Agents and Patients: A Novel
Anthony Powell University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress PR6031.O74A74 2014 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Unsavory artists, titled boobs, and charlatans with an affinity for Freud—such are the oddballs whose antics animate the early novels of the late British master Anthony Powell. A genius of social satire delivered with a very dry wit, Powell builds his comedies on the foibles of British high society between the wars, delving into subjects as various as psychoanalysis, the film industry, publishing, and (of course) sex. More explorations of relationships and vanity than plot-driven narratives, these slim novels reveal the early stirrings of the unequaled style, ear for dialogue, and eye for irony that would reach their caustic peak in Powell’s epic A Dance to the Music of Time.
In Agents and Patients, we return to London with the newly wealthy, memorably named Blore-Smith: an innocent, decent enough chap . . . and a drip. Vulnerable to the machinations of those with less money and more lust, Blore-Smith falls victim to two con artists whose ploys carry him through to the art galleries and whorehouses of Paris, Berlin, and beyond.
Written from a vantage point both high and necessarily narrow, Powell’s early novels nevertheless deal in the universal themes that would become a substantial part of his oeuvre: pride, greed, and what makes people behave as they do. Filled with eccentric characters and piercing insights, Powell’s work is achingly hilarious, human, and true.
An incisive argument for the relevance of political philosophy and its possibility of effecting change.
The appeal of political philosophy is that it will answer questions about justice for the sake of political action. But contemporary political philosophy struggles to live up to this promise. Since the death of John Rawls, political philosophers have become absorbed in methodological debates, leading to an impasse between two unattractive tendencies: utopians argue that philosophy should focus uncompromisingly on abstract questions of justice, while pragmatists argue that we should concern ourselves only with local efforts to ameliorate injustice. Agents of Change shows a way forward.
Ben Laurence argues that we can combine utopian justice and the pragmatic response to injustice in a political philosophy that unifies theory and practice in pursuit of change. Political philosophy, on this view, is not a purely normative theory disconnected from practice. Rather, political philosophy is itself a practice—an exercise of practical reason issuing in action. Laurence contends that this exercise begins in ordinary life with the confrontation with injustice. Philosophy draws ideas about justice from this encounter to be pursued through political action. Laurence shows that the task of political philosophy is not complete until it asks the question “What is to be done?” and deliberates actionable answers.
Why did the Chinese party state collapse so quickly after the onset of the Cultural Revolution? The award-winning author of China Under Mao offers a surprising answer that holds a powerful implicit warning for today’s governments.
By May 1966, just seventeen years after its founding, the People’s Republic of China had become one of the most powerfully centralized states in modern history. But that summer everything changed. Mao Zedong called for students to attack intellectuals and officials who allegedly lacked commitment to revolutionary principles. Rebels responded by toppling local governments across the country, ushering in nearly two years of conflict that in places came close to civil war and resulted in nearly 1.6 million dead.
How and why did the party state collapse so rapidly? Standard accounts depict a revolution instigated from the top down and escalated from the bottom up. In this pathbreaking reconsideration of the origins and trajectory of the Cultural Revolution, Andrew Walder offers a startling new conclusion: party cadres seized power from their superiors, setting off a chain reaction of violence, intensified by a mishandled army intervention. This inside-out dynamic explains how virulent factions formed, why the conflict escalated, and why the repression that ended the disorder was so much worse than the violence it was meant to contain.
Based on over 2,000 local annals chronicling some 34,000 revolutionary episodes across China, Agents of Disorder offers an original interpretation of familiar but complex events and suggests a broader lesson for our times: forces of order that we count on to stanch violence can instead generate devastating bloodshed.
The question of how students transfer knowledge is an important one, as it addresses the larger issue of the educational experience. In Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act, Rebecca S. Nowacek explores, through a series of case studies, the issue of transfer by asking what in an educational setting engages students to become “agents of integration”— individuals actively working to perceive, as well as to convey effectively to others, the connections they make.
While many studies of transfer are longitudinal, with data collected over several years, Nowacek’s is synchronous, a rich cross-section of the writing and classroom discussions produced by a team-taught learning community—three professors and eighteen students enrolled in a one-semester general education interdisciplinary humanities seminar that consisted of three linked courses in history, literature, and religious studies. With extensive field notes, carefully selected student and teacher self-reports in the form of interviews and focus groups, and thorough examinations of recorded classroom discussions, student papers with professor comments, and student notebooks, Nowacek presents a nuanced and engaging analysis that outlines how transfer is not simply a cognitive act but a rhetorical one that involves both seeing connections and presenting them to the instructors who are institutionally positioned to recognize and value them.
