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Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) 16 June 2018. The premiere of the music video “Apeshit” by Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Filmed inside the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Bees, Extinction and Ambient Soundscapes: An Exploratory Environmental Communication Workshop
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030153 - 19 Sep 2019
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Abstract
As a response to the challenges that visual communication, popularly used in environmental communications, poses for more embodied engagements with climate change, this article focuses upon the neglected role of sound within environmental and climate communication scholarship. Focusing upon the decline of bees [...] Read more.
As a response to the challenges that visual communication, popularly used in environmental communications, poses for more embodied engagements with climate change, this article focuses upon the neglected role of sound within environmental and climate communication scholarship. Focusing upon the decline of bees as a meaningful topic for the exploration of climate change, this article draws on research conducted with participants of a soundscape workshop to investigate the potential benefits and limitations of using sound-based activities to communicate about a specific climate change topic. This article demonstrates that modes of communicating climate change that encourage people to participate in imaginative, creative and future-based thinking can provide an effective way to engage audiences with the topic of climate change, thus encouraging greater individual and collective action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Socialist Federalism as an Alternative to Nationalism: The Leninist Solution to the National Question in Africa and Its Diaspora
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030152 - 19 Sep 2019
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Scholarship on the impact of Lenin’s thinking and on the Soviet Union’s relationships with Africa has emphasized two dimensions: on the one hand, the ideological imprint on and support provided to nationalist and anti-imperialist movements and, on the other, the emulation of communist [...] Read more.
Scholarship on the impact of Lenin’s thinking and on the Soviet Union’s relationships with Africa has emphasized two dimensions: on the one hand, the ideological imprint on and support provided to nationalist and anti-imperialist movements and, on the other, the emulation of communist techniques of authoritarian rule by many postcolonial governments. This paper highlights the neglected receptions of another major communist idea, namely, the ‘Leninist solution to the national question’, as embodied by the federal political model of the Soviet Union. The paper argues that many actors in different contexts, where the nationalities question had to be tackled with, showed a keen interest in the Leninist solution and in the sui generis federal model of the USSR. These contexts included the post-1945 French Union, as well as postcolonial countries such as Sudan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The Leninist alternative to the nation-state and to assimilation assumed a great deal of significance to minority groups. Nevertheless, it was rejected even by Marxist-inspired movements and elites which sought to create a nation-state. The paper uses the approach of cultural transfers to investigate and assess both the appeal and the limits in the reception of the Leninist federalist alternative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Africa—Beyond the Nation?)
Open AccessArticle
Exile, Pistols, and Promised Lands: Ibsen and Israeli Modernist Writers
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030151 - 17 Sep 2019
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Abstract
Allusions to Henrik Ibsen’s plays in the works of two prominent Israeli modernist writers, Amos Oz’s autobiographical A Tale of Love and Darkness (2004) and David Grossman’s The Zigzag Kid (1994) examined in the context of the Israeli reception of Ibsen in the [...] Read more.
Allusions to Henrik Ibsen’s plays in the works of two prominent Israeli modernist writers, Amos Oz’s autobiographical A Tale of Love and Darkness (2004) and David Grossman’s The Zigzag Kid (1994) examined in the context of the Israeli reception of Ibsen in the 1950s and 1960s. To establish the variety of meanings Ibsen’s plays had for the audiences of the Habimah production of Peer Gynt in 1952 and The Kameri production of Hedda Gabler in 1966, this article draws on newspaper reviews and actors’ memoirs, as well as providing an analysis of Leah Goldberg’s translation of Peer Gynt. It emerges that both authors enlisted Ibsen in their exploration of the myths surrounding the formation of Israeli nationhood and identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nordic and European Modernisms)
Open AccessArticle
Man up! Masculinity and (Homo)sexuality in René Depestre’s Transatlantic World
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030150 - 16 Sep 2019
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Abstract
The question of homosexuality in Francophone Caribbean literature is often overlooked. However, the ways in which the Haitian René Depestre’s Le mât de cocagne (The Festival of the Greasy Pole, 1979) and “Blues pour une tasse de thé vert” (“Blues for a Cup [...] Read more.
