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Subject: Art

“A Hero Will Endure”: Essays at the Twentieth Anniversary of 'Gladiator'

Edited by Rachel L. Carazo, St. Thomas University

ISBN: 978-1-64889-147-2
Availability: Pre-order
$96 £79 €90

Media, Practice and Theory: Tracking emergent thresholds of experience

Edited by Nicole De Brabandere, McGill University

ISBN: 978-1-64889-504-3
Availability: Pre-order
253pp. ¦ $87 £72 €82

This volume gathers research at the intersection of art and the interdisciplinary humanities to develop an understanding of media assemblages that insist on the generativity of their situatedness within ecologies of practice. These contributions propose media assemblages that enlarge the time and space for co-compositions between media and bodies that reshape subjective, perceptual, and affective registers of experience. Media assemblages include photography, performance, criticism, curation, installation, animation, collage, video and VR, as well as archival and somatic practices. Research as a form of practice is a key orientation in this volume since it offers a means of engaging the world-making proposition offered by Isabelle Stengers that practices are specified through irreducible entanglements that cause one to think, feel, and hesitate. The generative linkages between different disciplinary approaches for engaging research practice across the arts and humanities are favoured over disciplinary and media-based exclusivity. When practice is not posed as an intervention or counterpoint to scholarly research or in opposition to the discursive, differences emerge, not based on convention but through the situatedness of emergent insight. The goal is thus not to forward a reproducible formula for knowledge creation but to weave the conditions for utterances both within and in excess of discipline, convention, and establishment. How can research engender the making of communities between, across, and in excess of institutional frameworks through the emergent affinities, postures, and formats of evolving and inclusive forms of research? This volume is a valuable reference for researchers/practitioners within the arts and humanities as it exemplifies both critical and situated methods for developing interdisciplinary research as a means of transforming the terms of research itself.

Theatre as Alter/"Native" in Derek Walcott

Nirjhar Sarkar, Raiganj University, India

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-431-2
Availability: In stock
179pp. ¦ $55 £40 €46

'Theatre as Alter/“Native” in Derek Walcott' attempts a close and detailed politico-aesthetic analysis of his major plays. At the core of this book lies the attempt to answer the question of how postcolonial artists and intellectuals have dared to imagine radically different ways of living in the face of oppositional, binary choices. And as the title suggests, Walcott’s plays carve out critical spaces for new narratives of “becoming” and alternative priorities, entangled in contesting identities inscribed by race, language and ethnicity. Theatre, as Walcott knew, would be instrumental in demystifying Caribbean “Absence” and “Void” and generating an alternative version of dominant reality. By a deliberate unseating of the Western texts, filled with banal stereotypes and their representational biases, and by triggering “re-action” to the scripts of the colonizers in profoundly paradoxical ways, Walcott’s plays affirm the Caribbean identity. This study seeks to demonstrate how his plays open an alter/“native” universe in terms of aesthetics, dramaturgy and the performative, and reclaims ‘New World’ identity in terms of negotiation rather than negation—undermining the claim of “solid”, “authentic” culture. Placing the arts at the forefront of nation-building, Walcott situated his plays at a crucial juncture between the passing of the Empire and the newly-born Federation in his archipelago.

The Complex City: Social and Built Approaches and Methods

Edited by Caroline Donnellan, Boston University; Global Programs, London, UK

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-477-0
Availability: In stock
226pp. ¦ $88 £73 €83

'The Complex City: Social and Built Approaches and Methods' explores different ways of understanding the city. The social city approach proceeds from the ground-up, it focuses on human interactions shaped by economic and environmental processes. The built city method looks through a top-down lens, examining policy and planning for buildings and infrastructure, including utilities and energy networks. This volume is different from other city anthologies in that it explores them through their differences, by presenting each chapter in one of the two categories. While there is invariably an overlap between the two areas, they are distinct positions. In doing so the book identifies how, despite their often adversarial approaches, they both belong to the same city. As essential components of the city they should not necessarily be resolved, as it is in this friction where creativity and innovation happens. 'The Complex City: Social and Built Approaches and Methods' is concerned about the ideas and solutions that they both offer. The book’s originality stems from this duality, and from its recognition that cities are living, organic, protean places of opportunity, crisis, conflict and challenge. The chapters demonstrate the complexity of cities as a set of ideas concerning what they engender, how they function and why they continue to act as a catalyst for different kinds of human activity. They explore issues of socio-political import and questions of the city as a physically constructed space. The themes are diverse and include the inception of the city as a place of competition to centres of regeneration and urban withdrawal. They cover a range of city and urban regions from Athens to Wellington from site specific singular perspectives to comparative assessments. The questions they raise include how do we inhabit urban areas, how do we make plans for them, and how do we, at times, ignore them entirely.

Dynamics of Interregional Exchange in East Asian Buddhist Art, 5th–13th Century

Edited by Dorothy C. Wong, University of Virginia, USA

September 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-118-2
Availability: In stock
342pp. ¦ $95 £78 €89

This volume examines the various patterns of trans-regional exchanges in Buddhist art within East Asia (China, Korea, and Japan) in the medieval period, from the fifth to the thirteenth centuries. A traditional approach to the study of East Asian Buddhist art revolves around the notion of an artistic relay: India was regarded as the source of inspiration for China, and China in turn influenced artistic production in the Korean peninsula and Japan. While this narrative holds some truth, it has the implicit baggage of assuming that art in the host country is only derivative and obscures a deep understanding of the complexity of transnational exchanges. The essays in this volume aim to go beyond the conventional query of tracing origins and mapping exchanges in order to investigate the agency of the “receivers” with contextual case studies that can expand our understanding of artistic dialogues across cultures. The volume is divided into three sections. In Section I, “Transmission and Local Interpretations,” the three chapters by Jinchao Zhao, Li-kuei Chien, and Hong Wu all address topics of transnational transmission of Buddhist imagery, their figural styles, and subsequent alterations or adaptations based on local preferences and interpretations. Buddhism had important impacts on East Asian countries in the political dimension, especially when the religion and certain Buddhist sutras and deities were believed to have state-protecting properties. The chapters by Dorothy C. Wong, Imann Lai, and Clara Ma in Section II, “Buddhism and the State,” attend to the political aspect of Buddhism in visual representation. Section III, “Iconography and Traditions,” includes chapters by Sakiko Takahashi, Suijun Ra, and Tamami Hamada that closely study the cross-border transmission of and subtle variations in iconography and style of specific Buddhist deities, notably deities of esoteric strands that include the Thousand-Armed Avalokiteśvara (Bodhisattva of Compassion).