Monday, February 23, 2009

"Marxism and Contemporary Political Economy," Institute on Culture and Society, Marxist Literary Group, Portland State University, June 16-20, 2009.

The five-day Institute will feature an intensive workshop on the current economic crisis featuring Martin Hart-Landsberg (Monthly Review/Lewis & Clark College), Robin Hahnel (American University/Portland State), and Doug Henwood (Left Business Observer). Reading groups will be held on the French Regulation School led by Mathias Nilges; on Marx, fictional capital and the Wertkritik School led by Neil Larsen; and on Participatory Economics by Robin Hahnel. As always, intensive reading groups on selections from Marx's Capital are planned (volunteers are invited). The institute features consecutive (as opposed to simultaneous) panels. The organizing committee is now accepting submissions for panel and paper proposals. As always, any work that engages seriously with the Marxist tradition will be considered. The special topic of this year's ICS is"Marxism and Contemporary Political Economy." Papers that deal with this topic are especially welcome, though not required. Selected papers will be published in the online journal mediations. Paper abstracts should be less than 250 words. Panel proposals should include the name and contact information of the panel organizer, a rationale for the panel, presenters' names, affiliations, paper titles, and abstracts of no more than 250 words. Please send submissions (preferably as MS Word or standard e-mail text files) with a cover email including presenter or panel organizer contactinformation to by March 15 2009. Housing options will include both local hotels (approximately $89 a room for up to two) and a dormitory option (approximately $40 a room for up to two). Please indicate a housing preference if you expect to need one, so we can estimate our needs.

Fratantuono, Lee. Review of James Morwood's VIRGIL, A POET IN AUGUSTAN ROME. BMCR January 10, 2009.

Morwood, James. Virgil, a Poet in Augustan Rome. Cambridge: CUP, 2007.

Morwood's (hereafter M.) volume in the Cambridge Greece and Rome: Texts and Contexts series is one of the latest in the unabating stream of books on Virgil's verse, this time apparently aimed at an audience that will not be reading the poet's three works in toto anytime soon. For M.'s book provides a survey of the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid, taking us though each work with prose translations of selected parts, short summaries of the many omitted sections, brief annotation (and illustration) relevant to the excerpted lines, and numerous discussion questions to stimulate classroom exchange. Rather than being a guide to Virgil's opera, M.'s book is a substitute for reading the originals. Something of a throwback to late antiquity, this volume embodies a disturbing move to epitomize the work of masters. . . .

Read the whole review here:

Volf, Marina N. Review of Alexander Mourelatos' THE ROUTE OF PARMENIDES. BMCR January 6, 2009.

Mourelatos, Alexander P. D. The Route of Parmenides. New Haven: Yale UP, 1970. Republished as The Route of Parmenides: revised and expanded edition; with a new introduction, three supplemental essays, and an essay by Gregory Vlastos (originally published 1970). Las Vegas: Parmenides Publications, 2008.

Alexander Mourelatos's book The Route of Parmenides does not require any special introduction since it has become a classic in Parmenides studies. Now, thanks to Parmenides Publishing, we have both a new reprint of this remarkable book and an opportunity to look at it from new angles. The Route, being already part of philosophical history, has a history of its own. This explains its structure with a new preface and afterword written for this edition and its overall composition. The book has three parts with nine chapters, four appendixes and detailed explanatory notes. The first part is a new edition of The Route originally published in 1970. As Mourelatos explains, "the revisions ... are modest: mostly corrections of misprints; altering or adjusting some misleading formulations; editing some egregiously dated phrases;... and the like" (p. xi). The Route starts with a detailed and informative table of contents which allows easy navigation around the book. In the preface entitled "Returning to Elea: Preface and Afterword to the Revised and Expanded Edition of The Route of Parmenides," Mourelatos recounts the history of his studying the Parmenidean poem and writing The Route, starting with a critical discussion of the main ideas of his dissertation on Parmenides written in 1963. Then he recounts the problems raised in The Route and the initial feedback just after its publication (1963-1968). He also considers transformation of some of his points of view expressed in the 1970s. Finally, Mourelatos discusses the prospects of the conception stated in The Route of 2008. It is a very intimate section of the book in which we get to know Mourelatos as a scholar and a person. . . .

Read the rest here:

Stamatellos, Giannis. Review of Pauliina Remes' PLOTINUS ON SELF. BMCR January 6, 2009.

Remes, Pauliina. Plotinus on Self: the Philosophy of the 'We'. Cambridge: CUP, 2007. During the last thirty years of scholarship considerable attention has been paid to Plotinus' theory of the self. The first complete monograph derives from G. O. Daly's influential study Plotinus' Philosophy of the Self (published in 1973) and, so far, a considerable number of studies have been published on Plotinus' conception of selfhood, with more recently the work of Richard Sorabji Self: Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life and Death (Oxford, 2006). Remes' book aims to offer a new, complete and multi-angled study on Plotinus' philosophy of the self 'not just for students and scholars of Neoplatonism but also for readers interested in self and/or ancient philosophy in general, but who may be unacquainted with the subtleties of the heavy metaphysics of Plotinus' (p. 18). Ancient philosophers constantly declared the importance of self-knowledge and self-reflection. From the Presocratic and the Socratic exhortation to 'know yourself', to the Stoic psychology of the self, the concept of selfhood underlies not only the self-reflective nature of psyche but also the perceptible and cognitive relation of ourselves to the others. Plotinus develops the concept of selfhood in different philosophical matters. Initially he notably prefers the plural 'we' in place of a singular 'I' and poses, as Remes correctly states (p. 9), the central philosophical aporia: 'Who are we?' (Ennead VI.4.14.16). This question highlights the distinction between the terms 'person' and 'self'; whereas 'person' is a term related to the body, preferences and responsibilities, the term 'self' is more directly related to human soul. . . . Read the rest here:


  • Editors’ Note
  • Workers’ Life, "The Worker Correspondent" (p.1)
  • Salvador Allende, Speech to the First Conference of Left Journalists (p.11)
  • Lluis Bassets, "Clandestine Communications: Notes on the Press and Propaganda of the Anti-Franco Resistance" (1939-1975) (p.21)
  • Armand Mattelart, "The ‘Mass Line’ of the Bourgeoisie (1970-1973)" (p.41)
  • Graham Murdock, "Reconstructing the Ruined Tower: Contemporary Communications and Questions of Class" (p.67)
  • Michael Zukosky, "A Semantic Shift from Socialist Land Reform to Neoliberal Pastoral Development in China" (p.93)
  • Leon Barkho, "The Discursive and Social Power of News Discourse: the case of Aljazeera in comparison and parallel with the BBC and CNN" (p.111)
  • Sean Phelan, "Democracy, the Academic Field and the (New Zealand) Journalistic Habitus" (p.161)
  • Emily Turner-Graham, "'Austria First': H.C. Strache, Austrian identity and the current politics of Austria’s Freedom Party" (p.181)
Visit the journal homepage here:

Orth, John V. "'The Golden Metwand': the Measure of Justice in Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE." ADELAIDE LAW REVIEW (forthcoming).

Abstract: Measure for Measure, one of Shakespeare's problem plays, is a dark comedy depicting Duke Vincentio's effort to restore respect for the law after a period of lax enforcement. Peopled with a wide variety of law-enforcers and law-breakers, the play implicates numerous legal issues and has consequently attracted the attention of lawyers and judges. In the eighteenth century Sir William Blackstone contributed notes on the play, while in the twentieth century judges have quoted from it in their judicial opinions. Like all good legal dramas, Measure for Measure ends with a trial scene, but - as we would expect from Shakespeare - one with an unusual twist. When charges of corruption are brought against Angelo, the deputy appointed to enforce the law, the Duke orders an immediate trial: Come, cousin Angelo / In this I'll be impartial; be you judge / Of your own cause. When the deputy's guilt is disclosed, the Duke commands that he suffer the punishment he intended for others - measure for measure, putting the Bible-conscious play-goer in mind of the passage: Judge not, that ye be not judged. / For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you againe. By ordering Angelo to be the judge of his own cause, the Duke is inviting the deputy to measure out his own punishment. And Shakespeare is forcing us all to confront the difficulty of doing earthly justice. Download the paper here:

Pub: Broekman, Jan, and William Pencak , eds. LAWYERS MAKING MEANING. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE SEMIOTICS OF LAW 22.1 (2009).

Table of Contents: Essays:
  • Jan M. Broekman, William Pencak, "Lawyers Making Meaning"
  • Francis J. Mootz III, "Vico and Imagination: an Ingenious Approach to Educating Lawyers with Semiotic Sensibility"
  • Denis J. Brion, "Trial Argumentation: the Creation of Meaning"
  • Jan M. Broekman, "Face to Face"
  • Philip Grier, "Gustav Shpet and the Semiotics of 'Living Discourse'"
  • William Pencak, "The Lawyer, the Judge, and the Historian: Shaping the Meaning of the Boston Massacre, American Revolution, and Popular Opinion from 1770 to the Present Day"
  • Michelle L. Wirth, "Who's You Daddy? -- Or: Using Semiotic Tools to Deconstruct Legal Determinations of Who Holds Parenthood Obligations and Privileges"
  • Jeffrey A. Ellsworth, "Michael H. v. Gerald D.': a Case Study of Political Ideology Disguised in Legal Thought"
Book Review/ Paper Reviews:
  • Paper Review: "Etat (Postmoderne) de droit, Logique textuelle et theorie micropolitique du droit: sur un exemple de pensee juridique 'Soft'" (Guillaume Tusseau);
  • Review Paper: "Derrida and Legal Scholarship: a Certain Step Beyond" (by Jacques de Ville);
  • Culbert, Jennifer. L. Dead Certainty: the Death Penalty and the Problem of Judgment, Stanford: Stanford UP, 2008. 235 pages (index) (by George Pavlich).

