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61. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
R. Victoria Arana Intimations of William Blake in On Beauty (2005): Zadie Smith's Trans-Atlantic Homage to and Critique of Boston Intellectuals
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William Blake and Zadie Smith reached strikingly similar critical positions towards philosophical trends current in their respective eras. Both excoriate those who, for selfish ends, disparage beauty and in so doing sabotage justice, love, joy and genuine freedom. Smith’s On Beauty, like Blake’s America: A Prophecy and Visions of the Daughters of Albion, indicts the reprehensible intellectual discourses of the day that undermine human happiness and corrupt the social order. Whereas Blake critiqued the rights revolutions set in motion by Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and others from a more broadly moral and future-oriented angle than has generally been recognized (as Saree Makdisi has shown), Smith wittily dramatizes that same vision through a huge range of up-to-date ideological discourses and antagonisms–many of them descended from Paine et al.–to refurbish Blake’s particular brand of radical antinomianism and to celebrate much the same optimistic spirit that Blake invested in America and Visions. Indeed, Smith’s novel anticipates and critiques ab ovo the sweepingenthusiasms that are animating current uprisings worldwide.
62. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
David A. Colón Deep Translation and Subversive Formalism: The Case of Salomón de la Selva’s Tropical Town, And Other Poems (1918)
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Salomón de la Selva (1893-1959) was a Nicaraguan writer/activist who authored many books of verse in Spanish, but only one in English: TropicalTown, And Other Poems (1918). Published in New York by John Lane–and regarded by Silvio Sirias as the first book of English verse published in the U.S.by a Latin American–Tropical Town exhibits a curious dynamic of avantgarde impulse: radically subversive in invoking counter-politics resisting U.S. colonial transnationalism, yet tending toward inherited, traditional aesthetic forms of poetry meant to legitimize Selva’s Latin American identity with an impression of authority that contiguous Modernist experimental poetries could not. Through its sympathy for the U.S. immigrant’s nostalgia for homeland, coupled with express disapproval of U.S. international affairs, Tropical Town leaves a poetic record that challenges presuppositions about the integral relationships between ethos, aesthetics, and consciousness vis-à-vis assumed understandings of what constitutes radical poetry in the Modernist moment.
63. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
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64. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
Laurie Johnson Spectral Machinery (or Beyond Essence and System)
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The prospects for a phenomenology of technology have been guided in the past decade by a split between supporters of Martin Heidegger and those who subscribe to Bernard Stiegler’s critique of Heidegger. This essay proposes that both are needed for a phenomenology of what Edward Castronova calls “synthetic worlds” (large on-line environments like Second Life and World of Warcraft). Here is a phenomenology that must take into account histories of design and technical evolution to account for the particular “fantasy of disembodiment” that shapes a user’s experience of a synthetic world, forgetting the bodily engagement with hardware.
65. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
James Tar Tsaaior Postcolonial History, Memory and the Poetic Imagination: Interrogating the “Civan” Metaphor in Joe Ushie’s Eclipse in Rwanda.
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This paper, therefore, ploughs the furrow of postcolonial history, memory and the poetic imagination deploying the poetry of the Nigerian poet Joe Ushie.In particular, the paper negotiates the Rwandan genocide as a tragic foreground of the imperial process through its indulgent, artificial fixing of boundaries to accomplish its empire-building project in Africa. But beyond the colonial mediation in, and onslaught on, the cultures of others, the paper argues that African societies have also been complicit in their agonistic and violent history as the Rwandan genocide amply demonstrates. The paper concludes that a martial culture reminiscent of Civan, the warmonger, which manifests itself in private and especially public domains will only entrench intolerance, ethnocentrism, communal wars and violent death on the continent.
66. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
Lauren Berlant Affect and the Political
67. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
David E. Schrader Living Together in an Ecological Community
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Environmental ethics uniquely challenges us to re-examine the foundations of ethical thought. Ethical frameworks that focus on individual ethical agents and ethical patients, ignoring their status as parts of interrelated communities, lead to strongly counterintuitive results in important cases. Ideas only hinted at in Aldo Leopold’s idea of “land ethic” can be developed fruitfully by extending a pragmatist ethical framework drawn from the work of William James. Such a framework is not without difficulties, but does offer a potentially valuable way of framing our ethical obligations toward the encompassing environment within which we live.
68. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Herman Rapaport A Lover’s Lobster: Somatic Projection in Proust
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This paper considers a minor if not fleeting detail from Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu which easily escapes noticeability though it is a signifier that reverberates with and, in fact, repeats the extremely well known epiphany of the Madeleine, though by way of an extremely muted parody that I doubt a reader would notice if he or she had not stopped to examine it. This detail concerns a lobster dismantled on Marcel's plate during lunch at the home of the Swanns. My argument is that the figure of the lobster is what psychologists call a "somatic projection," which in this case has a surreal effect, given that the lobster suddenly becomes a substitute for, say, a woman's body. Moreover, by way of a culinary issue concerning the preparation of lobsters in France and the types of lobstersthat are being prepared, the lobster improbably becomes an object that symbolically traverses sexual orientations, which is also a somatic projection of sorts. That the lobster is a fantasized sexual object whose monstrosity is constitutive of a sexual field divided by different orientations is a matter that this paper takes up. The paper ends with a few remarks about Salvador Dali's surrealist use of imagining the lobster as a fetish object for woman's sex. In various degrees, this paper is relevant to gay studies, object relations theory, the study of fantasy, surrealism in fiction, literature and the culinary, psychology and epistemology, visual art, and, of course, Proust studies.
69. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Geraldine Friedman History and the Traumatic Narrative of Desire and Enjoyment in Althusser
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Among Marxists and Communists, Louis Althusser has long had a reputation for theoreticism and scientism, the factors most often cited to explain the eclipse of his work since the 1960’s. According to the standard account, the distinguishing characteristic and major flaw of his work is that it brings everything back to knowledge. In this essay, I interrogate this understanding of Althusser by reconsidering two cornerstones of Althusserian theory that seem most to exemplify his extreme privileging of epistemology: the symptom and the interpellation theory of ideology. I argue not that taking them to work on the epistemological level is wrong but rather incomplete; there exists a not quite acknowledged beyond of knowledge and interpellation in Althusser, which takes the form of a traumaticnarrative of history, enjoyment, and desire. The production of knowledge in Althusser unfolds as a pathos-laden story, which on one level gestures toward the turbulent world history in which he developed his theory: primarily WW II and the post-war Stalinist revelations, along with the conflicts it provoked in the Communist Party, and the French Communist Party in particular. Although not the subject of extended analysis, these events haunt Althusser’s texts in the form of allusions and the surprisingly violent figurative language with which Althusser discusses theoretical labor. I contend that they call to be analyzed as a kind of return of the repressed, best approached through Slavoj Žižek’s psychoanalytically inflected theory of ideology.
70. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Contributors
71. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Arjun Poudel Letters against Cultures: Neo-conservatism, Thomas Babington Macaulay and Three Centuries of the War between the Ancients and Moderns
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This essay draws a parallel between Macaulay’s stint as the “lawgiver” of India under the East India Company and the Anglicists-Orientalists debate that he brought to a decisive end on the one hand and on the other the culture/canon wars of the 1980s, and the neoconservative ascendancy that followed it and remained influential during the second Iraq War. Although neo-conservativism’s fierce resistance to a more inclusive liberal arts curriculum in the 1980s and its towering role during the militarization of the US foreign policy in the last decade has established it as the most Eurocentric and logocentric intellectual movement at present, post-colonial studies is yet to take a serious reckoning of this ideological movement. This essay tries to fill this lacuna with an attempt to first establish Macaulayite Whiggism as a precursor of the American neo-conservatism and then to focus on Macaulay’s oedipal hostility with Sir William Temple, who was not just the most accomplished statesman of English Restoration Era (that Macaulay himself considered the golden period of English history and became its historian laureate), but also stood on the exact opposite pole of Macaulay’s Whiggish Eurocentrism. Finally, the essay will briefly consider Temple’s little-known essay “On the Ancient and Modern Learning” and its genuine and uniquely anti-logocentric outlook on non-European cultures and their histories.
72. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Dušan Ristić Renewal of the Sociology of Knowledge
73. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Brian Mussaumi Beyond the “Techniques of Domination”: Affect, Capitalism and Resistance
74. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Rockwell F. Clancy Deleuze and Cinema in the Digital
75. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Chris Hughes Dialogue Between Fukuyama’s Account of the End of History and Derrida’s Hauntology
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This paper explores the relationship between Fukuyama’s account of history and Derrida’s theory of hauntology. Initially, I use Derrida’s idea of hauntology tocritique Fukuyama’s account of an end of history. I argue that Derrida’s idea of a hauntology is a valuable theoretical tool for theorising about politics, sinceDerrida shows that the death of a particular social/political system (e.g. Communism) does not entail the death/devaluing of the thinker(s) who inspired that system, since critics of the contemporary social and political order may have something valuable to offer contemporary political thought. However, I do notendorse the view that history cannot reach an end point just because there are specters waiting to return. Instead, I argue that it is possible to bridge theapparent dualistic binary between Derrida’s hauntology and Fukuyama’s end of history, since the specter is something which must be recognised and realised atthe end of history.
76. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
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77. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Contributors
78. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
J. Chris Westgate Philosophical Tensions in Modern Dramatic Literature
79. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Arjun Poudel European Avant-garde Studies and the Future of Europe
80. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
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