front cover of Acts of Faith and Imagination
Acts of Faith and Imagination
Theological Patterns in Catholic Fiction
Brent Little
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
Acts of Faith and Imagination wagers that fiction written by Catholic authors assists readers to reflect critically on the question: “what is faith?” To speak of a person’s “faith-life” is to speak of change and development. As a narrative form, literature can illustrate the dynamics of faith, which remains in flux over the course of one’s life. Because human beings must possess faith in something (whether religious or not), it inevitably has a narrative structure—faith ebbs and flows, flourishes and decays, develops and stagnates. Through an exploration of more than a dozen Catholic authors’ novels and short stories, Brent Little argues that Catholic fiction encourages the reader to reflect upon their faith holistically, that is, the way faith informs one’s affections, and how a person conceives and interacts with the world as embodied beings. Amidst the diverse stories of modern and contemporary fiction, a consistent pattern emerges: Catholic fiction portrays faith—at its most fundamental, often unconscious, level—as an act of the imagination. Faith is the way one imagines themselves, others, and creation. A person’s primary faith conditions how they live in the world, regardless of the level of conscious reflection, and regardless of whether this is a “religious” faith. Acts of Faith and Imagination investigates the creative depth and vitality of the Catholic literary imagination by bringing late modern Catholic authors into dialogue with more contemporary ones. Readers will then consider well-known works, such as those by Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, and Muriel Spark in the fresh light of contemporary stories by Toni Morrison, Alice McDermott, Uwem Akpan, and several others.
[more]

front cover of Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge
Raw Materials for the Imagination
Edited by Tara Forrest
Amsterdam University Press, 2012
Alexander Kluge is best known as a founding member of the New German Cinema movement, but his work has spanned a number of genres and media. This wide-ranging book assembles a diverse selection of texts, from nonfiction writings and short stories by Kluge, to critical essays by renowned international scholars on Kluge’s work, to transcripts of interviews with the artist himself. A valuable collection for students and scholars in the fields of film, television, and media studies, Alexander Kluge: Raw Materials for the Imagination is a perfect introduction to Kluge’s key themes and ideas.
[more]

front cover of Animals at the End of the World
Animals at the End of the World
By Gloria Susana Esquivel, translated by Robin Myers
University of Texas Press, 2020

Animals at the End of the World begins with an explosion, which six-year-old Inés mistakes for the end of the world that she has long feared. In the midst of the chaos, she meets the maid’s granddaughter, Mariá, who becomes her best friend and with whom she navigates the adult world in her grandparents’ confined house. Together, they escape the house and confront the “animals” that populate Bogotá in the 1980s. But Inés soon realizes she cannot count on either María or her preoccupied and conflicted parents. Alone, she must learn to decipher her outer and inner worlds, confronting both armies of beasts and episodes of domestic chaos. In the process, she also learns what it means to test boundaries, break rules, and cope with the consequences.

The first novel by Colombian author Gloria Susana Esquivel, Animals at the End of the World is a poetic and moving coming-of-age story that lingers long after its final page.

[more]

front cover of Arrernte Present, Arrernte Past
Arrernte Present, Arrernte Past
Invasion, Violence, and Imagination in Indigenous Central Australia
Diane J. Austin-Broos
University of Chicago Press, 2008
The Arrernte people of Central Australia first encountered Europeans in the 1860s as groups of explorers, pastoralists, missionaries, and laborers invaded their land. During that time the Arrernte were the subject of intense curiosity, and the earliest accounts of their lives, beliefs, and traditions were a seminal influence on European notions of the primitive. The first study to address the Arrernte’s contemporary situation, Arrernte Present, Arrernte Past also documents the immense sociocultural changes they have experienced over the past hundred years.
            Employing ethnographic and archival research, Diane Austin-Broos traces the history of the Arrernte as they have transitioned from a society of hunter-gatherers to members of the Hermannsburg Mission community to their present, marginalized position in the modern Australian economy. While she concludes that these wrenching structural shifts led to the violence that now marks Arrernte communities, she also brings to light the powerful acts of imagination that have sustained a continuing sense of Arrernte identity.
[more]

front cover of Art and Imagination
Art and Imagination
A Study in the Philosophy of Mind
Roger Scruton
St. Augustine's Press, 2015
This book presents a theory of aesthetic judgment and appreciation in the spirit of modern empiricism. There are three parts: the first deals with questions of philosophical logic, the second with questions in the philosophy of mind, and the third with questions in the philosophy of art. Thus the argument advances from a theory of aesthetic judgment (and in particularly of “aesthetic description”) to a theory of aesthetic appreciation, and thence to an account of the nature and value of art. 
       Scruton examines and rejects various attempts made by recent philosophers to demarcate the realm of aesthetic judgment. He argues that the logic of aesthetic judgment does not suffice to distinguish what is “aesthetic” from what is not, for aesthetic judgments must be explained in terms of the conditions for their acceptance rather than the conditions for their truth. These “acceptance conditions” can be understood only if we first know what is meant by aesthetic experience. This theory attempts to show how aesthetic experience can be regarded as autonomous, even though it is intimately connected with ordinary experience, and is indeed dependent on ordinary experience for its full description.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. DuBois
Arnold Rampersad
Harvard University Press, 1976

front cover of Art, Imagination and Public Service
Art, Imagination and Public Service
Hughie O'Donoghue, Brenda Hale, James O'Donnell, Clare Moriarty, Micheal O'Siadhail, and David Blunkett
Haus Publishing, 2021
A collection of three conversations between artists and public servants.

Intended to inspire public servants of all kinds to reconnect fearlessly with their fundamental humanity, the three conversations in Art, Imagination and Public Service present a way of thinking about imaginative, compassionate, and intelligent public service. The book consists of three dialogues: between former UK Home Secretary David Blunkett and poet Micheal O’Siadhail, former UK Supreme Court president Brenda Hale and painter Hughie O’Donoghue, and UK Permanent Secretary Clare Moriarty and musician James O’Donnell. Together they explore how art and imagination can sustain public servants and enable them to find new ways of addressing the problems facing government, parliament, and the law—problems that resist utilitarian responses in which people end up being treated only as statistics in a target-driven world. Through these conversations, the speakers discover surprising connections in approaches to their work.
 
[more]

front cover of The Art of Medicine
The Art of Medicine
Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination
Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton
University of Chicago Press, 2011

Since ancient times people have depended on medical practitioners to enhance life, to treat illness and injuries, and to help reduce pain and suffering. The scientifically based discipline that we know today stands beside diverse traditions, belief systems, and bodies of medical knowledge that have evolved in fascinating ways across cultures and continents. Throughout this history, successive generations have created artistic representations of these varied aspects of medicine, illustrating instruction manuals, documenting treatments, and creating works of art that enable individuals to express their feelings and ideas about medicine, health, and illness. From ancient wall paintings and tomb carvings to sculpture, installations, and digitally created artworks, the results are extraordinary and pay tribute to how medicine has affected our lives and the lives of our ancestors.  

           

Drawing on the remarkable holdings of the Wellcome Collection in London, The Art of Medicine offers a unique gallery of rarely seen paintings, artifacts, drawings, prints, and extracts from manuscripts and manuals to provide a fascinating visual insight into our knowledge of the human body and mind, and how both have been treated with medicine. Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton take readers on a fascinating visual journey through the history of medical practice, exploring contemporary biomedical images, popular art, and caricature alongside venerable Chinese scrolls, prehistoric Mesoamerican drawings, paintings of the European Renaissance, medieval Persian manuscripts, and more. The result is a rare and remarkable visual account of what it was and is to be human in sickness and health.

[more]

front cover of Black Regions of the Imagination
Black Regions of the Imagination
African American Writers between the Nation and the World
Eve Dunbar
Temple University Press, 2012

Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Chester Himes were all pressured by critics and publishers to enlighten mainstream (white) audiences about race and African American culture. Focusing on fiction and non-fiction they produced between the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, Eve Dunbar’s important book, Black Regions of the Imagination, examines how these African American writers—who lived and traveled outside the United States—both document and re-imagine their “homegrown” racial experiences within a worldly framework.

From Hurston’s participant-observational accounts and Wright’s travel writing to Baldwin’s Another Country and Himes’ detective fiction, these writers helped develop the concept of a “region” of blackness that resists boundaries of genre and geography. Each writer represents—and signifies—blackness in new ways and within the larger context of the world. As they negotiated issues of “belonging,” these writers were more critical of social segregation in America as well as increasingly resistant to their expected roles as cultural “translators.” 


[more]

front cover of The Body in the Mind
The Body in the Mind
The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason
Mark Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 1990
"There are books—few and far between—which carefully, delightfully, and genuinely turn your head inside out. This is one of them. It ranges over some central issues in Western philosophy and begins the long overdue job of giving us a radically new account of meaning, rationality, and objectivity."—Yaakov Garb, San Francisco Chronicle
[more]

front cover of The Book of Samuel
The Book of Samuel
Essays on Poetry and Imagination
Mark Rudman
Northwestern University Press, 2009
Crisis, breakdown, rejuvenation: this is the territory of poetry that Rudman takes readers into with this set of essays. Constructed as a series of character studies, the essays are rooted in autobiographical material with biographical counterpoints, tying the poets distinctly to places. Even as they are placed, however, they are displaced: Rudman's subjects, from D.H. Lawrence to Czeslaw Milosz to T. S. Eliot, are almost all exiles, either geographically or within themselves. This exile spins anger into energy, transmuting emotion into imagination the same way that Passaic Falls, known to William Carlos Williams, turns water into power.

The mosaic style of the essays touches on nerve after nerve, avoiding the snags of academic jargon to ease towards an illuminating truth about the artists' shifting work and worlds. Some of the Samuels—Beckett and Fuller—were able to navigate these shifts, while others--Coleridge and Johnson--are shown to be less able to transmute their energy into motion.
[more]

front cover of Centaur, The
Centaur, The
May Swenson
Utah State University Press, 2007

First published in 1956, May Swenson's "The Centaur" remains one of her most popular and most anthologized poems. This is its first appearance as a picture book for children.

