Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wright, Barbara. "Revising and Defending the Foreign Language Major." INSIDE HIGHER ED December 29, 2008.
In recent years, the APA has helped by displaying greater openness to diverse philosophical traditions. This year's program offered sessions sponsored by the Association of Chinese Philosophers in America, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, the Ayn Rand Society, and many more. The smorgasbord drew even distant non-job seekers to APA. Joshua Weinstein, 41, a native Philadelphian whose serves as director of studies at Jerusalem's Shalem Center - an Israeli think tank currently launching a new liberal arts institution, Shalem College - decided to make his first visit to APA. A Princeton grad with a doctorate in classical political philosophy from Hebrew University, Weinstein thinks "philosophy is becoming much more exciting as long-established presumptions are falling away. . . . There are just a lot of things going on that I did not expect would be going on, and, I suspect, were not going 10 years ago." To be sure, the panel on "Philosophical Perspectives on Female Sexuality" was not your grandpa's APA. Indiana University's Elizabeth Lloyd, in her paper on "Analyzing Bias in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Orgasm," crisply outlined how male assumptions ludicrously distort "Darwinian" explanations of this explosive adaptation. And the University of South Florida's Rebecca Kukla - a professor of obstetrics and gynecology as well as philosophy - offered a brilliant analytic comparison, in her "Depression, Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction: The Invisibility of Female Sexuality in Medicine," of male-directed ads for Viagra and ads aimed at female sexual dysfunction, demonstrating the ongoing belief that female sexuality, unlike male, cannot be located in a specific body part. At the same time, as at all APAs, major philosophers jousted and expounded. Following a memorial session for Richard Rorty, an American philosopher who broke free of the field into wider public recognition, Princeton's Cornel West, the noted African American thinker who has done the same, asked how others might do so. . . . (read the rest here: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/carlin_romano/20081230_Philosophers_at_work__and_hoping_for_it.html)
Kellman, Steven G. "Education for Education's Sake." CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION September 5, 2008.
It’s not standard practice at meetings of the Modern Language Association to have visible security or a roped-off divide between the dais for speakers and the audience. But it’s not every MLA meeting that features David Horowitz, who has spent years attacking the group. . . . (read the rest here: http://insidehighered.com/news/2008/12/30/horowitz)Howard, Jennifer. "MLA 2008: a Buyer's Market?" Chronicle of Higher Education December 30, 2008:
So Harvard’s not hiring this year, and it’s not alone. A lot of language-and-literature departments, though, are proceeding with searches — for now. How much do the job jitters extend to the employers’ side of the interviewing table? The Chronicle talked to professors on several search committees to find out. . . . (read the rest here: http://chronicle.com/news/article/5720/mla-2008-a-buyers-market.)McMillen, Liz. "Politics in the Classroom, Stanley Fish Style." Chronicle of Higher Education December 29, 2008:
MLA attendees packed into an overflowing room yesterday to hear Patricia Lynn Bizzell, Judith Butler, and Jonathan Culler, along with Mr. Fish himself, dissect Mr. Fish’s latest book, Save the World on Your Own Time (Oxford University Press). Although the discussion here was civil and even good-natured, Mr. Fish annoys people on both the left and the right by maintaining that politics has no role in the classroom and that inculcating values such as social justice and citizenship in students amounts to hubris. . . . (read the rest here: http://chronicle.com/news/article/5716/politics-in-the-classroom-stanley-fish-style)
Gottlieb, Anthony. "Review of Ingrid Rowland's GIORDANO BRUNO: PHILOSOPHER / HERETIC." NEW YORK TIMES December 21, 2008.
"Machiavelli: Philosophy, Rhetoric, and History," Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, October 17–18, 2008.
