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History and Its Limits

History and Its Limits Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 9780801457685
Release 2016-02-04
Pages 248
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Dominick LaCapra's History and Its Limits articulates the relations among intellectual history, cultural history, and critical theory, examining the recent rise of "Practice Theory" and probing the limitations of prevalent forms of humanism. LaCapra focuses on the problem of understanding extreme cases, specifically events and experiences involving violence and victimization. He asks how historians treat and are simultaneously implicated in the traumatic processes they attempt to represent. In addressing these questions, he also investigates violence's impact on various types of writing and establishes a distinctive role for critical theory in the face of an insufficiently discriminating aesthetic of the sublime (often unreflectively amalgamated with the uncanny). In History and Its Limits, LaCapra inquires into the related phenomenon of a turn to the "postsecular," even the messianic or the miraculous, in recent theoretical discussions of extreme events by such prominent figures as Giorgio Agamben, Eric L. Santner, and Slavoj Zizek. In a related vein, he discusses Martin Heidegger's evocative, if not enchanting, understanding of "The Origin of the Work of Art." LaCapra subjects to critical scrutiny the sometimes internally divided way in which violence has been valorized in sacrificial, regenerative, or redemptive terms by a series of important modern intellectuals on both the far right and the far left, including Georges Sorel, the early Walter Benjamin, Georges Bataille, Frantz Fanon, and Ernst Jünger. Violence and victimization are prominent in the relation between the human and the animal. LaCapra questions prevalent anthropocentrism (evident even in theorists of the "posthuman") and the long-standing quest for a decisive criterion separating or dividing the human from the animal. LaCapra regards this attempt to fix the difference as misguided and potentially dangerous because it renders insufficiently problematic the manner in which humans treat other animals and interact with the environment. In raising the issue of desirable transformations in modernity, History and Its Limits examines the legitimacy of normative limits necessary for life in common and explores the disconcerting role of transgressive initiatives beyond limits (including limits blocking the recognition that humans are themselves animals).



From History to Theory

From History to Theory Author Kerwin Lee Klein
ISBN-10 9780520948297
Release 2011-05-19
Pages 224
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From History to Theory describes major changes in the conceptual language of the humanities, particularly in the discourse of history. In seven beautifully written, closely related essays, Kerwin Lee Klein traces the development of academic vocabularies through the dynamically shifting cultural, political, and linguistic landscapes of the twentieth century. He considers the rise and fall of "philosophy of history" and discusses past attempts to imbue historical discourse with scientific precision. He explores the development of the "meta-narrative" and the post-Marxist view of history and shows how the present resurgence of old words—such as "memory"—in new contexts is providing a way to address marginalized peoples. In analyzing linguistic changes in the North American academy, From History to Theory innovatively ties semantic shifts in academic discourse to key trends in American society, culture, and politics.



Animal Fables after Darwin

Animal Fables after Darwin Author Chris Danta
ISBN-10 9781108428200
Release 2018-07-31
Pages 231
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A major critical reassessment of the fable and of the literary representation of the human-animal relationship after Darwin.



Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism

Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism Author Gary Steiner
ISBN-10 9780231527293
Release 2013-04-23
Pages 312
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While postmodern approaches to politics and ethics have offered some intriguing and influential insights in philosophy and theory, Gary Steiner illuminates the fundamental inability of these approaches to arrive at viable ethical and political principles. Ethics require notions of self, agency, and value that are not available to postmodernists. Therefore much of what is published under the rubric of theory lacks a proper basis for a systematic engagement with ethics. Steiner provocatively critiques postmodernist approaches to the moral status of animals against the background of a broader indictment of postmodern thought and its inability to establish clear principles for action. He revisits the work of Derrida, Foucault, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, together with recent work by their American interpreters, and shows that the basic terms of postmodern thought are incompatible with any definitive claims about the moral status or rights of animals—and humans. Steiner acknowledges the failures of liberal humanist thought regarding the moral status of animals; but instead of following postmodern thinkers who reject humanist thought outright, he argues for the need to rethink humanist notions in a way that avoids the anthropocentric limitations of traditional humanist thought. Drawing on the achievements of the Stoics and Kant, Steiner builds on his earlier work, developing his ideas of cosmic holism and non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism in order to arrive at a more concrete foundation for animal rights.



