To which institutions or social practices should we grant authority? When should we instead assert our own sense of what is right or good or necessary?
In this book, James Boyd White shows how texts by some of our most important thinkers and writers—including Plato, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Mandela, and Lincoln—answer these questions, not in the abstract, but in the way they wrestle with the claims of the world and self in particular historical and cultural contexts. As they define afresh the institutions or practices for which they claim (or resist) authority, they create authorities of their own, in the very modes of thought and expression they employ. They imagine their world anew and transform the languages that give it meaning.
In so doing, White maintains, these works teach us about how to read and judge claims of authority made by others upon us; how to decide to which institutions and practices we should grant authority; and how to create authorities of our own through our thoughts and arguments. Elegant and accessible, this book will appeal to anyone wanting to better understand one of the primary processes of our social and political lives.
What distinguished the true alchemist from the fraud? This question animated the lives and labors of the common men—and occasionally women—who made a living as alchemists in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Holy Roman Empire. As purveyors of practical techniques, inventions, and cures, these entrepreneurs were prized by princely patrons, who relied upon alchemists to bolster their political fortunes. At the same time, satirists, artists, and other commentators used the figure of the alchemist as a symbol for Europe’s social and economic ills.
Drawing on criminal trial records, contracts, laboratory inventories, satires, and vernacular alchemical treatises, Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire situates the everyday alchemists, largely invisible to modern scholars until now, at the center of the development of early modern science and commerce. Reconstructing the workaday world of entrepreneurial alchemists, Tara Nummedal shows how allegations of fraud shaped their practices and prospects. These debates not only reveal enormously diverse understandings of what the “real” alchemy was and who could practice it; they also connect a set of little-known practitioners to the largest questions about commerce, trust, and intellectual authority in early modern Europe.
In a major new book, Lucian W. Pye reconceptualizes Asian political development as a product of cultural attitudes about power and authority. He contrasts the great traditions of Confucian East Asia with the Southeast Asian cultures and the South Asian traditions of Hinduism and Islam, and explores the national differences within these larger civilizations.
Breaking with modern political theory, Pye believes that power differs profoundly from one culture to another. In Asia the masses of the people are group-oriented and respectful of authority, while their leaders are more concerned with dignity and upholding collective pride than with problem-solving. As culture decides the course of political development, Pye shows how Asian societies, confronted with the task of setting up modern nation-states, respond by fashioning paternalistic forms of power that satisfy their deep psychological craving for security. This new paternalism may appear essentially authoritarian to Western eyes, but Pye maintains that it is a valid response to the people’s needs and will ensure community solidarity and strong group loyalties. He predicts that we are certain to see emerging from Asia’s accelerating transformation some new version of modern society that may avoid many of the forms of tension common to Western civilization but may also produce a whole new set of problems.
This book revitalizes Asian political studies on a plane that comprehends the large differences between Asia and the West and at the same time is sensitive to the subtle variations among the many Asian cultures. Its comparative perspective will provide indispensable insights to anyone who wishes to think more deeply about the modern Asian states.
What is authority? How is it constituted? How ought one understand the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) relations between authority and coercion? Between authorized and subversive speech? In this fascinating and intricate analysis, Bruce Lincoln argues that authority is not an entity but an effect. More precisely, it is an effect that depends for its power on the combination of the right speaker, the right speech, the right staging and props, the right time and place, and an audience historically and culturally conditioned to judge what is right in all these instances and to respond with trust, respect, and even reverence.
Employing a vast array of examples drawn from classical antiquity, Scandinavian law, Cold War scholarship, and American presidential politics, Lincoln offers a telling analysis of the performance of authority, and subversions of it, from ancient times to the present. Using a small set of case studies that highlight critical moments in the construction of authority, he goes on to offer a general examination of "corrosive" discourses such as gossip, rumor, and curses; the problematic situation of women, who often are barred from the authorizing sphere; the role of religion in the construction of authority; the question of whether authority in the modern and postmodern world differs from its premodern counterpart; and a critique of Hannah Arendt's claims that authority has disappeared from political life in the modern world. He does not find a diminution of authority or a fundamental change in the conditions that produce it. Rather, Lincoln finds modern authority splintered, expanded, and, in fact, multiplied as the mechanisms for its construction become more complex—and more expensive.
By the late 1970s, drugs, blue jeans, rock and roll, and sexual precocity appeared to be all that remained of the cultural ferment of the 1960s. In this classic new study of high school-aged youth in the eartly 70s, Gary Schwartz reveals subtle yet significant changes in the style of deviance in adolescent culture. He argues that a new sort of peer-group pluralism emerged from the counter-culture movement of the 60s, a deviance defined less by persistent violations of the law than by disengagement from traditional images of success and civic responsibility.
The Byzantine Republic
Anthony Kaldellis Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DF571.K35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 949.502
Scholars have long claimed that the Eastern Roman Empire, a Christian theocracy, bore little resemblance to ancient Rome. Here, Anthony Kaldellis reconnects Byzantium to its Roman roots, arguing that it was essentially a republic, with power exercised on behalf of, and sometimes by, Greek-speaking citizens who considered themselves fully Roman.
A classic political philosophy text, available again
The revival of political philosophy has frequently assumed that a theory of human well-being and fulfillment is necessary, preoccupied with questions of epistemology and technical conceptual analysis. In instances where the nature of the human good is considered, the paradigm of autonomous individualism customarily dominates. In Character, Community, and Politics, Cochran moves away from these prevailing ideas to develop a communal theory of political order, helping to redefine a number of fundamental, but often neglected, ideas. Chief among them are commitment, community, responsibility, and character—concepts Cochran develops through discussions of authority, freedom, pluralism, and the common good.
Drawing on a wide variety of fields, such as philosophy, ethics, literature, moral theology, and sociology, the author renews these concepts to outline a theory of human life and political order distinct from sclerotic categories such as conservatism, socialism, radicalism, or Marxism.
Pegged pants poodle skirts, record hops, rock ‘n’ roll, soda shops: in the interval between the bombing of Hiroshima and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, these were distinguishing marks of the "typical" postwar teenager-if there was a "typical" teenager. In this richly illustrated account of Youth in postwar Buffalo, William Graebner argues that the so-called Youth culture was really a variety of "disparate subcultures, united by age but in conflict over class, race, ethnicity, and gender." Using scrap books, oral histories, school Yearbooks, and material culture, he shows how Buffalo teenagers were products of diverse and often antagonistic subcultures. The innocuous strains of "Rock Around the Clock" muffled the seething gang loyalties and countercultural influence of James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Buffalo’s own "Hound Dog" Lorenz. Racial antipathies once held in check spilled out on Memorial Day, 1956, when white and black Youth clashed on board a take Erie pleasure boat in a "riot" that recast the city’s race relations for decades to come.
While exploring the diversity within Youth subcultures, Graebner examines the ways in which adults—educators, clergy, representatives of the media, and other authorities—sought to contain this generation. The Hi-Teen Club, Buffalo Plan dress code, record hops, graduation ceremonies, film censorship, and restrictions on secret societies and on corner lounging were all forms of social engineering that reinforced social and economic boundaries that were at the heart of the dominant culture. The prevailing adult influence on activities, attitudes, and style served to redirect the "misguided Youth" of the fifties and to obliterate their image from public memory. Although the media still portrays this decade as the golden age of cultural homogeneity, the diversity in musical preferences, hair and clothing styles, and allegiances to disc jockeys suggest the wide diversity of Youth experiences and challenges to adult authority that were part of coming of age in postwar America.
