In 1915, the Ottoman government, then run by the Young Turks, deported most of its Armenian citizens from their eastern Anatolian lands. According to reliable estimates, close to forty percent of the prewar population perished, many in brutal massacres. Armenians call it the first genocide of the twentieth century. Turks speak of an instance of intercommunal warfare and wartime relocation made necessary by the treasonous conduct of their Armenian minority.
The voluminous literature on this tragic episode of World War I is characterized by acrimony and distortion in which both sides have simplified a complex historical reality and have resorted to partisan special pleading.
The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey examines the rich historical evidence without political preconceptions. Relying on archival materials as well as eye-witness testimony, Guenter Lewy avoids the sterile “was-it-genocide-or-not” debate and presents a detailed account of what actually happened. The result is a book that will open a new chapter in this contentious controversy and may help achieve a long-overdue reconciliation of Armenians and Turks.
Tim Dean University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress BF175.5.S48D49 2000 | Dewey Decimal 155.3
Beyond Sexuality points contemporary sexual politics in a radically new direction. Combining a psychoanalytic emphasis on the unconscious with a deep respect for the historical variability of sexual identities, this original work of queer theory makes the case for viewing erotic desire as fundamentally impersonal. Tim Dean develops a reading of Jacques Lacan that—rather than straightening out this notoriously difficult French psychoanalyst—brings out the queer tensions and productive incoherencies in his account of desire.
Dean shows how the Lacanian unconscious "deheterosexualizes" desire, and along the way he reveals how psychoanalytic thinkers as well as queer theorists have failed to exploit the full potential of this conception of desire. The book elaborates this by investigating social fantasies about homosexuality and AIDS, including gay men's own fantasies about sex and promiscuity, in an attempt to illuminate the challenges facing safe-sex education. Taking on many shibboleths in contemporary psychoanalysis and queer theory—and taking no prisoners—Beyond Sexuality offers an antidote to hagiographical strains in recent work on psychoanalysis, Foucault, and sexuality.
In Black Empire, Michelle Ann Stephens examines the ideal of “transnational blackness” that emerged in the work of radical black intellectuals from the British West Indies in the early twentieth century. Focusing on the writings of Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, and C. L. R. James, Stephens shows how these thinkers developed ideas of a worldwide racial movement and federated global black political community that transcended the boundaries of nation-states. Stephens highlights key geopolitical and historical events that gave rise to these writers’ intellectual investment in new modes of black political self-determination. She describes their engagement with the fate of African Americans within the burgeoning U.S. empire, their disillusionment with the potential of post–World War I international organizations such as the League of Nations to acknowledge, let alone improve, the material conditions of people of color around the world, and the inspiration they took from the Bolshevik Revolution, which offered models of revolution and community not based on nationality.
Stephens argues that the global black political consciousness she identifies was constituted by both radical and reactionary impulses. On the one hand, Garvey, McKay, and James saw freedom of movement as the basis of black transnationalism. The Caribbean archipelago—a geographic space ideally suited to the free movement of black subjects across national boundaries—became the metaphoric heart of their vision. On the other hand, these three writers were deeply influenced by the ideas of militarism, empire, and male sovereignty that shaped global political discourse in the early twentieth century. As such, their vision of transnational blackness excluded women’s political subjectivities. Drawing together insights from American, African American, Caribbean, and gender studies, Black Empire is a major contribution to ongoing conversations about nation and diaspora.
C. L. R. James's Caribbean
Paget Henry and Paul Buhle, eds. Duke University Press, 1992 Library of Congress PR9272.9.J35Z63 1992 | Dewey Decimal 818
For more than half a century, C. L. R. James (1901–1989)—"the Black Plato," as coined by the London Times—has been an internationally renowned revolutionary thinker, writer, and activist. Born in Trinidad, his lifelong work was devoted to understanding and transforming race and class exploitation in his native West Indies, as well as in Britain and the United States. In C. L. R. James's Caribbean, noted scholars examine the roots of both James's life and oeuvre in connection with the economic, social, and political environment of the West Indies.
Drawing upon James's observations of his own life as revealed to interviewers and close friends, this volume provides an examination of James's childhood and early years as colonial literatteur and his massive contribution to West Indian political-cultural understanding. Moving beyond previous biographical interpretations, the contributors here take up the problem of reading James's texts in light of poststructuralist criticism, the implications of his texts for Marxist discourse, and for problems of Caribbean development.