Visit the journal homepage here:

Solum, Lawrence B. "Legal Theory Lexicon: The Nature of Law." LEGAL THEORY BLOG February 22, 2009.

What is the nature of law? This question has occupired center stage jurisprudence and philosophy of law in the modern era, and has been the central occupation of contemporary analytic jurispurdence. This entry in the Legal Theory Lexicon aims to give an overview of the "What is Law?" debate. Historically, the answer to the question, "What is law?," is thought to have two competing answers. The classical answer is provided by natural law theory, which is frequently characterized as asserting that there is an essential relationship between law and morality or justice. The modern answer is provided by legal positivisim, which, as developed by John Austin, asserted that law is the command of the sovereign backed by the threat of punishment. Contemporary debates over the nature of law focus on a revised set of positions. Legal positivism is represented by analytic legal positivists, like H. L. A. Hart, Joseph Raz, and Jules Coleman. The natural law tradition is defended by John Finnis. And a new positition, interpretivism is represented by Ronald Dworkin. In some ways, the title of this Lexicon entry is misleading, because of our focus on the "What is law?" question as it has been approached by contemporary legal philosophers. There are other important perspectives on the nature of law that focus on law's functions rather than the the meaning of the concept or the criteria of legal validity. For example, the sociological tradition includes important work on the nature of law by Max Weber and Niklas Luhmann. These issues are discussed by Brian Tamanaha in the article cited in the Links section at the end of this entry. This Lexicon entry maps the territory of the "What is Law?" controversy, and provides introductory sketches of the major positions. As always, the Lexicon is written for law students, especially first-year law students, with an interest in legal theory. . . . Read the rest here:

Chung, John J. "Money as Simulacrum: the Legal Nature and Reality of Money." HASTINGS BUSINESS LAW JOURNAL 5 (2009).

Abstract: The title of this paper is a nod to Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard, a post-modernist philosopher. This paper explores the meaning and nature of money, and the form in which money exists today. It begins by asking such basic questions as what is money and explores the history and development of money. We live in a world of increasing and stunning wealth, a world where billionaires are as common as millionaires once were, and a world of increasing wealth inequality. This paper contends that such a world exists because money is a pure simulacrum that has taken on a reality of its own, a reality that is now untethered to the fact that money's significance used to be limited by its role as a symbol of an underlying thing of value. But money is now a pure thing in and of itself, with value, existence and purpose that is independent of any signified thing. When money became released from its role as symbol, the foundation was laid for the world we live in today. What does this have to do with law? Interestingly enough, the Supreme Court's landmark decisions in the Legal Tender Cases of the last half of the 19th century provided notice (or warning, depending on one's perspective) of the role of money today, and foreshadowed Baudrillard's analyses of money in the 1970's. These cases were at one time viewed as perhaps the most important cases decided by the Court, but have faded into obscurity as questions about the nature of money came to be viewed as pointless or long-settled. This paper contends, however, the ever-changing nature of the economic cycle may lead scholars to again start asking questions about first principles such as the nature of money. The purpose of this paper is to discuss money in its original conception, money as it exists now, and where the meaning and nature of money may be headed. Download the paper here:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wallace, Robert M. Review of Frederick Beiser, ed. CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO HEGEL AND NINETEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. NDPR (February 2009).

Beiser, Frederick C., ed. Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge: CUP, 2008. Fred Beiser has edited a successor volume to the original Cambridge Companion to Hegel (1993). The contributions are all brand new, and many of them explore areas in Hegel that were treated poorly or not at all in the original Companion, including Hegel's philosophy of religion, his philosophy of nature (the subject of three first-rate essays here), his aesthetics (two essays), and his relation to hermeneutics and to mysticism. The title is quite misleading; the book deals only with Hegel and his immediate predecessors and contemporaries. As with many Cambridge Companions, the book isn't really designed for beginners. For students who have some relevant background, and for scholars, the book is a very high quality collection covering quite a lot of what a comprehensive volume on Hegel should cover. It omits only a couple of what I take to be key topics, which I'll touch on below. . . . Read the rest here:

Two Upcoming Events Organised by the Consortium for Intellectual and Cultural History.

A) "The Letter Kills: On Some Implications of 2 Corinthians 3:6," Inaugural History & Theory Lecture by Carlo Ginzburg, Thursday, March 5, 2009, 6:15 pm, Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center; Comments by Matthew L. Jones, Columbia University. (Co-sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Department of History, and the European Institute)

B) "Historicizing Humanitarianism: Ideas, Culture, and Politics," Organized by the Columbia Center for International History and Co-sponsored by the Consortium for Intellectual and Cultural History, Friday, April 3, 2009

9 Coffee

9:15 Welcome: Mark Mazower (Columbia)

Morning: Inventing Humanitarianism in the 18th and 19th Centuries Chair: Samuel Moyn (Columbia)

Session One: Origins and Narratives 9:30 Lynn Festa (Rutgers) 10 Thomas Laqueur (Berkeley) 10:30 Discussion

Session Two: Antislavery and Moral Capital 10:45 Thomas Haskell (Rice) 11:15 Christopher Leslie Brown (Columbia) 11:45 Discussion

12 Lunch

Afternoon: The Practice of Humanitarianism in the 20th Century Chair: Jennifer Pitts (Chicago)

Session Three: Humanitarianism and the International Order 2 Jeanne Morefield (Whitman) 2:30 Mark Mazower (Columbia) 3 Discussion

Session Four: Contemporary Humanitarianism: Metropole and Postcolony 3:15 Miriam Ticktin (New School) 3:45 Gregory Mann (Columbia) 4:15 Discussion

For further information, visit:

Pub: Two Essays in Cognitive Criticism.

(The first essay below has excited much discussion recently on the Narrative-L email list.) Zacks, Jeffrey, et al. "Reading Stories Activates Neural Representations of Visual and Motor Experiences." Psychological Science (forthcoming).
Abstract: To understand and remember stories, readers integrate their knowledge of the world with information in the text. Here we present functional neuroimaging evidence that neural systems track changes in the situation described by a story. Different brain regions track different aspects of a story, such as a character’s physical location or current goals. Some of these regions mirror those involved when people perform, imagine, or observe similar real-world activities. These results support the view that readers understand a story by simulating the events in the story world and updating their simulation when features of that world change. (download the paper here:
Zacks, Jeffrey, et al. "Film, Narrative, and Cognitive Neuroscience." Art and the Senses, ed. D. P. Melcher and F. Bacci. New York: OUP, forthcoming.
Abstract: Comprehending a film is an amazing feat of neural and cognitive processing. A series of still pictures are projected quickly on a screen, accompanied by a stream of sound—and a viewer has an experience that can be as engaging, emotionally affecting, and memorable as many experiences in real life. Comprehending film is all the more amazing when one considers how films are constructed. Films typically are comprised of hundreds and into the thousands of individual camera shot, which are continuous runs of the camera. Shot are edited together in such a way to create scenes, which are sequences of goal-directed actions or unintentional events that take place in a particular location (or one or two locations when events are depicted as occurring concurrently). Shots on average last only a few seconds and are edited together in such a way that the vast majority of them go unnoticed by the viewer. (download the paper here:

Frazier, Brad. Review of Neil Gross' RICHARD RORTY: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER. MOR January 27, 2009.

Gross, Neil. Richard Rorty: the Making of an American Philosopher, 1931-1982. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008. Neil Gross's study of Rorty's life and thought offers many occasions to ponder and better understand how Rorty made his way to that (humanities) post at UVA, after becoming a rock star of analytic philosophy while at Princeton, and why he would have recommended to a lowly graduate student at another university a book of a former student. It is an aptly timed work, given Rorty's recent passing, and worthy of the generous, complicated, and brilliant person that Rorty was. Now for the provisos, which are especially important for philosophers who might read this book. Gross offers a kind of biography--which concludes with Rorty's move to UVA--but for the primary purpose of developing "a new theory about the social influences on intellectual choice, particularly for humanists--that is, a theory about the social factors that lead them to fasten onto one idea, or set of ideas, rather than another, during turning points in their intellectual careers" (xi). Gross labels his account a theory of "intellectual self-concept" and explicates it in two late chapters only after a thoroughly researched, careful and engaging discussion of Rorty's life and intellectual journey culminating in his departure from Princeton. Rorty turns out to be a particularly good case study for developing this theory. Philosophers (and other non-sociologists) may find Gross's project in the sociology of ideas interesting on its own terms, as I did, as it gets at profound questions about the production of ideas, the social bases of knowledge, and how the experience of being a non-tenured, junior professor in humanities disciplines tends to be a more stultifying, less creative time than it should be--not to mention implications of Gross's work for the study of the history of philosophy. Even so, philosophers and other readers who are mainly interested in learning more about Rorty's life and its relation to his thought will not be disappointed--except that Rorty's years at UVA and Stanford and the circumstances concerning his death (from pancreatic cancer) are not discussed. Gross glosses this omission as a greater interest in the development of Rorty's ideas "rather than their diffusion" and, more generally, in "the social processes that shape the production of knowledge by academicians in the years before they become eminent scholars in their fields" (27). Fair enough, but Rorty's thought continued to develop in significant ways after he left Princeton. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity came out in 1989, after all--roughly seven years after he left Princeton. Furthermore, Rorty's poignant late essay, "The Fire of Life," published in Poetry in November 2007, in which Rorty laments not having spent "somewhat more" of his life "with verse," is ripe for discussion for any biographer of Rorty, no matter her or his broader purposes. (A psychoanalytic biographer could not have resisted this material, since Rorty's father was a poet.) Better for Gross just to concede that his project would have been unmanageable if he had treated Rorty's entire career, rather than to signal that Rorty's development as a thinker mostly stopped when he finally moved on from Princeton. . . . Read the rest here:

Cfp: "The Politics of Space and Place," Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, University of Brighton, September 16-18, 2009.

