13,105 research outputs found

    The pathos of finitude: Ordinariness, solitude, and individuality in non-philosophy

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    Although sometimes construed as a mere negation of philosophical discourse, François Laruelle maintains that there is a positive side to his project of “non-philosophy.” Often, this takes the form of a defense of the “ordinary man” [sic], a faceless individual, without qualities, defined by their absolute finitude. Laruelle claims to articulate a rigorous science of man, capable of thinking the human individual in their essence, outside the philosophical interpellation to which they are usually submitted. This science intends to finally break apart the post-Kantian empirico-transcendental doublet, which is, for Laruelle, emblematic of the divided, fragmented, and alienated figures with which philosophy has always (mis)represented man. It does this by striving to relinquish all empirical and figural content in the name of an uncompromising formalism – a purely transcendental method. And yet, in spite of this intention, a preoccupation with subjective finitude, and the pathos derived from it, is both retained and amplified, describing an invariably fraught relationship between the ordinary man and the extraordinary world furnished by philosophy. Ultimately, non-philosophy offers less a science of ordinary individuals, and more an ethos for academic philosophers, guiding its readers toward a specific subject position, achieved through an ongoing labor of abstraction

    An Exploration of Life With a Chronic Skin Condition

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    Despite considerable prevalence and clinical impact, chronic skin conditions have received little sociological attention. This research examines the social implications of living with a chronic skin condition, based on the thematic analysis of in-depth interviews featuring 24 adults with experiences of eczema, psoriasis or acne. Drawing on Bourdieusian field theory and corporeal phenomenology, this thesis brings new insight to the disembodying experiences of disordered skin, strategies enacted for their management, and the wider implications of disordered skin on social participation. Illustrating experiences of social dys-appearance, individuals are found to negotiate stigma, both enacted and perceived, based on normative expectations of bodily presentation. Employing the notion of aesthetic capital, disordered skin is shown to impair possibilities for aesthetic distinction and undermine a sense of capability in personal and working roles. Faced with disabling spatialities and difficulties surrounding disclosure, individuals develop anticipatory dispositions and a range of time-space tactics. The corporeal dys-appearance of disordered skin demands that individuals respond through laborious practices which often take on Sisyphean attributes. A novel concept of “containing” is introduced as a type of skin work reflecting how managing disordered skin requires attention to clearing up exudations of “dirty” bodily substances, such as skin flakes, blood, pus, and the remnants of topical treatments, to avoid soiling external environments. Pharmaceutical treatments are found to be a source of deep ambivalence. Moreover, individuals value agency in their treatment protocols and, where capital resources allow, enact resistance to medical authority through experimentation with alternative strategies and practices of self-medication. This study highlights a need to accommodate the additional labour demands of life with chronic skin conditions, and the desire for agency in treatment, through policy and practice measures. Further efforts are needed to address the impact of inequalities of access to resources on the burden of managing chronic illness

    A mother of light in the age of Enlightenment: Heterodoxy, interiority, and epistemology in eighteenth-century New Spain