In images bright and brisk and nearly tangible, the poet re-creates the joy of riding a stick horse through a small-town summer. We find ourselves, with her, straddling "a long limber horse with . . . a few leaves for a tail," and pounding through the lovely dust along the path by the old canal. As her shape shifts from child to horse and back, we know exactly what she feels.

Sherry Meidell's water-color illustrations perfectly convey the wit and wisdom of May Swenson's poem. These are playful, satisfying images full of vitality and imagination. Meidell handles the joy of poem's fantasy and the joy of its occasional naughtiness with equal success.

Other books by and about May Swenson: Body My House, May Swenson, Dear Elizabeth, May Out West

[more]

front cover of The Chimera Principle
The Chimera Principle
An Anthropology of Memory and Imagination
Carlo Severi
HAU, 2015

Available in English for the first time, anthropologist Carlo Severi’s The Chimera Principle breaks new theoretical ground for the study of ritual, iconographic technologies, and oral traditions among non-literate peoples. Setting himself against a tradition that has long seen the memory of people “without writing”—which relies on such ephemeral records as ornaments, body painting, and masks—as fundamentally disordered or doomed to failure, he argues strenuously that ritual actions in these societies pragmatically produce religious meaning and that they demonstrate what he calls a “chimeric” imagination.

Deploying philosophical and ethnographic theory, Severi unfolds new approaches to research in the anthropology of ritual and memory, ultimately building a new theory of imagination and an original anthropology of thought. This English-language edition, beautifully translated by Janet Lloyd and complete with a foreword by David Graeber, will spark widespread debate and be heralded as an instant classic for anthropologists, historians, and philosophers.


[more]

front cover of Coexistence in the Aftermath of Mass Violence
Coexistence in the Aftermath of Mass Violence
Imagination, Empathy, and Resilience
Edited by Eve Monique Zucker and Laura McGrew
University of Michigan Press, 2020

Coexistence in the Aftermath of Mass Violence demonstrates how imagination, empathy, and resilience contribute to the processes of social repair after ethnic and political violence. Adding to the literature on transitional justice, peacebuilding, and the anthropology of violence and social repair, the authors show how these conceptual pathways--imagination, empathy and resilience--enhance recovery, coexistence and sustainable peace.  Coexistence (or reconciliation) is the underlying goal or condition desired after mass violence, enabling survivors to move forward with their lives. Imagination allows these survivors--victims, perpetrators, bystanders--to draw guidance and inspiration from their social and cultural imaginaries, to develop empathy, and to envision a future of peace and coexistence. Resilience emerges through periods of violence and its aftermaths through acts of survival, compassion, modes of rebuilding social worlds, and the establishment of a peaceful society.

Focusing on society at the grass roots level, the authors discuss the myriad and little understood processes of social repair that allow ruptured societies and communities to move toward a peaceful and stable future. The volume also illustrates some of the ways in which imagination, empathy, and resilience may contribute to the prevention of future violence and the authors conclude with a number of practical and policy recommendations. The cases include Cambodia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Columbia, the Southern Cone, Iraq, and Bosnia.

[more]

logo for University of Minnesota Press
Control of the Imaginary
Reason and Imagination in Modern Times
Luiz Costa LimaTranslated by Ronald W. SousaIntroduction by Ronald W. SousaAfterword by Jochen Schulte-Sasse
University of Minnesota Press, 1989

Control of the Imaginary was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In Control of the Imaginary Luiz Costa Lima explains how the distinction between truth and fiction emerged at the beginning of modern times and why, upon its emergence, fiction fell under suspicion. Costa Lima not only describes the continuous relationship between Western notions of reason and subjectivity over a broad time-frame—the Renaissance to the first decade of the twentieth century—but he uses this occasion to reexamine the literary traditions of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, and Germany. The book reconstructs the dominant frames in the European tradition between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century from the perspective of a Latin American who sees the culture of his native Brazil haunted by unresolved questions from the Northern Hemisphere. Costa Lima manages to synthesize positions from philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, linguistics, and history without separating the theoretical discussion from his historical reconstructions.

The first chapter situates the problem and grounds the emergent distinction between truth and fiction in a very close analysis of one of the first European historians, Fernao Lopes, who sets the tone for the condemnation of fiction in the name of the truth of history and the potential for individual interpretation. Costa Lima pursues these notions through the aesthetic debates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the writings of the French historian Michelet. He also devotes an illuminating chapter to the invention of the strictures imposed on fiction.

[more]

front cover of The Conversion of Imagination
The Conversion of Imagination
From Pascal through Rousseau to Tocqueville
Matthew W. Maguire
Harvard University Press, 2006

From romanticism through postmodernism, the imagination has become an indispensable reference point for thinking about the self, culture, philosophy, and politics. How has imagination so thoroughly influenced our understanding of experience and its possibilities? In a bold reinterpretation of a crucial development in modern European intellectual history, Matthew W. Maguire uncovers a history of French thought that casts the imagination as a dominant faculty in our experience of the world.

Pascal, turning Augustinianism inside out, radically expanded the powers of imagination implicit in the work of Montaigne and Descartes, and made imagination the determinative faculty of everything from meaning and beauty to political legitimacy and happiness. Maguire traces the ways that others, including Montesquieu and Voltaire, developed and assigned limits to this exalted imagination. But it is above all Rousseau's diverse writings that engage with an expansive imagination. And in the writings of Rousseau's careful readers, particularly Alexis de Tocqueville, imagination is increasingly understood as the medium for an ineffable human freedom against the constrictive power of a new order in politics and culture.

Original and thought-provoking, The Conversion of Imagination will interest a range of readers across intellectual history, political theory, literary and cultural studies, and the history of religious thought.

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
The Creative Imagination
Enlightenment to Romanticism
James Engell
Harvard University Press, 1981

logo for Harvard University Press
Dickens and the Trials of Imagination
Garrett Stewart
Harvard University Press, 1974

front cover of Dreaming in Russian
Dreaming in Russian
The Cuban Soviet Imaginary
By Jacqueline Loss
University of Texas Press, 2013

The specter of the Soviet Union lingers in Cuba, yet until now there has been no book-length work on the ways Cubans process their country’s relationship with the Soviet bloc. Dreaming in Russian at last brings into the light the reality that for nearly three decades, the Soviet Union subsidized the island economically, intervened in military matters, and exported distinct pedagogical and cultural models to Cuba. Drawing on interviews with Cuban artists and intellectuals, as well as treasures from cinematographic and bibliographic archives, Jacqueline Loss delivers the first book to show that Cuba remembers and retains many aspects of the Soviet era, far from shedding those cultural facets as relics of the Cold War.

Weaving together intriguing, seldom-seen images, Dreaming in Russian showcases the ways in which Cuba’s relationship to its Soviet benefactors lingered after the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. Analyzing numerous literary texts and works of visual art, Loss also incorporates aspects of architecture, popular culture, the space race, and other strands to create a captivating new perspective on Cuban society. Among the luminaries featured are poet Reina María Rodríguez, writer Antonio José Ponte, visual artist Tonel, and novelist Wendy Guerra. A departure from traditional cultural history, Loss’s approach instead presents a kaleidoscopic series of facets, reflecting the hybrid nature of the self-images that emerged in the aftermath of the Soviet aegis. As speculations about Cuba’s future under Fidel Castro’s heir apparent continue, the portrait that emerges in Dreaming in Russian is both timely and mesmerizing.

[more]

front cover of Dying Planet
Dying Planet
Mars in Science and the Imagination
Robert Markley
Duke University Press, 2005
For more than a century, Mars has been at the center of debates about humanity’s place in the cosmos. Focusing on perceptions of the red planet in scientific works and science fiction, Dying Planet analyzes the ways Mars has served as a screen onto which humankind has projected both its hopes for the future and its fears of ecological devastation on Earth. Robert Markley draws on planetary astronomy, the history and cultural study of science, science fiction, literary and cultural criticism, ecology, and astrobiology to offer a cross-disciplinary investigation of the cultural and scientific dynamics that have kept Mars on front pages since the 1800s.

Markley interweaves chapters on science and science fiction, enabling him to illuminate each arena and to explore the ways their concerns overlap and influence one another. He tracks all the major scientific developments, from observations through primitive telescopes in the seventeenth century to data returned by the rovers that landed on Mars in 2004. Markley describes how major science fiction writers—H. G. Wells, Kim Stanley Robinson, Philip K. Dick, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Judith Merril—responded to new theories and new controversies. He also considers representations of Mars in film, on the radio, and in the popular press. In its comprehensive study of both science and science fiction, Dying Planet reveals how changing conceptions of Mars have had crucial consequences for understanding ecology on Earth.

[more]

front cover of Esotericism, Art and Imagination
Esotericism, Art and Imagination
Arthur Versluis
Michigan State University Press, 2008

Esotericism, Art, and Imagination is a uniquely wide-ranging collection of articles by scholars in the field of Western esotericism, focusing on themes of poetry, drama, film, literature, and art. Included here are articles illuminating such diverse topics as the Gnostic fiction of Philip Pullman, alchemical images, the Tarot, surrealism, esoteric films, and much more. This collection reveals the richness and complexity of the intersections between esotericism, artistic creators, and their works. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Cathy Gutierrez, M. E. Warlick, Eric Wilson, and many others.

[more]

front cover of The Evolution of Imagination
The Evolution of Imagination
Stephen T. Asma
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Consider Miles Davis, horn held high, sculpting a powerful musical statement full of tonal patterns, inside jokes, and thrilling climactic phrases—all on the fly. Or think of a comedy troupe riffing on a couple of cues from the audience until the whole room is erupting with laughter. Or maybe it’s a team of software engineers brainstorming their way to the next Google, or the Einsteins of the world code-cracking the mysteries of nature. Maybe it’s simply a child playing with her toys. What do all of these activities share? With wisdom, humor, and joy, philosopher Stephen T. Asma answers that question in this book: imagination. And from there he takes us on an extraordinary tour of the human creative spirit.
           
Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source, he argues, of our remarkable imaginational capacity. How is it, he asks, that a story can evoke a whole world inside of us? How are we able to rehearse a skill, a speech, or even an entire scenario simply by thinking about it? How does creativity go beyond experience and help us make something completely new? And how does our moral imagination help us sculpt a better society? As he shows, we live in a world that is only partly happening in reality. Huge swaths of our cognitive experiences are made up by “what-ifs,” “almosts,” and “maybes,” an imagined terrain that churns out one of the most overlooked but necessary resources for our flourishing: possibilities. Considering everything from how imagination works in our physical bodies to the ways we make images, from the mechanics of language and our ability to tell stories to the creative composition of self-consciousness, Asma expands our personal and day-to-day forms of imagination into a grand scale: as one of the decisive evolutionary forces that has guided human development from the Paleolithic era to today. The result is an inspiring look at the rich relationships among improvisation, imagination, and culture, and a privileged glimpse into the unique nature of our evolved minds.
 
[more]

front cover of Five Portraits
Five Portraits
Modernity and the Imagination in Twentieth-Century German Writing
Michael Bernstein
Northwestern University Press, 2000
In Five Portraits, one of the most acute critical thinkers of our time presents essays on five of the most important writers of the past hundred years: Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Celan, Robert Musil, Martin Heidegger, and Walter Benjamin. The result is a remarkable examination of a moment when these writers, caught between the dream of creating an abiding masterpiece and the reality of a brutal culture fascinated by apocalyptic catastrophe, deliberately put themselves and their work at the center of the storm. Written in elegant and jargon-free prose, Michael Andre Bernstein's essays create a vivid image of an epoch whose aspirations and torments continues to shape the world we inhabit today.
[more]

front cover of Future Cities
Future Cities
Architecture and the Imagination
Paul Dobraszczyk
Reaktion Books, 2025
Though reaching ever further toward the skies, today’s cities are overshadowed by multiple threats: climate change, overpopulation, social division, and urban warfare all endanger our metropolitan way of life. The fundamental tool we use to make sense of these uncertain city futures is the imagination. Architects, artists, filmmakers, and fiction writers have long been inspired to imagine cities of the future, but their speculative visions tend to be seen very differently from scientific predictions: flights of fancy on the one hand versus practical reasoning on the other. In a digital age when the real and the fantastic coexist as near equals, it is especially important to know how these two forces are entangled, and how together they may help us best conceive of cities yet to come.

Exploring a breathtaking range of imagined cities—submerged, floating, flying, vertical, underground, ruined, and salvaged—Future Cities teases out the links between speculation and reality, arguing that there is no clear separation between the two. In the Netherlands, prototype floating cities are already being built; Dubai’s recent skyscrapers resemble those of science-fiction cities of the past; while makeshift settlements built by the urban poor in the developing world are already like the dystopian cities of cyberpunk. Bringing together architecture, fiction, film, and visual art, Paul Dobraszczyk reconnects the imaginary city with the real, proposing a future for humanity that is firmly grounded in the present and in the diverse creative practices already at our fingertips.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Gardens and Imagination
Cultural History and Agency
Michel Conan
Harvard University Press, 2008
From mirroring the true reality of God in Sufi Persia to the enjoyment of fictitious identities in Rome or present-day Granada, the ways of imagination in gardens are infinitely varied. This book explores how gardens could be imagined, and also how they could be used to trigger the imagination by very different cultures in Japan, China, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Spain, and Israel. This multicultural approach reveals surprising features of the process of imagining a garden: the various aspects of the world that gardens may mirror, the role of cultural changes, and the unsuspected links between garden materiality, practices, and imagination. It reveals how garden imagination is fraught with ambiguities that give a sense of freedom to garden users but may entrap their thoughts within frames specific to each culture.
[more]

front cover of The Holy Grail
The Holy Grail
Imagination and Belief
Richard Barber
Harvard University Press, 2004

The elusive image of the Holy Grail has haunted the Western imagination for eight centuries. It represents the ideal of an unattainable yet infinitely desirable goal, the possibility of perfection. Initially conceived in literature, it became a Christian icon which has been re-created in a multitude of forms over time even though the Grail has no specific material attributes or true religious significance.

Richard Barber traces the history of the legends surrounding the Holy Grail, beginning with Chrétien de Troyes's great romances of the twelfth century and the medieval Church's religious version of the secular ideal. He pursues the myths through Victorian obsessions and enthusiasms to the popular bestsellers of the late twentieth century that have embraced its mysteries. Crisscrossing the borders of fiction and spirituality, the quest for the Holy Grail has long attracted writers, artists, and admirers of the esoteric. It has been a recurrent theme in tales of imagination and belief which have laid claim to the highest religious and secular ideals and experiences. From Lancelot to Parsifal, chivalric romances to Wagner's Ring, T. S. Eliot to Monty Python, the Grail has fascinated and lured the Western imagination from beyond the reach of the ordinary world.

[more]

front cover of I Was a Cold War Monster
I Was a Cold War Monster
Horror Films, Eroticism, and the Cold War Imagination
Cyndy Hendershot
University of Wisconsin Press, 2001
Horror films provide a guide to many of the sociological fears of the Cold War era. In an age when warning audiences of impending death was the order of the day for popular nonfiction, horror films provided an area where this fear could be lived out to its ghastly conclusion. Because enemies and potential situations of fear lurked everywhere, within the home, the government, the family, and the very self, horror films could speak to the invasive fears of the cold war era. I Was a Cold War Monster examines cold war anxieties as they were reflected in British and American films from the fifties through the early sixties. This study examines how cold war horror films combined anxiety over social change with the erotic in such films as Psycho, The Tingler, The Horror of Dracula, and House of Wax.
[more]

front cover of Image and Reality
Image and Reality
Kekulé, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination
Alan J. Rocke
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Nineteenth-century chemists were faced with a particular problem: how to depict the atoms and molecules that are beyond the direct reach of our bodily senses. In visualizing this microworld, these scientists were the first to move beyond high-level philosophical speculations regarding the unseen. In Image and Reality, Alan Rocke focuses on the community of organic chemists in Germany to provide the basis for a fuller understanding of the nature of scientific creativity. 

Arguing that visual mental images regularly assisted many of these scientists in thinking through old problems and new possibilities, Rocke uses a variety of sources, including private correspondence, diagrams and illustrations, scientific papers, and public statements, to investigate their ability to not only imagine the invisibly tiny atoms and molecules upon which they operated daily, but to build detailed and empirically based pictures of how all of the atoms in complicated molecules were interconnected. These portrayals of “chemical structures,” both as mental images and as paper tools, gradually became an accepted part of science during these years and are now regarded as one of the central defining features of chemistry.  In telling this fascinating story in a manner accessible to the lay reader, Rocke also suggests that imagistic thinking is often at the heart of creative thinking in all fields.

Image and Reality is the first book in the Synthesis series, a series in the history of chemistry, broadly construed, edited by Angela N. H. Creager, John E. Lesch, Stuart W. Leslie, Lawrence M. Principe, Alan Rocke, E.C. Spary, and Audra J. Wolfe, in partnership with the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

[more]

front cover of Image
Image
Three Inquiries in Technology and Imagination
Mark C. Taylor, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, and Thomas A. Carlson
University of Chicago Press, 2021
The three essays in Image, written by leading philosophers of religion, explore the modern power of the visual at the intersection of the human and the technological. 

Modern life is steeped in images, image-making, and attempts to control the world through vision. Mastery of images has been advanced by technologies that expand and reshape vision and enable us to create, store, transmit, and display images. The three essays in Image, written by leading philosophers of religion Mark C. Taylor, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, and Thomas A. Carlson, explore the power of the visual at the intersection of the human and the technological. Building on Heidegger’s notion that modern humanity aims to master the world by picturing or representing the real, they investigate the contemporary culture of the image in its philosophical, religious, economic, political, imperial, and military dimensions, challenging the abstraction, anonymity, and dangerous disconnection of contemporary images.

Taylor traces a history of capitalism, focusing on its lack of humility, particularly in the face of mortality, and he considers art as a possible way to reconnect us to the earth. Through a genealogy of iconic views from space, Rubenstein exposes the delusions of conquest associated with extraterrestrial travel. Starting with the pressing issues of surveillance capitalism and facial recognition technology, Carlson extends Heidegger’s analysis through a meditation on the telematic elimination of the individual brought about by totalizing technologies. Together, these essays call for a consideration of how we can act responsibly toward the past in a way that preserves the earth for future generations. Attending to the fragility of material things and to our own mortality, they propose new practices of imagination grounded in love and humility.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Imagination and Logos
Essays on C. P. Cavafy
Panagiotis Roilos
Harvard University Press, 2010

This book explores diverse but complementary interdisciplinary approaches to the poetics, intertexts, and influence of the work of C. P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Kavafis), one of the most important twentieth-century European poets. Written by leading international scholars in a number of disciplines (critical theory, gender studies, comparative literature, English studies, Greek studies, anthropology, classics), the essays of this volume situate Cavafy’s poetry within the broader contexts of modernism and aestheticism and investigate its complex and innovative responses to European literary traditions (from Greek antiquity to modernity) as well as its multifaceted impact on major figures of world literature—from North America to South Africa.

Contributors include Eve Sedgwick, Helen Vendler, Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Richard Dellamora, Mark Doty, James Faubion, Diana Haas, John Chioles, Albert Henrichs, Kathleen Coleman, Michael Paschalis, Peter Jeffreys, and Panagiotis Roilos.