In a world where inequality and poverty are growing remorselessly, where you are, and where you happen to have been born, continue to determine, how, and in indeed whether, you live. From the urbanization of the human species and the burgeoning of slums to the rise of the modern gated community; from ‘Fortress Europe’ and the Israeli ‘security wall’ to land reform in South Africa; questions of space and place are central to some of today’s most bitterly contested political issues. What might an analysis of politics which focuses on the operation of power through space and place, and on the spatial structuring of inequality, tell us about the world we make for ourselves and others? • How is power structured and brought to bear on people through space and place? • How does power operate locally, nationally and globally and in both its soft and hard forms? • How does it operate through urban planning, architecture, housing policy, immigration policy and national borders? • How does it work to discipline and exclude some, while insulating others from the excesses of inequality and degradation? • How are space and place utilised as a means of dividing people into “us” and “them”? • How and in whose interests do these divisions function as they pit against each other not only people who live in different parts of the world but also those who live just a few metres apart? • What might an analysis of politics through questions of space and place indicate about how power, injustice and inequality could be better understood and more effectively contested? Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to Nicola Clewer AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS NUMBERS ARE LIMITED - and by 30 April 2009 at the very latest: For further information, visit the conference homepage here:

Guenther, Lisa. Review of Diane Perpich's THE ETHICS OF EMMANUEL LEVINAS. NDPR (February 2009).

Perpich, Diane. The Ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2008. This is a book that many readers and teachers of Levinas have been waiting for. It offers a clear, insightful explanation of Levinas' most basic concepts -- alterity, responsibility, the face -- while also challenging some common interpretations of these concepts and advancing an original, sophisticated reading of Levinas. As such, it provides an important resource for both new and experienced readers of Levinas. Perpich locates the greatest strength of Levinas' work in its articulation of the fragility of ethics, its frustrating ambiguity in the midst of a desire for absolute ethical imperatives. Levinas demonstrates both how important it is to cut through moral ambiguity and provide an absolute, indestructible basis for responsibility, and also how impossible it is to guarantee this command absolutely. On Perpich's reading, the uncertainty of ethical life, and the commitment to ethics in the midst of this uncertainty, is crucial to Levinas' project rather than destructive of it. The scholarship in this book is impressive. Perpich draws on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, carefully documenting the shifts in Levinas' thought through a reading of major works and less familiar essays, as well as untranslated secondary literature from French scholars such as Jacques Rolland, Gérard Bailhache and others. She brings a fresh, critical and utterly clear voice to the growing discussion of Levinas' work in the context of normative ethical and political theory. The style of analysis is both critical and constructive. Perpich is very attentive to the gaps in Levinas' texts: the missing arguments, the lack of sufficient ground for certain hyperbolic claims, the evasion of certain questions (such as whether the animal has a face). But she also seeks to provide the grounds, to make the arguments, and to raise the difficult but necessary questions to allow for a deeper appreciation and a wider application of Levinas' ethical approach. See, for example, the perceptive discussion of universality in relation to both Levinas and feminist ethics (pp. 135-40). . . . Read the rest here:

Melamed, Yitzhak Y. Review of Michael Ayers' ed. RATIONALISM, PLATONISM AND GOD. NDPR (February 2009).

Ayers, Michael, ed. Rationalism, Platonism and God. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 'Platonism' and 'rationalism,' two of the terms in the title of this book, are pretty ambiguous. In the context of modern philosophy, rationalism, as opposed to 'empiricism,' is used to denote a certain historical school which allowed for the possibility of knowledge that is not derived from the senses. In the past few years, a significantly different notion of rationalism has been suggested by Michael Della Rocca, according to whom rationalism amounts to an unrestricted acceptance of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the rejection of any brute facts. This definition of rationalism may redraw traditional dichotomies in the historiography of modern philosophy. Michael Ayers, a prominent scholar of early modern philosophy and the editor of the current volume, employs, and to an extent defends, the traditional rationalism/empiricism dichotomy: "The historiographical and critical employment of the rationalist-empiricist distinction has, no doubt, often been crude, but its denigration has often been based on flimsy and specious interpretative argument" (2). If I understand Ayers correctly, the main idea behind this collection was that perhaps the common distinction between rationalists and empiricists could be clarified and illuminated through their opposite attitudes toward a certain "broadly defined" (Christianized) Platonism.
The so-called 'rationalists' do have something in common, as do the 'empiricists'. The great seventeenth-century rationalists worked (if heretically, and each in his own way and for his own reasons) within a heavily theologized Platonic tradition. Each found room and work for a set, or significant subset, of characteristically Platonic or Neoplatonic concepts and models. . . . The 'empiricists', Bacon, Gassendi, Hobbes, Locke and others, ignored or rejected these Platonic notions and looked back to a different, more naturalistic, also ancient tradition -- above all Epicurus and Lucretius" (3).
Ayers also suggests the existence of a rather tight connection between early modern immaterialism and Platonism (4). Berkeley, according to Ayers, should be considered as a special case: one who "drew on both traditions" (4, n. 2). . . . Read the rest here:

Pub: Colebrook, Claire, and Jami Weinsten, eds. DELEUZE AND GENDER. DELEUZE STUDIES 2 Supplementary Issue (2008).

Introduction, Part I by Claire Colebrook Introduction, Part II by Jami Weinstein Articles:
  • "The Experimental Ordinary: Deleuze on Eating and Anorexic Elegance" by Branka Arsic
  • "Feminist Lines of Flight from the Majoritarian Subject" by Tamsin Lorraine
  • "Becoming-Woman: a Flight into Abstraction" by Gillian Howie
  • "After Alice: Alice and the Dry Tail" by Dorothea Olkowski
  • "Phallocentrism in Bergson: Life and Matter" by Rebecca Hill
  • Braidotti, Rosi (2002). Metamorphoses: Towards a Feminist Theory of Becoming, Cambridge: Polity; and Braidotti, Rosi (2006). Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, Cambridge: Polity. Reviewed by Karin Sellberg
  • Martin-Jones, David (2006). Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity: Narrative Time in National Contexts, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 256 pages. Reviewed by Anna Powell
  • Kerslake, Christian (2007). Deleuze and the Unconscious, London and New York: Continuum, 246 pages. Reviewed by Sean Bowden
The above issue is now available online from Edinburgh University Press at:


Articles: Book Reviews: Any queries should be sent to Or visit the journal homepage here:

Cfp: "Conditions of Freedom," 15th International Philosophy Colloquium Evian, Evian (Lake Geneva), July 12-18, 2009.

The idea of freedom stands at the center of practical philosophy, embedded in a thick web of relations with concepts such as subjectivity, rationality, morality, and existence. It draws its force from the tension between two roles: on the one hand as a fundamental metaphysical or anthropological determination of human beings; on the other as designating a political ideal that can more or less be realized or fail to be realized in concrete forms of life. Rousseau's opening flourish in The Social Contract, "Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains," underlines this tension. In this sense the idea of freedom stands not only practically but also conceptually under complex conditions, which need to be understood in order to grasp what we really mean by "freedom." In this context there is a canonical distinction between two traditions: on one side liberalism, which follows Hobbes in understanding freedom negatively as freedom from physical constraints; and, on the other, the tradition inaugurated by Rousseau and Kant, which critically insists that an increase in real freedom cannot consist merely in more options, but only in autonomy, the freedom to rational and self-determined action. Recently theorists like Raz, Skinner, and Pettit have argued that autonomy is threatened when we are dominated or lack a reasonable range of options. With Hegel, Heidegger, or Merleau-Ponty it can be objected that the idea of autonomy is too abstract and that freedom must be understood as situated freedom, embedded in and developing out of our everyday bodily and practical engagement with the world. Philosophers like Schiller as well as, in different ways, Nietzsche and Foucault have attacked the one-sided rationalism of the notion of autonomy and argued for an aesthetic model of freedom as self-fashioning and self-realization that occurs in a framework of bodily practices and techniques of the self. On the social level, debates over the concept of freedom first and foremost revolve around the question of how a common life of free individuals, a free society, is possible. While the liberal tradition, following for instance Tocqueville and Mill, mainly reflects on how individual freedom can be protected from the encroachments of society, the autonomy tradition, from Hegel to Arendt to Habermas, maintains that individual freedom can only exist in a society of free, self-governing people. But the objection of abstraction is soon raised against this conception as well: Marx points to the persistence of real unfreedom under conditions of exploitation and alienation, despite the realization of formal freedom - an argument taken up by Adorno and Marcuse in the twentieth century that finds echoes in discourses on the situation of excluded voices, like those of (post-)colonial subjects, or the freedom-restricting effects of gender norms (for example by Beauvoir, Butler, and MacKinnon). The question of mediating between the basic liberties of the individual and the collective right to self-determination continues to structure debates in recent French social philosophy (Balibar, Castoriadis, but also Levinas and Nancy) as well as in Anglo-American discussions around authors like Walzer, Taylor, and Fraser. The Fifteenth International Philosophy Colloquium Evian invites philosophers to Lake Geneva to discuss these issues concerning the conditions of freedom. We especially invite contributions that explore the conditions of freedom from (post-)structural, phenomenological, hermeneutic, or (post-)analytical perspectives, as well as the differences and convergences among them. The International Philosophy Colloquium Evian aims especially to encourage its participants to transcend the narrow confines of different traditions in philosophy. It is conceived particularly as a place where the divide between continental and analytic philosophy is overcome, or at least where their differences can be rendered philosophically productive. The passive mastery of French, German, and English (the three languages of discussion of the colloquium) is an indispensable prerequisite for its participants. Visit the conference homepage here:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cfp: "Time, Experience, Practice," Inaugural Canadian Hermeneutic Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 17-19, 2009.

