Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
More than Stories, More than Myths: Animal/Human/Nature(s) in Traditional Ecological Worldviews
Humanities 2017, 6(4), 78; doi:10.3390/h6040078 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Reason and rationality, upon which modern, westernized, societies have been founded, have powerfully characterized the nature of human relations with other species and with the natural world. However, countless indigenous and traditional worldviews tell of a very different reality in which humans, conceived
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Reason and rationality, upon which modern, westernized, societies have been founded, have powerfully characterized the nature of human relations with other species and with the natural world. However, countless indigenous and traditional worldviews tell of a very different reality in which humans, conceived of as instinctual and intuitive, are a part of a complex web of ecological relationships. Other species, elements of the natural world, and people are active participants in relations overflowing with communications, interactions sometimes recorded in ethnographies, or as ‘myths’ and ‘stories’. The present article draws upon a range of traditions to explore the biases which shape how indigenous and traditional life-ways are represented in westernized contexts; the phenomenon of receiving direct insight or intuitive knowing from more-than-human worlds; and the numerous valuable understandings regarding the nature of the human being, other species, and how to live well, that are offered by a deeper comprehension of different worldviews. I also argue that the various capacities for instinctual and intuitive knowledge which accompanies these life-ways are endemic to the human species yet overlooked, the correction of which might work to usefully recalibrate our ethical relations with each other, and with other life on earth. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
How Can Humanities Interventions Promote Progress in the Environmental Sciences?
Humanities 2017, 6(4), 76; doi:10.3390/h6040076 -
Abstract
Environmental humanists make compelling arguments about the importance of the environmental humanities (EH) for discovering new ways to conceptualize and address the urgent challenges of the environmental crisis now confronting the planet. Many environmental scientists in a variety of fields are also committed
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Environmental humanists make compelling arguments about the importance of the environmental humanities (EH) for discovering new ways to conceptualize and address the urgent challenges of the environmental crisis now confronting the planet. Many environmental scientists in a variety of fields are also committed to incorporating socio-cultural analyses in their work. Despite such intentions and rhetoric, however, and some humanists’ eagerness to incorporate science into their own work, “radical interdisciplinarity [across the humanities and sciences] is ... rare ... and does not have the impact one would hope for” (Holm et al. 2013, p. 32). This article discusses reasons for the gap between transdisciplinary intentions and the work being done in the environmental sciences. The article also describes a project designed to address that gap. Entitled “From Innovation to Progress: Addressing Hazards of the Sustainability Sciences”, the project encourages humanities interventions in problem definition, before any solution or action is chosen. Progress offers strategies for promoting expanded stakeholder engagement, enhancing understanding of power struggles and inequities that underlie problems and over-determine solutions, and designing multiple future scenarios based on alternative values, cultural practices and beliefs, and perspectives on power distribution and entitlement. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Linking the Local and the Global. What Today’s Environmental Humanities Movement Can Learn from Their Predecessor’s Successful Leadership of the 1965–1975 War to Save the Great Barrier Reef
Humanities 2017, 6(4), 77; doi:10.3390/h6040077 -
Abstract
For a decade from 1965–1975, an Australian poet, Judith Wright, and a Reef artist, John Busst, played a major role in helping to save the Great Barrier Reef. The Queensland State Government had declared its intention of mining up to eighty percent of
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For a decade from 1965–1975, an Australian poet, Judith Wright, and a Reef artist, John Busst, played a major role in helping to save the Great Barrier Reef. The Queensland State Government had declared its intention of mining up to eighty percent of the Reef’s corals for oil, gas, fertiliser and cement. The campaign of resistance led by these two humanists, in alliance with a forester, Dr. Len Webb, contributed substantively to the establishment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in 1975 and to then to the Reef’s World Heritage listing in 1983 as ‘the most impressive marine environment in the world’. This paper explains the challenges facing today’s environmental scholars and activists as they attempt to replicate the success of their 1970s predecessors in helping to save the Great Barrier Reef from even graver and more immediate threats to its survival. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Narrating Entanglement: Cixous’ “Stigmata, or Job the Dog”
