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Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) ‘The Dark Wood’ by Lyndell Brown & Charles Green (who work together as one artist) share the rare [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nomadic Life on the Steppes: An Ecocinematic Exploration of Tulpan and Cave of the Yellow Dog
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020062
Received: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Ecocinema: (1) analyzes the role of visual media in responding to the environmental crisis; (2) has explicit interest in environmental justice; (3) includes a variety of genres and modes of production; (4) informs viewers of issues of ecological importance; (5) promotes ecocentric ways
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Ecocinema: (1) analyzes the role of visual media in responding to the environmental crisis; (2) has explicit interest in environmental justice; (3) includes a variety of genres and modes of production; (4) informs viewers of issues of ecological importance; (5) promotes ecocentric ways of framing the world; and (6) has an activist agenda. Ecocinema examines films produced by/with historically marginalized communities underrepresented in film. Using Ecocinema and Fourth Cinema (Barclay), I examined two fictional films featuring nomadic peoples of the Central Asian Steppes whose culture and ecologically low impact lifestyle are threatened and fragile in the global order. Tulpan, a 2008 Kazakh/Russian production by Kazakh-born Sergei Dvortsevoy, tells the story of Asa, a young Kazakh man, returning to his home in the Steppes to establish himself as a shepherd with his own flock. Tulpan features the long takes and slow pacing needed to “retrain the perception” of viewers. Tulpan’s biocentric focus on landscape and animals is equivalent to the focus on the human, reconsidering the human/non-human relationship. Tulpan shows one young man dreaming of a meaningful life rooted in his cultural traditions, struggling to locate himself within contemporary economic, political and cultural realities in a region underrepresented in world film. The Cave of the Yellow Dog, 2005, by Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa, tells the story of a Mongolian nomadic family. Davaa, similar to Dvortsevoy, works in documentary and fictional films, uses professional and non-professional actors, and relies on Western funding to make her films. These two films suggest that non-commercial fictional films are an important vehicle for addressing global environmental concerns as they present stories of marginalized people and help us imagine solutions to global problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessArticle Carpe Diem: Love, Resistance to Authority, and the Necessity of Choice in Andrew Marvell and Elizabeth Cary
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020061
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
The theme of love as resistance to authority is the centerpiece of a two-millennia-long tradition in Western poetry known as carpe diem (a phrase credited to the Latin poet Horace). This essay begins by analyzing one of the most famous later examples of
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The theme of love as resistance to authority is the centerpiece of a two-millennia-long tradition in Western poetry known as carpe diem (a phrase credited to the Latin poet Horace). This essay begins by analyzing one of the most famous later examples of carpe diem in English poetry (Andrew Marvell’s 1681 “To His Coy Mistress”), emphasizing the carpe diem ethos’ potential to illustrate both the consequences and the necessity of individual erotic choice—especially female choice—in defiance of authority. It then uses carpe diem’s anti-authoritarian perspective to understand the contrast between the ambivalence of Mariam—torn between a tepid disobedience and regretful loyalty to her husband Herod—and the wholly defiant choices of Salome in Elizabeth Cary’s earlier drama, The Tragedy of Mariam from 1613. Full article
Open AccessEssay Neither Sensible, Nor Moderate: Revisiting the Antigone
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020060
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
In this essay, I try to conceptualise meaningful forms of resistance in the present by revisiting Sophocles’ Antigone, one of the most important texts of western literary tradition. I focus on Antigone’s compulsion to act against Creon’s decree, which turns Sophocles’ heroine
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In this essay, I try to conceptualise meaningful forms of resistance in the present by revisiting Sophocles’ Antigone, one of the most important texts of western literary tradition. I focus on Antigone’s compulsion to act against Creon’s decree, which turns Sophocles’ heroine into a metonymical expression of (civil) disobedience, sacrifice, and mourning—to my mind, the constitutive elements of effective resistant subjectivity. In my analysis, Antigone’s resistance is transformed from a deeply private, filial duty, essentially seen as heroic, into a rich, public expression of collectivity and solidarity. To illustrate this, I capilatise on Judith Butler’s designation of Antigone firmly in the political, and then proceed to make use of Bonnie Honig’s recalibration of her disobedience as one which transcends solitary action to express the collective, democratic feeling of a whole polis. I then mobilise a three-pronged theoretical framework. Firstly, I analyse the clash of Antigone with Creon through the prism of Jacques Derrida’s work on law and violence. Secondly, I explore the possibility of a biopolitical framing as developed by Giorgio Agamben since, at its core, the clash in the play is enacted within the parameters of a vitiated habeas corpus: from the moment Antigone confesses her misdeed she is treated by Creon, the sovereign, as a non-human—as an animal or, indeed, a miasma. In the last section of this essay, I mobilise the work of Howard Caygill with a view to analysing what I perceive as three discernible yet concatenated stages (or aspects) in the formation of Antigone’s resistant subjectivity: her full awareness of what it means to disobey (hence to resist), her acceptance of sacrifice, and, finally, her commitment to the political potentialities of mourning. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Eco-Critical Analysis of Climate Change and the Unthinkable in Amitav Ghosh’s Fiction and Non-Fiction
