Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Humanities, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 264-441

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Present Teaching Stories as Re-Membering the Humanities
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 264-282; doi:10.3390/h3030264
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 June 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
PDF Full-text (100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ways in which Humanities scholars talk about teaching tell something about how we interact with the past of our own discipline as well as anticipate our students’ futures. In this we express collective memories as truths of learning and teaching. As [...] Read more.
The ways in which Humanities scholars talk about teaching tell something about how we interact with the past of our own discipline as well as anticipate our students’ futures. In this we express collective memories as truths of learning and teaching. As cultural artifacts of our present, such stories are worthy of excavation for what they imply about ourselves as well as messages they pass onto our successors. This paper outlines “collective re-membering” as one way to understand these stories, particularly as they present in qualitative interviews commonly being used to research higher education practice in the Humanities. It defines such collective re-membering through an interweaving of Halbwachs, Ricoeur, Wertsch and Bakhtin. It proposes that a dialogic reading between this understanding of collective re-membering and qualitative data-sets enables us to both access our discursive tendencies within the Humanities and understand the impact they might have on student engagement with our disciplines, noting that when discussing learning and teaching, we engage in collectively influenced myth-making and hagiography. The paper finishes by positing that the Humanities need to change their orientation from generating myths and pious teaching sagas towards the complex and ultimately more intellectually satisfying, articulation of learning and teaching parables. Full article
Open AccessArticle Murderous Ritual versus Devotional Custom: The Rhetoric and Ritual of Sati and Women’s Subjectivity in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 283-298; doi:10.3390/h3030283
Received: 6 May 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 27 June 2014
PDF Full-text (172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The representation of the practice of sati, the immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyre, has garnered interest for long from postcolonial and feminist discourses among others. While advocates of Western modernity perceive sati as a murderous ritual, the proponents of [...] Read more.
The representation of the practice of sati, the immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyre, has garnered interest for long from postcolonial and feminist discourses among others. While advocates of Western modernity perceive sati as a murderous ritual, the proponents of orthodox Hinduism, on the contrary, claim sati to be a courageous cult of “wifely devotion”. In both bigoted beliefs, as poststructuralists observe, women largely appear as “mute objects”. Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies (2008) brilliantly sidelines the conundrum of polarizing representation of sati along the East-West axis and reflects instead the subjective experience of women as sati. The article examines how the rhetoric and ritual of sati in the novel enable marginalized women to acquire consciousness of their subjectivity in a colonized society. To this end, the paper analyzes deconstructive readings of sati, such as by Gayatri Spivak, and explores the way the novel uses religion as a ploy, which, instead of perpetrating violence, confers a subjective entity on the sati that can even subvert the constrictive norms of a colonized society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Virtue: An Apologetic
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 299-312; doi:10.3390/h3030299
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (69 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prominent Australian earth scientist, Tim Flannery, closes his recent book Here on Earth: A New Beginning with the words “… if we do not strive to love one another, and to love our planet as much as we love ourselves, then [...] Read more.
The prominent Australian earth scientist, Tim Flannery, closes his recent book Here on Earth: A New Beginning with the words “… if we do not strive to love one another, and to love our planet as much as we love ourselves, then no further progress is possible here on Earth”. This is a remarkable conclusion to his magisterial survey of the state of the planet. Climatic and other environmental changes are showing us not only the extent of human influence on the planet, but also the limits of programmatic management of this influence, whether through political, economic, technological or social engineering. A changing climate is a condition of modernity, but a condition which modernity seems uncomfortable with. Inspired by the recent “environmental turn” in the humanities—and calls from a range of environmental scholars and scientists such as Flannery—I wish to suggest a different, non-programmatic response to climate change: a reacquaintance with the ancient and religious ideas of virtue and its renaissance in the field of virtue ethics. Drawing upon work by Alasdair MacIntyre, Melissa Lane and Tom Wright, I outline an apologetic for why the cultivation of virtue is an appropriate response to the challenges of climate change. Full article
Open AccessArticle (Re)interpreting Human Rights: The Case of the “Torture Memos” and their Translation into Italian
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 313-339; doi:10.3390/h3030313
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 19 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The language of human rights can prove as difficult to define as it is to determine its boundaries as a legal discipline and to assert its universal acceptance. The indeterminacy and vagueness often observed in the language of its documents is clearly [...] Read more.
The language of human rights can prove as difficult to define as it is to determine its boundaries as a legal discipline and to assert its universal acceptance. The indeterminacy and vagueness often observed in the language of its documents is clearly aimed at fostering Human Rights acknowledgment and protection; however, these same features are also a powerful tool for States seeking manipulative interpretations of human rights conventions. By combining the Appraisal Framework with an analysis of the rhetorical strategies employed in a specific type of legal document, this paper will explore the linguistic devices and rendering in translation of the so-called “Torture Memos” released by the US Government after 9/11 in an attempt to provide a legal framework for the CIA interrogation program for “unlawful combatants”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translation as the Foundation for Humanistic Investigations)
Open AccessArticle Economicism and Nihilism in the Eclipse of Humanism
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 340-378; doi:10.3390/h3030340
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
PDF Full-text (194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is based on the conviction that the major problems nowadays are not technical, but ethical, and are incumbent on homo qua homo. The origin of these problems is the advancement of economicism as a supreme interpretation of human and social [...] Read more.
