Tropical Africa was one of the last regions of the world to experience formal European colonialism, a process that coincided with the advent of a range of new scientific specialties and research methods. Africa as a Living Laboratory is a far-reaching study of the thorny relationship between imperialism and the role of scientific expertise—environmental, medical, racial, and anthropological—in the colonization of British Africa.
A key source for Helen Tilley’s analysis is the African Research Survey, a project undertaken in the 1930s to explore how modern science was being applied to African problems. This project both embraced and recommended an interdisciplinary approach to research on Africa that, Tilley argues, underscored the heterogeneity of African environments and the interrelations among the problems being studied. While the aim of British colonialists was unquestionably to transform and modernize Africa, their efforts, Tilley contends, were often unexpectedly subverted by scientific concerns with the local and vernacular. Meticulously researched and gracefully argued, Africa as a Living Laboratory transforms our understanding of imperial history, colonial development, and the role science played in both.
Leo Tolstoy’s and Vladimir Nabokov’s radically opposed aesthetic worldviews emanate from a shared intuition—that approaching a text skeptically is easy, but trusting it is hard
Two figures central to the Russian literary tradition—Tolstoy, the moralist, and Nabokov, the aesthete—seem to have sharply conflicting ideas about the purpose of literature. Tatyana Gershkovich undermines this familiar opposition by identifying a shared fear at the root of their seemingly antithetical aesthetics: that one’s experience of the world might be entirely one’s own, private and impossible to share through art.
Art in Doubt: Tolstoy, Nabokov, and the Problem of Other Minds reconceives the pair’s celebrated fiction and contentious theorizing as coherent, lifelong efforts to reckon with the problem of other people’s minds. Gershkovich demonstrates how the authors’ shared yearning for an impossibly intimate knowledge of others formed and deformed their fiction and brought them through parallel logic to their rival late styles: Tolstoy’s rustic simplicity and Nabokov’s baroque complexity. Unlike those authors for whom the skeptical predicament ends in absurdity or despair, Tolstoy and Nabokov both hold out hope that skepticism can be overcome, not by force of will but with the right kind of text, one designed to withstand our impulse to doubt it. Through close readings of key canonical works—Anna Karenina, The Kreutzer Sonata, Hadji Murat, The Gift, Pale Fire—this book brings the twin titans of Russian fiction to bear on contemporary debates about how we read now, and how we ought to.
Published in Vienna in 1936, The Authoritarian State by Eric Voegelin has remained virtually unknown to the public until now. Sales of the German edition were halted following the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938, and the entire printing was later destroyed by wartime bombing. In this volume, Voegelin offers a critical examination of the most prominent European theories of state and constitutional law of the period while providing a political and historical analysis of the Austrian situation. He discusses the dismissal of Parliament in 1933, the civil war, the murder of Federal Chancellor Dollfuss, the adoption of the "Authoritarian Constitution" of 1934, and the predicament of being sandwiched between Hitler and Mussolini.
A radical critique of Hans Kelsen's pure theory of law lies at the heart of this work, marking Voegelin's definitive departure from Neo-Kantian epistemology. For the first time, Voegelin elaborates on the important distinction between theoretical concepts and political symbols as a basis for explaining the nontheoretical and speculative character of ideologies, both left and right. He shows that total and authoritarian are symbols of ideological self-interpretation that have no theoretical value, a distinction basic to his later work in The New Science of Politics.
Available for the first time in English, The Authoritarian State is a valuable addition to the Voegelin canon and to the field of intellectual history in general.
In this follow up to their widely read earlier volume, The Trouble with Community, Vered Amit and Nigel Rapport ask: 'Do notions of community remain central to our sense of who we are, in the dislocating context of globalization, or can we see beyond community closures to a human whole?'
This volume explores the variable nature of contemporary sociality. It focuses on the ethical, organizational and emotional claims and opportunities sought or fashioned for mobilizing and evading social collectivities in a world of mobile subjects. Here is an examination of the tensions and interactions between everyday forms of fluid fellowship, culturally normative claims to identity, and opportunities for realizing a universal humanity.
The book offers a new perspective on human commonality through a dialogue between two eminent anthropologists who come from distinct, but complementary positions.