[more]

front cover of Imagination and Interpretation in Kant
Imagination and Interpretation in Kant
The Hermeneutical Import of the Critique of Judgment
Rudolf A. Makkreel
University of Chicago Press, 1990
In this illuminating study of Kant's theory of imagination and its role in interpretation, Rudolf A. Makkreel argues against the commonly held notion that Kant's transcendental philosophy is incompatible with hermeneutics. The charge that Kant's foundational philosophy is inadequate to the task of interpretation can be rebutted, explains Makkreel, if we fully understand the role of imagination in his work. In identifying this role, Makkreel also reevaluates the relationship among Kant's discussions of the feeling of life, common sense, and the purposiveness of history.
[more]

logo for University of Minnesota Press
Imagination and Invention
Gilbert Simondon
University of Minnesota Press, 2023

A radical rethinking of the theory and the experience of mental images

Here, in English translation for the first time, is Gilbert Simondon’s fundamental reconception of the mental image and the theory of imagination and invention. Drawing on a vast range of mid-twentieth-century theoretical resources—from experimental psychology, cybernetics, and ethology to the phenomenological reflections of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty—Imagination and Invention provides a comprehensive account of the mental image and adds a vital new dimension to the theory of psychical individuation in Simondon’s earlier, highly influential work.

Simondon traces the development of the mental image through four phases: first a bundle of motor anticipations, the image becomes a cognitive system that mediates the organism’s relation to its milieu, then a symbolic and abstract integration of motor and affective experience to, finally, invention, a solution to a problem of life that requires the externalization of the mental image and the creation of a technical object. An image cannot be understood from the perspective of one phase alone, he argues, but only within the trajectory of its progressive metamorphosis.

[more]

front cover of Imagination and Play in the Electronic Age
Imagination and Play in the Electronic Age
Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer
Harvard University Press, 2005

Television, video games, and computers are easily accessible to twenty-first-century children, but what impact do they have on creativity and imagination? In this book, two wise and long-admired observers of children's make-believe look at the cognitive and moral potential--and concern--created by electronic media.

As Dorothy and Jerome Singer show, violent images in games and TV are as toxic as many observers have feared by stimulating destructive ideas and troubling aggression. But should all electronic media be banned from children's lives? Calmly and authoritatively, the Singers argue that in fact some screen time can enrich children's creativity and play, and can even promote school readiness. With guidance from parents and teachers, empathy, creativity, and imagination can expand and intensify in the electronic age.

[more]

front cover of Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis
Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis
Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds
Peter J. Schakel
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Imagination has long been regarded as central to C. S. Lewis's life and to his creative and critical works, but this is the first study to provide a thorough analysis of his theory of imagination, including the different ways he used the word and how those uses relate to each other. Peter Schakel begins by concentrating on the way reading or engaging with the other arts is an imaginative activity. He focuses on three books in which imagination is the central theme—Surprised by Joy, An Experiment in Criticism, and The Discarded Image—and shows the important role of imagination in Lewis's theory of education.

He then examines imagination and reading in Lewis's fiction, concentrating specifically on the Chronicles of Narnia, the most imaginative of his works. He looks at how the imaginative experience of reading the Chronicles is affected by the physical texture of the books, the illustrations, revisions of the texts, the order in which the books are read, and their narrative "voice," the "storyteller" who becomes almost a character in the stories.

Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis also explores Lewis's ideas about imagination in the nonliterary arts. Although Lewis regarded engagement with the arts as essential to a well- rounded and satisfying life, critics of his work and even biographers have given little attention to this aspect of his life. Schakel reviews the place of music, dance, art, and architecture in Lewis's life, the ways in which he uses them as content in his poems and stories, and how he develops some of the deepest, most significant themes of his stories through them.

Schakel concludes by analyzing the uses and abuses of imagination. He looks first at "moral imagination." Although Lewis did not use this term, Schakel shows how Lewis developed the concept in That Hideous Strength and The Abolition of Man long before it became popularized in the 1980s and 1990s. While readers often concentrate on the Christian dimension of Lewis's works, equally or more important to him was their moral dimension.

Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis will appeal to students and teachers of both children's literature and twentieth-century British writers. It will also be of value to readers who wish to compare Lewis's creations with more recent imaginative works such as the Harry Potter series.

[more]

front cover of Imagination, Emblems, and Expressions
Imagination, Emblems, and Expressions
Essays on Latin American, Carribean, and Continental Culture and Identity
Helen Ryan-Ranson
University of Wisconsin Press, 1993

This book of essays—carefully written by twenty-four authorities on their subjects—provides a deep understanding of and appreciation for the coherence, primacy, and importance of the search for identity in the divergent areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

[more]

front cover of Imagination in Teaching and Learning
Imagination in Teaching and Learning
The Middle School Years
Kieran Egan
University of Chicago Press, 1992
It is widely believed that a child's imagination ought to be
stimulated and developed in education. Yet, few teachers
understand what imagination is or how it lends itself to
practical methods and techniques that can be used easily in
classroom instruction. In this book, Kieran Egan—winner of
the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for his work on
imagination—takes up where his Teaching as Story Telling
left off, offering practical help for teachers who want to
engage, stimulate, and develop the imaginative and learning
processes of children between the ages of eight to fifteen.

This book is not about unusually imaginative students and
teachers. Rather, it is about the typical student's
imaginative life and how it can be stimulated in learning,
how the average teacher can plan to achieve this aim, and how
the curriculum can be structured to help achieve this aim.
Slim and determinedly practical, this book contains a wealth
of concrete examples of curriculum design and teaching
techniques structured to appeal specifically to children in
their middle school years.
[more]

front cover of Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages
Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages
Michelle Karnes
University of Chicago Press, 2011
In Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages, Michelle Karnes revises the history of medieval imagination with a detailed analysis of its role in the period’s meditations and theories of cognition. Karnes here understands imagination in its technical, philosophical sense, taking her cue from Bonaventure, the thirteenth-century scholastic theologian and philosopher who provided the first sustained account of how the philosophical imagination could be transformed into a devotional one. Karnes examines Bonaventure’s meditational works, the Meditationes vitae Christi, the Stimulis amoris, Piers Plowman, and Nicholas Love’s Myrrour, among others, and argues that the cognitive importance that imagination enjoyed in scholastic philosophy informed its importance in medieval meditations on the life of Christ. Emphasizing the cognitive significance of both imagination and the meditations that relied on it, she revises a long-standing association of imagination with the Middle Ages. In her account, imagination was not simply an object of suspicion but also a crucial intellectual, spiritual, and literary resource that exercised considerable authority.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
In Defence of the Imagination
Helen Gardner
Harvard University Press, 1982

Helen Gardner is a vigorous and eloquent champion of traditional literary values. These values have been subverted, she feels, by some of the ablest of modern academics and by prevalent tendencies in criticism and teaching today. She discusses the new schools of criticism which exalt the sometimes unintelligible theorist above the creator of the work of art, the imaginative interpreter of life, or which replace the authority of the author with that of the reader. She regrets the tendency of teachers to emphasize contemporary literature to the neglect of the great writings of the past and to teach past literature only if it can somehow be made “relevant.” She reproves theater directors who distort Shakespeare's plays and who convert serious drama into happenings. And she finds that biographers of writers are so preoccupied with the inner lives of their subjects that the writings become psychological documents rather than works of the imagination.

In a closing chapter, partly autobiographical, she affirms the values she has found in a life devoted to the study of literature. Even the most polemical sections of the book are courteous and good-humored. Her own lucidity, range of reference, and passionate concern for literature are in themselves powerful affirmations of her argument.

[more]

front cover of The Invention of Imagination
The Invention of Imagination
Aristotle, Geometry and the Theory of the Psyche
Justin Humphreys
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022

A Provocative Examination of the Origin of Imagination

Aristotle was the first philosopher to divide the imagination—what he called phantasia—from other parts of the psyche, placing it between perception and intellect. A mathematician and philosopher of mathematical sciences, Aristotle was puzzled by the problem of geometrical cognition—which depends on the ability to “produce” and “see” a multitude of immaterial objects—and so he introduced the category of internal appearances produced by a new part of the psyche, the imagination. As Justin Humphreys argues, Aristotle developed his theory of imagination in part to explain certain functions of reason with a psychological rather than metaphysical framework. Investigating the background of this conceptual development, The Invention of Imagination reveals how imagery was introduced into systematic psychology in fifth-century Athens and ultimately made mathematical science possible. It offers new insights about major philosophers in the Greek tradition and significant events in the emergence of ancient mathematics while offering space for a critical reflection on how we understand ourselves as thinking beings. 
[more]

logo for Ohio University Press
Isak Dinesen
The Life And Imagination Of A Seducer
Olga Anastasia Pelensky
Ohio University Press, 1991

Born into a Victorian Danish family, Karen Christentze Dinesen married her second cousin, a high-spirited and philandering baron, and moved to Kenya where she ran a coffee plantation, painted, and wrote. She later returned to Denmark, lived through the German occupation during World War II, and became a pivotal figure in Heretica, a major literary movement that flourished in Denmark after the war. By the time of her death, Dinesen was an international figure. Truman Capote would later call Out of Africa one of the most beautiful books of the century.

Despite the popularity of her writing, little is known about her life. For this provocative biography, Pelensky has uncovered hundreds of papers in libraries and private collections, and discovered new interview sources in Africa, Denmark, and England to help put the pieces of Dinesen’s life together. Her father’s outspoken sympathy for the plight of the American Indians, his suicide and the effects of his personal anguish as a failed adventurer are illuminated as major forces on Dinesen’s imagination. The Danish history of romance and masquerade and the tradition of pantomime in Denmark are also explored as themes that recur in Dinesen’s work.

[more]

front cover of Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination
Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination
Mark Krupnick
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005

    When he learned he had ALS and roughly two years to live, literary critic Mark Krupnick returned to the writers who had been his lifelong conversation partners and asked with renewed intensity: how do you live as a Jew, when, mostly, you live in your head? The evocative and sinuous essays collected here are the products of this inquiry. In his search for durable principles, Krupnick follows Lionel Trilling, Cynthia Ozick, Geoffrey Hartman, Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, and others into the elemental matters of life and death, sex and gender, power and vulnerability.

    The editors—Krupnick’s wife, Jean K. Carney, and literary critic Mark Shechner—have also included earlier essays and introductions that link Krupnick’s work with the “deep places” of his own imagination.