Guest Speaker: Dr. David Jardine (University of Calgary). The Institute will provide an opportunity for those interested in hermeneutics to explore selected papers with a focus on “Time, Experience, Practice”. Participants also will have opportunities to discuss their own work and, during the institute, to write and co-write about ideas and topics that emerge. We hope that you will consider attending. Focus of the Institute: Time, Experience, Practice: These three terms will be the focus of the Institute as they are articulated in the work of H. G. Gadamer and as they appear in light of a hermeneutic understanding of our respective professions. These three terms affect how we understand research, the work of reading and writing (hermeneutically and otherwise), the work of living with others and coming to understand our way in the world. Implicated, here, are memory and its cultivation, composition and composure, knowledge as a gathering, whiling, and returning, and a formulation of understanding as a way of being other-wise. These matters of time, experience and practice, will be considered in light of a particularly alluring idea in Gadamer’s work: unlike the natural sciences, whose goal in understanding is to make the matters under consideration less and less compelling, in hermeneutic work (reading, writing, and the practices of living with others), the goal is to make the matters under consideration more and more compelling. The work from which this idea comes will be one of several primary sources that we’ll be discussing during the institute, along with supplemental material. A reading list will be provided in advance. Cost to attend: $300 (includes breaks) Deadline to Register: April 1, 2009 Contact for registration:

Salmon, Gildas. "Levy-Bruhl and the Problem of Contradiction." LA VIE DES IDEES February 12, 2009.

As a thinker who has no heirs and belongs to no school, Lévy-Bruhl’s influence over the three main philosophical currents of the twentieth-century – analytical philosophy, phenomenology and structuralism – is gauged by the need each of them has felt to ward off the idea of a form of thought that excluded the principle of non-contradiction. The case that supplied the point of departure for Lévy-Bruhl’s thought was borrowed from anthropologist Karl Von den Steinen, who reported that the members of a Brazilian tribe, the Borono, claimed to be araras (a type of parrot). However, to be at once human and non-human violates the most fundamental principle of logic. It was in order to describe this phenomenon that Lévy-Bruhl called upon the law of participation, which he identified as the central principle of the primitive mentality. Starting with this example, Frédéric Keck shows that the problem raised by Lévy-Bruhl offers a panoramic view of contemporary thought. In analytic philosophy, Quine’s principle of charity could thus be understood as a means for reducing the contradictory utterances upon which Lévy-Bruhl built his case to mere errors of translation. If phenomenology proved more receptive to the concept of a pre-logical mind, it is because it saw it as an instrument for describing the “naïve” experience of the perceptible world independently of the intellectual frameworks that science imposes on our perception. But by subordinating this “practical logic” to a putatively superior theoretical logic, phenomenology lost sight of what made Lévy-Bruhl’s investigation radical. The great strength of structuralism, for its part, was to prove that these apparently contradictory utterances became intelligible in the light of the ethnographic context from which Lévy-Bruhl had isolated them: if the Bororo boasted of being araras, it is not because they were unaware of the contradiction but rather because they wished to distinguish themselves from their neighbors, the Trumai, who identified with aquatic animals. While recognizing the fruitfulness of this analysis, Keck emphasizes that structuralism’s focus on networks of semantic opposition prevented it from accounting for the syntax of the contradictory utterances that so fascinated Lévy-Bruhl. . . . Read the rest here:


Imagine the biographical equivalent of a venn diagram and you have Desperate Romantics. Franny Moyle describes the chaotic private lives of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as though they were a number of overlapping circles. In the outer rings, accompanied by the various women they shared between them like opium pipes, are Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and the patron, or father figure, of the group, John Ruskin. At the intersection, touching on them all, is the brilliant, insatiable Dante Gabriel Rossetti. . . .

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White, Edmund. "Teenage Dirtbag." GUARDIAN January 10, 2009.

He smashed the china, soiled the sheets, sunbathed nude and was either drunk or stoned - Arthur Rimbaud was an impossible house guest, but he liberated the true poet in his lover Paul Verlaine. . . .

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Kermode, Frank. "Heroic Milton: Happy Birthday." NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS February 26, 2009.

Celebrations of the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Milton in December 1608 have been modest and largely academic. He was born, and for the most part lived, in the City of London, now the financial district. Nationalistic sentiment in those days was such that the idea of a great national poet was welcomed, and Milton had high hopes of filling that role; but although his gifts were acknowledged there were aspects of his career, especially his politics, that were far from pleasing to all parties. In the eighteenth century, however, his poetry was highly valued for its own sake, and there was a revival of interest in his politics. Wordsworth celebrated Milton's republicanism as well as his poems. . . . Read the rest here:

Bauerlein, Mark. "Gerald Graff's Direction." CHRONICLE BRAINSTORM February 6, 2009.

Back in the mid-1980s, when I started graduate school and, like so many others, dove into Derrida, de Man, and Co., and divided the world into (smart) Theorists and (dumb) anti-Theorists, one figure stood out. The older antagonists — M.H. Abrams, Murray Krieger, and a host of straightforward literary historians and close-reading formalists — had already faded, it seemed, and poststructuralists of various kinds had all the momentum and cachet of a successful coup in process. Longstanding humanisms were in retreat, and it was fun to pore through “Differance,” “The Epistemology of Metaphor,” and “What Is an Author?” and feel part of a major movement, a historic tide of epochal thought. Poststructuralists liked to cast themselves as rogue dissenters back then, lone Davids battling the oldsters, challenging and sometimes being victimized by regnant orthodoxies. In truth, though, many joined the critical vanguard precisely because of its group identity and exercised fierce group loyalties when given the chance. The clannishness was mighty and comforting, and it lingered through the 1990s. But here was this guy — yes, Gerald Graff — going against the poststructuralist grain, a contemporary of first-generation theorists but with apparent sympathies with a previous generation’s more traditional appreciation of literature. He took on the Masters and their disciples as if he didn’t realize that things had already changed, and that current thinking had established as true and proper the very notions he criticized. It was easy to dismiss him, and I recall one of my teachers muttering at the mention of his name, “Oh, Graff, the guy doesn’t get it.” . . .

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Cfp: "Law, Literature and Religion," School of Law and Department of English, Villanova University, October 1-3, 2009.

First Annual Law and Literature Symposium. We invite interested scholars to submit abstracts of proposed papers. Peter Goodrich (Professor of Law and Director of Law and Humanities, Cardozo School of Law), Steven Mailloux (Professor of English and Chancellor’s Professor of Rhetoric, Department of English, University of California – Irvine), and Robin West (Associate Dean, Research and Academic Programs, and Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University Law Center), will be keynote speakers. The conference theme for 2009, “Law, Literature, and Religion”, is broadly conceived. Papers may include but are not limited to papers on any literary, rhetorical, narrative, or textual aspects of law and religion; the exegesis and hermeneutics of legal texts or topics; interpretation in law, literature, and religion; shared languages and histories of law and religion; discursive intersections of civil and canon law; ethics and justice explored in religious and secular literature; the comparative poetics or rhetoric of legality and religion; legal priesthoods; political theology; orthodoxies and/or heterodoxies; humanisms; Pauline studies; religious images in law; literary works about religion in/and/as law; and law as a civil religion. Papers will be 20-25 minutes long to permit time for discussion. Abstracts of proposed papers should be sent to Professor Penelope Pether (, to whom inquires may also be addressed. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, and should arrive before March 15, 2009. Invitees will be notified by April 30, 2009, and will receive room and board at (but not transportation to and from) the symposium, provided by Villanova University School of Law.

Delalande, Nicolas. "Thinking about the Self: an Interview with Jerrold Siegel." LA VIE DES IDEES February 6, 2009.

When I first began to read Michel Foucault in the 1970s, I was troubled from the start by what I saw, and still see, as his underlying attempt to show that many of the institutions and ways of thinking that Western thinkers and societies had furthered on behalf of both individual and social liberation were actually vehicles for introducing new forms of subjection, more pervasive and insidious than Old Regime ones. Thought-provoking and original as these ideas were, they seemed to me wrong-headed, and so did the view of the self that went along with them. This was the notion that in modernity the self came to be constructed inside frames of domination, creating a process that Foucault, with Althusser, called “assujettissement” – a difficult word to translate into English – in which the sense of liberation from old forms of oppression becomes itself an instrument for realising the deeper kind of domination modern ideas and institutions brought. By combining this kind of thinking with motifs taken from Nietzsche and certain avant-garde artistic figures, Foucault put forward two opposed views about the self at the same time, one that made it appear as deeply subjected to exterior domination, while the other portrayed it as on the point of some radical kind of utopian liberation. Trying to understand what made it possible to construct and hold such views, and how they influenced ideas bout the history of the self became some of my chief motives. . . . Derrida’s thinking is based on quite different premises than Foucault’s, and his writings have a very different tone, but fundamentally it seems to me to go in the same direction. I know this is not a view that is widely shared in France, and that many French critics think that we Americans are somehow responsible for the idea that there exists a general phenomenon called post-structuralism that includes both of them. They are right of course to insist on the differences between them, but Derrida’s project from the beginning also was intended to show that the claims of autonomy that had developed in the western tradition from Rousseau on down were false claims, and that as a consequence the selves which we thought of as having some degree of autonomy were actually deluded in thinking they could acquire either epistemological or moral clarity through discursive reason. To show these things was a chief motive for Derrida’s developing a notion of the “death of the subject,” and the theory of language that supports it. . . . Read the rest here:

Carroll, Joseph. "From Evolution Comes Literature." FORBES.COM February 5, 2009.

