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Showing papers in "Humanities research in 2015"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A detailed overview of the short history and the present situation of the trajectory of decolonizing trauma theory for post-colonial studies, clarifying the various re-routings that have so far taken place, and delineating the present state of the project, as well as the need for further developments towards an increased expansion and inclusiveness of the theory as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Decolonizing trauma theory has been a major project in postcolonial literary scholarship ever since its first sustained engagements with trauma theory. Since then, trauma theory and postcolonial literary studies have been uneasy bedfellows, and the time has now come to take stock of what remains in postcolonial trauma studies from the original formulations of trauma theory, and see which further steps must be envisaged in order to reach the ideal of a truly decolonized trauma theory today. To this end, this article presents a detailed overview of the short history and the present situation of the trajectory of decolonizing trauma theory for postcolonial studies, clarifying the various re-routings that have so far taken place, and delineating the present state of the project, as well as the need for further developments towards an increased expansion and inclusiveness of the theory. I argue that openness to non-Western belief systems and their rituals and ceremonies in the engagement with trauma is needed in order to achieve the remaining major objectives of the long-standing project of decolonizing trauma theory.

123 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Pre-publication peer-review forms the basis of how scholarly journals assess whether an article is suitable for publication as mentioned in this paper, and it has been shown that peer review forms a crucial component in the evaluation of an article's suitability for publication.
Abstract: Pre-publication peer-review forms the basis of how scholarly journals assess whether an article is suitable for publication. [...]

53 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Humanities for the Environment (H2E) project as discussed by the authors proposes an agenda that focuses global humanities research on stepping up to the challenges of planetary environmental change, and establishes Environmental Humanities Observatories through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems.
Abstract: Human preferences, practices and actions are the main drivers of global environmental change in the 21st century. It is crucial, therefore, to promote pro-environmental behavior. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond rational choice and behavioral decision theories, which do not capture the full range of commitments, assumptions, imaginaries, and belief systems that drive those preferences and actions. Humanities disciplines, such as philosophy, history, religious studies, gender studies, language and literary studies, psychology, and pedagogics do offer deep insights into human motivations, values, and choices. We believe that the expertise of such fields for transforming human preferences, practices and actions is ignored at society’s peril. We propose an agenda that focuses global humanities research on stepping up to the challenges of planetary environmental change. We have established Environmental Humanities Observatories through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems by providing insight into human action, perceptions, and motivation. We present this Manifesto as an invitation for others to join the “Humanities for the Environment” open global consortium of humanities observatories as we continue to develop a shared research agenda.

51 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the complex and contested relationship between trauma studies and postcolonial criticism, focusing on the ongoing project to create a decolonized trauma theory that attends to and accounts for the suffering of minority groups and non-Western cultures.
Abstract: This Special Issue aims to explore the complex and contested relationship between trauma studies and postcolonial criticism, focusing on the ongoing project to create a decolonized trauma theory that attends to and accounts for the suffering of minority groups and non-Western cultures, broadly defined as cultures beyond Western Europe and North America. [...]

39 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the idea of a university with a specific focus in the Malaysian context and discuss two "experimental" initiatives in Malaysia: the APEX University (Accelerated Program for Excellence) focusing on sustainability and the "humanversity".
Abstract: This article explores the idea of a university with a specific focus in the Malaysian context. We begin the article guided by these questions—"What is a university?" and "What are universities for?"—in examining the historical and conceptual development of universities. This is followed by asking a more specific question—"What are Malaysian universities for?"—in which we discussed the overarching roles of public and private universities in this developing country. Having examined the roles of public and private universities, and taken into context the complexity and challenges surrounding these important societal institutions, we discuss two "experimental" initiatives in Malaysia: the APEX University (Accelerated Program for Excellence) focusing on sustainability and the "humanversity". On the one hand, these initiatives are intended to prepare and transform Malaysian universities to address not only the needs of society today, but critically, of tomorrow. On the other hand, they have implications and contributions to frame our thinking about the future ideas of a university not only in Malaysia, but regionally and globally.