John Phillip Reid addresses the central constitutional issues that divided the American colonists from their English legislators: the authority to tax, the authority to legislate, the security of rights, the nature of law, the foundation of constitutional government in custom and contractarian theory, and the search for a constitutional settlement.
John Phillip Reid addresses the central constitutional issues that divided the American colonists from their English legislators: the authority to tax, the authority to legislate, the security of rights, the nature of law, the foundation of constitutional government in custom and contractarian theory, and the search for a constitutional settlement.
This is the first comprehensive study of the constitutionality of the Parliamentary legislation cited by the American Continental Congress as a justification for its rebellion against Great Britain in 1776. The content and purpose of that legislation is well known to historians, but here Reid places it in the context of eighteenth-century constitutional doctrine and discusses its legality in terms of the intellectual premises of eighteenth-century Anglo-American legal values.
The third installment in a planned four-volume work, The Authority to Legislate follows The Authority to Tax and The Authority of Rights. In this volume, Reid shows that the inflexibility of British constitutional principle left no room for settlement or change; Parliament became entrapped by the imperatives of the constitution it was struggling to preserve. He analyzes the legal theories put forward in support of Parliament’s authority to legislate and the specific precedents cited as evidence of that authority.
Reid’s examination of both the debate over the authority to legislate and the constitutional theory underlying the debate shows the extent to which the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence were actions taken in defense of the rule of law. Considered as a whole, Reid’s Constitutional History of the American Revolution contributes to an understanding of the central role of legal and constitutional standards, especially concern for rule by law, in the development of the American nation.
Controlling the State
GORDON Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress JF229.G67 1999 | Dewey Decimal 321.801
This book examines the development of the theory and practice of constitutionalism, defined as a political system in which the coercive power of the state is controlled through a pluralistic distribution of political power. It explores the main venues of constitutional practice in ancient Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Venice, the Dutch Republic, seventeenth-century England, and eighteenth-century America.
From its beginning in Polybius' interpretation of the classical concept of "mixed government," the author traces the theory of constitutionalism through its late medieval appearance in the Conciliar Movement of church reform and in the Huguenot defense of minority rights. After noting its suppression with the emergence of the nation-state and the Bodinian doctrine of "sovereignty," the author describes how constitutionalism was revived in the English conflict between king and Parliament in the early Stuart era, and how it has developed since then into the modern concept of constitutional democracy.
In this study, James Greenaway explores the philosophical continuity between contemporary Western society and the Middle Ages. Allowing for genuinely modern innovations, he makes the claim that the medieval search for order remains fundamentally unbroken in our search for order today.
In recent years, increasing concern has been voiced about the nature and extent of human experimentation and its impact on the investigator, subject, science, and society. This casebook represents the first attempt to provide comprehensive materials for studying the human experimentation process. Through case studies from medicine, biology, psychology, sociology, and law—as well as evaluative materials from many other disciplines—Dr. Katz examines the problems raised by human experimentation from the vantage points of each of its major participants—investigator, subject, professions, and state. He analyzes what kinds of authority should be delegated to these participants in the formulation, administration, and review of the human experimentation process. Alternative proposals, from allowing investigators a completely free hand to imposing centralized governmental control, are examined from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The conceptual framework of Experimentation with Human Beings is designed to facilitate not only the analysis of such concepts as "harm," "benefit," and "informed consent," but also the exploration of the problems raised by man's quest for knowledge and mastery, his willingness to risk human life, and his readiness to delegate authority to professionals and rely on their judgment.
A transformative progressive politics requires the state's reimagining. But how should the state be reimagined, and what can invigorate this process? In Feeling Like a State, Davina Cooper explores the unexpected contribution a legal drama of withdrawal might make to conceptualizing a more socially just, participative state. In recent years, as gay rights have expanded, some conservative Christians—from charities to guesthouse owners and county clerks—have denied people inclusion, goods, and services because of their sexuality. In turn, liberal public bodies have withdrawn contracts, subsidies, and career progression from withholding conservative Christians. Cooper takes up the discourses and practices expressed in this legal conflict to animate and support an account of the state as heterogeneous, plural, and erotic. Arguing for the urgent need to put new imaginative forms into practice, Cooper examines how dissident and experimental institutional thinking materialize as people assert a democratic readiness to recraft the state.
In this intriguing ethnography, Ellen Fuller investigates how issues of gender and identity as they relate to authority are addressed in a globalizing corporate culture. Going Global goes behind the office politics, turf wars and day-to-day workings of a transnational American company in Japan in the late 1990s as employees try to establish a comfortable place within the company.
Fuller looks at how relationships among Asians and between Asians and Americans are tested as individuals are promoted to positions of power and authority. Is there pressure for the Japanese to be more “American” to get ahead in business? Do female employees have to subscribe to certain stereotypes to be promoted or respected? How these American and Japanese workers assess one another raises important questions about international business management and human resources.
Marred by political tumult and violent conflict since the early twentieth century, Gaza has been subject to a multiplicity of rulers. Still not part of a sovereign state, it would seem too exceptional to be a revealing site for a study of government. Ilana Feldman proves otherwise. She demonstrates that a focus on the Gaza Strip uncovers a great deal about how government actually works, not only in that small geographical space but more generally. Gaza’s experience shows how important bureaucracy is for the survival of government. Feldman analyzes civil service in Gaza under the British Mandate (1917–48) and the Egyptian Administration (1948–67). In the process, she sheds light on how governing authority is produced and reproduced; how government persists, even under conditions that seem untenable; and how government affects and is affected by the people and places it governs.
Drawing on archival research in Gaza, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London, as well as two years of ethnographic research with retired civil servants in Gaza, Feldman identifies two distinct, and in some ways contradictory, governing practices. She illuminates mechanisms of “reiterative authority” derived from the minutiae of daily bureaucratic practice, such as the repetitions of filing procedures, the accumulation of documents, and the habits of civil servants. Looking at the provision of services, she highlights the practice of “tactical government,” a deliberately restricted mode of rule that makes limited claims about governmental capacity, shifting in response to crisis and operating without long-term planning. This practice made it possible for government to proceed without claiming legitimacy: by holding the question of legitimacy in abeyance. Feldman shows that Gaza’s governments were able to manage under, though not to control, the difficult conditions in Gaza by deploying both the regularity of everyday bureaucracy and the exceptionality of tactical practice.
Stewart points to an underlying tension in Shi'ite intellectual history between assimilationist and nativist impulses in the debate over consensus, dissimulation, and in the lives of certain Shi'ite scholars who lived and studied among Sunnis.
One of the most far-reaching developments in the history of Islam was the rise of the four classic Sunni schools of law between the ninth and eleventh centuries CE. Consolidation of these schools went hand in hand with the establishment of jurists’ dominance over religious discourse and social institutions. Orthodoxy came to be defined as the consensus (ijma’) of the Sunni jurists. Devin Stewart argues that it is to the margins of the emerging system that investigators must look to understand its historical dynamics. The development of Twelve Shi’ite jurisprudence in relation and reaction to the Sunni schools is particularly informative.
In Islamic Legal Orthodoxy, Stewart explores the process by which Shi’ite jurists participated in the mainstream of Islamic jurisprudence and were influenced by Sunni legal doctrines. He identifies three main reactions to Sunni legal definitions of othodoxy and the concept of consensus on which it was based. The Akhbaris rejected Sunni legal consensus and juristic authority for a scripture-based system; many Shi’ite outwardly accepted the ground rules of Sunni legal consensus and joined the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence; a third option was to adopt the concept of consensus to create a “fifth,” Shi’ite, legal system.
The development of the Sunni legal system effectively set the ground rules for the marginal sect’s negotiation of their identity with respect to Islamic legal orthodoxy. Accordingly, Shi’ite jurists developed a legal institution that is structurally similar to the four Sunni madhhabs and even today serves as means to position themselves in the Muslim world. Stewart points to an underlying tension in Shi’ite intellectual history between assimilationist and nativist impulses in the debate over consensus, dissmulation (taqiyyah) and the lives of certain Shi’ite scholars who lived and studies among Sunnis.
John Locke's Liberalism
Ruth W. Grant University of Chicago Press, 1987 Library of Congress JC153.L87G73 1987 | Dewey Decimal 320.5120924
In this work, Ruth W. Grant presents a new approach to John Locke's familiar works. Taking the unusual step of relating Locke's Two Treatises to his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Grant establishes the unity and coherence of Locke's political arguments. She analyzes the Two Treatises as a systematic demonstration of liberal principles of right and power and grounds it in the epistemology set forth in the Essay.
The just war tradition is central to the practice of international relations, in questions of war, peace, and the conduct of war in the contemporary world, but surprisingly few scholars have questioned the authority of the tradition as a source of moral guidance for modern statecraft. Just War: Authority, Tradition, and Practice brings together many of the most important contemporary writers on just war to consider questions of authority surrounding the just war tradition.
Authority is critical in two key senses. First, it is central to framing the ethical debate about the justice or injustice of war, raising questions about the universality of just war and the tradition’s relationship to religion, law, and democracy. Second, who has the legitimate authority to make just-war claims and declare and prosecute war? Such authority has traditionally been located in the sovereign state, but non-state and supra-state claims to legitimate authority have become increasingly important over the last twenty years as the just war tradition has been used to think about multilateral military operations, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and sub-state violence. The chapters in this collection, organized around these two dimensions, offer a compelling reassessment of the authority issue’s centrality in how we can, do, and ought to think about war in contemporary global politics.
The horrific tragedies of Central Africa in the 1990s riveted the attention of the world. But these crises did not occur in a historical vacuum. By peering through the mists of the past, the case studies presented in The Land Beyond the Mists illustrate the significant advances to have taken place since decolonization in our understanding of the pre-colonial histories of Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern Congo.
Based on both oral and written sources, these essays are important both for their methods—viewing history from the perspective of local actors—and for their conclusions, which seriously challenge colonial myths about the area.
Diana Spencer, known for her scholarly focus on how ancient Romans conceptualized themselves as a people and how they responded to and helped shape the world they lived in, brings her expertise to an examination of the Roman scholar Varro and his treatise De Lingua Latina. This commentary on the origin and relationships of Latin words is an intriguing, but often puzzling, fragmentary work for classicists. Since Varro was engaged in defining how Romans saw themselves and how they talked about their world, Spencer reads along with Varro, following his themes and arcs, his poetic sparks, his political and cultural seams. Few scholars have accepted the challenge of tackling Varro and his work, and in this pioneering volume, Spencer provides a roadmap for considering these topics more thoroughly.
This highly original collection brings together some of the most important minds in both contemporary art history and theory, and law and legal history. The result is a fascinating discussion of the diverse relationships between law and the artistic image.
The essays draw on the critical procedures of law, art history, and cultural studies in order to create a new interdisciplinary field of visual culture and law. In exploring the hidden interdependence of law and art, the writings refute the generally held conception that law is fixed and rational while the judgment of art is autonomous and ambiguous. Among the topics addressed are the history of the relationship between art and law, the ways in which the visual is made subject to the force of the law, and the complex relations between law, the image, and identity.
With its groundbreaking ideas from a variety of intellectual traditions and disciplines, this book puts law and art into a new and exciting conversation that will introduce a new field of study and spark international debate.
Contributors are: Georges Didi-Huberman, Costas Douzinas, Hal Foster, Peter Goodrich, Piyel Haldar, Martin Jay, Mandy Merck, Lynda Nead, Jonathan Ribner, Katherine Fischer Taylor.
Legitimating New Religions
Lewis, James R Rutgers University Press, 2003 Library of Congress BP603.L49 2003 | Dewey Decimal 200.904
James R. Lewis has written the first book to deal explicitly with the issue of how emerging religions legitimate themselves. He contends that a new religion has at least four different, though overlapping, areas where legitimacy is a concern: making converts, maintaining followers, shaping public opinion, and appeasing government authorities. The legitimacy that new religions seek in the public realm is primarily that of social acceptance. Mainstream society's acknowledgement of a religion as legitimate means recognizing its status as a genuine religion and thus recognizing its right to exist. Through a series of wide-ranging case studies Lewis explores the diversification of legitimation strategies of new religions as well the tactics that their critics use to de-legitimate such groups. Cases include the Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness, Native American prophet religions, spiritualism, the Church of Christ-Scientist, Scientology, Church of Satan, Heaven's Gate, Unitarianism, Hindu reform movements, and Soka Gakkai, a new Buddhist sect.
Since many of the issues raised with respect to newer religions can be extended to the legitimation strategies deployed by established religions, this book sheds an intriguing new light on classic questions about the origin of all religions.
There are sons who grow up unhappily believing that no matter what they do, they cannot please their fathers. Often unable to shed their sense of lifelong failure, either they give up and suffer in a permanent sulk, or they try with all their might to prove they are worth something after all. These are the "loser sons," a group of historical men as varied as President George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Atta. Their names quickly illustrate that not only are their problems serious, but they also make serious problems for others, expanding to whole nations. When God is conceived and inculcated as an angry and impossible-to-please father, the problems can last for generations.
In Loser Sons, Avital Ronell draws on current philosophy, literary history, and political events to confront the grim fact that divested boys become terrifying men. This would be old news if the problem didn't recur so often with such disastrous consequences. Looking beyond our current moment, she interrogates the problems of authority, paternal fantasy, and childhood as they have been explored and exemplified by Franz Kafka, Goethe's Faust, Benjamin Franklin, Jean-François Lyotard, Hannah Arendt, Alexandre Kojève, and Immanuel Kant.
Brilliantly weaving these threads into a polyvocal discourse, Ronell shows how, with their arrays of powerful symbols, ideologies of all sorts perpetuate the theme that while childhood represents innocence, adulthood entails responsible cruelty. The need for suffering--preferably somebody else's--has become a widespread assumption, not only justifying abuses of authority, but justifying authority itself.
Shockingly honest, Loser Sons recognizes that focusing on the spectacular catastrophes of modernity might make writer and reader feel they're engaged in something important, while in fact what they are engaged in is still only spectacle. To understand the implications of her insights, Ronell addresses them directly to her readers, challenging them to think through their own notions of authority and their responses to it.
Artists and critics regularly enlist theory in the creation and assessment of artworks, but few have scrutinized the art theories themselves. Here, Daniel examines and critiques the norms, assumptions, historical conditions, and institutions that have framed the development and uses of art theory.
Spurred by the theoretical claims of Arthur Danto, a leader in the philosophy of the avant-garde, Herwitz reexamines the art and theory of major figures in the avant-garde movement including John Cage, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and Andy Warhol.
In an analysis that promises to be controversial, Man to Man: Desire, Homosociality, and Authority in Late-Roman Manhood surveys the presence of same-sex desire between men in the later Roman empire. Most accounts of recent years have either noted that sexual desire between men was forbidden or they have ignored it. This book argues that desire between men was known and that it was a way to express friendship, patronage, solidarity, and other important relationships among elite males in late antiquity. The evocation of this desire and its possible attendant corporeal satisfactions made it a compelling metaphor for friendship. A man’s grandeur could also be portrayed metaphorically as sexual attractiveness, and the substantial status differences often seen in late antiquity could be ameliorated by a superior using amatory language to address an inferior.
At the same time, however, there was a marked ambivalence about same-sex desire and sexual behavior between men, and indeed same-sex sexual behavior was criminalized as it had never been before. While rejection and condemnation may seem to indicate a decisive distancing between authority and this desire and behavior, authority gained power from maintaining a relation to them. Demonstrating knowledge of the actual mechanics of sex between men suggested to a witness that there was nothing unknown to the authority making the demonstration: authority that knew of scandalous masculine sexual pleasure could project its power pretty much anywhere.
This startling dissonance between positive uses of same-sex desire between men and its criminalization in one and the same moment—a dissonance which recent discussions have been unable to address—requires further investigation, and this book supplies it.
In Managing "Modernity," Rudra Sil examines how institution-builders respond to the competing influences of institutional models and inherited social legacies as they attempt to generate and sustain authority in late-industrializing societies. Through a historical and comparative study of large-scale enterprises in Japan and Russia, the book examines the impact of different institution-building strategies on managerial authority, invoking the experience of postwar Japan to highlight the benefits of a syncretic approach that selectively integrates adaptable features of borrowed institutions with portable norms inherited from preexisting communities.
Managing "Modernity" engages a variety of intellectual perspectives in the social sciences. The theoretical approach represents a conscious effort to overcome the contentious debates in political science and sociology among proponents of historical institutionalism, cultural analysis, and rational-choice theory. The substantive argument draws on, and partially integrates, concepts and findings from comparative politics, economic sociology, industrial relations, organization theory, business management, and the political economy of Japan and Russia.
In light of ongoing debates over the significance and impact of "globalization," the eclectic and integrative approach in Managing "Modernity" offers a fresh and provocative contribution that will interest scholars and graduate students across a variety of disciplines and subfields. It offers compelling insights to anyone generally concerned with the social forces that facilitate or hinder the diffusion of ideas and institutions across national boundaries.
Rudra Sil is Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania.
Although Haitian revolutionaries were not the intended audience for the Declaration of the Rights of Man, they heeded its call, demanding rights that were not meant for them. This failure of the French state to address only its desired subjects is an example of the phenomenon James R. Martel labels "misinterpellation." Complicating Althusser's famous theory, Martel explores the ways that such failures hold the potential for radical and anarchist action. In addition to the Haitian Revolution, Martel shows how the revolutionary responses by activists and anticolonial leaders to Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech and the Arab Spring sprang from misinterpellation. He also takes up misinterpellated subjects in philosophy, film, literature, and nonfiction, analyzing works by Nietzsche, Kafka, Woolf, Fanon, Ellison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others to demonstrate how characters who exist on the margins offer a generally unrecognized anarchist form of power and resistance. Timely and broad in scope, The Misinterpellated Subject reveals how calls by authority are inherently vulnerable to radical possibilities, thereby suggesting that all people at all times are filled with revolutionary potential.
In this book, Mauro F. Guillén explores differing historical patterns in the adoption of the three major models of organizational management: scientific management, human relations, and structural analysis. Moving beyond Reinhard Bendix's classic Work and Authority, Models of Management takes a fresh look at how managers have used these models in four countries during the twentieth century.
Guillén's study of two liberal-democratic societies (the United States and Great Britain) and two corporatist societies (Germany and Spain) reveals significant differences in the way managerial elites and firms have adopted the three models. His data show that ideas themselves—independent of material interests and technology—can cause organizational change. Throughout the book, contrasts between modernist-technocratic and liberal-humanist mentalities, as well as between Protestant and Catholic religious backgrounds, emerge as decisive factors in determining managerial ideology and practice.
In addition to analyzing management methods in organizations, Guillén explores larger issues: the interaction among managerial, government, and labor elites; the impact of the state and the professions on managerial behavior; and the role that managers play in modern societies.
The Mormon church today is led by an elite group of older men, nearly three-quarters of whom are related to current or past general church authorities. This dynastic hierarchy meets in private; neither its minutes nor the church’s finances are available for public review. Members are reassured by public relations spokesmen that all is well and that harmony prevails among these brethren.
But by interviewing former church aides, examining hundreds of diaries, and drawing from his own past experience as an insider within the Latter-day Saint historical department, D. Michael Quinn presents a fuller view. His extensive research documents how the governing apostles, seventies, and presiding bishops are likely to be at loggerheads, as much as united. These strong-willed, independent men–like directors of a large corporation or supreme court justices–lobby among their colleagues, forge alliances, out-maneuver opponents, and broker compromises.
There is more: clandestine political activities, investigative and punitive actions by church security forces, personal “loans” from church coffers (later written off as bad debts), and other privileged power-vested activities. Quinn considers the changing role and attitude of the leadership toward visionary experiences, the momentous events which have shaped quorum protocol and doctrine, and day-to-day bureaucratic intrigue from the time of Brigham Young to the dawn of the twenty-first century.
The hierarchy seems at root well-intentioned and even at times aggressive in fulfilling its stated responsibility, which is to expedite the Second Coming. Where they have become convinced that God has spoken, they have set aside personal differences, offered unqualified support, and spoken with a unified voice. This potential for change, when coupled with the tempering effect of competing viewpoints, is something Quinn finds encouraging about Mormonism. But one should not assume that these men are infallible or work in anything approaching uninterrupted unanimity.
Converts to Joseph Smith’s 1828 restoration of primitive Christianity were attracted to the non-hierarchical nature of the movement. It was precisely because there were no priests, ordinances, or dogma that people joined in such numbers. Smith intended everyone to be a prophet, and anyone who felt called was invited to minister freely without formal office.
Not until seven years later did Mormons first learn that authority had been restored by angels or of the need for a hierarchy mirroring the Pauline model. That same year (1835) a Quorum of Twelve Apostles was organized, but their jurisdiction was limited to areas outside established stakes (dioceses). Stakes were led by a president, who oversaw spiritual development, and by a bishop, who supervised temporal needs.
At Smith’s martyrdom in 1844, the church had five leading quorums of authority. The most obvious successor to Smith, Illinois stake president William Marks, opposed the secret rites of polygamy, anointing, endowments, and the clandestine political activity that had characterized the church in Illinois. The secret Council of Fifty had recently ordained Smith as King on Earth and sent ambassadors abroad to form alliances against the United States.
The majority of church members knew nothing of these developments, but they followed Brigham Young, head of the Quorum of the Twelve, who spoke forcefully and moved decisively to eliminate contenders for the presidency. He continued to build on Smith’s political and doctrinal innovations and social stratification. Young’s twentieth-century legacy is a well-defined structure without the charismatic spontaneity or egalitarian chaos of the early church.
Historian D. Michael Quinn examines the contradictions and confusion of the first two tumultuous decades of LDS history. He demonstrates how events and doctrines were silently, retroactively inserted into the published form of scriptures and records to smooth out the stormy, haphazard development. The bureaucratization of Mormonism was inevitable, but the manner in which it occurred was unpredictable and will be, for readers, fascinating.
Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction.
New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data.
Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule.
Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.
Politics and Ambiguity
William E. Connolly University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 Library of Congress JA74.C658 1987 | Dewey Decimal 320.01
In a series of stimulating essays, William E. Connolly explores the element of ambiguity in politics. He argues that democratic politics in a modern society requires, if it is to flourish, an appreciation of the ambiguous character of the standards and principles we cherish the most. Connolly’s work, lucidly, presented and intellectually challenging, will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, philosophy, rhetoric, and law, and to all whose interests include the connections between contemporary epistemological arguments and politics and, more broadly, between thought and language.
Connolly criticizes the ways in which contemporary politics extends normalization into various areas of modern existence. He argues, against this trend, for an approach that would provide relief from the rigid identity formations that result from normalization.
In supporting his thesis, Connolly shows how the imperative for growth must be relaxed if normalizing pressures are to be obviated. His, however, is not the familiar antigrowth argument; rather, he ties his thesis to his general antinormalization argument, asking how one could create an ethic that would sustain itself when the growth imperatives are relaxed. Connolly’s chapters on the work of other thinkers (including Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, and Charles Taylor) are linked with his main theme, as he shows how various tendencies in the philosophy of the social sciences and in political theory aid and abed the normalizing tendency.
His analyses of Rorty and Taylor are especially important. Connolly shows the significance of antifoundationalism (Rorty’s contribution to the debate on epistemology), while providing a compelling critique both of Rorty’s stance and Taylor's alternative to it.
Especially important to Connolly’s thesis is the ontology on which it rests. He shows how the endorsement of an ontology of discordance within concord—a view that all systems of meaning impose order on that which was not designed to fit neatly within them—can support a more democratizing process. His final chapter, “Where the Word Breaks Off,” vindicates the ontology of discordance, which has governed the argument throughout the text.
Throughout these essays, Connolly builds a consistent argument for the politicalization of normalization, disclosing forms of normalization where others have seen unproblematic modes of communication and problem solving. Original in concept and bold in presentation, Connolly’s work will form the basis for considerable debate in the several disciplines it serves.
Robert C. Tucker begins this invaluable book with an analytical look at politics, leadership, and the effect each has on the other. Aligning himself with Plato's view of politics as leadership, Tucker argues that politics is more usefully defined from this perspective than from the more familiar stance of the exercise of power. He maintains leaders must define collective problems, prescribe actions or policies, and finally seek support for their diagnoses and policy prescriptions.
Tucker contends that political science must take account not only of leadership by those in state authority, but also of sociopolitical movements for change as vehicles of attempted leadership of political communities. Dividing such movements into those for reform and those for revolution, he illustrates this distinction with examples, including Martin Luther King Jr. as a reform leader and Lenin as a revolutionary one.
Finally, Tucker raises a central question of his study: how can leadership save humankind from itself in the troubled world of today? In an insightful and moving discussion of what he calls the "crisis syndrome," Tucker analyzes problems such as population growth, resource depletion, and environmental degradation with respect to leadership. He argues that the current political process has focused on the immediate present while ignoring crises with far-reaching implications that require tough solutions.
In the epilogue to this revised edition, Tucker draws on his expertise as a Russian specialist, extending the book's discussion of leadership by viewing Mikhail Gorbachev as a reform leader in Soviet Russia and Boris Yeltsin as a post-Soviet Russian leader. Tucker also readdresses the "crisis syndrome" by examining leaders' responses in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Tucker's incisive reasoning, original insights, and commentary on the theory and practice of politics should make this revised edition of Politics as Leadership equally valuable and fascinating for experts in the field of political science and for concerned citizens.
Experts dominate all facets of global governance, from accounting practices and antitrust regulations to human rights law and environmental conservation. In this study, Ole Jacob Sending encourages a critical interrogation of the role and power of experts by unveiling the politics of the ongoing competition for authority in global governance.
Drawing on insights from sociology, political science, and institutional theory, Sending challenges theories centered on particular actors’ authority, whether it is the authority of so-called epistemic communities, the moral authority of advocacy groups, or the rational-legal authority of international organizations. Using in-depth and historically oriented case studies of population and peacebuilding, he demonstrates that authority is not given nor located in any set of particular actors. Rather, continuous competition for recognition as an authority to determine what is to be governed, by whom, and for what purpose shapes global governance in fundamental ways.
Advancing a field-based approach, Sending highlights the political stakes disguised by the technical language of professionals and thus opens a broader public debate over the key issues of our time.
Authority and priesthood were concepts that developed gradually in Mormon theology, not as thunderbolts but as ideas that acquired meaning and momentum over time. Acting initially on the basis of implied leadership, Joseph Smith moved toward explicit angelic authority and an increasingly defined structure drawn from biblical models.
All the while the structure of higher and lower priesthoods fluctuated in response to pragmatic needs. Priests were needed to perform ordinances, teachers to lead congregations, bishops to manage church assets, and elders to proselytize–responsibilities which would be redistributed repeatedly throughout Smith’s fourteen-year ministry.
Gregory Prince charts these developments with impressive interpretative skill. Besides the obvious historical significance, he underscores the implications for current Mormon governance. For instance, where innovations have characterized the past, one need not be bound by custom or surprised when church leaders instigate change.
Administration in time of war has come to revolve around the President, and much of the administrative authority of the President is then delegated to extralegal agents. Grundstein's analysis of the experiences of World War I show that such delegation is inevitable: From the beginning of the war Congress delegated many powers to the Chief Executive, who, of necessity, named others to act for him in the prosecution of the war. Furthermore, Congress granted these administrative powers without formally establishing new administrative agencies with attendant Congressional oversight. Though constitutionally the President's powers are exclusively executive as distinguished from administrative, beginning with WWI, and increasing during WWII, the President has become in effect the administrator-in-chief.
Nathan Grundstein traces the evolution of a new body of administrative law delineating the unique patterns of wartime organization and administration that emerged during the twentieth century.
This book intertwines two themes in medieval studies hitherto kept apart: comparisons of Latin and Orthodox Europe and the "feudal revolution" of the late- and post-Carolingian periods. The book broadens the debate by comparing texts written in "learned" and "vulgar" Latin, Church Slavonic, Anglo-Norman, and East Slavonic. From this comparison, the Kingdom of the Rus appears as a regional variation of European society. This suggests current interpretations overemphasize factors unique to the medieval West and overlook deeper pan-European processes.
The Mormon tradition's emphasis on prophetic authority makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique within America's religious culture. The religion that Joseph Smith created established a kingdom of God in a land distrustful of monarchy while positioning Smith as Christ's voice on earth, with the power to form cities, establish economies, and arrange governments.
Michael Hubbard MacKay traces the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' claim to religious authority and sets it within the context of its times. Delving into the evolution of the concept of prophetic authority, MacKay shows how the Church emerged as a hierarchical democracy with power diffused among leaders Smith chose. At the same time, Smith's settled place atop the hierarchy granted him an authority that spared early Mormonism the internal conflict that doomed other religious movements. Though Smith faced challenges from other leaders, the nascent Church repeatedly turned to him to decide civic plans and define the order of both the cosmos and the priesthood.
What really happened when citizens were asked to participate in their community’s poverty programs? In this revealing new book, the authors provide an answer to this question through a systematic empirical analysis of a single public policy issue—citizen participation in the Community Action Program of the Johnson Administration’s “War on Poverty.” Beginning with a brief case study description and analysis of the politics of community action in each of America’s five largest cities—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philadelphia—the authors move on to a fascinating examination of race and authority structures in our urban life. In a series of lively chapters, Professors Greenstone and Peterson show how the coalitions that formed around the community action question developed not out of electoral or organizational interests alone, but were strongly influenced by our conceptions of the nature of authority in America. They discuss the factors that affected the development of the action program and they note that democratic elections of low-income representatives, however much preferred by democratic reformers, were an ineffective way of representing the interests of the poor. The book stresses the way in which both machine and reform structures affected the ability of minority groups to organize effectively and to form alliances in urban politics. It considers the wide-ranging critiques made of the Community Action Program by conservative, liberal, and radical analysts and finds that all of them fail to appreciate the significance and intensity of the racial cleavage in American politics.
In this penetrating book, the authors provide a systematic empirical analysis of an important public policy issue—citizen participation in the Community Action Program of the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty." This Phoenix edition includes a new introduction in which the authors explicate the most important themes in their analysis.
In a series of lively chapters, Greenstone and Peterson show how the coalitions that formed around the community action question developed not out of electoral or organizational interests alone but were strongly influenced by prevailing conceptions of the nature of authority in America. The book stresses the way in which both machine and reform structures affected the ability of minority groups to organize effectively and to form alliances in urban politics. It considers the wide-ranging critiques made of the Community Action Program by conservative, liberal, and radical analysts and finds that all of them fail to appreciate the significance and intensity of the racial cleavage in American politics.
Recovered Legacies: Authority and Identity in Early Asian American Literature employs contemporary and traditional readings of representative works in prose, poetry, and drama to suggest new ways of understanding and appreciating the critically fertile but underexamined body of Asian American writing from the late 1800s to the early 1960s. The essays in this volume engage this corpus—composed of multiple genres from different periods and by authors of different ethnicities—with a strong awareness of historical context and a keen sensitivity to literary form. As a collection, Recovered Legacies re-establishes the rich and diverse literary heritage of Asian America and argues persuasively for the significance of these works to the American literary canon.
The issue of religious authority has long fascinated and ignited scholars across a range of disciplines: history, anthropology, the sociology of religion, and political science. Religious Knowledge, Authority, and Charisma juxtaposes religious leadership in premodern and modern Islam with examples from the Judaic tradition. By illustrating various iterations of authority in numerous historical and cultural contexts, this volume offers fresh insights into the nature of institutions of learning and other systems of establishing and disseminating authority, the mechanisms for cultivating committed adherents, and the processes by which religious leadership is polarized and fragmented.
Contributors tease out the sources and types of authority that emerged out of the Sunni and Shi'i milieu and the evolution of Muslim elites who served as formulators and disseminators of knowledge and practice. Comparative insights are provided by the examination of ideological and historical developments among Jewish sages who inculcated similar modes of authority from within their traditions. The rigorous exploration of the dynamic interface of knowledge and power in Islam and Judaism serves to highlight a number of present tensions common to both religions. By intertwining a historical span that traces trajectories of continuity and change, integrative discussion of cross-sectional themes, and comparative perspectives, this volume makes a distinct contribution.
Relocating Authority examines the ways Japanese Americans have continually used writing to respond to the circumstances of their community’s mass imprisonment during World War II. Using both Nikkei cultural frameworks and community-specific history for methodological inspiration and guidance, Mira Shimabukuro shows how writing was used privately and publicly to individually survive and collectively resist the conditions of incarceration.
Examining a wide range of diverse texts and literacy practices such as diary entries, note-taking, manifestos, and multiple drafts of single documents, Relocating Authority draws upon community archives, visual histories, and Asian American history and theory to reveal the ways writing has served as a critical tool for incarcerees and their descendants. Incarcerees not only used writing to redress the “internment” in the moment but also created pieces of text that enabled and inspired further redress long after the camps had closed.
Relocating Authority highlights literacy’s enduring potential to participate in social change and assist an imprisoned people in relocating authority away from their captors and back to their community and themselves. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ethnic and Asian American rhetorics, American studies, and anyone interested in the relationship between literacy and social justice.
Constitutional principles at the core of the United States government divide authority between market and state and within the structure of the state itself. This diffusion of authority is valuable because it defends against the excesses of national government, causing federal policy initiatives to be more attuned to the concerns of local jurisdictions, and creating a context in which free enterprise may flourish.
However, this diffusion of authority weakens the control that federal officials enjoy over resources vital to the implementation of national policy. To implement their plans, federal policy formulators must often call upon autonomous participants such as state or local governments, advocacy groups, or commercial interests. When federal policy challenges the perspectives, interest, or priorities of these participants, they become reluctant partners. These implementation participants enjoy substantial autonomy, making their cooperation in pursuit of federal policy goals uncertain and difficult to achieve. How, then, can the federal government secure the cooperation it needs to implement policy when the act of implementation empowers potential adversaries?
Reluctant Partners explores these problems and proposes strategies to reduce the impediments to cooperation and promote policy coordination. Drawing upon theories of regime development and cooperation, Stoker suggests the “implementation regime framework” to analyze the difficulties of realizing cooperation in the implementation process. The framework is illustrated with numerous vignettes and two extensive case studies: the National School Lunch Program and federal nuclear waste disposal policy.
"It is with no desire or hope to promote a correct or superior form of textuality, with no desire to correct a so-called interpretive or editorial textual abuse, nor any attempt to prevent anyone from doing anything imaginable with texts or books that I have undertaken this book. . . ." So writes Peter Shillingsburg in his introduction to this series of meditations on the possibilities of deriving "meaning" from the texts we read.
Shillingsburg argues that as humans we are and always will be interested in the past, in what was meant, in what was revealed inadvertently by a text--and that is all to the good. But we learn more and can compare notes better when we understand the principles that govern the ways we read. Resisting Texts approaches crucial questions about the practice of textual editing and literary criticism by posing questions in the form "If we take such and such to be the goal of our reading, then what will follow from that assumption?"
With humor and a lively imagination, Shillingsburg takes the reader on a fresh theoretical investigation of communication, understanding and misunderstanding, and textual satisfactions, drawing examples from Thackeray, Wordsworth, Melville, and others.
Resisting Texts will appeal to all who enjoy the varieties of critical approaches to the written word.
Peter L. Shillingsburg is Professor of English, University of North Texas.
By the early ninth century, the responsibility for a series of social, religious and political transformations had become an integral part of running the Carolingian empire. This became especially clear when, in 813/4, Louis the Pious and his court seized the momentum generated by their predecessors and broadened the scope of these reforms ever further. These reformers knew they represented a movement greater than the sum of its parts; the interdependence between those wielding imperial authority and those bearing responsibility for ecclesiastical reforms was driven by comprehensive, yet still surprisingly diverse expectations.Taking this diversity as a starting point, this book takes a fresh look at the optimistic first decades of the ninth century. Extrapolating from a series of detailed case studies rather than presenting a new grand narrative, it offers new interpretations of contemporary theories of personal improvement and institutional correctio, and shows the self-awareness of its main instigators as they pondered what it meant to be a good Christian in a good Christian empire.
The Return of the Omniscient Narrator: Authorship and Authority in Twenty-First Century Fiction by Paul Dawson argues that the omniscient narrator, long considered a relic of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novel, has reemerged as an important feature of contemporary British and American literary fiction. It further argues that the development of contemporary omniscience can be situated in relation to ongoing anxieties about the novel’s decline of cultural authority in the age of digital media. In this context the book identifies and classifies new modes of omniscient narration that are neither nostalgic revivals nor parodic critiques of classic omniscience, but the result of experimentations with narrative voice in the wake of postmodern fiction.
To address this phenomenon, the book reformulates existing definitions of literary omniscience, shifting attention away from questions of narratorial knowledge and toward omniscient narration as a rhetorical performance of narrative authority that invokes and projects a historically specific figure of authorship. Through a study of fiction by authors such as Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Richard Powers, Martin Amis, Rick Moody, Edward P. Jones, and Nicola Barker, the book analyzes how the conventional narrative authority of omniscient narrators is parlayed into claims for the cultural authority of authors and of the novel itself.
In the course of its investigation, The Return of the Omniscient Narrator engages with major movements in narrative theory—rhetorical, cognitive, and feminist—to challenge and reconsider many key narratological categories, including Free Indirect Discourse, the relation between voice and focalization, and the narrative communication model. This challenge is framed by an argument for a discursive approach to narrative fiction that addresses the neglect of authorship in narrative theory.
Scripting the Nation is the first book to set the poets of Scottish King James IV’s court—William Dunbar, Walter Kennedy, and Gavin Douglas—in an extended dialogue with Latin and vernacular traditions of historiography. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Latin chroniclers such as John of Fordun and Walter Bower argued for their nation’s status, using genealogically based myths of origin that linked Scotland to ancient centers of power. As vernacular histories grew more Anglophobic and quarrels rooted in the past continued to influence Anglo-Scottish diplomacy, Dunbar, Kennedy, and Douglas took up a national discourse that responded to English myths and an English poetic tradition exemplified by Geoffrey Chaucer. Terrell’s elegant study examines how these Scottish writers marked out a distinct realm of Scottish cultural and poetic achievement, appropriating and subverting English literary models in ways that reveal the interplay between literary and historical authority in the scripting of nationhood.
In this timely investigation of secessionist entities in post-Soviet territories, Smolnik explores how political authority is organized, produced, and reproduced in conditions of violent conflict. Drawing on case studies of unrecognized or only partially recognized states in the South Caucasus, she shows that so-called low-level violent conflicts may significantly influence the form and functioning of political rule and thereby have a considerable impact on the empowerment and disempowerment of local actors. Offering fresh insight into the connections between violence and political power, Secessionist Rule not only contributes to the political sociology of violent conflict, but also adds to our knowledge of the largely understudied internal dynamics of de facto states.
Why should we avoid doing moral wrong? The inability of philosophy to answer this question in a compelling manner—along with the moral skepticism and ethical confusion that ensue—result, Stephen Darwall argues, from our failure to appreciate the essentially interpersonal character of moral obligation. After showing how attempts to vindicate morality have tended to change the subject—falling back on non-moral values or practical, first-person considerations—Darwall elaborates the interpersonal nature of moral obligations: their inherent link to our responsibilities to one another as members of the moral community.
As Darwall defines it, the concept of moral obligation has an irreducibly second-person aspect; it presupposes our authority to make claims and demands on one another. And so too do many other central notions, including those of rights, the dignity of and respect for persons, and the very concept of person itself. The result is nothing less than a fundamental reorientation of moral theory that enables it at last to account for morality’s supreme authority—an account that Darwall carries from the realm of theory to the practical world of second-person attitudes, emotions, and actions.
Monica Migliorino Miller articulates a theology that breaks open the essence of ecclesial authority. Authority, if it is authority at all, derives from and exists for authentic Christian worship, namely, the Holy Eucharist.
If authority is derived from Eucharistic worship, then authority is fundamentally the authority of a covenant. This book shows that this covenant is spoken according to a primordial sexual language rooted in creation itself.
Stephen Greenblatt University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress PR2976.G738 2010 | Dewey Decimal 822.33
Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes—of claims for the absolute authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. With the elegance and verve for which he is well known, Stephen Greenblatt, author of the best-selling Will in the World, shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and seemingly limitless passions of his lovers.
Greenblatt explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare’s preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare’s works, specifically his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare’s interest in murderous hatred, most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in Measure for Measure. Next Greenblatt considers the idea of Shakespearean authority—that is, Shakespeare’s deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, including his own. Ultimately, Greenblatt takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly unconstrained.
A book that could only have been written by Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespeare’s Freedom is a wholly original and eloquent meditation by the most acclaimed and influential Shakespearean of our time.
From the theatrical stage to the literary salon, the figure of Sappho—the ancient poet and inspiring icon of feminine creativity—played a major role in the intertwining histories of improvisation, text, and performance throughout the nineteenth century. Exploring the connections between operatic and poetic improvisation in Italy and beyond, Singing Sappho combines earwitness accounts of famous female improviser-virtuosi with erudite analysis of musical and literary practices. Melina Esse demonstrates that performance played a much larger role in conceptions of musical authorship than previously recognized, arguing that discourses of spontaneity—specifically those surrounding the improvvisatrice, or female poetic improviser—were paradoxically used to carve out a new authority for opera composers just as improvisation itself was falling into decline. With this novel and nuanced book, Esse persuasively reclaims the agency of performers and their crucial role in constituting Italian opera as a genre in the nineteenth century.
What does the name Trump stand for? If branding now rules over the production of value, as the coauthors of Sovereignty, Inc. argue, then Trump assumes the status of a master brand whose primary activity is the compulsive work of self-branding—such is the new sovereignty business in which, whether one belongs to his base or not, we are all “incorporated.”
Drawing on anthropology, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theater, William Mazzarella, Eric L. Santner, and Aaron Schuster show how politics in the age of Trump functions by mobilizing a contradictory and convoluted enjoyment, an explosive mixture of drives and fantasies that eludes existing portraits of our era. The current political moment turns out to be not so much exceptional as exceptionally revealing of the constitutive tension between enjoyment and economy that has always been a key component of the social order. Santner analyzes the collective dream-work that sustains a new sort of authoritarian charisma or mana, a mana-facturing process that keeps us riveted to an excessively carnal incorporation of sovereignty. Mazzarella examines the contemporary merger of consumer brand and political brand and the cross-contamination of politics and economics, warning against all too easy laments about the corruption of politics by marketing. Schuster, focusing on the extreme theatricality and self-satirical comedy of the present, shows how authority reasserts itself at the very moment of distrust and disillusionment in the system, profiting off its supposed decline. A dazzling diagnostic of our present, Sovereignty, Inc., forces us to come to terms with our complicity in Trump’s political presence and will immediately take its place in discussions of contemporary politics.
Over four years, Andrea Press and Elizabeth Cole watched television with women, visiting city houses, suburban subdivisions, modern condominiums, and public housing projects. They found that television depicts abortion as a problem for the poor and the working classes, and that viewers invariably referred to and abided by class when discussing abortion. Speaking of Abortion is an invaluable resource that allows us to hear how ordinary women discuss one of America's most volatile issues.
As a woman wielding public authority, Elizabeth I embodied a paradox at the very center of sixteenth-century patriarchal English society. Louis Montrose’s long-awaited book, The Subject of Elizabeth, illuminates the ways in which the Queen and her subjects variously exploited or obfuscated this contradiction.
Montrose offers a masterful account of the texts, pictures, and performances in which the Queen was represented to her people, to her court, to foreign powers, and to Elizabeth herself. Retrieving this “Elizabethan imaginary” in all its richness and fascination, Montrose presents a sweeping new account of Elizabethan political culture. Along the way, he explores the representation of Elizabeth within the traditions of Tudor dynastic portraiture; explains the symbolic manipulation of Elizabeth’s body by both supporters and enemies of her regime; and considers how Elizabeth’s advancing age provided new occasions for misogynistic subversions of her royal charisma.
This book, the remarkable product of two decades of study by one of our most respected Renaissance scholars, will be welcomed by all historians, literary scholars, and art historians of the period.