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020059
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
In his work of non-fiction The Great Derangement (2016), Amitav Ghosh examines the inability of the present generation to grasp the scale of climate change in the spheres of Literature, History and Politics. The central premise in this work of non-fiction is based
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In his work of non-fiction The Great Derangement (2016), Amitav Ghosh examines the inability of the present generation to grasp the scale of climate change in the spheres of Literature, History and Politics. The central premise in this work of non-fiction is based on the statement that literature will one day be accused of its complicity with the great derangement and of blind acceptance of the climate crisis. This paper will study how Ghosh’s fictional and non-fictional enterprise voices a call for more imaginative and cultural forms of fiction that articulate resistance against materialism that can destroy our planet. We shall see how Ghosh’s fictional enterprise falls within the sphere of postcolonial eco-criticism that considers the phenomenon of “material eco-criticism”. I shall also reveal Ghosh’s environmental advocacy in his works of fiction, The Ibis Trilogy and The Hungry Tide. This paper will analyze how the Ibis Trilogy is not just an exploration of the particularly heinous operation of imperial power leading up to the Opium Wars but is also an eco-critical narrative that articulates resistance against the violence of climate change. A study of The Hungry Tide will also reveal how this hybrid literary text is both a historical account of the Marichjhapi massacre and a plea to preserve the eco-system of our time. I shall thus consider the challenges that climate change poses for the postcolonial writer and the evolving grid of literary forms that shape the narrative imagination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessArticle Revisiting Japan’s Fictional Gardens: An Ecocritical Reading of Nature Imagery in Contemporary Architectural Essays
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020058
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper inspects editorial production in the field of Japanese contemporary architecture, screening the contents of essays written during the last decade (2007–2010) by four selected authors in which a recurring interplay with nature-related subjects is noticeable. This analysis highlights the diversity and
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This paper inspects editorial production in the field of Japanese contemporary architecture, screening the contents of essays written during the last decade (2007–2010) by four selected authors in which a recurring interplay with nature-related subjects is noticeable. This analysis highlights the diversity and intrinsic individual originality of these books by relating their specific approach with the overall work themes of each architect and discussing the existence of a common ground among them. While investigating their philosophical and conceptual standpoints, the paper also attempts to contextualize these discourses both within the larger context of architectural theory—particularly of early postmodern ecological approaches—sustainable construction, and in the milieu of Japan, where an imprinted notion of harmonious coexistence between nature and culture has long been mystified from abroad and from within. By assessing its motives and influence and finally questioning the existence of a paradox amidst the multiple existing forms of paraenvironmental architecture, it is discussed whether these narratives and practices manage to communicate ecoliteracy with their audience. Architecture’s inherent traits as a visual, perceptive, and cognitive discipline to reflect contemporary environmental conflicts and encourage paradigm change are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Rethinking the Essence of Human and Other-Than-Human Communication in the Anthropocene Epoch: A Biosemiotic Interpretation of Edgar Morin’s “Complex Thought”
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020057
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this essay is to explore the philosophical and linguistic implications of the French philosopher Edgar Morin’s “complex thought.” In stark contrast to standard communicative models which profess that Homo sapiens are the only organisms that are capable of engaging in
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The purpose of this essay is to explore the philosophical and linguistic implications of the French philosopher Edgar Morin’s “complex thought.” In stark contrast to standard communicative models which profess that Homo sapiens are the only organisms that are capable of engaging in semiosis, Morin unequivocally proves that other-than-human communication is laden with significance and purpose. Living on an imperiled planet that is increasingly defined by an anthropogenic, ecological calamity that is spiraling further out of control with each passing day, Morin persuasively argues that we must transcend our myopic, anthropocentric frame of reference and adopt a more ecocentric view of communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On the Philosophical Determination of Literature
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020056
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper traces the influence of German Idealism on the conceptions of literature proffered by Bataille and Blanchot, and it aims to show how that influence registers as a proto-ethics. In the demand that freedom be actualized in the world, German Idealism frames
