Previous Issue
Volume 9, June

Table of Contents

Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 2020) – 26 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Dry Country, Wet City: A World-Ecological Reading of Drought in Thea Astley’s Drylands
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030079 - 11 Aug 2020
Abstract
Using a postcolonial and world-ecological framework, this article analyses the representation of water as an energy source in Thea Astley’s last and most critically acclaimed novel Drylands (1999). As environmental historians have argued, the colonial, and later capitalist, settlement of Australia, particularly the [...] Read more.
Using a postcolonial and world-ecological framework, this article analyses the representation of water as an energy source in Thea Astley’s last and most critically acclaimed novel Drylands (1999). As environmental historians have argued, the colonial, and later capitalist, settlement of Australia, particularly the arid interior, was dependent on securing freshwater sources—a historical process that showed little regard for ecological impact or water justice until recent times. Drylands’ engagement with this history will be considered in relation to Michael Cathcart’s concept of ‘water dreaming’ (2010): the way in which water became reimagined after colonization to signify the prospect of economic growth and the consolidation of settler belonging. Drylands self-consciously incorporates predominant modes of ‘water dreaming’ into its narrative, yet resists reducing water to a passive resource. This happens on the level of both content and form: while its theme of drought-induced migration is critical of the past, present, and future social and ecological effects of the reckless extraction of freshwater, its nonlinear plot and hybrid form as a montage of short stories work to undermine the dominant anthropocentric colonial narratives that underline technocratic water cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
An Early Bioinvasion in the Azores. Global Circulation and Local Dynamics (1840s–1860s) in Response to the Brown Soft-Scale Coccus hesperidum
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030078 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Bioinvasions occurred in the past as they do in the present, raising a set of ecological, economic, cultural and scientific changes. This paper focuses on how people dealt with and overcame the introduction and spread of the brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum [...] Read more.
Bioinvasions occurred in the past as they do in the present, raising a set of ecological, economic, cultural and scientific changes. This paper focuses on how people dealt with and overcame the introduction and spread of the brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum) in the Azorean orange groves in the 1840s–1860s. It describes the difficulties in the detection and the identification of the causal agent, the underestimation of the impacts in the early moments, the slow response and the limitations on methods of control. This is the earliest historical case of a plant pest documented in the Azores archipelago and the first that led to regulations concerning preventive measures and control. Research results are discussed in the framework of the global transfer of living organisms, rethinking Crosby’s original model of “Europeanizing” the colonial and overseas territories in the context of the nineteenth century empires. They highlight the relevance of understanding local dynamics, which reconsider the relationship between the center and the periphery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Value of the English Major Today
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030077 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 150
Abstract
This essay explores the value of the undergraduate English major today in terms of the knowledge and skills it develops, graduate school and employment opportunities it provides, and self-actualization and social improvement it fosters. From the perspective of an English department chair, this [...] Read more.
This essay explores the value of the undergraduate English major today in terms of the knowledge and skills it develops, graduate school and employment opportunities it provides, and self-actualization and social improvement it fosters. From the perspective of an English department chair, this essay stresses both the tangible and intangible benefits of the study of literature and writing, and it does so as a defense against those that seek to cut funding or devolve English departments. With reference to data from both a small, private, liberal arts college in southern California and national sources to give context, the essay shows how the English major is not only perennially valuable, but particularly valuable today in the midst of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic and the protests that aim to arrest police brutality against African Americans and their communities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Water Wars Novel
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030076 - 05 Aug 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
‘Water wars’ are back. Conflicts in Syrian, Yemen and Israel/Palestine are regularly framed as motivated by water and presented as harbingers of a world to come. The return of ‘water wars’ rhetoric, long after its 1990s heyday, has been paralleled by an increasing [...] Read more.
‘Water wars’ are back. Conflicts in Syrian, Yemen and Israel/Palestine are regularly framed as motivated by water and presented as harbingers of a world to come. The return of ‘water wars’ rhetoric, long after its 1990s heyday, has been paralleled by an increasing interest among novelists in water as a cause of conflict. This literature has been under-explored in existing work in the Blue Humanities, while scholarship on cli-fi has focused on scenarios of too much water, rather than not enough. In this article I catalogue key features of what I call the ‘water wars novel’, surveying works by Paolo Bacigalupi, Sarnath Banerjee, Varda Burstyn, Assaf Gavron, Emmi Itäranta, Karen Jayes and Cameron Stracher, writing from the United States, India, Canada, Israel, Finland and South Africa. I identify the water wars novel as a distinctive and increasingly prominent mode of ‘cli-fi’ that reveals and obscures important dimensions of water crises of the past, present and future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Christian Prayer and the Kingdom Quest: A Dialogue with Our Father across Languages and Cultures
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030075 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 124
Abstract
Much has been written about the Our Father (also referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) as it represents a personal and public dialogue with God in daily prayer and liturgy. While its theological and spiritual aspects have been thoroughly investigated, their cultural implications [...] Read more.
