Dogs, snakes, venoms and germs, 1840–68

Public demonstrations helped establish the dangerous action of snake venom through the mid-nineteenth century, but they provided little elucidation as to its nature. Was it animal, germinal or chemical? This fundamental question proved ontological in two senses. First, venom provided an exemplar of an ontological agent of disease: a discrete entity causing a

in Venomous encounters
The difference of Deleuze and Derrida

4 Ontologies of borders: the difference of Deleuze and Derrida Tuija Pulkkinen This chapter is about the concept of border. I will not approach border as if I was going to conceptualize something that we already empirically know about, and nor will I concentrate solely on geographical and political borders. Instead, I will take a step back and consider border in an abstract sense: as a separation of one into two dissimilar entities. This means that I will take the study of border into the area of philosophy and, in particular, into problems of ontology and

in The political materialities of borders

posthumous publication of Toward the Ontology of Social Being (1971–73) (hereafter referred to as the Ontology ). The other took the form of a more practically oriented exertion to both demoralise the raison d’être of orthodox communist ideology, and replace that rationale with one associated with forms of ‘humanist socialist Marxism’ (Shafai, 1996 : 1). This latter objective, which

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
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Found Footage Cinema and the Horror of the Real

This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.

Gothic Studies
Evil, Privation and the Absent Logos in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle

This essay explores the influence of the theological tradition of privation theory upon Richard Marsh‘s novel The Beetle (1897). Focusing on images of ontological nothingness, corruption and uncreation, it argues that the novel employs the concept of privation both in its depiction of the supernatural Other and in its parallel interrogation of its contemporary modernity. Imagery of privation in the novel is associated not only with the Beetle itself, but with the modern urban environment and weapons of mass destruction. The essay concludes by examining the corruption of language and absence of a creative logos able to respond adequately to the privations of the modern city and industrial economy.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only
The Entropic Gothic of American Horror Story

FX’s American Horror Story: Murder House (the series’ first season) is an important addition to the Gothic canon, manifesting every conceivable Gothic convention, its narrative overwhelmed by a claustrophobic sense of enclosure in space and repetition,in time. Indeed, the series manifests what I call the entropic Gothic: its trajectory is relentlessly toward exhaustion and stasis, toward dissipation and death. Symptomatic of this entropic Gothic of American Horror Story is its focus on twins - markers, in the series, of an abiding cultural entropy. The first half of this essay is grounded in the more literal association of twins with reproductive technologies and aging mothers. Twins thus stand in for a series of literal anxieties about interwoven children and homes - about the future of the ‘American,Dream’ - that have plagued the United States in particular since the beginning of the recession (2007 through at least the end of 2012). The second half of the essay takes up the more metaphorical meanings associated with twins. American Horror Story’s reiterations of the same, its proliferation of mimetic semblables, mark the entropic drift of the series toward undifferentiation and extinction. Twins metonymically gesture to what the ‘Murder House’ itself represents - a realm of involutionary regression, of reality become virtual reality. The series tracks a fundamental entropic regression of the human to a spent, useless state, in which it is preserved only as what Jean Baudrillard called ‘a kind of ontological “attraction”’.

Gothic Studies
Criminal Female Sexuality in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula

This essay considers how Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1901) engages both contemporary medical models and common-sense conceptions of female criminality and sexuality. From Dracula, the figure of Lucy Westenra emerges as a quintessential femme fatale. Lucys neck bears the characteristic marking of the vampire, but we never witness the bite; as a result, ambiguity surrounds the causal relationship in the process of becoming a vampire. The novel produces this ontological ambiguity to perpetuate and to exacerbate contemporary views regarding the radical instability of female nature. Under this logic, Lucys encounter with the vampire brings only latent impulses to the surface. Stokers narrative exploits this physiological uncertainty to perpetuate the sensational terror that all female sexuality is monstrous, threatening to render the British man a debased specimen of his former glory. By tracking the various logical ellipses and rhetorical slippages which give shape to Stokers female vampires, I demonstrate how Stokers novels enact the same anxious rhetoric that likewise informs the portrait of female sexuality in nineteenth-century sexology.

Gothic Studies
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

privileging of the design principle over the need for, or even the possibility of, political change. Design Not Politics The computational turn and societal dependence on digital technologies has changed the way the world is understood and the status of humans within it ( Chandler, 2018 ). The privileging of the design principle is central to this change. Besides the spatial shift from circulation to connectivity, an ontological, epistemological and methodological translation has also taken place ( Duffield, 2018 ). While anticipating late-modernity, the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

there was an ontological contradiction. I think it is possible to work for a more democratic order – diffusing power, creating a more stable balance of power – while strengthening and democratising certain value systems. Doing so in a cooperative way, too. People might say it was just Brazil trying to extend its power and join the [UN] Security Council. But, in projecting soft power, I believe we were also promoting positive things: South–South cooperation, for example. At the ILO, it was Brazil that really initiated South–South cooperation, with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor: Howard Chiang

This collection expands the history of Chinese medicine by bridging the philosophical concerns of epistemology and the history and cultural politics of transregional medical formations. Topics range from the spread of gingko’s popularity from East Asia to the West to the appeal of acupuncture for complementing in-vitro fertilization regimens, from the modernization of Chinese anatomy and forensic science to the evolving perceptions of the clinical efficacy of Chinese medicine.

The individual essays cohere around the powerful theoretical-methodological approach, “historical epistemology,” with which scholars in science studies have already challenged the seemingly constant and timeless status of such rudimentary but pivotal dimensions of scientific process as knowledge, reason, argument, objectivity, evidence, fact, and truth. Yet given that landmark studies in historical epistemology rarely navigate outside the intellectual landscape of Western science and medicine, this book broadens our understanding of its application and significance by drawing on and exploring the rich cultures of Chinese medicine. In studying the globalizing role of medical objects, the contested premise of medical authority and legitimacy, and the syncretic transformations of metaphysical and ontological knowledge, contributors illuminate how the breadth of the historical study of Chinese medicine and its practices of knowledge-making in the modern period must be at once philosophical and transnational in scope.

This book will appeal to students and scholars working in science studies and medical humanities as well as readers who are interested in the broader problems of translation, material culture, and the global circulation of knowledge.