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This paper traces the influence of German Idealism on the conceptions of literature proffered by Bataille and Blanchot, and it aims to show how that influence registers as a proto-ethics. In the demand that freedom be actualized in the world, German Idealism frames the determination of literature as one-sided, subjective, and abstract. Literary expression is never adequate to what it represents. Precisely because it has no direct bearing on the world of action, however, literature is free to pursue that which the world of action excludes: the density and obscurity of existence itself. In this pursuit, literature recasts the philosophical aspiration of self-knowledge in terms of a fidelity to existence and life in excess of individuality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Approaching Impersonal Life with Clarice Lispector
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020055
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
Clarice Lispector’s concern with writing life beyond the limits of identity and representation leads her to posit the univocity of being in a series of surprising corporeal and linguistic gestures to reveal a fundamental shift in time. I explore the convergence between this
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Clarice Lispector’s concern with writing life beyond the limits of identity and representation leads her to posit the univocity of being in a series of surprising corporeal and linguistic gestures to reveal a fundamental shift in time. I explore the convergence between this project in Lispector and both major and minor terms in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (from “encounter” and “immanence” to “savage” and “birth”), shedding light on some fundamental aspects of the latter’s transcendental empiricism. Furthermore, focusing especially on the 1973 fiction Água Viva, I show that Lispector’s work insists on impersonal life’s relational condition, which extends to the creation of an original reader-writer relationship, through a mode of receptivity beyond meaning in which feminine and natal approaches are crucial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Encounters Between Philosophy and Literature II)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On Waxworks Considered as One of the Hyperreal Arts: Exhibiting Jack the Ripper and His Victims
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020054
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
The article discusses one of the tropes present in the representations of the Whitechapel killer: the waxworks of either the killer or his victims. These images were shaped by contemporary attitudes: from sensationalism in 1888, through the developing myth and business of ‘Jack
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The article discusses one of the tropes present in the representations of the Whitechapel killer: the waxworks of either the killer or his victims. These images were shaped by contemporary attitudes: from sensationalism in 1888, through the developing myth and business of ‘Jack the Ripper,’ to the beginnings of attention being paid to his victims. Examined are tableaus created from 1888 to current times, both physical and fictional twenty- and twenty-first-century texts encompassing various media, all of which may be located within the Baudrillardian realm of simulation. What they demonstrate is that the mythical killer keeps overshadowing his victims, who in this part of the Ripper mythos remain to a certain extent as dehumanised and voiceless as when they were actually killed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sharing Histories: Teaching and Learning from Displaced Youth in Greece
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020053
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper reflects upon my experiences teaching and learning from displaced youth in Greece over a period of eight months in 2017. Following a brief examination of the current challenges in accessing formal education, I examine non-formal education initiatives, summarizing my work with
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This paper reflects upon my experiences teaching and learning from displaced youth in Greece over a period of eight months in 2017. Following a brief examination of the current challenges in accessing formal education, I examine non-formal education initiatives, summarizing my work with two NGOs in Athens and Chios where I taught lessons in English on ancient Greek art, archaeology, history, and literature. In offering these lessons, my hope was to do more than simply improve students’ language skills or deposit information: I wanted to examine the past to reflect upon the present, exploring themes of migration, forced displacement, and human belonging. Moreover, I wanted to engage students in meaningful connection, to the past and to the present, to one and to others, as a means of building community in and beyond the classroom, at a time when many were feeling alienated and isolated. This paper, therefore, outlines the transformational, liberating learning that took place, citing ancient evidence of displacement and unpacking modern responses by those currently displaced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exorcising a Demon?: Why History Needs to Engage with the Whitechapel Murders and Dispel the Myth of ‘Jack the Ripper’
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020052
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
This article reflects on the current paucity of academic research into the Whitechapel Murders of 1888. Notably it suggests that there has been a tendency for historians of crime in particular to ignore the case and it argues that this has created an
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This article reflects on the current paucity of academic research into the Whitechapel Murders of 1888. Notably it suggests that there has been a tendency for historians of crime in particular to ignore the case and it argues that this has created an unwanted vacuum that has been filled (and exploited) by amateur history and the entertainment industry. This has consequences for how the public view both the murders and the killer, and the entire late Victorian period. The cultural phenomenon of ‘Jack the Ripper’ has been allowed to emerge as a result of this lack of academic engagement and this fuels an industry that continues to portray the murderer, the murdered and the area in which these killings occurred in a manner that does a terrible and ongoing disservice to the women that were so brutally killed. Moreover, the ‘celebration’ of the unknown killer has provided a role model for subsequent misogynist serial murderers and abusers. This article argues that it is time for historians of crime address this situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Victorian Art of Murder)