History and Criticism

History and Criticism Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 0801493242
Release 1987
Pages 145
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"LaCapra offers an intriguing collection of essays to support both his enthusiasm for intellectual history . . . and his concern about the 'excesses' he finds in techniques and practices of the new social history. Admitting that the essays are polemical with a 'measure of exaggeration and a stylization of arguments, ' LaCapra seeks to restore the historian's appreciation for 'great' literature, the techniques of literary criticism, and the rhetoric that must be studied and analyzed to integrate this criticism into historical analysis. LaCapra calls for an engaged dialogue with the past on both an objective and a subjective plane. . . . [He] shows great familiarity with (and due respect for) recent innovations of social historians and theoreticians using the Annales approach. As a critique of their work as well as a defense of LaCapra's alternatives, this is a valuable study." Choice"



History in Transit

History in Transit Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 0801488982
Release 2004
Pages 274
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Reacting against the antitheoretical bias of some historians, LaCapra presents an alternative model of historigraphical practice - one in which emphases of plurality and hybridity are combined with the concept of historical practice.



Postcolonial Witnessing

Postcolonial Witnessing Author Stef Craps
ISBN-10 9781137292117
Release 2012-11-13
Pages 181
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Postcolonial Witnessing argues that the suffering engendered by colonialism needs to be acknowledged more fully, on its own terms, in its own terms, and in relation to traumatic First World histories if trauma theory is to have any hope of redeeming its promise of cross-cultural ethical engagement.



The Future of Trauma Theory

The Future of Trauma Theory Author Gert Buelens
ISBN-10 9781135053109
Release 2013-10-30
Pages 182
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This collection analyses the future of ‘trauma theory’, a major theoretical discourse in contemporary criticism and theory. The chapters advance the current state of the field by exploring new areas, asking new questions and making new connections. Part one, History and Culture, begins by developing trauma theory in its more familiar post-deconstructive mode and explores how these insights might still be productive. It goes on, via a critique of existing positions, to relocate trauma theory in a postcolonial and globalized world, theoretically, aesthetically and materially, and focuses on non-Western accounts and understandings of trauma, memory and suffering. Part two, Politics and Subjectivity, turns explicitly to politics and subjectivity, focussing on the state and the various forms of subjection to which it gives rise, and on human rights, biopolitics and community. Each chapter, in different ways, advocates a movement beyond the sort of texts and concepts that are the usual focus for trauma criticism and moves this dynamic network of ideas forward. With contributions from an international selection of leading critics and thinkers from the US and Europe, this volume will be a key critical intervention in one of the most important areas in contemporary literary criticism and theory.



History Politics and the Novel

History  Politics  and the Novel Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 0801495776
Release 1989
Pages 217
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Analyzes novels by Stendhal, Dostoevsky, Eliot, Flaubert, Mann, Woolf, and Gadolis in terms of their historical context



Madame Bovary on Trial

Madame Bovary on Trial Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 9781501720024
Release 2018-02-15
Pages 224
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In 1857, following the publication of Madame Bovary, Flaubert was charged with having committed an "outrage to public morality and religion." Dominick LaCapra, an intellectual historian with wide-ranging literary interests, here examines this remarkable trial. LaCapra draws on material from Flaubert’s correspondence, the work of literary critics, and Jean-Paul Sartre’s analysis of Flaubert. LaCapra maintains that Madame Bovary is at the intersection of the traditional and the modern novel, simultaneously invoking conventional expectations and subverting them.



Writing History Writing Trauma

Writing History  Writing Trauma Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 9781421414003
Release 2014-07-15
Pages 264
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"Trauma and its often symptomatic aftermath pose acute problems for historical representation and understanding. In Writing History, Writing Trauma, Dominick LaCapra provides a broad-ranging, critical inquiry into the problem of trauma, notably with respect to major historical events. In a series of interlocking essays, he explores theoretical and literary-critical attempts to come to terms with trauma as well as the crucial role post-traumatic testimonies--particularly Holocaust testimonies--have assumed in recent thought and writing. In doing so, he adapts psychoanalytic concepts to historical analysis and employs sociocultural and political critique to elucidate trauma and its after effects in culture and in people. In the first chapter LaCapra addresses trauma from the perspective of history as a discipline. He then lays a theoretical groundwork for the book as a whole, exploring the concept of historical specificity and insisting on the difference between transhistorical and historical trauma. Subsequent chapters consider how Holocaust testimonies raise the problem of the role of affect and empathy in historical understanding, and respond to the debates surrounding Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. The book's concluding essay, "Writing (About) Trauma," examines the various ways that the voice of trauma emerges in written and oral accounts of historical events. Theoretically ambitious and historically informed, Writing History, Writing Trauma is an important contribution from one of today's foremost experts on trauma." -- Publisher's website.