The question of homosexuality in Francophone Caribbean literature is often overlooked. However, the ways in which the Haitian René Depestre’s Le mât de cocagne (The Festival of the Greasy Pole, 1979) and “Blues pour une tasse de thé vert” (“Blues for a Cup of Green Tea”), a short story from the collection Eros dans un train chinois (Eros on a Chinese Train, 1990) portray homoeroticism and homosexuality begs further study. In these texts, the study of the violence that surrounds the representation of sexuality reveals the sociopolitical implications of erotic and racial images in a French transatlantic world. Hence, the proposed essay “Man up!” interrogates a (Black) hegemonic masculinity inherited from colonialism and the homophobia it generates. This masculinity prescribes normative traits that frequently appear toxic as it thrives on hypersexuality and brute force. When these two traits become associated with violence and homoeroticism, however, they threaten this very masculinity. Initially, Depestre valorizes “solar eroticism,” a French Caribbean expression of a Black sexuality, free and joyful, and “geolibertinage,” its transnational and global expression. Namely, his novel and short story sing a hegemonic and polyamorous heterosexuality, respectively, in a postcolonial milieu (Haiti) and a diasporic space (Paris). The misadventures of his male characters suggest that eroticism in transatlantic spaces has more to do with Thanatos (death) than Eros (sex). Though Depestre formally explores the construction of the other and the mechanisms of racism and oppression in essays, he also tackles these themes in his fictional work. Applying Caribbean feminist and gendered lenses to his fiction bring to light the intricate bonds between racism, sexism and homophobia. Such a framework reveals the many facets of patriarchy and its mechanism of control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unsilencing Black Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
Open AccessComment
On Well-Being, Activism and Ethical Practice: Response to Trentin, Lisa. Sharing Histories: Teaching and Learning from Displaced Youth in Greece. Humanities 2018, 7, 53
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030149 - 10 Sep 2019
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Abstract
In this response to Lisa Trentin’s article, I explore themes that bring together research and activism, through engagement with the past, and the ethics that concerns such endeavours. I demonstrate the overlaps with my own work into well-being and heritage and suggest that [...] Read more.
In this response to Lisa Trentin’s article, I explore themes that bring together research and activism, through engagement with the past, and the ethics that concerns such endeavours. I demonstrate the overlaps with my own work into well-being and heritage and suggest that broadening out work to include mixed groups may increase the effects of reciprocity noted by Lisa Trentin. I argue that research, as well as teaching, which takes on the decolonizing principles that Lisa Trentin espouses, especially that which includes disenfranchised communities, needs to be done equitably and in ways that are ethical, compassionate and respectful. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Writing the Displaced Person: H. G. Adler’s Poetics of Exile
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030148 - 03 Sep 2019
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Abstract
This article discusses the work of the Prague Jewish writer H. G. (Hans Günther) Adler (1910–1988) as an important contribution to the poetics of German-Jewish displacement in the wake of World War II. It demonstrates the significance of Adler’s early response to questions [...] Read more.
This article discusses the work of the Prague Jewish writer H. G. (Hans Günther) Adler (1910–1988) as an important contribution to the poetics of German-Jewish displacement in the wake of World War II. It demonstrates the significance of Adler’s early response to questions of refugee status, displacement and human rights in literature. The article argues that Adler’s work can be seen as providing in part a response to the question raised by Hannah Arendt, Joseph Slaughter and other recent theorists of literature and human rights: what poetic form is adequate to give literary expression to the mass displacements of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century? Adler’s short story ‘Note of a Displaced Person’ and his lengthy novel The Wall demonstrate the role that modernist poetics of fragmentation, in particular the legacy of Kafka, can have in bearing witness to this experience. They also demonstrate that the space of exile and displacement provides Adler with a vantage point from which to comment on the rights catastrophe of the twentieth century. Adler’s work develops a theological understanding of the crisis of displacement, a crisis that can only be resolved by restoring a relation between the divine and the human. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Revisiting German Jewish Writing & Culture, 1945-1975)
Open AccessArticle
Nuclear Deficit: Why Nuclear Weapons Are Natural, but Scotland Doesn’t Need Nature
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030147 - 02 Sep 2019
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Abstract
This article argues that millennial Scottish culture has been animated in large part by a push to overcome a historiographical compulsion built into the modern British state’s understanding of nature. This understanding of nature became the foundational principle of government during the Financial [...] Read more.