Jamieson, Alastair. "Nobel Laureate Playwright Harold Pinter Dies." Daily Telegraph December 26, 2008:
The writer and poet penned more than 30 plays, including The Caretaker and The Birthday Party. His style of dialogue, with its long pauses and disconnected conversation, was so distinctive that the word "Pinteresque" entered the Oxford English Dictionary. His wife, Lady Antonia Fraser, said: “He was a great, and it was a privilege to live with him for over 33 years.” The east London-born playwright had been due to pick up an honorary degree earlier this month from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London but was forced to withdraw due to illness. After an early struggle for recognition he became widely accepted as one of the world's greatest playwrights after winning acclaim for works including The Birthday Party and Betrayal. Pinter was well-known for his left-wing political views and was a vociferous critic of US and UK foreign policy, voicing opposition on a number of issues including the bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. (Read the rest here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/3949147/Nobel-Laureate-playwright-Harold-Pinter-dies.html.)Kamm, Oliver. "Harold Pinter: an Impassioned Artist who Lost Direction on the Political Stage." Times December 26, 2008:
Pinter’s dramatic work has an inescapably political dimension in its portrayal of domestic lives that are pervaded by fear of external and often unperceived threat. In The Birthday Party, two strangers threaten and eventually apprehend the main character. In The Caretaker, Aston is in terror of the electroconvulsive therapy intended to ward off insanity. In The Dumb Waiter, a person unseen sends messages on the dumbwaiter. He valiantly campaigned against torture and – through the writers’ association, PEN – for freedom of artistic expression. But when Pinter attempted to identify threats in his explicitly political writings, his work descended to crude caricature. Pinter turned to political writing at a time when other leading left-wing dramatists perceived the limits of radical theatre. In an interview in 1996, he said: “Political theatre now is even more important than it ever was, if by political theatre you mean plays that deal with the real world, not with a manufactured or fantasy world.” Yet the political world that Pinter conjured up was an extravagant fantasy. In it, the Western democracies exemplified not imperfection or even moral failings, but venality and bloodlust. . . . . (read the rest here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5398006.ece)
Mootz, Francis J. "Perelman in Legal Education: Recalling the Rhetorical Tradition of Isocrates and Vico."
Mootz, Francis. "Faithful Hermeneutics." Annual Meeting, Association of American Law Schools, January 9, 2009.
This article was presented as part of a panel on "Scriptural and Constitutional Hermeneutics," co-sponsored by the Law and Religion Section, Section on Jewish Law, and Section on Islamic Law, and the papers will be published by the Michigan State Law Review.
My article compares legal and religious hermeneutics by exploring the dual nature of what I term "faithful hermeneutics." The ambiguity evoked by this phrase is intentional. On one hand, it suggests an investigation of the relationship between legal and religious interpretation by comparing hermeneutical activities undertaken by faithful adherents to these two different textual traditions. In this first sense, it is to compare how these practices are the hermeneutics of the faithful. On the other hand, the phrase suggests an analysis of how interpreters in these two traditions remain faithful to the nature of their practice. In this second sense, it is to compare how hermeneutics can be faithfully accomplished. My thesis is that these two senses of "faithful hermeneutics" are connected. The fact that it is faithful adherents who engage in the interpretive practice in large part defines how they can, and should, remain faithful to the interpretive enterprise. I anchor my argument in Hans-Georg Gadamer's critique of historicism, in which he references the practices of legal and religious hermeneutics. Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics explains how faith is a prerequisite of understanding, even as understanding revitalizes and reshapes the faith one brings to a textual tradition. I then unfold the critical dimensions of faithful hermeneutics by comparing the work of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) and Gianni Vattimo on the Catholic tradition. I argue that these two thinkers display both the broad range and the non-methodological character of the critical insights of faithful hermeneutics. I conclude by suggesting that the parallels between religious and legal hermeneutics are instructive, but that we remember that it would be a mistake to conflate these two instances of faithful hermeneutics in our secular age.Download the paper here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1321175.
Cfp: "Then and Now," Second Annual U.S. Intellectual History Conference, Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center, November 12-13, 2009.
Cfp: "Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship," Annual Conference, ANZCA, Queensland University of Technology, July 8-10, 2009.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"Opening Up the In-Between: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Science, Technology and Social Change," University of Ghent, January 19, 2009.
Cfp: "Hermeneutics: an Exhausted Paradigm? Text, Language, World," Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, May 6-8, 2009.
The limitations of James Wood’s How Fiction Works become evident in just its first few pages. In his Introduction, Wood tells us that although he admires the critics Victor Shklovsky and Roland Barthes, among their deficiencies was their failure to write as if they expected “to be read and comprehended by any kind of common reader,” a mistake that Wood himself presumably will not make. (“Mindful of the common reader,” he writes a little later, “I have tried to reduce what Joyce calls ‘the true scholastic stink’ to bearable levels.”) But exactly who, or what, is the “common reader”? Is it the reader who keeps up on all the latest mystery novels? Who these days prefers memoir to fiction? Who might be led to read literary fiction if it could be made rather less literary? More to the point, does any kind of common reader turn to highbrow French or Russian literary critics for help with their reading strategies in the first place? Even if we were to concede the existence of large numbers of enthusiastic readers just waiting for the right literary critic to come along and illuminate the deeper mysteries of fiction for them, Wood’s book surely would not perform this task. How Fiction Works is no more free of a constricted perspective and of “specialized” discourse than A Theory of Prose or S/Z. . . .