Much has been written about the Our Father (also referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) as it represents a personal and public dialogue with God in daily prayer and liturgy. While its theological and spiritual aspects have been thoroughly investigated, their cultural implications for different speech communities have been disregarded. This study aims to compare the English, Italian, and French versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the Catholic Church in an attempt to examine the role that culture is bound to play in shaping religious response and tracing a preferential interpretive pathway through a sacred text. This comparative analysis is focused on lexical choice and metaphorical imagery and integrated by an examination of the wider co-text, the Bible. The analysis has shown that the versions of the Lord’s Prayer present distinctive features possibly reflective of deeply-ingrained cultural attitudes such as the appeal for elevation in the English prayer, the dual tension between deference and solidarity in the Italian prayer, and the inclination for a grand narrative of heroes and anti-heroes in the French prayer. The study concludes that renewed attention to Christian sources could help bridge the gap between religion and culture, and reconcile our spiritual and social identities in post-secular societies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
J.M. Coetzee and Elizabeth Costello: Landscapes and Animals
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030074 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
The South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee is well-known for references to animals in his fiction, also given the fact that he and one of his well-known characters, Elizabeth Costello, raise awareness of the cruelty enacted on animals. Many studies have been conducted [...] Read more.
The South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee is well-known for references to animals in his fiction, also given the fact that he and one of his well-known characters, Elizabeth Costello, raise awareness of the cruelty enacted on animals. Many studies have been conducted on Coetzee’s animals, but less attention has been placed on the settings and landscapes in which the animals are situated. Hence, this study aims at understanding the role of the landscapes surrounding the animals via an ecocritical approach. The paper focuses on Coetzee’s fiction featuring Elizabeth Costello, namely, The Lives of Animals (1999), Elizabeth Costello: Eight Lessons (2003), Slow Man (2005), and Moral Tales (2017) by identifying the animals and by discussing the related settings and landscapes. The research concludes that, despite the presence of several animals, there are almost no references to animals in pristine habitats, that most of the animals are in anthropized settings, and that animals’ and humans’ suffering are hidden in a shared landscape. This understanding is discussed as an ecological message about the interlinkages between the human and nonhuman worlds and between animals’ and humans’ wellbeing, also referring to the animal/human interconnectedness within the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle
Blue Sublime and the Time of Capital
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030073 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 166
Abstract
This essay proposes a concept of the “blue sublime” in order to address how the contradictions of capitalist accumulation regimes manifest themselves in the hydrosphere. My argument starts from the fact that capitalism entails a shift in the imagination of the sea: from [...] Read more.
This essay proposes a concept of the “blue sublime” in order to address how the contradictions of capitalist accumulation regimes manifest themselves in the hydrosphere. My argument starts from the fact that capitalism entails a shift in the imagination of the sea: from the point of view of commodity production and consumption, the sea has turned into field of extraction, resource to be exploited or waste disposal site. But capitalism also involves circulation, which casts the sea into a space of contradictions. On the one hand, the oceanic expanse can be an image for the flow of capital and commodities, and a privileged route that has been central to the mercantile expansion of the world economy. On the other hand, however, the sea can become the emblem of the limit to accumulation, and the ultimate barrier to capital’s self-expansion. The blue sublime, hence, provides an image for picturing the totality of capitalism, while in its materiality it embodies capitalism’s contingency and perishability. From this point of view, the blue sublime registers a process described by Marx as the “annihilation of space by time” proper to the universalizing tendency of capital. Through a reading of Marx’s Grundrisse, the blue sublime hence provides a tangible representation of the asymptotic tendency of capital to reach a zero time of circulation and a privileged location to grasp the material contradictions of a global modernity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
The Blue Cultural Fix: Water-Spirits and World-Ecology in Jorge Amado’s Mar Morto and Pepetela’s O Desejo de Kianda
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030072 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Putting Blue Humanities scholarship in critical dialogue with recent research on the ‘cultural fix’ and ‘fixed-labour-power’, this article offers a comparative reading of two Portuguese-language novels in which the figure of the female water-spirit features as an index for two contrasting modes of [...] Read more.
