In Beyond Partition, Deepti Misri shows how 1947 marked the beginning of a history of politicized animosity associated with the differing ideas of "India" held by communities and in regions on one hand, and by the political-military Indian state on the other. Assembling literary, historiographic, performative, and visual representations of gendered violence against men and women, she establishes that cultural expressions do not just follow violence but determine its very contours, and interrogates the gendered scripts underwriting the violence originating in the contested visions of what "India" means.
Ambitious and ranging across disciplines, Beyond Partition offers both an overview of and nuanced new perspectives on the ways caste, identity, and class complicate representations of violence, and how such representations shape our understandings of both violence and of India.
Kristine Stiles has played a vital role in establishing trauma studies within the humanities. A formidable force in the art world, Stiles examines the significance of traumatic experiences both in the individual lives and works of artists and in contemporary international cultures since World War II. In Concerning Consequences, she considers some of the most notorious art of the second half of the twentieth century by artists who use their bodies to address destruction and violence.
The essays in this book focus primarily on performance art and photography. From war and environmental pollution to racism and sexual assault, Stiles analyzes the consequences of trauma as seen in the works of artists like Marina Abramovic, Pope.L, and Chris Burden. Assembling rich intellectual explorations on everything from Paleolithic paintings to the Bible’s patriarchal legacies to documentary images of nuclear explosions, Concerning Consequences explores how art can provide a distinctive means of understanding trauma and promote individual and collective healing.
Images of suffering male bodies permeate Western culture, from Francis Bacon’s paintings and Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs to the battered heroes of action movies. Drawing on perspectives from a range of disciplines—including religious studies, gender and queer studies, psychoanalysis, art history, and film theory—Ecce Homo explores the complex, ambiguous meanings of the enduring figure of the male-body-in-pain.
Acknowledging that representations of men confronting violence and pain can reinforce ideas of manly tenacity, Kent L. Brintnall also argues that they reveal the vulnerability of men’s bodies and open them up to eroticization. Locating the roots of our cultural fascination with male pain in the crucifixion, he analyzes the way narratives of Christ’s death and resurrection both support and subvert cultural fantasies of masculine power and privilege. Through stimulating readings of works by Georges Bataille, Kaja Silverman, and more, Brintnall delineates the redemptive power of representations of male suffering and violence.
This groundbreaking multidisciplinary book presents significant essays on historical indigenous violence in Latin America from Tierra del Fuego to central Mexico. The collection explores those uniquely human motivations and environmental variables that have led to the native peoples of Latin America engaging in warfare and ritual violence since antiquity. Based on an American Anthropological Association symposium, this book collects twelve contributions from sixteen authors, all of whom are scholars at the forefront of their fields of study.
All of the chapters advance our knowledge of the causes, extent, and consequences of indigenous violence—including ritualized violence—in Latin America. Each major historical/cultural group in Latin America is addressed by at least one contributor. Incorporating the results of dozens of years of research, this volume documents evidence of warfare, violent conflict, and human sacrifice from the fifteenth century to the twentieth, including incidents that occurred before European contact. Together the chapters present a convincing argument that warfare and ritual violence have been woven into the fabric of life in Latin America since remote antiquity.
For the first time, expert subject-area work on indigenous violence—archaeological, osteological, ethnographic, historical, and forensic—has been assembled in one volume. Much of this work has heretofore been dispersed across various countries and languages. With its collection into one English-language volume, all future writers—regardless of their discipline or point of view—will have a source to consult for further research.
