Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages

U of Minnesota Press
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Publisher
U of Minnesota Press
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9781452903668
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Language
English
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"Animal, Mineral, Vegetable: Ethics and Objects" examines what happens when we cease to assume that only humans exert agency. Through a careful examination of medieval, early modern and contemporary lifeworlds, these essays collectively argue against ecological anthropocentricity. Sheep, wolves, camels, flowers, chairs, magnets, landscapes, refuse and gems are more than mere objects. They act; they withdraw; they make demands; they connect within lively networks that might foster a new humanism, or that might proceed with indifference towards human affairs. Through what ethics do we respond to these activities and forces? To what futures do these creatures and objects invite us, especially when they appear within the texts and cultures of the "distant" past?TABLE OF CONTENTS:Jeffrey J. Cohen: "Introduction: All Things" - Karl Steel: "With the World, or Bound to Face the Sky: The Postures of the Wolf-Child of Hesse" - Sharon Kinoshita: "Animals and the Medieval Culture of Empire" - Kellie Robertson: "Exemplary Rocks" - Valerie Allen: "Mineral Virtue" - Peggy McCracken (University of Michigan): "The Human and the Floral" - Eileen Joy: "You Are Here: A Manifesto" - Julian Yates: "Sheep Tracks: A Multi-Species Impression" - Julia Reinhard Lupton: "The Renaissance Res Publica of Things" - Jane Bennett: "Powers of the Hoard: Notes on Material Agency" Response Essays: Lowell Duckert, "Speaking Stones, John Muir, and A Slower (Non)humanities" - Nedda Mehdizadeh, "Ruinous Monument: Transporting Objects in Herbert's Persepolis" - Jonathan Gil Harris, "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Twenty Questions"
The essays, manifestos, rants, screeds, pleas, soliloquies, telegrams, broadsides, eulogies, songs, harangues, confessions, laments, and acts of poetic terrorism in these two volumes — which collectively form an academic “rave” — were culled, with some later additions, from roundtable sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in 2012 and 2013, organized by postmedieval: a journal for medieval cultural studies and the BABEL Working Group (“Burn After Reading: Miniature Manifestos for a Post/medieval Studies,” “Fuck This: On Letting Go,” and “Fuck Me: On Never Letting Go”) and George Washington University’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (“The Future We Want: A Collaboration”), respectively. Gathering together a rowdy multiplicity of voices from within medieval and early modern studies, these two volumes seek to extend and intensify a conversation about how to shape premodern studies, and also the humanities, in the years ahead. Authors in both volumes, in various ways, lay claim to the act(s) of manifesting, and also anti-manifesting, as a collective endeavor that works on behalf of the future without laying any belligerent claims upon it, where we might craft new spaces for the University-at-large, which is also a University that wanders, that is never just somewhere, dwelling in the partitive — of a particular place — but rather, seeks to be everywhere, always on the move, pandemic, uncontainable, and always to-come, while also being present/between us (manifest). This is not a book, but a blueprint. It is also an ephemeral gathering in the present tense.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Vol. 1: Miniature Manifestos for a Post/medieval Studies, edited by Eileen A. Joy and Myra Seaman

Heather Bamford: INTENTIONALLY GOOD, REALLY BAD — Frank Battaglia: SEEING A FOREST AS WELL AS TREES — Bettina Bildhauer: NET WORTH — Martha Easton + Maggie Williams: OUR FEMINISM, OUR ACTIVISM — Ruth Evans: BE CRITICAL! — Joshua R. Eyler: THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MEDIEVAL STUDIES — Lara Farina: STICKING TOGETHER — Matthew Gabriele: WAGING GUERRILLA WARFARE AGAINST THE 19TH CENTURY — Gaelan Gilbert: MEDIEVAL STUDIES IN THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD — Noah D. Guynn: RADICAL RIDICULE — David Hadbawnik: BURNED BEFORE WRITING — Guy Halsall: HISTORY AND COMMITMENT — Cary Howie: ON NEVER LETTING GO — Shayne Aaron Legassie: THE GOTHIC FLY — Erin Maglaque: FUCK POSTCOLONIALISM — Material Collective: WE ARE THE MATERIAL COLLECTIVE — Thomas Mical: MEDIEVALISM/SURREALISM — Chris Piuma: DE CATERVIS CETERIS — Daniel C. Remein: 2ND PROGRAM OF THE ORNAMENTALISTS — Christopher Roman: A MEDIEVAL: MANIFESTO — Eva von Contzen: HOMO NARRANS — Erik Wade: HISTORICISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS — Lisa Weston: ‘TIS MAGICK, MAGICK THAT WILL HAVE RAVISHED ME

*Miniature Manifestos for a Post/medieval Studies is a punctum book

Vol. 2: The Future We Want: A Collaboration, edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Anne Harris + Karen Eileen Overbey: FIELD CHANGE/DISCIPLINE CHANGE — L.O. Aranye Fradenburg + Eileen A. Joy: PARADIGM CHANGE/INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE — J. Allan Mitchell + Will Stockton: TIME CHANGE/MODE CHANGE — Lowell Duckert + Steve Mentz: WORLD CHANGE/SEA CHANGE — Chris Piuma + Jonathan Hsy: SPECTRAL VOICE CHANGE/LANGUAGE CHANGE — Julie Orlemanski + Julian Yates: COLLECTIVE CHANGE/MOOD CHANGE

*The Future We Want: A Collaboration is an Oliphaunt book

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