Nelson Maldonado-Torres argues that European modernity has become inextricable from the experience of the warrior and conqueror. In Against War, he develops a powerful critique of modernity, and he offers a critical response combining ethics, political theory, and ideas rooted in Christian and Jewish thought. Maldonado-Torres focuses on the perspectives of those who inhabit the underside of western modernity, particularly Jewish, black, and Latin American theorists. He analyzes the works of the Jewish Lithuanian-French philosopher and religious thinker Emmanuel Levinas, the Martiniquean psychiatrist and political thinker Frantz Fanon, and the Catholic Argentinean-Mexican philosopher, historian, and theologian Enrique Dussel.
Considering Levinas’s critique of French liberalism and Nazi racial politics, and the links between them, Maldonado-Torres identifies a “master morality” of dominion and control at the heart of western modernity. This master morality constitutes the center of a warring paradigm that inspires and legitimizes racial policies, imperial projects, and wars of invasion. Maldonado-Torres refines the description of modernity’s war paradigm and the Levinasian critique through Fanon’s phenomenology of the colonized and racial self and the politics of decolonization, which he reinterprets in light of the Levinasian conception of ethics. Drawing on Dussel’s genealogy of the modern imperial and warring self, Maldonado-Torres theorizes race as the naturalization of war’s death ethic. He offers decolonial ethics and politics as an antidote to modernity’s master morality and the paradigm of war. Against War advances the de-colonial turn, showing how theory and ethics cannot be conceived without politics, and how they all need to be oriented by the imperative of decolonization in the modern/colonial and postmodern world.
William C. Holmes provides a rare look behind the scenes into the world of early eighteenth-century Italian opera. Based on a rich store of newly recovered documents, mainly the personal papers of Luca Casimiro degli Albizzi, this social history illuminates the complexities of staging opera in the 1720s and '30s: the role of the impresario in planning an operatic season, financial and artistic difficulties, the importance of patronage, the power of individual singers and composers, considerations of set design, and the practice of altering librettos.
A member of an illustrious Florentine family, Albizzi (1664-1745) served as one of the principal impresarios of the Pergola, Florence's earliest and greatest opera theater. He also carried on an active correspondence with impresarios in other cities, freely giving his advice on various economic and artistic concerns. Holmes uses the Albizzi family archives—the most abundant and varied material yet available about an eighteenth-century impresario and his theater—to deepen our knowledge of an extraordinary but little understood period in Italian opera.
This book will appeal to anyone curious about operatic history.
Sonoita Plain: Views from a Southwestern Grassland
Carl E. Bock and Jane H. Bock; Photographs by Stephen E. Strom; Foreword by Patricia Nelson Limerick University of Arizona Press, 2005 Library of Congress QH105.A65B62 2005 | Dewey Decimal 577.40979179
Far to the south of Arizona’s sprawling metropolises, a rolling savanna of grass, oak, and mesquite rises above the surrounding deserts. The Sonoita Plain is a basin of a thousand square miles bracketed by mountains, a land once the domain of cowboys that is now more and more the focus of exurban development. These southwestern grasslands are both typical of and distinct from those of the Great Plains—similarly shaped by drought, grazing, and fire, but with a different flora and fauna, and the product of a different human history.
The Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch is a tract of 8,000 acres on the Sonoita Plain that was established in 1968 by the Appleton family and that is now part of the sanctuary system of the National Audubon Society. To all appearances, it is an ordinary piece of land, but for the last 35 years it has been treated in an extraordinary way—by leaving it alone. No grazing to influence grass production. No dam building to hold back flash floods. No pest control. No fire-fighting. By employing such non-action, might we gain a glimpse of what this land was like hundreds, even thousands, of years ago?
Through essays and photographs focusing on the Sanctuary and surrounding area, this book reveals the complex ecology and unique aesthetics of its grasslands and savannas. Carl and Jane Bock and Stephen Strom share a passion for the remarkable beauty found here, and in their book they describe its environment, biodiversity, and human history. People have dominated the world’s grasslands and savannas for so long that today we have no clear idea what these lands might be like without us. By understanding the lessons of the Sonoita Plain, we might gain such insight—and, more important, discover approaches to protecting the very things that attract us to such lands in the first place.
