23,020 research outputs found

    Reading revolutions: Corrado Costa’s William Blake in Beulah, a visionary cartoon essay in 1977 Italy

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    Under what conditions might Blake’s Beulah offer a script for a revolutionary present? This essay explores an episode in the visual reception of Blake as a letter-press poet published at a time of civil unrest in 1977 Italy. Corrado Costa’s William Blake in Beulah: Saggio Visionario su un Poeta a Fumetti (William Blake in Beulah: A visionary essay on a poet in comic strips, 1977) is an avantgarde experiment in visual adaptation inspired by lettrism, dada, and neo-avantgarde critiques of typography. Their analysis of the loss of the visual elements of writing certainly applies to the textual transmission of Blake’s works, which separated the poet from the artist in order to publish his poetry in typographical layouts. Abstracted from the visual form of the illuminated book, Blake’s poetry offered an ideal testing ground for Costa’s “visionary essay” in the sense of a creative-critical attempt to turn poetry into comic-strip captions. Costa extracted clusters of words from Jerusalem, A Song of Liberty, The French Revolution and ‘The Mental Traveller’, fragmented, re-segmented, and distributed Blake’s words across comic-strip panels, releasing them from the constraints of language and genre, testing how Blake might fare as a comic-strip poet. In what follows, I will explore how Costa’s comic-strip Blake subverts the orders of language, genre, and the medium of the book, focusing on the most experimental section of Blake in Beulah in which Costa reinvents Blake’s The French Revolution as a prophetic cue for the 1977 movement, showing how his revolution in poetic language reads in revolutionary times

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Towards a sociology of conspiracy theories: An investigation into conspiratorial thinking on Dönmes

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    This thesis investigates the social and political significance of conspiracy theories, which has been an academically neglected topic despite its historical relevance. The academic literature focuses on the methodology, social significance and political impacts of these theories in a secluded manner and lacks empirical analyses. In response, this research provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for conspiracy theories by considering their methodology, political impacts and social significance in the light of empirical data. Theoretically, the thesis uses Adorno's semi-erudition theory along with Girardian approach. It proposes that conspiracy theories are methodologically semi-erudite narratives, i.e. they are biased in favour of a belief and use reason only to prove it. It suggests that conspiracy theories appear in times of power vacuum and provide semi-erudite cognitive maps that relieve alienation and ontological insecurities of people and groups. In so doing, they enforce social control over their audience due to their essentialist, closed-to-interpretation narratives. In order to verify the theory, the study analyses empirically the social and political significance of conspiracy theories about the Dönme community in Turkey. The analysis comprises interviews with conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theory readers and political parties, alongside a frame analysis of the popular conspiracy theory books on Dönmes. These confirm the theoretical framework by showing that the conspiracy theories are fed by the ontological insecurities of Turkish society. Hence, conspiracy theorists, most readers and some political parties respond to their own ontological insecurities and political frustrations through scapegoating Dönmes. Consequently, this work shows that conspiracy theories are important symptoms of society, which, while relieving ontological insecurities, do not provide politically prolific narratives

    Body and Blood of Christ - 19 June 2022

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    “They're Not True Humans:” Beliefs about Moral Character Drive Denials of Humanity

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    A puzzling feature of paradigmatic cases of dehumanization is that the perpetrators often attribute uniquely human traits to their victims. This has become known as the “paradox of dehumanization.” We address the paradox by arguing that the perpetrators think of their victims as human in one sense, while denying that they are human in another sense. We do so by providing evidence that people harbor a dual character concept of humanity. Research has found that dual character concepts have two independent sets of criteria for their application, one of which is descriptive and one of which is normative. Across four experiments, we found evidence that people deploy a descriptive criterion according to which being human is a matter of being a Homo sapiens; as well as a normative criterion according to which being human is a matter of possessing a deep-seated commitment to do the morally right thing. Importantly, we found that people are willing to affirm that someone is human in the descriptive sense, while denying that they are human in the normative sense, and vice versa. In addition to providing a solution to the paradox of dehumanization, these findings suggest that perceptions of moral character have a central role to play in driving dehumanization

    Walking with the Earth: Intercultural Perspectives on Ethics of Ecological Caring

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    It is commonly believed that considering nature different from us, human beings (qua rational, cultural, religious and social actors), is detrimental to our engagement for the preservation of nature. An obvious example is animal rights, a deep concern for all living beings, including non-human living creatures, which is understandable only if we approach nature, without fearing it, as something which should remain outside of our true home. “Walking with the earth” aims at questioning any similar preconceptions in the wide sense, including allegoric-poetic contributions. We invited 14 authors from 4 continents to express all sorts of ways of saying why caring is so important, why togetherness, being-with each others, as a spiritual but also embodied ethics is important in a divided world