33 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the meaning of visual thinking strategies (VTS) has been studied in primary education to develop communication and observational skills in nursing students, but only one study has been done including nursing students and none have researched what meaning VTS has for them.
Abstract: Nurse educators are called upon to provide innovative experiences for students to prepare them to work in complex healthcare settings. As part of this preparation, developing observational and communication skills is critical for nurses and can directly affect patient outcomes. Visual thinking strategies (VTS) is a teaching method that has been studied in primary education to develop communication and observational skills. VTS has potential to improve these same skills in nursing yet only one study has been done including nursing students and none have researched what meaning VTS has for them. This research study sought to answer the following questions: What meaning does VTS have for nursing students? How do nursing students use it in caring for patients? Students at a large Midwestern university in a Bachelor of Science program were recruited for participation. Students who voluntarily participated in a previous VTS experience were invited to participate in a second one, followed by an interview. Interpretive phenomenology was used to analyze the interviews and the following themes were identified: Feeling safe in learning and seeing and thinking differently. A literature review was performed to further expand these themes. Analysis of the findings and implications for future research are discussed.

31 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors pointed out that learner demographics in MOOCs suggest that some demographic groups are underrepresented and that at present MOOC seems to be better serving the continuous professional development sector.
Abstract: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new addition to the open educational provision. They are offered mainly by prestigious universities on various commercial and non-commercial MOOC platforms allowing anyone who is interested to experience the world class teaching practiced in these universities. MOOCs have attracted wide interest from around the world. However, learner demographics in MOOCs suggest that some demographic groups are underrepresented. At present MOOCs seem to be better serving the continuous professional development sector.

26 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For instance, near-death experiences (NDEs) are vivid experiences that often occur in life-threatening conditions, usually characterized by a transcendent tone and clear perceptions of leaving the body and being in a different spatiotemporal dimension as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Near-death experiences (NDEs) are vivid experiences that often occur in life-threatening conditions, usually characterized by a transcendent tone and clear perceptions of leaving the body and being in a different spatiotemporal dimension. Such experiences have been reported throughout history in diverse cultures, and are reported today by 10% to 20% of people who have come close to death. Although cultural expectations and parameters of the brush with death influence the content of some NDEs, near-death phenomenology is invariant across cultures. That invariance may reflect universal psychological defenses, neurophysiological processes, or actual experience of a transcendent or mystical domain. Research into these alternative explanations has been hampered by the unpredictable occurrence of NDEs. Regardless of the causes or interpretations of NDEs, however, they are consistently associated with profound and long-lasting aftereffects on experiencers, and may have important implications for non-experiencers as well.

24 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Hamish Dalley1
TL;DR: The authors explore four areas of post-colonial trauma, examining works that narrate traumatic experiences of the colonized, colonizers, perpetrators and proletarians, and suggest that Frantz Fanon's model of racial trauma in Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth remains essential for the interpretation of postcolonial texts.
Abstract: Dominant theorizations of cultural trauma often appeal to the twinned notions of “recognition” and “solidarity”, suggesting that by inviting readers to recognize distant suffering, trauma narratives enable forms of cross-cultural solidarity to emerge This paper explores and critiques that argument with reference to postcolonial literature It surveys four areas of postcolonial trauma, examining works that narrate traumatic experiences of the colonized, colonizers, perpetrators and proletarians It explores how novelists locate traumatic affects in the body, and suggests that Frantz Fanon’s model of racial trauma in Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth remains essential for the interpretation of postcolonial texts, including those to which it is not usually applied The analysis further reveals tensions between different texts’ appeals for recognition, and suggests that these tensions problematize the claim that solidarity will emerge from sympathetic engagement with trauma victims As such, the paper makes three key arguments: first, that trauma offers a productive ground for comparing postcolonial fiction; second, that comparison uncovers problems for theorists attempting to “decolonize” trauma studies; and third, that trauma theory needs to be supplemented with systemic material analyses of particular contexts if it is not to obfuscate what makes postcolonial traumas distinct

23 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The concept of "deep mapping" has been used as a descriptor of a specific suite of creative works and as a set of aesthetic practices as mentioned in this paper, and it has garnered attention beyond literary discourse, particularly within the “spatial turn of representation in the humanities and as the result of expanded platforms of data presentation.
Abstract: The concept of “deep mapping”, as an approach to place, has been deployed as both a descriptor of a specific suite of creative works and as a set of aesthetic practices. While its definition has been amorphous and adaptive, a number of distinct, yet related, manifestations identify as, or have been identified by, the term. In recent times, it has garnered attention beyond literary discourse, particularly within the “spatial” turn of representation in the humanities and as a result of expanded platforms of data presentation. This paper takes a brief look at the practice of “deep mapping”, considering it as a consciously performative act and tracing a number of its various manifestations. It explores how deep mapping is a reflection of epistemological trends in ontological practices of connectivity and the “flattening” of knowledge systems. In particular those put forward by post structural and cultural theorists, such as Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari, as well as by theorists who associate with speculative realism. The concept of deep mapping as an aesthetic, methodological, and ideological tool, enables an approach to place that democratizes knowledge by crossing temporal, spatial, and disciplinary boundaries.