Humanities 2017, 6(4), 75; doi:10.3390/h6040075 -
Abstract
Cixous’ “Stigmata, or Job the Dog” sits at the intersection of animal studies, autobiography, narrative voice, and philosophy. In this essay, I focus on narrative voice and trace its shifts—from human to entangled to animal. At the heart of this essay rest questions
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Cixous’ “Stigmata, or Job the Dog” sits at the intersection of animal studies, autobiography, narrative voice, and philosophy. In this essay, I focus on narrative voice and trace its shifts—from human to entangled to animal. At the heart of this essay rest questions about what epistemological shifts are necessary vis-à-vis literature, such that an animal “voice” can be heard as a narrative voice. What would constitute a non-anthropocentric autobiography? What would constitute one narrated by, in this instance, an animal, specifically, a dog? In answering these questions, this essay at once grapples with philosophical-theoretical paradigms, with animal studies, with literary genre studies, and especially autobiography, and with narrative voice. I explore these questions with the aim of contributing to what Derrida has called zoopoetics and particularly to the study of non-anthropocentric autobiography. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Insects and the Kafkaesque: Insectuous Re-Writings in Visual and Audio-Visual Media
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 74; doi:10.3390/h6030074 -
Abstract
In this article, I examine techniques at work in visual and audio-visual media that deal with the creative imitation of central Kafkan themes, particularly those related to hybrid insects and bodily deformity. In addition, the opening section of my study offers a detailed
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In this article, I examine techniques at work in visual and audio-visual media that deal with the creative imitation of central Kafkan themes, particularly those related to hybrid insects and bodily deformity. In addition, the opening section of my study offers a detailed and thorough discussion of the concept of the “Kafkaesque”, and an attempt will be made to circumscribe its signifying limits. The main objective of the study is to explore the relationship between Kafka’s texts and the works of contemporary cartoonists, illustrators (Charles Burns), and filmmakers (David Cronenberg) and identify themes and motifs that they have in common. My approach is informed by transtextual practices and source studies, and I draw systematically on Gerard Genette’s Palimpsests and Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Looking at Animals without Seeing Them: Havelock Ellis in the “Circe” Episode of Ulysses
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 73; doi:10.3390/h6030073 -
Abstract
Taking wing from Joyce’s reading of Havelock Ellis’s Studies in the Psychology of Sex, in which the Irish writer found an account of cross-species sexual contact, this essay explores Leopold Bloom’s animal metamorphosis in the “Circe” episode of Ulysses. It argues
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Taking wing from Joyce’s reading of Havelock Ellis’s Studies in the Psychology of Sex, in which the Irish writer found an account of cross-species sexual contact, this essay explores Leopold Bloom’s animal metamorphosis in the “Circe” episode of Ulysses. It argues that this encounter with the nonhuman animal is subordinated to the cause of working through barriers of human difference. In the process, the animal that enables this reconciliation disappears. Unable to represent animal interiority, “Circe” settles for merely probing their interiors. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
“We Are All Animals:” James Joyce, Stephen Dedalus, and the Problem of Agriculture
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 72; doi:10.3390/h6030072 -
Abstract
This article will position James Joyce’s novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922) as literary works that are concerned with ecological issues associated with agriculture; here, this concern is traced through Stephen Dedalus’s awareness of land
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This article will position James Joyce’s novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922) as literary works that are concerned with ecological issues associated with agriculture; here, this concern is traced through Stephen Dedalus’s awareness of land and animals beyond and outside Dublin. Specifically, Joyce frequently depicts the colonization of Ireland as centered on the control of nonhumans in the form of agriculture, which he brings into the novels’ political foreground. I will argue further that Joyce is equally critical of the violent nationalist rhetoric and insurrections of early 1900s Ireland, as a movement, which perpetuated the agricultural control of land. Joyce illustrates the violence of this agricultural aporia through the lives of nonhumans, the world of “filthy cowyards” and cannibalistic sows. Yet, this paper will also find in Stephen’s relations with animals an effective aesthetic rebellion to this aporia, for example, his self-styling as the “Bous Stephanoumenos”, as well as his interactions with dogs and swallows as fellow Dubliners, artists, and sufferers. These examples point to a kind of queer ecology as a form of resistance to agricultural violence. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Figures of the Earth: Non-Human Phenomenology in Joyce
