Onomastics between Sacred and Profane

Edited by Oliviu Felecan

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-401-6
Availability: Forthcoming

Religiously, God is the creator of everything seen and unseen; thus, one can ascribe to Him the names of His creation as well, at least in their primordial form. In the mentality of ancient Semitic peoples, naming a place or a person meant determining the role or fate of the named entity, as names were considered to be mysteriously connected with the reality they designated. Subsequently, God gave people the freedom to name persons, objects, and places. However, people carried out this act (precisely) in relation to the divinity, either by remaining devoted to the sacred or by growing estranged from it, an attitude that generated profane names. The sacred/profane dichotomy occurs in all the branches of onomastics, such as anthroponymy, toponymy, and ergonymy. It is circumscribed to complex and interdisciplinary analysis which does not rely on language sciences exclusively, but also on theology, ethnology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, geography, history and other connected fields, as well as culture in general. Despite the contributors’ cultural diversity (29 researchers from 16 countries – England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, U.S.A., and Zimbabwe – on four continents) and their adherence to different religions and faiths, the studies in Onomastics between Sacred and Profane share a common goal that consist of the analysis of names that reveal a person’s identity and behavior, or the existence, configuration and symbolic nature of a place or an object. One can state that names are tightly connected to the surrounding reality, be it profane or religious, in every geographical area and every historical period, and this phenomenon can still be observed today. The particularity of this book lies in the multicultural and multidisciplinary approach in theory and praxis.

Nomads of Mauritania

Diane Himpan Sabatier

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-410-8
Availability: Forthcoming

Just a few decades ago, the great majority of Mauritanians were still nomads, living and moving in the Sahara Desert. Nowadays they represent less than two percent of the entire Mauritanian population. However, the centuries-old traditions and cultural practices they cultivated continue to enjoy a strong presence in current society. But, where, when and from whom does the nomadic Mauritanian cultural identity originate? Starting with a geographical overview, this book takes the reader on a journey through the arid desert landscape of Mauritania with its hidden mineral wealth and increasing desertification in order to illustrate that this environment has been responsible for shaping the nomadic way of life, from the animals they keep to the crafts they practice. It then delves into the country’s rich history, tracing the nomadic story through the centuries. Accounts of flourishing African empires to later Western colonization enable us to understand the myriad of cultural and religious influences that have contributed to the caste system, language, beliefs, and values of the nomads. With a firm geographical and historical grounding, ‘Nomads of Mauritania’ asserts that it is through their art that the nomads’ true cultural identity is revealed. For the nomads, artistic expression permeates every aspect of their everyday lives. Their artistic practice, whether it takes the form of body art or everyday objects, displays similar characteristics from its motifs to its meaning. In this book, it is defined for the first time as geometrical-abstract art and as ephemeral usual art and ephemeral living art, respectively. Now more than ever, with the increasing threat of climate change, overpopulation and globalization, the nomads of Mauritania are close to extinction. Thus, the authors reflect on the future prospects of both this vulnerable community and their cultural heritage, which is at the art of nomadic life.

Memos from a Theatre Lab: Immersive Theatre & Time

Nandita Dinesh, UWC-USA

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-435-1
Availability: Forthcoming

Drawing from Dinesh’s findings in Memos from a Theatre Lab: Exploring What Immersive Theatre “Does” and Memos from a Theatre Lab: Spaces, Relationships, & Immersive Theatre, this practice-based-research project, the third in a series of Immersive Theatre experiments in Dinesh’s theatre laboratory, considers the impact of duration when using immersive theatrical aesthetics toward educational and/or socio-political objectives. Dinesh frames the third experiment in her New Mexican theatre laboratory by placing its data and analyses in conversation with Information for/from Outsiders: Chronicles from Kashmir: a twenty-four hour long immersive, theatrical experience that Dinesh has been developing with Kashmiri theatre artists since 2013. In doing so, Dinesh seeks to create ‘conceptual bridges': between practice and theory; between her experiments in New Mexico and the work that she does in Kashmir; between the generation of frameworks to develop Dinesh’s own repertoire as a practitioner-researcher, and the creation of shareable strategies that might be used by other Immersive Theatre scholars, artists, and students.

The Urban Condition: Literary Trajectories through Canada’s Postmetropolis

Edited by Eva Darias Beautell, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

October 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-417-7
Availability: Forthcoming
$60 £43 €49

Examining the centrality of the city in Canadian literary production post-1960, this collection of critical essays presents an interdisciplinary representation of the urban from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. By analysing contemporary Canadian literature (in English), the contributors intend to produce not only an alternative picture of the national literary traditions but also fresh articulations of the relationship between (Canadian) identity, citizenship, and nation. Since the 1960s, metropolitan regions across the world have experienced radical transformation. For critical urban studies scholars, this phenomenon has been described as a ‘restructuring’. This study argues that in Canada this ‘restructuring’ has been accompanied by a literary rearrangement of its canon, consisting of a gradual shift of focus from the wild or rural to the urban. Alluding to the changes within contemporary Canadian cities, the term ‘postmetropolis’ locates the contributors’ shared theoretical framework within a critical postmodern paradigm. Centered on a particular selection of poetic or fictional texts, each essay pushes the theoretical framework further, suggesting the need for new tools of interpretation and analysis. This book presents an urban literary portrait of Canada that is both thematically and conceptually coherent. Using a range of interdisciplinary methodologies, it adeptly navigates a range of urban issues such as surveillance, asylum, diaspora, mobility, the queer, and the post-political. This book will be of interest to those studying or working on Canadian literature, both in Canada and internationally, as well as to those scholars engaged in investigations that intersect literature and urban studies.

A Threatened Rural Idyll? Informal social control, exclusion and the resistance to change in the English countryside

Nathan Aaron Kerrigan, Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science, Coventry University, UK

September 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-418-4
Availability: In stock
$58 £42 €47

Issues concerning globalisation, protection of identity and resistance to change at the national level (e.g., Brexit) have been the cause of much public and scholarly debate. With this in mind, this book demonstrates how these national, and indeed global narratives, have impacted on and are influenced by ‘going-ons’ in local contexts. By situating these national narratives within a rural context, Kerrigan expertly explores, through ethnographic research, how similar consequences of informal social control and exclusion are maintained in rural England in order to protect rural identity from social and infrastructural change. Drawing on observation, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, ‘A Threatened Rural Idyll’ illustrates how residents from a small but developing rural town in the South of England perceived changes associated with globalisation, such as population growth, inappropriate building developments, and the influx of service industries. For many of the residents, particularly those of middle-class status and long-standing in the town, these changes were seen as a direct threat to the rural character of the town. The investigation highlights how community dynamics and socio-spatial organisation of daily life work to protect the rural traditions inherent in the social and spatial landscape of the town and to maintain the dominance of its largely white, middle-class character. As a result, Kerrigan contends that the resistance to change has the consequence of constructing a social identity that attempts to reinforce the notions of a rural idyll to the exclusion of processes and people seen as representing different values and ideals.

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