Literature depends on literacy, a very recent acquisition in human evolutionary history--so recent that it cannot plausibly be considered an adaptation. But people in all non-literate cultures use language, tell stories and play with words in creative and evocative ways. Written language is just a cultural technology that extends those universal human aptitudes. Literature and its oral antecedents are thus part of the basic profile of "human nature." Over the past 15 years or so, literary scholars in a small but now rapidly growing group have argued that producing an adequate theory of literature requires an evolutionary conception of human nature. By assimilating evolutionary social science, these "literary Darwinists" aim to form a new paradigm for the study of literature. Not surprisingly, that grand ambition has often met with a skeptical response: "There have been previous efforts to establish a scientifically based criticism--Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism. All these efforts have failed. Why would your effort be any different?" Not a bad question, but we have a good answer. This effort is different because the historical moment is ripe. We now have, for the first time, an empirically grounded psychology that is sufficiently robust to account for the products of the human imagination. . . . Read the rest here:

Cfp: "Particularity, Exemplarity, Singularity," Theory Reading Group, Cornell University, April 17-18, 2009.

Keynote Speaker: Ian Balfour (York University) The place of the particular, the exemplary, or the singular in contemporary philosophical practice has yet to be decided. While much of the critical thought of the last fifty years has focused on affirming the rights of ephemeral experience or the singular instance by refusing grand narratives or universal systems, more recent years have seen the rebirth of a rationalism that, at least in one of its forms, again relegates particularity to the debased realm of illusion, solipsism, and doxa. At stake in the tension between these two positions is the possibility that there exists some form of specifically artistic or empirical truth, or even a non- phenomenalizable reality of the singular, even if this truth or this reality are not of the order of propositional knowledge. This conference is guided by the following question: what is the role of the particular, the exemplary, or the singular in critical thought today? Alternatively, how might these terms mark an impasse within systematic knowledge? We understand these questions to accommodate and encourage original reflection on a wide range of topics within philosophy, aesthetics, and literary theory. We invite participants to consider such issues as the relation between literature and philosophy, the status of history or materiality with regard to aesthetic objects, and the contemporary inheritance of the critique of representation as it has been elaborated in continental philosophy since Kant. Suggested paper topics include (but are not limited to): Singularity and Event Literature and its Outside The Persistence of the Dialectic: Particularity and Universality The Sublime Limits of Representation Rhetoric and Philosophy The Rebirth of Rationalism The Future of the Linguistic Turn Taste and Community Poetics and Aesthetics Literature and Epistemology, Literary Ways of Knowing The Literary AbsoluteExample, Instance, Case, Sample Genre, Archetype, Paradigm Origin, Originality The Concept of Criticism Literature and Disenchantment The Transcendental and the Empirical The Literal and the Figurative Problems of Inscription Symptomatic Reading Bad Examples The Genesis of the Singular Please limit the length of abstracts to no more than 250 words. The deadline for submission of 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations is February 28, 2009. Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number. Abstracts should be e-mailed to Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than March 5, 2009. For more information about the Cornell Theory Reading Group, visit For information on this year's conference, visit:

Safina, Carl. "Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live." NEW YORK TIMES February 9, 2009.

Equating evolution with Charles Darwin ignores 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution. Such as: Gregor Mendel’s patterns of heredity (which gave Darwin’s idea of natural selection a mechanism — genetics — by which it could work); the discovery of DNA (which gave genetics a mechanism and lets us see evolutionary lineages); developmental biology (which gives DNA a mechanism); studies documenting evolution in nature (which converted the hypothetical to observable fact); evolution’s role in medicine and disease (bringing immediate relevance to the topic); and more. By propounding “Darwinism,” even scientists and science writers perpetuate an impression that evolution is about one man, one book, one “theory.” The ninth-century Buddhist master Lin Chi said, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The point is that making a master teacher into a sacred fetish misses the essence of his teaching. So let us now kill Darwin. . . . Read the rest here:

Cantor, Paul A. "Is there Intelligent Life on Television?" CLAREMONT REVIEW OF BOOKS (Fall 2008).

If you can tear yourself away from your favorite television shows long enough to wander down to your local bookstore, you will be amazed at all the books you'll find these days—about your favorite television shows. The medium that was supposed to be the archenemy of the book is now giving an unexpected—and welcome—boost to the publishing industry. It is well known that for the genre of literary criticism, publishers are extremely reluctant to bring out what are called monographs—books devoted to a single author or a single work (unless that single author is Shakespeare or the single work is Hamlet). Those works of literary criticism that are published often come out in print runs that number in the hundreds. By contrast, a book devoted to a single television show, The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (2001, published by Open Court and edited by William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, and Aeon J. Skoble), has reached its 22nd printing and its sales number in the hundreds of thousands. Partly inspired by the success of The Simpsons volume, three serious publishing houses—Open Court, Blackwell, and University Press of Kentucky—currently have series on philosophy and popular culture, with volumes devoted to such TV shows as Seinfeld, The X-Files, The Sopranos, South Park, Battlestar Galactica, Family Guy, and 24. These volumes use moments in the shows to illustrate complicated issues in ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Books from other serious publishers analyze the shows themselves, often using sophisticated critical methodologies originally developed in literary theory. . . . Read the rest here:

Dawkins, Richard. "Dawkins on Darwin." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT February 11, 2009.

How can you say that evolution is “true”? Isn’t that just your opinion, of no more value than anybody else’s? Isn’t every view entitled to equal “respect”? Maybe so where the issue is one of, say, musical taste or political judgement. But when it is a matter of scientific fact? Unfortunately, scientists do receive such relativistic protests when they dare to claim that something is factually true in the real world. Given the title of Jerry Coyne’s book, this is a distraction that I must deal with. A scientist arrogantly asserts that thunder is not the triumphal sound of God’s balls banging together, nor is it Thor’s hammer. It is, instead, the reverberating echoes from the electrical discharges that we see as lightning. Poetic (or at least stirring) as those tribal myths may be, they are not actually true. But now a certain kind of anthropologist can be relied on to jump up and say something like the following: Who are you to elevate scientific “truth” so? The tribal beliefs are true in the sense that they hang together in a meshwork of consistency with the rest of the tribe’s world view. Scientific “truth” is only one kind (“Western” truth, the anthropologist may call it, or even “patriarchal”). Like tribal truths, yours merely hang together with the world view that you happen to hold, which you call scientific. An extreme version of this viewpoint (I have actually encountered this) goes so far as to say that logic and evidence themselves are nothing more than instruments of masculine oppression over the “intuitive mind”. Listen, anthropologist. Just as you entrust your travel to a Boeing 747 rather than a magic carpet or a broomstick; just as you take your tumour to the best surgeon available, rather than a shaman or a mundu mugu, so you will find that the scientific version of truth works. You can use it to navigate through the real world. . . . Read the rest here:

Wade, Nicholas. "Darwin, Ahead of his Time, is Still Influential." NEW YORK TIMES February 9, 2009.

Darwin’s theory of evolution has become the bedrock of modern biology. But for most of the theory’s existence since 1859, even biologists have ignored or vigorously opposed it, in whole or in part. Perhaps as famous as any of Darwin’s books is The Voyage of the Beagle, his account of his nearly five-year voyage of exploration, which took him around Cape Horn to the Galápagos Islands. It was on that trip that he made observations, like those of the many varieties of island finches, that provided raw material for his thinking about the process of evolution. It is a testament to Darwin’s extraordinary insight that it took almost a century for biologists to understand the essential correctness of his views. Biologists quickly accepted the idea of evolution, but for decades they rejected natural selection, the mechanism Darwin proposed for the evolutionary process. Until the mid-20th century they largely ignored sexual selection, a special aspect of natural selection that Darwin proposed to account for male ornaments like the peacock’s tail. And biologists are still arguing about group-level selection, the idea that natural selection can operate at the level of groups as well as on individuals. Darwin proposed group selection — or something like it; scholars differ as to what he meant — to account for castes in ant societies and morality in people. How did Darwin come to be so in advance of his time? Why were biologists so slow to understand that Darwin had provided the correct answer on so many central issues? Historians of science have noted several distinctive features of Darwin’s approach to science that, besides genius, help account for his insights. They also point to several nonscientific criteria that stood as mental blocks in the way of biologists’ accepting Darwin’s ideas. One of Darwin’s advantages was that he did not have to write grant proposals or publish 15 articles a year. He thought deeply about every detail of his theory for more than 20 years before publishing On the Origin of Species in 1859, and for 12 years more before its sequel, The Descent of Man, which explored how his theory applied to people. . . . Read the rest here:

Golberg, Stefany Anne. "Vegetable Stand." THE SMART SET January 26, 2009.

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau set off on a lone journey into the woodlands owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. He wanted to know if living more simply, in closer proximity to nature, would make him a better person, and if being a better, simpler person was the path to creating a better society. Walden is a unique and pioneering work in civil disobedience. But Thoreau’s two years in the woods were part of late-18th- and 19th-century America’s many experiments with alternative ways of life. All over the United States, people were living guinea pigs of their own idealism. Wacky communes espousing everything from free love to chastity sprouted up from Massachusetts to Texas. These eccentric communities shared one fundamental creed: that self-improvement, self-discovery, and self-fulfillment were essential to achieving a better society. At a time when the Western world was being swallowed by industrial smokestacks, and men, women, and children toiled away in nightmarish working conditions, Utopian community leaders went back to the basics, namely, the power of the individual to control his own destiny and do good, often in opposition to the mainstream. It’s no surprise, then, that diet was considered central to radical self-improvement. Vegetarianism was honored as the most radical diet of them all. . . .

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Provan, Alexander. "An Alienation Artist: Kafka and his Critics." NATION February 11, 2009.

The most common complaint among revisionist biographers and doting critics of Franz Kafka is that, in the eighty-odd years since his death, the deification of the writer has reduced his work to the level of the aphorism. If Kafka has not yet found his way onto the walls of every dentist's waiting room, the photograph of his stony countenance and doleful eyes, so frequently invoked as a stand-in for his vision of the world, sometimes seems to be everywhere else, including the cover of novelist Louis Begley's recent book-length biographical essay on Kafka, The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head. His stories are still read widely--less so his novels--but have in the popular imagination been subsumed by a one-word slogan: Kafkaesque. That grainy likeness is its logo. . . . Read the rest here:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cfp: "Remembering the Future: the Legacies of Radical Politics in the Caribbean," University of Pittsburgh, April 3-4, 2009.

This colloquium takes 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and the 30th anniversary of the Grenadian and Nicaraguan revolutions, as an occasion to investigate and assess the complex legacies of revolutionary politics in the Caribbean region at large, and the global south more generally. David Scott has asked “how do we need to modify or translate the great modern theorists of revolution to speak to the considerably changed political landscape we inhabit today?” To this, we add: What do struggles currently underway in the Caribbean share with these longer revolutionary traditions, and how do they depart from them? To what extent have these very different revolutions with very different outcomes shaped the ground of subsequent movements in the region? What models of collectivity, what forms of political organization and alliance, emerge in different periods in the Caribbean, and what are their implications? What does “Cuba” mean in the popular memory or imagination of Grenada? What does “Grenada” evoke in Cuban popular and official memory? What links have been made or are possible between youth movements in, say, Cuba and Guyana or Jamaica? What forms of internationalism, what regional links and alliances, are now being forged, not only at the state level, but also at the grassroots level? What is the significance of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela for the Caribbean? Participants are invited to think of their revolutionary histories in relational and regional terms rather than in an isolated national context. Given the historical authoritarianism of several revolutionary projects, how can we more supply theorize practices of dissent within the Left, whether it be insurrectionary or institutionalized? What productive relationships can be developed between grassroots/mass mobilizations and the state? What has been the role of the arts and cultural politics in contributing to a vital Left? (Such questions and answers will of course be specified differently in revolutionary, post-revolutionary, and anti-revolutionary states.) In all cases, we seek accounts that are historically grounded in particular regional struggles and contribute to the regional revitalization of egalitarian social movements. Tributes, critiques, comparisons, and redirections of the Cuban and Grenadian revolutions are all welcome in the spirit of contributing to democratic Left projects. Above all, we seek papers that engage with current practices and futures of radical politics in the Caribbean. For further information, visit the Conference homepage here:

Cfp: "Transparency, Control and Power: Issues in Legal Semiotics," Department of English, City University of Hong Kong, December 2-5, 2009.

8th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law (IRSL 2009). The overall aim of a State is to protect the social order in which the individual liberty of the citizen is a major concern. As a consequence the State should guarantee simultaneously and paradoxically a high level of individual freedom and an order in which such freedom is made possible and guaranteed.The 8th International Roundtables for the Semiotics of Law invites contributors to reflect on the growing importance of Transparency, Control and Power in our international community and how these main ideas have been examined over the years. Contributors may choose to explore semiotic, rhetorical, pragmatic, sociolinguistic, psychological, philosophical and/or visual perspectives on Transparency, Control and Power. Papers which examine the ways ‘actors’ in our society (legislators, politicians, activists, movie producers, singers, painters, graffiti artists, photographers etc.) have provoked public discourse to confront Transparency, Control and Power are particularly welcome. The Roundtable will provide an opportunity for a general discussion of issues in the semiotics of law as well as open discussions to increase our knowledge about our Transparency, Control and Power with respect to Legal Semiotics. In the interest of a cohesive roundtable, prospective participants are requested to adhere to the theme as outlined in the call for papers. Proposals in either English or French (max 300 words) should be sent by e-mail by the 1st of May 2009 to Vijay K. Bhatia at and to Anne Wagner at Selected papers will be published in a special annual issue of the International Journal for the Semiotics of Law.

Cfp: "Storytelling," 2009 Romance Studies Colloquium, Montclair State University, October 1-3, 2009.

The colloquium will address issues related to storytelling across the Romance languages and may include ethical, sociological, anthropological, linguistic, political, literary, or theoretical aspects. Comparative and interdisciplinary approaches (painting, architecture, film, performance, photography, theory, cultural studies, and media) are actively encouraged. Papers may focus on any time and place in Romance studies. Professor Peter Brooks (Mellon Visiting Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University) will present the plenary lecture. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: Folktales Oral history Performance Conversation and community Griots and minstrels Travel fictions Hagiography Literary storytelling Storytelling in literature Languages of storytelling Memoir and autofiction Virtual storytelling Visual narratives Cinema vérité Allegory Cultural memory Narratives of nationalism Social theory and fiction Trauma narratives Trials and testimony Bodytalk Scientific fictions Storytelling and education Proposals for individual twenty-minute papers (300 words in English) or for panels (panel rationale of 100 words, participants, titles, and brief abstracts of 100 words) should be sent in electronic form by 15 February 2009 to Ms. Ashley Hansberry, Colloquium Assistant ( Please indicate your audio-visual requirements. Questions may be addressed to Ms. Hansberry or to Prof. Elizabeth Emery at the same address. A selection of peer-reviewed essays (c. 6,000 words) based on papers given at the colloquium will be published in the journal Romance Studies []. Please note that abstracts and conference papers must be presented in English, but submissions for publication may be written in English, French, Italian or Spanish. Local organizing committee (Montclair State University) Elizabeth Emery Kathleen Loysen David Del Principe Dawn Hayes Julia Landweber Daniel Mengara Gina Miele Pamela Smorkaloff Marisa Trubiano.

Winter 2009 Newsletter of the International Society for the Study of Narrative.

Wayne C. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award: The Society will present the 2009 Booth Award to Gérard Genette at the annual conference, held in Birmingham this June. The festivities will include a panel devoted to Genette's work featuring papers by Seymour Chatman (UC Berkeley), John Pier (Université de Tours), and Gerald Prince (University of Pennsylvania) as well as the official presentation of the Award at the business lunch on June 6th. (For more information on the Birmingham Conference, see below). Perkins Prize: The winner of the 2009 Perkins Prize for best book on narrative studies published in 2007 is Sharon Marcus for Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England (Princeton University Press). The Society thanks the selection committee, Gerald Prince, chair, Eileen Gillooly (Columbia) and Dorothy Hale (UC Berkeley). New Officers: The membership elected the following new officers this fall. Second Vice-President: Brian Richardson, University of Maryland Council members: Sheila Teahan, Michigan State University, Susan Lanser, Brandeis University. The Society expresses its warm gratitude to those members of the Executive Council whose terms ended on December 31st: Past President: Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania Council members: Beth Boehm University of Louisville, Jesse Matz, Kenyon College Nominations Committee: Suzanne Keen of Washington and Lee University and first Vice-President of ISSN will chair this year's nominations committee. The other committee members are H. Porter Abbot (UC Santa Barbara) and Clkaudia Breger (Indiana University). If you would like to nominate someone to serve on the Executive Council, please get in touch with Suzanne at Panels for the 2009 MLA in Philadelphia: The Society will sponsor two panels, and organizers of each are currently accepting paper proposals.

Future Conferences: We are set for Birmingham, England, June 4-6 this year. The conference coordinators are Dick Ellis and Deborah Parsons, and they are being assisted by Anna Hartnell and Anna Burrels, all of the University of Birmingham. Plenary speakers will be Frank Ankersmit, David Lodge, and Frances Smith Foster. For more information about the conference go to The 2010 conference will be in Cleveland from April 8-11. Kurt Koenigsberger and Gary Stonum of Case Western University are the conference coordinators. The 2011 conference will be in St. Louis from April 7-10. Emma Kafalenos and Erin McGlothlin of Washington University are the conference coordinators. If any member is interested in bringing the conference to his or her institution, please get in touch with Alan Nadel or Jim Phelan <> Narrative:

Autumn 2009 will be a special issue, guest-edited by Rebecca Stern of the University of South Carolina, on Temporality. The journal and the Ohio State University Press have reached an agreement with a Press in China to publish selected essays in translation as an annual. The first volume is scheduled to appear within a few months.

Further information on the Society may be found here:

Cfp: "Critical Approaches to Ancient Philosophy," University of Bristol, March 21-22, 2009.