22 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The most recent edition of the Decolonizing Trauma Symposium as mentioned in this paper was held at The School of The Arts, The University of Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, 15-17 May 2015.
Abstract: This round-table, which featured literary critics Professor Stef Craps, Professor Bryan Cheyette and Dr. Alan Gibbs, was recorded as part of the “Decolonizing Trauma Studies” symposium organized by Dr. Sonya Andermahr and Dr. Larissa Allwork at The School of The Arts, The University of Northampton (15 May 2015). Convened a week after the University of Zaragoza’s “Memory Frictions” conference, where Cheyette, Gibbs, Andermahr and Allwork gave papers, the Northampton symposium and round-table was sponsored by The School of The Arts to coincide with Andermahr’s guest editorship of this special issue of Humanities. Craps, Cheyette and Gibbs addressed five questions during the round-table. Namely, does trauma studies suffer from a form of psychological universalism? Do you see any signs that trauma studies is becoming more decolonized? What are the challenges of a decolonized trauma studies for disciplinary thinking? How does a decolonized trauma studies relate to pedagogical ethics? Finally, where do you see the future of the field? While this edited transcript retains a certain informality of style, it offers a significant contribution to knowledge by capturing a unique exchange between three key thinkers in contemporary trauma studies, providing a timely analysis of the impact of postcolonial theory on trauma studies, the state of the field and its future possibilities. Issues addressed include the problematic scholarly tendency to universalize a western model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); the question of the centrality of the Holocaust in trauma studies and the implications of this for the study of atrocities globally; the vexed issues posed by the representation of perpetrators; as well as how the basic tenets of western cultural trauma theory, until recently so often characterized by a Caruth-inspired focus on belatedness and afterwardness, are being rethought, both in response to developments in the US and in answer to the challenge to ‘decolonize’ trauma studies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For instance, the authors show that the emergence of the late medieval and early modern prose novel is often predicated on transcultural experiences, whether they entailed military conflicts or peaceful encounters between Christians and Muslims.
Abstract: As recent scholarship has demonstrated, the world of the Mediterranean exerted a tremendous influence not only on the societies and cultures bordering the Mediterranean Sea during the late Middle Ages, but had a huge influence on the mentality and culture of the world north of the Alps as well because it was here where East and West met, exchanged ideas and products, and struggled to find, despite many military conflicts, some kind of transcultural. The highly complex conditions in the Mediterranean realm represented significant challenges and promises at the same time, and no traveler from Germany or England, for instance, whether a merchant or a pilgrim, a diplomat or an artist, could resist responding to the allure of the Mediterranean cultures. The corpus of travelogues and pilgrimage accounts is legion, as scholars have noted already for quite some time. But we can also observe literary reflections on the Mediterranean especially during the fifteenth century. The emergence of the late medieval and early modern prose novel is often predicated on transcultural experiences, whether they entailed military conflicts or peaceful encounters between Christians and Muslims. These literary texts did not necessarily respond to the historical events, such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453, but they document an intriguing opening up of German, English, French, and Flemish, etc., society to the Mediterranean world. The prose novels discussed in this paper demonstrate that Germany, in particular, was a significant hinterland of the Mediterranean; somewhat farther apart, but still closely connected. The literary evidence will allow us to identify how those transcultural encounters were recognized and then dealt with.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A re-reading of Aboriginal author Sally Morgan's Stolen Generations narrative My Place (1987) in post-Apology Australia (2008-present) is described in this article, where the authors explore the intergenerational consequences of child removal in the Aboriginal context and suggest that the children and grand-children of victims of colonial policies and practices can work through the trauma of their ancestors.
Abstract: This article proposes a re-reading of Aboriginal author Sally Morgan’s Stolen Generations narrative My Place (1987) in post-Apology Australia (2008–present). The novel tells the story of Morgan’s discovery of her maternal Aboriginal origins through the life-stories of her mother and grandmother; the object of a quest for the past that is both relational and matrilineal; incorporating elements of autobiography and as-told-to memoirs to create a form of choral autoethnography. Morgan’s text explores the intergenerational consequences of child removal in the Aboriginal context and is representative of Indigenous-authored narratives in its suggestion that the children and grand-children of victims of colonial policies and practices can work through the trauma of their ancestors. I examine the literary processes of decolonization of the Indigenous writing/written self and community; as well as strategies for individual survival and cultural survivance in the Australian settler colonial context; especially visible through the interactions between traumatic memories and literary memoirs, a genre neglected by trauma theory’s concern with narrative fragmentation and the proliferation of “themed” life-writing centered on a traumatic event. This article calls for a revision of trauma theory’s Eurocentrism through scholarly engagement with Indigenous experiences such as Morgan’s and her family in order to broaden definitions and take into account collective, historical, and inherited trauma.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: More than a hundred small archaeological test pit excavations were carried out in 2013 within four rural communities in eastern England as discussed by the authors, with most test pits sited in volunteers' own gardens or those of their friends, family or neighbors.