Richard J. Chacon and Rubén G. Mendoza
1. Status Rivalry and Warfare in the Development and Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization
Matt O’Mansky and Arthur A. Demarest
2. Aztec Militarism and Blood Sacrifice: The Archaeology and Ideology of Ritual Violence
Rubén G. Mendoza
3. Territorial Expansion and Primary State Formation in Oaxaca, Mexico
Charles S. Spencer
4. Images of Violence in Mesoamerican Mural Art
5. Circum-Caribbean Chiefly Warfare
Elsa M. Redmond
6. Conflict and Conquest in Pre-Hispanic Andean South America: Archaeological Evidence from Northern Coastal Peru
John W. Verano
7. The Inti Raymi Festival among the Cotacachi and Otavalo of Highland Ecuador: Blood for the Earth
Richard J. Chacon, Yamilette Chacon, and Angel Guandinango
8. Upper Amazonian Warfare
Stephen Beckerman and James Yost
9. Complexity and Causality in Tupinambá Warfare
10. Hunter-Gatherers’ Aboriginal Warfare in Western Chaco
11. The Struggle for Social Life in Fuego-Patagonia
Alfredo Prieto and Rodrigo Cárdenas
12. Ethical Considerations and Conclusions Regarding Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence in Latin America
Richard J. Chacon and Rubén G. Mendoza
Christ's Crucifixion is one of the most recognized images in Western culture, and it has come to stand as a universal symbol of both suffering and salvation. But often overlooked is the fact that ultimately the Crucifixion is a scene of capital punishment. Mitchell Merback reconstructs the religious, legal, and historical context of the Crucifixion and of other images of public torture. The result is a fascinating account of a time when criminal justice and religion were entirely interrelated and punishment was a visual spectacle devoured by a popular audience.
Merback compares the images of Christ's Crucifixion with those of the two thieves who met their fate beside Jesus. In paintings by well-known Northern European masters and provincial painters alike, Merback finds the two thieves subjected to incredible cruelty, cruelty that artists could not depict in their scenes of Christ's Crucifixion because of theological requirements. Through these representations Merback explores the ways audiences in early modern Europe understood images of physical suffering and execution. The frequently shocking works also provide a perspective from which Merback examines the live spectacle of public torture and execution and how audiences were encouraged by the Church and the State to react to the experience. Throughout, Merback traces the intricate and extraordinary connections among religious art, devotional practice, bodily pain, punishment, and judicial spectatorship.
Keenly aware of the difficulties involved in discussing images of atrocious violence but determined to make them historically comprehensible, Merback has written an informed and provocative study that reveals the rituals of medieval criminal justice and the visual experiences they engendered.
The Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path launched its violent campaign against the government in Peru’s Ayacucho region in 1980. When the military and counterinsurgency police forces were dispatched to oppose the insurrection, the violence quickly escalated. The peasant community of Sarhua was at the epicenter of the conflict, and this small village is the focus of Unveiling Secrets of War in the Peruvian Andes. There, nearly a decade after the event, Olga M. González follows the tangled thread of a public secret: the disappearance of Narciso Huicho, the man blamed for plunging Sarhua into a conflict that would sunder the community for years.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork and a novel use of a cycle of paintings, González examines the relationship between secrecy and memory. Her attention to the gaps and silences within both the Sarhuinos’ oral histories and the paintings reveals the pervasive reality of secrecy for people who have endured episodes of intense violence. González conveys how public secrets turn the process of unmasking into a complex mode of truth telling. Ultimately, public secrecy is an intricate way of “remembering to forget” that establishes a normative truth that makes life livable in the aftermath of a civil war.
Nazi Germany’s book burnings, its campaign against “degenerate art,” and its persecution of experimental artists pushed the avant garde to the brink of extinction. How the avant-garde came back, finding a new purpose in the wake of the war, is the subject of Visions of Violence.
An extreme faction of aesthetic modernity intent on bulldozing contemporary life, the avant-garde has regularly employed visions of violence in their push for societal and cultural renewal. But in the shadow of unparalleled war and genocide, such aesthetic violence lost its force. This book explores the reconfiguration of the avant-garde in response to the violent transformation of European reality. Citing the emergence of independent avant-garde practitioners in the place of the previous collective, Richard Langston considers six individual exemplars of Germany’s post-fascist avant-garde—works that span the last six decades: painter, writer, and filmmaker Peter Weiss’s appropriation of French surrealism in the fifties; writer Dieter Wellershoff’s coterie of “new realists”; artist Wolf Vostell’s mediation and conflation of the experiences of the Auschwitz trials and the Vietnam War; poet and novelist Dieter Brinkmann’s collages from the seventies; the multimedia displacements of Alexander Kluge; and the performative engagements of dramatists Christoph Schlingensief and Rene Pollesch.
Taking stock of the evolution of Germany’s post-fascist avant-gardes, Langston’s book shows how the movement from Weiss to Pollesch exhibits the problems that both modernity and postmodernity pose for an aesthetic engagement of Germany’s violent past.