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[Given, If, Then]: A Reading in Three Parts

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ISBN: 9780692298374 Year: Pages: 116 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0090.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:40
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[Given, If, Then] attempts to conceive a possibility of reading, through a set of readings: reading being understood as the relation to an Other that occurs prior to any semantic or formal identification, and, therefore, prior to any attempt at assimilating, or appropriating, what is being read to the one who reads. As such, it is an encounter with an indeterminable Other, an Other who is other than other — an unconditional relation, and thus a relation to no fixed object of relation. The first reading by Jeremy Fernando, “Blind Reading,” unfolds through an attempt to speak of reading as an event. Untheorisable in itself, it is a positing of reading as reading, through reading, where texts are read as a test site for reading itself. As such, it is a meditation on the finitude and exteriority in literature, philosophy, and knowledge; where blindness is both the condition and limit of reading itself. Folded into, or in between, this (re)reading are a selection of photographs from Jennifer Hope Davy’s image archive. They are on the one hand simply a selection of ‘impartial pictures’ taken, and on the other hand that which allow for something singular and, therefore, always other to dis/appear — crossing that borderless realm between ‘some’ and ‘some-thing.’ Eventually, there is a writing on images on writings by Julia Hölzl. A responding to the impossible response, a re-iteration, a re-reading of what could not have been written, a re-writing of what could not have been read; these poems, if one were to name them such, name them as such, answer (to) the impossibility of answering: answer to no call.

Homotopia?: Gay Identity, Sameness & the Politics of Desire

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ISBN: 9780692606247 Year: Pages: 154 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0124.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:37
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Do opposites attract? Is desire lack? These assumptions have become so much a part of the ways in which we conceive desire that they are rarely questioned. Yet, what do they say about how homosexuality — a desire for the same — is viewed in our culture? This book takes as its starting point the absence of a suitable theory of homosexual desire, a theory not predicated on such heterological assumptions. It is an investigation into how such assumptions acquired meaning within homosexual discourse, and as such is offered as an interruption within the hegemony of desire. As such, homosexual desire constitutes the biggest challenge to Western binaric thinking in that it dissolves the sacred distinctions between Same/Other, Desire/Identification, subject/object, male/female. Homotopia? (composed in 1997 but not published until now) investigates the development of a homosexual discourse at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, and reveals how that discourse worked within heterosexualized models of desire. Andre Gide’s Corydon, Edward Carpenter’s The Intermediate Sex, and John Addington Symond’s A Problem in Modern Ethics are all pseudo-scientific texts written by non-medical men of letters, and were, in their time, highly influential on the emerging homosexual discourse. The fourth text, the twenty-odd pages of Marcel Proust’s novel A la recherché de temps perdu usually referred to as ‘La Race maudite,’ is the most problematic, in that it appeared under the guise of fiction. But Proust originally planned this ‘essay-within-a-novel’ to be published separately. In it, he offers a pseudo-scientific theory of male-male love. These four texts were published between the years 1891 and 1924, an historical moment when the concept of a distinct homosexual identity took shape within a medicalized discourse centered on essential identity traits and characteristics, and they all work within the rubric of science, contributing to a discourse which saw the human race divided into two distinct categories: heterosexuals and homosexuals. How did this division come about, and what were its effects? How was this discourse sustained, and how were the meanings it produced received? For men whose erotic interest was exclusively in other men, what did it mean to see oneself and one’s desires as the outcome of biology rather than moral lapse?

Still Thriving: On the Importance of Aranye Fradenburg

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ISBN: 9780988234031 Year: Pages: 88 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0099.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:39
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he work of L.O. Aranye Fradenburg, especially her psychoanalytic criticism of Chaucer, and her formulations of discontinuist historical approaches to the Middle Ages, has been extremely influential within medieval studies for the past 20 or so years. More recently she has been focusing on more broad defenses of the humanities, especially with regard to the valuable role of literary studies relative to the arts of everyday living, eudaimonia [flourishing], ethical community, and well-being, and also on psychoanalysis itself as a “liberal art.” Relationality, intersubjectivity, aliveness, resilience, care of the self and also of others, adaptive flexibility, playfulness, shared attention, companionship, healing, and thriving seem, increasingly, to be the key watchwords and concerns of Fradenburg’s work, and at the same time, the so-called “literary” mode is still central to these concerns, such that, as Fradenburg has written, “Interpretation and relationality depend on one another because all relationships are unending processes of interpretation and expression, listening and signifying. In turn, sentience assists relationality: we can’t thrive and probably can’t survive without minds open to possibility, capable of sensing and interpreting the tiniest shifts in, e.g., pitch and tone.” This small volume features short essays and personal reflections on the importance of Fradenburg’s career, as teacher and scholar, and also on the valuable role(s) that her work, and medieval studies more generally, has played and might still play in the defense of the humanities as essential to living and thriving.

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