    In her own words: exploring the subjectivity of Freud’s ‘teacher’ Anna von Lieben

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    This project is inspired by Roy Porter (1985), who draws attention to the patient-shaped gap in medical history, and Rita Charon (2006), who emphasises the need to bring the patient’s narrative to the fore in the practice of medicine. The principal aim was to devise a means of accessing the lived experience of a patient who is no longer alive in order to gain an understanding of her narrative. Anna von Lieben was identified as a suitable subject as she wrote a substantial quantity of autopathographical poetry suitable for analysis and her status as Freud’s patient makes her a person of significant interest to the history of medicine. The poems were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), an idiographic and inductive method of qualitative research, based on Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology, which explores the lived experience of individuals and is committed to understanding the first-person perspective from the third-person position. The main findings from the IPA study reveal that Anna experienced a prolonged period of malaise, starting in late adolescence which she believed to result, at least partly, from a traumatic experience which occurred at that time. The analysis also indicates that Anna suffered from deep and lasting feelings of guilt and shame. The discovery of additional family documentation enabled me to contextualise and add substance to the findings of the IPA study. Anna’s husband’s diaries in particular reveal that Anna: • had a severe and longstanding gynaecological disorder • suffered from severe morphinism • did not benefit from Freud’s treatment which seemed neither to ease her symptoms nor identify any cause • was treated in Paris, not by Jean-Martin Charcot as previously supposed, but by a French hydrotherapist, Theodore Keller, who appears to have become a person of considerable significance in her life. The above findings led me to investigate Anna’s comorbidities (gynaecological disease and morphinism) and to show how those could be responsible for much of the symptomatology identified by Freud as ‘hysteria’. I then explore the possibility that her psychotic-like experiences could have been iatrogenically induced by her treatment first by Keller and then by Freud. Finally, I propose a fourfold set of hypotheses as an alternative to Freud’s diagnosis of hysteria

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Pontus in Antiquity: aspects of identity

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    The purpose of this thesis is the presentation of the interaction between the successive inhabitants of Pontus in antiquity, indigenous Anatolians, Greeks, Persians and Romans. Limited archaeological evidence cannot determine the precise extent of interaction, although the available information substantiates the notion of a slow, but steady amalgamation. Initially, the intermingling was based on mutual trading links. Although the Hellenic cultural element tended to surface, Eastern factors remained visible. The Mithridatic dynasty was established around the vicinity of Pontus, creating the 'Kingdom of Pontus' which reached its height under Mithridates VI. His administrative and military policy appears to have placed the foundations for the later, Roman corresponding structures. His policies-propaganda reflected the GraecoEastern image of a king, which appealed to the Greek and Persian-Eastern inhabitants of his kingdom, Asia Minor and, to a lesser extent, mainland Greece. This GraecoEastern image might have nourished the concept of a shared history among the inhabitants of Pontus. Their interactions appear to have given rise to an unnamed, local culture, which was enriched with the relevant Roman practices. Around the third century A.D., the Roman administrative patterns might have established an externally defined appellation. During Roman times, Christianity started to be established in Pontus. Although it was not yet a socio-political factor, its non-racial nature prevailed in later centuries. The influence of the Roman-Christian elements can still be observed in the modern Ponti an identity. In antiquity, (lack of) evidence indicates that no group defined themselves as 'Pontics' or 'Pontians' and an internally defined Pontic identity is unlikely to have existed. However, people associated themselves with the geographical area of Pont us, cultural and religious concepts were frequently amalgamated, while the notion of a common descent and a shared history might have been unconsciously fostered. These factors can assist in the understanding of the 'Pontians' today

    Food for thought! Inulin-type fructans: does the food matrix matter?

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    Food matrices can be described as the final composition of a food product which results from complex interactions between compounds found within different ingredients and the processing parameters used in production. These factors, not only impact on the final structure of a product, but also have the potential to alter both the structural integrity and bioavailability of potentially beneficial compounds present, for example, dietary fibres. As a result, there is growing curiosity amongst the scientific community on whether the food matrix may impact on the prebiotic efficacy of inulin-type fructans. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to explore previous food-based inulin-type fructan supplementation studies to determine whether the food matrix directly impacts on their prebiotic efficacy. Our working hypothesis is that other potentially prebiotic ingredients and components present within the food may alter inulin-type fructans prebiotic effect
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