Modern Language Association: A Virtual Exhibit

Please enjoy this Virtual Book Exhibit and receive a 30% discount on the books listed below using the discount code S24XMLA, good through 1/4/24—2/7/24

cover for Sensitive Witnesses: Feminist Materialism in the British Enlightenment | Kristin M. Girten
Sensitive Witnesses
Feminist Materialism in the British Enlightenment
Kristin M. Girten

Kristin M. Girten tells a new story of feminist knowledge-making in the Enlightenment era by exploring the British female philosophers who asserted their authority through the celebration of profoundly embodied observations, experiences, and experiments. This book explores the feminist materialist practice of sensitive witnessing, establishing an alternate history of the emergence of the scientific method in the eighteenth century. Francis Bacon and other male natural philosophers regularly downplayed the embodied nature of their observations. They presented themselves as modest witnesses, detached from their environment and entitled to the domination and exploitation of it. In contrast, the author-philosophers that Girten takes up asserted themselves as intimately entangled with matter—boldly embracing their perceived close association with the material world as women. Girten shows how Lucy Hutchinson, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, and Charlotte Smith took inspiration from materialist principles to challenge widely accepted "modest" conventions for practicing and communicating philosophy. Forerunners of the feminist materialism of today, these thinkers recognized the kinship of human and nonhuman nature and suggested a more accessible, inclusive version of science. Girten persuasively argues that our understanding of Enlightenment thought must take into account these sensitive witnesses' visions of an alternative scientific method informed by profound closeness with the natural world.

cover for Walter Benjamin and the Idea of Natural History:  | Eli Friedlander
Walter Benjamin and the Idea of Natural History
Eli Friedlander

In this incisive new work, Eli Friedlander demonstrates that Walter Benjamin's entire corpus, from early to late, comprises a rigorous and sustained philosophical questioning of how human beings belong to nature. Across seemingly heterogeneous writings, Friedlander argues, Benjamin consistently explores what the natural in the human comes to, that is, how nature is transformed, actualized, redeemed, and overcome in human existence. The book progresses gradually from Benjamin's philosophically fundamental writings on language and nature to his Goethean empiricism, from the presentation of ideas to the primal history of the Paris arcades. Friedlander's careful analysis brings out how the idea of natural history inflects Benjamin's conception of the work of art and its critique, his diagnosis of the mythical violence of the legal order, his account of the body and of action, of material culture and technology, as well as his unique vision of historical materialism. Featuring revelatory new readings of Benjamin's major works that differ, sometimes dramatically, from prevailing interpretations, this book reveals the internal coherence and philosophical force of Benjamin's thought.

Paper $32.00 9781503637702
Cloth $130.00 9781503636552
cover for The Grounds of the Novel:  | Daniel Wright
The Grounds of the Novel
Daniel Wright

What grounds the fictional world of a novel? Or is such a world peculiarly groundless? In a powerful engagement with the latest debates in novel theory, Daniel Wright investigates how novelists reckon with the ontological status of their works. Philosophers who debate whether fictional worlds exist take the novel as an ontological problem to be solved; instead, Wright reveals the novel as a genre of immanent ontological critique. Wright argues that the novel imagines its own metaphysical "grounds" through figuration, understanding fictional being as self-sufficient, cohesive, and alive, rather than as beholden to the actual world as an existential anchor. Through philosophically attuned close readings of novels and reflections on writerly craft by Thomas Hardy, Olive Schreiner, Colson Whitehead, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith, Henry James, and Akwaeke Emezi, Wright shares an impassioned vision of reading as stepping into ontologically terraformed worlds, and of literary criticism as treading and re-treading the novel's grounds.

cover for Aesthetic Action:  | Florian Klinger
Aesthetic Action
Florian Klinger

In this new book, Florian Klinger gives readers a basic action-theoretical account of the aesthetic. While normal action fulfills a determinate concept, Klinger argues, aesthetic action performs an indeterminacy by suspending the action's conceptual resolution. Taking as examples work by Tino Sehgal, Kara Walker, Mazen Kerbaj, Marina Abramović, Cy Twombly, and Franz Kafka, the book examines indeterminacy in such instances as a walk that is at once leisurely and purposeful, a sound piece that is at once joyous and mournful and mechanical, or a sculpture that at once draws one in and shuts one out. Because it has irresolution as its point, aesthetic action presents itself as an unsettling of ourselves, our ways, our very sense of who we are. As performers of such action, we don't recognize one another as bearers of a shared human form as we normally would, but find ourselves tasked anew with figuring out what sharing a form would mean. In conversation with philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Wittgenstein, and Anscombe; political thinkers such as Marx and Lorde; and contemporary interlocutors such as Michael Thompson, Sebastian Rödl, and Thomas Khurana, Klinger's book makes a case for a conception of the human form that systematically includes the aesthetic: an actualization of the form that is indeterminate and nevertheless rational. The book gives the project of Western philosophical aesthetics a long-overdue formulation for our present that aims to do justice to contemporary aesthetic production as it actually exists. It will appeal to those working in philosophy, art, and political thought.

cover for Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Dawn (Winter 1879/80–Spring 1881): Volume 13 | Friederich Nietzsche, Translated, with an Afterword, by J. M. Baker, Jr. and Christiane Hertel
Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Dawn (Winter 1879/80–Spring 1881)
Volume 13
Friederich Nietzsche, Translated, with an Afterword, by J. M. Baker, Jr. and Christiane Hertel

This volume provides the first English translation of Nietzsche's unpublished notes from late 1879 to early 1881, the period in which he authored Dawn, the second book in the trilogy that began with Human, All Too Human and concluded with The Joyful Science. In these fragments, we see Nietzsche developing the conceptual triad of morals, customs, and ethics, which undergirds his critique of morality as the reification into law or dogma of conceptions of good and evil. Here, Nietzsche assesses Christianity's role in the determination of moral values as the highest values and of redemption as the representation of humanity's highest aspirations. These notes show the resulting tension between Nietzsche's contrasting thoughts on modernity, which he critiques as an unrecognized aftereffect of the Christian worldview, but also views as the springboard to "the dawn" of a transformed humanity and culture. The fragments further allow readers insight into Nietzsche's continuous internal debate with exemplary figures in his own life and culture—Napoleon, Schopenhauer, and Wagner—who represented challenges to hitherto existing morals and culture—challenges that remained exemplary for Nietzsche precisely in their failure. Presented in Nietzsche's aphoristic style, Dawn is a book that must be read between the lines, and these fragments are an essential aid to students and scholars seeking to probe this work and its partners.

Paper $28.00 9781503636989
Cloth $130.00 9780804728867
cover for Hegel: The Philosopher of Freedom | Klaus Vieweg
The Philosopher of Freedom
Klaus Vieweg

A monumental new biography of a pivotal yet poorly understood pioneer in modern philosophy. When a painter once told Goethe that he wanted to paint the most celebrated man of the age, Goethe directed him to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel worked from the credo: To philosophize is to learn to live freely. While he was slow and cautious in the development of his philosophy, his intellectual growth was like an odyssey of the mind, and, contrary to popular belief, his life was full of twists and turns, suspense and even danger. In this landmark biography, the philosopher Klaus Vieweg paints a new picture of the life and work of the most important representative of German idealism. His vivid portrait provides readers an intimate account of Hegel's times and the milieu in which he developed his thought, along with detailed, clear-sighted analyses of Hegel's four major works. What results is a new interpretation of Hegel through the lens of reason and freedom. Vieweg draws on extensive archival research that has brought to light a wealth of hitherto undiscovered documents and handwritten notes relating to Hegel's work, touching on Hegel's engagement with the leading thinkers and writers of his age: Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hölderlin, and others. Combatting clichés and misunderstandings about Hegel, Vieweg also offers a sustained defense of the philosopher's more progressive impulses. Highly praised upon its release in Germany as having set the new biographical standard, this monumental work emphasizes Hegel's relevance for today, depicting him as a vital figure in the history of philosophy.

cover for A History of Fake Things on the Internet:  | Walter J. Scheirer
A History of Fake Things on the Internet
Walter J. Scheirer

A Next Big Idea Club "Must Read" for December 2023 As all aspects of our social and informational lives increasingly migrate online, the line between what is "real" and what is digitally fabricated grows ever thinner—and that fake content has undeniable real-world consequences. A History of Fake Things on the Internet takes the long view of how advances in technology brought us to the point where faked texts, images, and video content are nearly indistinguishable from what is authentic or true. Computer scientist Walter J. Scheirer takes a deep dive into the origins of fake news, conspiracy theories, reports of the paranormal, and other deviations from reality that have become part of mainstream culture, from image manipulation in the nineteenth-century darkroom to the literary stylings of large language models like ChatGPT. Scheirer investigates the origins of Internet fakes, from early hoaxes that traversed the globe via Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), USENET, and a new messaging technology called email, to today's hyperrealistic, AI-generated Deepfakes. An expert in machine learning and recognition, Scheirer breaks down the technical advances that made new developments in digital deception possible, and shares behind-the-screens details of early Internet-era pranks that have become touchstones of hacker lore. His story introduces us to the visionaries and mischief-makers who first deployed digital fakery and continue to influence how digital manipulation works—and doesn't—today: computer hackers, digital artists, media forensics specialists, and AI researchers. Ultimately, Scheirer argues that problems associated with fake content are not intrinsic properties of the content itself, but rather stem from human behavior, demonstrating our capacity for both creativity and destruction.

Cloth $28.00 9781503632882
cover for Of Effacement: Blackness and Non-Being | David Marriott
Of Effacement
Blackness and Non-Being
David Marriott

In Of Effacement, David Marriott endeavors to demolish established opinion about what blackness is and reorient our understanding of what it is not in art, philosophy, autobiography, literary theory, political theory, and psychoanalysis. With the critical rigor and polemical bravura which he displayed in Whither Fanon? Marriott here considers the relationships between language, judgement and effacement, and shows how effacement has become the dominant force in anti-blackness. Both skeptically and emphatically, Marriott presents a series of radical philosophical engagements with Fanon's "is not" (n'est pas) and its "black" political truth. How does one speak—let alone represent—that which is without existence? Is blackness n'est pas because it has yet to be thought as blackness? And if so, when Fanon writes of blackness, that it is n'est pas (is not), where should one look to make sense of this n'est pas? Marriott anchors these questions by addressing the most fundamental perennial questions concerning the nature of freedom, resistance, mastery, life, and liberation, via a series of analyses of such key figures as Huey Newton, Nietzsche, Malcolm X, Edward Said, Georges Bataille, Stuart Hall, and Lacan. He thus develops the basis for a reading of blackness by recasting its effacement as an identity, while insisting on it as a fundamental question for philosophy.

Paper $32.00 9781503637252
Cloth $130.00 9781503628786
cover for The Reeducation of Race: Jewishness and the Politics of Antiracism in Postcolonial Thought | Sonali Thakkar
The Reeducation of Race
Jewishness and the Politics of Antiracism in Postcolonial Thought
Sonali Thakkar

World War II produced a fundamental shift in modern racial discourse. In the postwar period, racism was situated for the first time at the center of international political life, and race's status as conceptual common sense and a justification for colonial rule was challenged with new intensity. In response to this crisis of race, the UN and UNESCO initiated a project of racial reeducation. This global antiracist campaign was framed by the persecution of Europe's Jews and anchored by UNESCO's epochal 1950 Statement on Race, which redefined the race concept and canonized the midcentury liberal antiracist consensus that continues to shape our present. In this book, Sonali Thakkar tells the story of how UNESCO's race project directly influenced anticolonial thought and made Jewish difference and the Holocaust enduring preoccupations for anticolonial and postcolonial writers. Drawing on UNESCO's rich archival resources and shifting between the scientific, social scientific, literary, and cultural, Thakkar offers new readings of a varied collection of texts from the postcolonial, Jewish, and Black diasporic traditions. Anticolonial thought and postcolonial literature critically recast liberal scientific antiracism, Thakkar argues, and the concepts central to this new moral economy were the medium for postcolonialism's engagement with Jewishness. By recovering these connections, she shows how the midcentury crisis of racial meaning shaped the kinds of solidarities between racialized subjects that are thinkable today.

cover for The Authenticity Industries: Keeping it "Real" in Media, Culture, and Politics | Michael Serazio
The Authenticity Industries
Keeping it "Real" in Media, Culture, and Politics
Michael Serazio

In recent decades, authenticity has become an American obsession. It animates thirty years' worth of reality TV programming and fuels the explosive virality of one hot social media app after another. It characterizes Donald Trump's willful disregard for political correctness (and proofreading) and inspires multinational corporations to stake activist claims in ways that few "woke" brands ever dared before. It buttresses a multibillion-dollar influencer industry of everyday folks shilling their friends with #spon-con and burnishes the street cred of rock stars and rappers alike. But, ironically, authenticity's not actually real: it's as fabricated as it is ubiquitous. In The Authenticity Industries, journalist and scholar Michael Serazio combines eye-opening reporting and lively prose to take readers behind the scenes with those who make "reality"—and the ways it tries to influence us. Drawing upon dozens of rare interviews with campaign consultants, advertising executives, tech company leadership, and entertainment industry gatekeepers, the book slyly investigates the professionals and practices that make people, products, and platforms seem "authentic" in today's media, culture, and politics. The result is a spotlight on the power of authenticity in today's media-saturated world and the strategies to satisfy this widespread yearning. In theory, authenticity might represent the central moral framework of our time: allaying anxieties about self and society, culture and commerce, and technology and humanity. It infects and informs our ideals of celebrity, aesthetics, privacy, nostalgia, and populism. And Serazio reveals how these pretenses are crafted, backstage, for audiences, consumers, and voters.

cover for The Antechamber: Toward a History of Waiting | Helmut Puff
The Antechamber
Toward a History of Waiting
Helmut Puff

Helmut Puff invites readers to visit societies and spaces of the past through the lens of a particular temporal modality: waiting. From literature, memoirs, manuals, chronicles, visuals, and other documents, Puff presents a history of waiting anchored in antechambers—interior rooms designated and designed for people to linger. In early modern continental Western Europe, antechambers became standard in the residences of the elites. As a time-space infrastructure these rooms shaped encounters between unequals. By imposing spatial distance and temporal delays, antechambers constituted authority, rank, and power. Puff explores both the logic and the experience of waiting in such formative spaces, showing that time divides as much as it unites, and that far from what people have said about early moderns, they approached living in time with apprehensiveness. Unlike how contemporary society primarily views the temporal dimension, to early modern Europeans time was not an objective force external to the self but something that was tied to acting in time. Divided only by walls and doors, waiters sought out occasions to improve their lot. At other times, they disrupted the scripts accorded them. Situated at the intersection of history, literature, and the history of art and architecture, this wide-ranging study demonstrates that waiting has a history that has much to tell us about social and power relations in the past and present.

cover for Anteaesthetics: Black Aesthesis and the Critique of Form | Rizvana Bradley
Black Aesthesis and the Critique of Form
Rizvana Bradley

In Anteaesthetics, Rizvana Bradley begins from the proposition that blackness cannot be represented in modernity's aesthetic regime, but is nevertheless foundational to every representation. Troubling the idea that the aesthetic is sheltered from the antiblack terror that lies just beyond its sanctuary, Bradley insists that blackness cannot make a home within the aesthetic, yet is held as its threshold and aporia. The book problematizes the phenomenological and ontological conceits that underwrite the visual, sensual, and abstract logics of modernity. Moving across multiple histories and geographies, artistic mediums and forms, from nineteenth-century painting and early cinema, to the contemporary text-based works, video installations, and digital art of Glenn Ligon, Mickalene Thomas, and Sondra Perry, Bradley inaugurates a new method for interpretation—an ante-formalism which demonstrates how black art engages in the recursive deconstruction of the aesthetic forms that remain foundational to modernity. Foregrounding the negativity of black art, Bradley shows how each of these artists disclose the racialized contours of the body, form, and medium, even interrogating the form that is the world itself. Drawing from black critical theory, Continental philosophy, film and media studies, art history, and black feminist thought, Bradley explores artistic practices that inhabit the negative underside of form. Ultimately, Anteaesthetics asks us to think philosophically with black art, and with the philosophical invention black art necessarily undertakes.