Putting Blue Humanities scholarship in critical dialogue with recent research on the ‘cultural fix’ and ‘fixed-labour-power’, this article offers a comparative reading of two Portuguese-language novels in which the figure of the female water-spirit features as an index for two contrasting modes of knowing the ocean. In Jorge Amado’s Mar Morto (1936), the water-spirit is registered as a passive and incomprehensible extra-human entity that looms over the poverty of the text’s working-class community of dockworkers with an ominous and mysterious edge. By contrast, the water-spirit in Pepetela’s novel O Desejo de Kianda (1995) is angry, active and only too immediate, seeking revenge for the extractivist violence carried out in the name of neoliberalism. Activating a broadly hydro-materialist framework, I argue that these differing conceptions of the water-spirit carry with them very different socio-ecological implications, and directly intersect with contemporary debates over hydrological crisis, the privatisation of the oceans and the enclosure of the water commons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Offshore Mysteries, Narrative Infrastructure: Oil, Noir, and the World-Ocean
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030071 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Situated within debates of world literature, petrocultures, and the blue humanities, this article provides a methodological approach to interpreting genre, energy forms, and world-literature. This relies on Dominic Boyer’s concept of ‘energopolitics’ (adapted from Foucault’s biopolitics), which considers the codependence of political power, [...] Read more.
Situated within debates of world literature, petrocultures, and the blue humanities, this article provides a methodological approach to interpreting genre, energy forms, and world-literature. This relies on Dominic Boyer’s concept of ‘energopolitics’ (adapted from Foucault’s biopolitics), which considers the codependence of political power, electricity, fuel and energy infrastructure. Echoing Fredric Jameson (1981) and Patricia Yaeger (2011), the article argues that looking for a text’s ‘energopolitical unconscious’ is a means of discerning the way energopolitics and energy are encoded in world-literary plot, form, and genre. Then, it turns to a comparative reading of two novels, Carlos Fuentes’s The Hydra Head (1978) and Ian Rankin’s Black & Blue (1997), to argue that such novels provide an understanding of relationships between world-literary genre, forms of energy, and the world-oceanic regime of the offshore. The offshore is a juridical-spatial regime that circumvents nation-state regulation through extraterritorial ownership practices. It is a political and infrastructural power over the oceanic flows of capital and energy, to produce a spatial environment that exceeds the juridical boundaries of nation-states. Thus, if the world-ocean is the space upon which fossil capital depends for its realisation, the offshore is the legal form of fossil capital in the world-ocean. Finally, the article argues that noir mysteries are the genre of the offshore, as it is a genre particularly capable of indexing its social tensions. Noir’s settings and atmospheres are intimately connected with petromodernity’s infrastructure: hotels, highways, flickering streetlights and eerie hinterlands, ports and warehouses; the mystery is an excellent formal device, providing both narratorial motivation and a code for traversing imagined territories and detecting their secrets. At the same time, noir’s generic investment in investigations of legality and power—its ‘legal grammar’—makes it a useful stage through which to pursue questions of sovereignty, ocean-space, territory, and juridical forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Lead Mining, Conservation and Heritage: Shaping a Mountain in Northeast Wales
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030070 - 31 Jul 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
This article discusses the shaping of Halkyn Mountain, an upland common in the county of Flintshire in northeast Wales. Extractive industry has had a dramatic impact on the area, and it was one of Britain’s major lead mining regions in the nineteenth and [...] Read more.