This article argues that millennial Scottish culture has been animated in large part by a push to overcome a historiographical compulsion built into the modern British state’s understanding of nature. This understanding of nature became the foundational principle of government during the Financial Revolution and British unification in the 1690s–1710, then was made the subject of a universal history by the Scottish Enlightenment of the later eighteenth century, and has remained in place to be extended by neoliberalism. The article argues more specifically that the British association of progress with dominion over the world as nature demands a temporal abstraction, or automation, reducing the determinability of the present, and that correspondingly this idea of nature ‘softens’ conflict in a way that points to weapons carrying perfectly abstracted violence. Nuclear weapons become an inevitable corollary of the nature of British authority. Against this, twenty-first century Scottish cultures, particularly a growing mainstream surrounding independence or stressing national specificity, have noticeably turned against both nuclear weapons and the understanding of nature these weapons protect. These cultures draw from a 1980s moment in which anti-nuclear action came both to be understood as ‘national’, and to stand in relief to the British liberal firmament. These cultures are ‘activist’ in the literal sense that they tend to interrupt an assumption of the eternal that stands behind both nuclear terror and its capture of nature as dominion over the world. A dual interruption, nuclear and counter-natural, can be read in pro-independence cultural projects including online projects like Bella Caledonia and National Collective, which might be described as undertaking a thorough ‘denaturing’. But if the question of nature as resources for dominion has been a topic for debate in the environmental humanities, little attention has been paid to this specifically British ‘worlding’ of nature, or to how later constitutional pressures on the UK also mean pressures on this worlding. Andreas Malm’s Fossil Capital (2016), for example, a powerful account of the automation of production in the British industrial revolution, might be related to the automation of ideas of progress pressed during the Scottish Enlightenment, and entrenching a dualism of owning subject and nature as object-world that would drive extraction in empire. Finally, this article suggests that this dualism, and the nature holding it in place, have also been a major target of the ‘wilderness encounters’ that form a large sub-genre in twenty-first century Scottish writing. Such ‘denaturing’ encounters can be read in writers like Alec Finlay, Linda Cracknell, Thomas A. Clark, and Gerry Loose, often disrupting the subject standing over nature, and sometimes explicitly linking this to a disruption of nuclear realism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Reception of the Swedish Retranslation of James Joyce’s Ulysses (2012)
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030146 - 30 Aug 2019
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Abstract
This article focuses on how the second Swedish translation of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (2012) was received by Swedish critics. The discussion of the translation is limited to a number of paratextual features that are present in the translation, including a lengthy postscript, [...] Read more.
This article focuses on how the second Swedish translation of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (2012) was received by Swedish critics. The discussion of the translation is limited to a number of paratextual features that are present in the translation, including a lengthy postscript, and to the translation’s reviews in the daily press. The release of the second Swedish translation was a major literary event and was widely covered in national and local press. Literary critics unanimously welcomed the retranslation; praising the translator’s raw, vulgar and physical language, his humour, and the musicality of his expression. Regarding its layout, title, and style, the new translation is closer to the original than the first translation from 1946 (revised in 1993). The postscript above all emphasizes the humanistic value of Joyce’s novel and its praise of the ordinary. It also addresses postcolonial perspectives and stresses the novel’s treatment of love and pacifism. These aspects were also positively received by the reviewers. For many reviewers, the main merit of the novel is found in its tribute to sensuality and the author’s joyful play with words. Negative comments tended to relate to the novel’s well-known reputation of being difficult to read. One reviewer, however, strongly questioned the current value of the experimental nature of the novel. Opinions also diverged on whether the retranslation replaces or merely supplements the first Swedish translation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nordic and European Modernisms)
Open AccessArticle
Classifications of Macca Oromoo Girls’ Nuptial Songs (Sirba Cidhaa)
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030145 - 28 Aug 2019
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Abstract
Girls’ nuptial songs of the Oromoo of Horn of Africa are powerful folksong genres, but are rarely practiced today. Ethnographic data were collected and analyzed contextually, structurally, functionally, and semantically from multidisciplinary approaches: folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, literature, linguistic, gender, and others’ theories. [...] Read more.
Girls’ nuptial songs of the Oromoo of Horn of Africa are powerful folksong genres, but are rarely practiced today. Ethnographic data were collected and analyzed contextually, structurally, functionally, and semantically from multidisciplinary approaches: folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, literature, linguistic, gender, and others’ theories. They are classified into arrabsoo (insult), faaruu (praise), mararoo (elegiac/dirge), ansoosillee (bridal praise), fala (resolution), and raaga (prediction) with their distinct natures. Macca Oromoo girls compose these competitively to making weddings memorable, express themselves, inspire and encourage men for brave and appropriate actions. These genres form binary oppositions in their respective orders and enrich the culture. They also depict identities and roles of girls in creations and maintaining of culture. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Nostalgia Makes Us All Tick: A Special Issue on Contemporary Nostalgia
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030144 - 28 Aug 2019
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Abstract
Nostalgia makes us all tick: It engages [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle
Foreign Stories and National Narratives: Yiddish and Fictionality in Jurek Becker’s Jakob the Liar and Edgar Hilsenrath’s The Nazi and the Barber
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030143 - 21 Aug 2019
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Abstract
This article uses two examples of postwar German Jewish literature to explore the way in which these literary reflections on fictionality can also serve to subvert and complicate the national narratives that were developed in East and West Germany. The novels explored here, [...] Read more.