Abstract: This paper reviews the results of more than a hundred small archaeological “test pit” excavations carried out in 2013 within four rural communities in eastern England. Each excavation used standardized protocols in a different location within the host village, with the finds dated and mapped to create a series of maps spanning more than 3500 years, in order to advance understanding of the spatial development of settlements and landscapes over time. The excavations were all carried out by local volunteers working physically within their own communities, supported and advised by professional archaeologists, with most test pits sited in volunteers’ own gardens or those of their friends, family or neighbors. Site-by-site, the results provided glimpses of the use made by humans of each of the excavated sites spanning prehistory to the present day; while in aggregate the mapped data show how settlement and land-use developed and changed over time. Feedback from participants also demonstrates the diverse positive impacts the project had on individuals and communities. The results are presented and reviewed here in order to highlight the contribution archaeological test pit excavation can make to deep mapping, and the contribution that deep mapping can make to rural communities.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore how the process of "marooning" the self in a radically placeless (and depthless) space, in this instance a motorway traffic island on the M53 in the northwest of England, can inform critical understandings and practices of deep mapping.
Abstract: Taking as its starting point the spatiotemporal rhythms of landscapes of hyper-mobility and transit, this paper explores how the process of “marooning” the self in a radically placeless (and depthless) space—in this instance a motorway traffic island on the M53 in the northwest of England—can inform critical understandings and practices of “deep mapping”. Conceived of as an autoethnographic experiment—a performative expression of “islandness” as an embodied spatial praxis—the research on which this paper draws revisits ideas set out in JG Ballard’s 1974 novel Concrete Island, although, unlike Ballard’s island Crusoe (and sans person Friday), the author’s residency was restricted to one day and night. The fieldwork, which combines methods of “digital capture” (audio soundscapes, video, stills photography, and GPS tracking), takes the form of a rhythmanalytical mapping of territory that can unequivocally be defined as “negative space”. Offering an oblique engagement with debates on “non-places” and spaces of mobility, the paper examines the capacity of non-places/negative spaces to play host to the conditions whereby affects of place and dwelling can be harnessed and performatively transacted. The embodied rhythmicity of non-places is thus interrogated from the vantage point of a constitutive negation of the negation of place. In this vein, the paper offers a reflexive examination of the spatial anthropology of negative space.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a critical hermeneutic approach to field research and data analysis of nursing presence is presented, and the role of ethical orientation, creativity and connection with the human experience through exploration of self and other.
Abstract: Nursing presence, although it involves action at times, is a humanitarian quality of relating to a patient that is known to have powerful and positive implications for both nurse and patient. However, this phenomenon has not been well understood. Three theories, drawn from the work of Paul Ricoeur and Hans-Georg Gadamer, served as the boundaries for both data collection and analysis. The theories were narrative identity, play and solicitude. This study follows a critical hermeneutic approach to field research and data analysis. Literature regarding nursing presence is reviewed and discussed, and in-depth conversations with eleven participants are recorded. Examining the phenomenon of nursing presence through the hermeneutic lenses of narrative identity, play and solicitude has elucidated the role of ethical orientation, creativity and connection with the human experience through exploration of self and other. This more nuanced and complex understanding adds depth to the conversation and offers new possibilities to the effort to encourage and support presence in nursing practice.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a collection of photographscreated by Parker McKenzie (Kiowa) and his classmates while attending Rainy Mountainand Phoenix Indian Schools is used as examples of visual sovereignty.
Abstract: Photographs of American Indian boarding school students have often been usedto illustrate the federal forced assimilation practices of the 1870s–1930s. Taken by officialschool photographers, these propagandistic images were produced to emphasize the“civilizing” benefits of the boarding school system. Although some Native studentsobtained cameras and recorded their own boarding school experiences, the visual historystill relies on the institutionally-produced images. Using a collection of photographscreated by Parker McKenzie (Kiowa) and his classmates while attending Rainy Mountainand Phoenix Indian Schools, this paper intends to rectify that exclusion through a readingof these snapshots as examples of visual sovereignty. The concept of visual sovereigntyinvolves examining Native self-representations as the (re)claiming of indigenous identitiesin order to counter colonial imagery that has dominated the archives.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The communication of a death due to unexpected and traumatic causes is considered a very sensitive issue that can deeply affect both operators responsible for reporting the incident and the mourning process of family members, relatives, and other survivors as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The communication of a death due to unexpected and traumatic causes is considered a very sensitive issue that can deeply affect both operators responsible for reporting the incident and the mourning process of family members, relatives, and other survivors. By focusing particularly on cases of traumatic death, this article tries to explain how inadequate communication of death may adversely affect the course of mourning. The article also illustrates the basic principles of correct notification of death. In this way, we hope to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on this topic and the promotion of new studies aimed at setting best practices for those professionally involved in the challenging task of communicating that a life has ended. This would be important in order to safeguard the emotional integrity of notifiers whilst effectively helping the survivors to cope with the early stages of their difficult mourning process.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors proposes an alternative understanding of postcolonial trauma theory as a contact zone where trauma criticism and the postcolony are interrelated and mutually transformed, and where unequal power relations are also attended to.