[more]

front cover of Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death
Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death
Reflections on Memory and Imagination
Otto Dov Kulka
Harvard University Press, 2013

Historian Otto Dov Kulka has dedicated his life to studying and writing about Nazism and the Holocaust. Until now he has always set to one side his personal experiences as a child inmate at Auschwitz. Breaking years of silence, Kulka brings together the personal and historical, in a devastating, at times poetic, account of the concentration camps and the private mythology one man constructed around his experiences.

Auschwitz is for the author a vast repository of images, memories, and reveries: “the Metropolis of Death” over which rules the immutable Law of Death. Between 1991 and 2001, Kulka made audio recordings of these memories as they welled up, and in Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death he sifts through these fragments, attempting to make sense of them. He describes the Family Camp’s children’s choir in which he and others performed “Ode to Joy” within yards of the crematoria, his final, indelible parting from his mother when the camp was liquidated, and the “black stains” along the roadside during the winter death march. Amidst so much death Kulka finds moments of haunting, almost unbearable beauty (for beauty, too, Kulka says, is an inescapable law).

As the author maps his interior world, readers gain a new sense of what it was to experience the Shoah from inside the camps—both at the time, and long afterward. Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death is a unique and powerful experiment in how one man has tried to understand his past, and our shared history.

[more]

front cover of Learning to Imagine
Learning to Imagine
The Science of Discovering New Possibilities
Andrew Shtulman
Harvard University Press, 2023

An award-winning cognitive scientist offers a counterintuitive guide to cultivating imagination.

Imagination is commonly thought to be the special province of youth—the natural companion of free play and the unrestrained vistas of childhood. Then come the deadening routines and stifling regimentation of the adult world, dulling our imaginative powers. In fact, Andrew Shtulman argues, the opposite is true. Imagination is not something we inherit at birth, nor does it diminish with age. Instead, imagination grows as we do, through education and reflection.

The science of cognitive development shows that young children are wired to be imitators. When confronted with novel challenges, they struggle to think outside the box, and their creativity is rigidly constrained by what they deem probable, typical, or normal. Of course, children love to “play pretend,” but they are far more likely to simulate real life than to invent fantasy worlds of their own. And they generally prefer the mundane and the tried-and-true to the fanciful or the whimsical.

Children’s imaginations are not yet fully formed because they necessarily lack knowledge, and it is precisely knowledge of what is real that provides a foundation for contemplating what might be possible. The more we know, the farther our imaginations can roam. As Learning to Imagine demonstrates, the key to expanding the imagination is not forgetting what you know but learning something new. By building upon the examples of creative minds across diverse fields, from mathematics to religion, we can consciously develop our capacities for innovation and imagination at any age.

[more]

front cover of Lectures on Imagination
Lectures on Imagination
Paul Ricoeur
University of Chicago Press, 2024
Ricoeur’s theory of productive imagination in previously unpublished lectures.

The eminent philosopher Paul Ricoeur was devoted to the imagination. These previously unpublished lectures offer Ricoeur’s most significant and sustained reflections on creativity as he builds a new theory of imagination through close examination, moving from Aristotle, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant to Ryle, Price, Wittgenstein, Husserl, and Sartre. These thinkers, he contends, underestimate humanity’s creative capacity. While the Western tradition generally views imagination as derived from the reproductive example of the image, Ricoeur develops a theory about the mind’s power to produce new realities. Modeled most clearly in fiction, this productive imagination, Ricoeur argues, is available across conceptual domains. His theory provocatively suggests that we are not constrained by existing political, social, and scientific structures. Rather, our imaginations have the power to break through our conceptual horizons and remake the world.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
The Living Eye
Jean Starobinski
Harvard University Press, 1989

Physician, literary critic, art historian, Jean Starobinski has been involved in a profound lifelong discourse on literature, and this book provides an unparalleled opportunity for learning about his ideas. As a close reader, Starobinski has much to teach us not only about Rousseau, Stendhal, Shakespeare, and Freud, but also about the techniques of interpretation—the craft of reading sensibly.

At the heart of the book is Starobinski’s fellow Genevan, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who best embodies Starobinski’s concerns with masks, appearance, and reality, deception, and subjectivity. Starobinski takes a fresh approach to Rousseau’s work and other texts that speak about individuals looking at one another or at themselves, and shows readers in the English-speaking world the central significance of Rousseau today. The second great theme is the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis and the role ascribed in intellectual history to self-reflection and imagination.

All these essays except for the preface, which was written especially for this translation of his writings, appeared in Starobinski’s two major collections, L’Oeil Vivant and La Relation Critique. These are among his best and most renowned essays and the book will give instruction and pleasure to students and general readers interested in nondoctrinaire, down-to-earth approaches to literary style, author biography and psychoanalysis.

[more]

logo for Pluto Press
Magical Marxism
Subversive Politics and the Imagination
Andy Merrifield
Pluto Press, 2011

Following his hugely popular book, The Wisdom of Donkeys, Andy Merrifield breathes new life into the Marxist tradition.

Magical Marxism demands something more of traditional Marxism - something more interesting and liberating. It asks that we imagine a Marxism that moves beyond debates about class, the role of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In escaping the formalist straitjacket of orthodox Marxist critique, Merrifield argues for a reconsideration of Marxism and its potential, applying previously unexplored approaches to Marxist thinking that will reveal vital new modes of political activism and debate.

This book will provoke and inspire in equal measure. It gives us a Marxism for the 21st century, which offers dramatic new possibilities for political engagement.

[more]

front cover of Mapping And Imagination In The Great Basin
Mapping And Imagination In The Great Basin
A Cartographic History
Richard V. Francaviglia
University of Nevada Press, 2005
[more]

front cover of The Medieval Imagination
The Medieval Imagination
Jacques Le Goff
University of Chicago Press, 1988
To write this history of the imagination, Le Goff has recreated the mental structures of medieval men and women by analyzing the images of man as microcosm and the Church as mystical body; the symbols of power such as flags and oriflammes; and the contradictory world of dreams, marvels, devils, and wild forests.

"Le Goff is one of the most distinguished of the French medieval historians of his generation . . . he has exercised immense influence."—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books

"The whole book turns on a fascinating blend of the brutally materialistic and the generously imaginative."—Tom Shippey, London Review of Books

"The richness, imaginativeness and sheer learning of Le Goff's work . . . demand to be experienced."—M. T. Clanchy, Times Literary Supplement

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Method and Imagination in Coleridge's Criticism
J. R. de J. Jackson
Harvard University Press

front cover of Molly
Molly
Kevin Honold
Autumn House Press, 2021
A compelling story of characters enduring various hardships in rural New Mexico.
 
This debut novel tells the story of nine-year-old Raymond, nicknamed “Ray Moon” by Molly, his adoptive caretaker, a waitress, and the former partner of his recently deceased uncle. These two outcasts rely on one another for survival, and their bond forms the heart of this book. Living in a trailer atop a mesa in the high desert of New Mexico in 1968, Raymond ages quickly amid hostile circumstances. With the help of a keen imagination that Molly inspires, he navigates various forms of loss and exploitation amid enduring hardship.
 
Kevin Honold’s deft and trance-like prose is interspersed with sharp insights and brings attention to the displacement of Native Americans, the hardships of capitalism, the ills of misogyny, and the raw hurt of living a displaced or marginalized life. This is a story of endurance, memory, and unceasing change.
 
Molly was selected by Dan Chaon as the winner of the 2020 Autumn House Fiction Prize.
 
[more]

front cover of Moral Imagination
Moral Imagination
Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics
Mark Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Using path-breaking discoveries of cognitive science, Mark Johnson argues that humans are fundamentally imaginative moral animals, challenging the view that morality is simply a system of universal laws dictated by reason. According to the Western moral tradition, we make ethical decisions by applying universal laws to concrete situations. But Johnson shows how research in cognitive science undermines this view and reveals that imagination has an essential role in ethical deliberation.

Expanding his innovative studies of human reason in Metaphors We Live By and The Body in the Mind, Johnson provides the tools for more practical, realistic, and constructive moral reflection.
[more]

front cover of Morality & Imagination
Morality & Imagination
Yi-Fu Tuan
University of Wisconsin Press, 1989
Can the individual and society be both moral and imaginative? In Western society the moral person tends to be regarded as either simple and naive or narrow and bigoted. In contrast, the imaginative person is looked on as someone not bound by the customs of the group and therefore likely to be fanciful and out of touch with reality.
[more]

front cover of More than Real
More than Real
A History of the Imagination in South India
David Shulman
Harvard University Press, 2012

From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the major cultures of southern India underwent a revolution in sensibility reminiscent of what had occurred in Renaissance Italy. During this time, the imagination came to be recognized as the defining feature of human beings. More than Real draws our attention to a period in Indian history that signified major civilizational change and the emergence of a new, proto-modern vision.

In general, India conceived of the imagination as a causative agent: things we perceive are real because we imagine them. David Shulman illuminates this distinctiveness and shows how it differed radically from Western notions of reality and models of the mind. Shulman's explication offers insightful points of comparison with ancient Greek, medieval Islamic, and early modern European theories of mind, and returns Indology to its rightful position of intellectual relevance in the humanities.

At a time when contemporary ideologies and language wars threaten to segregate the study of pre-modern India into linguistic silos, Shulman demonstrates through his virtuoso readings of important literary works—works translated lyrically by the author from Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam—that Sanskrit and the classical languages of southern India have been intimately interwoven for centuries.

[more]

front cover of The Mosaic Constitution
The Mosaic Constitution
Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton
Graham Hammill
University of Chicago Press, 2012

It is a common belief that scripture has no place in modern, secular politics. Graham Hammill challenges this notion in The Mosaic Constitution, arguing that Moses’s constitution of Israel, which created people bound by the rule of law, was central to early modern writings about government and state.