Update: Visit the conference homepage here: Original Post (December 12, 2008): While the diversity of disciplines influenced by classical philosophers is a testament to their works’ fecundity, all too often it happens that specialists approaching them from the perspective of the history of philosophy, literary theory and 'continental' philosophy, and ancient cultural history do not communicate. When they do happen, encounters between these perspectives are sometimes marked by confusion and frustration. Even with abundant good will, we may get the feeling that we simply are not speaking about the same texts. The purpose of this workshop is to bring scholars from different backgrounds into a round-table format in order to consider the feasibility and desirability of breaking down these 'disciplinary walls.' Speakers will give a series of methodologically self-conscious papers on ancient philosophical texts, reflecting on the preconceptions about the means and aims of 'philosophy' particularly and 'scholarship' generally that underlie their approaches. Equal time will be given to papers and discussion, and there will also be a closing discussion. Speakers include:
  • Kurt Lampe (Bristol),
  • Miriam Leonard (UCL),
  • Wilson Shearin (Stanford),
  • Robert Wardy (Cambridge), and
  • John Sellars (UWE).

Christopher Rowe (Durham) will chair the first day’s papers, and David Konstan (Brown) will chair the second day and introduce the closing discussion.

This workshop is supported by BIRTHA (The Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts) and the Bristol Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition. Inquiries should be directed to Kurt Lampe (

Cfp: "Re-Visioning the Future: Modernity between Utopia and Dystopia," University of Tennessee, Knoxville, May 14-16, 2009.

Update: the dates have been changed (see above). Original Post (January 31, 2009): 8th Annual Conference of the International Social Theory Consortium. Since the 1980s, social theorists have become increasingly reluctant to relate constructively to the future of western societies, modern democracy, and human civilization. Both in the social sciences and the humanities, postmodernist critics highlighted the affinity between utopianism and forms of totalitarianism. As a consequence, social theorists refrained from recognizing as part of their unique responsibility efforts to refine existing and to delineate new perspectives on the future. Social Theorists began to pay focused attention to problematic patterns of thought that need to be overcome, in order to reduce the odds that the kind of socially, politically and economically induced catastrophes that influenced the direction of historical change during the twentieth century will recur—both directly and indirectly, positively and negatively. Yet whether we appreciate it or not, in the context of globalization, the imminence of change has pushed itself aggressively to the forefront of social-theoretical concerns. The inevitability of change is inescapable, and its centrality to modern civilization undeniable. Concordantly, the imperative to engage in informed and critically reflexive discourses about the kind of world we will, should, or might live in, continues to increase rapidly. The conference will serve to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange relating to the continuing challenge of capturing the warped nature of modernity at the intersection of the past and the future and of utopia and dystopia. . . . Further information may be found here:

Cfp: Sixth Annual Conference, Marx and Philosophy Society, Institute of Education, University of London, June 6, 2009.

Keynote speaker: Nick Dyer-Witheford (University of Western Ontario) The Marx and Philosophy Society aims to encourage scholarly engagement with, and creative development of, the philosophical and foundational aspects of Marx's work. The society welcomes contributions from any philosophical or political position. Papers on any topic consonant with these aims are invited from postgraduate students for a special session for postgraduate papers at the conference. Papers should be planned to last for approximately 20 minutes. Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words by 1 March 2009 to Sean Sayers at

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cfp: "Freud after Derrida," University of Manitoba, October 6-9, 2010.

Proposals are invited for presentations that engage Freud's work as it continues to inform and provoke research and discussion across the disciplines (e.g., architecture, film, history, literature, philosophy, religion, science), and particularly, as it opens through and “after Derrida.” We welcome consideration of such topics as: temporality, space, technics, responsibility, animality, embodiment, memory, dream, writing, the uncanny, life, death, desire, repetition, law, sovereignty, sexuality, silence, mourning, testimony, the unconscious, repression, identity, family. Proposals should include the following: a title and an abstract of 450-500 words, author's name, brief cv, institutional affiliation, complete contact information, and email address. Graduate students presenting a paper at the conference may be eligible for a travel grant. Those intending to apply for a travel grant should enclose a covering letter with their abstract detailing anticipated travel costs for the conference. Deadline for submission of proposals: September 8, 2009. For information, see the Mosaic website at: A conference website will be available (and linked to the Mosaic website) by summer 2009. Electronic submissions preferred (Rich Text Format). Please direct enquiries and proposals to: Or, by regular mail, please send to: Freud After Derrida Conference c/o Dr. Dawne McCance, Editor Mosaic: a Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature University of Manitoba 208 Tier Building Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada.

Cfp: "Quiet Revolutions in West Indian Literature and Criticism," University of Guyana, April 26–29, 2009.

The 28th Annual Conference on West Indian Literature. The conference theme for 2009 is designed to explore, among many other things, the several developments, preoccupations, forms or issues that may reflect "quiet revolutions" in West Indian literature and criticism, however all that may be interpreted. Since this annual conference started, West Indian literature has experienced change, sometimes unique and radical, often representing revolutionary advancements. There have been new areas of study and artistic engagement peculiar to West Indian literature as well as the inclusion of related forms and pursuits hitherto excluded or kept on the fringe of conventional mainstream "literature". These have not necessarily all been recent; some may say the literature has been attended by quiet revolutions throughout its history. Participants in the conference are invited to consider these. Examples of some relevant areas are suggested below: Film Performance Language Music Form Creole Dub / Dub Poetry Oral traditions Orality Dancehall Theatre, and Drama Developments in the literature have been accompanied by those in West Indian literary criticism, itself sometimes considered to be one of the quiet revolutions, and other emerging traditions, which may involve: Caribbean criticism Emerging traditions and literatures Ideas and approaches The East Indian ethos Comparative literature The Amerindian ethos The Francophone and the Hispanic Folklore West Indian fiction Narrative West Indian Poetry 100 Years of Edgar Mittelholzer: These "quiet revolutions" have often centred around or driven by Caribbean writers themselves (Wilson Harris, Eddie Kamau Brathwaite, Derek Walcott et al). One of the phenomena of the mid-twentieth century is a Guyanese fiction writer considered to be himself one of these quiet revolutions: Edgar Mittelholzer. The Caribbean celebrates his 100th anniversary in 2009. The University of Guyana will mark the occasion and no doubt there will be other events, particularly around December. Participants are invited to join/form a special panel on Mittelholzer. Celebrating Wilson Harris: The extraordinary originality of another Caribbean novelist who emerged after Mittelholzer is another of these revolutions. English critic Kathleen Raine declared that he changed the form of the English novel that had been static for 100 years. The conference proposes to honour/pay tribute to/recognise Harris and participants are invited to contribute to a panel on Harris. Abstracts: Abstracts of less than 250 words should be submitted by FEBRUARY 15, 2009 to the Office of the Dean, Education and Humanities, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana Al Creighton Tel. 592 222 4923 e-mail OR

Weiss, Gail. Review of Penelope Deutscher's THE PHILOSOPHY OF SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR. NDPR (February 2009).

Deutscher, Penelope. The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance. Cambridge: CUP, 2008. Penelope Deutscher's The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance is a wonderful addition to the Beauvoirian canon. Meticulously researched, this book offers an original interpretation of central existential concepts including ambiguity, repetition, freedom, alterity, reciprocity, and sedimentation, and their changing meanings in Beauvoir's work. Deutscher is thoroughly familiar with the growing body of Beauvoir scholarship and she does a masterful job of integrating key insights from Beauvoir's many commentators into her analysis. The animating concept that structures the text as a whole is "conversion," a term that Deutscher takes up from Beauvoir and uses both literally and metaphorically as a way of understanding Beauvoir's own philosophical methodology. Throughout the book, Deutscher shows us the creative and often conflicting ways in which Beauvoir appropriates and transforms the phenomenological, existential, anthropological, Marxist, critical race, and psychoanalytic insights of her predecessors and peers to address oppressive phenomena such as sexism, racism, and ageism. Each chapter focuses on a particular "conversion" (ambiguity, bad faith, repetition, alterity, and reciprocity), and together they provide: 1) close readings of how other authors including Marx, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Levi-Strauss, Wright, Myrdal, Kristeva, and Freud have described this experience; 2) detailed analyses of how Beauvoir interprets these experiences in her own work at varied points in time; and 3) provocative suggestions for how to further develop Beauvoir's insights regarding the existential and ethical significance of ambiguity, alterity, reciprocity, and vulnerability to combat social and political marginalization. . . . Read the rest here:

Dallmayr, Fred. Review of Nikolas Kompridis' CRITIQUE AND DISCLOSURE. NDPR (February (2009).