This volume makes available for the first time in English the work of a significant Indian nationalist author, Pandey Bechan Sharma, better known in India as “Ugra,” meaning “extreme.” His book Chocolate, a 1927 collection of eight stories, was the first work of Hindi fiction to focus on male same-sex relations, and its publication sparked India’s first public debates about homosexuality. Many prominent figures, including Gandhi, weighed in on the debates, which lasted into the 1950s. This edition, translated and with an introduction by Ruth Vanita, includes the full text of Chocolate along with an excerpt from Ugra’s novel Letters of Some Beautiful Ones (also published in 1927). In her introduction, Vanita situates Ugra and his writings in relation to Indian nationalist struggles and Hindi literary movements and feuds, and she analyzes the controversies that surrounded Chocolate. Those outraged by its titillating portrayal of homosexuality labeled the collection obscene. On the other side, although no one explicitly defended homosexuality in public, some justified Ugra’s work by arguing that it was the artist’s job to educate through provocation.
The stories depict male homoeroticism in quotidian situations: a man brings a lover to his disapproving friend’s house; a good-looking young man becomes the object of desire at his school. The love never ends well, but the depictions are not always unsympathetic. Although Ugra claimed that the stories were aimed at suppressing homosexuality by exposing it, Vanita highlights the ambivalence of his characterizations. Cosmopolitan, educated, and hedonistic, the Hindu and Muslim men he portrayed quote Hindi and Urdu poetry to express their love, and they justify same-sex desire by drawing on literature, philosophy, and world history. Vanita’s introduction includes anecdotal evidence that Chocolate was enthusiastically received by India’s homosexual communities.
The Cartesian cogito—the principle articulated by Descartes that "I think, therefore I am"—is often hailed as the precursor of modern science. At the same time, the cogito's agent, the ego, is sometimes feared as the agency of manipulative domination responsible for all present woes, from patriarchal oppression to ecological catastrophes. Without psychoanalyzing philosophy, Cogito and the Unconscious explores the vicissitudes of the cogito and shows that psychoanalyses can render visible a constitutive madness within modern philosophy, the point at which "I think, therefore I am" becomes obsessional neurosis characterized by "If I stop thinking, I will cease to exist."
Noting that for Lacan the Cartesian construct is the same as the Freudian "subject of the unconscious," the contributors follow Lacan's plea for a psychoanalytic return to the cogito. Along the path of this return, they examine the ethical attitude that befits modern subjectivity, the inherent sexualization of modern subjectivity, the impasse in which the Cartesian project becomes involved given the enigmatic status of the human body, and the Cartesian subject's confrontation with its modern critics, including Althusser, Bataille, and Dennett. In a style that has become familiar to Žižek's readers, these essays bring together a strict conceptual analysis and an approach to a wide range of cultural and ideological phenomena—from the sadist paradoxes of Kant's moral philosophy to the universe of Ayn Rand's novels, from the question "Which, if any, is the sex of the cogito?" to the defense of the cogito against the onslaught of cognitive sciences.
Challenging us to reconsider fundamental notions of human consciousness and modern subjectivity, this is a book whose very Lacanian orthodoxy makes it irreverently transgressive of predominant theoretical paradigms. Cogito and the Unconscious will appeal to readers interested in philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and theories of ideology.
Contributors. Miran Bozovic, Mladen Dolar, Alain Grosrichard, Marc de Kessel, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl, Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic
At this stalled and disillusioned juncture in postcolonial history—when many anticolonial utopias have withered into a morass of exhaustion, corruption, and authoritarianism—David Scott argues the need to reconceptualize the past in order to reimagine a more usable future. He describes how, prior to independence, anticolonialists narrated the transition from colonialism to postcolonialism as romance—as a story of overcoming and vindication, of salvation and redemption. Scott contends that postcolonial scholarship assumes the same trajectory, and that this imposes conceptual limitations. He suggests that tragedy may be a more useful narrative frame than romance. In tragedy, the future does not appear as an uninterrupted movement forward, but instead as a slow and sometimes reversible series of ups and downs.