Read the whole review here: http://openlettersmonthly.com/issue/august08-how-fiction-works/.
Human Rights Watch. "This Alien Legacy: the Origins of Sodomy Laws in British Colonialism." December 17, 2008.
Reznik, Vladislava. "Re-Socialising Saussure: Romm's Unpublished Review of MARXISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE." CAHIERS DE L'ILSL 24 (2008).
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Cfp: "Rethinking the Mangrove," 2nd Symposium Critical Practices in Caribbean Cultural Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Oct. 15-17, 2009.
Herrnstein Smith, Barbara. "A Cognitive Revolution? Naturalism, Otherwise." THE IMMANENT FRAME June 23, 2008.
Mallon, Ron. "Naturalistic Approaches to Social Construction." STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY November 10, 2008.
Mootz, Francis. "Gadamer's Rhetorical Conception of Hermeneutics as the Key to Developing a Critical Hermeneutics."
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Graham, Lorie, and Stephen McJohn. "Cognition, Law, Stories." MINNESOTA JOURNAL OF LAW, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (2009).
Meilaender, Peter C. Review of Christopher Rowe's PLATO AND THE ART OF PHILOSOPHICAL WRITING. BMCR (December 2008).
Paparella, Emanuel L. "Martin Heidegger's Conception of Art as Truth." OVI MAGAZINE December 9, 2008.
Mootz, Francis. "Ricoeur's Critical Hermeneutics and the Psychotherapeutic Model of Critical Theory." After Ricoeur Conference, October 2006.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Cfp: International Conference on Narrative, International Society for the Study of Narrative, University of Birmingham, June 4-6, 2009.
- David Lodge
- Frank Ankersmit
- Frances Smith Foster
Please send a maximum 300 word abstract and brief curriculum vitae (250-300 words) for 20 minute papers. Proposals must include the title of the paper, presenter’s name and institutional affiliations; email address, mailing address and telephone.
Please send a maximum 700 word abstract—summarizing the panel’s rationale and describing each paper—and a brief curriculum vitae for each speaker 50-300 words). Proposals must include titles of papers (and panel if appropriate); presenter’s (and panel organizer’s) name(s) and institutional affiliations(s); e-mail addresses, mailing address and telephone. Please send proposals to Anna Burrells: email@example.com including ‘Narrative Conference Proposal’ in the subject line of your email by no later than 0.00 GMT on 31st October 2008. All submissions will be peer reviewed. All participants must join the Society for the Study of NarrativeLiterature. For more information on SSNL, visit:http://narrative.georgetown.edu/; or visit the conference homepage here: http://narrativesociety.bham.ac.uk/.
Cfp: "Humanities and Sustainability: Ecology in the Information Age," Florida Gulf Coast University, May 8-9, 2009.
For more information, contact:
Visit the conference webpage here: http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/HandSCon/.
MacDonald, Sara. Finding Freedom: Hegel's Philosophy and the Emancipation of Women. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2008.
Four paragraphs before concluding the lecture series known as Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art (which, in its English translation, numbers 1237 pages), Hegel claims that "the modern world has developed a type of comedy which is truly comical and truly poetic." He adds: "As a brilliant example of this sort of thing I will name Shakespeare once again, in conclusion, but without going into detail" (1236). Three paragraphs later, the entire lecture series concludes. Meticulous readers might be forgiven for feeling aggrieved; they will at this point have waded patiently through any number of much less intriguing discussions. In earlier passages, Hegel for instance gives careful attention to Doric and Ionic columns; he considers the spiritual value of precious stones in sculpture; he contemplates in some detail the aesthetic value of Zoroastrianism. Hegel was a voracious reader and often refers to literary texts. Surely he could have expanded on Shakespeare and modern comedy, and surely it would have been fascinating. It is the great virtue of Sara MacDonald's new book, entitled Finding Freedom: Hegel's Philosophy and the Emancipation of Women, that it breathes life into Hegel's tantalizingly elliptical tribute to Shakespeare. In taking Hegel's praise seriously, MacDonald contributes not only to our understanding of Hegel's aesthetics, but to its place in his political philosophy and particularly the place of women in that political philosophy. . . .
