Jean-Michel Oughourlian Michigan State University Press, 2023 Library of Congress RC435.2.O9413 2023
Through the lens of mimetic theory, distinguished French psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughourlian shows how to spot and address rivalry in our lives and become open to healthier, more genuine relationships. This important study demonstrates the toxic and pathogenic mechanisms at work in physical ailments and mental disturbances and reveals a common cause: alterity, the other. Oughourlian maintains that the real question in attempting to resolve issues of rivalry is not “What is your problem?” but rather “Who is your problem?” This type of discord with the other—be it a friend, colleague, or family member—becomes visible through generalized stress. This stress manifests in psychosomatic symptoms and may even contribute to the development of organic diseases. The most important factor in healing these maladies, then, is to recognize the other with whom we are in rivalry.
Poetry by Asian American writers has had a significant impact on the landscape of contemporary American poetry, and a book-length critical treatment of Asian American poetry is long overdue. In this groundbreaking book, Xiaojing Zhou demonstrates how many Asian American poets transform the conventional “I” of lyric poetry—based on the traditional Western concept of the self and the Cartesian “I”—to enact a more ethical relationship between the “I” and its others.
Drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’s idea of the ethics of alterity—which argues that an ethical relation to the other is one that acknowledges the irreducibility of otherness—Zhou offers a reconceptualization of both self and other. Taking difference as a source of creativity and turning it into a form of resistance and a critical intervention, Asian American poets engage with broader issues than the merely poetic. They confront social injustice against the other and call critical attention to a concept of otherness which differs fundamentally from that underlying racism, sexism, and colonialism. By locating the ethical and political questions of otherness in language, discourse, aesthetics, and everyday encounters, Asian American poets help advance critical studies in race, gender, and popular culture as well as in poetry.
The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity is not limited, however, to literary studies: it is an invaluable response to the questions raised by increasingly globalized encounters across many kinds of boundaries.
Marilyn Chin, Kimiko Hahn, Myung Mi Kim, Li Young Lee, Timothy Liu, David Mura, and John Yau
In his first book, Listening Subjects, David Schwarz succeeded in fusing post-Lacanian psychoanalytic, musical-theoretical, and musical-historical perspectives. In Listening Awry, he expands his project to “tell a story of historical modernism writ large”—how German music spanning two centuries refracts changes in society and culture, as well as the impacts of concepts introduced by psychoanalysis.Schwarz shows how post-Lacanian psychoanalysis can be applied to ideological interpellation that connects psychoanalysis to culture and how music theory can ground these considerations in precise details of musical textuality. He “listens awry” in several ways: by understanding musical meaning in both objective and socially structured ways, by embracing historical and also aesthetic approaches, by addressing high art as well as popular music, and by listening “around” conventional forms of musical meaning to reach toward that which evades signification.Structured around four themes—trauma, the other/Other, the look/gaze binary, and Judaism—Listening Awry explores five key moments in post-Enlightenment music: the rise of the singular orchestral conductor and the emergence of a new form of alterity, the Art Song and “the sublime of the delicate” (a correlate of the Kantian mathematical and dynamical sublime), the birth of psychoanalysis and the twentieth-century turn toward atonality, German war songs and the subversion of German music by the Nazis, and two different versions of Wagner’s Parsifal that were performed one hundred years apart and in radically different contexts.This highly original work, filled with imaginative readings and disquieting observations, links trauma with the culture and history of modernity and German music, deftly tying the experience of the body to the sounds it hears: how it reaches us slowly, penetrates the skin, and resonates.David Schwarz is assistant professor of music at the University of North Texas. He is the author of Listening Subjects: Music, Psychoanalysis, Culture.
"I don't know of any other book that deals with the hermeneutical problem of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism in the way this one does. Full of cunning and unpredictable turns, Prodigal Son/Elder Brother addresses the question of the elder brother's fate by opposing two sets of readings, Christian and Jewish, ancient and modern, figural and midrashic. No one, after reading this book, will any longer connect Judaism and Christianity with a hyphen."—Gerald L. Burns, University of Notre Dame
"Through a creative reading of the prodigal son parable, Jill Robbins demonstrates the hermeneutical impasse of the Christian exegete who must and yet cannot incorporate the Old Testament. Having disclosed the aporia at the heart of Christian hermeneutics, she proposes an alternative approach to the Hebrew Bible and new interpretations of Augustine, Petrarch, Kafka, and Levinas. Robbins brilliantly integrates the discourses of biblical texts, literary works, and critical analysis."—Mark C. Taylor, Williams College
In the rigorous and highly original Self-Awareness and Alterity, Dan Zahavi provides a sustained argument that phenomenology, especially in its Husserlian version, can make a decisive contribution to discussions of self-awareness. Engaging with debates within both analytic philosophy (Elizabeth Anscombe, John Perry, Sydney Shoemaker, Héctor-Neri Castañeda, David Rosenthal) and contemporary German philosophy (Dieter Henrich, Manfred Frank, Ernst Tugendhat), Zahavi argues that the phenomenological tradition has much more to offer when it comes to the problem of self-awareness than is normally assumed.