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 71; doi:10.3390/h6030071 -
Abstract
My paper addresses the non-human turn in Joyce’s work from the perspective of genetic phenomenology. I begin by commenting on Joyce’s characterization of Molly Bloom as a non-human apparition. I unpack the notion of a non-human apparition in light of Joyce’s interest in
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My paper addresses the non-human turn in Joyce’s work from the perspective of genetic phenomenology. I begin by commenting on Joyce’s characterization of Molly Bloom as a non-human apparition. I unpack the notion of a non-human apparition in light of Joyce’s interest in the idea of the earth as a generative matrix, and I relate this idea to a genetic enquiry into problems of passive synthesis and the givenness of objects to sense perception. I then trace the elaboration of this theme in a cluster of rhetorical figures from the later novels—puns, clichés, and metonymic associations—that play on the senses of matrix, materiality, and the sex of the mother. The second part turns to representations of the earth in Finnegans Wake. Focusing on scenes of interment and becoming one with the landscape, descriptions of tombs as echo chambers, and of geological sites as giant human bodies, I read Joyce’s earth as the crowning expression of his experiments with a radical (pre- and post-human) phenomenology. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
A Narrative of Resistance: A Brief History of the Dandara Community, Brazil
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 70; doi:10.3390/h6030070 -
Abstract
This paper presents a brief report on the history of the Dandara Occupation, in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Through a general panorama of the strategies and resistance of the residents and movements involved; this paper shows the importance of the occupied
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This paper presents a brief report on the history of the Dandara Occupation, in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Through a general panorama of the strategies and resistance of the residents and movements involved; this paper shows the importance of the occupied territory in the struggle for the right to housing in the city. Through the narratives of the residents, references and photographic remnants of the initial years of the occupation, a temporal line is developed to the present day that reveals the challenges and opportunities for the people of Dandara in the making of their community. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
Private Citizenship: Real Estate Practice in Palestine
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 68; doi:10.3390/h6030068 -
Abstract
What is the function of the new towns and real estate developments in Palestine?[...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Soundwalking: Deep Listening and Spatio-Temporal Montage
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 69; doi:10.3390/h6030069 -
Abstract
The bicentenary of the 1817 Pentrich Revolution provided an opportunity for the composition of a series of soundwalks that, in turn, offer themselves up as a case study in an exposition of spatial bricolage, from the perspective of an interdisciplinary artist working with
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The bicentenary of the 1817 Pentrich Revolution provided an opportunity for the composition of a series of soundwalks that, in turn, offer themselves up as a case study in an exposition of spatial bricolage, from the perspective of an interdisciplinary artist working with the medium of locative sound. Informed by Doreen Massey’s definition of space as ‘a simultaneity of stories so far’, the author’s approach involves extracting sounds from the contemporary soundscape and re-introducing them in the form of multi-layered compositions. This article conducts an analysis of the author’s soundwalking practice according to Max van Manen’s formulation of four essential categories of experience through which to consider our ‘lived world’: spatiality, temporality, corporeality, and relationality. Drawing upon theorists whose concerns include cinematic, mobile and environmental sound, such as Chion, Chambers and Schafer, the author proposes the soundwalk as as an expanded form of cinema, with the flexibility to provoke states of immersion was well as critical detachment. A case is made for the application of the medium within the artistic investigation into ecological and socio-political issues alongside aesthetic concerns. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improvised Performances: Urban Ethnography and the Creative Tactics of Montreal’s Metro Buskers
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 67; doi:10.3390/h6030067 -
Abstract
Buskers—street performers—evince the creative tactics of self-conscious agents who are both produced by and productive of the social and material conditions within which they carry out their practices. In this article, I discuss my ethnographic research among buskers in Montreal’s underground transit system—the
