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Subject: Art

The Aestheticization of History and the Butterfly Effect

Visual Arts Series

Edited by Nancy Wellington Bookhart, Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts

September 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-745-0
Availability: In stock
262pp. ¦ $89 £75 €82

'The Aestheticization of History and the Butterfly Effect: Visual Arts Series' introduces the audience to philosophical concepts that broach the beginning of the history of Western thought in Plato and Aristotle to that of more modern thought in the theoretician Jacques Rancière in which the main conceptual framework of this anthology is predicated. The introduction is mainly concerned with Rancière’s concept of the distribution of the sensible, which is the arrangement of things accessible to our senses, what we experience in real-time and space— compartmentalization and categorization of all things. These things do not just involve tangible items, but audible speech, written language, and visibilities. Rancière’s theory of the regimes of art is undertaken as the unfolding of the distribution. Such is evoked in the various genres of visual art forms, from two-dimensional paintings to three-dimensional sculptures and architectures. Understanding the aesthetic regime of art is crucial for grasping how art performs time travel. One way of understanding this phenomenon is in terms of embodied philosophy imbued vis-à-vis art forms, which are subsequently challenged by contemporary artists. The contributing essays examine these reiterations, reevaluations—performances. Aesthetics is a term deriving from the 18th-century European Enlightenment. It is here that aesthetics as the study of beauty is probed for its political potential after the failure of the French Revolution. Many major thinkers during this period signed on to the aesthetic moment, recognizing that Reason in its present state failed to develop humankind beyond barbarism. J.E.B. Stuart's statue is part of an equestrian theme that approximates the Western canon of power and class in the pursuit of domination. But such power and domination will be dethroned in the restaging of history and the redistribution of said canon. This reimagining of the form not only alters perception but constitutes a new narrative.

Heroic Disobedience: The Forced Marriage Plot and the British Novel, 1747-1880

Leah Grisham

August 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-734-4
Availability: In stock
218pp. ¦ $74 £60 €67

'Heroic Disobedience: The Forced Marriage Plot and the British Novel, 1747-1880' shows the ways in which eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels used what the author terms the forced marriage plot - a plot arc in which a greedy father tries to force his daughter into a marriage she does not want but that would be financially expedient to himself - to explore capitalism’s detrimental impacts on women’s right to autonomy. As capitalist economic practices replaced mercantilism, a woman’s value was seen primarily in the economic sense. That is, men came to recognize that women – especially young, marriageable women – could be used as objects of exchange between men. Recognizing this phenomenon, the novelists considered in 'Heroic Disobedience' – Samuel Richardson, Charlotte Lennox, Mary Robinson, Charlotte Smith, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Stone, and Anthony Trollope – depict the very specific ways in which women were raised to become willing pawns in this system. Religious discourse, conduct guides, marriage and property laws, wages, lack of meaningful education, and inheritance practices combined to leave women with no other options besides dependence on their patriarchs. Importantly, authors who use the forced marriage plot go beyond exposing women’s subjugation by creating – and celebrating – heroically disobedient heroines who believe, above all else, that they have the right to determine their own futures: futures in which they are autonomous agents, not subjected objects.

Directing the Play

Tekena Mark, Rivers State University, Nigeria

July 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-672-9
Availability: In stock
157pp. ¦ $51 £41 €46

Numerous books have been written on the art of directing from the classical to contemporary times. Many of these works have concentrated on different facets of the discipline of directing such as the definition, history, and development of directing, as well as the qualities, functions, and types of directors. However, areas of directing that have not received much scholarly attention include works that serve as manuals for budding directors and studies that reflect the theory and practice of directing in Africa, especially from Nigerian theatre practitioners. While studies on directing, such as Wainstein’s 'Stage Directing: A Director’s Itinerary' (2012), Dean and Carra’s 'Fundamentals of Play Directing' (2009), and Johnson’s 'Visions Towards a Mission: The Art of Interpretative Directing' (2003), provide general insights on the art of directing plays, Emasealu’s 'The Theatre of Ola Rotimi: Production and Performance Dynamics' (2010) and Uwatt’s 'Playwriting and Directing in Nigeria: Interviews with Ola Rotimi' (2004), document the directorial practice of the Nigerian director, Ola Rotimi. Aside from documenting the directing techniques of key Western directors, this book’s advantage over existing works is that it documents the directorial styles of Ola Rotimi and other West African directors, as well as the directorial techniques of directors from South, North, and East Africa. It also traces the evolution of the theatre stage, examines the directorial implications of the arena, proscenium, thrust, traverse and African traditional theatre stage orientations, and engages the notions of blocking, movement, directorial concept and directorial approach. In particular, this book aspires to contribute to the discourse on play directing with perspectives from African theatre. It also fills gaps in previous studies by delving into the notions of theatre and directing, the director’s history, qualities, and tools. It examines types of directors, functions of the director, directing principles, and key Western and African theories of performance. It also evaluates the history of the theatre stage, the characteristics, benefits and drawbacks, and directorial implications of the arena stage, proscenium stage, thrust stage, traverse stage, African traditional theatre stage, the use of blocking, movement, and the meaning of directorial concept and directorial approach.

Star Wars: Essays Exploring a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Edited by Emily Strand and Amy H. Sturgis

July 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-671-2
Availability: In stock
252pp. ¦ $91 £76 €84

'Star Wars' is a global phenomenon that in 2022 celebrated its 45th year of transmedia storytelling, and it has never been more successful than it is today. More 'Star Wars' works than ever are currently available or in simultaneous development, including live-action and animated series, novels, comics, and merchandise, as well as the feature films for which the franchise is best known. 'Star Wars' fandom is worldwide, time-tested, and growing; academic interest in the franchise, both inside and outside of the classroom, is high. This accessible and multidisciplinary anthology covers topics across the full history of the franchise. With a range of essays by authors whose disciplines run from culture and religious studies to film, feminism, and philology, 'Star Wars: Essays Exploring a Galaxy Far, Far Away' speaks to academics in the field, students in the classroom, and anyone looking to broaden their understanding and deepen their appreciation for 'Star Wars'.

Fashioning the Self: Identity and Style in British Culture

Edited by Emily Priscott

May 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-179-3
Availability: In stock
190pp. ¦ $69 £59 €65

'Fashioning the Self: Identity and Style in British Culture' offers an eclectic approach to contemporary fashion studies. Taking a broad definition of British culture, this collection of essays explores the significance of style to issues such as colonialism, race, gender and class, embracing topics as diverse as eighteenth-century portraiture, literary dress culture and Edwardian working-class glamour. Examining the emblematic power of garments themselves and the context in which they are styled, this work interrogates the ways that personal style can itself decontextualize garments to radically reframe their meanings. Using an intentionally eclectic range of subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective, this collection builds on the work of theorists such as Aileen Ribeiro, Vika Martina Plock, Cheryl Buckley and Hilary Fawcett, to examine the social significance of personal style, while also highlighting the diversity of British culture itself.

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