This article uses two examples of postwar German Jewish literature to explore the way in which these literary reflections on fictionality can also serve to subvert and complicate the national narratives that were developed in East and West Germany. The novels explored here, Jurek Becker’s Jakob the Liar (1969) and Edgar Hilsenrath’s The Nazi and the Barber (1977), directly thematize storytelling and specifically, storytelling in the context of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Both also share an interest in the intersections between German and Yiddish narrative traditions and reflect on the ways in which the latter was coopted by the former in the decades following the Second World War. Ultimately, this article argues that these two novels of lying create spaces in which the foundational myths of both German states are called into question. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Revisiting German Jewish Writing & Culture, 1945-1975)
Open AccessArticle
Rousseau in a Post-Apocalyptic Context: Angela Carter’s Heroes and Villains and Science Fiction
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030142 - 21 Aug 2019
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Abstract
The present paper discusses Angela Carter’s Heroes and Villains (1969), which parodies both “post-apocalyptic” novels in the Cold War era and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theory on civilisation. By analysing this novel in comparison, not only to Rousseau’s On the Origin of Inequality (1755), but [...] Read more.
The present paper discusses Angela Carter’s Heroes and Villains (1969), which parodies both “post-apocalyptic” novels in the Cold War era and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theory on civilisation. By analysing this novel in comparison, not only to Rousseau’s On the Origin of Inequality (1755), but also to the works of various science fiction writers in the 1950s and 1960s, the paper aims to examine Carter’s reinterpretation of Rousseau in a post-apocalyptic context. As I will argue, Heroes and Villains criticises Rousseau from a feminist point of view to not only represent the dystopian society as full of inequality and violence, but also to show that human beings, having forgotten the nuclear war as their great “sin” in the past, can no longer create a bright future. Observing the underlying motifs in the novel, the paper will reveal how Carter attempts to portray a world where human history has totally ended, or where people cannot make “history” in spite of the fact that they biologically survived the holocaust. From this perspective, I will clarify the way in which Carter reinterprets Rousseau’s notion of “fallen” civilisation in the new context as a critique of the nuclear issues in the late twentieth century. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Women as Victims of War in Homer’s Oral Poetics
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030141 - 16 Aug 2019
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Abstract
The article presents the problem of the empathy felt by the author or authors of the Iliad and Odyssey towards women depicted as victims of war. Understanding of the world in the Homeric poems may be misinterpreted today. Since Homer’s works are a [...] Read more.
The article presents the problem of the empathy felt by the author or authors of the Iliad and Odyssey towards women depicted as victims of war. Understanding of the world in the Homeric poems may be misinterpreted today. Since Homer’s works are a product of oral culture, in order to determine his intentions, it is necessary to look at them from the perspective of the tradition from which they derive. Furthermore, the author of an oral work can be deemed as creative because s/he shapes his/her story through interaction with the listening audience. The different aspects of the relationship of women as victims of war with their oppressors are, therefore, interpreted according to the use of traditional techniques adopted to evoke specific emotions in the audience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue War and Literature: Commiserating with the Enemy)
Open AccessComment
Response to Yarbakhsh Elisabeth. Reading Derrida in Tehran: Between an Open Door and an Empty Sofreh. Humanities, 2018, 7, 21
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030140 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 338
Abstract
This critical engagement with Elisabeth Yarbaksh’s essay asks what Iran might be gaining from sustaining its particular form of (un-)hospitality. It considers whether Iranian dynamics of hospitality might be working to meet the specific political interests of the post-revolutionary “republic” and concludes with [...] Read more.
This critical engagement with Elisabeth Yarbaksh’s essay asks what Iran might be gaining from sustaining its particular form of (un-)hospitality. It considers whether Iranian dynamics of hospitality might be working to meet the specific political interests of the post-revolutionary “republic” and concludes with a comparison to classical Athenian migration (metoikia) politics. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nation, Ethnicity, Milieus, and Multiple “We’s”. The Case of Kenya
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030139 - 12 Aug 2019
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Abstract
The title of the volume “Future Africa—beyond the nation?” has several implications. Nation is presented as an entity relevant to identification and identity; and in the combination with “future”, nation implies a political vision. It is not hard to find good examples in [...] Read more.
