Chapters in the volume cover oral, scribal, and print cultures, examining the emergence of the "public spheres" of reading practices. Contributors, who include Christopher Grose, Ann Hughes, David Scott Kastan, Kathleen Lynch, William Sherman, and Peter Stallybrass, investigate interactions among publishers, texts, authors, and audience. They discuss the continuity of the written word and habits of mind in the world of print, the formation and differentiation of readerships, and the increasing influence of public opinion. The work demonstrates that early modern publications appeared in a wide variety of forms—from periodical literature to polemical pamphlets—and reflected the radical transformations occurring at the time in the dissemination of knowledge through the written word. These forms were far more ephemeral, and far more widely available, than modern stereotypes of writing from this period suggest.
Surveying a wide range of texts-religious, philosophical, literary, even comic-Fudge explains the crucial role that reason played in conceptualizations of the human and the animal, as well as the distinctions between the two. Brutal Reasoning looks at the ways in which humans were conceptualized, at what being "human" meant, and at how humans could lose their humanity. It also takes up the questions of what made an animal an animal, why animals were studied in the early modern period, and at how people understood, and misunderstood, what they saw when they did look.
From the influence of classical thinking on the human-animal divide and debates surrounding the rationality of women, children, and Native Americans to the frequent references in popular and pedagogical texts to Morocco the Intelligent Horse, Fudge gives a new and vital context to the human perception of animals in this period. At the same time, she challenges overly simplistic notions about early modern attitudes to animals and about the impact of those attitudes on modern culture.
an overview of the concept of ecocriticism
detailed ecocritical readings of Henry V, Macbeth, As You Like It, Antony & Cleopatra, King Lear, Coriolanus, Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest
analysis of themes such as nature and human society; food and biological nature; the supernatural and the weather
a bold argument for a contemporary ‘EcoShakespeare’, taking into account the environmental and political implications of globalization and intellectual property laws.
Crossing the boundaries of literary and cultural studies to draw in politics, philosophy and ecology, this volume not only introduces one of the most lively areas of contemporary Shakespeare studies, but also puts forward a convincing case for Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to contemporary theory.
The assemblages of ideas that have survived, like the assemblages of biological cells that have survived, are the ones good at protecting and reproducing themselves. They aren’t necessarily the ones that guide us toward our most admirable selves or our healthiest future. Relying so heavily on culture to protect our uniquely open minds from cognitive overload makes us vulnerable to hijacking by the systems that co-evolve with us.
Recognizing the selfish Darwinian functions of these systems makes sense of many aspects of history, politics, economics, and popular culture. What drove the Protestant Reformation? Why have the Beatles, The Hunger Games, and paranoid science-fiction thrived, and how was hip-hop co-opted? What alliances helped neoliberalism out-compete Communism, and what alliances might enable environmentalism to overcome consumerism? Why are multiculturalism and university-trained elites provoking working-class nationalist backlash? In a digital age, how can we use numbers without having them use us instead?
Anyone who has wondered how our species can be so brilliant and so stupid at the same time may find an answer here: human mentalities are so complex that we crave the simplifications provided by our cultures, but the cultures that thrive are the ones that blind us to any interests that don’t correspond to their own.
Considering the pastoral in literature from Virgil and Petrarch to Jonson and Milton, Hiltner proposes a new ecocritical approach to these texts. We only become truly aware of our environment, he explains, when its survival is threatened. As London expanded rapidly during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the city and surrounding rural landscapes began to look markedly different. Hiltner finds that Renaissance writers were acutely aware that the countryside they had known was being lost to air pollution, deforestation, and changing patterns of land use; their works suggest this new absence of nature through their appreciation for the scraps that remained in memory or in fact. A much-needed corrective to the prevailing interpretation of pastoral poetry, What Else Is Pastoral? shows the value of reading literature with an ecological eye.