In Dostoevsky’s Dialectics and the Problem of Sin, Ksana Blank borrows from ancient Greek, Chinese, and Christian dialectical traditions to formulate a dynamic image of Dostoevsky’s dialectics—distinct from Hegelian dialectics—as a philosophy of “compatible contradictions.” Expanding on the classical triad of Goodness, Beauty, and Truth, Blank guides us through Dostoevsky’s most difficult paradoxes: goodness that begets evil, beautiful personalities that bring about grief, and criminality that brings about salvation.
Dostoevsky’s philosophy of contradictions, this book demonstrates, contributes to the development of antinomian thought in the writings of early twentieth-century Russian religious thinkers and to the development of Bakhtin’s dialogism. Dostoevsky’s Dialectics and the Problem of Sin marks an important and original intervention into the enduring debate over Dostoevsky’s spiritual philosophy.
What drives literary change? Does literature merely follow shifts in a culture, or does it play a distinctive role in shaping emergent trends? Michael Fuller explores these questions while examining the changes in Chinese shi poetry from the late Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) to the end of the Southern Song (1127–1279), a period of profound social and cultural transformation.Shi poetry written in response to events was the dominant literary genre in Song dynasty China, serving as a central form through which literati explored meaning in their encounters with the world. By the late Northern Song, however, old models for meaning were proving inadequate, and Daoxue (Neo-Confucianism) provided an increasingly attractive new ground for understanding the self and the world. Drifting among Rivers and Lakes traces the intertwining of the practice of poetry, writings on poetics, and the debates about Daoxue that led to the cultural synthesis of the final years of the Southern Song and set the pattern for Chinese society for the next six centuries. Examining the writings of major poets and Confucian thinkers of the period, Fuller discovers the slow evolution of a complementarity between poetry and Daoxue in which neither discourse was self-sufficient.
Although some critics of Eric Voegelin’s later work have faulted his failure to deal with the historical Jesus and to address the implications of Christianity for social and political life, the recent publication of Voegelin’s History of Political Ideas has allowed a more complete assessment of his position regarding the Christian political order. This book addresses that criticism through an analysis of Voegelin’s early work.
In Eric Voegelin and the Problem of Christian Political Order, Jeffrey C. Herndon analyzes the development of Voegelin’s thought regarding the origins of Christianity in the person of Jesus, the development of the church in the works of Paul, and the relationship between an immanent institutional order symbolizing the divine presence and the struggle for social and political order. Focusing on the tension between a spiritual phenomenon based on Pauline faith and the institutionalization of that experience in the church, Herndon offers one of the first examinations of the relationship of the History of Political Ideas to Voegelin’s larger body of work.
In his wide-ranging study, Herndon explores Voegelin’s examination of the problem of Christian political order from the inception of Christianity through the Great Reformation. He also presents a clarification of Voegelin’s theory of civilizational foundation and of Voegelin’s philosophy of history with regard to Christianity and Western political order.
Herndon addresses not only the nagging problem in Voegelin scholarship regarding his relationship with the historical Jesus but also the “Pauline compromises with the world” that enabled Christianity to become the instrument by which the West was civilized. He also shows that Voegelin’s interpretation of the historical pressures released by the Great Reformation is important to an understanding of his later work regarding the negative effect of Christian symbols in the creation of ideological disorder.
Eric Voegelin and the Problem of Christian Political Order clarifies issues in Voegelin studies regarding the intersection between political theory and Christian concerns, addressing the relation of religious experience to the public sphere of political life in the West and helping to explain Voegelin’s contention that the death of the spirit is the price of progress. It offers scholars a perspective heretofore lacking in Voegelin scholarship and a clearer view of Voegelin’s understanding of the Christian dispensation and its influence on the course of Western development, history, and philosophy.
The Evolving Self focuses upon the most basic and universal of psychological problems—the individual’s effort to make sense of experience, to make meaning of life. According to Robert Kegan, meaning-making is a lifelong activity that begins in earliest infancy and continues to evolve through a series of stages encompassing childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The Evolving Self describes this process of evolution in rich and human detail, concentrating especially on the internal experience of growth and transition, its costs and disruptions as well as its triumphs.At the heart of our meaning-making activity, the book suggests, is the drawing and redrawing of the distinction between self and other. Using Piagetian theory in a creative new way to make sense of how we make sense of ourselves, Kegan shows that each meaning-making stage is a new solution to the lifelong tension between the universal human yearning to be connected, attached, and included, on the one hand, and to be distinct, independent, and autonomous on the other. The Evolving Self is the story of our continuing negotiation of this tension. It is a book that is theoretically daring enough to propose a reinterpretation of the Oedipus complex and clinically concerned enough to suggest a variety of fresh new ways to treat those psychological complaints that commonly arise in the course of development.Kegan is an irrepressible storyteller, an impassioned opponent of the health-and-illness approach to psychological distress, and a sturdy builder of psychological theory. His is an original and distinctive new voice in the growing discussion of human development across the life span.