The title of the volume “Future Africa—beyond the nation?” has several implications. Nation is presented as an entity relevant to identification and identity; and in the combination with “future”, nation implies a political vision. It is not hard to find good examples in respect of these implications. However, there are other entities important for to political identification. Often, they do not go beyond the nation but refer to smaller collective identities, such as ethnicity. The revived debate on “the middle class” implies that particular social groupings, such as class, may play a role, too. The question is how relevant are the nation and other collective political identities in Africa, and are they exclusive? Looking at the case of Kenya, we see on the one hand that collective (political) identities, such as ethnicity, are mobilized especially during elections. On the other hand, these collective identities are less dominant in everyday life and give way to different conducts of life (conceptualized as “milieus”) that are less politicized. We see people maneuvering between multiple “we’s”. Strong political identities are mobilized only in particular conflict-loaded situations that restructure identities in simple binary oppositions of “we” and “they”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Africa—Beyond the Nation?)
Open AccessArticle
‘A Pause for Po-Ethics’: Seamus Heaney and the Ethics of Aesthetics
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030138 - 12 Aug 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, I examine the connections between ethics and aesthetics in the writing of Seamus Heaney. Looking at Heaney’s neologism of ‘po-ethics’, I move through his poetry and especially his translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, entitled The Cure at Troy, and [...] Read more.
In this paper, I examine the connections between ethics and aesthetics in the writing of Seamus Heaney. Looking at Heaney’s neologism of ‘po-ethics’, I move through his poetry and especially his translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, entitled The Cure at Troy, and focus on his Fourth Irish Human Rights Commission Annual Human Rights Lecture: Writer & Righter, wherein he traces a number of strong connections between human rights workers and creative writers. The essay is written through a theoretical matrix of the ethical theories of Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas and Simon Critchley. It looks at poems from Heaney himself, as well as work from Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Czeslaw Miłosz, and Primo Levi. It focuses on poetic language as a discourse that can act as a counterweight and as a form of redress on behalf of the dignity of the individual human being against the pressures of mass culture and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice)
Open AccessArticle
Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery,’ and William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030137 - 09 Aug 2019
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Shirley Jackson’s, ‘The Lottery,’ is without doubt her most famous work. It is one of the most anthologized short stories in America. However, despite the popularity of the short story, very few critics have attempted to delve deeper into the story’s meaning. Those [...] Read more.
Shirley Jackson’s, ‘The Lottery,’ is without doubt her most famous work. It is one of the most anthologized short stories in America. However, despite the popularity of the short story, very few critics have attempted to delve deeper into the story’s meaning. Those few critics who have attempted to prove the story’s message have done well in the sense that they have picked up on ‘a’ pattern, but have failed to see that there are also contrasting patterns which cross over and cut through each other. Shirley Jackson deserves far more praise than what she has received for the intricacies, the small details and the well thought out design of the story. When one discovers that Jackson admired William Empson’s, Seven Types of Ambiguities, in which he argues the best authors (such as William Shakespeare) purposely create ambiguities in their writing so that the reader questions and wonders what the author might have meant, one can begin to understand that there is more to Jackson than what critics have argued, and even she herself has said about the story. It is clear that she had an admiration for Empson, as two years before ‘The Lottery,’ she wrote, ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity,’ in which Empson’s book is the coveted object of desire. This 1946 story can be read in two opposing ways. I would argue that ‘The Lottery,’ can be read in five opposing ways. The three-legged stool of the story represents the three pillars or legs of society: economics, politics, and religion. Her story can be read as being anti-capitalist, anti-communist and anti-religious, most specifically making references to Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Jackson has done this to critique the idea that these economic, political and religious traditions were created to benefit humanity. However, over time, these systems have become corrupted by their leaders, so that rather than protecting their people, these structures of society are used to both punish their people and to invoke violence upon each other in the name of that tradition. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Averted Gaze: Audre Lorde’s Zami and the Death of Emmett Till
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030136 - 09 Aug 2019
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Abstract
This essay considers Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982) as an example of the neoliberal turn to memoir that both complicates and exemplifies important aspects of the relationship between literary form and ideological expressions of racial and sexual identity. [...] Read more.
