Staying Alive: A Survival Manual for the Liberal Arts
fiercely defends the liberal arts in and from an age of neoliberal
capital and techno-corporatization run amok, arguing that the public
university’s purpose is not vocational training, but rather the
cultivation of what Fradenburg calls “artfulness,” including the art of
making knowledge. In addition to sustained critical and creative
thinking, the humanities develop the mind’s capacities for real-time
improvisational communication and interpretation, without which we can
neither thrive nor survive. Humanist pedagogy and research use play,
experimentation and intersubjective exchange to foster forms of
artfulness critical to the future of our species. From perception to
reality-testing to concept-formation and logic, the arts and humanities
teach us to see, hear and respond more keenly, and to imagine, or
“model,” new futures and possibilities. Innovation of all kinds,
technological or artistic, depends on the enhancement of the skills
proper to staying alive.
Bringing together psychoanalysis,
neuroscience, animal behavioral research, biology & evolutionary
theory, and premodern literarature (from Virgil to Chaucer to
Shakespeare), Fradenburg offers a bracing polemic against the
technocrats of higher education and a vibrant new vision for the
humanities as both living art and new life science. Contrary to recent
polemics that simply urge the humanities to become more scientistic or
technology-focused, to demonstrate their utility or even trophy their
uselessness, Staying Alive does something remarkably different:
it argues for the humanism of a new scientific paradigm based on
complexity theory and holistic and ecological approaches to
knowledge-making. It urges us to take the further step of realizing not
only that we can promote and enhance neuroplastic connectivity and
social-emotional cognition, but also that the humanities have always
already been doing so. “Nature always exceeds itself in its
expressivity” — which is to say that living is itself an art, and
artfulness is necessary for living: for adaptation and innovation, for
forging rich and varied relationships with other minds, bodies and
things, and thus, for thriving — whether in the boardroom or the art
gallery, the biology lab or the recording studio, the alley or the
playground, the book or the dream.
Staying Alive contains
companion essays by Donna Beth Ellard (Rice University), Ruth Evans
(Saint Louis University), Eileen A. Joy (BABEL Working Group), Julie
Orlemanski (University of Chicago), Daniel C. Remein (New York
University), and Michael D. Snediker (University of Houston).
TABLE OF CONTENTSEileen
“Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archaeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking–age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives.... The author’s in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels.”—Choice
“Informative...Short has done an excellent job...most interesting...I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era...faultless...tells a coherent story...this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended”—Armed and Dangerous
“A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book...chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life.... You don’t need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand...illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps...enjoyed it very much. You’ve got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books”—Green Man Review
“A perfect companion or an introduction to reading the sagas...very easy to read, and covers many topics in the life of the people in Iceland during those times...covers religion, laws, feuds, home life, and the settlement, among other topics...truly gives you an overview of what everyday life was like...[Short’s] research is flawless, and his sources are well-documented...bibliography is impressive...very well-indexed...entertaining, easy-to-read and very educational”—Lögberg-Heimskringla
“Well-structured, easily understandable and practical...digs deep into a wide range of archaeological and literary sources...presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age...excellent...thorough and accurate...interesting...especially helpful”—Iceland Review
“Riveting exploration...a solid addition”—Midwest Book Review
“Comprehensive but accessible history.... All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short’s book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas”—Reference and Research Book News
The poems themselves tell the story of his love for Beatrice, from their first meeting at a May Day party in her father's house, through Dante's sufferings and his attempts to conceal the true object of his devotion by the use of 'screen-loves', to his overwhelming grief ather death, ending with the transformative vision of her in heaven. These are some of the richest love poems in literature and the movement from self-pitying lament to praise for the beloved's beauty and virtue, illustrate the elevating power of love.
"As well as skillful and fluent verse renderings of the 366 lyrics that make up this milestone in the development of Western poetic tradition, Musa offers copious and up-to-date annotation to each poem... along with a substantial, sensitive, and intelligent introduction that is genuinely helpful for the first-time reader and thought provoking for Petrarch scholars and other medievalists." —Choice
The 366 poems of Petrarch’s Canzoniere represent one of the most influential works in Western literature. Varied in form, style, and subject matter, these "scattered rhymes" contains metaphors and conceits that have been absorbed into the literature and language of love. In this bilingual edition, Mark Musa provides verse translations, annotations, and an introduction co-authored with Barbara Manfredi.
This is the second title in a series called Rethinking the Middle Ages, which is committed to re-examining the Middle Ages, its themes, institutions, people, and events with short studies that will provoke discussion among students and medievalists, and invite them to think about the middle ages in new and unusual ways. The series editor, Paul Edward Dutton, invites suggestions and submissions.
A revised Introduction and Commentary incorporates the vast store of scholarship on Beowulf that has appeared since 1950. It brings readers up to date on areas of scholarship that have been controversial since the last edition, including the construction of the unique manuscript and views on the poem's date and unity of composition. The lightly revised text incorporates the best textual criticism of the intervening years, and the expanded Commentary furnishes detailed bibliographic guidance to discussion of textual cruces, as well as to modern and contemporary critical concerns. Aids to pronunciation have been added to the text, and advances in the study of the poem's language are addressed throughout. Readers will find that the book remains recognizably Klaeber's work, but with altered and added features designed to render it as useful today as it has ever been.
Minnis has found such writings in the glosses and commentaries on the authoritative Latin writers studied in schools and universities between 1100 and 1400. The prologues to these commentaries provide valuable insight into the medieval theory of authorship. Of special significance is scriptural exegesis, for medieval scholars found the Bible the most difficult text to describe appropriately and accurately.