The essays brought together in this volume share a common objective: To bring a unifying methodological approach to the analysis of financial problems in developing, open economies. While the primary focus is on contemporary Latin America, the methods employed and the lessons learned are of wider applicability. The papers address the financial integration issue from three different perspectives. In some cases, a country study is the vehicle for an econometric investigation of a particular external linkage. In other cases, an individual country's experience suggests an economic model in which the stylized facts may be analyzed and developed. A third direction is unabashedly theoretical and formulates more general principles which are broadly applicable rather than country-specific.
The most discussed and most significant issue on the religious scene today is whether it is possible, or even desirable, to believe in God. Mr. Kaufman's valuable study does not offer a doctrine of God, but instead explores why God is a problem for many moderns, the dimensions of that problem, and the inner logic of the notion of God as it has developed in Western culture.His object is to determine the function or significance of talk about God: how the concept of God is generated in human experience; the special problems in turn generated by this concept (for example, the intelligibility of the idea of transcendence, the problem of theodicy) and how they are met; and under what circumstances the idea of God is credible or important or even indispensable. He does not try to prove God's existence or nonexistence, but elucidates what the concept of God means and the important human needs it fulfills.Four of the eleven essays have been previously published, at least in part; seven are completely new.
Contributors. Gopal Balakrishnan, Tani E. Barlow, Neil Brenner, Richard E. Lee, Franco Moretti, David Palumbo-Liu, Bruce Robbins, Helen Stacy, Nirvana Tanoukhi, Immanuel Wallerstein, Kären Wigen
While scholars have chronicled Czesław Miłosz’s engagement with religious belief, no previous book-length treatment has focused on his struggles with theodicy in both poetry and thought. Miłosz wrestled with the problem of believing in a just God given the powerful evidence to the contrary in the natural world as he observed it and in the horrors of World War II and its aftermath in Poland. Rather than attempt to survey Miłosz’s vast oeuvre, Łukasz Tischner focuses on several key works—The Land of Ulro, The World, The Issa Valley, A Treatise on Morals, A Treatise on Poetry, and From the Rising of the Sun—carefully tracing the development of Miłosz’s moral arguments, especially in relation to the key texts that influenced him, among them the Bible, the Gnostic writings, and the works of Blake, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Schopenhauer. The result is a book that examines Miłosz as both a thinker and an artist, shedding new light on all aspects of his oeuvre.
Henry Weinfield offers a new reading not only of the Elegy itself but also of its place in English literary history. His central argument is that in Gray’s Elegy the thematic constellation of poverty, anonymity, alienation, and unfulfilled potential—or what Weinfield calls the "problem of history"—is fully articulated for the first time, and that, as a result, the Elegy represents an important turning-point in the history of English poetry.
In a major contribution to the theory of perception, A. D. Smith presents a truly original defense of direct realism--the view that in perception we are directly aware of things in the physical world.The Problem of Perception offers two arguments against direct realism--one concerning illusion, and one concerning hallucination--that no current theory of perception can adequately rebut. Smith then develops a theory of perception that does succeed in answering these arguments; and because these arguments are the only two that present direct realism with serious problems arising from the nature of perception, direct realism emerges here for the first time as an ultimately tenable position within the philosophy of perception.At the heart of Smith's theory is a new way of drawing the distinction between perception and sensation, along with an unusual treatment of the nature of objects of hallucination. With in-depth reference to both the analytical and the phenomenological literature on perception, and with telling criticism of alternative views, Smith's groundbreaking work will be of value to philosophers of perception in both the analytical and the phenomenological tradition, as well as to psychologists of perception.