In this revealing book, Lance Freeman sets out to answer a seemingly simple question: how does gentrification actually affect residents of neighborhoods in transition? To find out, Freeman does what no scholar before him has done. He interviews the indigenous residents of two predominantly black neighborhoods that are in the process of gentrification: Harlem and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. By listening closely to what people tell him, he creates a more nuanced picture of the impacts of gentrification on the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of the people who stay in their neighborhoods. Freeman describes the theoretical and planning/policy implications of his findings, both for New York City and for any gentrifying urban area. There Goes the 'Hood provides a more complete, and complicated, understanding of the gentrification process, highlighting the reactions of long-term residents. It suggests new ways of limiting gentrification's negative effects and of creating more positive experiences for newcomers and natives alike.
Assessing the relevance of Tolstoy's thought and teachings for the current day, Tolstoy and His Problems: Views from the Twenty-First Century is a collection of essays by a group of Tolstoy specialists who are leading scholars in the humanities and social sciences.
In the broadest sense—with essays on a variety of issues that occupied Tolstoy, such as nihilism, mysticism, social theory, religion, Judaism, education, opera, and Shakespeare—the volume offers a fresh evaluation of Tolstoy's program to reform the ways we live, work, commune with nature and art, practice spirituality, exchange ideas and knowledge, become educated, and speak and think about history and social change.
From political novels to surrealist poetry and censored rock and roll, Czech underground culture of the later twentieth century displayed an astonishing, and unheralded, variety. This fascinating exploration of that underground movement—the historical, sociological, and psychological background that gave rise to it; the literature, music, and arts that comprised it; and its more recent incorporation into the mainstream—draws on the voices of scholars and critics who themselves played an integral role in generating it. Featuring the writings of Czech poet Ivan Martin Jirous, philosopher-poet Egon Bondy, and writer Jáchym Topol, as well as Canadian expat and translator Paul Wilson—many of which have never before been available in English—in addition to an expanded bibliography reflecting advances in scholarship, this second edition of Views from the Inside is both a work of literature and an eye-opening volume of criticism.
Views of Nature
Alexander von Humboldt University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress QH45.H82 2014 | Dewey Decimal 508
While the influence of Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) looms large over the natural sciences, his legacy reaches far beyond the field notebooks of naturalists. Humboldt’s 1799–1804 research expedition to Central and South America with botanist Aimé Bonpland not only set the course for the great scientific surveys of the nineteenth century, but also served as the raw material for his many volumes—works of both scientific rigor and aesthetic beauty that inspired such essayists and artists as Emerson, Goethe, Thoreau, Poe, and Frederic Edwin Church.
Views of Nature, or Ansichten der Natur, was Humboldt’s best-known and most influential work—and his personal favorite. While the essays that comprise it are themselves remarkable as innovative, early pieces of nature writing—they were cited by Thoreau as a model for his own work—the book’s extensive endnotes incorporate some of Humboldt’s most beautiful prose and mature thinking on vegetation structure, its origins in climate patterns, and its implications for the arts. Written for both a literary and a scientific audience, Views of Nature was translated into English (twice), Spanish, and French in the nineteenth century, and it was read widely in Europe and the Americas. But in contrast to many of Humboldt’s more technical works, Views of Nature has been unavailable in English for more than one hundred years. Largely neglected in the United States during the twentieth century, Humboldt’s contributions to the humanities and the sciences are now undergoing a revival to which this new translation will be a critical contribution.
In 1799, Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland set out to determine whether the Orinoco River connected with the Amazon. But what started as a trip to investigate a relatively minor geographical controversy became the basis of a five-year exploration throughout South America, Mexico, and Cuba. The discoveries amassed by Humboldt and Bonpland were staggering, and much of today’s knowledge of tropical zoology, botany, geography, and geology can be traced back to Humboldt’s numerous records of these expeditions.
One of these accounts, Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, firmly established Alexander von Humboldt as the founder of Mesoamerican studies. In Views of the Cordilleras—first published in French between 1810 and 1813—Humboldt weaves together magnificently engraved drawings and detailed texts to achieve multifaceted views of cultures and landscapes across the Americas. In doing so, he offers an alternative perspective on the New World, combating presumptions of its belatedness and inferiority by arguing that the “old” and the “new” world are of the same geological age.
This critical edition of Views of the Cordilleras—the second volume in the Alexander von Humboldt in English series—contains a new, unabridged English translation of Humboldt’s French text, as well as annotations, a bibliography, and all sixty-nine plates from the original edition, many of them in color.
In this ambitious and imaginative study, Margaretta M. Lovell analyzes the large body of accomplished, sometimes startling, often brilliant work of American artists drawn to Venice's ragged splendor in the last century. Including major works by such diverse and talented painters as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, and Maurice Prendergast, these richly varied paintings portray sleepy canals, architectural monuments, and scenes of picturesque everyday life while they also reveal surprising aspects of American culture.