Hammill shows how political writers from Machiavelli to Spinoza drew on Mosaic narrative to imagine constitutional forms of government. At the same time, literary writers like Christopher Marlowe, Michael Drayton, and John Milton turned to Hebrew scripture to probe such fundamental divisions as those between populace and multitude, citizenship and race, and obedience and individual choice. As these writers used biblical narrative to fuse politics with the creative resources of language, Mosaic narrative also gave them a means for exploring divine authority as a product of literary imagination. The first book to place Hebrew scripture at the cutting edge of seventeenth-century literary and political innovation, The Mosaic Constitution offers a fresh perspective on political theology and the relations between literary representation and the founding of political communities.
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Music and Imagination
Aaron Copland
Harvard University Press

One of the most forthright and talented of American composers writes here of the part played by the freely imaginative mind in composing, performing, and listening to music. He urges more frequent performance and more sensitive hearing of the music of new composers. He discusses sound media, new and old, and looks toward a musical future in which the timbres and intensities developed by the electronic engineer may find their musical shape and meaning. He considers the twentieth-century revolt against classical form and tonality, and the recent disturbing political interference with the form and content of music. He analyzes American and contemporary European music and the flowering of specifically Western imagination in Villa-Lobos and Charles Ives.

The final chapter is an account, partially autobiographical, of the composer who seeks to find, in an industrial society like that of the United States, justification for the life of art in the life about him. Mr. Copeland, whose spectacular success in arriving at a musical vernacular has brought him a wide audience, will acquire as many readers as he has listeners with this imaginatively written book.

[more]

front cover of A New Theory for American Poetry
A New Theory for American Poetry
Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination
Angus Fletcher
Harvard University Press, 2004

Amid gloomy forecasts of the decline of the humanities and the death of poetry, Angus Fletcher, a wise and dedicated literary voice, sounds a note of powerful, tempered optimism. He lays out a fresh approach to American poetry at large, the first in several decades, expounding a defense of the art that will resonate well into the new century.

Breaking with the tired habit of treating American poets as the happy or rebellious children of European romanticism, Fletcher uncovers a distinct lineage for American poetry. His point of departure is the fascinating English writer, John Clare; he then centers on the radically American vision expressed by Emerson and Walt Whitman. With Whitman this book insists that "the whole theory and nature of poetry" needs inspiration from science if it is to achieve a truly democratic vista. Drawing variously on Complexity Theory and on fundamentals of art and grammar, Fletcher argues that our finest poetry is nature-based, environmentally shaped, and descriptive in aim, enabling poets like John Ashbery and other contemporaries to discover a mysterious pragmatism.

Intense, resonant, and deeply literary, this account of an American poetics shows how today's consumerist and conformist culture subverts the imagination of a free people. While centering on American vision, the argument extends our horizon, striking a blow against all economically sanctioned attacks upon the finer, stronger human capacities. Poetry, the author maintains, is central to any coherent vision of life.

[more]

front cover of Nothing Abstract
Nothing Abstract
Investigations in the American Literary Imagination
Tom Quirk
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Written by one of the leading scholars in the field, Nothing Abstract is a collection of essays gathered over the past twenty years--all of which, in some fashion, have to do with a genetic approach to literary study. In previous books, the author has traced the compositional histories of certain literary works, the course of individual careers, and the genesis of literary movements. In this book, Tom Quirk resists the direction taken by contemporary theory in favor of an approach to literature through source and influence study, the evolution of a writer's achievement, the establishment of biographical or other contexts, and the transition from one literary era to another.

All of the essays that Quirk has chosen for this collection illustrate a scholarly method. The first two essays, somewhat general in their concerns, constitute a defense for the genetic method, and subsequent essays serve as evidence for the usefulness of genetic inquiry. The entire volume challenges poststructuralist theory not through active confrontation, but merely by being what it is and doing what it does. More important though is that all of the chosen essays are intrinsically interesting. They tell fascinating stories—stories about literary genesis, biographical circumstances, and artistic ambitions and achievement.

Authors discussed at length are Edgar Allan Poe, Tony Hillerman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Wallace Stevens, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Joyce Carol Oates. Quirk also touches on Flannery O'Connor, Richard Wright, Robert Frost, Jack London, Stephen Crane, William Faulkner, and others. Nothing Abstract makes a great contribution to the study of important American writers and will be welcomed by all students and scholars of American studies and American literature.

[more]

front cover of A Poverty of Imagination
A Poverty of Imagination
Bootstrap Capitalism, Sequel to Welfare Reform
David Stoesz
University of Wisconsin Press, 2000

Welfare reform was supposed to end welfare as we know it. And it has. The welfare poor have been largely transformed into the working poor, but their poverty persists. This hard-hitting book takes a close look at where we’ve gone wrong—and where we might go next if we truly want to improve the lot of America’s underclass.
    Tracing the roots of recent reforms to the early days of the war on poverty, A Poverty of Imagination describes a social welfare system grown increasingly inept, corrupt, and susceptible to conservative redesign. Investigating the causes of the ongoing failure of welfare assistance, Stoesz focuses on the economic barriers that impede movement out of poverty into the American mainstream. He explores such issues as the heterogeneity of welfare families, generational welfare, inadequate benefits, the negative effects of time limits on welfare recipients, a fringe banking industry that exploits low-income families, the limited capacity of low-wage markets, and the unavailability of credit.
    Stoesz suggests that a form of "bootstrap capitalism" would allow individuals and families to participate more fully in American society and achieve upward economic mobility and stability. This proposal, emphasizing wage supplements, asset building, and community capitalism, sets the stage for the next act in poverty policy in the United States. With its valuable insights on the American welfare system and its positive agenda for change, this book makes a significant intervention in our ongoing struggle to come to terms with widespread poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth.

[more]

front cover of Poverty of the Imagination
Poverty of the Imagination
Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature about the Po
David Herman
Northwestern University Press, 2001
The primal scene of all nineteenth-century western thought might involve an observer gazing at someone poor, most commonly on the streets of a great metropolis, and wondering what the spectacle meant in human, moral, political, and metaphysical terms. For Russia, most of whose people hovered near the poverty line throughout history, the scene is one of special significance, presenting a plethora of questions and possibilities for writers who wished to depict the spiritual and material reality of Russian life. How these writers responded, and what their portrayal of poverty reveals and articulates about core values of Russian culture, is the subject of this book, which offers a compelling look into the peculiar convergence in nineteenth-century Russian literature of ideas about the poor and about the processes of art.
[more]

front cover of Religion as Make-Believe
Religion as Make-Believe
A Theory of Belief, Imagination, and Group Identity
Neil Van Leeuwen
Harvard University Press, 2023

To understand the nature of religious belief, we must look at how our minds process the world of imagination and make-believe.

We often assume that religious beliefs are no different in kind from ordinary factual beliefs—that believing in the existence of God or of supernatural entities that hear our prayers is akin to believing that May comes before June. Neil Van Leeuwen shows that, in fact, these two forms of belief are strikingly different. Our brains do not process religious beliefs like they do beliefs concerning mundane reality; instead, empirical findings show that religious beliefs function like the imaginings that guide make-believe play.

Van Leeuwen argues that religious belief—which he terms religious “credence”—is best understood as a form of imagination that people use to define the identity of their group and express the values they hold sacred. When a person pretends, they navigate the world by consulting two maps: the first represents mundane reality, and the second superimposes the features of the imagined world atop the first. Drawing on psychological, linguistic, and anthropological evidence, Van Leeuwen posits that religious communities operate in much the same way, consulting a factual-belief map that represents ordinary objects and events and a religious-credence map that accords these objects and events imagined sacred and supernatural significance.

It is hardly controversial to suggest that religion has a social function, but Religion as Make-Believe breaks new ground by theorizing the underlying cognitive mechanisms. Once we recognize that our minds process factual and religious beliefs in fundamentally different ways, we can gain deeper understanding of the complex individual and group psychology of religious faith.

[more]

front cover of The Revelation of Imagination
The Revelation of Imagination
From Homer and the Bible through Virgil and Augustine to Dante
William Franke
Northwestern University Press, 2015

In The Revelation of Imagination, William Franke attempts to focus on what is enduring and perennial rather than on what is accommodated to the agenda of the moment. Franke’s book offers re-actualized readings of representative texts from the Bible, Homer, and Virgil to Augustine and Dante. The selections are linked together in such a way as to propose a general interpretation of knowledge. They emphasize, moreover, a way of articulating the connection of humanities knowledge with what may, in various senses, be called divine revelation. This includes the sort of inspiration to which poets since Homer have typically laid claim, as well as that proper to the biblical tradition of revealed religion. The Revelation of Imagination invigorates the ongoing discussion about the value of humanities as a source of enduring knowledge.

[more]

front cover of The Soledades, Góngora's Masque of the Imagination
The Soledades, Góngora's Masque of the Imagination
Marsha S. Collins
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Prince of Darkness or Angel of Light? The pastoral masterpiece the Soledades garnered both titles for its author, Luis de Góngora, one of Spain's premier poets. In The Soledades, Góngora's Masque of the Imagination, Marsha S. Collins focuses on the brilliant seventeenth-century Spanish poet's contentious work of art. The Soledades have sparked controversy since they were first circulated at court in 1612-1614 and continue to do so even now, as Góngora has become for some critics the poster child of postmodernism. These perplexing 2,000-plus line pastoral poems garnered endless debates over the value and meaning of the author's enigmatic, challenging poetry and gave rise to his reputation, causing his very name to become an English term for obscurity.

Collins views these controversial poems in a different light, as a literary work that is a product of European court culture. She shows that the Soledades are in essence a court masque, an elaborate theatrical genre that combines a variety of cultural forms and that unfolds in the mind of the reader. Collins maintains that far from serving as an example of "art for art's sake," the Soledades represent Góngora's bid to transform poetic language into a new kind of visionary discourse that allows readers to access secret truths invisible to the average member of the reading public.

Each of Collins's four chapters analyzes a different facet of the Soledades, offering readers varied means of approaching Góngora's great work and helping the audience read the poems with greater understanding and appreciation.