"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line," W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1903, and his words have proven sadly prophetic. As we enter the twenty-first century, the problem remains--and yet it, and the line that defines it, have shifted in subtle but significant ways. This brief book speaks powerfully to the question of how the circumstances of race and racism have changed in our time--and how these changes will affect our future.Foremost among the book's concerns are the contradictions and incoherence of a system that idealizes black celebrities in politics, popular culture, and sports even as it diminishes the average African-American citizen. The world of the assembly line, boxer Jack Johnson's career, and The Birth of a Nation come under Holt's scrutiny as he relates the malign progress of race and racism to the loss of industrial jobs and the rise of our modern consumer society. Understanding race as ideology, he describes the processes of consumerism and commodification that have transformed, but not necessarily improved, the place of black citizens in our society.As disturbing as it is enlightening, this timely work reveals the radical nature of change as it relates to race and its cultural phenomena. It offers conceptual tools and a new way to think and talk about racism as social reality.
"Catanese's beautifully written and cogently argued book addresses one of the most persistent sociopolitical questions in contemporary culture. She suggests that it is performance and the difference it makes that complicates the terms by which we can even understand 'multicultural' and 'colorblind' concepts. A tremendously illuminating study that promises to break new ground in the fields of theatre and performance studies, African American studies, feminist theory, cultural studies, and film and television studies."
---Daphne Brooks, Princeton University
"Adds immeasurably to the ways in which we can understand the contradictory aspects of racial discourse and performance as they have emerged during the last two decades. An ambitious, smart, and fascinating book."
---Jennifer DeVere Brody, Duke University
Are we a multicultural nation, or a colorblind one? The Problem of the Color[blind] examines this vexed question in American culture by focusing on black performance in theater, film, and television. The practice of colorblind casting---choosing actors without regard to race---assumes a performing body that is somehow race neutral. But where, exactly, is race neutrality located---in the eyes of the spectator, in the body of the performer, in the medium of the performance? In analyzing and theorizing such questions, Brandi Wilkins Catanese explores a range of engaging and provocative subjects, including the infamous debate between playwright August Wilson and drama critic Robert Brustein, the film career of Denzel Washington, Suzan-Lori Parks's play Venus, the phenomenon of postblackness (as represented in the Studio Museum in Harlem's "Freestyle" exhibition), the performer Ice Cube's transformation from icon of gangsta rap to family movie star, and the controversial reality television series Black. White. Concluding that ideologies of transcendence are ahistorical and therefore unenforceable, Catanese advances the concept of racial transgression---a process of acknowledging rather than ignoring the racialized histories of performance---as her chapters move between readings of dramatic texts, films, popular culture, and debates in critical race theory and the culture wars.
A complex articulation of the ways blackness and nonnormative gender intersect—and a deeper understanding of how subjectivities are formed
A deep meditation on and expansion of the figure of the Negro and insurrectionary effects of the “X” as theorized by Nahum Chandler, The Problem of the Negro as a Problem for Gender thinks through the problematizing effects of blackness as, too, a problematizing of gender. Through the paraontological, the between, and the figure of the “X” (with its explicit contemporary link to nonbinary and trans genders) Marquis Bey presents a meditation on black feminism and gender nonnormativity. Chandler’s text serves as both an argumentative tool for rendering the “radical alternative” in and as blackness as well as demonstrating the necessarily trans/gendered valences of that radical alternative.
Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.
Lucien Febvre’s magisterial study of sixteenth century religious and intellectual history, published in 1942, is at long last available in English, in a translation that does it full justice. The book is a modern classic. Febvre, founder with Marc Bloch of the journal Annales, was one of France’s leading historians, a scholar whose field of expertise was the sixteenth century. This book, written late in his career, is regarded as his masterpiece. Despite the subtitle, it is not primarily a study of Rabelais; it is a study of the mental life, the mentalité, of a whole age.Febvre worked on the book for ten years. His purpose at first was polemical: he set out to demolish the notion that Rabelais was a covert atheist, a freethinker ahead of his time. To expose the anachronism of that view, he proceeded to a close examination of the ideas, information, beliefs, and values of Rabelais and his contemporaries. He combed archives and local records, compendia of popular lore, the work of writers from Luther and Erasmus to Ronsard, the verses of obscure neo-Latin poets. Everything was grist for his mill: books about comets, medical texts, philological treatises, even music and architecture. The result is a work of extraordinary richness of texture, enlivened by a wealth of concrete details—a compelling intellectual portrait of the period by a historian of rare insight, great intelligence, and vast learning.Febvre wrote with Gallic flair. His style is informal, often witty, at times combative, and colorful almost to a fault. His idiosyncrasies of syntax and vocabulary have defeated many who have tried to read, let alone translate, the French text. Beatrice Gottlieb has succeeded in rendering his prose accurately and readably, conveying a sense of Febvre’s strong, often argumentative personality as well as his brilliantly intuitive feeling for Renaissance France.