Kompridis, Nikolas. Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. The fate of reason today hangs in the balance. This is no small matter. Ever since its historical beginnings, reason or rationality has been the central focus and point of honor of Western modernity -- a focus enshrined in Descartes' cogito, Enlightenment rationalism, and Kantian (and neo-Kantian) critical philosophy. The result of this focus was an asymmetrical dichotomy: separated from the external world of "matter" (or nature), the cogito assumed the role of superior task master and overseer -- a role fueling the enterprise of modern science and technology. During the past century, the edifice of Western modernity has registered a trembling, due to both internal and external contestations. Subverting the modern asymmetry, a host of thinkers – with views ranging from American pragmatism to European life philosophy and phenomenology -- have endeavored to restore pre-cognitive "experience" (including sense perception and affect) to its rightful place. In the context of French "postmodernism," a prominent battle cry has been to dislodge "logocentrism" (the latter term often equated with anthropocentrism). In the ambiance of recent German philosophy, the battle lines have been clearly marked: pitting champions of modern rationalism, represented by Jürgen Habermas, against defenders of experiential "world disclosure," represented by Martin Heidegger. In his book, Nikolas Kompridis endeavors to shed new light on this controversy, with the aim not so much of bringing about a cease fire but of providing resources for arriving at better mutual understanding. Kompridis does not exactly assume a position above the contestants (he repeatedly rejects the "view from nowhere"). As the book's subtitle indicates, his point of departure is "critical theory" as championed by the Frankfurt School, and his attempt is to nudge that theory beyond a certain rationalist orthodoxy in the direction of possible "future" horizons. While appreciating some of its merits -- such as the "linguistic turn" and the emphasis on "communicative" rationality -- Kompridis finds Habermas's reformulation of the Frankfurt program on the whole unhelpful and debilitating. In his words (p. 17): "For all there is to recommend it, Habermas's reformulation has produced a split between new and old critical theory so deep that the identity and future of critical theory are at risk." The main reason is that the "normative gain" deriving from the linguistic turn remains attached to narrow rationalist premises that have "needlessly devalued" the theory's potential. In Kompridis's view, Habermas's evolving thought exhibits a break or rupture (quite apart from the linguistic turn): namely, a move toward pure "theory" which happened soon after the publication of Knowledge and Human Interests. "That turn to theory," he writes (pp. 232-234), "refashioned the project of critical theory as a strenge Wissenschaft, less bound by or beholden to the historical and existential exigencies of modernity" -- thereby undermining modernity's intrinsic "relation to time." As a result of this refashioning, critical theory was catapulted in the direction of an abstractly rational universalism disdainful of cultural and practical modes of pluralism. The upshot was a growing "insensitivity to particularity," justifying the suspicion that the basic concepts of communicative rationality had from the start been "rigged in favor of the universal." But, the book adds sharply, "a provinciality-destroying reason is a meaning-destroying reason" and the latter is "a history-destroying reason." Considerations of this kind serve to buttress the book's basic "thesis" (p. 17) that Habermas's reformulation is "in need of urgent reassessment if critical theory is to have a future worthy of its past." In Kompridis's view (pp. 28-29), critical theory's renewal has to rely on alternative resources, including insights "central to the German tradition from Hegel to Heidegger and Adorno" and phenomenological explorations of the "life-world." In this context, a crucial resource is Heidegger's notion of "world disclosure," articulated variously under the labels of "Erschlossenheit," "Lichtung," and "Ereignis." The basic point of the notion of disclosure is that "we operate 'always already' with a pre-reflective, holistically structured, and grammatically regulated understanding of the world" (pp. 32-33) -- which means that our thinking and reasoning is always embedded in a pre-cognitive experiential setting. . . . Read the rest here:

Cfp: Annual Conference, UK Sartre Society (UKSS), Institut Français, September 18, 2009.

This is a call for papers for the annual one-day conference of the UK Sartre Society (UKSS), which will be held at the Institut français (17 Queensberry Place, London: nearest tube: South Kensington) on Friday 18 September 2009. We welcome papers (lasting about 30 minutes) on any aspect of Sartre's life or work: literature, theatre, cinema, philosophy, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, journalism and the media, politics, etc, as well as on comparative themes: Sartre in relation to his influences, contemporaries or successors. Please send proposals for papers (one side of A4 maximum) by 31 May 2009 to the conference organisers: Dr Benedict O’Donohoe, President of UKSS, Deputy Director, Sussex Language Institute, University of Sussex, BN1 9SH Email: Dr Angela Kershaw, Secretary of UKSS, Senior Lecturer, Department of French Studies, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT Email: Further information is available on the website of the UK Sartre Society:

Two Reviews (in French) of Michel Foucault's LE COURAGE DE LA VERITE.

Foucault, Michel. Le Courage de la vérité: la Gouvernement de soi et des autres II: Cours du Collège de France (1984). Edition établie sous la direction de François Ewald et Alessandro Fontana, par Frédéric Gros. Paris: Gallimard, 2009. Droit, Roger-Pol. "Le Courage de la vérité, l'ultime leçon de Michel Foucault." Le Monde January 23, 2009:
En parlant, il court contre la mort. Cette année 1984, ses cours du Collège de France n'ont pas commencé en janvier, comme d'habitude. "J'ai été malade, très malade," indique Michel Foucault le 1er février en ouvrant son cours. Quand il clôt le cycle, fin mars, il a cette phrase : "Il est trop tard." En apparence, il signale juste que l'heure a tourné, qu'il faut renoncer aux développements préparés. Aujourd'hui, nous pouvons entendre la formule autrement. Ce sont les derniers mots adressés par le philosophe à son auditoire. Quelques semaines plus tard, il meurt du sida. Il avait 57 ans. A-t-il délibérément organisé ces ultimes conférences comme un testament ? On peut le supposer. En tout cas, toute émotion mise à part, le texte est exceptionnel. Un quart de siècle après, cette parole impressionne encore. Par sa clarté incisive, par l'ampleur de son information. Par sa capacité, si rare, à faire surgir des paysages nouveaux au sein de textes connus.(
Aeschimann, Eric. "Heurt de vérité." La Liberation January 22, 2009.
Ça consiste en quoi, une vie de philosophe ? Peut-être en ceci : devant le public du Collège de France, suivre une intuition, une force qui vous tire, une question qui vous appelle : «Qu’est-ce que dire la vérité ?» Se saisir d’une notion grecque, la parrêsia, qui signifie justement «le dire vrai», «le franc-parler», et, chaque mercredi matin, pendant trois mois, malgré la maladie, en étudier la signification dans la philosophie antique. Alors que la maladie menace, passer d’un texte à l’autre, se laisser porter par le mouvement même de la recherche, quitte à ce que les cours soient «un petit peu décousus», comme annoncé d’entrée de jeu. Et, de proche en proche, dans cette enquête philosophique serrée, en arriver justement au thème de la «vie philosophique». Une question éminemment intime, subjective, à rebours de la caricature réduisant Foucault à la «mort du sujet». Longtemps, Michel Foucault s’est défini comme historien des idées, comme archéologue des savoirs. De l’Histoire de la folie à celle de la sexualité, sa démarche est une critique méthodique des savoirs qui se prétendent «discours de vérité» pour masquer qu’ils sont d’abord des discours de pouvoir : le savoir scientifique, le savoir médical, le droit… A tel point que, dans un essai paru l’année dernière, Paul Veyne, qui fut son grand ami intellectuel, le présente en penseur «sceptique». Le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que son travail sur la parrêsia, engagé au Collège de France en 1982-83 et dont la suite paraît aujourd’hui, ne va pas dans ce sens. Foucault y apparaît habité, dévoré, hanté par la question de la vérité, non comme discours, mais comme acte : dire la vérité. (


Editor: David Herman, Ohio State University Editorial Board: H. Porter Abbott, University of California, Santa Barbara Jens Brockmeier, Free University of Berlin and the University of Manitoba Jonathan Culler, Cornell University Gregory Currie, University of Nottingham Catherine Emmott, University of Glasgow Peter Galison, Harvard University Richard J. Gerrig, Stony Brook University Andreea Deciu Ritivoi, Carnegie Mellon University Marie-Laure Ryan, University of Colorado, Boulder Deborah Schiffrin, Georgetown University Roy Sommer, University of Wuppertal Wendy Steiner, University of Pennsylvania Storyworlds: a Journal of Narrative Studies publishes state-of-the-art research in the field of interdisciplinary narrative theory. Unlike existing journals that target particular disciplines in which only certain kinds of narratives are the primary object of study, Storyworlds features research on storytelling practices across a variety of media; it also showcases cutting-edge methods of analysis and interpretation brought to bear on narratives of all sorts. Relevant storytelling scenarios include face-to-face interaction, literary writing, film and television, virtual environments, historiography, opera, journalism, graphic novels, plays, and photography. At the same time, contributors to the journal can approach narrative from perspectives developed in multiple fields of inquiry, ranging from discourse analysis, literary theory, jurisprudence, and philosophy, to cognitive and social psychology, artificial intelligence, medicine, and the study of organizations. In short, Storyworlds aspires to be the place for publishing interdisciplinary research on narrative across media. Because Storyworlds is designed to be of interest to readers in many fields, essays should be as accessibly written as possible--even as contributors are encouraged to engage in the best practices of narrative research in their areas of specialization, and to present cutting-edge scholarship on a given aspect of stories or storytelling. To this end, all technical terms should be carefully defined and discipline-specific assumptions, concepts, and methods should be thoroughly explained. Pertinent questions include (but are not limited to) the following: How do modes of storytelling--narrative ways of worldmaking--differ from other representational practices used to construct or reconstruct worlds, in a broad sense? Put differently, what distinguishes narrative from other methods for using symbol systems to structure, comprehend, and communicate aspects of experience? What constraints and affordances do particular storytelling media bring to the process of building narrative worlds? What tools are needed to characterize, in all its richness and complexity, the experience of inhabiting a narrative world in a given medium or across different media? What are the conditions for and consequences of engaging with such worlds, and how does this engagement vary across different narrative practices, cultural settings, and interpretive communities? The purpose of *Storyworlds* is to provide a forum for sustained scholarly inquiry into these and related issues, whose investigation will require collaborative, interdisciplinary work by researchers from across the arts and sciences. Electronic submissions (saved as RTF files) are encouraged, but hard copies will be accepted. Please send your submissions to the editor at the following address: David Herman Department of English Ohio State University 164 W. 17th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210-1370 USA All inquiries concerning subscription, change of address, advertising, and other business communications should be sent to the University of Nebraska Press at 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630.