Abstract: This article starts by engaging in a dialogue with the most relevant postcolonial emendations to trauma theory, addressed to both its aporetic and its therapeutic trends, and it goes on to reflect on the state of the decolonizing trauma theory project, critically examining the motivations behind it as well as some of the problems it still encounters, like the risk of objectification and revictimization of postcolonial peoples, the blurring of their trauma particularities, and the appropriation of their experience. Then, it proposes an alternative understanding of postcolonial trauma theory as a contact zone where trauma criticism and the postcolony are interrelated and mutually transformed, and where unequal power relations are also attended to. Acknowledging the postcolony as a site of theory production rather than the object of external definition, it proceeds to analyze Edwidge Danticat’s short story cycle Claire of the Sea Light: its strategic representation of grief—which she achieves through the short story cycle structure and overall in-betweenness and ambivalence in symbols and characterization—puts Haitians on the critical map of trauma, fighting invisibility and oblivion, but it simultaneously resists an appropriation of Haitian experience by rejecting any monolithic view on Haiti and refusing to fit into a predetermined template.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The nine short position papers presented here were collected by Svend Erik Larsen from colleagues and members of the Academia Europaea Section for Literary and Theatrical Studies who have been actively involved in the changes within their discipline in the areas they introduce as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: What might Humanities have to offer to the current big societal and technological challenges? The nine short position papers presented here were collected by Svend Erik Larsen from colleagues and members of the Academia Europaea Section for Literary and Theatrical Studies who have been actively involved in the changes within their discipline in the areas they introduce. They show emerging interdisciplinary fields, provide new insights, indicate significant cultural achievements and forge new collaborations in order to shape the outlines of the research landscape of the 21st century. Their main concern is not the future of Humanities, but the future with Humanities.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a textual "deep map" of a series of experimental commutes undertaken in the west of Scotland in 2014 is presented, where the authors trace the development of a performative counterpractice for their daily journeys between home and work.
Abstract: This article offers a textual “deep map” of a series of experimental commutes undertaken in the west of Scotland in 2014. Recent developments in the field of transport studies have reconceived travel time as a far richer cultural experience than in previously utilitarian and economic approaches to the “problem” of commuting. Understanding their own commutes in these terms—as spaces of creativity, productivity and transformation—the authors trace the development of a performative “counterpractice” for their daily journeys between home and work. Deep mapping—as a form of “theory-informed story-telling”—is employed as a productive strategy to document this reimagination of ostensibly quotidian and functional travel. Importantly, this particular stage of the project is not presented as an end-point. Striving to develop an ongoing creative engagement with landscape, the authors continue this exploratory mobile research by connecting to other commuters’ journeys, and proposing a series of “strategies” for reimagining the daily commute; a list of prompts for future action within the routines and spaces of commuting. A range of alternative approaches to commuting are offered here to anyone who regularly travels to and from work to employ or develop as they wish, extending the mapping process to other routes and contexts.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the experiences of couple and family therapists learning about and using an evidence-based practice (EBP) using a phenomenological approach called Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, three themes emerged from the participants' experiences: the supports and challenges while learning an EBP, the experience of shame while learning, and the embodiment of a therapy practice.
Abstract: This paper will present research that explored the experiences of couple and family therapists learning about and using an evidence-based practice (EBP). Using a phenomenological approach called Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, three themes emerged from the participants’ experiences: the supports and challenges while learning an EBP, the experience of shame while learning, and the embodiment of a therapy practice. This paper will focus on the theme of embodiment. Research participants’ experiences will be reviewed and further explored using Merleau-Ponty’s notion of embodiment and Gendlin’s (1978) more internally focused understanding of how awareness of a felt sense is experienced as a move “inside of a person”. As researchers, educators, administrators, policy makers, and counsellors struggle with what works best with which populations and when, how best to allocate resources, how best to educate and support counsellors, and the complexity of doing research in real-life settings, this research has the potential to contribute to those varied dialogues.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that large numbers of people struggle with what one might call narrative complexity; that they resolve such struggles by falling back onto narrative simplicities which, through a series of cultural preferences, congeal to produce much of the stuff of popular culture; and that what was being critiqued was essentially a condition formed by cognitive underdevelopment.
Abstract: This essay is an engagement with a series of propositions about literacy and reading in the United States: that large numbers of people struggle with what one might call narrative complexity; that they resolve such struggles by falling back onto narrative simplicities which, through a series of cultural preferences, congeal to produce much of the stuff of popular culture; that this condition and process is essentially what the varied critics—from left and right—of the culture of modernity were actually identifying, though from a largely normative, not empirical, standpoint; that what was being critiqued was essentially a condition formed by cognitive underdevelopment; and that we can actually explain this empirically by mining decades’ worth of research in reading and literacy studies, particularly in the context of childhood and social class. In short, this paper is an admittedly tentative step in an effort to build a bridge between two knowledge silos that have in part remained determinably apart—reading/literacy studies and cultural/critical theory. The essay also suggests that, in order to understand reading and literacy, it is important to begin to engage research in neuroscience, particularly that which suggests that the brain is actually not designed—in evolutionary terms—to read.