The Soledades, Góngora's Masque of the Imagination demystifies the daunting, hermetic language of the Soledades to make this masterpiece of imperial Spain accessible to a new, and wider, circle of modern readers. Collins's book transports readers to the court of Habsburg Spain, offering a window to court culture—art, music, alchemy, emblems, garden architecture—and revealing the remarkable beauty of one of Spain's greatest literary masterpieces. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural in approach, this book will appeal to all Hispanists, including those interested in the current "New Baroque" vogue in Hispanic scholarship, as well as specialists in Renaissance and Baroque English and European literature.

[more]

logo for University of Chicago Press
Spacings--of Reason and Imagination
In Texts of Kant, Fichte, Hegel
John Sallis
University of Chicago Press, 1987
By applying the tools of deconstruction to crucial texts of German Idealism, John Sallis reveals the suppressed but essential role of imagination in even the most ambitious attempts to represent pure reason.

Sallis focuses on certain operations of "spacing" in metaphysics—textual lapses and leaps in which reason is displaced or suspended or abridged. In the project of establishing priority of reason, such operations can appear only in disguise, and Sallis reveals the play of imagination and metaphor that masks them. Concentrating on what has been called the closure of metaphysics, he examines texts in which the suppression of spacing would be carried out most rigorously, texts in which even metaphysics itself is seen as only an errant roaming, a spacing that must still be secured, to be replaced by a pure space of truth. And yet, in these very texts Sallis identifies outbreaks of spacing that would disrupt the tranquil space of reason. Rather than closure, he finds an opening of reason to imagination.

Sallis's reading of a metaphorical system in the Critique of Pure Reason reveals a fissuring and historicizing of what would otherwise be called pure reason. Next he traces in Fichte's major work as well as in several lesser-known texts a decentering from reason to imagination, which he characterizes as a power of hovering between opposites and beyond being. Sallis then returns to the Critique of Pure Reason to expose, in relation to the famous question of the common root of reason and sensibility, a certain eccentricity of reason. Proceeding to the Critique of Judgment, he traces a divergence of sublime nature away from that supersensible space of reason to which Kant would otherwise assimilate it—a withdrawal toward an abyss. Finally, Sallis turns to Hegel's Encyclopedia, supplementing his reading with previously unknown notes from Hegel's lectures on those sections dealing with imagination; his reading of those sections serves to expose, within the most rigorous reduction of spacing in the history of metaphysics, an irrepressible and disseminative play of imagination.
[more]

front cover of Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination
Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination
Eugene Garver
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Spinoza’s Ethics, and its project of proving ethical truths through the geometric method, have attracted and challenged readers for more than three hundred years. In Spinoza and the Cunning of Imagination, Eugene Garver uses the imagination as a guiding thread to this work. Other readers have looked at the imagination to account for Spinoza’s understanding of politics and religion, but this is the first inquiry to see it as central to the Ethics as a whole—imagination as a quality to be cultivated, and not simply overcome.

​Spinoza initially presents imagination as an inadequate and confused way of thinking, always inferior to ideas that adequately represent things as they are. It would seem to follow that one ought to purge the mind of imaginative ideas and replace them with rational ideas as soon as possible, but as Garver shows, the Ethics don’t allow for this ultimate ethical act until one has cultivated a powerful imagination. This is, for Garver, “the cunning of imagination.” The simple plot of progress becomes, because of the imagination, a complex journey full of reversals and discoveries. For Garver, the “cunning” of the imagination resides in our ability to use imagination to rise above it.
[more]

front cover of States of Imagination
States of Imagination
Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State
Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat, eds.
Duke University Press, 2001
The state has recently been rediscovered as an object of inquiry by a broad range of scholars. Reflecting the new vitality of the field of political anthropology, States of Imagination draws together the best of this recent critical thinking to explore the postcolonial state. Contributors focus on a variety of locations from Guatemala, Pakistan, and Peru to India and Ecuador; they study what the state looks like to those seeing it from the vantage points of rural schools, police departments, small villages, and the inside of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Focusing on the micropolitics of everyday state-making, the contributors examine the mythologies, paradoxes, and inconsistencies of the state through ethnographies of diverse postcolonial practices. They show how the authority of the state is constantly challenged from the local as well as the global and how growing demands to confer rights and recognition to ever more citizens, organizations, and institutions reveal a persistent myth of the state as a source of social order and an embodiment of popular sovereignty. Demonstrating the indispensable value of ethnographic work on the practices and the symbols of the state, States of Imagination showcases a range of studies and methods to provide insight into the diverse forms of the postcolonial state as an arena of both political and cultural struggle.
This collection will interest students and scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, political science, and history.

Contributors. Lars Buur, Mitchell Dean, Akhil Gupta, Thomas Blom Hansen, Steffen Jensen, Aletta J. Norval, David Nugent, Sarah Radcliffe, Rachel Sieder, Finn Stepputat, Martijn van Beek, Oskar Verkaaik, Fiona Wilson

[more]

front cover of Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology
Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology
Ruth M. Van Dyke
University Press of Colorado, 2015

Seeking to move beyond the customary limits of archaeological prose and representation, Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology presents archaeology in a variety of nontraditional formats. The volume demonstrates that visual art, creative nonfiction, archaeological fiction, video, drama, and other artistic pursuits have much to offer archaeological interpretation and analysis.

Chapters in the volume are augmented by narrative, poetry, paintings, dialogues, online databases, videos, audio files, and slideshows. The work will be available in print and as an enhanced ebook that incorporates and showcases the multimedia elements in archaeological narrative. While exploring these new and not-so-new forms, the contributors discuss the boundaries and connections between empirical data and archaeological imagination.

Both a critique and an experiment, Subjects and Narratives in Archaeology addresses the goals, advantages, and difficulties of alternative forms of archaeological representation. Exploring the idea that academically sound archaeology can be fun to create and read, the book takes a step beyond the boundaries of both traditional archaeology and traditional publishing.

[more]

front cover of Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam
Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam
HENRY CORBIN
Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 1995

This volume makes two essays by Henry Corbin, the eminent French scholar of Islam, available in English for the first time. Although his primary interest was the esoteric tradition of Islam, Corbin was also a lifelong student of the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg. The first essay, "Mundus Imaginalis, or The Imaginary and the Imaginal," clarifies Corbin's use of the term he coined, mundus imaginalis, or "the imaginal world." This important concept appears in both Swedenborgian and esoteric Islamic spirituality. The second piece, "Comparative Spiritual Hermeneutics," compares the revelation of the internal sense of the sacred boks of two distinct religions, Christianity and Islam.

[more]

front cover of Technocrats of the Imagination
Technocrats of the Imagination
Art, Technology, and the Military-Industrial Avant-Garde
John Beck and Ryan Bishop
Duke University Press, 2020
In Technocrats of the Imagination John Beck and Ryan Bishop explore the collaborations between the American avant-garde art world and the military-industrial complex during the 1960s, in which artists worked with scientists and engineers in universities, private labs, and museums. For artists, designers, and educators working with the likes of Bell Labs, the RAND Corporation, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, experiments in art and technology presaged not only a new aesthetic but a new utopian social order based on collective experimentation. In examining these projects' promises and pitfalls and how they have inspired a new generation of collaborative labs populated by artists, engineers, and scientists, Beck and Bishop reveal the connections between the contemporary art world and the militarized lab model of research that has dominated the sciences since the 1950s.
[more]

front cover of Technologies of Empire
Technologies of Empire
Writing, Imagination, and the Making of Imperial Networks, 1750–1820
Dermot Ryan
University of Delaware Press, 2013
Technologies of Empire looks at the ways in which writers of the long eighteenth century treat writing and imagination as technologies that can produce rather than merely portray empire. Authors ranging from Adam Smith to William Wordsworth consider writing not as part of a larger logic of orientalism that represents non-European subjects and spaces in fixed ways, but as a dynamic technology that organizes these subjects and transforms these spaces. Technologies of Empire reads the imagination as an instrument that works in tandem with writing, expanding and consolidating the networks of empire. Through readings across a variety of genres, ranging from Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France to Maria Edgeworth’s Irish fiction and Wordsworth’s epic poetry, this study offers a new account of writing’s role in empire-building and uncovers a genealogy of the romantic imagination that is shot through by the imperatives of imperialism.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
 
[more]

front cover of Tehrangeles Dreaming
Tehrangeles Dreaming
Intimacy and Imagination in Southern California's Iranian Pop Music
Farzaneh Hemmasi
Duke University Press, 2020
Los Angeles, called Tehrangeles because it is home to the largest concentration of Iranians outside of Iran, is the birthplace of a distinctive form of postrevolutionary pop music. Created by professional musicians and media producers fleeing Iran's revolutionary-era ban on “immoral” popular music, Tehrangeles pop has been a part of daily life for Iranians at home and abroad for decades. In Tehrangeles Dreaming Farzaneh Hemmasi draws on ethnographic fieldwork in Los Angeles and musical and textual analysis to examine how the songs, music videos, and television made in Tehrangeles express modes of Iranianness not possible in Iran. Exploring Tehrangeles pop producers' complex commercial and political positioning and the histories, sensations, and fantasies their music makes available to global Iranian audiences, Hemmasi shows how unquestionably Iranian forms of Tehrangeles popular culture exemplify the manner in which culture, media, and diaspora combine to respond to the Iranian state and its political transformations. The transnational circulation of Tehrangeles culture, she contends, transgresses Iran's geographical, legal, and moral boundaries while allowing all Iranians the ability to imagine new forms of identity and belonging.
[more]

front cover of Television in the Age of Radio
Television in the Age of Radio
Modernity, Imagination, and the Making of a Medium
Sewell, Philip W
Rutgers University Press, 2014

Television existed for a long time before it became commonplace in American homes. Even as cars, jazz, film, and radio heralded the modern age, television haunted the modern imagination. During the 1920s and 1930s, U.S. television was a topic of conversation and speculation. Was it technically feasible? Could it be commercially viable? What would it look like? How might it serve the public interest? And what was its place in the modern future? These questions were not just asked by the American public, but also posed by the people intimately involved in television’s creation. Their answers may have been self-serving, but they were also statements of aspiration. Idealistic imaginations of the medium and its impact on social relations became a de facto plan for moving beyond film and radio into a new era.