Although the "decline" of network television in the face of cable programming was an institutional crisis of television history, John Caldwell's classic volume Televisuality reveals that this decline spawned a flurry of new production initiatives to reassert network authority. Television in the 1980s hyped an extensive array of exhibitionist practices to raise the prime-time marquee above the multi-channel flow. Televisuality demonstrates the cultural logic of stylistic exhibitionism in everything from prestige series (Northern Exposure) and "loss-leader" event-status programming (War and Remembrance) to lower "trash" and "tabloid" forms (Pee-Wee's Playhouse and reality TV). Caldwell shows how "import-auteurs" like Oliver Stone and David Lynch were stylized for prime time as videographics packaged and tamed crisis news coverage. By drawing on production experience and critical and cultural analysis, and by tying technologies to aesthetics and ideology, Televisuality is a powerful call for desegregation of theory and practice in media scholarship and an end to the willful blindness of "high theory."
Thomas Remington discusses the methods used by the Communist Party to manage communications in Soviet society. Covering literature produced by Soviet scholars from the 1970s and 1980s, that studies the organization, content, usage, and impact of propaganda, Remington views how Party officials intrinsically manage the structure of the Soviet communications system, through rhetoric of both conservatism and reform.
The human body is the locus of meaning, personhood, and our sense of the possibility of sanctity. The desecration of the human corpse is a matter of universal revulsion, taboo in virtually all human cultures. Not least for this reason, the unburied corpse quickly becomes a focal point of political salience, on the one hand seeming to express the contempt of state power toward the basic claims of human dignity—while on the other hand simultaneously bringing into question the very legitimacy of that power. In Unburied Bodies: Subversive Corpses and the Authority of the Dead, James Martel surveys the power of the body left unburied to motivate resistance, to bring forth a radically new form of agency, and to undercut the authority claims made by state power. Ranging across time and space from the battlefields of ancient Thebes to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, and taking in perspectives from such writers as Sophocles, Machiavelli, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Judith Butler, Thomas Lacqueur, and Bonnie Honig, Martel asks why the presence of the abandoned corpse can be seen by both authorities and protesters as a source of power, and how those who have been abandoned or marginalized by structures of authority can find in a lifeless body fellow accomplices in their aspirations for dignity and humanity.
In this innovative exploration of the concept of formality, or governing by abstraction, Arthur Stinchcombe breathes new life into an idea that scholars have all but ignored in recent years.
We have come to assume that governing our social activities by advance planning—by creating abstract descriptions of what ought to happen and adjusting these descriptions as situations change—is not as efficient and responsive as dealing directly with the real substance of the situation at hand. Stinchcombe argues the opposite. When a plan is designed to correct itself and keep up with the reality it is meant to govern, it can be remarkably successful. He points out a wide range of examples where this is the case, including architectural blueprints, immigration law, the construction of common law by appeals courts, Fannie Mae's secondary mortgage market, and scientific paradigms and programs.
Arguing that formality has been misconceived as consisting mainly of its defects, Stinchcombe shows how formality, at its best, can serve us much better than ritual obedience to poorly laid plans or a romantic appeal to "real life."
For women, for lesbians and gays, for African Americans, for Asians, Native Americans, or any other self-identified and -identifying group, who can speak? Who has the authority to speak for these groups? Is there genuinely such a thing as "objectivity," or can only members of these groups speak, finally, for themselves? And who has the authority to decide who has the authority?
This collection examines how theory and criticism are complicated by
multiple perspectives in an increasingly multicultural society and
faces head on the difficult question of what qualifies a critic to speak from or about a particular position. In different formats and from different perspectives from various disciplines, the contributors to this volume analytically and innovatively work together to define the problems and capture the contradictions and tensions inherent in the issues of authority, epistemology, and discourse.
Women Writing the Academy is based on an extensive interview study by Gesa E. Kirsch that investigates how women in different academic disciplines perceive and describe their experiences as writers in the university.
Kirsch’s study focuses on the writing strategies of successful women writers, their ways of establishing authority, and the kinds of audiences they address in different disciplinary settings. Based on multiple interviews with thirty-five women from five different disciplines (anthropology, education, history, nursing, and psychology) and four academic ranks (seniors, graduate students, and faculty before and after tenure), this is the first book to systematically explore the academic context in which women write and publish.
While there are many studies in literary criticism on women as writers of fiction, there has not been parallel scholarship on women as writers of professional discourse, be it inside or outside the academy. Through her research, for example, Kirsch found that women were less likely than their male counterparts to think of their work as sufficiently significant to write up and submit for publication, tended to hold on to their work longer than men before sending it out, and were less likely than men to revise and resubmit manuscripts that had been initially rejected.
This book is significant in that it investigates a new area of research— gender and writing—and in doing so brings together findings on audience, authority, and gender.
Writing with Authority: Students’ Roles as Writers in Cross-National Perspective offers a comparison of student writers in two university cultures—one German and one American—as the students learn to connect their writing to academic content. David Foster demonstrates the effectiveness of using cross-cultural comparisons to assess differences in literacy activities and suggests teaching approaches that will help American students better develop their roles as writers in knowledge-based communities. He proposes that American universities make stronger efforts to nurture the autonomy of American undergraduates as learner-writers and to create apprenticeship experiences that more closely reflect the realities of working in the academic community.
This comparative analysis identifies crucial differences in the ways German and American students learn to become academic writers, emphasizing two significant issues: the importance of self-directed, long-term planning and goal setting in developing knowledge-based projects and the impact of time structures on students’ writing practices. Foster suggests that students learn to write as knowledge makers, using cumulative, recursive task development as reflexive writing practices. He argues for the full integration of extended, self-managed, knowledge-based writing tasks into the American undergraduate curriculum from the onset of college study.
A cross-national perspective offers important insights into the conditions that influence novice writers, Foster says, including secondary preparations and transitions to postsecondary study. Foster proposes that students be challenged to write transformatively—to master new forms of authorship and authority based on self-directed planning, researching, and writing in specific academic communities. The text also addresses contested issues of power relations in students’ roles as academic writers and their perception of personal authority and freedom as writers.
A course model incorporates significant, self-directed writing projects to help students build sustainable roles as transformative writers, outlines “change goals” to help teachers develop curricular structures that support cumulative writing projects across the undergraduate curriculum, and shows how teachers can develop self-directed writing projects in a variety of program environments.
In 1864, amid headline-grabbing heresy trials, members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science were asked to sign a declaration affirming that science and scripture were in agreement. Many criticized the new test of orthodoxy; nine decided that collaborative action was required. The X Club tells their story.
These six ambitious professionals and three wealthy amateurs—J. D. Hooker, T. H. Huxley, John Tyndall, John Lubbock, William Spottiswoode, Edward Frankland, George Busk, T. A. Hirst, and Herbert Spencer—wanted to guide the development of science and public opinion on issues where science impinged on daily life, religious belief, and politics. They formed a private dining club, which they named the X Club, to discuss and further their plans. As Ruth Barton shows, they had a clear objective: they wanted to promote “scientific habits of mind,” which they sought to do through lectures, journalism, and science education. They devoted enormous effort to the expansion of science education, with real, but mixed, success.
For twenty years, the X Club was the most powerful network in Victorian science—the men succeeded each other in the presidency of the Royal Society for a dozen years. Barton’s group biography traces the roots of their success and the lasting effects of their championing of science against those who attempted to limit or control it, along the way shedding light on the social organization of science, the interactions of science and the state, and the places of science and scientific men in elite culture in the Victorian era.