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
An innovative poet working during a time of great literary creativity, Chrétien de Troyes wrote poems that had a lively pace, skillful structure, and vivid descriptive detail. Ruth Harwood Cline re-creates for modern audiences his irony, humor, and charm, while retaining the style and substance of the original octosyllabic couplets. Her thorough introduction includes discussions of courtly love and the Arthurian legend in history and literature, as well as a new and provocative theory about the identity of Chrétien de Troyes. This clearly presented translation, faithful in preserving the subtle expressive qualities of the original work, is accessible reading for any Arthurian legend aficionado and an ideal text for students of medieval literature.
Menocal reviews the Arabic cultural presence in a variety of key settings, including the courts of William of Aquitaine and Frederick II, the universities in London, Paris, and Bologna, and Cluny under Peter the Venerable, and she examines how our perception of specific texts including the courtly love lyric and the works of Dante and Boccaccio would be altered by an acknowledgment of the Arabic cultural component.
Each chapter includes exercises and suggestions for further reading. Appendices provide possible answers to the exercises, tips for scanning half-lines, and brief definitions of metrical terms used. Examples in Old English are provided with literal modern English translations, with glosses added in the first three chapters to help beginners. The result is a comprehensive guide that makes important text-critical skills much more readily available to Old English specialists and beginners alike.
This book represents both individual and concerted attempts to deal with this important question, and presents one of the most important inconclusions in the study of Old English. The contributors raise so many doubts, turn up so much new and disturbing information, dismantle so many long-accepted scholarly constructs that Beowulf studies will never be the same: henceforth every discussion of the poem and its period will begin with reference to this volume.
The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials.
This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.
After a survey on the genre of allegory and an overview of medieval optical theories, Akbari delves into more detailed studies of several medieval literary works, including the Roman de la Rose, Dante's Vita Nuova, Convivio, and Commedia, and Chaucer's dream visions and Canterbury Tales. The final chapter, 'Division and Darkness,' centres on the legacy of allegory in the fifteenth century. Offering a new interdisciplinary, synthetic approach to late medieval intellectual history and to major works within the medieval literary canon, Seeing through the Veil will be an essential resource to the study of medieval literature and culture, as well as philosophy, history of art, and history of science.
This fascinating study places multiple genres in dialogue and considers both medievalism and genre to be frameworks from which meaning can be produced. It explores works from a wide range of genres-children's and young adult, historical, cyberpunk, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and crime-and across multiple media-fiction, film, television, video games, and music. The range of media types and genres enable comparison, and the identification of overarching trends, while also allowing comparison of contrasting phenomena. As the first volume to explore the nexus of medievalism and genre across such a wide range of texts, this collection illustrates the fractured ideologies of contemporary popular culture. The Middle Ages are more usually, and often more prominently, aligned with conservative ideologies, for example around gender roles, but the Middle Ages can also be the site of resistance and progressive politics. Exploring the interplay of past and present, and the ways writers and readers work engage with them demonstrates the conscious processes of identity construction at work throughout Western popular culture. The collection also demonstrates that while scholars may have by-and-large abandoned the concept of accuracy when considering contemporary medievalisms, the Middle Ages are widely associated with authenticity, and the authenticity of identity, in the popular imagination; the idea of the real Middle Ages matters, even when historical realities do not. This book will be of interest to scholars of medievalism, popular culture, and genre.
From advertisements to amusement parks, themed restaurants, and Renaissance fairs twenty-first century popular culture is strewn with reimaginings of the Middle Ages. They are nowhere more prevalent, however, than in the films, television series, books, and video games of speculative genres: fantasy and science fiction. Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies and George R. R. Martin's multimedia Game of Thrones franchise are just two of the most widely known and successful fantasy conglomerates of recent decades. Medievalism has often been understood as a defining feature of fantasy, and as the antithesis of science fiction, but such constructs vastly underestimate the complexities of both genres and their interactions. "Medieval" has multiple meanings in fantasy and science fiction, which shift with genre convention, and which bring about their own changes as authors and audiences engage with what has gone before in the recent and deeper pasts. Earlier volumes have examined some of the ways in which contemporary popular culture re-imagines the Middle Ages, offering broad overviews, but none considers fantasy, science fiction, or the two together. The focused approach of this collection provides a directed pathway into the myriad medievalisms of modern popular culture. By engaging directly with genre(s), this book acknowledges that medievalist creative texts and practices do not occur in a vacuum, but are shaped by multiple cultural forces and concerns; medievalism is never just about the Middle Ages.
Among the surviving records of fourteenth-century England, Geoffrey Chaucer’s poetry is the most vivid. Chaucer wrote about everyday people outside the walls of the English court—men and women who spent days at the pedal of a loom, or maintaining the ledgers of an estate, or on the high seas. In Chaucer’s People, Liza Picard transforms The Canterbury Tales into a masterful guide for a gloriously detailed tour of medieval England, from the mills and farms of a manor house to the lending houses and Inns of Court in London.
In Chaucer’s People we meet again the motley crew of pilgrims on the road to Canterbury. Drawing on a range of historical records such as the Magna Carta, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Cookery in English, Picard puts Chaucer’s characters into historical context and mines them for insights into what people ate, wore, read, and thought in the Middle Ages. What can the Miller, “big…of brawn and eke of bones” tell us about farming in fourteenth-century England? What do we learn of medieval diets and cooking methods from the Cook? With boundless curiosity and wit, Picard re-creates the religious, political, and financial institutions and customs that gave order to these lives.
Originally published in 1966.
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