This article discusses the shaping of Halkyn Mountain, an upland common in the county of Flintshire in northeast Wales. Extractive industry has had a dramatic impact on the area, and it was one of Britain’s major lead mining regions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This extractive history is essential for understanding its contemporary character and is a key element of community identity and local heritage production. The mountain is a multilayered landscape that has been made and transformed by geomorphological and human action, by subterranean water flow, digging, burrowing and extraction, by internal rupture and the upheaval and movement of earth and rock, and by grazing, burning, clearing and churning up the surface. It continues to be shaped by management and conservation, by the lifeworlds of plants and animals, and by perspectives on what constitutes a landscape. Drawing from current anthropological research in Flintshire on the making and shaping of place, the article explores how Halkyn Mountain exemplifies the contested nature—and the contradictions and provocations—of landscape and the difficulties inherent in using, living on, defining and managing a place that has been reshaped by industry, but one that is continually coming into being. It does so through a consideration of the area as a landscape shaped and given form by lead mining, by multispecies encounters, by land management and conservation initiatives, and by how notions of heritage inform local identity and regional preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Native Apocalypse in Claire G. Coleman’s The Old Lie
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030069 - 28 Jul 2020
Viewed by 161
Abstract
Claire G. Coleman’s science fiction novel The Old Lie (2019) evokes the blemished chapters of Australia’s history as the basis of a dystopian futuristic Earth. By using the metaphor of a secular apocalypse (Weaver) wrapped in the form of a space opera, she [...] Read more.
Claire G. Coleman’s science fiction novel The Old Lie (2019) evokes the blemished chapters of Australia’s history as the basis of a dystopian futuristic Earth. By using the metaphor of a secular apocalypse (Weaver) wrapped in the form of a space opera, she interrogates historical colonialism on a much larger scale to bring to the fore the distinctive Indigenous experience of Australia’s terra nullius and its horrific offshoots: the Stolen Generations, nuclear tests on Aboriginal land and the treatment of Indigenous war veteran, but this time experienced by the people of the futuristic Earth. Following a brief introduction of the concept of the “Native Apocalypse” (Dillon) in the framework of Indigenous futurism, the paper discusses Coleman’s innovative use of space opera embedded in Wilfred Owen’s famous WWI poem “Dulce et Decorum Est”. The analysis focuses on four allegedly separate stories in the novel which eventually interweave into a single narrative about “the old lie”. In keeping with the twenty-first-century Indigenous futurism, Coleman’s novel does not provide easy answers. Instead, the end brings the reader to the beginning of the novel in the same state of disillusionment as Owen’s lyrical subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dystopian Scenarios in Contemporary Australian Narrative and Film)
Open AccessArticle
The View from the Sea: The Power of a Blue Comparative Literature
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030068 - 22 Jul 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
This paper advocates for a blue comparative literature that uses the view from the sea to provide new axes for comparison. Roy Jacobsen’s De usynlige (The Unseen, 2013) and Sarah Moss’s Night Waking (2011) explore subsistence lives on small islands in [...] Read more.
This paper advocates for a blue comparative literature that uses the view from the sea to provide new axes for comparison. Roy Jacobsen’s De usynlige (The Unseen, 2013) and Sarah Moss’s Night Waking (2011) explore subsistence lives on small islands in the northern Atlantic at different moments in the past, when inhabitants were dependent on the sea for food and transport. By looking at them together, as texts linked by their engagement with the physical world of the northern Atlantic, the two novels show how marginal populations on small islands can represent a space for the imagination of the human past and future in the Anthropocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Learning an Inclusive Blue Humanities: Oceania and Academia through the Lens of Cinema
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030067 - 22 Jul 2020
Viewed by 172
Abstract
Hollywood films such as Pixar’s Moana (2016) and Warner Brothers’ Aquaman (2018) have drawn on the aesthetics and stories of the island cultures of Oceania to inform their narratives. In doing so, these works have both succeeded and failed to respect and engage [...] Read more.
Hollywood films such as Pixar’s Moana (2016) and Warner Brothers’ Aquaman (2018) have drawn on the aesthetics and stories of the island cultures of Oceania to inform their narratives. In doing so, these works have both succeeded and failed to respect and engage with oceanic cultural knowledge, providing a cultural vehicle to expand communication, while also exploiting Oceanic culture for financial gain. Cultural tropes and stereotypes pose a heavy intellectual burden that neither film fully shoulders, nor are the complexities of their content acknowledged. Moana sought to enlarge the franchise of the “Disney Princess” genre, but could not avoid issues of cultural appropriation and tokenism becoming entangled with an ongoing process of engagement. Moana’s desire to represent the cultural memory of Oceania raises questions, but while Pixar presents digital fantasy, Aquaman hides its global ambitions beneath star Jason Momoa’s broad shoulders. If the blue humanities is to follow the seminal postcolonial scholarship of Tongan and Fijian cultural theorist Epeli Hau’ofa by exploring a counter-hegemonic narrative in scholarly treatment of the global oceans, then how can it respond with respect? This risk applies equally to academic literary inquiry, with a more inclusive mode of receptive and plural blue humanities as an emerging response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
“The Ocean in Us”: Navigating the Blue Humanities and Diasporic Chamoru Poetry
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030066 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 179
Abstract
This essay will explore the complex relationship between Pacific Islander Literature and the “Blue Humanities,” navigation traditions and canoe aesthetics, and Chamoru migration and diaspora. First, I will chart the history, theory, and praxis of Pacific voyaging traditions; the colonial history of restricting [...] Read more.
