article aborde le contexte historique dans lequel l'ANASE et la SADC ont vu le jour ainsi que la nature des enjeux qui l'ont suivi. Il évalue également d'un point de vue comparé, l'efficacité de ces organisations régionales sur la base des objectifs qu'ils se sont fixés, tout en penchant pour la conclusion selon laquelle la présence d'une force régionale influente impacte nécessairement dans la gestion des conflits, et combien la critique externe participe à la construction d'une plus grande cohésion sociale et régionale au sein des États. La SADC s'appuie un “modèle de conformité régionale» fondé sur des critères politiques, tandis que l'ANASE fait appel à un “engagement constructif“ ayant pour modèle “l'intégration économique“. La SADC accorde davantage plus d'importance à la mise en œuvre d'une bonne gouvernance, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les droits de l'homme et l'évolution vers un régionalisme plus avancé. L'ANASE sublime les droits de l'homme à l'intégration régionale par le biais d'un engagement constructif et de grandes insistances dans les relations économiques. Ce qui fait d'eux deux modèles d'intégration régionale distincts.

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Khaled Furani

also Milbank (2006: 106) for his claims about the modern discipline of sociology as a “policing of the sublime.” 13 In entertaining a question about the possibility of anthropology’s own ‘idolatry’, I find instructive Horkheimer’s (1996: 361