Journal ArticleDOI
Karyn Ball1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors take up the encounter between philosophy and literature through a reconsideration of Walter Benjamin's remarks from "On Some Motifs in Baudelaire" about Henri Bergson's Matiere et memoire.
Abstract: This essay takes up the encounter between philosophy and literature through a reconsideration of Walter Benjamin’s remarks from “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire” about Henri Bergson’s Matiere et memoire as an attempt “[t]owering above” other ventures into Lebensphilosophie to “lay hold of the ‘true’ experience, as opposed to the kind that manifests itself in the standardized, denatured life of the civilized masses”. Despite his initial affirmation of Bergson’s understanding of experience as connected with tradition, Benjamin criticizes the philosopher’s account for sidestepping “the alienating, blinding experience of the age of large-scale industrialism” in reaction to which, as Benjamin insists, Bergson’s philosophy of memory developed. Yet even as Bergson shuts out the historical import of modernization, according to Benjamin, he also spotlights a “complementary” visual experience “in the form of its spontaneous afterimage”. Benjamin subsequently defines Bergson’s philosophy as “an attempt to specify this afterimage and fix it as a permanent record”, an endeavor that inadvertently “furnishes a clue to the experience which presented itself undistorted to Baudelaire’s eyes, in the figure of his reader”. If the literary critic might be viewed here as weighing in on a long-running antagonism between philosophy and literature, then his assessment is resolute: by praising the self-conscious historicity of Baudelaire’s lyric, Benjamin declares that poetry succeeds where Lebensphilosophie fails. Notably, Baudelaire is not the only figure to upstage “ahistorical” Bergson, since Marcel Proust and Sigmund Freud facilitate this victory. To contextualize the second section of “Motifs”, where Benjamin discusses the novelist’s “immanent critique of Bergson” this essay offers a reading of “On the Image of Proust” as a propadeutic to Benjamin’s privileging of “Baudelaire” over “Bergson” in the first section of “Motifs” to broach the destinies of diminished perception before he turns to Freud in the third section. Drawing upon Freud’s thermodynamic model of a selective and protective perceptual-conscious system from Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Benjamin explains how perception calcifies in adapting to industrialism. Notably, however, his “energetics” does not remain bound by closed-system economic premises insofar as he conceives Baudelaire’s correspondances as an antidote to reification and modernization fatigue. The resulting configuration emerges against the backdrop of a lament about the decline of tradition-infused, long-term experience [Erfahrung] that accompanies the rise of isolated experience [Erlebnis]. In tracking Benjamin’s seemingly melancholic emplotment of the literary image between “Proust” and “Baudelaire”, the essay ultimately focuses on how he amplifies its sociohistorical potential to attest to the dehiscence of tradition as a community-sustaining force.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Bhabha's views of inbetweenness enhance understanding of the student's development of an interprofessional viewpoint or identity, and deepen the author's developing framework of an Interprofessional Community of Practice.
Abstract: Homi K. Bhabha is a post-colonial and cultural theorist who describes the emergence of new cultural forms from multiculturalism. When health profession students enculturated into their profession discuss patient care in an interprofessional group, their unilateral view is challenged. The students are in that ambiguous area, or Third Space, where statements of their profession’s view of the patient enmesh and an interprofessional identity begins to form. The lessons learned from others ways of assessing and treating a patient, seen through the lens of hybridity allow for the development of a richer, interprofessional identity. This manuscript will seek out the ways Bhabha’s views of inbetweenness enhance understanding of the student’s development of an interprofessional viewpoint or identity, and deepen the author’s developing framework of an Interprofessional Community of Practice.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that a novel focus on concepts of narrativity will generate pathways for an interdisciplinary understanding of PTSD by linking biological underpinnings from neurobiological findings, to brain metabolism and pharmacotherapy via the interface of psychotherapy and the specific role of narratives to the lived experience of patients.
Abstract: Since the second half of the 20th century, the life sciences have become one of the dominant explanatory models for almost every aspect of human life. Hand in hand with biomedical developments and technologies, the life sciences are constantly shaping and reshaping human lives and changing human biographies in manifold ways. The orientation towards life sciences and biomedicine from the very beginning to the end of human life is driven by the utopian notion that all forms of contingency could be technologically and medically controlled. This paper addresses the interrelatedness of life sciences and human biographies in a field where contingency and risk become essential and existential parts of lived experience: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On the one hand, this diagnostic entity is related to (neuro-)biological underpinnings of (a lack of) psychic resilience as well as to those of contemporary pharmacotherapy. On the other hand, PTSD is also understood as based on a traumatic life event, which can be accessed through and addressed by talk therapy, particularly narrative exposure therapy (NET). We argue that a novel focus on concepts of narrativity will generate pathways for an interdisciplinary understanding of PTSD by linking biological underpinnings from neurobiological findings, to brain metabolism and pharmacotherapy via the interface of psychotherapy and the specific role of narratives to the lived experience of patients and vice versa. The goal of our study is to demonstrate why therapies such as psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy are successful in controlling the disease burden of PTSD to some extent, but the restitutio ad integrum, the reestablishing of the bodily and psychic integrity remains out of reach for most PTSD patients. As a test case, we discuss the complementary methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the established procedures of talk therapy (NET) to show how a methodological focus on narratives enhanced by notions of narrativity from the humanities grants access to therapeutically meaningful, enriched notions of PTSD. We focus on TCM because trauma therapy has long since become an intrinsic part of this complementary medical concept which are more widely accessible and accepted than other complementary medical practices, such as Ayurveda or homeopathy. Looking at the individual that suffers from a traumatic life event and also acknowledging the contemporary concepts of resilience, transdisciplinary concepts become particularly relevant for the medical treatment of and social reintegration of patients such as war veterans. We emphasize the necessity of a new dialogue between the life sciences and the humanities by introducing the concepts of corporeality, capability and temporality as boundary objects crucial for both the biomedical explanation, the narrative understanding and the lived experience of trauma.