This essay will explore the complex relationship between Pacific Islander Literature and the “Blue Humanities,” navigation traditions and canoe aesthetics, and Chamoru migration and diaspora. First, I will chart the history, theory, and praxis of Pacific voyaging traditions; the colonial history of restricting indigenous mobilities; and the decolonial acts of seafaring revitalization in the Pacific (with a specific focus on Guam). Then, I will examine the representation of seafaring and the ocean-going vessel (the canoe) as powerful symbols of Pacific migration and diasporic cultural identity in the context of what Elizabeth DeLoughrey termed, “narrative maritime legacies” (2007). Lastly, I will conduct a close-reading of the avant-garde poetry collection, A Bell Made of Stones (2013), by Chamoru writer Lehua Taitano. As I will show, Taitano writes about the ocean and navigation in order to address the history and traumas of Chamoru migration and diaspora. In terms of poetic form, I will argue that Taitano’s experimentation with typography and visual poetry embodies Chamoru outrigger design aesthetics and navigational techniques. In the end, I will show how a “Blue Humanities” approach to reading Pacific Islander literature highlights how the “New Oceania” is a profound space of Pacific migration and diasporic identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Literature and the Blue Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Where Humans and the Planetary Conflate—An Introduction to Environing Media
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030065 - 17 Jul 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
In this essay, we provide an outline of historical and contemporary examples to illustrate the theoretical concept of environing media. We first discuss how humans have environed their surroundings long before the advent of scientific modernity and the rapid evolution of media technologies [...] Read more.
In this essay, we provide an outline of historical and contemporary examples to illustrate the theoretical concept of environing media. We first discuss how humans have environed their surroundings long before the advent of scientific modernity and the rapid evolution of media technologies that helped in making the planet governable. Against this background, we argue that a fundamental shift in the human–Earth relation happened after 1500 and that this shift is attributable to the development of environing media employed in the process of terrestrial globalisation. We see the present profound renegotiation of the human–Earth relation as a continuity, albeit with a different intensity as exemplified by the work in Earth system science. Finally, we invert Mike Hulme’s call for scientists to meet the humanities into an appeal to humanists to embrace the environmental sciences and pursue more integrative research. Recent developments in environmental history have seen an increased interest in the shaping of environments by means of technology. To this end, scholars have developed theoretical concepts like “environing technologies”, which are based on the premise that the environment is a historical formation by people and societies who form their surroundings as well as their sense of place. In the same vein, historical ecology has shown that premodern peoples also shaped the natural world to their purposes far more than what has generally been understood. The central premise is that what is understood as the environment is the result of human intervention and that environing technologies structure the way that it is used, perceived, and understood. These insights resonate with core notions in media theory, but they have never before been brought together. Given that all of our understanding of the environment today is the product of several processes of mediation, the theory of environing technology would benefit from stronger theorisation of the role of media. While the scale and intensity of information storage, processing, and transmission by media today are unprecedented, the logic of mediated data processing essentially remains the same as five centuries ago when agents of the Spanish Empire took part in shaping the understanding of the environment of the Americas and the globe. For these purposes, we propose the concept of environing media, as a means of both joining intellectual forces and pushing theoretical analysis of both branches further. The paper outlines the theory of environing media using examples from the Global South, in particular the shaping and sensing of landscapes in and around the Philippines. From early modern to late modern times, this region of the world has been influenced by environing media, most importantly circumnavigating ships and orbiting sensing satellites. The result is landscapes made and remade according to colonial and later capitalist priorities operating on a global, and eventually a planetary, scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle
From Roots to Rhizomes: Similarity and Difference in Contemporary German Postmigrant Literature
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030064 - 16 Jul 2020
Viewed by 255
Abstract
There has traditionally been some divergence in the interpretive paradigms used by scholars analysing minority literature in the Germanophone and Anglophone contexts. Whereas the Anglosphere has tended to utilize poststructural and postcolonial approaches, interculturality and transculturality are favoured in the German-speaking world. However, [...] Read more.