This essay considers Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982) as an example of the neoliberal turn to memoir that both complicates and exemplifies important aspects of the relationship between literary form and ideological expressions of racial and sexual identity. By examining a hitherto un-noted omission from Lorde’s memoir, the death of Emmett Till, this essay illuminates the political significance behind Lorde’s choice to narrate Till’s death in the form of a poem while conspicuously omitting it from her prose memoir. Incorporating a broader selection of Lorde’s work, and comparative analysis with other poetic responses to Till’s death, this essay shows through this example how the intense personalization of an historical event can formalize the embodiment of an essentialized, and thus timeless, racial identity. As such, Lorde’s work demonstrates how literary form can both communicate and obscure paradoxical aspects of contemporary racial ideology by rationalizing the embodiment of racial difference in the post-Civil Rights world. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Have You Ever Seen the Crowd Goin’ Apeshit?”: Disrupting Representations of Animalistic Black Femininity in the French Imaginary
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030135 - 09 Aug 2019
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Abstract
16 June 2018. London Stadium. Beyoncé and Jay–Z revealed the premiere of the music video Apeshit. Filmed inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, Beyoncé’s sexual desirability powerfully dialogues with Western canons of high art that have dehumanized or erased the black female [...] Read more.
16 June 2018. London Stadium. Beyoncé and Jay–Z revealed the premiere of the music video Apeshit. Filmed inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, Beyoncé’s sexual desirability powerfully dialogues with Western canons of high art that have dehumanized or erased the black female body. Dominant tropes have historically associated the black female body with the realm of nature saddled with an animalistic hypersexuality. With this timely release, Apeshit engages with the growing current debate about the ethic of representation of the black subject in European museums. Here, I argue that Beyoncé transcends the tension between nature and culture into a syncretic language to subvert a dominant imperialistic gaze. Drawing on black feminist theories and art history, a formal analysis traces the genealogy and stylistic expression of this vocabulary to understand its political implications. Findings pinpoint how Beyoncé laces past and present, the regal nakedness of her African heritage and Western conventions of the nude to convey the complexity, sensuality, and humanity of black women—thus drawing a critical reimagining of museal practices and enriching the collective imaginary at large. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unsilencing Black Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Citizenship’s Insular Cases, from Ancient Greece and Rome to Puerto Rico
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030134 - 08 Aug 2019
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Abstract
Engaging equally with ancient Greco-Roman and contemporary Euro-American paradigms of citizenship, this essay argues that experiences of civic integration are structured around figurations of island and archipelago. In elaboration of this claim, I offer a transhistorical account of how institutions and imaginaries of [...] Read more.
Engaging equally with ancient Greco-Roman and contemporary Euro-American paradigms of citizenship, this essay argues that experiences of civic integration are structured around figurations of island and archipelago. In elaboration of this claim, I offer a transhistorical account of how institutions and imaginaries of citizenship take shape around an “insular scheme” whose defining characteristic is displacement. Shuttling from Homer and Livy to Imbolo Mbue and Danez Smith, I rely on the work of postcolonial literary critics and political theorists to map those repetitive deferrals of civic status to which immigrants and refugees in particular are uniquely subject. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Imaginary Landscapes: Sublime and Saturated Phenomena in “Kubla Khan” and the Arab Dream
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030133 - 06 Aug 2019
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Abstract
This article considers “Kubla Khan” and the the Arab dream section from the fifth book The Prelude as precursors to the recently theorized concept of saturated phenomenality. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth insist on the limitedness of their dream subjects even as they magnify [...] Read more.
This article considers “Kubla Khan” and the the Arab dream section from the fifth book The Prelude as precursors to the recently theorized concept of saturated phenomenality. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth insist on the limitedness of their dream subjects even as they magnify their dreamt of landscapes to heights of sublimity. Falke describes the implications that this insistence on smallness has for relating experiences of sublime landscapes to experiences of reading or writing poetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory)
Open AccessArticle
The Meaning of the Common World in Perioperative Nursing Care; A Hermeneutic Study
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030132 - 06 Aug 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to bring forth the meaning of the common world as it appears in perioperative nursing care. We employed the epistemological standpoints of preunderstanding, the hermeneutic spiral and fusion of horizons grounded in Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy as well [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to bring forth the meaning of the common world as it appears in perioperative nursing care. We employed the epistemological standpoints of preunderstanding, the hermeneutic spiral and fusion of horizons grounded in Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy as well as Eriksson’s Theory of Caritative Caring based on the ontology of caring science, where caritas is the basic motive and ethos of caring. Four hermeneutic spiral activities were performed, consisting of a mimetic presentation bearing the ontological depth of the common world, its distinctive features, the universal and lasting and finally, the truth inherent in the common world. The inherent truth of the common world is the prevalence of harmony, wholeness and the idea of love, mercy and reverence for human dignity. The common world brings ethics to existence, achieved by the word of honour, which in its true being makes visible the universal and ontological horizons of a common reality. The common world is the creation of a hermeneutic movement inside each suffering human being, where the boundless life-giving time represents the inhabited movement of time, like coming home. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Climate Delusion: Hurricane Sandy, Sea Level Rise, and 1840s Catastrophism
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030131 - 01 Aug 2019
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Abstract
The existential global threat of inundation of the world’s low-lying port cities necessitates a radical shift in the dominant climate framework of sustainability and resilience to include catastrophism. Scientists and social scientists of the industrial crisis decade of the 1840s, arguably the Anthropocene’s [...] Read more.