Education is in crisis—at least, so we hear. And at the center of this crisis is technology. New technologies like computer-based classroom instruction, online K–12 schools, MOOCs (massive open online courses), and automated essay scoring may be our last great hope—or the greatest threat we have ever faced.
In The Problem with Education Technology, Ben Fink and Robin Brown look behind the hype to explain the problems—and potential—of these technologies. Focusing on the case of automated essay scoring, they explain the technology, how it works, and what it does and doesn’t do. They explain its origins, its evolution (both in the classroom and in our culture), and the controversy that surrounds it. Most significantly, they expose the real problem—the complicity of teachers and curriculum-builders in creating an education system so mechanical that machines can in fact often replace humans—and how teachers, students, and other citizens can work together to solve it.
Offering a new perspective on the change that educators can hope, organize, and lobby for, The Problem with Education Technology challenges teachers and activists on “our side,” even as it provides new evidence to counter the profit-making, labor-saving logics that drive the current push for technology in the classroom.
Violence against women is one of the most insidious social ills facing the world today. Yet governmental response is inconsistent, ranging from dismissal to aggressive implementation of policies and programs to combat the problem. In her comparative study of thirty-six democratic governments, Laurel Weldon examines the root causes and consequences of the differences in public policy from Northern Europe to Latin America.
She reveals that factors that often influence the development of social policies do not determine policies on violence against women. Neither economic level, religion, region, nor the number of women in government determine governmental responsiveness to this problem. Weldon demonstrates, for example, that Nordic governments take no more action to combat violence against women than Latin American governments, even though the Swedish welfare state is often considered a leader in social policy, particularly with regard to women’s issues.
Instead, the presence of independently organized, active women’s movements plays a greater role in placing violence against women on the public agenda. The breadth and scope of governmental response is greatly enhanced by the presence of an office dedicated to promoting women’s status.
Weldon closes with practical lessons and insights to improve government action on violence against women and other important issues of social justice and democracy.
Sick building syndrome embodied a politics of uncertainty that continues to characterize contemporary American environmental debates. Michelle Murphy explores the production of uncertainty by juxtaposing multiple histories, each of which explains how an expert or lay tradition made chemical exposures perceptible or imperceptible, existent or nonexistent. She shows how uncertainty emerged from a complex confluence of feminist activism, office worker protests, ventilation engineering, toxicology, popular epidemiology, corporate science, and ecology. In an illuminating case study, she reflects on EPA scientists’ efforts to have their headquarters recognized as a sick building. Murphy brings all of these histories together in what is not only a thorough account of an environmental health problem but also a much deeper exploration of the relationship between history, materiality, and uncertainty.
H. Lewis Ulman here examines the roles of language theory in eighteenth-century British rhetorics, linking those roles to philosophical issues informing twentieth-century rhetorical theory. In doing so, Ulman develops a general model of the "problem of language" for rhetorical theory, a model that transcends the impasse between realism and skepticism that marks both eighteenth- and twentieth-century rhetorical theory.
The nature of language was never more central to rhetorical theory than in the second half of the eighteenth century. Yet, until now, the articulation of theories of language and the arts of rhetoric in eighteenth-century Britain has received little attention. Ulman examines the role of grammar and theories of language in the formation of eighteenth-century rhetorical theory, investigating the significance of language theory for such key concerns of eighteenth-century rhetoric as verbal criticism, style, and elocution. His study highlights what he understands as the central motive of late eighteenth-century British rhetoricians—to construct for their particular cultural context philosophically rigorous accounts of verbal communication based on carefully articulated theories of thought and language.
Toward this end, Ulman examines three eighteenth-century British rhetorical treatises: George Campbell’s Philosophy of Rhetoric, Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, and Thomas Sheridan’s Course of Lectures on Elocution. He then identifies the continuities and discontinuities between the problem of language for eighteenth- and twentieth-century rhetorical theory and proposes a pluralistic stance toward the problem of language in rhetoric as an alternative to the theoretical standoff that currently characterizes the debate between realist and antirealist rhetorics.
This classic study brings to bear the findings and principles of political science, sociology, psychology, and economics on various proposals for the solution of ills traditionally associated with governmental administration.
Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain—home to 200 million people—the Yellow River sustains one of China’s core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China’s economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China’s contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world’s most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves.Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China’s economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China’s course as a twenty-first-century global power.
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