Open AccessArticle The Old Wounded: Destructive Plasticity and Intergenerational Trauma
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020051
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
This article addresses a significant gap in trauma theory and philosophy; namely, it develops a partial theory of the subject of intergenerational trauma. This is accomplished through a close examination of Catherine Malabou’s theory of the subject of trauma, as well as by
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This article addresses a significant gap in trauma theory and philosophy; namely, it develops a partial theory of the subject of intergenerational trauma. This is accomplished through a close examination of Catherine Malabou’s theory of the subject of trauma, as well as by contact with the research in epigenetics of Rachel Yehuda, and the research on intergenerational trauma among First Nations people in Canada conducted by Amy Bombay and colleagues. It presents original work that is responsive to recent advances in a variety of fields, including philosophy, psychology, social science, and biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rape and Trauma)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore and the Internet: The Challenge of an Ephemeral Landscape1
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020050
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Through the lens of memetic folk humor, this essay examines the slippery, ephemeral nature of hybridized forms of contemporary digital folklore. In doing so, it is argued that scholars should not be distracted by the breakneck speed in which expressive materials proliferate and
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Through the lens of memetic folk humor, this essay examines the slippery, ephemeral nature of hybridized forms of contemporary digital folklore. In doing so, it is argued that scholars should not be distracted by the breakneck speed in which expressive materials proliferate and then dissipate but should instead focus on the overarching ways that popular culture and current news events infiltrate digital folk culture in the formation of individuals' cultural inventories. The process of transmission and variation that shapes the resulting hybridized folklore requires greater scrutiny and contextualization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Riddle: Form and Performance
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020049
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
The article concentrates on the true or the ordinary riddle, which is the best-known of the old riddles. True riddles consist of two parts, one functioning as a question, the other as an answer. In riddling the answerer or riddlee tries to find
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The article concentrates on the true or the ordinary riddle, which is the best-known of the old riddles. True riddles consist of two parts, one functioning as a question, the other as an answer. In riddling the answerer or riddlee tries to find an acceptable answer to the question. Sometimes riddlees are deliberately misled because the “right” answer is completely unexpected. Riddles are “texts” only in archives and publications; in the field, they are always oral lore closely tied to their performing context. Study of social and cultural contexts is a new part of riddle research. Field researchers’ studies and findings are important. The article includes riddle definitions and analysis of subjects, metaphors and formulae of riddles as well as the functions of riddling. New challenges are the driving force behind research. I attempt to find something new in my material. New for me has been discovering the humour in riddles. Reading dozens and even hundreds of riddle variants begins to give me some idea of the fun and humour inherent in riddles. There are still questions in riddle materials waiting to be asked; it is always possible to discover something new. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Loss of Autonomy in Abused Persons: Psychological, Moral, and Legal Dimensions
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020048
Received: 3 March 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 30 April 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper tries to resolve a tension in popular conceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV). On the one hand, we correctly assume that all abused persons are not the same: they have irreducibly plural personalities. On the other hand, we correctly assume that
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This paper tries to resolve a tension in popular conceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV). On the one hand, we correctly assume that all abused persons are not the same: they have irreducibly plural personalities. On the other hand, we correctly assume that abused persons suffer from a loss of autonomy. The puzzle is: if abused persons share deficits in autonomy, why does it not follow that they share a set of personality traits? I argue that the psychological states implicated in autonomy-impairment in abused persons are situation-sensitive responses to salient eliciting conditions, not personality traits. This view has substantive moral and legal implications, as it implies that abusers are responsible for inflicting severe moral harms on victim-survivors, and they may also be liable for unlawful abduction and rape, in case the abused person lives with or has sexual contact with the abuser. This is because the conditions of abuse undermine the victim-survivor’s ability to autonomously consent to cohabitation and sexual contact with the abuser. I argue that the best way of protecting people from autonomy-undermining abuse is public education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rape and Trauma)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore in Antiquity