As a contribution to the current philosophical debate concerning self-awareness, the book presents a comprehensive reconstruction of Husserl’s theory of pre-reflective self-awareness, thereby criticizing a number of prevalent interpretations. In addition, Zahavi also offers a systematic discussion of a number of phenomenological insights related to the issue of self-awareness, including analyses of the temporal, intentional, reflexive, bodily, and social nature of the self.
The new edition of this prize-winning book has been updated and revised, and all quotations have been translated into English. It also contains a new preface in which Zahavi traces the developments of the debates around self-awareness over the last twenty years and situates this book in the context of his subsequent work.
Winner of the 2000 The Edward Goodwin Ballard Prize in Phenomenology
In the rigorous and highly original Self-Awareness and Alterity, Dan Zahavi provides a sustained argument that phenomenology, especially in its Husserlian version, can contribute something decisive to the analysis of self-awareness. Taking on recent discussions within both analytical philosophy (Shoemaker, Castaneda, Nagel) and contemporary German philosophy (Henrich, Frank, Tugendhat), Zahavi argues that the phenomenological tradition has much more to offer when it comes to the problem of self-awareness than is normally assumed. As a contribution to the current philosophical debate concerning self-awareness, the book presents a comprehensive reconstruction of Husserl's theory of pre-reflective self-awareness, thereby criticizing a number of prevalent interpretations and a systematic discussion of a number of phenomenological insights related to this issue, including analyses of the temporal, intentional, reflexive, bodily, and social nature of the self.
In Stambeli, Richard C. Jankowsky presents a vivid ethnographic account of the healing trance music created by the descendants of sub-Saharan slaves brought to Tunisia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Stambeli music calls upon an elaborate pantheon of sub-Saharan spirits and North African Muslim saints to heal humans through ritualized trance. Based on nearly two years of participation in the musical, ritual, and social worlds of stambeli musicians, Jankowsky’s study explores the way the music evokes the cross-cultural, migratory past of its originators and their encounters with the Arab-Islamic world in which they found themselves. Stambeli, Jankowsky avers, is thoroughly marked by a sense of otherness—the healing spirits, the founding musicians, and the instruments mostly come from outside Tunisia—which creates a unique space for profoundly meaningful interactions between sub-Saharan and North African people, beliefs, histories, and aesthetics.
Part ethnography, part history of the complex relationship between Tunisia’s Arab and sub-Saharan populations, Stambeli will be welcomed by scholars and students of ethnomusicology, anthropology, African studies, and religion.
Winner of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award
Recipient, 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship
Around 1900, when the last blank spaces on their maps were filled, Europeans traveled to far-flung places hoping to find the spectacularly foreign. They discovered instead what Freud called, several years later, the uncannily familiar: disturbing reflections of themselves—either actual Europeans or Westernized natives. This experience was most extreme for German travelers, who arrived in the contact zones late, on the heels of other European colonialists, and it resulted not in understanding or tolerance but in an increased propensity for violence and destruction. The quest for a “virginal,” exotic existence proved to be ruined at its source, mirroring back to the travelers demonic parodies of their own worst aspects. In this strikingly original book, John Zilcosky demonstrates how these popular “uncanny” encounters influenced Freud’s—and the literary modernists’—use of the term, and how these encounters remain at the heart of our cross-cultural anxieties today.
Urban life has long intrigued Indigenous Amazonians, who regard cities as the locus of both extraordinary power and danger. Modern and ancient cities alike have thus become models for the representation of extreme alterity under the guise of supernatural enchanted cities. This volume seeks to analyze how these ambiguous urban imaginaries—complex representations that function as cognitive tools and blueprints for social action—express a singular view of cosmopolitical relations, how they inform and shape forest-city interactions, and the history of how they came into existence.
Featuring analysis from historical, ethnological, and philosophical perspectives, contributors seek to explain the imaginaries’ widespread diffusion, as well as their influence in present-day migration and urbanization. Above all, it underscores how these urban imaginaries allow Indigenous Amazonians to express their concerns about power, alterity, domination, and defiance.
Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen
Robin M. Wright