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Buskers—street performers—evince the creative tactics of self-conscious agents who are both produced by and productive of the social and material conditions within which they carry out their practices. In this article, I discuss my ethnographic research among buskers in Montreal’s underground transit system—the metro—and examine their highly variable and improvisational practices (musical and spatial). I detail how buskers work with and against the constraints and possibilities posed by the material characteristics of those spaces (especially in terms of acoustics) as well as formal regulations and prevailing social norms. This suggests understanding busking as a relational process of “cobbling together” that is never entirely fixed or bounded, but dispersed and always in-the-making. Further, I demonstrate how the research process in this context is itself a creative, improvisational approach, guided as much by the conditions at hand as by an overarching research design. By drawing parallels between the busker-performer and my role as researcher and creative producer, particularly in my use of audio-visual production, I argue that ethnographic research is, itself, a form of assemblaging, of bricolage—an embodied, relational process that involves multiple participants (human and material) of varying influences, bound together by the tactical activities of the researcher. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
Refugee Heritage. Part III Justification for Inscription
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 66; doi:10.3390/h6030066 -
Abstract
In order to inscribe a site in the World Heritage list, the property should have outstanding universal values, defined as “cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future
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In order to inscribe a site in the World Heritage list, the property should have outstanding universal values, defined as “cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.[...] Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Animal Dystopia in Marie Darrieussecq’s Novel Truismes
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 65; doi:10.3390/h6030065 -
Abstract
The article focuses on the contemporary French author Marie Darrieussecq’s dystopian novel, Truismes (1996), that contemplates the differential boundaries between human and non-human existence within the scope of contemporary Western metaphysics. The novel challenges the anthropocentric conception of dystopia on the grounds that
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The article focuses on the contemporary French author Marie Darrieussecq’s dystopian novel, Truismes (1996), that contemplates the differential boundaries between human and non-human existence within the scope of contemporary Western metaphysics. The novel challenges the anthropocentric conception of dystopia on the grounds that it is not only a human dystopia; the story centres on a female protagonist whose body begins to turn into a sow. In the novel’s dystopian reality, non-human nature has only capitalistic value in relation to human needs, which has caused a large-scale ecological crisis. For the heroine, the dystopian cityscape is the antagonist that she struggles against; the story represents the sow-woman looking for a better place to live. By giving a narrative voice to an animal, Darrieussecq’s novel urges the reader to identify with the non-human world. The article aims to come to an understanding of the agency beyond the human species. Further, it argues that agency constitutes an entanglement of intra-acting agencies; it is not an attribute of (human) subject or (non-human) object as they do not pre-exist as such separately. Consequently, human and non-human agencies are related to one another; humans are not only affecting the non-human world, but they affect each other in a very profound way. In this, the article contributes to the ongoing interrogation of human relations with non-human agency that is being actively conducted in contemporary Western scientific discourse. The concept of agency also allows participation in discussion about the current ecological crisis. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sounding the Nonhuman in Joyce’s “Sirens”
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 64; doi:10.3390/h6030064 -
Abstract
This essay explores Joyce’s attempt, in “Sirens”, to give articulation to the sounds made by objects and nonhuman beings, with the ultimate goal of destabilizing the boundary separating the human voice (and other forms of human expression) from nonhuman sound. The episode itself
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This essay explores Joyce’s attempt, in “Sirens”, to give articulation to the sounds made by objects and nonhuman beings, with the ultimate goal of destabilizing the boundary separating the human voice (and other forms of human expression) from nonhuman sound. The episode itself can be read as a catalogue of sounds, nonhuman and human, that interact with one another in the absence of a qualitative standard of judgment that would separate the human voice from nonhuman sound, music from “noise”, or conceptual language from sonic expression. Human characters in the episode become what Vike Martina Plock has called “soundboards”, or resonating bodies through which the sounds of their material environment achieve expression. Additionally, human bodies are fragmented metonymically into their sounding body “parts” detached from the unity of the human subject, which allows for new forms of sonorous collaboration between sounding objects and sounding body parts. Nonhuman sounds persist in contrapuntal relation with the voices and sounds of the human characters (and their sounding body parts), a phenomenon which forces us to expand our conception of the fugal form of the episode to include nonhuman entities as collaborators, or “voices”, within it. In this way, “Sirens” asks us to consider sound, and by extension music, not simply as the purely intentional product of a human consciousness, but also as a collective composition between human bodies (and body parts) and the sonic materials of their environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“It always Takes a Long Time/to Decipher Where You Are”: Uncanny Spaces and Troubled Times in Margaret Atwood’s Poetry
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 63; doi:10.3390/h6030063 -
Abstract
The focus is on Atwood’s most recent poetry collections; Morning in the Burned House (1995) and The Door (2007), in addition to the prose poems volume The Tent (2006). They have in common, albeit with a different emphasis, a preoccupation with mortality and
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The focus is on Atwood’s most recent poetry collections; Morning in the Burned House (1995) and The Door (2007), in addition to the prose poems volume The Tent (2006). They have in common, albeit with a different emphasis, a preoccupation with mortality and with the writing of poetry itself. They also share a special concern for space. This reading considers space and landscape to function as metonyms. Space here is far from being passive; instead it is constantly in the process of being constructed. The disorientation that the poetic personae experience in these texts follows a labyrinthine pattern where heterogeneity and multiplicity in the sense of contemporaneous plurality prevail. In this perspective, the identity of a place becomes open and provisional, including that of a place called home. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
On the Slab, Our Architecture under Construction
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 62; doi:10.3390/h6030062 -
Abstract
The 1950s and 60s was marked by the developmentalism, industrialization, and modernization of peripheral capitalism of Brazil and by the demographic explosion and unprecedented urban expansion in the country. Throughout these decades, São Paulo became the political, cultural, and economic epicenter of Brazil,
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The 1950s and 60s was marked by the developmentalism, industrialization, and modernization of peripheral capitalism of Brazil and by the demographic explosion and unprecedented urban expansion in the country. Throughout these decades, São Paulo became the political, cultural, and economic epicenter of Brazil, Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
Uncovering Culture and Identity in Refugee Camps
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 61; doi:10.3390/h6030061 -
Abstract
Refugee camps, especially in their emergency phases, are places where everything seems to be similar, repetitive, and modular. This impression is not only due to the unified shelter unit that is usually distributed by UNHCR1 (traditionally a tent, and recently caravans, prefabs, and
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Refugee camps, especially in their emergency phases, are places where everything seems to be similar, repetitive, and modular. This impression is not only due to the unified shelter unit that is usually distributed by UNHCR1 (traditionally a tent, and recently caravans, prefabs, and developed T-Shelters), but is also due to the camps’ ordered layout and hierarchical plan (Figures 1–3).[...] Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
‘Space of Refuge’: Negotiating Space with Refugees Inside the Palestinian Camp
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 60; doi:10.3390/h6030060 -
Abstract
‘Space of Refuge’ is a spatial installation directly addressing issues of inhabitation within Palestinian refugee camps in different host countries. It does so by illustrating the various modes of spatial production and subsequent evolution of Palestinian refugee camps, with particular focus upon unofficial
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‘Space of Refuge’ is a spatial installation directly addressing issues of inhabitation within Palestinian refugee camps in different host countries. It does so by illustrating the various modes of spatial production and subsequent evolution of Palestinian refugee camps, with particular focus upon unofficial acts of “spatial violation” that have emerged because of the increasingly protracted nature of the refugee situation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCreative
Collaborations on the Edge
Humanities 2017, 6(3), 59; doi:10.3390/h6030059 -
Abstract
Since 2005 I have been working with mobile communities in the cities of Berlin, Germany and Johannesburg, South Africa.[...] Full article
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