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020047
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
Folklore exists in all human groups, small and big. Since early modernity, scholars have provided various definitions of the phenomenon, but earlier texts may also reveal awareness and reflection on the specific character folklore. In this short article, we wish to explore and
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Folklore exists in all human groups, small and big. Since early modernity, scholars have provided various definitions of the phenomenon, but earlier texts may also reveal awareness and reflection on the specific character folklore. In this short article, we wish to explore and look into the various definitions and characterizations of folklore given by ancient writers from various times and cultures. We will try to draw a cultural map of awareness to the phenomenon of folklore in ancient Near-Eastern texts, Greco-Roman culture, the Hebrew Bible, Early Christianity and Rabbinic literature. The main questions we wish do deal with are where and if we can find explicit mention of folklore; which folk genres are dominant in ancient writings and what was the social context of ancient folklore? That is to say, whom those text integrated in social frameworks, enabling their users to gain power or to undermine existing cultural, theological and social structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Secrets of the Extraordinary Ordinary: The Revelations of Folklore and Anthropology
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020046
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
The basic principle of folklore is constant—unveiling the hidden riches within the ordinary things of everyday life: a fine contribution to, and coordination with, the humanities. Examples are the study of the oral/orality; life stories of the obscure; practices of ‘hidden’ amateur musicians,
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The basic principle of folklore is constant—unveiling the hidden riches within the ordinary things of everyday life: a fine contribution to, and coordination with, the humanities. Examples are the study of the oral/orality; life stories of the obscure; practices of ‘hidden’ amateur musicians, studied ethnographically rather than through written scores or the ‘great’ composers; research by scholars outside the formal institutions of higher learning. An important new topic now being embarked on, in a scattered way, by folklorists and anthropologists, is the area known by such terms as ‘noetics’, ‘psychic studies’, ‘heightened/altered consciousness’, ‘the shared mind’, and the like. With a long history (too often disregarded in conventional scholarship) in antiquity, the middle ages, and eastern philosophies, this concerns such topics as dreaming; contact with and from the dead; experiencing music; and new, popularly but not academically acclaimed, perspectives on consciousness within innovative scientific thinking. Taking such studies further and, in particular, as folklorists and anthropologist have the capacity and interest to do, consolidating them into a new and fully recognized field of study together with linking this with endeavors across the disciplines, scientific as well as humanistic, will be of the greatest benefit for the humanities as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle Teaching Incest Narratives, Student Survivors, and Inclusive Pedagogy
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020045
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
I examine and challenge the view, expressed by some literary theorists, that writings about trauma should be read and taught differently from other writings because these reflect a desire to heal with the support of a community of readers. I explore some poems
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I examine and challenge the view, expressed by some literary theorists, that writings about trauma should be read and taught differently from other writings because these reflect a desire to heal with the support of a community of readers. I explore some poems about incest, including my own, and the expressed intentions and intellectual processes of the authors. I argue that framing these writings as healing narratives misconceives the writers as healers. I address some challenges in teaching incest narratives and strategies that can help ensure the inclusion of student incest survivors and, generally, student survivors of chronic childhood trauma. While some scholars have emphasized the importance of instructors providing trigger warnings when assigning material about trauma, students of chronic childhood trauma can be triggered by wide-ranging material. I emphasize that these students need to be recognized as a minority group facing disadvantages and discrimination, and discuss how educational institutes and campus services could be improved to better meet their needs. Further, I elaborate how survivor-inclusive pedagogy gives a central place in diverse curricula to first-person narratives and experiences of survivors. Finally, I note some encouraging developments in the fields of psychology and law and make some recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rape and Trauma)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Among the PALMs1
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020044
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract
Born out of the convergence of intellectual traditions and owning a borrowing capacity analogous to the one that engenders creole languages, the study of folklore, or folkloristics, claims the right to adapt and remodel political, psychological, and anthropological insights, not only for itself