There has traditionally been some divergence in the interpretive paradigms used by scholars analysing minority literature in the Germanophone and Anglophone contexts. Whereas the Anglosphere has tended to utilize poststructural and postcolonial approaches, interculturality and transculturality are favoured in the German-speaking world. However, these positions are aligning more closely, as the concept of similarity is gaining ground in Germany, disrupting the self–other binary in what can be regarded as a shift from the idea of roots to rhizomes. In dialogue with Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of the rhizome, the paradigm of similarity will be explored in terms of culture in Zafer Şenocak’s essay collection Das Fremde, das in jedem wohnt: Wie Unterschiede unsere Gesellschaft zusammenhalten (The Foreign that Resides in Everyone: How Differences Hold Our Society Together, 2018), which explores the similarities between Turkish and German culture alongside their internal differences; in terms of language in Uljana Wolf’s poetry cycle “DICHTionary” (2009), which seeks out links between German and English through ‘false friends’; and in terms of religion in Feridun Zaimoglu and Günter Senkel’s play Nathan Messias (Nathan Messiah 2006), which raises questions about interreligious dialogue. All three texts challenge binary notions of identity in favour of a more complex, rhizomatic network of relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspects of Contemporary German Fiction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
“The Very Highest Level of Mythic Resonance.” Angela Carter and the Trope of Recognition
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030063 - 16 Jul 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
This essay aims at adding to the critical debate on Angela Carter and myths from a more technical perspective and discusses her keen interest in the “lo and behold” moment of recognition. I claim that for Carter myths “work” in literary texts by [...] Read more.
This essay aims at adding to the critical debate on Angela Carter and myths from a more technical perspective and discusses her keen interest in the “lo and behold” moment of recognition. I claim that for Carter myths “work” in literary texts by producing a sudden illumination. At that moment, an image reveals itself to be interposed from an older story that has, or used to have, some cultural importance. In order to describe this phenomenon, I am going to refer to Aristotle’s definition of recognition in his Poetics and essays of C.G. Jung, for whom myths are instances of revelation. To prove that Carter was very much interested in the technicalities of recognition, I analyse her non-fiction devoted to Edgar Allan Poe and Charlotte Brontë. Carter’s sample mythic reading of Jane Eyre (1847) and her plans to re-write the last chapter of this novel provide me with enough material to risk a hypothesis regarding how, in her opinion, myths might intertextually enrich the reading experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Ethos in Contemporary Ghana
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030062 - 15 Jul 2020
Viewed by 225
Abstract
In this article, we discuss contemporary Ghanaian ethos reflecting on female sexual behavior as a discursive construction that shifts and changes across time and space. Borrowing from Nedra Reynold’s concept of ethos as a location, we examine the various social and discourse spaces [...] Read more.
In this article, we discuss contemporary Ghanaian ethos reflecting on female sexual behavior as a discursive construction that shifts and changes across time and space. Borrowing from Nedra Reynold’s concept of ethos as a location, we examine the various social and discourse spaces of different rhetors on female sexual behavior in Ghana and how each establishes ethos through identity formations and language use from various positions of authority. With multiethnic, multilingual, and multiple religious perspectives within the Ghanaian population, how does ethos and moral authority speak persuasively on female sexual behavior? We examine contemporary discourses governing normative female sexual behavior and presentation as revealed in both proverbs and social media to drive the discussion toward how these discourses of female sexual behavior and ethos are discursively constructed in contemporary Ghanaian society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric)
Open AccessArticle
Between Postdramatic Text and Dramatic Drama: Recent German-Language Playwriting by Lukas Bärfuss and Katja Brunner
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030061 - 09 Jul 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Since 2000 there has been a boom in playwriting in the German-speaking world. This is shaped by a creative tension between two forms of theatre-texts. On the one hand the postdramatic text that exists in a theatre marked by a parataxis of all [...] Read more.