History Literature Critical Theory

History  Literature  Critical Theory Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 9780801467769
Release 2013-04-12
Pages 248
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In History, Literature, Critical Theory, Dominick LaCapra continues his exploration of the complex relations between history and literature, here considering history as both process and representation. A trio of chapters at the center of the volume concern the ways in which history and literature (particularly the novel) impact and question each other. In one of the chapters LaCapra revisits Gustave Flaubert, pairing him with Joseph Conrad. Other chapters pair J. M. Coetzee and W. G. Sebald, Jonathan Littell's novel, The Kindly Ones, and Saul Friedlander's two-volume, prizewinning history Nazi Germany and the Jews. A recurrent motif of the book is the role of the sacred, its problematic status in sacrifice, its virulent manifestation in social and political violence (notably the Nazi genocide), its role or transformations in literature and art, and its multivalent expressions in "postsecular" hopes, anxieties, and quests. LaCapra concludes the volume with an essay on the place of violence in the thought of Slavoj Zizek. In LaCapra's view Zizek's provocative thought "at times has uncanny echoes of earlier reflections on, or apologies for, political and seemingly regenerative, even sacralized violence."



History and Memory After Auschwitz

History and Memory After Auschwitz Author Dominick LaCapra
ISBN-10 0801484960
Release 1998
Pages 214
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The relations between memory and history have recently become a subject of contention, and the implications of that debate are particularly troubling for aesthetic, ethical and political issues. Dominick LaCapra focuses on the interactions among history, memory and ethicopolitical concerns as they emerge in the aftermath of the Shoah. Particularly notable are his analyses of Albert Camus's novella The Fall, Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah and Art Spiegelman's comic book Maus. LaCapra also considers the Historian's Debate in the aftermath of German reunification and the role of psychoanalysis in historical understanding and critical theory.



Animals and War

Animals and War Author Ryan Hediger
ISBN-10 9789004236202
Release 2012-11-01
Pages 270
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Animals and War is the first collection of essays to study its topic. Using sociology, history, anthropology, and cultural studies, it analyzes a wide range of phenomena and exposes the often paradoxical contours of human-animal relationships.



The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature Author Steven Pinker
ISBN-10 9780143122012
Release 2012-09
Pages 802
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Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.



What it Means to be Human

What it Means to be Human Author Joanna Bourke
ISBN-10 1844086445
Release 2011
Pages 469
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In 1872, a woman known only as 'An Earnest Englishwoman', published an open letter entitled 'Are women animals?' She protested that women were not treated as fully human; their status was worse than that of animals. What does it mean to be 'human' rather than 'animal'? If the Earnest Englishwoman had turned her gaze to the previous century, her critique could have applied to slaves. Exploring the legacy of more than two centuries, this meticulously researched and illuminating book of history examines the ever shifting line drawn between the human and the animal.



How to Make a Human

How to Make a Human Author Karl Steel
ISBN-10 0814211577
Release 2011
Pages 292
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How to Make a Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages tracks human attempts to cordon humans off from other life through a wide range of medieval texts and practices, including encyclopedias, dietary guides, resurrection doctrine, cannibal narrative, butchery law, boar-hunting, and teratology. Karl Steel argues that the human subjugation of animals played an essential role in the medieval concept of the human. In their works and habits, humans tried to distinguish themselves from other animals by claiming that humans alone among worldly creatures possess language, reason, culture, and, above all, an immortal soul and resurrectable body. Humans convinced themselves of this difference by observing that animals routinely suffer degradation at the hands of humans. Since the categories of human and animal were both a retroactive and relative effect of domination, no human could forgo his human privileges without abandoning himself. Medieval arguments for both human particularity and the unique sanctity of human life have persisted into the modern age despite the insights of Darwin. How to Make a Human joins with other works in critical animal theory to unsettle human pretensions in the hopes of training humans to cease to project, and to defend, their human selves against other animals.