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Born out of the convergence of intellectual traditions and owning a borrowing capacity analogous to the one that engenders creole languages, the study of folklore, or folkloristics, claims the right to adapt and remodel political, psychological, and anthropological insights, not only for itself but for the humanities disciplines of philosophy, art, literature, and music (the “PALM” disciplines). Performance-based folkloristics looks like a new blend, or network, of elements from several of those. What looks like poaching, which is a common practice for folksong and folk narrative, can be examined in the PALM disciplines under names like intertextuality and plagiarism. Nation-oriented traditions of folklore study have convergence, borrowing, and remodeling in their history which are also discoverable in other disciplines. Linguistic and cultural creolization—what happens when people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds are forced together to learn from one another—lies at the center of folklore; its study opens paths for research in all humanities fields. The study of folklore, while remaining marginal in universities, is undergoing a self-transformation which should lead to the acceptance of its methods and findings in the PALM disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessEditorial Spatial Bricolage: The Art of Poetically Making Do
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020043
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper provides an introductory overview to the Humanities special issue on ‘spatial bricolage’. The individual contributions that make up the special issue are outlined and salient themes pulled out that address and respond to some the wider discussion points raised throughout this
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This paper provides an introductory overview to the Humanities special issue on ‘spatial bricolage’. The individual contributions that make up the special issue are outlined and salient themes pulled out that address and respond to some the wider discussion points raised throughout this introduction. These are closely focused around the central concept of bricolage and the idea of the researcher as bricoleur. Some background context on the anthropological underpinnings to bricolage is provided, alongside methodological reflections that relate the concept to ideas of ‘gleaning’ as a creative and performative engagement with everyday spaces as they are ‘found’ and rehearsed in practice. A core focus on questions of method, and of autoethnographic approaches in particular, is presented alongside questions of research ethics and the policing thereof by institutional structures of disciplining and audit in the neoliberal academy. It is argued that bricolage is, among other things, a practical response to a field of practice that at times constrains as much as it allows space to roam, unimpeded, across disciplinary boundaries. From the overarching purview of spatial humanities and spatial anthropology, it is shown that discussions of bricolage and the researcher as bricoleur can help make explicit the poetics and affects of space, as well as the ethical and procedural frameworks that are brought to bear on how space is put into practice. Full article
Open AccessEssay The Question of Space: A Review Essay
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020042
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
This article is a review essay which discusses the inter-disciplinary collection of essays edited by Marijn Nieuwenhuis and David Crouch, titled The Question of Space: Interrogating the Spatial Turn between Disciplines (London: Rowman & Littlefield 2017). The book was published as part of
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This article is a review essay which discusses the inter-disciplinary collection of essays edited by Marijn Nieuwenhuis and David Crouch, titled The Question of Space: Interrogating the Spatial Turn between Disciplines (London: Rowman & Littlefield 2017). The book was published as part of the Place, Memory, Affect series, edited by Neil Campbell and Christine Berberich. As well as providing a detailed critical overview of The Question of Space, the article responds to some of the broader questions that the book poses in terms of the radical inter-disciplinary of space and spatiality, relating these firstly to ideas drawn from Henri Lefebvre’s discussion of ‘blind fields’. The review essay then goes on to question what we might understand by the so-called ‘spatial turn’ and whether this itself requires some rethinking in order to better take stock of the developments in and around the inter-disciplinary scholarship on space and spatiality. Following this, the essay engages more directly with the individual chapter contributions in The Question of Space, before drawing together some concluding remarks that speak to the concept of ‘atmosphere’ as an affective and phenomenological quality of space as experiential and embodied ‘spacing’. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Preliminary Discussion of Some Important Discoveries Regarding Seaport Sites for Porcelain Shipping in the Jin Dynasty
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020041
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
The seaports of the Jin dynasty have not been given enough attention for a long time. In recent years, some important seaport sites of the Jin dynasty have been discovered or reported, for example the Haifengzhen (海丰镇) site in Hebei Province, and the