Scott explores the political and epistemological implications of how the past is conceived in relation to the present and future through a reconsideration of C. L. R. James’s masterpiece of anticolonial history, The Black Jacobins, first published in 1938. In that book, James told the story of Toussaint L’Ouverture and the making of the Haitian Revolution as one of romantic vindication. In the second edition, published in the United States in 1963, James inserted new material suggesting that that story might usefully be told as tragedy. Scott uses James’s recasting of The Black Jacobins to compare the relative yields of romance and tragedy. In an epilogue, he juxtaposes James’s thinking about tragedy, history, and revolution with Hannah Arendt’s in On Revolution. He contrasts their uses of tragedy as a means of situating the past in relation to the present in order to derive a politics for a possible future.
The End: Hamburg 1943
Hans Erich Nossack University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress D757.9.H3N68 2005 | Dewey Decimal 940.54213515
One didn't dare to inhale for fear of breathing it in. It was the sound of eighteen hundred airplanes approaching Hamburg from the south at an unimaginable height. We had already experienced two hundred or even more air raids, among them some very heavy ones, but this was something completely new. And yet there was an immediate recognition: this was what everyone had been waiting for, what had hung for months like a shadow over everything we did, making us weary. It was the end.
Novelist Hans Erich Nossack was forty-two when the Allied bombardments of German cities began, and he watched the destruction of Hamburg—the city where he was born and where he would later die—from across its Elbe River. He heard the whistle of the bombs and the singing of shrapnel; he watched his neighbors flee; he wondered if his home—and his manuscripts—would survive the devastation. The End is his terse, remarkable memoir of the annihilation of the city, written only three months after the bombing. A searing firsthand account of one of the most notorious events of World War II, The End is also a meditation on war and hope, history and its devastation. And it is the rare book, as W. G. Sebald noted, that describes the Allied bombing campaign from the German perspective.
In the first English-language edition of The End, Nossack's text has been crisply translated by Joel Agee and is accompanied by the photographs of Erich Andres. Poetic, evocative, and yet highly descriptive, The End will prove to be, as Sebald claimed, one of the most important German books on the firebombing of that country.
"A small but critical book, something to read in those quiet moments when we wonder what will happen next."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
As a writer, Glenway Wescott (1901–1987) left behind several novels, including The Grandmothers and The Pilgrim Hawk, noted for their remarkable lyricism. As a literary figure, Wescott also became a symbol of his times. Born on a Wisconsin farm in 1901, he associated as a young writer with Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald in 1920s Paris and subsequently was a central figure in New York’s artistic and gay communities. Though he couldn’t finish a novel after the age of forty-five, he was just as famous as an arts impresario, as a diarist, and for the company he kept: W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, Somerset Maugham, E. M. Forster, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries.
In Glenway Wescott Personally, Jerry Rosco chronicles Wescott’s long and colorful life, his early fame and later struggles to write, the uniquely privileged and sometimes tortured world of artistic creation. Rosco sensitively and insightfully reveals Wescott’s private life, his long relationship with Museum of Modern Art curator Monroe Wheeler, his work with sex researcher Alfred Kinsey that led to breakthrough findings on homosexuality, and his kinship with such influential artists as Jean Cocteau, George Platt-Lynes, and Paul Cadmus.
An engaging account of one woman’s overcoming the Depression and small town mores.
Viola Goode Liddell’s short memoir tells the story of her return to Alabama in search of a husband and a new life. Thirty years old and recently divorced, Liddell comes back to her home state—with her young son—determined to survive, during the depths of the Depression. Liddell narrates the obstacles she faces as a single mother in the 1930s Deep South with self-deprecating humor and a confessional tone that reveal both her intelligence and her unapologetic ambitions.
Unable to earn, borrow, or beg enough money to support herself and her child, Liddell uses her family connections to secure a teaching position in Camden, Alabama. Even though an older sister’s status within the community helps her land the job, Liddell is warned that she must be very careful as she navigates the tricky social terrain of small town life, particularly when it comes to men. A commentary on the plight of women of the time is woven into the narrative as Liddell recounts her experience of being refused a loan at the local bank by her own brother-in-law.
Despite all the restrictions on her behavior and the crushing reality that she has become "the biggest nuisance in the family" because of her past, Liddell cheerfully and successfully builds a new life of respectability and hope.
In this tribute to Charlton Laird, ten scholars in the fields of language and linguistics provide ordinary readers with new insight into the workings of the English language. Laird, one of Nevada's treasured authors, was a professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.
"Not only one of the frankest of autobiographies, but also a brilliantly written book, Leiris' Manhood mingles memories, philosophic reflections, sexual revelation, meditations on bullfighting, and the life-long progress of self-discovery."—Washington Post Book World
"Leiris writes to appall, and thereby to receive from his readers the gift of a strong emotion—the emotion needed to defend himself against the indignation and disgust he expects to arouse in his readers."—Susan Sontag, New York Review of Books
Music of Another World
Szymon Laks Northwestern University Press, 2000 Library of Congress D805.P7L34313 2000 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318
Compassionate yet detached, ironic yet pitilessly honest, Szymon Laks, the kapellmeister of the Auschwitz orchestra, presents a disturbing description of a phenomenon seldom mentioned in the literature of the Holocaust: the presence of music among the crematoria. His story is a testament to the human spirit and to music itself, the beauty of which Laks and others honored even as the lives of so many were destroyed.
In this systematic historical analysis, Nino Langiulli focuses on a key philosophical issue, possibility, as it is refracted through the thought of the Italian philosopher Nicola Abbagnano. Langiulli examines Abbagnano's attempt to raise possibility to a level of prime importance and investigates his understanding of existence. In so doing, the author offers a sustained exposition of and argument with the account of possibility in the major thinkers of the Western tradition—Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Kierkegaard. He also makes pertinent comments on such philosophers as Diodorus Cronus, William of Ockham, Spinoza, Hobbes, and Hegel, as well as such logicians as DeMorgan and Boole.
Nicola Abbagnano, who died in 1990, recently came to the attention of the general public as an influential teacher of author Umberto Eco. Creator of a dictionary of philosophy and author of a multiple-volume history of Western philosophy, Abbagnano was the only philosopher, according to Langiulli, to argue that "to be is to be possible."
Even though the concept of probability and the discipline of statistics are grounded in the concept of possibility, philosophers throughout history have grappled with the problem of defining it. Possibility has been viewed by some as an empty concept, devoid of reality, and by others as reducible to actuality or necessity—concepts which are opposite to it. Langiulli analyzes and debates Abbagnano's treatment of necessity as secondary to possibility, and he addresses the philosopher's conversation with his predecessors as well as his European and American contemporaries.
In the series Themes in the History of Philosophy, edited by Edith Wyschogrod.
Shamrock Battalion in the Great War
Martin J. Hogan, Edited & Intro by James J. Cooke University of Missouri Press, 2007 Library of Congress D570.33 165th.H6 2007 | Dewey Decimal 940.41273
When Martin Hogan began training on a vacant lot to be a soldier, he had no idea that he was about to become part of one of the most famed fighting units of World War I. But soon he and other citizen soldiers from the Irish neighborhoods of New York City were locked in deadly combat with the German army.
Hogan’s book records his recollections of the 165th Infantry in World War I, a regiment in the famed Rainbow Division. Company K of the Third or Shamrock Battalion had a part in every fight, and those who survived had more wound stripes than did the soldiers of any other company in the American Expeditionary Forces. Few soldiers saw as much of the war in eighteen months as did young Martin Hogan, and in this stirring account he tells of his experiences with graphic power, humility, and humor.
Hogan depicts World War I at its most human level, with memories of combat in the trenches and on blood-soaked battlefields at St. Mihiel and in the Argonne Forest. His account tells us much about how unprepared for service the United States really was, with the National Guard woefully undersupplied and seriously undertrained. His experiences as a gassed, then wounded, soldier also show the reader a side of war that was far from glorious—in a time before penicillin, when the dangers of gangrene ran high—and his memoir conveys rare insight about conditions in American military hospitals where he found care.
This insider view of the frontline experience during the Great War, complete with well-known figures such as Chaplain Father Francis Duffy and Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan, attests that the Rainbow Division “epitomized the best of the best spirit in the world—the American spirit.”
James Cooke’s new introduction to this edition places that renowned division in historical context. Now that other part-time American soldiers are facing new challenges abroad, Hogan’s account also attests that the National Guard, citizen soldiers who bore the brunt of much decisive fighting, measured up to the highest standards of professional fighting men.