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    Colonial Mexico was a land steeped in Marian devotion, both to invocations brought from Europe and those arising locally. Into this Marian Zodiac of New Spain, Madre Santísima de la Luz entered in the early 18th century, and her devotion swiftly proliferated. The cult and image of this Most Holy Mother serve as an excellent case study to examine certain contentions in the age of Enlightenment, because just at the beginning of the period of contention, she burst into view in a blaze of light, proclaiming an alternate vision of a divine feminine, disciplined interiority, and knowledge as experience—alternate, that is, to the vision of enlightened reform and enlightened philosophy that was in process of taking root. In this dissertation, I examine these contentions of ideas and practices between what scholars have called traditional baroque devotion and both enlightened reform religiosity and the more radical enlightened philosophy. This examination is based on a study of the history, visual imagery, and iconography of Madre de la Luz; and of many texts, including devotionaries, treatises on mystical theology, artistic treatises, archival materials, council proceedings, and other resources. The areas of contention that I study are principally three: (1) heterodoxy; (2) interiority and exteriority; and (3) epistemology. In each of these areas, the image and cult of Madre de la Luz offer serious challenges to an orthodoxy that is established or is in process of being established. With regard to heterodoxy, they provide an alternate view to particular Catholic dogmas and religious attitudes. The challenge is made through the divine feminine redemptive force, blurring dogmatic options and tolerating ambiguity, that Madre represents. With regard to interiority and exteriority, they provide an alternate view to the newly developing orthodoxy of enlightened reform, with its preference for states of interiority intended to serve external useful ends and for the new bounded self. This challenge is made through a valuation of interiority for its own sake, tolerating a fluid self. With regard to epistemology, they provide an alternate view to the newly developing orthodoxy of the enlightened epistemology of disengaged study that claims dominance over an epistemology of direct experience. This challenge is made by proclaiming the value of the epistemology of experience, while appreciating the enlightened epistemology. Through the study of these contentions, the dissertation makes a number of claims as part of the extended scholarly project that contrasts ideas from the baroque and enlightened eras. It proposes that both the enlightened reformers of the late 18th century and modern scholars have misunderstood the roles of interior and exterior practices in both baroque Catholicism and enlightened reform Catholicism; thereby suggesting that we need to free ourselves from a reliance on enlightened reformers’ judgments, and attend to the teacher-practitioners of baroque religion themselves. Its more careful study of baroque devotional texts on Madre de la Luz (than any previous study), has identified intense interiorizing practices promoted within a context of exterior practices; thereby suggesting that we need to not only re-evaluate our understanding of the two Catholicisms, but also how we conceive of interiority, exteriority, and their interrelation. The dissertation gives voice to proponents of baroque interiorizing religion, a voice that has been hitherto poorly heard in the scholarly literature; and thus offers a more nuanced view of baroque interiorizing religious practice. It elaborates connections between iconography and devotional practice. It presents a comparative metaphorology of baroque and Enlightenment visual images, expanding the work of earlier scholars’ Enlightenment metaphorologies. It contrasts baroque epistemology of experience versus enlightened epistemology of disengaged study. It expands cases of particular doctrinal heterodoxies to express challenges against wider orthodoxies. Finally, as an undercurrent, it suggests first, the value of studying other religious systems (such as the religious philosophies of India) for understanding devotional religion in Mexico, and second, the importance of taking the researcher’s experience into account when doing historical research.LimitedAuthor requested closed access (OA after 2yrs) in Vireo ETD system; patron requested extension, effective 07-02-202

    Strategies of resistance and the significance of hope in Palestinian literature and film

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    The starting point of this dissertation is that biopolitics is widely practiced in occupied Palestine, raising the question of the extent to which resistance takes a biopolitical form. I will analyse how iterations of the body, stationary or in motion, have changed in colonial occupied Palestine and for people living in exile vis-Ă -vis postcolonial resistance strategies and hope. This will be achieved by examining novellas, poetry, images, film, and prison literature produced by the Palestinian communities from 1948 onwards. The dissertation contributes to the analysis of what I term thin and thick resistance, which can constitute either separate or composite strategies to resistance praxis. While thin resistance instils endurance of hardship, resilience in outlook and behaviour, such as non-violent resistance or Sumud in Palestinian context, thick resistance takes a violent approach. This dissertation will consider the distinction between violent and the non-violent resistance but will also engage purposefully in elements that constitute thin and thick strategies of anti-colonial and postcolonial resistance. Both thin and thick resistance are strategic options for those aiming for the survival and emancipation of Palestinians. What I posit here is the notion of hope in the Palestinian cultural output that I examine, and its importance in determining the strategy of resistance Palestinians undertake. Whilst I have drawn on theoretical and sociological accounts of biopolitics, liminality, and resistance, my dissertation will make a case for the importance of studying biopolitics in the context of literary texts. These have a dual aspect: they represent the specificity of biopolitics in their locally inflected ways. They additionally constitute a non-biopolitical mode of resistance in that they confront the struggles they write of through the imagination. Hope, I will argue, is an imaginative approach, so there is a way in which literature may be aligned with thin resistance. In the postcolonial context, the written or spoken word is often presented as an alternative to violence. Simultaneously, the written or spoken word, for example, when sites of memory and resistance are translated into words have succeeded at mobilising both thin and thick resistance. This suggests that the spoken and written word are not passive but are instigative and mobilising. They become a recourse of resistance