Paper $30.00 9781503637139
Cloth $130.00 9781503633025
cover for The Sociology of Literature:  | Gisèle Sapiro, Translated by Madeline Bedecarré and Ben Libman
The Sociology of Literature
Gisèle Sapiro, Translated by Madeline Bedecarré and Ben Libman

The Sociology of Literature is a pithy primer on the history, affordances, and potential futures of this growing field of study, which finds its origins in the French Enlightenment, and its most salient expression as a sociological pursuit in the work of Pierre Bourdieu. Addressing the epistemological premises of the field at present, the book also refutes the common criticism that the sociology of literature does not take the text to be the central object of study. From this rebuttal, Gisèle Sapiro, the field's leading theorist, is able to demonstrate convincingly one of the greatest affordances of the discipline: its in-built methods for accounting for the roles and behaviors of agents and institutions (publishing houses, prize committees, etc.) in the circulation and reception of texts. While Sapiro emphasizes the rich interdisciplinary nature of the approach on display, articulating the way in which it draws on literary history, sociology, postcolonial studies, book history, gender studies, and media studies, among others, the book also stands as a defense of the sociology of literature as a discipline in its own right.

Paper $25.00 9781503637597
Cloth $100.00 9781503633179
cover for Country of Words: A Transnational Atlas for Palestinian Literature | Refqa Abu-Remaileh
Country of Words
A Transnational Atlas for Palestinian Literature
Refqa Abu-Remaileh

Country of Words: A Transnational Atlas for Palestinian Literature is a digital-born project that seeks to retrace and remap the global story of Palestinian literature in the twentieth century, starting from the Arab world, and going through Europe, North America, and Latin America.Sitting at the intersection of literary history, periodical studies, and digital humanities, Country of Words creates a networked meeting place for the data and narrative fragments of a literature-in-motion, bringing together porous, interrupted, disconnected, and discontinuous fragments into an elastic, open-ended literary history. The story of Palestinian literature resembles the story of its people: an entire nation-in-exile scattered and fragmented across countries and continents. However, the logic of the nation-state still looms large over literary studies despite an unprecedented number of the world's population living as refugees, exiles, or stateless people. As a case study, Palestinian literary history allows us the possibility to "read together" national and exilic, encouraging a transnational comparative perspective. It also gives us the opportunity to think of new ways to write nonlinear nonconventional literary histories of displacement and movement, exposing new constellations, networks, trajectories, relationships, and collaborations; working across multiple literary geographies, and revealing just how multilayered these literary histories can be.

cover for Styles of Seriousness:  | Steven Connor
Styles of Seriousness
Steven Connor

Being serious demands serious kinds of work. In Styles of Seriousness, Steven Connor reflects on the surprisingly various ways in which a sense of the serious is made and maintained, revealing that while seriousness is the most powerful feeling, it is also the most poignantly indeterminate, perhaps because of the impossibility of being completely serious. In colloquy with philosophers such as Aristotle, Nietzsche, James, Sartre, Austin, Agamben and Sloterdijk, and writers like Shakespeare, Byron, Auden and Orwell, Connor considers the linguistic and ritual behaviors associated with different modes of seriousness: importance; intention, or ways of really "meaning things;" sincerity; solemnity; urgency; regret; warning; and ordeal. The central claim of the book is human beings are capable of taking things seriously in a way that nonhuman animals are not, for the unexpected reason that human beings are so much more versatile than most animals at not being completely serious. One always, in fact, has a choice about whether or not to take seriously something that is supposed to be so. As a consequence, seriousness depends on different kinds of formalization or stylized practice. Styles of seriousness matter, Connor shows, because human beings are incapable of simply and spontaneously existing. Being a human means having to take seriously one's style of being.

Paper $26.00 9781503636866
Cloth $105.00 9781503636453
cover for Environmental Humanities on the Brink: The Vanitas Hypothesis | Vincent Bruyere
Environmental Humanities on the Brink
The Vanitas Hypothesis
Vincent Bruyere

In this experimental work of ecocriticism, Vincent Bruyere confronts the seeming pointlessness of the humanities amid spectacularly negative future projections of environmental collapse. The vanitas paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries dazzlingly depict heaps of riches alongside skulls, shells, and hourglasses. Sometimes even featuring the illusion that their canvases are peeling away, vanitas images openly declare their own pointlessness in relation to the future. This book takes inspiration from the vanitas tradition to fearlessly contemplate the stakes of the humanities in the Anthropocene present, when the accumulated human record could well outlast the climate conditions for our survival. Staging a series of unsettling encounters with early modern texts and images whose claims of relevance have long since expired, Bruyere experiments with the interpretive affordances of allegory and fairytale, still life and travelogues. Each chapter places a vanitas motif—canvas, debris, toxics, paper, ark, meat, and light—in conversation with stories and images of the Anthropocene, from the Pleistocene Park geoengineering project to toxic legacies to in-vitro meat. Considering questions of quiet erasure and environmental memory, this book argues we ought to keep reading, even by the flickering light of extinction.

cover for White Musical Mythologies: Sonic Presence in Modernism | Edmund Mendelssohn
White Musical Mythologies
Sonic Presence in Modernism
Edmund Mendelssohn

In a narrative that extends from fin de siècle Paris to the 1960s, Edmund Mendelssohn examines modernist thinkers and composers who engaged with non-European and pre-modern cultures as they developed new conceptions of "pure sound." Pairing Erik Satie with Bergson, Edgard Varèse with Bataille, Pierre Boulez with Artaud, and John Cage with Derrida, White Musical Mythologies offers an ambitious critical history of the ontology of sound, suggesting that the avant-garde ideal of "pure sound" was always an expression of western ethnocentrism. Each of the musicians studied in this book re-created or appropriated non-European forms of expression as they conceived music ontologically, often thinking music as something immediate and immersive: from Satie's dabblings with mysticism and exoticism in bohemian Montmartre of the 1890s to Varèse's experience of ethnographic exhibitions and surrealist poetry in 1930s Paris, and from Boulez's endeavor to theorize a kind of musical writing that would "absorb" the sounds of non-European musical traditions to Cage, who took inspiration from Eastern thought as he wrote about sound, silence, and chance. These modernist artists believed that the presence effects of sound in their moment were more real and powerful than the outmoded norms of the European musical past. By examining musicians who strove to produce sonic presence, specifically by re-thinking the concept of musical writing (écriture), the book demonstrates that we cannot fully understand French theory in its novelty and complexity without music and sound.

Paper $30.00 9781503636637
Cloth $90.00 9781503636347
cover for Who Wrote This?: How AI and the Lure of Efficiency Threaten Human Writing | Naomi S. Baron
Who Wrote This?
How AI and the Lure of Efficiency Threaten Human Writing
Naomi S. Baron

Would you read this book if a computer wrote it? Would you even know? And why would it matter? Today's eerily impressive artificial intelligence writing tools present us with a crucial challenge: As writers, do we unthinkingly adopt AI's time-saving advantages or do we stop to weigh what we gain and lose when heeding its siren call? To understand how AI is redefining what it means to write and think, linguist and educator Naomi S. Baron leads us on a journey connecting the dots between human literacy and today's technology. From nineteenth-century lessons in composition, to mathematician Alan Turing's work creating a machine for deciphering war-time messages, to contemporary engines like ChatGPT, Baron gives readers a spirited overview of the emergence of both literacy and AI, and a glimpse of their possible future. As the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and fluent, it's tempting to take the easy way out and let AI do the work for us. Baron cautions that such efficiency isn't always in our interest. As AI plies us with suggestions or full-blown text, we risk losing not just our technical skills but the power of writing as a springboard for personal reflection and unique expression. Funny, informed, and conversational, Who Wrote This? urges us as individuals and as communities to make conscious choices about the extent to which we collaborate with AI. The technology is here to stay. Baron shows us how to work with AI and how to spot where it risks diminishing the valuable cognitive and social benefits of being literate.

cover for Malicious Deceivers: Thinking Machines and Performative Objects | Ioana B. Jucan
Malicious Deceivers
Thinking Machines and Performative Objects
Ioana B. Jucan

In Malicious Deceivers, Ioana B. Jucan traces a genealogy of post-truth intimately tied to globalizing modernity and connects the production of repeatable fakeness with capitalism and Cartesian metaphysics. Through case studies that cross times and geographies, the book unpacks the notion of fakeness through the related logics of dissimulation (deception) and simulation (performativity) as seen with software/AI, television, plastics, and the internet. Specifically, Jucan shows how these (dis)simulation machines and performative objects construct impoverished pictures of the world, ensuring a repeatable sameness through processes of hollowing out embodied histories and lived experience. Through both its methodology and its subjects-objects of study, the book further seeks ways to counter the abstracting mode of thinking and the processes of voiding performed by the twinning of Cartesian metaphysics and global capitalism. Enacting a model of creative scholarship rooted in the tradition of writing as performance, Jucan, a multimedia performance-maker and theater director, uses the embodied "I" as a framing and situating device for the book and its sites of investigation. In this way, she aims to counter the Cartesian voiding of the thinking "I" and to enact a different kind of relationship between self and world from the one posited by Descartes and replayed in much Western philosophical and — more broadly — academic writing: a relationship of separation that situates the "I" on a pedestal of abstraction that voids it of its embodied histories and fails to account for its positionality within a socio-historical context and the operations of power that define it.

Paper $32.00 9781503636071
Cloth $95.00 9781503634633
cover for Refiguring Speech: Late Victorian Fictions of Empire and the Poetics of Talk | Amy R. Wong
Refiguring Speech
Late Victorian Fictions of Empire and the Poetics of Talk
Amy R. Wong

In this book, Amy R. Wong unravels the colonial and racial logic behind seemingly innocuous assumptions about "speech": that our words belong to us, and that self-possession is a virtue. Through readings of late-Victorian fictions of empire, Wong revisits the scene of speech's ideological foreclosures as articulated in postcolonial theory. Engaging Afro-Caribbean thinkers like Édouard Glissant and Sylvia Wynter, Refiguring Speech reroutes attention away from speech and toward an anticolonial poetics of talk, which emphasizes communal ownership and embeddedness within the social world and material environment. Analyzing novels by Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, George Meredith, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford, Wong refashions the aesthetics of disordered speech—such as parroting, eavesdropping, profuse inarticulacy, and dysfluency—into alternate forms of communication that stand on their own as talk. Wong demonstrates how late nineteenth-century Britain's twin crises of territorialization—of empire and of new media—spurred narrative interests in capturing the sense that speech's tethering to particular persons was no longer tenable. In doing so, Wong connects this period to US empire by constructing a genealogy of Anglo-American speech's colonialist and racialized terms of proprietorship. Refiguring Speech offers students and scholars of Victorian literature and postcolonial studies a powerful conceptualization of talk as an insurgent form of communication.

cover for Ego Media:  | Edited by Max Saunders and Lisa Gee
Ego Media
Edited by Max Saunders and Lisa Gee

Enabled by the internet and mobile technologies, digital media have generated profound changes in how and where we communicate, interact, and present ourselves. Ego Media explores the impact of these rapidly evolving media on forms and practices of self-presentation, giving a multidimensional account of how the ego presents itself through and across the digital media landscape, and how this has both changed and remediated earlier modes. Collaboratively written and produced, the project combines a humanistic, life-writing theory approach with an interdisciplinary methodology drawing especially upon digital humanities, cultural theory, sociolinguistics, neurology, and the medical humanities. Genres analyzed range from chatbots to war blogs to mommy vlogs and beyond, offering a breadth of insights into both the aesthetics and the politics of new media. Rather than pursuing each thread of analysis through a single linear narrative, the project is built as a composite picture that mimics the polyphonic nature of social media and is designed to highlight the tensions, contradictions, and coherences that characterize how people use, think, and feel about digital media. Promoting reader agency and keeping the history of autobiographical writing in focus, Ego Media offers a self-referential view of how social media shapes researching and writing about the self.

cover for Unexpected Routes: Refugee Writers in Mexico | Tabea Alexa Linhard
Unexpected Routes
Refugee Writers in Mexico
Tabea Alexa Linhard

Unexpected Routes chronicles the refugee journeys of six writers whose lives were upended by fascism in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and during World War II: Cuban-born Spanish writer Silvia Mistral, German-born Spanish writer Max Aub, German writer Anna Seghers, German author Ruth Rewald, Swiss-born political activist, photographer, and ethnographer Gertrude Duby, and Czech writer and journalist Egon Erwin Kisch. While these six writers came from different backgrounds, wrote in different languages, and enjoyed very different levels of recognition in their lifetimes and posthumously, they all made sense of their forced displacement in works that reveal their conflicted relationships with the people and places they encountered in transit as well as in Mexico, the country in which they all eventually found asylum. The literary output of these six brilliant, prolific, but also flawed individuals reflects the most salient contradictions of what it meant to escape from fascist occupied Europe. In a study that bridges history, literary studies, and refugee studies, Tabea Alexa Linhard draws connections between colonialism, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II and the Holocaust to shed light on the histories and literatures of exile and migration, drawing connections to today's refugee crisis and asking larger questions around the notions of belonging, longing, and the lived experience of exile.

cover for The Unknowable in Early Modern Thought: Natural Philosophy and the Poetics of the Ineffable | Kevin Killeen
The Unknowable in Early Modern Thought
Natural Philosophy and the Poetics of the Ineffable
Kevin Killeen

Early modern thought was haunted by the unknowable character of the fallen world. The sometimes brilliant and sometimes baffling fusion of theological and scientific ideas in the era, as well as some of its greatest literature, responds to this sense that humans encountered only an incomplete reality. Ranging from Paradise Lost to thinkers in and around the Royal Society and commentary on the Book of Job, The Unknowable in Early Modern Thought explores how the era of the scientific revolution was in part paralyzed by and in part energized by the paradox it encountered in thinking about the elusive nature of God and the unfathomable nature of the natural world. Looking at writers with scientific, literary and theological interests, from the shoemaker mystic, Jacob Boehme to John Milton, from Robert Boyle to Margaret Cavendish, and from Thomas Browne to the fiery prophet, Anna Trapnel, Kevin Killeen shows how seventeenth-century writings redeployed the rich resources of the ineffable and the apophatic—what cannot be said, except in negative terms—to think about natural philosophy and the enigmas of the natural world.

cover for The Persian Prince: The Rise and Resurrection of an Imperial Archetype | Hamid Dabashi
The Persian Prince
The Rise and Resurrection of an Imperial Archetype
Hamid Dabashi

With its title borrowed from Machiavelli, The Persian Prince goes far beyond Machiavelli's wildest imagination as to how to rule the world. Hamid Dabashi articulates a bold new idea of the Persian Prince—a metaphor of political authority, a figurative ideal deeply rooted in the collective memories of multiple nations, and a literary construct that connected Muslim empires across time and space and continues to inform political debate today. Drawing on works from Classical Antiquity and the vast Persianate worlds from India to the Mediterranean, as well as the Hebrew Bible and European medieval mirrors for princes, Dabashi engages a diverse body of political thought to reveal the construction of the Persian Prince as a potent archetype. He traces this archetype through its varied historic gestations and finds it resurfacing in postcolonial political thought as a rebel, a prophet, a poet, and a nomad. Bringing poetics and politics together, Dabashi shows how this archetypal figure has long defined political authority throughout the wider Iranian and Islamic worlds. With meticulous attention to literary and poetic texts, moral and philosophical treatises, allegorical and anecdotal stories, sacred and secular evidence, visual and performing arts, histories of global empires and colonial conquests, this sweeping work offers a deeply learned, richly erudite, and transformative piece of critical thinking. As Dabashi shows, the Persian Prince remains the stuff of current debate across the Muslim and Persianate worlds, in contestations over the public domain and the collective will to power, and above all in the prospects of democratic institutions.

cover for Daughter of History: Traces of an Immigrant Girlhood | Susan Rubin Suleiman
Daughter of History
Traces of an Immigrant Girlhood
Susan Rubin Suleiman

A photograph with faint writing on the back. A traveling chess set. A silver pin. In her new memoir, noted scholar and author Susan Rubin Suleiman uses such everyday objects and the memories they evoke to tell the story of her early life as a Holocaust refugee and American immigrant. In this coming-of-age story that probes the intergenerational complexities of immigrant families and the inevitability of loss, Susan looks to her own life as an example of how historical events shape our private lives. After the Nazis marched into Hungary in 1944, five-year old Susan learned to call herself by a Christian name, hiding with false papers in Budapest with her parents. While her relatives in the provinces would be among the 450,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz, Susan's close family survived and even thrived in the years following the war. But when the Communist Party took over Hungary, Susan and her parents emigrated to Chicago by way of Vienna, Paris, Haiti, and New York. In her adult life as a prominent feminist professor, she rarely allowed herself to think about these chapters of her past—but eventually, when she had children of her own, she found herself called back to Budapest, unlocking memories that would change the direction of her scholarship and career. At the center of this richly textured memoir is a little girl who grows up happy despite the traumas of her early years, surrounded by a loving family. As a teenager in the 1950s, she is determined to become "100% American," until a post-college year in Paris leads her to realize that her European roots and Americanness can coexist. At once an intellectual autobiography and a reflection on the nature of memory, identity, and home, Daughter of History invites us to consider how the objects that underpin our lives become gateways to our past.

Cloth $26.00 9781503634817
cover for Writing Our Extinction: Anthropocene Fiction and Vertical Science | Patrick Whitmarsh
Writing Our Extinction
Anthropocene Fiction and Vertical Science
Patrick Whitmarsh

Mid-twentieth-century developments in science and technology produced new understandings and images of the planet that circulated the globe, giving rise to a modern ecological consciousness; but they also contributed to accelerating crises in the global environment, including climate change, pollution, and waste. In this new work, Patrick Whitmarsh analyzes postwar narrative fictions that describe, depict, or express the earth from above (the aerial) and below (the subterranean), revealing the ways that literature has engaged this history of vertical science and linked it to increasing environmental precarity, up to and including the extinction of humankind. Whitmarsh examines works by writers such as Don DeLillo, Karen Tei Yamashita, Reza Negarestani, and Colson Whitehead alongside postwar scientific programs including the Space Race, atmospheric and underground nuclear testing, and geological expeditions such as Project Mohole (which attempted to drill to the earth's mantle). As Whitmarsh argues, by focusing readers' attention on the fragility of postwar life through a vertical lens, Anthropocene fiction highlights the interconnections between human behavior and planetary change. These fictions situate industrial history within the much longer narrative of geological time and reframe scientific progress as a story through which humankind writes itself out of existence.

Paper $26.00 9781503635548
Cloth $85.00 9781503633001
cover for The Philosophical Pathos of Susan Taubes: Between Nihilism and Hope | Elliot R. Wolfson
The Philosophical Pathos of Susan Taubes
Between Nihilism and Hope
Elliot R. Wolfson

The Philosophical Pathos of Susan Taubes offers a detailed analysis of an extraordinary figure in the twentieth-century history of Jewish thought, Western philosophy, and the study of religion. Drawing on close readings of Susan Taubes's writings, including her correspondence with Jacob Taubes, scholarly essays, literary compositions, and poems, Elliot R. Wolfson plumbs the depths of the tragic sensibility that shaped her worldview, hovering between the poles of nihilism and hope. By placing Susan Taubes in dialogue with a host of other seminal thinkers, Wolfson illumines how she presciently explored the hypernomian status of Jewish ritual and belief after the Holocaust; the theopolitical challenges of Zionism and the dangers of ethnonationalism; the antitheological theology and gnostic repercussions of Heideggerian thought; the mystical atheism and apophaticism of tragedy in Simone Weil; and the understanding of poetry as the means to face the faceless and to confront the silence of death in the temporal overcoming of time through time. Wolfson delves into the abyss that molded Susan Taubes's mytheological thinking, making a powerful case for the continued relevance of her work to the study of philosophy and religion today.

cover for Sociability and Society: Literature and the Symposium | K. Ludwig Pfeiffer
Sociability and Society
Literature and the Symposium
K. Ludwig Pfeiffer

Today, churches, political parties, trade unions, and even national sports teams are no guarantee of social solidarity. At a time when these traditional institutions of social cohesion seem increasingly ill-equipped to defend against the disintegration of sociability, K. Ludwig Pfeiffer encourages us to reflect on the cultural and literary history of social gatherings—from the ancient Athenian symposium to its successor forms throughout Western history. From medieval troubadours to Parisian salons and beyond, Pfeiffer conceptualizes the symposium as an institution of sociability with a central societal function. As such he reinforces a programmatic theoretical move in the sociology of Georg Simmel and builds on theories of social interaction and communication characterized by Max Weber, George Herbert Mead, Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, and others. To make his argument, Pfeiffer draws on the work of a range of writers, including Dr. Samuel Johnson and Diderot, Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust, Dorothy Sayers, Joseph Conrad, and Stieg Larsson. Ultimately, Pfeiffer concludes that if modern societies do not find ways of reinstating elements of the Athenian symposium, especially those relating to its ritualized ease, decency and style of interaction, they will have to cope with increasing violence and decreasing social cohesion.

cover for Moments of Capital: World Theory, World Literature | Eli Jelly-Schapiro
Moments of Capital
World Theory, World Literature
Eli Jelly-Schapiro

Undertaken at the interface of critical theory and world literature, Moments of Capital sets out to grasp the unity and heterogeneity of global capital in the postcolonial present. Eli Jelly-Schapiro argues that global capital is composed of three synchronous moments: primitive accumulation, expanded reproduction, and the "synthetic dispossession" facilitated by financialization and privatization. These moments correspond to distinct economic and political forms, and distinct strands of theory and fiction. Moments of Capital integrates various intellectual traditions—from multiple trajectories of Marxist thought, to Weberian inquiries into the "spirit" of capitalism, to anticolonial accounts of racial depredation—to reveal the concurrent interrelation of the three moments of capital. The book's literary readings, meanwhile, make vivid the uneven texture and experience of capitalist modernity at large. Analyzing formally and thematically diverse novels—works by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Marlon James, Jennifer Egan, Eugene Lim, Rafael Chirbes, Neel Mukherjee, Rachel Kushner, and others—Jelly-Schapiro evinces the different patterns of feeling and consciousness that register, and hypothesize a way beyond, the contradictions of capital. This book develops a new conceptual key for the mapping of contemporary theory, world literature, and global capital itself.

cover for Martial Aesthetics: How War Became an Art Form | Anders Engberg-Pedersen
Martial Aesthetics
How War Became an Art Form
Anders Engberg-Pedersen

The twenty-first century has witnessed a pervasive militarization of aesthetics with Western military institutions co-opting the creative worldmaking of art and merging it with the destructive forces of warfare. In Martial Aesthetics, Anders Engberg-Pedersen examines the origins of this unlikely merger, showing that today's creative warfare is merely the extension of a historical development that began long ago. Indeed, the emergence of martial aesthetics harkens back to a series of inventions, ideas, and debates in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Already then, military thinkers and inventors adopted ideas from the field of aesthetics about the nature, purpose, and force of art and retooled them into innovative military technologies and a new theory that conceptualized war not merely as a practical art, but as an aesthetic art form. This book shows how military discourses and early war media such as star charts, horoscopes, and the Prussian wargame were entangled with ideas of creativity, genius, and possible worlds in philosophy and aesthetic theory (by thinkers such as Leibniz, Baumgarten, Kant, and Schiller) in order to trace the emergence of martial aesthetics. Adopting an approach that is simultaneously historical and theoretical, Engberg-Pedersen presents a new frame for understanding war in the twenty-first century.

cover for Literary Authority: An Eighteenth-Century Genealogy | Claude Willan
Literary Authority
An Eighteenth-Century Genealogy
Claude Willan

This book is the cultural history of an idea which now seems so self-evident as barely to be worth stating: through writing imaginative literature, an author can accrue significant and lasting economic and cultural power. We take for granted, now, that authority dwells in literature and in being its author. This state of affairs was not naturally occurring, but deliberately invented. This book tells the story of that invention. The story's central figures are Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson. But its narrative begins in the 1680s, with the last gasp of the bond linking literary to political authority. While Jacobite poets celebrated (and mourned) the Stuart dynasty, Whig writers traced the philosophical and aesthetic consequences of the accession of William of Orange. Both groups left behind sets of literary devices ready-made to confer and validate authority. Claude Willan challenges the continued reign of the "Scriblerian" model of the period and shows how that reign was engineered. In so doing he historicizes the relationship between "good" and "bad" writing, and suggests how we might think about literature and beauty had Pope and Johnson not taken literary authority for themselves. What might literature have looked like, and what could we use it for, he provocatively asks.

cover for The Paradoxes of Ignorance in Early Modern England and France:  | Sandrine Parageau
The Paradoxes of Ignorance in Early Modern England and France
Sandrine Parageau

In the early modern period, ignorance was commonly perceived as a sin, a flaw, a defect, and even a threat to religion and the social order. Yet praises of ignorance were also expressed in the same context. Reclaiming the long-lasting legacy of medieval doctrines of ignorance and taking a comparative perspective, Sandrine Parageau tells the history of the apparently counter-intuitive moral, cognitive and epistemological virtues attributed to ignorance in the long seventeenth century (1580s-1700) in England and in France. With close textual analysis of hitherto neglected sources and a reassessment of canonical philosophical works by Montaigne, Bacon, Descartes, Locke, and others, Parageau specifically examines the role of ignorance in the production of knowledge, identifying three common virtues of ignorance as a mode of wisdom, a principle of knowledge, and an epistemological instrument, in philosophical and theological works. How could an essentially negative notion be turned into something profitable and even desirable? Taken in the context of Renaissance humanism, the Reformation and the "Scientific Revolution"—which all called for a redefinition and reaffirmation of knowledge—ignorance, Parageau finds, was not dismissed in the early modern quest for renewed ways of thinking and knowing. On the contrary, it was assimilated into the philosophical and scientific discourses of the time. The rehabilitation of ignorance emerged as a paradoxical cornerstone of the nascent modern science.

cover for Critique of Critique:  | Roy Ben-Shai
Critique of Critique
Roy Ben-Shai

What is critique? How is it used and abused? At a moment when popular discourse is saturated with voices confronting each other about not being critical enough, while academic discourses proclaim to have moved past critique, this provocative book reawakens the foundational question of what 'critique' is in the first place. Roy Ben-Shai inspects critique as an orientation of critical thinking, probing its structures and assumptions, its limits and its risks, its history and its possibilities. The book is a journey through a landscape of ideas, images, and texts from diverse sources—theological, psychological, etymological, and artistic, but mainly across the history of philosophy, from Plato and Saint Augustine, through Kant and Hegel, Marx and Heidegger, up to contemporary critical theory. Along the way, Ben-Shai invites the reader to examine their own orientation of thought, even at the moment of reading the book; to question popular discourse; and to revisit the philosophical canon, revealing affinities among often antagonistic traditions, such as Catholicism and Marxism. Most importantly, Critique of Critique sets the ground for an examination of alternative orientations of critical thinking, other ways of inhabiting and grasping the world.

Paper $28.00 9781503633827
Cloth $85.00 9781503632684
cover for Race in the Machine: A Novel Account | Quincy Thomas Stewart
Race in the Machine
A Novel Account
Quincy Thomas Stewart

An intelligent machine built to study methods of social warfare struggles to understand and communicate the lived experience of race In a narrative full of social significance and poetically decorated with monks, vampires, and mythical statistics, Race in the Machine presents a world where the stories we use to explain race all simultaneously exist, within and around us, dictating our interactions and innermost beliefs. The nameless protagonist, an enigmatic social mechanic at Nearbay Institute, living in a population of socially connected intelligent machines, encounters a simple query in the context of an introductory lecture: "What exactly is race? And what is it in the context of the social machine?" This prompt guides the protagonist along a twisting intellectual tale surrounding a series of experiments which explore: How many racists does it take to create systems of inequality? What role do non-racists actors play in upholding them? How is bias learned? How does it spread? The narrator develops a distinct understanding of race through the figurative bending of time, dreams of a "race code" and by confronting a series of mysterious communications that remain just outside comprehension. Over the course of this journey, the answers to important questions about racial inequality quietly emerge for the protagonist. Scholarly encounters with both antagonistic colleagues and unexpected allies, culminate when the hero is forced to reach a devastating conclusion about themself and the world. Stirring and luminous, Race in the Machine deftly oscillates between the allegorically simplified and the impossibly complex to weave an utterly unique and nuanced portrait of race in the modern world.

cover for Melville's Democracy: Radical Figuration and Political Form | Jennifer Greiman
Melville's Democracy
Radical Figuration and Political Form
Jennifer Greiman

For Herman Melville, the instability of democracy held tremendous creative potential. Examining the centrality of political thought to Melville's oeuvre, Jennifer Greiman argues that Melville's densely figurative aesthetics give form to a radical reimagining of democratic foundations, relations, and ways of being—modeling how we can think democracy in political theory today. Across Melville's five decades of writing, from his early Pacific novels to his late poetry, Greiman identifies a literary formalism that is radically political and carries the project of democratic theory in new directions. Recovering Melville's readings in political philosophy and aesthetics, Greiman shows how he engaged with key problems in political theory—the paradox of foundations, the vicious circles of sovereign power, the fragility of the people—to produce a body of radical democratic art and thought. Scenes of green and growing life, circular structures, and images of a groundless world emerge as forms for understanding democracy as a collective project in flux. In Melville's experimental aesthetics, Greiman finds a significant precursor to the tradition of radical democratic theory in the US and France that emphasizes transience and creativity over the foundations and forms prized by liberalism. Such politics, she argues, are necessarily aesthetic: attuned to material and sensible distinctions, open to new forces of creativity.

cover for The Lives and Deaths of Jubrail Dabdoub: Or, How the Bethlehemites Discovered Amerka | Jacob Norris
The Lives and Deaths of Jubrail Dabdoub
Or, How the Bethlehemites Discovered Amerka
Jacob Norris

This is the fantastical, yet real, story of the merchants of Bethlehem, the young men who traveled to every corner of the globe in the nineteenth century. These men set off on the backs of donkeys with suitcases full of crosses and rosaries, to return via steamship with suitcases stuffed with French francs, Philippine pesos, or Salvadoran colones. They returned with news of mysterious lands and strange inventions—clocks, trains, and other devices that both befuddled and bewitched the Bethlehemites. With newfound wealth, these merchants built shimmering pink mansions that transformed Bethlehem from a rural village into Palestine's wealthiest and most cosmopolitan town. At the center of these extraordinary occurrences lived Jubrail Dabdoub. The Lives and Deaths of Jubrail Dabdoub tells the story of Jubrail's encounters, offering a version of Palestinian history rarely acknowledged. From his childhood in rural Bethlehem to later voyages across Europe, East Asia, and the Americas, Jubrail's story culminates in a recorded miracle: in 1909, he was brought back from the dead. To tell such a tale is to delve into the realms of the fantastic and improbable. Through the story of Jubrail's life, Jacob Norris explores the porous lines between history and fiction, the normal and the paranormal, the everyday and the extraordinary. Drawing on aspects of magical realism combined with elements of Palestinian folklore, Norris recovers the atmosphere of late nineteenth-century Bethlehem: a mood of excitement, disorientation, and wonder as the town was thrust into a new era. As the book offers an original approach to historical writing, it captures a fantastic story of global encounter and exchange.

Paper $25.00 9781503633759
Cloth $85.00 9781503633285
cover for The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War | Peter Stansky
The Socialist Patriot
George Orwell and War
Peter Stansky

An incisive demonstration of how Orwell's body of work was defined by the four major conflicts that punctuated his life: World War I, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War. Few English writers wielded a pen so sharply as George Orwell, the quintessential political writer of the twentieth century. His literary output at once responded to and sought to influence the tumultuous times in which he lived—decades during which Europe and eventually the entire world would be torn apart by war, while ideologies like fascism, socialism, and communism changed the stakes of global politics. In this study, Stanford historian and lifelong Orwell scholar Peter Stansky incisively demonstrates how Orwell's body of work was defined by the four major conflicts that punctuated his life: World War I, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War. Young Orwell came of age against the backdrop of the First World War, and published his final book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, nearly half a century later, at the outset of the Cold War. The intervening three decades of Orwell's life were marked by radical shifts in his personal politics: briefly a staunch pacifist, he was finally a fully committed socialist following his involvement in the Spanish Civil War. But just before the outbreak of World War II, he had adopted a strong anti-pacifist position, stating that to be a pacifist was equivalent to being pro-Fascist. By carefully combing through Orwell's published works, notably "My Country Right or Left," The Lion and the Unicorn, Animal Farm, and his most dystopian and prescient novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Stansky teases apart Orwell's often paradoxical views on patriotism and socialism. The Socialist Patriot is ultimately an attempt to reconcile the apparent contradictions between Orwell's commitment to socialist ideals and his sharp critique of totalitarianism by demonstrating the centrality of his wartime experiences, giving twenty-first century readers greater insight into the inner world of one of the most influential writers of the modern age.

cover for The Joyful Science / Idylls from Messina / Unpublished Fragments from the Period of The Joyful Science (Spring 1881–Summer 1882): Volume 6 | Friedrich Nietzsche Translated, with an Afterword, by Adrian Del Caro
The Joyful Science / Idylls from Messina / Unpublished Fragments from the Period of The Joyful Science (Spring 1881–Summer 1882)
Volume 6
Friedrich Nietzsche Translated, with an Afterword, by Adrian Del Caro

Written on the threshold of Thus Spoke Zarathustra during a high point of social, intellectual and psychic vibrancy, The Joyful Science (frequently translated as The Gay Science) is one of Nietzsche's thematically tighter books. Here he debuts and practices the art of amor fati, love of fate, to explore what is "species preserving" in relation to happiness (Book One); inspiration and the role of art as they keep us mentally fit for inhabiting a world dominated by science (Book Two); the challenges of living authentically and overcoming after the death of God (Book Three); and the crescendo of life affirmation in which Nietzsche revealed the doctrine of eternal recurrence and previewed the figure of Zarathustra (Book Four). Invigorated and motivated by Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche in 1887 added a new preface, an appendix of poems, and Book Five, where he deepened the critique of science and displayed a more genealogical approach. This volume provides the first English translation of the Idylls from Messina and, more importantly, it includes the first English translation of the notebooks of 1881–1882, in which Nietzsche first formulated the eternal recurrence. Structurally and stylistically, The Joyful Science remains Nietzsche's most effective book of aphorisms, immediately after which he took on the voice and alter ego of Zarathustra in order to push beyond the boundaries of even the most liberating prose.

Paper $28.00 9781503632325
Cloth $90.00 9780804728775
cover for The Happiness of the British Working Class:  | Jamie L. Bronstein
The Happiness of the British Working Class
Jamie L. Bronstein

For working-class life writers in nineteenth century Britain, happiness was a multifaceted emotion: a concept that could describe experiences of hedonic pleasure, foster and deepen social relationships, drive individuals to self-improvement, and lead them to look back over their lives and evaluate whether they were well-lived. However, not all working-class autobiographers shared the same concepts or valorizations of happiness, as variables such as geography, gender, political affiliation, and social and economic mobility often influenced the way they defined and experienced their emotional lives. The Happiness of the British Working Class employs and analyzes over 350 autobiographies of individuals in England, Scotland, and Ireland to explore the sources of happiness of British working people born before 1870. Drawing from careful examinations of their personal narratives, Jamie L. Bronstein investigates the ways in which working people thought about the good life as seen through their experiences with family and friends, rewarding work, interaction with the natural world, science and creativity, political causes and religious commitments, and physical and economic struggles. Informed by the history of emotions and the philosophical and social-scientific literature on happiness, this book reflects broadly on the industrial-era working-class experience in an era of immense social and economic change.

Paper $30.00 9781503633841
Cloth $90.00 9781503630499
cover for Auden and the Muse of History:  | Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb
Auden and the Muse of History
Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb

Concentrating on W. H. Auden's work from the late 1930s, when he seeks to understand the poet's responsibility in the face of a triumphant fascism, to the late 1950s, when he discerns an irreconcilable "divorce" between poetry and history in light of industrialized murder, this startling new study reveals the intensity of the poet's struggles with the meanings of history. Through meticulous readings, significant archival findings, and critical reflection, Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb presents a new image and understanding of Auden's achievement and reveals how his version of modernism illuminates urgent contemporary issues and theoretical paradigms: from the meaning of marriage equality to the persistence of fascism; from critical theory to psychoanalysis; from precarity to postcolonial studies. "The muse does not like being forced to choose between Agit-prop and Mallarmé," Auden writes with characteristic lucidity, and this study elucidates the probity, humor, and technical skill with which his responses to historical reality in the mid-twentieth century illuminate our world today.

Paper $30.00 9781503633926
Cloth $90.00 9781503633155
cover for American Graphic: Disgust and Data in Contemporary Literature | Rebecca B. Clark
American Graphic
Disgust and Data in Contemporary Literature
Rebecca B. Clark

What do we really mean when we call something "graphic"? In American Graphic, Rebecca Clark examines the "graphic" as a term tellingly at odds with itself. On the one hand, it seems to evoke the grotesque; on the other hand, it promises the geometrically streamlined in the form of graphs, diagrams, and user interfaces. Clark's innovation is to ask what happens when the same moment in a work of literature is graphic in both ways at once. Her answer suggests the graphic turn in contemporary literature is intimately implicated in the fraught dynamics of identification. As Clark reveals, this double graphic indexes the unseemliness of a lust—in our current culture of information—for cool epistemological mastery over the bodies of others. Clark analyzes the contemporary graphic along three specific axes: the ethnographic, the pornographic, and the infographic. In each chapter, Clark's explication of the double graphic reads a canonical author against literary, visual and/or performance works by Black and/or female creators. Pairing works by Edgar Allan Poe, Vladimir Nabokov, and Thomas Pynchon with pieces by Mat Johnson, Kara Walker, Fran Ross, Narcissister, and Teju Cole, Clark tests the effects and affects of the double graphic across racialized and gendered axes of differences. American Graphic forces us to face how closely and uncomfortably yoked together disgust and data have become in our increasingly graph-ick world.

Paper $30.00 9781503634237
Cloth $90.00 9781503630970
cover for The Romantic Rhetoric of Accumulation:  | Lenora Hanson
The Romantic Rhetoric of Accumulation
Lenora Hanson

The Romantic Rhetoric of Accumulation provides an account of the long arc of dispossession from the British Romantic period to today. Lenora Hanson glimpses histories of subsistence (such as reproductive labor, vagrancy and criminality, and unwaged labor) as figural ways of living that are superfluous—simultaneously more than enough to live and less than what is necessary for capitalism. Hanson treats rhetorical language as an archive of capital's accumulation through dispossession, in works by S.T. Coleridge, Edmund Burke, Mary Robinson, William Wordsworth, Benjamin Moseley, Joseph Priestley, and Alexander von Humboldt, as well as in contemporary film and critical theory. Reading riots through apostrophe, enclosure through anachronism, superstition and witchcraft through tautology, and the paradoxical coincidence of subsistence living with industrialization, Hanson shows the figural to be a material record of the survival of non-capitalist forms of life within capitalism. But this survival is not always-already resistant to capitalism, nor are the origins of capital accumulation confined to the Romantic past. Hanson reveals rhetorical figure as entwined in deeply ambivalent ways with the circuitous, ongoing process of dispossession. Reading both historically and rhetorically, Hanson argues that rhetorical language records histories of dispossession and the racialized, gendered distribution of the labor of subsistence. Romanticism, they show, is more contemporary than ever.

cover for Digital Codicology: Medieval Books and Modern Labor | Bridget Whearty
Digital Codicology
Medieval Books and Modern Labor
Bridget Whearty

Medieval manuscripts are our shared inheritance, and today they are more accessible than ever—thanks to digital copies online. Yet for all that widespread digitization has fundamentally transformed how we connect with the medieval past, we understand very little about what these digital objects really are. We rarely consider how they are made or who makes them. This case study-rich book demystifies digitization, revealing what it's like to remake medieval books online and connecting modern digital manuscripts to their much longer media history, from print, to photography, to the rise of the internet. Examining classic late-1990s projects like Digital Scriptorium 1.0 alongside late-2010s initiatives like Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis, and world-famous projects created by the British Library, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Stanford University, and the Walters Art Museum against in-house digitizations performed in lesser-studied libraries, Whearty tells never-before-published narratives about globally important digital manuscript archives. Drawing together medieval literature, manuscript studies, digital humanities, and imaging sciences, Whearty shines a spotlight on the hidden expert labor responsible for today's revolutionary digital access to medieval culture. Ultimately, this book argues that centering the modern labor and laborers at the heart of digital cultural heritage fosters a more just and more rigorous future for medieval, manuscript, and media studies.

cover for Climate Change, Interrupted: Representation and the Remaking of Time | Barbara Leckie
Climate Change, Interrupted
Representation and the Remaking of Time
Barbara Leckie

In this moment of climate precarity, Victorian studies scholar Barbara Leckie considers the climate crisis as a problem of time. Spanning the long nineteenth century through our current moment, her interdisciplinary treatment of climate change at once rethinks time and illustrates that the time for climate action is now. Climate Change, Interrupted argues that linear, progress-inflected temporalities are not adequate to a crisis that defies their terms. Instead, this book advances a theory and practice of interruption to rethink prevailing temporal frameworks. At the same time, it models the anachronistic, time-blending, and time-layering temporality it advances. In a series of experimental chapters informed by the unlikely trio of Walter Benjamin, Donna Haraway, and Virginia Woolf, Leckie reinflects and cowrites the traditions and knowledges of the long nineteenth century and the current period in the spirit of climate action collaboration. The current moment demands as many approaches as possible, invites us to take risks, and asks scholars and activists adept at storytelling to participate in the conversation. Climate Change, Interrupted, accordingly, invests in interruption to tell a different story of the climate crisis.

cover for Literary Mathematics: Quantitative Theory for Textual Studies | Michael Gavin
Literary Mathematics
Quantitative Theory for Textual Studies
Michael Gavin

Across the humanities and social sciences, scholars increasingly use quantitative methods to study textual data. Considered together, this research represents an extraordinary event in the long history of textuality. More or less all at once, the corpus has emerged as a major genre of cultural and scientific knowledge. In Literary Mathematics, Michael Gavin grapples with this development, describing how quantitative methods for the study of textual data offer powerful tools for historical inquiry and sometimes unexpected perspectives on theoretical issues of concern to literary studies. Student-friendly and accessible, the book advances this argument through case studies drawn from the Early English Books Online corpus. Gavin shows how a copublication network of printers and authors reveals an uncannily accurate picture of historical periodization; that a vector-space semantic model parses historical concepts in incredibly fine detail; and that a geospatial analysis of early modern discourse offers a surprising panoramic glimpse into the period's notion of world geography. Across these case studies, Gavin challenges readers to consider why corpus-based methods work so effectively and asks whether the successes of formal modeling ought to inspire humanists to reconsider fundamental theoretical assumptions about textuality and meaning. As Gavin reveals, by embracing the expressive power of mathematics, scholars can add new dimensions to digital humanities research and find new connections with the social sciences.

cover for Shakespeare's Mad Men: A Crisis of Authority | Richard van Oort
Shakespeare's Mad Men
A Crisis of Authority
Richard van Oort

This book is about a mad king and a mad duke. With original and iconoclastic readings, Richard van Oort pioneers the reading of Shakespeare as an ethical thinker of the "originary scene," the scene in which humans became conscious of themselves as symbol-using moral and narrative beings. Taking King Lear and Measure for Measure as case studies, van Oort shows how the minimal concept of an anthropological scene of origin—the "originary hypothesis"—provides the basis for a new understanding of every aspect of the plays, from the psychology of the characters to the ethical and dialogical conflicts upon which the drama is based. The result is a gripping commentary on the plays. Why does Lear abdicate and go mad? Why does Edgar torture his father with non-recognition? Why does Lucio accuse the Duke in Measure for Measure of madness and lechery, and why does Isabella remain silent at the end? In approaching these and other questions from the perspective of the originary hypothesis, van Oort helps us to see the ethical predicament of the plays, and, in the process, makes Shakespeare new again.

Paper $30.00 9781503633575
Cloth $120.00 9781503632905
cover for Against the Uprooted Word: Giving Language Time in Transatlantic Romanticism | Tristram Wolff
Against the Uprooted Word
Giving Language Time in Transatlantic Romanticism
Tristram Wolff

In this revisionist account of romantic-era poetry and language philosophy, Tristram Wolff recovers vibrant ways of thinking language and nature together. Wolff argues that well-known writers including Phillis Wheatley Peters, William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Henry David Thoreau offer a radical chronopolitics in reaction to the "uprooted word," or the formal analytic used to classify languages in progressive time according to a primitivist timeline of history and a hierarchy of civilization. Before the bad naturalisms of nineteenth-century race science could harden language into place as a metric of social difference, poets and thinkers try to soften, thicken, deepen, and dissolve it. This naturalizing tendency makes language more difficult to uproot from its active formation in the lives of its speakers. And its "gray romanticism" simultaneously gives language different kinds of time—most strikingly, the deep time of geologic form—to forestall the hardening of time into progress. Reorienting romantic studies to consider colonialism's pervasive effects on theories of language origin, Wolff shows us the ambivalent position of romantics in this history. His reparative reading makes visible language's ability to reimagine social forms.

cover for Reader's Block: A History of Reading Differences | Matthew Rubery
Reader's Block
A History of Reading Differences
Matthew Rubery

What does the term "reading" mean? Matthew Rubery's exploration of the influence neurodivergence has on the ways individuals read asks us to consider that there may be no one definition. This alternative history of reading tells the stories of "atypical" readers and the impact had on their lives by neurological conditions affecting their ability to make sense of the printed word: from dyslexia, hyperlexia, and alexia to synesthesia, hallucinations, and dementia. Rubery's focus on neurodiversity aims to transform our understanding of the very concept of reading. Drawing on personal testimonies gathered from literature, film, life writing, social media, medical case studies, and other sources to express how cognitive differences have shaped people's experiences both on and off the page, Rubery contends that there is no single activity known as reading. Instead, there are multiple ways of reading (and, for that matter, not reading) despite the ease with which we use the term. Pushing us to rethink what it means to read, Reader's Block moves toward an understanding of reading as a spectrum that is capacious enough to accommodate the full range of activities documented in this fascinating and highly original book. Read it from cover to cover, out of sequence, or piecemeal. Read it upside down, sideways, or in a mirror. For just as there is no right way to read, there is no right way to read this book. What matters is that you are doing something with it—something that Rubery proposes should be called "reading."

cover for Reading John Milton: How to Persist in Troubled Times | Stephen B. Dobranski
Reading John Milton
How to Persist in Troubled Times
Stephen B. Dobranski

A captivating biography that celebrates the audacious, inspiring life and works of John Milton, revealing how he speaks to our times. John Milton is unrivalled—for the music of his verse and the breadth of his learning. In this brisk, topical, and engaging biography, Stephen B. Dobranski brushes the scholarly dust from the portrait of the artist to reveal Milton's essential humanity and his unwavering commitment to ideals—freedom of religion and the right and responsibility of all persons to think for themselves—that are still relevant and necessary in our times. Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, is considered by many to be English poetry's masterpiece. Samuel Johnson, not one for effusive praise, claimed that from Milton's "books alone the Art of English Poetry might be learned." But Milton's renown rests on more than his artistic achievements. In a time of convulsive political turmoil, he justified the killing of a king, pioneered free speech, and publicly defended divorce. He was, in short, an iconoclast, an independent, even revolutionary, thinker. He was also an imperfect man—acrimonious, sometimes mean. Above all, he understood adversity. Afflicted by blindness, illness, and political imprisonment, Milton always sought to "bear up and steer right onward" through life's hardships. Dobranski looks beyond Milton's academic standing, beyond his reputation as a dour and devout purist, to reveal the ongoing power of his works and the dauntless courage that he both wrote about and exemplified.

cover for What Pornography Knows: Sex and Social Protest since the Eighteenth Century | Kathleen Lubey
What Pornography Knows
Sex and Social Protest since the Eighteenth Century
Kathleen Lubey

What Pornography Knows offers a new history of pornography based on forgotten bawdy fiction of the eighteenth century, its nineteenth-century republication, and its appearance in 1960s paperbacks. Through close textual study, Lubey shows how these texts were edited across time to become what we think pornography is—a genre focused primarily on sex. Originally, they were far more variable, joining speculative philosophy and feminist theory to sexual description. Lubey's readings show that pornography always had a social consciousness—that it knew, long before anti-pornography feminists said it, that women and nonbinary people are disadvantaged by a society that grants sexual privilege to men. Rather than glorify this inequity, Lubey argues, the genre's central task has historically been to expose its artifice and envision social reform. Centering women's bodies, pornography refuses to divert its focus from genital action, forcing readers to connect sex with its social outcomes. Lubey offers a surprising take on a deeply misunderstood cultural form: pornography transforms sexual description into feminist commentary, revealing the genre's deep knowledge of how social inequities are perpetuated as well as its plans for how to rectify them.

cover for Criticism and Politics: A Polemical Introduction | Bruce Robbins
Criticism and Politics
A Polemical Introduction
Bruce Robbins

An accessible introduction to cultural theory and an original polemic about the purpose of criticism. What is criticism for? Over the past few decades, impassioned disagreements over that question in the academy have burst into the news media. These conflicts have renewed the culture wars over the legacy of the 1960s, becoming entangled in national politics and leading to a new set of questions about critics and the power they do or don't wield. Re-examining theorists from Matthew Arnold to Walter Benjamin, to Fredric Jameson, Stuart Hall, and Hortense Spillers, Criticism and Politics explores the animating contradictions that have long propelled literary studies: between pronouncing judgment and engaging in philosophical critique, between democracy and expertise, between political commitment and aesthetic autonomy. Both a leftist critic and a critic of the left, Robbins unflinchingly defends criticism from those who might wish to de-politicize it, arguing that working for change is not optional for critics, but rather a core part of their job description.

Paper $24.00 9781503633209
Cloth $80.00 9781503630192
cover for Thought’s Wilderness: Romanticism and the Apprehension of Nature | Greg Ellermann
Thought’s Wilderness
Romanticism and the Apprehension of Nature
Greg Ellermann

While much recent ecocriticism has questioned the value of nature as a concept, Thought's Wilderness insists that it is analytically and politically indispensable, and that romanticism shows us why. Without a concept of nature, Greg Ellermann argues, our thinking is limited to the world that capitalism has made. Defamiliarizing the tradition of romantic nature writing, Ellermann contends that the romantics tried to circumvent the domination of nature that is essential to modern capitalism. As he shows, poets and philosophers in the period such as Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, and Percy Shelley were highly attuned to nature's ephemeral, ungraspable forms: clouds of vapor, a trace of ruin, deep silence, and the "world-surrounding ether." Further, he explains how nature's vanishing—its vulnerability and its flight from apprehension—became a philosophical and political problem. In response to a nascent industrial capitalism, romantic writers developed a poetics of wilderness—a poetics that is attentive to fleeting presence and that seeks to let things be. Trying to imagine what ultimately eludes capture, the romantics recognized the complicity between conceptual and economic domination, and they saw how thought itself could become a technology for control. This insight, Ellermann proposes, motivates romantic efforts to think past capitalist instrumentality and its devastation of the world. Ultimately, this new work undertakes a fundamental rethinking of the aesthetics and politics of nature.

cover for Engaging Violence: Civility and the Reach of Literature | David Simpson
Engaging Violence
Civility and the Reach of Literature
David Simpson

Recent thinking has resuscitated civility as an important paradigm for engaging with a violence that must be deemed endemic to our lives. But, while it is widely acknowledged that civility works against violence, and that literature generates or accompanies civility and engenders tolerance, civility has also been understood as violence in disguise, and literature, which has only rarely sought to claim the power of violence, has often been accused of inciting it. This book sets out to describe the ways in which these words—violence, literature and civility—and the concepts they evoke are mutually entangled, and the uses to which these entanglements have been put. Simpson's argument follows a broadly historical trajectory through the long modern period from the Renaissance to the present, drawing on the work of historians, political scientists, literary scholars and philosophers. The result is a distinctly new argument about the complex and often mystified entanglements between literature, civility and violence in the anglophone Atlantic sphere. What now are our expectations of civility and literature, separately and together? How do these long-familiar but residually imprecise concepts stand up to the demands of the modern world? Simpson's argument is that, despite and perhaps because of their imperfect conceptualization, both persist as important protocols for the critique of violence.

Paper $28.00 9781503633087
Cloth $90.00 9781503632745
cover for Feminine Singularity: The Politics of Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century Literature | Ronjaunee Chatterjee
Feminine Singularity
The Politics of Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century Literature
Ronjaunee Chatterjee

What happens if we read nineteenth-century and Victorian texts not for the autonomous liberal subject, but for singularity—for what is partial, contingent, and in relation, rather than what is merely "alone"? Feminine Singularity offers a powerful feminist theory of the subject—and shows us paths to thinking subjectivity, race, and gender anew in literature and in our wider social world. Through fresh, sophisticated readings of Lewis Carroll, Christina Rossetti, Charles Baudelaire, and Wilkie Collins in conversation with psychoanalysis, Black feminist and queer-of-color theory, and continental philosophy, Ronjaunee Chatterjee uncovers a lexicon of feminine singularity that manifests across poetry and prose through likeness and minimal difference, rather than individuality and identity. Reading for singularity shows us the ways femininity is fundamentally entangled with racial difference in the nineteenth century and well into the contemporary, as well as how rigid categories can be unsettled and upended. Grappling with the ongoing violence embedded in the Western liberal imaginary, Feminine Singularity invites readers to commune with the subversive potentials in nineteenth-century literature for thinking subjectivity today.

cover for Twilight of the Self: The Decline of the Individual in Late Capitalism | Michael Thompson
Twilight of the Self
The Decline of the Individual in Late Capitalism
Michael Thompson

In this new work, political theorist Michael J. Thompson argues that modern societies are witnessing a decline in one of the core building blocks of modernity: the autonomous self. Far from being an illusion of the Enlightenment, Thompson contends that the individual is a defining feature of the project to build a modern democratic culture and polity. One of the central reasons for its demise in recent decades has been the emergence of what he calls the "cybernetic society," a cohesive totalization of the social logics of the institutional spheres of economy, culture and polity. These logics have been progressively defined by the imperatives of economic growth and technical-administrative management of labor and consumption, routinizing patterns of life, practices, and consciousness throughout the culture. Evolving out of the neoliberal transformation of economy and society since the 1980s, the cybernetic society has transformed how that the individual is articulated in contemporary society. Thompson examines the various pathologies of the self and consciousness that result from this form of socialization—such as hyper-reification, alienated moral cognition, false consciousness, and the withered ego—in new ways to demonstrate the extent of deformation of modern selfhood. Only with a more robust, more socially embedded concept of autonomy as critical agency can we begin to reconstruct the principles of democratic individuality and community.

Paper $28.00 9781503632455
Cloth $90.00 9781503632448
cover for Writing the Mind: Social Cognition in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction | Hannah Walser
Writing the Mind
Social Cognition in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction
Hannah Walser

Novels are often said to help us understand how others think—especially when those others are profoundly different from us. When interpreting a character's behavior, readers are believed to make use of "Theory of Mind," the general human capacity to attribute mental states to other people. In many well-known nineteenth-century American novels, however, characters behave in ways that are opaque to readers, other characters, and even themselves, undermining efforts to explain their actions in terms of mental states like beliefs and intentions. Writing the Mind dives into these unintelligible moments to map the weaknesses of Theory of Mind and explore alternative frameworks for interpreting behavior. Through readings of authors such as Charles Brockden Brown, Herman Melville, Martin Delany, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, and Mark Twain, Hannah Walser explains how experimental models of cognition lead to some of the strangest formal features of canonical American texts. These authors' attempts to found social life on something other than mental states not only invite us to revise our assumptions about the centrality of mind reading and empathy to the novel as a form; they can also help us understand more contemporary concepts in social cognition, including gaslighting and learned helplessness, with more conceptual rigor and historical depth.

cover for The Afterlife of Moses: Exile, Democracy, Renewal | Michael P. Steinberg
The Afterlife of Moses
Exile, Democracy, Renewal
Michael P. Steinberg

In this elegant and personal new work, Michael P. Steinberg reflects on the story of Moses and the Exodus as a foundational myth of politics—of the formation not of a nation but of a political community grounded in universal law. Modern renderings of the story of Moses, from Michelangelo to Spinoza to Freud to Schoenberg to Derrida, have seized on the story's ambivalences, its critical and self-critical power. These literal returns form the first level of the afterlife of Moses. They spin a persistent critical and self-critical thread of European and transatlantic art and argument. And they enable the second strand of Steinberg's argument, namely the depersonalization of the Moses and Exodus story, its evolving abstraction and modulation into a varied modern history of political beginnings. Beginnings, as distinct from origins, are human and historical, writes Steinberg. Political constitutions, as a form of beginning, imply the eventuality of their own renewals and their own reconstitutions. Motivated in part by recent reactionary insurgencies in the US, Europe, and Israel, this astute work of intellectual history posits the critique of myths of origin as a key principle of democratic government, affect, and citizenship, of their endurance as well as their fragility.

cover for Overlooking Damage: Art, Display, and Loss in Times of Crisis | Jonah Siegel
Overlooking Damage
Art, Display, and Loss in Times of Crisis
Jonah Siegel

What does it mean to look? How does looking relate to damage? These are the fundamental questions addressed in Overlooking Damage. From the Roman triumph to the iconoclasm of ISIS and the Taliban to the aerial views of looted landscapes and destroyed temples visible on Google, the relationship between beauty and violence is far more intimate than we sometimes acknowledge. Jonah Siegel makes the daring argument that a thoughtful reaction to images of damage need not stop at melancholy, but can lead us to a new reckoning. Would the objects we admire be more beautiful if they were not injured or displaced, if they did not remind us of unbearable violence? Siegel takes up writers from the time of the French Revolution to today who have reacted to the depredations of revolutionary iconoclasm, imperial looting, and industrial capitalism, and proposes that in these authors we may find resources with which to navigate our contemporary situation. Deftly bringing the methods of literary studies to bear on important debates in the study of heritage, archaeology, and visual culture, Overlooking Damage reflects on the ways in which concepts of beauty intersect with periods of epochal violence in an attempt to resist the separation of broken things from the worlds in which they have come to be embedded.

cover for Poetic Form and Romantic Provocation:  | Carmen Faye Mathes
Poetic Form and Romantic Provocation
Carmen Faye Mathes

Critics have long understood the development of Romantic aesthetics as a turning point in the history of literary theory, a turn that is responsible for theories of mind and body that continue to inform our understandings of subjectivity and embodiment today. Yet the question of what aesthetic experience can "do" grates against the fact that much Romantic writing represents subjects as not actually in charge of the feelings they feel, the dreams they dream, or the actions they take. In response to this dilemma, Poetic Form and Romantic Provocation argues that being moved contrary to one's will is itself an aesthetic phenomenon explored by Romantic poets whose experiments with poetic form and genre provoke unanticipated feelings through verse. By analyzing how Romantic poets intervene, affectively and aesthetically, in readerly expectations of form and genre, Mathes shows how provocations disrupt and invite, disturb and compel—interrupting or suspending or retreating in ways that ask readers to orient themselves, materially and socially, in relation to literary experiences that are at once virtual and embodied. Examining the formal tactics of Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, alongside their reactions to historical events such as Toussaint Louverture's revolt and the Peterloo Massacre, Mathes reveals that an aesthetics of radical openness is central to the development of literary theory and criticism in Romantic Britain.

cover for The Critique of Nonviolence: Martin Luther King, Jr., and Philosophy | Mark Christian Thompson
The Critique of Nonviolence
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Philosophy
Mark Christian Thompson

How does Martin Luther King, Jr., understand race philosophically and how did this understanding lead him to develop an ontological conception of racist police violence? In this important new work, Mark Christian Thompson attempts to answer these questions, examining ontology in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy. Specifically, the book reads King through 1920s German academic debates between Martin Heidegger, Rudolf Bultmann, Hans Jonas, Carl Schmitt, Eric Voegelin, Hannah Arendt, and others on Being, gnosticism, existentialism, political theology, and sovereignty. It further examines King's dissertation about Tillich, as well other key texts from his speculative writings, sermons, and speeches, positing King's understanding of divine love as a form of Heideggerian ontology articulated in beloved community. Tracking the presence of twentieth-century German philosophy and theology in his thought, the book situates King's ontology conceptually and socially in nonviolent protest. In so doing, The Critique of Nonviolence reads King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963) with Walter Benjamin's "Critique of Violence" (1921) to reveal the depth of King's political-theological critique of police violence as the illegitimate appropriation of the racialized state of exception. As Thompson argues, it is in part through its appropriation of German philosophy and theology that King's ontology condemns the perpetual American state of racial exception that permits unlimited police violence against Black lives.

Paper $30.00 9781503632073
Cloth $120.00 9781503631137
cover for Genres of Privacy in Postwar America:  | Palmer Rampell
Genres of Privacy in Postwar America
Palmer Rampell

With this incisive work, Palmer Rampell reveals the surprising role genre fiction played in redefining the category of the private person in the postwar period. Especially after the Supreme Court established a constitutional right to privacy in 1965, legal scholars, judges, and the public scrambled to understand the scope of that right. Before and after the Court's ruling, authors of genre fiction and film reformulated their aliens, androids, and monsters to engage in debates about personal privacy as it pertained to issues like abortion, police surveillance, and euthanasia. Triangulating novels and films with original archival discoveries and historical and legal research, Rampell provides new readings of Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy B. Hughes, Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, Chester Himes, Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, and others. The book pairs the right of privacy for heterosexual sex with queer and proto-feminist crime fiction; racialized police surveillance at midcentury with Black crime fiction; Roe v. Wade (1973) with 1960s and 1970s science fiction; the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (1974) with horror; and the right to die with westerns. While we are accustomed to defenses of fiction for its capacity to represent fully rendered private life, Rampell suggests that we might value a certain strand of genre fiction for its capacity to theorize the meaning of the protean concept of privacy.

cover for Badiou by Badiou:  | Alain Badiou, Translated by Bruno Bosteels
Badiou by Badiou
Alain Badiou, Translated by Bruno Bosteels

An accessible introduction to Badiou's key ideas In this short and accessible book, the French philosopher Alain Badiou provides readers with a unique introduction to his system of thought, summed up in the trilogy of Being and Event, Logics of Worlds, and The Immanence of Truths. Taking the form of an interview and two talks and keeping in mind a broad audience without any prior knowledge of his work, the book touches upon the central concepts and major preoccupations of Badiou's philosophy: fundamental ontology, mathematics, politics, poetry, and love. Well-chosen examples illuminate his thinking in regards to being and universality, worlds and singularity, and the infinite and the absolute, among other topics. A veritable tour de force of pedagogical clarity, this new student-friendly work is perhaps the single best general introduction to the work of this prolific and committed thinker. If, for Badiou, the task of philosophy consists in thinking through the truths of our time, the texts collected in this small volume could not be timelier.

Paper $20.00 9781503631762
Cloth $80.00 9781503630338
cover for The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits | Jed Esty
The Future of Decline
Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits
Jed Esty

As the US becomes a second-place nation, can it shed the superpower nostalgia that still haunts the UK? The debate over the US's fading hegemony has raged and sputtered for 50 years, glutting the market with prophecies about American decline. Media experts ask how fast we will fall and how much we will lose, but generally ignore the fundamental question: What does decline mean? What is the significance, in experiential and everyday terms, in feelings and fantasies, of living in a country past its prime? Drawing on the example of post-WWII Britain and looking ahead at 2020s America, Jed Esty suggests that becoming a second-place nation is neither disastrous, as alarmists claim, nor avoidable, as optimists insist. Contemporary declinism often masks white nostalgia and perpetuates a conservative longing for Cold War certainty. But the narcissistic lure of "lost greatness" appeals across the political spectrum. As Esty argues, it resonates so widely in mainstream media because Americans have lost access to a language of national purpose beyond global supremacy. It is time to shelve the shopworn fables of endless US dominance, to face the multipolar world of the future, and to tell new American stories. The Future of Decline is a guide to finding them.

cover for The Paranoid Chronotope: Power, Truth, Identity | Frida Beckman
The Paranoid Chronotope
Power, Truth, Identity
Frida Beckman

Why does it seem like our everyday life is shadowed by something menacing? This book identifies and illuminates paranoia as a significant feature of contemporary American society and culture. Centering on what it identifies as three key dimensions – power, truth, and identity – in three different contexts – society, literature, and critique – the book explores and explains the increasing influence of paranoid thinking in American society during the second half of the twentieth century and first decades of the twenty-first, a period that has seen the rise of control systems and neoliberal ascendency. Inquiring about the predominance of white, male, American subjects in paranoid culture, Frida Beckman recognizes the antagonistic maintenance and fortification of a conception of the autonomous individual that perceives itself to be under threat. Identifying such paranoia as emerging from an increasingly disjunctive relation between this conception of the subject and the changing nature of the public sphere, she develops the concept of the paranoid chronotope as a tool for the theoretical analysis of social, literary, and critical practices today. Investigating twenty-first century paranoid fictions, New Sincerity novels, conspiracist online culture, and postcritique, Beckman shows how the paranoid chronotope constitutes a recurring feature of modern consciousness.

cover for Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Spring 1884–Winter 1884/85): Volume 15 | Friedrich Nietzsche, Translated, with an Afterword, by Paul S. Loeb and David F. Tinsley
Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Spring 1884–Winter 1884/85)
Volume 15
Friedrich Nietzsche, Translated, with an Afterword, by Paul S. Loeb and David F. Tinsley

This volume provides the first English translation of Nietzsche's unpublished notes from the spring of 1884 through the winter of 1884–85, the period in which he was composing the fourth and final part of his favorite work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These notebooks therefore provide special insight into Nietzsche's philosophical concept of superior humans,as well as important clues to the identities of the famous nineteenth-century European figures who inspired Nietzsche's invention of fictional characters such as "the prophet," "the sorcerer," and "the ugliest human."In these notebooks, Nietzsche also further explores ideas that were introduced in the first three parts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Zarathustra's teaching about the death of God; his proclamation that it is time for humankind to overcome itself and create the superhumans; his discovery that the secret of life is the will to power; and his most profound thought—that the entire cosmos will eternally return. Readers will encounter here a wealth of material that Nietzsche would include in his next book, Beyond Good and Evil, as he engages the ideas of Kant and Schopenhauer, challenges cultural icons like Richard Wagner, and mercilessly exposes the foibles of his contemporaries, especially of his fellow Germans. Readers will also discover an extensive collection of Nietzsche's poetry. Richly annotated and accompanied by a detailed translators' afterword, this volume showcases the cosmopolitanism at work in Nietzsche's multifaceted and critical exploration of aesthetic and cultural influences that transcend national (and nationalist) notions of literature, music, and culture.

Paper $30.00 9781503629707
Cloth $120.00 9780804728881
cover for My Life as an Artificial Creative Intelligence:  | Mark Amerika
My Life as an Artificial Creative Intelligence
Mark Amerika

A series of intellectual provocations that investigate the creative process across the human-nonhuman spectrum. Is it possible that creative artists have more in common with machines than we might think? Employing an improvisational call-and-response writing performance coauthored with an AI text generator, remix artist and scholar Mark Amerika, interrogates how his own "psychic automatism" is itself a nonhuman function strategically designed to reveal the poetic attributes of programmable worlds still unimagined. Through a series of intellectual provocations that investigate the creative process across the human-nonhuman spectrum, Amerika critically reflects on whether creativity itself is, at root, a nonhuman information behavior that emerges from an onto-operational presence experiencing an otherworldly aesthetic sensibility. Amerika engages with his cyberpunk imagination to simultaneously embrace and problematize human-machine collaborations. He draws from jazz performance, beatnik poetry, Buddhist thought, and surrealism to suggest that his own artificial creative intelligence operates as a finely tuned remix engine continuously training itself to build on the history of avant-garde art and writing. Playful and provocative, My Life as an Artificial Creative Intelligence flips the script on contemporary AI research that attempts to build systems that perform more like humans, instead self-reflexively making a very nontraditional argument about AI's impact on society and its relationship to the cosmos.

cover for How to Live at the End of the World: Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene | Travis Holloway
How to Live at the End of the World
Theory, Art, and Politics for the Anthropocene
Travis Holloway

Assessing the dawn of the Anthropocene era, a poet and philosopher asks: How do we live at the end of the world? The end of the Holocene era is marked not just by melting glaciers or epic droughts, but by the near universal disappearance of shared social enterprise: the ruling class builds walls and lunar shuttles, while the rest of us contend with the atrophy of institutional integrity and the utter abdication of providing even minimal shelter from looming disaster. The irony of the Anthropocene era is that, in a neoliberal culture of the self, it is forcing us to consider ourselves as a collective again. For those of us who are not wealthy enough to start a colony on Mars or isolate ourselves from the world, the Anthropocene ends the fantasy of sheer individualism and worldlessness once and for all. It introduces a profound sense of time and events after the so-called "end of history" and an entirely new approach to solidarity. How to Live at the End of the World is a hopeful exploration of how we might inherit the name "Anthropocene," renarrate it, and revise our way of life or thought in view of it. In his book on time, art, and politics in an era of escalating climate change, Holloway takes up difficult, unanswered questions in recent work by Donna Haraway, Kathryn Yusoff, Bruno Latour, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Isabelle Stengers, sketching a path toward a radical form of democracy—a zoocracy, or, a rule of all of the living.

cover for Love against Substitution: Seventeenth-Century English Literature and the Meaning of Marriage | Eric B. Song
Love against Substitution
Seventeenth-Century English Literature and the Meaning of Marriage
Eric B. Song

Are we unique as individuals, or are we replaceable? Seventeenth-century English literature pursues these questions through depictions of marriage. The writings studied in this book elevate a love between two individuals who deem each other to be unique to the point of being irreplaceable, and this vocabulary allows writers to put affective pressure on the meaning of marriage as Pauline theology defines it. Stubbornly individual, love threatens to short-circuit marriage's function in directing intimate feelings toward a communal experience of Christ's love. The literary project of testing the meaning of marriage proved to be urgent work throughout the seventeenth century. Monarchy itself was put on trial in this century, and so was the usefulness of marriage in linking Christian belief with the legitimacy of hereditary succession. Starting at the end of the sixteenth century with Edmund Spenser, and then exploring works by William Shakespeare, William Davenant, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, and Aphra Behn, Eric Song offers a new account of how notions of unique personhood became embedded in a literary way of thinking and feeling about marriage.

cover for Religion: Rereading What Is Bound Together | Michel Serres  Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise
Rereading What Is Bound Together
Michel Serres Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

With this profound final work, completed in the days leading up to his death, Michel Serres presents a vivid picture of his thinking about religion—a constant preoccupation since childhood—thereby completing Le Grand Récit, the comprehensive explanation of the world and of humanity to which he devoted the last twenty years of his life. Themes from Serres's earlier writings—energy and information, the role of the media in modern society, the anthropological function of sacrifice, the role of scientific knowledge, the problem of evil—are reinterpreted here in the light of the Old Testament accounts of Isaac and Jonah and a variety of Gospel episodes, including the Three Wise Men of the Epiphany, the Transfiguration, Peter's denying Christ, the Crucifixion, Emmaus, and the Pentecost. Monotheistic religion, Serres argues, resembles mathematical abstraction in its dazzling power to bring together the real and the virtual, the natural and the transcendent; but only in its Christian embodiment is it capable of binding together human beings in such a way that partisan attachments are dissolved and a new era of history, free for once of the lethal repetition of collective violence, can be entered into.

Paper $30.00 9781503631496
Cloth $120.00 9781503628755
cover for Holy Digital Grail: A Medieval Book on the Internet | Michelle R. Warren
Holy Digital Grail
A Medieval Book on the Internet
Michelle R. Warren

Medieval books that survive today have been through a lot: singed by fire, mottled by mold, eaten by insects, annotated by readers, cut into fragments, or damaged through well-intentioned preservation efforts. In this book, Michelle Warren tells the story of one such manuscript—an Arthurian romance with textual origins in twelfth-century England now diffused across the twenty-first century internet. This trajectory has been propelled by a succession of technologies—from paper manufacture to printing to computers. Together, they have made literary history itself a cultural technology indebted to colonial capitalism. Bringing to bear media theory, medieval literary studies, and book history, Warren shows how digital infrastructures change texts and books, even very old ones. In the process, she uncovers a practice of "tech medievalism" that weaves through the history of computing since the mid-twentieth century; metaphors indebted to King Arthur and the Holy Grail are integral to some of the technologies that now sustain medieval books on the internet. This infrastructural approach to book history illuminates how the meaning of literature is made by many people besides canonical authors: translators, scribes, patrons, readers, collectors, librarians, cataloguers, editors, photographers, software programmers, and many more. Situated at the intersections of the digital humanities, library sciences, literary history, and book history, Holy Digital Grail offers new ways to conceptualize authorship, canon formation, and the definition of a "book."

Paper $35.00 9781503631168
Cloth $140.00 9781503608009
cover for Figures of Possibility: Aesthetic Experience, Mysticism, and the Play of the Senses | Niklaus Largier
Figures of Possibility
Aesthetic Experience, Mysticism, and the Play of the Senses
Niklaus Largier

From medieval contemplation to the early modern cosmopoetic imagination, to the invention of aesthetic experience, to nineteenth-century decadent literature, and to early-twentieth century essayistic forms of writing and film, Niklaus Largier shows that mystical practices have been reinvented across the centuries, generating a notion of possibility with unexpected critical potential. Arguing for a new understanding of mystical experience, Largier foregrounds the ways in which devotion builds on experimental practices of figuration in order to shape perception, emotions, and thoughts anew. Largier illuminates how devotional practices are invested in the creation of possibilities, and this investment has been a key element in a wide range of experimental engagements in literature and art from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, and most recently in forms of "new materialism." Read as a history of the senses and emotions, the book argues that mystical and devotional practices have long been invested in the modulating and reconfiguring of sensation, affects, and thoughts. Read as a book about practices of figuration, it questions ordinary protocols of interpretation in the humanities, and the priority given to a hermeneutic understanding of texts and cultural artifacts.

cover for The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism:  | Joseph Darda
The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism
Joseph Darda

How Americans learned to wait on time for racial change What if, Joseph Darda asks, our desire to solve racism—with science, civil rights, antiracist literature, integration, and color blindness—has entrenched it further? In The Strange Career of Racial Liberalism, he traces the rise of liberal antiracism, showing how reformers' faith in time, in the moral arc of the universe, has undercut future movements with the insistence that racism constitutes a time-limited crisis to be solved with time-limited remedies. Most historians attribute the shortcomings of the civil rights era to a conservative backlash or to the fracturing of the liberal establishment in the late 1960s, but the civil rights movement also faced resistance from a liberal "frontlash," from antiredistributive allies who, before it ever took off, constrained what the movement could demand and how it could demand it. Telling the stories of Ruth Benedict, Kenneth Clark, W. E. B. Du Bois, John Howard Griffin, Pauli Murray, Lillian Smith, Richard Wright, and others, Darda reveals how Americans learned to wait on time for racial change and the enduring harm of that trust in the clock.

Paper $30.00 9781503630925
Cloth $120.00 9781503630345
cover for Strike Patterns: Notes from Postwar Laos | Leah Zani
Strike Patterns
Notes from Postwar Laos
Leah Zani

A strike pattern is a signature of violence carved into the land—bomb craters or fragments of explosives left behind, forgotten. In Strike Patterns, poet and anthropologist Leah Zani journeys to a Lao river community where people live alongside such relics of a secret war. With sensitive and arresting prose, Zani reveals the layered realities that settle atop one another in Laos—from its French colonial history to today's authoritarian state—all blown open by the war. This excavation of postwar life's balance between the mundane, the terrifying, and the extraordinary propels Zani to confront her own explosive past. From 1964 to 1973, the United States carried out a covert air war against Laos. Frequently overshadowed by the war with Vietnam, the Secret War was the longest and most intense air war in history. As Zani uncovers this hidden legacy, she finds herself immersed in the lives of her hosts: Chantha, a daughter of war refugees who grapples with her place in a future Laos of imagined prosperity; Channarong, a bomb technician whose Thai origins allow him to stand apart from the battlefields he clears; and Bounmi, a young man who has inherited his bomb expertise from his father but now struggles to imagine a similar future for his unborn son. Wandering through their lives are the restless ghosts of kin and strangers. Today, much of Laos remains contaminated with dangerous leftover explosives. Despite its obscurity, the Secret War has become a shadow model for modern counterinsurgency. Investigating these shadows of war, Zani spends time with silk weavers and rice farmers, bomb clearance crews and black market war scrap traders, ritual healers and survivors of explosions. Combining her fieldnotes with poetry, fiction, and memoir she reflects on the power of building new lives in the ruins.

cover for The Point Alma Venus Manuscripts:  | Robinson Jeffers, Edited by Tim Hunt and Robert Kafka
The Point Alma Venus Manuscripts
Robinson Jeffers, Edited by Tim Hunt and Robert Kafka

The years 1921 to 1927 were the most productive of Robinson Jeffers's career. During this period, he wrote not only many of his most well-known lyric poems but also Tamar, The Tower Beyond Tragedy, Roan Stallion, and The Women at Point Sur—the long poems that first established his reputation as a major American poet. Including an introduction, chronology, and critical afterword, the Point Alma Venus manuscripts presented here gather Jeffers's four unfinished but substantial preliminary attempts at what became The Women at Point Sur, which Jeffers believed was the "most inclusive, and poetically the most intense" of his narrative poems. The Point Alma Venus fragments and versions shed important light on the composition and themes of The Women at Point Sur. Further, they likely predate other key work from this crucial period, making them a necessary context for those who wish to clarify Jeffers's poetic development and to reinterpret his practice of narrative poetry. Ultimately, they call on general and scholarly readers alike to reconsider Jeffers's place in the canon of modern American poetry.

cover for Political Memory and the Aesthetics of Care: The Art of Complicity and Resistance | Mihaela Mihai
Political Memory and the Aesthetics of Care
The Art of Complicity and Resistance
Mihaela Mihai

With this nuanced and interdisciplinary work, political theorist Mihaela Mihai tackles several interrelated questions: How do societies remember histories of systemic violence? Who is excluded from such histories' cast of characters? And what are the political costs of selective remembering in the present? Building on insights from political theory, social epistemology, and feminist and critical race theory, Mihai argues that a double erasure often structures hegemonic narratives of complex violence: of widespread, heterogeneous complicity and of "impure" resistances, not easily subsumed to exceptionalist heroic models. In dialogue with care ethicists and philosophers of art, she then suggests that such narrative reductionism can be disrupted aesthetically through practices of "mnemonic care," that is, through the hermeneutical labor that critical artists deliver—thematically and formally—within communities' space of meaning. Empirically, the book examines both consecrated and marginalized artists who tackled the memory of Vichy France, communist Romania, and apartheid South Africa. Despite their specificities, these contexts present us with an opportunity to analyze similar mnemonic dynamics and to recognize the political impact of dissenting artistic production. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, the book intervenes in debates over collective responsibility, historical injustice, and the aesthetics of violence within political theory, memory studies, social epistemology, and transitional justice.

Paper $30.00 9781503630123
Cloth $120.00 9781503629325
cover for Reading the Obscene: Transgressive Editors and the Class Politics of US Literature | Jordan S. Carroll
Reading the Obscene
Transgressive Editors and the Class Politics of US Literature
Jordan S. Carroll

With Reading the Obscene, Jordan Carroll reveals new insights about the editors who fought the most famous anti-censorship battles of the twentieth century. While many critics have interpreted obscenity as a form of populist protest, Reading the Obscene shows that the editors who worked to dismantle censorship often catered to elite audiences composed primarily of white men in the professional-managerial class. As Carroll argues, transgressive editors, such as H. L. Mencken at the Smart Set and the American Mercury, William Gaines and Al Feldstein at EC Comics, Hugh Hefner at Playboy, Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books, and Barney Rosset at Grove Press, taught their readers to approach even the most scandalizing texts with the same cold calculation and professional reserve they employed in their occupations. Along the way, these editors kicked off a middle-class sexual revolution in which white-collar professionals imagined they could control sexuality through management science. Obscenity is often presented as self-shattering and subversive, but with this provocative work Carroll calls into question some of the most sensational claims about obscenity, suggesting that when transgression becomes a sign of class distinction, we must abandon the idea that obscenity always overturns hierarchies and disrupts social order. Winner of the 2022 MLA Prize for Independent Scholars, sponsored by the Modern Language Association

Paper $35.00 9781503629486
Cloth $140.00 9781503627482
cover for Victorian Contingencies: Experiments in Literature, Science, and Play | Tina Young Choi
Victorian Contingencies
Experiments in Literature, Science, and Play
Tina Young Choi

Contingency is not just a feature of modern politics, finance, and culture—by thinking contingently, nineteenth-century Britons rewrote familiar narratives and upended forgone conclusions. Victorian Contingencies shows how scientists, novelists, and consumers engaged in new formal and material experiments with cause and effect, past and present, that actively undermined routine certainties. Tina Young Choi traces contingency across a wide range of materials and media, from newspaper advertisements and children's stories to well-known novels, scientific discoveries, technological innovations. She shows how Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin reinvented geological and natural histories as spaces for temporal and causal experimentation, while the nascent insurance industry influenced Charles Babbage's computational designs for a machine capable of responding to a contingent future. Choi pairs novelists George Eliot and Lewis Carroll with physicist James Clerk Maxwell, demonstrating how they introduced possibility and probability into once-assured literary and scientific narratives. And she explores the popular board games and pre-cinematic visual entertainments that encouraged Victorians to navigate a world made newly uncertain. By locating contingency within these cultural contexts, this book invites a deep and multidisciplinary reassessment of the longer histories of causality, closure, and chance.

cover for Crisis Style: The Aesthetics of Repair | Michael Dango
Crisis Style
The Aesthetics of Repair
Michael Dango

In this expansive and provocative new work, Michael Dango theorizes how aesthetic style manages crisis—and why taking crisis seriously means taking aesthetics seriously. Detoxing, filtering, bingeing, and ghosting: these are four actions that have come to define how people deal with the stress of living in a world that seems in permanent crisis. As Dango argues, they can also be used to describe contemporary art and literature. Employing what he calls "promiscuous archives," Dango traverses media and re-shuffles literary and art historical genealogies to make his case. The book discusses social media filters alongside the minimalism of Donald Judd and La Monte Young and the television shows The West Wing and True Detective. It reflects on the modernist cuisine of Ferran Adrià and the fashion design of Issey Miyake. And, it dissects writing by Barbara Browning, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Mark Danielewski, Jennifer Egan, Tao Lin, David Mitchell, Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Robison, and Zadie Smith. Unpacking how the styles of these works detox, filter, binge, or ghost their worlds, Crisis Style is at once a taxonomy of contemporary cultural production and a theorization of action in a world always in need of repair. Ultimately, Dango presents a compelling argument for why we need aesthetic theory to understand what we're doing in our world today.

Paper $35.00 9781503629554
Cloth $140.00 9781503615052
cover for Emmanuel Levinas's Talmudic Turn: Philosophy and Jewish Thought | Ethan Kleinberg
Emmanuel Levinas's Talmudic Turn
Philosophy and Jewish Thought
Ethan Kleinberg

In this rich intellectual history of the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas's Talmudic lectures in Paris, Ethan Kleinberg addresses Levinas's Jewish life and its relation to his philosophical writings while making an argument for the role and importance of Levinas's Talmudic lessons. Pairing each chapter with a related Talmudic lecture, Kleinberg uses the distinction Levinas presents between "God on Our Side" and "God on God's Side" to provide two discrete and at times conflicting approaches to Levinas's Talmudic readings. One is historically situated and argued from "our side" while the other uses Levinas's Talmudic readings themselves to approach the issues as timeless and derived from "God on God's own side." Bringing the two approaches together, Kleinberg asks whether the ethical message and moral urgency of Levinas's Talmudic lectures can be extended beyond the texts and beliefs of a chosen people, religion, or even the seemingly primary unit of the self. Touching on Western philosophy, French Enlightenment universalism, and the Lithuanian Talmudic tradition, Kleinberg provides readers with a boundary-pushing investigation into the origins, influences, and causes of Levinas's turn to and use of Talmud.

Paper $30.00 9781503629592
Cloth $120.00 9781503629448
cover for Utopia in the Age of Survival: Between Myth and Politics | S. D. Chrostowska
Utopia in the Age of Survival
Between Myth and Politics
S. D. Chrostowska

A pathbreaking exploration of the fate of utopia in our troubled times, this book shows how the historically intertwined endeavors of utopia and critique might be leveraged in response to humanity's looming existential challenges. Utopia in the Age of Survival makes the case that critical social theory needs to reinstate utopia as a speculative myth. At the same time the left must reassume utopia as an action-guiding hypothesis—that is, as something still possible. S. D. Chrostowska looks to the vibrant, visionary mid-century resurgence of embodied utopian longings and projections in Surrealism, the Situationist International, and critical theorists writing in their wake, reconstructing utopia's link to survival through to the earliest, most radical phase of the French environmental movement. Survival emerges as the organizing concept for a variety of democratic political forms that center the corporeality of desire in social movements contesting the expanding management of life by state institutions across the globe. Vigilant and timely, balancing fine-tuned analysis with broad historical overview to map the utopian impulse across contemporary cultural and political life, Chrostowska issues an urgent report on the vitality of utopia.

Paper $25.00 9781503629998
Cloth $100.00 9781503629981
cover for Seekers of the Face: Secrets of the Idra Rabba (The Great Assembly) of the Zohar | Melila Hellner-Eshed
Seekers of the Face
Secrets of the Idra Rabba (The Great Assembly) of the Zohar
Melila Hellner-Eshed

A magisterial, modern reading of the deepest mysteries in the Kabbalistic tradition. Seekers of the Face opens the profound treasure house at the heart of Judaism's most important mystical work: the Idra Rabba (Great Gathering) of the Zohar. This is the story of the Great Assembly of mystics called to order by the master teacher and hero of the Zohar, Rabbi Shim'on bar Yochai, to align the divine faces and to heal Jewish religion. The Idra Rabba demands a radical expansion of the religious worldview, as it reveals God's faces and bodies in daring, anthropomorphic language. For the first time, Melila Hellner-Eshed makes this challenging, esoteric masterpiece meaningful for everyday readers. Hellner-Eshed expertly unpacks the Idra Rabba's rich grounding in tradition, its probing of hidden layers of consciousness and the psyche, and its striking, sacred images of the divine face. Leading readers of the Zohar on a transformative adventure in mystical experience, Seekers of the Face allows us to hear anew the Idra Rabba's bold call to heal and align the living faces of God.

cover for Embattled: How Ancient Greek Myths Empower Us to Resist Tyranny | Emily Katz Anhalt
How Ancient Greek Myths Empower Us to Resist Tyranny
Emily Katz Anhalt

An incisive exploration of the way Greek myths empower us to defeat tyranny. As tyrannical passions increasingly plague twenty-first-century politics, tales told in ancient Greek epics and tragedies provide a vital antidote. Democracy as a concept did not exist until the Greeks coined the term and tried the experiment, but the idea can be traced to stories that the ancient Greeks told and retold. From the eighth through the fifth centuries BCE, Homeric epics and Athenian tragedies exposed the tyrannical potential of individuals and groups large and small. These stories identified abuses of power as self-defeating. They initiated and fostered a movement away from despotism and toward broader forms of political participation. Following her highly praised book Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths, the classicist Emily Katz Anhalt retells tales from key ancient Greek texts and proceeds to interpret the important message they hold for us today. As she reveals, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus's Oresteia, and Sophocles's Antigone encourage us—as they encouraged the ancient Greeks—to take responsibility for our own choices and their consequences. These stories emphasize the responsibilities that come with power (any power, whether derived from birth, wealth, personal talents, or numerical advantage), reminding us that the powerful and the powerless alike have obligations to each other. They assist us in restraining destructive passions and balancing tribal allegiances with civic responsibilities. They empower us to resist the tyrannical impulses not only of others but also in ourselves. In an era of political polarization, Embattled demonstrates that if we seek to eradicate tyranny in all its toxic forms, ancient Greek epics and tragedies can point the way.

cover for Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition | Stathis Gourgouris
Dream Nation
Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition
Stathis Gourgouris

Against the backdrop of ever-increasing nationalist violence during the last decade of the twentieth century, this book challenges standard analyses of nation formation by elaborating on the nation's dream-like hold over the modern social imagination. Stathis Gourgouris argues that the national fantasy lies at the core of the Enlightenment imaginary, embodying its central paradox: the intertwining of anthropological universality with the primacy of a cultural ideal. Crucial to the operation of this paradox and fundamental in its ambiguity is the figure of Greece, the universal alibi and cultural predicate behind national-cultural consolidation throughout colonialist Europe. The largely unpredictable institution of a modern Greek nation in 1830 undoes the interweaving of Enlightenment and Philhellenism, whose centrifugal strands continue to unravel the certainty of European history, down to the internal predicaments of the European Union or the tragedy of the Balkan conflicts. This 25th Anniversary edition of the book includes a new preface by the author in which he situates the book's original insights in retrospect against the newer developments in the social and political conditions of a now globalized world: the neocolonial resurgence of nationalism and racism, the failure of social democratic institutions, the crisis of sovereignty and citizenship, and the brutal conditions of stateless peoples.

cover for Green Mass: The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen | Michael Marder
Green Mass
The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Michael Marder

Green Mass is a meditation on—and with—twelfth-century Christian mystic and polymath Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Attending to Hildegard's vegetal vision, which greens theological tradition and imbues plant life with spirit, philosopher Michael Marder uncovers a verdant mode of thinking. The book stages a fresh encounter between present-day and premodern concerns, ecology and theology, philosophy and mysticism, the material and the spiritual, in word and sound. Hildegard's lush notion of viriditas, the vegetal power of creation, is emblematic of her deeply entwined understanding of physical reality and spiritual elevation. From blossoming flora to burning desert, Marder plays with the symphonic multiplicity of meanings in her thought, listening to the resonances between the ardency of holy fire and the aridity of a world aflame. Across Hildegard's cosmos, we hear the anarchic proliferation of her ecological theology, in which both God and greening are circular, without beginning or end. Introduced with a foreword by philosopher Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback and accompanied by cellist Peter Schuback's musical movements, which echo both Hildegard's own compositions and key themes in each chapter of the book, this multifaceted work creates a resonance chamber, in which to discover the living world anew. The original compositions accompanying each chapter are available free for streaming and for download at

cover for Networking Print in Shakespeare’s England: Influence, Agency, and Revolutionary Change | Blaine Greteman
Networking Print in Shakespeare’s England
Influence, Agency, and Revolutionary Change
Blaine Greteman

In Networking Print in Shakespeare's England, Blaine Greteman uses new analytical tools to examine early English print networks and the systemic changes that reshaped early modern literature, thought, and politics. In early modern England, printed books were a technology that connected people—not only readers and writers, but an increasingly expansive community of printers, publishers, and booksellers—in new ways. By pairing the methods of network analysis with newly available digital archives, Greteman aims to change the way we usually talk about authorship, publication, and print. As Greteman reveals, network analysis of the nearly 500,000 books printed in England before 1800 makes it possible to speak once again of a "print revolution," identifying a sudden tipping point at which the early modern print network became a small world where information could spread in new and powerful ways. Along with providing new insights into canonical literary figures like Milton and Shakespeare, data analysis also uncovers the hidden histories of key figures in this transformation who have been virtually ignored. Both a primer on the power of network analysis and a critical intervention in early modern studies, the book is ultimately an extended meditation on agency and the complexity of action in context.

Paper $35.00 9781503627987
Cloth $140.00 9781503615243
cover for Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions | David S. Roh
Minor Transpacific
Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions
David S. Roh

There is a tendency to think of Korean American literature—and Asian American literature writ large—as a field of study involving only two spaces, the United States and Korea, with the same being true in Asian studies of Korean Japanese (Zainichi) literature involving only Japan and Korea. This book posits that both fields have to account for three spaces: Korean American literature has to grapple with the legacy of Japanese imperialism in the United States, and Zainichi literature must account for American interventions in Japan. Comparing Korean American authors such as Younghill Kang, Chang-rae Lee, Ronyoung Kim, and Min Jin Lee with Zainichi authors such as Kaneshiro Kazuki, Yi Yang-ji, and Kim Masumi, Minor Transpacific uncovers their hidden dialogue and imperial concordances, revealing the trajectory and impact of both bodies of work. Minor Transpacific bridges the fields of Asian studies and Asian American studies to unveil new connections between Zainichi and Korean American literatures. Working in Japanese and English, David S. Roh builds a theoretical framework for articulating those moments of contact between minority literatures in a third national space and proposes a new way of conceptualizing Asian American literature.

Paper $30.00 9781503628007
Cloth $120.00 9781503611764
cover for Jewish Primitivism:  | Samuel J. Spinner
Jewish Primitivism
Samuel J. Spinner

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, Jewish writers and artists across Europe began depicting fellow Jews as savages or "primitive" tribesmen. Primitivism—the European appreciation of and fascination with so-called "primitive," non-Western peoples who were also subjugated and denigrated—was a powerful artistic critique of the modern world and was adopted by Jewish writers and artists to explore the urgent questions surrounding their own identity and status in Europe as insiders and outsiders. Jewish primitivism found expression in a variety of forms in Yiddish, Hebrew, and German literature, photography, and graphic art, including in the work of figures such as Franz Kafka, Y.L. Peretz, S. An-sky, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Else Lasker-Schüler, and Moï Ver. In Jewish Primitivism, Samuel J. Spinner argues that these and other Jewish modernists developed a distinct primitivist aesthetic that, by locating the savage present within Europe, challenged the idea of the threatening savage other from outside Europe on which much primitivism relied: in Jewish primitivism, the savage is already there. This book offers a new assessment of modern Jewish art and literature and shows how Jewish primitivism troubles the boundary between observer and observed, cultured and "primitive," colonizer and colonized.

cover for Toward the Critique of Violence: A Critical Edition | Walter Benjamin, Edited by Peter Fenves and Julia Ng
Toward the Critique of Violence
A Critical Edition
Walter Benjamin, Edited by Peter Fenves and Julia Ng

Marking the centenary of Walter Benjamin's immensely influential essay, "Toward the Critique of Violence," this critical edition presents readers with an altogether new, fully annotated translation of a work that is widely recognized as a classic of modern political theory. The volume includes twenty-one notes and fragments by Benjamin along with passages from all of the contemporaneous texts to which his essay refers. Readers thus encounter for the first time in English provocative arguments about law and violence advanced by Hermann Cohen, Kurt Hiller, Erich Unger, and Emil Lederer. A new translation of selections from Georges Sorel's Reflections on Violence further illuminates Benjamin's critical program. The volume also includes, for the first time in any language, a bibliography Benjamin drafted for the expansion of the essay and the development of a corresponding philosophy of law. An extensive introduction and afterword provide additional context. With its challenging argument concerning violence, law, and justice—which addresses such topical matters as police violence, the death penalty, and the ambiguous force of religion—Benjamin's work is as important today as it was upon its publication in Weimar Germany a century ago.

cover for Notework: Victorian Literature and Nonlinear Style | Simon Reader
Victorian Literature and Nonlinear Style
Simon Reader

Notework begins with a striking insight: the writer's notebook is a genre in itself. Simon Reader pursues this argument in original readings of unpublished writing by prominent Victorians, offering an expansive approach to literary formalism for the twenty-first century. Neither drafts nor diaries, the notes of Charles Darwin, Oscar Wilde, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Vernon Lee, and George Gissing record ephemeral and nonlinear experiences, revealing each author's desire to leave their fragments scattered and unused. Presenting notes in terms of genre allows Reader to suggest inventive new accounts of key Victorian texts, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, On the Origin of Species, and Hopkins's devotional lyrics, and to reinterpret these works as meditations on the ethics of compiling and using data. In this way, Notework recasts information collection as a personal and expressive activity that comes into focus against large-scale systems of knowledge organization. Finding resonance between today's digital culture and its nineteenth-century precursors, Reader honors our most disposable, improvised, and fleeting written gestures.

Cloth $75.00 9781503615267
cover for It Could Lead to Dancing: Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity | Sonia Gollance
It Could Lead to Dancing
Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity
Sonia Gollance

Dances and balls appear throughout world literature as venues for young people to meet, flirt, and form relationships, as any reader of Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, or Romeo and Juliet can attest. The popularity of social dance transcends class, gender, ethnic, and national boundaries. In the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish culture, dance offers crucial insights into debates about emancipation and acculturation. While traditional Jewish law prohibits men and women from dancing together, Jewish mixed-sex dancing was understood as the very sign of modernity––and the ultimate boundary transgression. Writers of modern Jewish literature deployed dance scenes as a charged and complex arena for understanding the limits of acculturation, the dangers of ethnic mixing, and the implications of shifting gender norms and marriage patterns, while simultaneously entertaining their readers. In this pioneering study, Sonia Gollance examines the specific literary qualities of dance scenes, while also paying close attention to the broader social implications of Jewish engagement with dance. Combining cultural history with literary analysis and drawing connections to contemporary representations of Jewish social dance, Gollance illustrates how mixed-sex dancing functions as a flexible metaphor for the concerns of Jewish communities in the face of cultural transitions.

cover for Prose of the World: Denis Diderot and the Periphery of Enlightenment | Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Prose of the World
Denis Diderot and the Periphery of Enlightenment
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

A lively examination of the life and work of one of the great Enlightenment intellectuals Philosopher, translator, novelist, art critic, and editor of the Encyclopédie, Denis Diderot was one of the liveliest figures of the Enlightenment. But how might we delineate the contours of his diverse oeuvre, which, unlike the works of his contemporaries, Voltaire, Rousseau, Schiller, Kant, or Hume, is clearly characterized by a centrifugal dynamic? Taking Hegel's fascinated irritation with Diderot's work as a starting point, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht explores the question of this extraordinary intellectual's place in the legacy of the eighteenth century. While Diderot shared most of the concerns typically attributed to his time, the ways in which he coped with them do not fully correspond to what we consider Enlightenment thought. Conjuring scenes from Diderot's by turns turbulent and quiet life, offering close readings of several key books, and probing the motif of a tension between physical perception and conceptual experience, Gumbrecht demonstrates how Diderot belonged to a vivid intellectual periphery that included protagonists such as Lichtenberg, Goya, and Mozart. With this provocative and elegant work, he elaborates the existential preoccupations of this periphery, revealing the way they speak to us today.

cover for Crowds: The Stadium as a Ritual of Intensity | Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
The Stadium as a Ritual of Intensity
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Anyone who has ever experienced a sporting event in a large stadium knows the energy that emanates from stands full of fans cheering on their teams. Although "the masses" have long held a thoroughly bad reputation in politics and culture, literary critic and avid sports fan Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht finds powerful, as yet unexplored reasons to sing the praises of crowds. Drawing on his experiences as a spectator in the stadiums of South America, Germany, and the US, Gumbrecht presents the stadium as "a ritual of intensity," thereby offering a different lens through which we might capture and even appreciate the dynamic of the masses. In presenting this alternate view, Gumbrecht enters into conversation with thinkers who were more critical of the potential of the masses, such as Gustave Le Bon, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, José Ortega y Gasset, Elias Canetti, Siegfried Kracauer, T. W. Adorno, or Max Horkheimer. A preface explores college crowds as a uniquely specific phenomenon of American culture. Pairing philosophical rigor with the enthusiasm of a true fan, Gumbrecht writes from the inside and suggests that being part of a crowd opens us up to an experience beyond ourselves.

cover for The Afterlife of Enclosure: British Realism, Character, and the Commons | Carolyn Lesjak
The Afterlife of Enclosure
British Realism, Character, and the Commons
Carolyn Lesjak

The enclosure of the commons, space once available for communal use, was not a singular event but an act of "slow violence" that transformed lands, labor, and basic concepts of public life leading into the nineteenth century. The Afterlife of Enclosure examines three canonical British writers—Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy—as narrators of this history, the long duration and diffuse effects of which required new literary forms to capture the lived experience of enclosure and its aftermath. This study boldly reconceives the realist novel, not as an outdated artifact, but as witness to the material and environmental dispossession of enclosure—and bearer of utopian energies. These writers reinvented a commons committed to the collective nature of the social world. Illuminating the common at the heart of the novel—from common characters to commonplace events—Carolyn Lesjak reveals an experimental figuration of the lost commons, once a defining feature of the British landscape and political imaginary. In the face of privatization, climate change, new enclosures, and the other forms of slow violence unfolding globally today, this book looks back to a literature of historical trauma and locates within it a radical path forward.

Paper $32.00 9781503627819
Cloth $130.00 9781503615083
cover for Political Grammars: The Unconscious Foundations of Modern Democracy | Davide Tarizzo
Political Grammars
The Unconscious Foundations of Modern Democracy
Davide Tarizzo

Do we need to be a "people," populus, in order to embrace democracy and live together in peace? If so, what is a populus? Is it by definition a nation? What exactly do we mean by nationality? In this book, Davide Tarizzo takes up the problem of modern democratic, liberal peoples—how to define them, how to explain their invariance over time, and how to differentiate one people from another. Specifically, Tarizzo proposes that Jacques Lacan's theory of the subject enables us to clearly distinguish between the notion of personal identity and the notion of subjectivity, and that this very distinction is critical to understanding the nature of nations whose sense of nationhood does not rest on any self-evident identity or pre-existent cultural or ethnic homogeneity between individuals. Developing an argument about the birth and rise of modern peoples that draws on the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789 as examples, Tarizzo introduces the concept of "political grammar"—a phrase that denotes the conditions of political subjectification that enable the enunciation of an emergent "we." Democracy, Tarizzo argues, flourishes when the opening between subjectivity and identity is maintained. And in fact, as he compellingly demonstrates, depending on the political grammar at work, democracy can be productively perceived as a process of never-ending recovery from a lack of clear national identity.

Paper $30.00 9781503615311
Cloth $120.00 9781503614680