Read the rest here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=14885.
Read the rest here: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/09/28/hidden_histories/?page=full.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Cfp: ArgMAS 2009: Sixth International Workshop on Argumentation in Multi-Agent Systems, Budapest, May 11 or 12, 2009.
- Brian G. Brereton, "Addressing Enduring Ethnocentricities through a Critical Investigation of the Historiography of Chinese Hell" / 2-26 [PDF]
- Haines Brown, "The Succubus of Theory and Process Realism" / 27-49 [PDF]
- Howard H. Chiang, "Empire of Desires: History and Queer Theory in an Age of Global Affect" / 50-71 [PDF]
- Gregory Jones-Katz, "The Paul de Man Affair: The Presence of the Past" / 72-90 [PDF]
- Paul Mazzocchi, "Foucault, Benjamin, and the Burden of History" / 91-109 [PDF]
Cfp: Annual Meeting, Society for Existentialist and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, Carleton University, May 26-29, 2009.
Zuidervaart, Lambert. Review of Deborah Cook, ed. THEODOR ADORNO: KEY CONCEPTS. NDPR (December 2008).
Reviews of Carter's THE POLITICS OF GREEK TRAGEDY and of Rabinowitz's GREEK TRAGEDY. BMCR December 7 and 9, 2008.
The Politics of Greek Tragedy is a well-written contribution to the discussion on the nature of this much-studied genre, directed at students and the general reader as well as specialists. The title of the book lends itself to a number of interpretations, a fact its author, D. M. Carter, is well aware of and exploits in his discussion. The first part addresses primarily the student while the main chapters engage a scholarly audience as well. After a preface presenting the organization of the volume, the introduction outlines some methodology and guides the general reader through the history of the Athenian polis as well as the development of the theater. The subsequent chapters develop the author's main argument starting with a number of influential theories on the nature of the tragic genre. In the third and, I think, most important chapter the weight is on the author's theory of the political function of Greek tragedy, while the fourth offering his methodology for analyzing specific dramas, includes four concrete interpretations. A final chapter, apparently disconnected, traces the impact of political tragedy in modern European performances. Partly presented as a contrast to the original performances these modern versions aim at bringing the central thesis into focus. This may be summed up as following: fifth century tragedy was an expression of the establishment, fundamentally different from modern theater; it did not voice political dissent but invited the audience to political reflection. . . . (More here: http://www.bmcreview.org/2008/12/20081206.html) Rabinowitz, Nancy Sorkin. Greek Tragedy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz's engaging introduction to Greek tragedy is the latest volume in Blackwell's new series of "Introductions to the Classical World." Written by "the most distinguished scholars in the field" (the list page includes Barry Powell's Homer, Daniel Hooley's Roman Satire, and Thomas Habinek's Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory; ten more volumes are in preparation), the series aims to "provide concise introductions to classical culture in the broadest sense."1 Rather than choosing to follow a traditional author-by-author, play-by-play arrangement, Rabinowitz has organized Greek Tragedy thematically, with an emphasis on two main ideas: (1) in order to understand the plays, one must first learn about their ancient performance, political, and ritual contexts; and (2) these plays raised certain troubling questions for Athenians and they allow us to ask similar questions about our own life and times. Greek Tragedy is written in an informal, appealing style--this must be the only book on the subject of tragedy that uses the word "fun" in its final sentence2--with frequent allusions (some more explicit than others) to contemporary events (e.g., the war in Iraq at 42, 47, 90, 93, 107, 138, 140, 146, and 187) and a number of questions posed directly to the reader designed to encourage comparisons between ancient and contemporary problems (e.g., at 122, discussion of Euripides' Elektra concludes with the question, "What pressures shape today's youth into martyrs?"). Greek Tragedy can be recommended to students who have no previous knowledge of the subject, although those wanting more systematic coverage in a more traditional format may prefer another recent Wiley-Blackwell book, A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama (Ian Storey and Arlene Allen, 2005). As its Preface and Introduction suggest, Greek Tragedy is especially well-suited to those students who are skeptical about the relevance of Greek tragedy to their own lives and to those who may wonder whether an interest in tragedy (or Classics in general, 2-3) is compatible with their commitments to feminism, multiculturalism, or other progressive beliefs. . . .
More here: http://www.bmcreview.org/2008/12/20081212.html.