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TL;DR: A detailed cultural history of the leyline can be found in this paper, where a critical engagement with ley-walking through an auto-ethnographic response to a ley line that has been mapped and walked in Norfolk, England.
Abstract: In 1921 the photographer, antiquarian and amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, delivered his newly formed thesis on the origins of ancient alignments in the west of England to the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club of Hereford. Watkins posited a correlation between ancient forts, moats, mounds, churches, trees and place names, which he had shown to produce straight lines running across the landscape. In 1922 Watkins published his first book on the subject, Early British Trackways, mixing amateur archaeology, social history and supposition to introduce what Watkins named “leylines” and setting out the guidelines for other would-be ley hunters. This paper explores Watkins’ ley hunting as a practice of “deep mapping”, examining its use as an applied spatial engagement with the hidden trajectories of the landscape. In addition to providing a concise cultural history of the leyline, with particular reference to the works of Alfred Watkins, this paper develops a critical engagement with ley-walking through an auto-ethnographic response to a leyline that has been mapped and walked in Norfolk, England.

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TL;DR: In this article, the connections that can be drawn between Wittgenstein and Marxism from a historical point of view, through developing a synoptic account of the available relevant historical and biographical data, are highlighted.
Abstract: The present article aims at highlighting the connections that can be drawn between Wittgenstein and Marx(ism) from a historical point of view, through developing a synoptic account of the available relevant historical and biographical data. Starting with a discussion of Wittgenstein’s relation to the Italian Marxist economist Piero Sraffa, it then moves to a presentation of Wittgenstein’s broader circle of Marxist friends. Our account continues and concludes by examining and comparing Wittgenstein’s stance towards the Two World Wars and Stalin’s U.S.S.R. The approach developed in this article not only challenges the widespread image of Wittgenstein as a philosopher indifferent to issues of a political nature. It also traces Marxism as a significant aspect of the context in which Wittgenstein’s philosophy, and particularly its later phase, was developed.