The existential global threat of inundation of the world’s low-lying port cities necessitates a radical shift in the dominant climate framework of sustainability and resilience to include catastrophism. Scientists and social scientists of the industrial crisis decade of the 1840s, arguably the Anthropocene’s historical origin, offer a model for theorizing twenty-first century catastrophe in both geophysical and social terms, as in the case study of Hurricane Sandy presented here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Humanities Approaches to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
The Composite Nature of Andreas
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030130 - 31 Jul 2019
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Abstract
Scholars of the Old English poem Andreas have long debated its dating and authorship, as the poem shares affinities both with Beowulf and the signed poems of Cynewulf. Although this debate hinges on poetic style and other internal evidence, the stylistic uniformity of [...] Read more.
Scholars of the Old English poem Andreas have long debated its dating and authorship, as the poem shares affinities both with Beowulf and the signed poems of Cynewulf. Although this debate hinges on poetic style and other internal evidence, the stylistic uniformity of Andreas has not been suitably demonstrated. This paper investigates this question by examining the distribution of oral-formulaic data within the poem, which is then correlated to word frequency and orthographic profiles generated with lexomic techniques. The analysis identifies an earlier version of the poem, which has been expanded by a later poet. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Several Lower Palaeolithic Sites along the Rhine Rift Valley, Dated from 1.3 to 0.6 Million Years
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030129 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 432
Abstract
The important discoveries of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts in stratigraphical context within Lower and early Middle Pleistocene deposits in the western continental part of Europe along the rift systeme of the Rhine Valley are pointing at the possible continuous presence of hominins since the [...] Read more.
The important discoveries of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts in stratigraphical context within Lower and early Middle Pleistocene deposits in the western continental part of Europe along the rift systeme of the Rhine Valley are pointing at the possible continuous presence of hominins since the Lower Pleistocene. This paper reports on lithic industry from its early appearance at around 1.3 million years (Ma) at the site of Münster-Sarmsheim to the latest pre-Elsterian period at around 0.6 Ma at Mauer, Mosbach, and Miesenheim. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Re-assessing Human Origins)
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Open AccessArticle
Impressions on the Evolution of Naturalism: Interiority, Exteriority, and the International/Interdisciplinary Nature of Naturalism
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030128 - 23 Jul 2019
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Abstract
Naturalism, as a movement and genre, was heavily influenced by the work of Émile Zola, particularly by his essay, Le roman expérimental (1880). However, despite Zola’s strong influence, Naturalism was also significantly influenced by the ideas of others that go beyond and even [...] Read more.
Naturalism, as a movement and genre, was heavily influenced by the work of Émile Zola, particularly by his essay, Le roman expérimental (1880). However, despite Zola’s strong influence, Naturalism was also significantly influenced by the ideas of others that go beyond and even predate those of Zola. As a result, Naturalism is generally accepted as having originated in France in the late 19th century, and having extended into the early 20th century, however it soon became an international as well as an interdisciplinary movement and genre. More specific examples of this international and interdisciplinary network of Naturalism can be seen in the writing of Zola, Joris-Karl Husymans, and Oscar Wilde, as well as the painting of Cécile Douard, Vincent van Gogh, Gustave Caillebotte, and Claude Monet. Furthermore, these examples reveal that Naturalism evolved into a more interior branch, as well as a more exterior branch, and they also reveal some strong evolutionary links between not only Naturalism and Impressionism, but also between Naturalism and Decadence/Aestheticism. These latter links have seen little discussion in relation to Naturalism, particularly on the basis of the roles that interiority and exteriority play in the international and interdisciplinary expressions of Naturalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Realism and Naturalism in the Humanities)
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to “Re-Mapping Cosmopolitanism”
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030127 - 16 Jul 2019
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Abstract
Debates about the concept of cosmopolitanism have flared up repeatedly in the twentieth and twenty-fist centuries, not so much as a set or coherent theory, but rather as an alternative model of thinking in opposition to excessive nationalist ideologies; or, more recently, as [...] Read more.