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The seaports of the Jin dynasty have not been given enough attention for a long time. In recent years, some important seaport sites of the Jin dynasty have been discovered or reported, for example the Haifengzhen (海丰镇) site in Hebei Province, and the Haibei (海北) and Banqiaozhen (板桥镇) sites in Shandong Province. Based on these discoveries and other related information, we can try to analyze and infer the function and system of these seaports in the Jin dynasty. Firstly, Banqiaozhen Shi Bo Si (市舶司), the Northern Song Dynasty’s only foreign trade administration in the north of China, suffered a great deal of damage during the war at the end of the Northern Song dynasty. As a consequence, the porcelains produced in Northern China during the Jin Dynasty, such as Cizhou Ware (磁州窑), Cicun Ware (磁村窑), and Ding Ware (定窑) needed new seaports for access to the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It has been reported that many of these porcelains were discovered at Korean and Japanese sites, which correspond to the years of the Jin dynasty. Furthermore, a large number of these porcelains were discovered at the Haifengzhen and Haibei sites. There is thus a very strong possibility that these two sites were departure ports to East Asia of the Maritime Silk Road during the Jin Dynasty. Secondly, many porcelains produced in Southern China, especially Jingdezhen Ware (景德镇窑), have been discovered at the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites. Some Ding Ware products were also discovered in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during the Southern Song Dynasty, and also many Cizhou Ware and Ding Ware products were discovered in Northeastern China during the Jin Dynasty. Furthermore, in the coastal waters on the northern side of the Haifengzhen site, archaeologists have found some traces of shipwrecks dating from the same time. Based on the above information, we infer that the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites might also have played an important role in the seaway transshipment between Southern and Northern China during this period. In conclusion, we can determine that the recently discovered seaports of the Jin dynasty had two functions and systems, both internal and external:the Haifengzhen and Haibei sites opened China up to the Korean Peninsula and Japan, while the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites might also have been used for domestic coastal shipping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Staging Encounters with Estranged Pasts: Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017) and the Cinematic Face of Public Memory of the Holocaust in Present-Day Romania
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020040
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
This article provides a close analysis of Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017), a documentary essay that brings together authentic archival sources documenting the persecution and murder of Jews in World War II. The sources include a little-known diary of Emil Dorian, a
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This article provides a close analysis of Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017), a documentary essay that brings together authentic archival sources documenting the persecution and murder of Jews in World War II. The sources include a little-known diary of Emil Dorian, a Jewish medical doctor and writer from Bucharest, a collection of photographs depicting scenes from Romanian daily life in the 1930s and 1940s, and recordings of political speeches and propaganda songs of a Fascist nature. Through a careful framing of this film in relation to Romanian public memory of World War II, and in connection to the popular new wave cinema, I will contend that Jude’s work acts, perhaps unwittingly, to intervene in public memory and invites the Romanian public to face up to and acknowledge the nation’s perpetrator past. This filmic intervention further offers an important platform for public debate on Romania’s Holocaust memory and is of significance for European public memory, as it proposes the film happening as a distinct and innovative practice of public engagement with history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Holocaust in Literature and Film)
Open AccessArticle Were Neanderthals Rational? A Stoic Approach
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020039
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper adopts the philosophical approach of Stoicism as the basis for re-examining the cognitive and ethical relationship between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Stoicism sets out a clear criterion for the special moral status of human beings, namely rationality. We explore to what
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This paper adopts the philosophical approach of Stoicism as the basis for re-examining the cognitive and ethical relationship between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Stoicism sets out a clear criterion for the special moral status of human beings, namely rationality. We explore to what extent Neanderthals were sufficiently rational to be considered “human”. Recent findings in the fields of palaeoanthropology and palaeogenetics show that Neanderthals possessed high-level cognitive abilities and produced viable offspring with anatomically modern humans. Our discussion offers insights for reflecting on the relationship between humans and other forms of natural life and any moral obligations that result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Re-assessing Human Origins)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Transferential Memory Spaces in Gisela Heidenreich’s Das endlose Jahr. Humanities 2018, 7, 26
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020038
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Open AccessFeature PaperEssay Revisioning Australia’s War Art: Four Painters as Citizens of the ‘Global South’
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020037
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
This essay discusses the recent artistic depictions of contemporary war by four artist-academics based in Australia. The families of all four have served in some of the twentieth century’s major conflicts and, more recently, each has been commissioned in Australia or the UK
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This essay discusses the recent artistic depictions of contemporary war by four artist-academics based in Australia. The families of all four have served in some of the twentieth century’s major conflicts and, more recently, each has been commissioned in Australia or the UK to serve as war artists. Collaboratively and individually they produce artwork (placed in national collections) and then, as academics, have come to reflect deeply on the heritage of conflict and war by interrogating contemporary art’s representations of war, conflict and terror. This essay reflects on their collaborations and suggests how Australia’s war-aware, even war-like heritage, might now be re-interpreted not simply as a struggle to safeguard our shores, but as part of a complex, deeply connected global discourse where painters must re-cast themselves as citizens of the ‘global South’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Learning from Past Displacements?1 The History of Migrations between Historical Specificity, Presentism and Fractured Continuities