    Editorial: Encounters with Western media theory

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    Beginning in 2020, the Crosscurrents section of this journal featured 10 provocative essays on the theme of “Encounters in Western Media Theory.” These essays stemmed from scholars’ engagements with various canonical texts in media, cultural, and communication studies that took the Anglophone Global North as a taken-for-granted site for making sweeping theoretical claims. In this editorial, we reflect on the critiques and arguments that scholars have developed to move past debates about “internationalizing” and “de-westernizing” the field of media, communication, and cultural studies. Taken together, the essays published in this themed section grapple with the shifting terrain of academic knowledge production and the potential for redefining practices of reading, citation, and teaching

    Fictocritical Cyberfeminism: A Paralogical Model for Post-Internet Communication

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    This dissertation positions the understudied and experimental writing practice of fictocriticism as an analog for the convergent and indeterminate nature of “post-Internet” communication as well a cyberfeminist technology for interfering and in-tervening in metanarratives of technoscience and technocapitalism that structure contemporary media. Significant theoretical valences are established between twen-tieth century literary works of fictocriticism and the hybrid and ephemeral modes of writing endemic to emergent, twenty-first century forms of networked communica-tion such as social media. Through a critical theoretical understanding of paralogy, or that countercultural logic of deploying language outside legitimate discourses, in-volving various tactics of multivocity, mimesis and metagraphy, fictocriticism is ex-plored as a self-referencing linguistic machine which exists intentionally to occupy those liminal territories “somewhere in among/between criticism, autobiography and fiction” (Hunter qtd. in Kerr 1996). Additionally, as a writing practice that orig-inated in Canada and yet remains marginal to national and international literary scholarship, this dissertation elevates the origins and ongoing relevance of fictocriti-cism by mapping its shared aims and concerns onto proximal discourses of post-structuralism, cyberfeminism, network ecology, media art, the avant-garde, glitch feminism, and radical self-authorship in online environments. Theorized in such a matrix, I argue that fictocriticism represents a capacious framework for writing and reading media that embodies the self-reflexive politics of second-order cybernetic theory while disrupting the rhetoric of technoscientific and neoliberal economic forc-es with speech acts of calculated incoherence. Additionally, through the inclusion of my own fictocritical writing as works of research-creation that interpolate the more traditional chapters and subchapters, I theorize and demonstrate praxis of this dis-tinctively indeterminate form of criticism to empirically and meaningfully juxtapose different modes of knowing and speaking about entangled matters of language, bod-ies, and technologies. In its conclusion, this dissertation contends that the “creative paranoia” engendered by fictocritical cyberfeminism in both print and digital media environments offers a pathway towards a more paralogical media literacy that can transform the terms and expectations of our future media ecology

    Drifting borders, anchored community : re-reading narratives in the semiotic landscape with ethnic Lithuanians living at the Polish borderland

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    Everyday lives at the borders have lately been of interest in academic research. Drawing on visual elicitation interviews, this study analyses how ethnic Lithuanians living on the Polish borderland interpret images of the landscape which they inhabit. The aim of this analysis is to understand how these borderlanders position themselves vis-Ă -vis socio-spatial borderland realities, and how visual materials can instigate extensive plotted narratives. The results demonstrate that the Lithuanian minority in Poland not only challenges or accepts the public narratives, but that they also use them as props to create a unified narrative about their identification and belonging, which transgresses time, place and situated events.publishedVersionPeer reviewe

    Patterns of Transformation

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    My artwork is an exploration of abstract mark-making that arises from a contemplation of the relationship between the individual and the landscape. This connects my work with a form of ecological thinking referred to as ecopsychology; a concept which offers me the freedom to explore patterns in nature while remaining purposefully connected to environmental concerns. My drawing process is thus informed by patterns in earth, sea, and sky, by the mark-making process itself and by the human detritus that pollutes, but is nevertheless a part of, the landscape as I encounter it. All of this feeds into the cycle of drawn acts. The abstraction of my drawn forms resolves into a more material practice in my sculptures which make use of found objects and evoke the entanglements that characterise the ecology of the contemporary world. In this way, my art making suggests modes of thought, encompassing all aspects of the environment, which are required to open space for ecological action
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