Humanities2014, 3(4), 711-739; doi:10.3390/h3040711 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article analyses the cultural state of mind characteristic of historical periods at some kind of endpoint: the end of a world or even of the world or, most hypothetically, of the universe. This is the idea of Last Days. In order to contextualize it, it is necessary to consider varying conceptions of temporality: a hunter-gatherer model, models of cyclical time and of linear time. At least in the West, this last may be understood as a product of Judaeo-Christian thinking, of which the article gives an account focussed on the motifs of eschatology, apocalypse and messianism. Finally the article proposes that the present moment in history, characterized as “Post-Modernity”, may readily be read as a time of endings, perhaps even of a conclusive end.
Humanities2014, 3(4), 699-710; doi:10.3390/h3040699 - published 1 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The essay argues that the perceived waning of the influence of the Humanities (Literature, Continental Philosophy, Art, and Religion) and their irrelevance to contemporary problems of globalization and environmental issues is due to a limited exploration of the notion of interdisciplinarity. The essay suggests that, insofar as contemporary power relations pose a problem for our conception of human-being, the resources offered by the humanities acquire a renewed value and power for thinking through the era of the anthropocene.
Humanities2014, 3(4), 687-698; doi:10.3390/h3040687 - published 19 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rebutting J. M. Bernstein’s interpretation of Jacques Rancière’s aesthetics in an essay where Bernstein uses Rancière to praise classic Hollywood cinema, the present article turns to a series of recent essays and a lecture by Rancière to argue that, pace Bernstein, for Rancière the conditions that demanded 19th-century modernism’s critique of the intertwined concepts of narrative and action still prevail today, in the era of entertainment cinema. The egalitarian social condition foreshadowed by the aesthetic for Rancière demands suspension of the very conditions of domination of nature and passive spectacle endemic to contemporary life. In other words, my essay argues that Rancière must and does remain committed to a version of aesthetic modernism, albeit one founded in an undoubted realism and a concomitant ideal of social equality.
Humanities2014, 3(4), 675-686; doi:10.3390/h3040675 - published 17 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: I argue that Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games is an emblem of what Julia Kristeva calls the “extravagant girl” who wants to have it all and to be the best at everything. Katniss has an ambiguous gender identity, both masculine and feminine, paternal and maternal. And she has ambivalent desires. I conclude that this ambiguity and ambivalence open up new possibilities for girls and initiate an aesthetics of ambiguity.
Humanities2014, 3(4), 660-674; doi:10.3390/h3040660 - published 4 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Practicing the clinical humanities requires throwing oneself into the unpredictable locus of suffering, where one is unable to infer the actual situation of the other, a process which fosters self-disclosure. By using the term “clinical humanities” we are attempting to free the humanities and social sciences from their self-imposed boundaries which have brought them to their current dispirited condition. Bringing the depth of the humanities and social sciences into the clinical field in the service of relieving suffering and setting up a humanities support network will help the humanities renew itself by listening attentively to the great amount of suffering in the world. Conceived in this way, the clinical humanities has its own methodology and way of generating insight, and also has a unique contribution to make to the amelioration of suffering in all its forms. In moving beyond their current condition and into the clinical field, the humanities and social sciences take on a new conceptual framework and a distinctive rhythm. From this perspective, the encounter between nursing and the clinical humanities might be seen as the unlikely meeting of fundamentally different and incompatible fields. Indeed, the humanities and social sciences may seem quite alien to nursing and clinical practice. In this paper I explore diverse aspects of the clinical humanities and how they can be applied to nursing and nursing education. I also investigate some innovative perspectives on healing and the clinical humanities and the implications they have for nursing and nursing education.
Humanities2014, 3(4), 645-659; doi:10.3390/h3040645 - published 30 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The concept of alterity constitutes an important issue in anthropological research and, therefore, in the study of musical practices, as well. Without it, we could hardly understand other kinds of music situated in different spaces and time from the observer. In order to effectively approach these musical practices, we have to develop strategies to help us reduce as much as possible that which distorts the vision of the other. However, beyond the strictly epistemological and methodological issues, the study of music cannot ignore the ethical question related to the manner in which Western thought has understood and treated the other: through a hierarchical and stereotypical type of thinking based on the condition of otherness. Throughout the article, different alterity procedures are presented and discussed, such as synecdochization, exoticization, undervaluation, overvaluation, misunderstanding and exclusion. Taking these different alterity strategies into account may help us to better understand how the musical other is constructed, used and ultimately instrumentalized.