Since 2000 there has been a boom in playwriting in the German-speaking world. This is shaped by a creative tension between two forms of theatre-texts. On the one hand the postdramatic text that exists in a theatre marked by a parataxis of all theatrical elements, as outlined by Hans-Thies Lehmann and Gerda Poschmann; on the other, the ‘dramatic drama’ as identified by Birgit Haas that engages with dramatic representation whilst still questioning the reality being represented on the stage. In this contribution I explore these strands of contemporary playwriting in two texts written since 2000: Lukas Bärfuss’ Die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern (2003) and Katja Brunner’s von den beinen zu kurz (2012). My analysis examines how both playwrights question dramatic conventions of form and character and the implications this has for audience efforts to discern meaning in the plays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aspects of Contemporary German Fiction)
Open AccessComment
Big Powers, Small Islands, Real Displaced People. Response to Gettel, Eliza. Recognizing the Delians Displaced after 167/6 BCE. Humanities 2018, 7, 91
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030060 - 09 Jul 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Eliza Gettel’s paper on the displacement of the Delians in the second century BCE does an excellent job of examining an ancient case study of displacement through the lens of contemporary conceptions of displacement and asylum. In this paper, I try, as a [...] Read more.
Eliza Gettel’s paper on the displacement of the Delians in the second century BCE does an excellent job of examining an ancient case study of displacement through the lens of contemporary conceptions of displacement and asylum. In this paper, I try, as a modern historian of asylum, to reflect on the applicability of modern classifications to a case study over 2000 years old. First, I discuss the compatibility of the ancient with the modern. Subsequently, I engage much more deliberately with the arguments Gettel presents in her paper. Finally, I introduce a contemporary case study involving the displacement of people from the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean that I argue shares some similarities with that of the Delians, with both cases highlighting the often-neglected agency of the displaced. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Dis/Possessing the Polish Past in Marcin Wrona’s Demon
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030059 - 09 Jul 2020
Viewed by 265
Abstract
The article examines how Marcin Wrona’s Demon (2015) reworks the Jewish myth of a dybbuk in order to discuss how and to what extent a spectral haunting may disrupt acts of collective forgetting, which are in turn fueled by repression, repudiation, and ritualized [...] Read more.
The article examines how Marcin Wrona’s Demon (2015) reworks the Jewish myth of a dybbuk in order to discuss how and to what extent a spectral haunting may disrupt acts of collective forgetting, which are in turn fueled by repression, repudiation, and ritualized violence. A part of a revisionist trend in Polish cinema, Demon upsets the contours of national affiliations, and in doing so comments on the problematic nature of memory work concerning pre- and postwar Polish–Jewish relations. Because the body possessed by a female dybbuk is foreign and male, the film also underlines gendered aspects of possession, silencing, and story-telling. The article draws on Gothic Studies and horror cinema studies as well as Polish–Jewish studies in order to show how by deploying typical possession horror tropes Wrona is able to reveal the true horror—an effective erasure of the Jewish community, an act that needs to be repeated in order for the state of historical oblivion to be maintained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entangled Narratives: History, Gender and the Gothic)
Open AccessArticle
Pregnancy, Childbirth and Nursing in Feminist Dystopia: Marianne de Pierres’s Transformation Space (2010)
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030058 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Marianne de Pierres’s Transformation Space (2010) is a rare example of an Australian novel set in an apocalyptic and dystopic interstellar future where pregnancy, childbearing and nursing have a presence that is quite uncommon in Science Fiction (SF). Despite the fact that the [...] Read more.
Marianne de Pierres’s Transformation Space (2010) is a rare example of an Australian novel set in an apocalyptic and dystopic interstellar future where pregnancy, childbearing and nursing have a presence that is quite uncommon in Science Fiction (SF). Despite the fact that the genre of SF and that of space opera in particular have been traditionally quite male-oriented, in the last years feminist theories of several kinds have been an undeniable transformative influence. This article intends to analyse not only how these specifically female issues related to motherhood/mothering are presented in the novel, but also to explore their function and role. A close reading of these topics will show whether they endorse a solid feminist stance or are just colourful feminist details in a male-dominated space opera and, in turn, if they have a specifically narrative purpose in the context of the dystopic subgenre. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dystopian Scenarios in Contemporary Australian Narrative and Film)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Senegal, the African Slave Trade, and the Door of No Return: Giving Witness to Gorée Island
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030057 - 02 Jul 2020
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Recently, the Senegalese people have learned to speak more openly of their history. But, as late as the 1980s—the years of my youth and early schooling—the wounds of colonialism were still fresh. I contend that slavery had been so powerful a blow to [...] Read more.