This article is based on the conviction that the major problems nowadays are not technical, but ethical, and are incumbent on homo qua homo. The origin of these problems is the advancement of economicism as a supreme interpretation of human and social reality, which means the primacy of the “market” and considering human beings in terms of what they have rather than what they are. Economicism emerges in “modernity” and assumes that everything that does not have market value is either devaluated or rejected. In consequence, the human being has been devaluated and has turned into a simple object of the market. “Postmodernity” mixes economicism and techno-scientificism (chrematistics and instrumental rationality) with nihilism (absence of values), giving way to a technological and decadent capitalism that has erased “humanism” and the very idea of the human being. Thus, we are in urgent need of a humanist recovery of the “human” based on a rehabilitation of ontology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Timely Meditations: Reflections on the Role of the Humanities in J.M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 379-397; doi:10.3390/h3030379
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
What may be the relevance of the European tradition of the humanities and of humanism today? In his novels, Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year, the South-African writer, academic, and current resident of Australia, J.M. Coetzee, both enriches and [...] Read more.
What may be the relevance of the European tradition of the humanities and of humanism today? In his novels, Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year, the South-African writer, academic, and current resident of Australia, J.M. Coetzee, both enriches and puts into question the European traditions that have shaped scholarship, literary writers and academic professions in the humanities. His characters’ meditations on the value of literature, humanism, and the humanities, their present crisis and future possibilities, are timely interventions made from a complex, critical, comparative, cultural and geographic distance. The metafictional investigations of the two novels test the limits of the genre in a manner consistent with more experimental strains of postmodern fiction, while the two protagonists reflect two main personae of the author as itinerant, ageing academic and writer. It is the position of this paper that Coetzee constructs a minor literature within the major language of English; this is made evident by the entirety of his oeuvre to date though it becomes thematized in these two works. This paper will trace some of the contours, confrontations and dialogs of the two books and explore certain tangents of the radical quests and questions they put to their readership. Full article
Open AccessArticle Democratic Citizenship and the “Crisis in Humanities”
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 398-414; doi:10.3390/h3030398
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
PDF Full-text (82 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a consequence of the recent global recession, a new “crisis in the humanities” has been declared, and ideas of how best to defend the humanities have been vigorously debated. Placing this “crisis” in the context of neoliberal reforms to higher education [...] Read more.
As a consequence of the recent global recession, a new “crisis in the humanities” has been declared, and ideas of how best to defend the humanities have been vigorously debated. Placing this “crisis” in the context of neoliberal reforms to higher education since the 1980s, I examine the argument expounded by Martha Nussbaum that the very foundation of democratic citizenship is at stake. I indicate a number of problems with Nussbaum’s case. First, to resist the neoliberal agenda that pits disciplines against one another, I maintain that we need to understand the humanities broadly to include the social sciences. Second, I indicate that the humanities are not just important to democracies, but are a vital aspect of any society because they form a crucial part of human existence. Third, I argue that the humanities are important to democratic societies not merely because they promote critical thinking about our political processes and sympathetic understanding as Nussbaum argues. More fundamentally, the diversity of the humanities in both their content and approaches to knowledge is central to freedom. Finally, I warn against framing the challenges facing the humanities in terms of a crisis discourse that deprecates freedom in accord with the neoliberal agenda. Full article
Open AccessArticle The New Humanities Project—Reports from Interdisciplinarity
Humanities 2014, 3(3), 415-441; doi:10.3390/h3030415
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New Humanities is an international research and teaching project promoted by an interdisciplinary group of people from five different faculties and departments based at the University of Roma Tre. Initially set up as a forum for academic dialogue between the humanities and [...] Read more.
New Humanities is an international research and teaching project promoted by an interdisciplinary group of people from five different faculties and departments based at the University of Roma Tre. Initially set up as a forum for academic dialogue between the humanities and the sciences (including social sciences), the project became a transition space and platform for experiencing new research methodologies and teaching curricula that would question the present epistemological order of the European university system. In order to develop this approach, we have organized our work around a number of interdisciplinary clusters, each describing an epistemological node. In this paper we will discuss five interconnected case studies that emerged from an active collaboration between scientists and humanists. The first node, Protocols of Vision, investigates the cognitive nature of sensory perception and the different forms of knowledge it produces—empirical, artistic, and scientific. Memory: Mathematics, Computer Science, and Literature recapitulates many of the different threads in these discussions by exploring the interdependencies between the various kinds of memory: from external to subjective memory, from storage tools and techniques of self-construction to the invariance of mathematical structures. The third node, Signs and Bodies between Digital and Gendering, reflects on the problematic relationship between digital media and literary and linguistic gendering. Narrative Identity: Nature, Ontogeny and Psychopathology critically re-examines the main concepts and theories concerning the nature, ontogeny, and pathologies of the autobiographical self or narrative identity. Finally, the last node, Contribution of Quantum Physics to the Idea of Consciousness is a cross-cultural investigation into the phenomenon of consciousness tackled from the points of view of quantum field theory and ancient Indian philosophy. Full article

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Humanities Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
humanities@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Humanities
Back to Top