Debates about the concept of cosmopolitanism have flared up repeatedly in the twentieth and twenty-fist centuries, not so much as a set or coherent theory, but rather as an alternative model of thinking in opposition to excessive nationalist ideologies; or, more recently, as an intervention into hegemonic global strategies [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (Re)Mapping Cosmopolitanism in Literature and Film)
Open AccessArticle
The Answer is Paracritical: Caribbean Literature and The Limits of Critique
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030126 - 16 Jul 2019
Viewed by 472
Abstract
I argue that both Rita Felski’s postcritical model (as articulated in The Limits of Critique) and its academic reception are made possible only by ignoring or erasing African-American and Afro-Caribbean modes of engagement with art that predate and complicate the critical-postcritical binary. [...] Read more.
I argue that both Rita Felski’s postcritical model (as articulated in The Limits of Critique) and its academic reception are made possible only by ignoring or erasing African-American and Afro-Caribbean modes of engagement with art that predate and complicate the critical-postcritical binary. To counteract the vanguardism of this trend in literary studies, I pair Caribbean philosopher-poet Edouard Glissant’s meditation on the origins of Creole speech as an indirect language of “detour” with Nathaniel Mackey’s theorizing of black art as “paracritical”—a mode that assimilates performance and critique, language and metalanguage, and that sits adjacent to (and not against or behind) traditionally academic discourses of engaging with literature. If Glissant provides the cultural and philosophical frame for an Afro-Caribbean way of reading literature, Mackey supplies the artistic metaphor par excellence of the paracritical hinge, voiced in the idioms of jazz and blues. Finally, I examine how Glissant and Mackey’s ideas find formal and aesthetic expression in Trinidadian-Canadian author Dionne Brand’s 2005 novel What We All Long For, paying attention to the reader response engendered by the adjacencies of violence, empowerment, possibility, and desire in the novel. In order to analyze What We All Long For, we must promote the liveliness and vivacity of the reading experience and put the text under ethical scrutiny, evincing the paracritical faculty that Afro-Caribbean art demands: commingling the twin pleasures of reading and interpretation, establishing a counter-hegemonic model of literary engagement that implicates the reader without stripping away reading’s pleasure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice)
Open AccessComment
From Exclusion to Inhabitation: Response to Gray, Benjamin. Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees. Humanities, 2018, 7, 72
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030125 - 16 Jul 2019
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Abstract
Spaces of refuge represent the paradoxical encounters between a series of governmental forces, disciplinary knowledge, aesthetic regimes and spatial conditions that tend to arrest, fix in time and space forms of lives. Considering the fact that camps are meant to be the materialisation [...] Read more.
Spaces of refuge represent the paradoxical encounters between a series of governmental forces, disciplinary knowledge, aesthetic regimes and spatial conditions that tend to arrest, fix in time and space forms of lives. Considering the fact that camps are meant to be the materialisation of a temporal status, spatial and political, the proposition posed by Benjamin Gray’s Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees, to look at “citizenship-in-exile” practices in ancient Greece and their forms of “improvised quasi-civic communities”, is welcome as it is refreshing. This short response engages with Gray’s text, addressing two different but interconnected points: in one respect, I hope to rescue Agamben’s work from its linear reading by commenting on the depoliticization of the camp and the critique of its exceptionalism; and, in another, I wish to provoke reflection around the universalising claim of hospitality and full assimilation, by introducing the disruptive terminology of inhabitation. This critical insertion aims to redefine an ethical relationship with the space, as a space of and for life, that Agamben sees as the basis for a new ethics, reversing its status as a productive and active force where the camp, in its paradigmatic reading, and the form of life it generates, helps to think beside the exceptional and move to inhabit such indistinctions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Poem Is a Material Object: Claire Van Vliet’s Artists Books and Denise Levertov’s “Batterers”
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030124 - 16 Jul 2019
Viewed by 423
Abstract
A literary text is, for a book artist, like a score for a musician or a script for an actor: a basis on which to construct an artistic performance. Book artist Claire Van Vliet has, at her Janus Press, constructed dazzling broadsides and [...] Read more.
A literary text is, for a book artist, like a score for a musician or a script for an actor: a basis on which to construct an artistic performance. Book artist Claire Van Vliet has, at her Janus Press, constructed dazzling broadsides and artist books based on poetry by, among others, Hayden Carruth, Galway Kinnell, and Margaret Kaufman. These works test or ignore boundaries between conventional categories such as book and broadside, two-dimensional display, and three-dimensional construction. The object she built based on Denise Levertov’s poem “Batterers” unfolds especially powerfully in time and three-dimensional space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Sister Arts Since 1900: Poetry and the Visual Arts)
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