Recently, the Senegalese people have learned to speak more openly of their history. But, as late as the 1980s—the years of my youth and early schooling—the wounds of colonialism were still fresh. I contend that slavery had been so powerful a blow to the Senegalese ethos that we—my family, friends, and schoolmates—did not speak about it. The collective trauma and shame of slavery was apparently so powerful that we sought to repress it, keeping it hidden from ourselves. We were surrounded by its evidence, but chose not to see it. Such was my childhood experience. As an adult, I understand that repression never heals wounds. The trauma remains as a haunting presence. But one can discover its “living presence,” should one choose to look. Just 5.2 km off the west African coast of Senegal lies Gorée Island, where millions of Africans were held captive while awaiting transport into slavery. Much of the four-century history of the African slave trade passed through Senegal, where I grew up. In this essay, I explore the history of the island and its role in the slave trade. I describe my own coming to terms with this history—how it has haunted me since my youth. And I argue for the role of visual rhetorics in the formation (and affirmation) of Senegalese ethos. As Baumlin and Meyer (2018) remind us, we need to speak, in order to be heard, in order to be seen: Such is an assumption of rhetorical ethos. And the reverse, as I shall argue, may be true, too: Sometimes we need to see (or be seen), in order to know what to speak and how to be heard. It is for this reason that we need more films written, directed, produced, and performed by Africans (Senegalese especially). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Histories of Ethos: World Perspectives on Rhetoric)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Anthropocene, Technology and Fictional Literature
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030056 - 02 Jul 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
In the Geosciences, the new concept of the Anthropocene has been well established. Today, in the Humanities, it is increasingly also accepted as centrally relevant because it allows us to describe our present world in a more accurate fashion. The critical question of [...] Read more.
In the Geosciences, the new concept of the Anthropocene has been well established. Today, in the Humanities, it is increasingly also accepted as centrally relevant because it allows us to describe our present world in a more accurate fashion. The critical question of this study is what opportunities result from literature and literary studies in order to increase our understanding of the Anthropocene. This essay argues in favor of promoting the study of literature and of the Humanities in the search for necessary impulses that might free us from unilateral-instrumental concepts employed by the Natural Sciences as the only academic field that might be able to solve problems using exclusively technological strategies. We live in the Anthropocene now and must engage with it critically by drawing from both the Natural Sciences and the Humanities if we want to hope for a livable future here on earth. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Humanities-About Sections
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030055 - 30 Jun 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
What is Humanities Open Access all about? Innovative Perspectives and Inclusivity as the Platform for Novel Approaches in Humanities Research[…] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Weeping in the Face of Fortune: Eco-Alienation in the Niger-Delta Ecopoetics
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030054 - 30 Jun 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Scholarship on Niger Delta ecopoetry has concentrated on the economic, socio-political and cultural implications of eco-degradation in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of the South-South in Nigeria, but falls short of addressing the trope of eco-alienation, the sense of separation between people and [...] Read more.
Scholarship on Niger Delta ecopoetry has concentrated on the economic, socio-political and cultural implications of eco-degradation in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of the South-South in Nigeria, but falls short of addressing the trope of eco-alienation, the sense of separation between people and nature, which seems to be a significant idea in Niger Delta ecopoetics. For sure, literary studies in particular and the Humanities at large have shown considerable interest in the concept of the Anthropocene and the resultant eco-alienation which has dominated contemporary global ecopoetics since the 18th century. In the age of the Anthropocene, human beings deploy their exceptional capabilities to alter nature and its essence, including the ecosystem, which invariably leads to eco-alienation, a sense of breach in the relationship between people and nature. For the Humanities, if this Anthropocentric positioning of humans has brought socio-economic advancement to humans, it has equally eroded human values. This paper thus attempts to show that the anthropocentric positioning of humans at the center of the universe, with its resultant hyper-capitalist greed, is the premise in the discussion of eco-alienation in Tanure Ojaide’s Delta Blues and Home Songs (1998) and Nnimmo Bassey’s We Thought It Was Oil but It Was Blood (2002). Arguing that both poetry collections articulate the feeling of disconnect between the inhabitants of the Niger Delta region and the oil wealth in their community, the paper strives to demonstrate that the Niger Delta indigenes, as a result, have been compelled to perceive the oil environment no longer as a source of improved life but as a metaphor for death. Relying on ecocritical discursive strategies, and seeking to further foreground the implication of the Anthropocene in the conception of eco-alienation, the paper demonstrates how poetry, as a humanistic discipline, lives up to its promise as a powerful medium for interrogating the trope of eco-estrangement both in contemporary Niger Delta ecopoetry and in global eco-discourse. Full article
Previous Issue
Back to TopTop