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TL;DR: The tension between the integrity of a university's ideal or mission (academic freedom, innovation, excellence in research and teaching) and approaches to accountability that are used to monitor performance and to establish criteria for university funding is discussed in this article.
Abstract: The essay focuses on the tension between the integrity of a university’s ideal or mission (academic freedom, innovation, excellence in research and teaching) and approaches to accountability that are used to monitor performance and to establish criteria for university funding. The paper examines evaluation systems and the distorting effects of the incentives some of them create, especially when different metrics are combined in order to rank academic institutions. Such league tables prioritise comparative success rather than excellence, which is not a positional good. Yet better forms of accountability are possible. Some simple aspects of academic and educational achievements can be measured reasonably accurately and are less open to manipulation. These include hours of study, standards of writing, and the amount of feedback on written work received by students.

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TL;DR: This article developed an ecocritical and technology-focused perspective on contemporary Aboriginal poetry through an analysis of the writings of three significant literary-activists: Jack Davis, Noonuccal, and Fogarty.
Abstract: Based in oral traditions and song cycles, contemporary Aboriginal Australian poetry is full of allusions to the environment. Not merely a physical backdrop for human activities, the ancient Aboriginal landscape is a nexus of ecological, spiritual, material, and more-than-human overlays—and one which is increasingly compromised by modern technological impositions. In literary studies, while Aboriginal poetry has become the subject of critical interest, few studies have foregrounded the interconnections between environment and technology. Instead, scholarship tends to focus on the socio-political and cultural dimensions of the writing. How have contemporary Australian Aboriginal poets responded to the impacts of environmental change and degradation? How have poets addressed the effects of modern technology in ancestral environments, or country? This article will develop an ecocritical and technology-focused perspective on contemporary Aboriginal poetry through an analysis of the writings of three significant literary-activists: Jack Davis (1917–2000), Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920–1993), and Lionel Fogarty (born 1958). Davis, Noonuccal, and Fogarty strive poetically to draw critical attention to the particular impacts of late modernist technologies on Aboriginal people and country. In developing a critique of invasive technologies that adversely affect the environment and culture, their poetry also invokes the Aboriginal technologies that sustained (and, in places, still sustain) people in reciprocal relation to country.