Considering the challenges facing instructors teaching for transfer and the transfer of writing-related knowledge, Nowacek develops and outlines a new theoretical framework and methodological model of transfer and illustrates the practical implications through case studies and other classroom examples. She proposes transfer is best understood as an act of recontextualization, and she builds on this premise throughout the book by drawing from previous work in cognitive psychology, activity theory, and rhetorical genre theory, as well as her own analyses of student work.
This focused examination complements existing longitudinal studies and will help readers better understand not only the opportunities and challenges confronting students as they work to become agents of integration but also the challenges facing instructors as they seek to support that student work.
During Stalin's Great Terror, more than a million Soviet citizens were arrested or killed for political crimes they did not commit. Who carried out these purges, and what motivated them? Alexander Vatlin opens up the world of the Soviet perpetrators using detailed evidence from one Moscow suburb. Spurred by ambition or fear, local secret police rushed to fulfill quotas for arresting "enemies of the people"—even when it meant fabricating evidence. Vatlin confronts head-on issues of historical agency and moral responsibility in Stalin-era crimes.
Often described as the misuse of science, chemical and biological weapons have incurred widespread opposition over the years. Despite condemnation from the United Nations, governments, and the disarmament lobby, they remain very real options for rogue states and terrorists. In this new edition of Agents of War, Edward M. Spiers has expanded and updated this much-needed history with two new chapters on political poisoning and chemical weapons in the Middle East. Spiers breaks new ground by presenting his analysis in both historical and contemporary contexts, giving a comprehensive chronological account of why, where, and when such weapons were used or suspected to be deployed.
Arts Integration in Education is an insightful, even inspiring investigation into the enormous possibilities for change that are offered by the application of arts integration in education. Presenting research from a range of settings, from preschool to university, and featuring contributions from scholars and theorists, educational psychologists, teachers, and teaching artists, the book offers a comprehensive exploration and varying perspectives on theory, impact, and practices for arts-based training and arts-integrated instruction across the curriculum.
Women in Haiti are frequent victims of sexual violence and armed assault. Yet an astonishing proportion of these victims also act as perpetrators of violent crime, often as part of armed groups. Award-winning legal scholar Benedetta Faedi Duramy visited Haiti to discover what causes these women to act in such destructive ways and what might be done to stop this tragic cycle of violence.
Gender and Violence in Haiti is the product of more than a year of extensive firsthand observations and interviews with the women who have been caught up in the widespread violence plaguing Haiti. Drawing from the experiences of a diverse group of Haitian women, Faedi Duramy finds that both the victims and perpetrators of violence share a common sense of anger and desperation. Untangling the many factors that cause these women to commit violence, from self-defense to revenge, she identifies concrete measures that can lead them to feel vindicated and protected by their communities.
Faedi Duramy vividly conveys the horrifying conditions pervading Haiti, even before the 2010 earthquake. But Gender and Violence in Haiti also carries a message of hope—and shows what local authorities and international relief agencies can do to help the women of Haiti.
This volume brings together cutting-edge research on modern Spanish women as writers, activists, and embodiments of cultural change, and simultaneously honors Maryellen Bieder’s invaluable scholarly contribution to the field. The essays are innovative in their consideration of lesser-known women writers, focus on women as political activists, and use of post-colonialism, queer theory, and spatial theory to examine the period from the Enlightenment until World War II. The contributors study women as agents and representations of social change in a variety of genres, including short stories, novels, plays, personal letters, and journalistic pieces. Canonical authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán, Leopoldo Alas “Clarín,” and Carmen de Burgos are considered alongside lesser known writers and activists such as María Rosa Gálvez, Sofía Tartilán, and Caterina Albert i Paradís. The critical analyses are situated within their specific socio-historical context, and shed new light on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spanish literature, history, and culture.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
In this sweeping reinterpretation of American political culture, James Block offers a new perspective on the formation of the modern American self and society. Block roots both self and society in the concept of agency, rather than liberty, and dispenses with the national myth of the "sacred cause of liberty"--with the Declaration of Independence as its "American scripture." Instead, he recovers the early modern conception of agency as the true synthesis emerging from America's Protestant and liberal cultural foundations.
Block traces agency doctrine from its pre-Commonwealth English origins through its development into the American mainstream culture on the eve of the twentieth century. The concept of agency that prevailed in the colonies simultaneously released individuals from traditional constraints to participate actively and self-reliantly in social institutions, while confining them within a new set of commitments. Individual initiative was now firmly bounded by the modern values and ends of personal Protestant religiosity and collective liberal institutional authority. As Block shows, this complex relation of self to society lies at the root of the American character.
A Nation of Agents is a new reading of what the "first new nation" did and did not achieve. It will enable us to move beyond long-standing national myths and grasp both the American achievement and its legacy for modernity.