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020036
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Folklore in China: Past, Present, and Challenges
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020035
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
This article first outlines the long history of folklore collection in China, and then describes the disciplinary development in the 20th century. In Section 3, it presents the current situation in terms of disciplinary infrastructure, development, contribution, and challenge, with a focus on
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This article first outlines the long history of folklore collection in China, and then describes the disciplinary development in the 20th century. In Section 3, it presents the current situation in terms of disciplinary infrastructure, development, contribution, and challenge, with a focus on the recent practice of safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage. These accounts are largely based on the views of the Chinese folklorists. In the final section, this article discusses the issues of cultural continuity, integration, and self-healing mechanisms in Chinese culture by putting Chinese folkloristics in a historical and world perspective. This paper suggests that, to understand Chinese folklore and culture, one must be aware of the most basic differences between Chinese fundamental beliefs and values and those of theWest, and that Chinese folklore and folkloristics present new challenges to the current paradigms put forward in the post-colonial, post-modern, and imperial ideologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenge of Folklore to the Humanities)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Politics of Photobooks: From Brecht’s War Primer (1955) to Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2 (2011)
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020034
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
This essay intervenes in debates about the depiction of conflict since 1945, by comparing two highly significant photographic ‘hacks’: Brecht’s War Primer (Kriegsfibel) 1955; and Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2, 2011. Kriegsfibel is a collection of images, snipped from
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This essay intervenes in debates about the depiction of conflict since 1945, by comparing two highly significant photographic ‘hacks’: Brecht’s War Primer (Kriegsfibel) 1955; and Broomberg & Chanarin’s War Primer 2, 2011. Kriegsfibel is a collection of images, snipped from wartime newspapers and magazines, which Brecht selected and situated alongside the four-line verses that he used to comment upon and re-caption his pictures. These acerbic ‘photo–epigrams’ captured Brecht’s view, firstly, that photography had become a ‘terrible weapon against truth’ and secondly, that by repositioning the individual image, its political instrumentality might be restored. When, more than half a century later, Broomberg & Chanarin decide to re-work Kriegsfibel to produce War Primer 2, they effectively crash into and redouble the Brechtian hack; updating and further complicating Brecht’s insights; re-animating his original concerns with photography as a form of collective historical elucidation and mounting, literally on top of his pictures of wartime conflict, images from the ‘war on terror’. This essay argues that the re-doubling of War Primer performs multiple critical tasks. It explores the Kriegsfibel as a dynamic confrontation with images of war and stages the enduring need to interrogate and actively re-function images of conflict from WW2 to the present day. It re-examines debates about images as weapons of war in themselves, and finally, it situates the Kriegsfibel assemblage in relation to contemporary understandings of ‘post-truth’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
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Open AccessArticle Gleaning and Dreaming on Car Park Beach
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020033
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
This article explores beachcombing and gleaning as practices that combine mobility with daydreaming and which allow us to experience our environment with the perception of ‘tactile nearness’ (Benjamin). Through eco-poetics shaped by ‘inconceivable analogies and connections’ (Benjamin), the author re-imagines a neglected space
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This article explores beachcombing and gleaning as practices that combine mobility with daydreaming and which allow us to experience our environment with the perception of ‘tactile nearness’ (Benjamin). Through eco-poetics shaped by ‘inconceivable analogies and connections’ (Benjamin), the author re-imagines a neglected space used as a short-cut on the way to work—the Liverpool Adelphi car park in Liverpool—as “Car Park Beach”. Inspired by the situationists’ slogan ‘Sous les pavés, la plage’, the author argues that Car Park Beach opens up imaginative possibilities for a different form of ecological encounter with our own precarity, one ushered in by a ‘close-up’ awareness of how waste transforms our world. Car Park Beach is a site that the author associates with the drift-like, distracted movements of both people and matter, and this article therefore attempts to deploy an equivalent method of analysis. Drawing on her own practice of gleaning photos and objects on the way to work, the author places a vocabulary of flotsam and jetsam at the axis of her discussion. Allusive, often layered, connections are followed between a diverse range of sources including beachcombing guides, literary memoirs, documentary films, eco-criticism, and auto-ethnography. Full article
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