Prime minister of Sweden and leader of the Social Democratic party from 1946-1969, Tage Erlander enjoyed a career that was remarkable both for its major accomplishments and longevity. Under his leadership, Sweden became an exemplary welfare state following World War II. Universal pensions, child support, health insurance, extended paid vacations, subsidized housing, and many other benefits made Sweden's standard of living the envy of the world.
This definitive political biography is both the study of an individual style of leadership and the role of the prime minister in a parliamentary state. It shows Erlander as a complex and engaging intellectual fiercely loyal to his party, agitative yet dedicated to cooperation between parties.
Olof Ruin analyzes Erlander's various roles as Riksdag caucus leader, cabinet organizer, party leader, promoter of domestic consensus, and foreign policy maker. Ruin is the first scholar to be given unrestricted access to Erlander's diaries.
In the space of barely more than five years, with the publication of four pathbreaking books, Slavoj Žižek has earned the reputation of being one of the most arresting, insightful, and scandalous thinkers in recent memory. Perhaps more than any other single author, his writings have constituted the most compelling evidence available for recognizing Jacques Lacan as the preemient philosopher of our time.
In Tarrying with the Negative, Žižek challenges the contemporary critique of ideology, and in doing so opens the way for a new understanding of social conflict, particularly the recent outbursts of nationalism and ethnic struggle. Are we, Žižek asks, confined to a postmodern universe in which truth is reduced to the contingent effect of various discursive practices and where our subjectivity is dispersed through a multitude of ideological positions? No is his answer, and the way out is a return to philosophy. This revisit to German Idealism allows Žižek to recast the critique of ideology as a tool for disclosing the dynamic of our society, a crucial aspect of which is the debate over nationalism, particularly as it has developed in the Balkans—Žižek's home. He brings the debate over nationalism into the sphere of contemporary cultural politics, breaking the impasse centered on nationalisms simultaneously fascistic and anticolonial aspirations. Provocatively, Žižek argues that what drives nationalistic and ethnic antagonism is a collectively driven refusal of our own enjoyment.
Using examples from popular culture and high theory to illuminate each other—opera, film noir, capitalist universalism, religious and ethnic fundamentalism—this work testifies to the fact that, far more radically than the postmodern sophists, Kant and Hegel are our contemporaries.
Whom does society consider an intellectual and on what grounds? Antonio Gramsci’s democratic vision of intelligence famously suggested that “all men are intellectuals,” yet within academic circles and among the general public, intellectuals continue to be defined by narrow, elite criteria.
In this study of four celebrated citizens of the African diaspora—American boxer Muhammad Ali, West Indian Marxist critic C. L. R. James, British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, and Jamaican musician Bob Marley—Grant Farred develops a new category of engaged thinker: the vernacular intellectual. Extending Gramsci’s concept of the organic intellectual, Farred conceives of vernacular intellectuals as individuals who challenge social injustice from inside and outside traditional academic or political spheres. Muhammad Ali, for example, is celebrated as much for his dazzling verbal skills and courageous political stands as for his pugilistic talents; Bob Marley’s messages of liberation are as central to his popularity as his lyrical and melodic sophistication. Neither man is described as an intellectual, yet both perform crucial intellectual functions: shaping how people see the world, oppose hegemony, and understand their own history. In contrast, the careers of C. L. R. James and Stuart Hall reflect a dynamic blend of the traditional and the vernacular. Conventionally trained and situated, James and Hall examine racism, history, and the lasting impact of colonialism in ways that draw on both established scholarship and more popular cultural experiences.
Challenging existing paradigms, What’s My Name offers an expansive and inclusive vision of intellectual activity that is as valid and meaningful in the boxing ring, the press conference, and the concert hall as in academia.
With a Southern Accent
Viola Goode Liddell University of Alabama Press, 1982 Library of Congress F326.L5 1982 | Dewey Decimal 976.120610922
Two generations of Alabamians will welcome the reappearance of this classic: those who loved it when it was published to national acclaim in 1948 and who have missed it during the many years it has been out of print, and those who have enjoyed Viola Goode Liddell’s follow-up success, A Place of Springs, and eagerly seek more from her pen.
A Book-of-the-Month Club selection when first published, With a Southern Accent belongs on the shelves of all those who have wearied of the labels and want to meet the people of yesterday’s South.