The significance of the media and communications revolution occasioned by printmaking was profound. Less a part of the standard narrative of printmaking’s significance is recognition of the frequency with which the widespread dissemination of printed works also occurred beyond the borders of Europe and consideration of the impact of this broader movement of printed objects. Within a decade of the invention of the printing press, European prints began to move globally. Over the course of the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, numerous prints produced in Europe traveled to areas as varied as Turkey, India, Persia, Ethiopia, China, Japan and the Americas, where they were taken by missionaries, artists, travelers, merchants and diplomats. This collection of essays explores the transmission of knowledge, both written and visual, between Europe and the rest of the world by means of prints in the early modern period.
From physical location to payment processes to expectations of both patients and caregivers, nearly everything surrounding the contemporary medical clinic's central activity has changed since Michel Foucualt's Birth of the Clinic. Indebted to that work, but recognizing the gap between what the modern clinic hoped to be and what it has become, Rebirth of the Clinic explores medical practices that shed light on the fraught relationship between medical systems, practitioners, and patients.
Combining theory, history, and ethnography, the contributors to this volume ground today's clinic in a larger scheme of power relations, identifying the cultural, political, and economic pressures that frame clinical relationships, including the instrumentalist definition of health, actuarial-based medical practices, and patient self-help movements, which simultaneously hem in and create the conditions under which agents creatively change ideas of illness and treatment.
From threatened community health centers in poor African American locales to innovative nursing practices among the marginally housed citizens of Canada's poorest urban neighborhood, this volume addresses not just the who, what, where, and how of place-specific clinical practices, but also sets these local experiences against a theoretical backdrop that links them to the power of modern medicine in shaping fundamental life experiences.
Contributors: Christine Ceci, U of Alberta; Lisa Diedrich, Stony Brook U; Suzanne Fraser, Monash U; John Liesch, Simon Fraser U; Jenna Loyd, CUNY; Annemarie Mol, U of Amsterdam; Mary Ellen Purkis, U of Victoria.
In July 2012, the 8th Deaf History International (DHI) Conference featured 27 presentations from members of Deaf communities around the world who related their own autobiographies as well as the biographies of historical Deaf individuals. The presenters came from 12 different countries, but their stories traverse many other locales. Thus, they created a transnational phenomenon of widespread interest in the collection, documentation, and dissemination of Deaf history by and for members of the deaf community. Telling Deaf Lives: Agents of Change brings together the best of the DHI Conference offerings in this volume.
Due to the dearth of formal research on deaf people, Deaf community historians drove the preservation of the stories in this collection. Their diversity is remarkable: Melissa Anderson and Breda Carty describe the Cosmopolitan Correspondence Club, a group of Deaf individuals who corresponded in the early 20th century from Australia to Western Europe to the United States; Ulla-Bell Thorin recounts first-hand growing up deaf in Sweden and her process in authoring six memoirs; Harry Lang reflects on writing biographies of numerous Deaf Americans in the arts and science; Akio Suemori profiles the first Deaf president of a Japanese school for the Deaf; Tatiana Davidenko writes about her Deaf family’s experience during the World War II siege of Leningrad; Theara Yim and Julie Chateauvert look at the evolution of ASL poetry by analyzing works of prominent ASL poets Clayton Valli, Peter Cook, and Kenny Lerner. These and the other contributions here enshrine Deaf people in collective memory by virtue of disseminating and preserving their stories.
Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on Earth, and arguably the most successful. They are not technically alive, but—as infectious vehicles of genetic information—they have a remarkable capacity to invade, replicate, and evolve within living cells. Synthesizing a large body of recent research, Michael Cordingley goes beyond our familiarity with viral infections to show how viruses spur evolutionary change in their hosts, shape global ecosystems, and influence every domain of life.
In the last few decades, research has revealed that viruses are fundamental to the photosynthetic capacity of the world’s oceans and the composition of the human microbiome. Perhaps most fascinating, viruses are now recognized as remarkable engines of the genetic innovation that fuels natural selection and catalyzes evolution in all domains of life. Viruses have coevolved with their hosts since the beginning of life on our planet and are part of the evolutionary legacy of every species that has ever lived.
Cordingley explains how viruses are responsible for the creation of many feared bacterial diseases and the emergence of newly pathogenic and drug-resistant strains. And as more and more viruses jump to humans from other animals, new epidemics of viral disease will threaten global society. But Cordingley shows that we can adapt, relying on our evolved cognitive and cultural capacities to limit the consequences of viral infections. Piecing together the story of viruses’ major role within and beyond human disease, Viruses creates a valuable roadmap through the rapidly expanding terrain of virology.