In Television in the Age of Radio, Philip W. Sewell offers a unique account of how television came to be—not just from technical innovations or institutional struggles, but from cultural concerns that were central to the rise of industrial modernity. This book provides sustained investigations of the values of early television amateurs and enthusiasts, the fervors and worries about competing technologies, and the ambitions for programming that together helped mold the medium.

Sewell presents a major revision of the history of television, telling us about the nature of new media and how hopes for the future pull together diverse perspectives that shape technologies, industries, and audiences.

[more]

front cover of Text, Image, and Otherness in Children's Bibles
Text, Image, and Otherness in Children's Bibles
What is in the Picture.
Caroline Vander Stichele
SBL Press, 2012
Children’s Bibles are often the first encounter people have with the Bible, shaping their perceptions of its stories and characters at an early age. The material under discussion in this book not only includes traditional children’s Bibles but also more recent phenomena such as manga Bibles and animated films for children. The book highlights the complex and even tense relationship between text and image in these Bibles, which is discussed from different angles in the essays. Their shared focus is on the representation of “others”—foreigners, enemies, women, even children themselves—in predominantly Hebrew Bible stories. The contributors are Tim Beal, Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Melody Briggs, Rubén R. Dupertuis, Emma England, J. Cheryl Exum, Danna Nolan Fewell, David M. Gunn, Laurel Koepf, Archie Chi Chung Lee, Jeremy Punt, Hugh S. Pyper, Cynthia M. Rogers, Mark Roncace, Susanne Scholz, Jaqueline S. du Toit, and Caroline Vander Stichele.
[more]

front cover of Theater of the Mind
Theater of the Mind
Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama
Neil Verma
University of Chicago Press, 2012

For generations, fans and critics have characterized classic American radio drama as a “theater of the mind.” This book unpacks that characterization by recasting the radio play as an aesthetic object within its unique historical context. In Theater of the Mind, Neil Verma applies an array of critical methods to more than six thousand recordings to produce a vivid new account of radio drama from the Depression to the Cold War.

In this sweeping exploration of dramatic conventions, Verma investigates legendary dramas by the likes of Norman Corwin, Lucille Fletcher, and Wyllis Cooper on key programs ranging from The Columbia Workshop, The Mercury Theater on the Air, and Cavalcade of America to Lights Out!, Suspense, and Dragnet to reveal how these programs promoted and evolved a series of models of the imagination.

With close readings of individual sound effects and charts of broad trends among formats, Verma not only gives us a new account of the most flourishing form of genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century but also presents a powerful case for the central place of the aesthetics of sound in the history of modern experience.

[more]

front cover of Thomas Hardy's Brains
Thomas Hardy's Brains
Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy's Imagination
Suzanne Keen
The Ohio State University Press, 2014
The imagery of brains and nerves that Thomas Hardy employed in over a half century of writing amply demonstrates that he knew the psychology of his time. Thomas Hardy’s Brains: Psychology, Neurology, and Hardy’s Imagination reevaluates Hardy’s representations of minds, the will, and consciousness (and nescience) in the context of Victorian brain science and Victorian medical neurology. Susanne Keen traces his reading from his early twenties until his old age in sources such as The Literary Notebooks, collections of reading notes made by Hardy from the 1860s onward. In showing how Hardy the reader informed Hardy the novelist and poet, she gives new insight into the unusual techniques Hardy used to represent fictional consciousness in his fiction and shows how the image schemas in his poetry embody his convictions.
 
This study reveals how Hardy made sense of diverse sources of an affective human psychology, a discipline that expanded significantly during Hardy’s working life. From the 1870s to the turn of the twentieth century, the tools and techniques for studying the structures and function of the nervous system developed rapidly. Simultaneously, Hardy moved steadily toward realizing a more physiologically accurate rendering of brains and nerves.
[more]

front cover of Time and Imagination
Time and Imagination
Chronotopes in Western Narrative Culture
Bart Keunen
Northwestern University Press, 2011
Bart Keunen’s boldly comprehensive theory of literature springs from the synthesis between narrative time and space forms called the chronotope (from the Greek chronos “time” and topos “place”). The originator of the theory, Mikhail Bakhtin, argued that each literary culture and each genre uses a family of chronotopes that endow the cultures and genres with their specific aesthetic charm, as well as their cognitive and moral strength. 

After constructing an archeology of the chronotope, Keunen proposes a remarkably original description of the various types of chronotopes. Chronotypes that emphasize conflict are using Greek mythological names to explain equilibrium, or reconciliation, and conflict chronotopes. He then develops a plot typology that covers the whole history of Western narrative culture. With examples and resonances both ancient and modern, Keunen’s Time and Imagination will equip theorists in a wide range of fields with powerful tools for years to come.
[more]

front cover of Tourism Geopolitics
Tourism Geopolitics
Assemblages of Infrastructure, Affect, and Imagination
Edited by Mary Mostafanezhad, Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Roger Norum
University of Arizona Press, 2021
By the start of the century, nearly one billion international travelers were circulating the globe annually, placing tourism among the worlds’ most ubiquitous geopolitical encounters. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a sudden halt, its geopolitical significance remained. With striking clarity, tourism desires and reinvented mobilities revealed the impermanence of Old World orders as new global alliances were forged. While scholars have critically examined tourism in the contexts of development, cultural change, and environmental crisis, much less attention has been paid to the geopolitical drivers and consequences of the world’s largest industry. This collection homes in on tourism and its geopolitical entanglements by examining its contemporary affects, imaginaries, and infrastructures. It develops the concept of tourism geopolitics to reveal the growing centrality of tourism in geopolitical life, as well as the geopolitical nature of the tourism encounter.

In Tourism Geopolitics, contributors show enacted processes such as labor migration, conservation, securitization, nation building, territorial disputes, ethnic cleansing, heritage revitalization, and global health crisis management, among others. These contended societal processes are deployed through tourism development initiatives that mobilize deeply uneven symbolic and material landscapes. The chapters reveal how a range of experiences are implicated in this process: museum visits, walking tours, architectonical evocations of the past, road construction, militarized island imaginations, gendered cultural texts, and official silences. Collectively, the chapters offer ethnographically rich illustrations from around the world that demonstrate the critical nature of tourism in formal geopolitical practices, as well as the geopolitical nature of everyday tourism encounters. This volume is a vital read for critical geographers, anthropologists, and political scientists, as well as scholars of tourism and cultural studies.

Contributors: Sarah Becklake, M. Bianet Castellanos, Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Jason Dittmer, Klaus Dodds, Jamie Gillen, Simon Halink, Jordan Hallbauer, James Igoe, Debbie Lisle, Mary Mostafanezhad, Dieter K. Müller, Roger Norum, Alessandro Rippa, Ian Rowen, Robert Saunders, Juan Francisco Salazar, Tani Sebro, Mimi Sheller, Henry Szadziewski, Vernadette Vicuña González, Emma Waterton

 
[more]

logo for University of Chicago Press
Vladimir's Carrot
Modern Drama and the Modern Imagination
John Peter
University of Chicago Press, 1987
What is modern in modern drama? What defines it, unmistakably, as being of our time? This quality if the subject of John Peter's inquiry.

For Peter, Beckett's Waiting for Godot makes such a radical break with dramatic tradition that it prompts the question: Is this play the single most important event in the theater since Aeschylus? Or is it the fulfillment of forces at work long before Beckett wrote it? Peter shows how Beckett's work represents a change in the very subject matter of drama, a fundamental revision of concepts of character, plot, and meaning, which in turn requires a new way of responding to drama. Where plays have traditionally engaged audiences in critical and moral dialogue, theater like Beckett's, according to Peter, is closed to questioning; it presents a vision of the world which can only be accepted or rejected. As such, it not only signals a new form of drama, but also posits a fundamentally changed audience.

Peter views this change—essentially, a change of mind—in its wider context. The times and the thought that contribute to the modern imagination are represented here by novels, paintings, and music—works by Wagner, Kafka, Proust, Picasso, and Braque—as well as plays. Peter shows how the depiction of the world by these artists echoes—and is echoed by—the work of modern thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Freud.

Vladimir's Carrot will provoke and stimulate readers who find themselves either lost or perfectly at home in "modern" culture.
[more]

front cover of The Weather in the Imagination
The Weather in the Imagination
Lucian Boia
Reaktion Books, 2005
Why is the Weather Channel one of the top ranked cable networks? Why was The Day After Tomorrow a summer blockbuster? The Weather in the Imagination seeks to answer these and other questions about our fascination with the weather, as Lucian Boia offers an intriguing analysis of the theories, scenarios, and psychoses caused by climate.

Boia here examines the cultural influence of weather through the lens of anthropology and psychology, history, and catastrophe. He first investigates how human diversity is linked to weather and why people differ according to their native climates. He then looks at how climate can explain the dynamics of historical progress and the rise and fall of civilizations, citing how Nazis used it to justify the superiority of the "Aryan" race. And what can destroy or induce panic in a society more effectively than a good climatic jolt? Boia investigates the social upheaval caused by catastrophic weather conditions, citing the most gripping example in human history, the Biblical Flood.

The Weather in the Imagination is a thought-provoking chronicle of how humans throughout history have been bewildered, infuriated, and often terrified by the weather.
[more]

front cover of Words to Our Now
Words to Our Now
Imagination and Dissent
Thomas Glave
University of Minnesota Press, 2007

In these lyrical and powerful essays, Thomas Glave draws on his experiences as a politically committed, gay Jamaican American to deliver a condemnation of the prejudices, hatreds, and inhumanities that persist in the United States and elsewhere. Exposing the hypocrisies of liberal multiculturalism, Glave offers instead a politics of heterogeneity in which difference informs the theory and practice of democracy. At the same time, he experiments with language to provide a model of creative writing as a tool for social change. From the death of black gay poet Essex Hemphill to the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, Glave puts forth an ethical understanding of human rights to make vital connections across nations, races, genders, and sexualities.

Thomas Glave is assistant professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. He is author of Whose Song? and Other Stories.

[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter