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Rethinking the nineteenth century
Editors: Andrew Smith and Anna Barton

This book addresses a number of concerns that have emerged in recent scholarship on the nineteenth century. It contributes to existing dialogues that consider how the nineteenth century can be thought about and critically rethought through literature and other kinds of textual production. The book offers a theoretical consideration of the concept of the nineteenth century by considering Walter Benjamin's famous work The Arcades Project, focusing on Arnold Bennett's entitled 'The Rising Storm of Life'. It outlines how recent developments in Gothic studies have provided new ways of critically reflecting upon the nineteenth century. The book draws attention to the global scope of Victorian literature, and explores the exchanges which took place between Indian and British cultures. It argues that attending to the fashioning of American texts by British publishers enables people to rethink the emergence of American literature as a material as well as an imaginative phenomenon. The relationship between literature and the European anatomical culture is carried out by exploring nineteenth-century narratives from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the first decades of the nineteenth-century to Charles Dickens's fiction in the 1860s. Historical fiction writers' persistent fascination with the long nineteenth century enacts a simultaneous drawing near to and distancing from the period, the lives of its inhabitants and its cultural icons, aesthetic discourses and canonical works. Adaptive practice in the neo-Victorian novel, applied both to Victorian literary precursors and the period more generally, may be better described as adaptive reuse or, perhaps appropriative reuse.

Clarissa’s caesuras
Author: J. A. Smith

Clarissa's scope may be vast in addressing a 'great variety of subjects' and in being an epistolary 'collection' of different writers' letters and viewpoints, but it can nonetheless claim to be reducible to two main points of argument. Parental tyranny in the sphere of love is likely to bring misfortune, and young women shouldn't be fooled by the apparently attractive prospect of the 'reformed rake'. This book is a bold new interpretation of one of the greatest European novels, Samuel Richardson's Clarissa. It argues that this text needs to be rethought as a dangerous exploration of the ethics of tragedy, on the scale of the great arguments of post-Romantic tragic theory, from Hölderlin to Nietzsche, to Benjamin, Lacan and beyond. It concerns Richardson's representation of the dynamics of the 'received notion', the constituting mechanism of public knowledge that he says he wrote the novel to contest. The book takes up the novel on the other side of its major caesural moment , Lovelace's rape of Clarissa, and investigates the remarkable set of fragmentary texts, or 'mad papers'. It discusses Terry Castle's insights that the first instalment of Clarissa is dominated by the linguistic persecutions imposed on Clarissa by the Harlowes in a manner that anticipates the violence that is done to her by Lovelace. The broken and the mournful landscape of Clarissa after the rape shares the ambivalent impulses that Walter Benjamin associates with the tragic drama of the German seventeenth century.

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School
Author: Simon Mussell

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

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Rachel Moore

With the enormous span of time embedded in the very grain of the celluloid, old films and footage touch, in a sensate way, the strange and familiar longing for the archaic past which lies at the heart of the modern dilemma. Walter Benjamin‘s suggestion - that when delving into the secrets of modernity, including its technology, the archaic is never that far off - grows palpable when watching film from the archives. This project could just be called, ‘Why do we love old movies?’ To begin to grasp how old films touch us, its instructive to look at how technology functions within films. The power of degraded technology to create intimacy does not go unnoticed by filmmakers today where its use extends from the avant-garde to popular cinema. To further understand such effects, this paper focuses on one way technology provokes intimacy: how people fall in love in the movies.

Film Studies
German Responses to the June 2019 Mission of the Sea-Watch 3
Klaus Neumann

in July 2018 boarded a Turkish Airlines flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul to prevent the deportation of a man to Afghanistan. 2 Arguably, such acts of solidarity are not new. Think, for example, of Lisa Fittko, who in 1940 and 1941 escorted many refugees, among them Walter Benjamin, across the Pyrenees from France to Spain ( Fittko, 2000 ). What is new, however, is the publicity and support these acts are garnering in Europe. In this essay I focus on one particular instance in 2019, in which an act of solidarity with migrants – a search and rescue (SAR) operation

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Partisan feeling and democracy’s enchantments
Author: Andrew Poe

Enthusiasm has long been perceived as a fundamental danger to democratic politics. Many have regarded it as a source of threatening instabilities manifest through political irrationalism. Such a view can make enthusiasm appear as a direct threat to the reason and order on which democracy is thought to rely. But such a desire for a sober and moderate democratic politics is perilously misleading, ignoring the emotional basis on which democracy thrives. Enthusiasm in democracy works to help political actors identify and foster progressive changes. We feel enthusiasm at precisely those moments of new beginnings, when politics takes on new shapes and novel structures. Being clear about how we experience enthusiasm, and how we recognize it, is thus crucial for democracy, which depends on progression and the alteration of ruler and the ruled. This book traces the changing ways enthusiasm has been understood politically in modern Western political thought. It explores how political actors use enthusiasm to motivate allegiances, how we have come to think on the dangers of enthusiasm in democratic politics, and how else we might think about enthusiasm today. From its inception, democracy has relied on a constant affective energy of renewal. By tracing the way this crucial emotional energy is made manifest in political actions – from ancient times to the present – this book sheds light on the way enthusiasm has been understood by political scientists, philosophers, and political activists, as well as its implications for contemporary democratic politics.

Questioning the Classics

John Fletcher’s Rome is the first book to explore Fletcher’s engagement with classical antiquity. Fletcher was the most influential playwright of the Jacobean era, whose canon amounts to around 10 per cent of the extant plays of the early modern commercial theatre. Like his more celebrated contemporaries Shakespeare and Jonson, Fletcher wrote, alone or in collaboration, a number of Roman plays: Bonduca, Valentinian, The False One, and The Prophetess. Unlike Shakespeare’s or Jonson’s plays, however, Fletcher’s Roman plays have seldom been the subject of sustained critical discussion. This groundbreaking study examines these plays as a group for the first time, identifying disorientation as the unifying principle of Fletcher’s portrayal of imperial Rome. John Fletcher’s Rome argues that Fletcher’s dramatization of ancient Rome exudes a sense of scepticism regarding the authority of ancient models that is connected to his irreverent approach to classical texts. In doing so, the book sheds new light on Fletcher’s intellectual life, provides fresh insights into his vision of history, illuminates the interconnections between the Roman plays and the rest of his canon, and offers a corrective to dominant narratives that equate Shakespeare’s Rome with ancient Rome as perceived in the early modern imagination in general. As we approach the quatercentenary of Fletcher’s death in 2025, John Fletcher’s Rome offers a worthwhile reappraisal of a playwright who produced a dispirited yet vibrant dramatization of the ancient Roman world that shines as a uniquely gripping instance of the reception of the classical past on the early modern stage.

Author: Chari Larsson

Didi-Huberman and the image is an introduction to French art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman. With an enormous body of work spanning four decades, Didi-Huberman is considered one of the most innovative and influential critical thinkers writing in France today. In this monograph art historian Chari Larsson presents the first extensive English-language study of Didi-Huberman’s research on images. Placing Didi-Huberman’s project in relation to major historical and philosophical frameworks, this book shows not only how Didi-Huberman modifies dominant traditions, but also how the study of images is central to a new way of thinking about poststructuralist-inspired art history. This book explores the origins of Didi-Huberman’s project, arguing he has sought renewal by turning the discipline of art history on its axis, wresting it away from its founding ‘fathers’ such as Giorgio Vasari and Erwin Panofsky and instead reorganising it along the poststructuralist lines of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze. An image is a form of representation, but what is the philosophical framework supporting it? Didi-Huberman takes up this question repeatedly over the course of his career.

New theoretical directions

Materiality has long been tied to the political projects of nationalism and capitalism. But how are we to rethink borders in this context? Is the border the limit where the capitalist nation-state, contested and re-created at its centre, becomes fixed? Or is it something else? Is the border something, or does it instead do things? This volume brings questions of materiality to bear specifically on the study of borders. These questions address specifically the shift from ontology to process in thinking about borders. The political materialities of borders does not presume the material aspect of borders but rather explores the ways in which any such materiality comes into being. Through ethnographic and philosophical explorations of the ontology of borders and its limitations from the perspective of materiality, this volume seeks to throw light on the interaction between the materiality of state borders and the non-material aspects of state-making. This enables a new understanding of borders as productive of the politics of materiality, on which both the state project rests, including its multifarious forms in the post-nation-state era.

Aura and reproduction in the post-print age
Clare Humphries

I.  Breaking up with Benjamin In 2009 I began a doctoral project that set me on a collision course with Walter Benjamin's aura. The project germinated as I handled personal objects passed down from my deceased family and was struck by their potency. Often personal objects are understood as representations of the

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking