Literary Criticism/Cultural Studies

The World of Childhood

by Phillip Witteveen February 11, 2015
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“For centuries, in Western civilization,” says Ellen Handler Spitz, “children were not really understood to have an inner life at all. Nobody paid attention really… childhood was seen as a preparatory stage of life for adulthood. Children were dressed as little adults—and what they produced when they were little was of no interest.” Spitz, the author of Illuminating Childhood, was recently featured on CBC Radio One to discuss this: the scientifically under-specified “inner life” of children: the locus of Spitz’ own research in aesthetics and psychology. Dr. Spitz’ work—and the whole radio hour—are really the same response to the puzzling nature of childhood. Psychologically, childhood is […]

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Remembering Tobin Siebers

by Carolyn Darr February 5, 2015
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Renowned scholar and disability studies theorist Tobin Siebers passed away January 29 in Ann Arbor. His long and distinguished publishing record included the field-defining books Disability Theory (2008) and Disability Aesthetics (2010), six other monographs, four edited collections, and a memoir, Among Men. MLive reports that Siebers, Professor of English and Art and Design at the University of Michigan, will be honored at a memorial service on February 6 at 2 p.m. in the ballroom of the Michigan League.  

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Tzachi Zamir on His Philosophy of Acting

by Phillip Witteveen February 4, 2015
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Tzachi Zamir is a professor of philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After a Ph.D. of pondering the nature of things, his accidental experiences with amateur acting led him to ponder the nature of performance. Zamir is the author of the first systematic philosophy of theater, Acts. This is not the first time he has tackled less-traditional philosophy, actually, having written about subjects from Shakespeare to vegetarianism to animal rights. Nowadays, though, in the interstices between professional philosophizing, he’s been taking classes, and working in rehearsal for a production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The Israeli newspaper […]

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Francesca Royster’s ‘Sounding Like a No-No’ Receives Honorable Mention

by Phillip Witteveen December 18, 2014
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Every year, the Modern Language Association awards the William Sanders Scarborough Prize to the most outstanding contribution in studies of black literature or culture. The Press is proud to announce our own honorable mention, Francesca Royster’s Sounding Like a No-No. Royster’s work places us in an era she calls “Post Soul”, and examines the eccentricities of its performance art and music. It asks us to consider the concepts of “embodied sound”, the distinctions between imaginative and corporeal freedom, and this irreducible sense of being in a world after slavery. Congratulations to Professor Royster! You can read more about the William Sanders Scarborough […]

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Matt Brim at the New York Public Library

by Phillip Witteveen November 25, 2014
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On December 2nd, at 7 p.m., the New York Public Library will be holding a release event for CUNY Professor Matt Brim’s upcoming James Baldwin and the Queer Imagination. Hosted in conversation, Brim will be opposite acclaimed novelist Ayana Mathis, (author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie) to discuss Baldwin’s complex legacy, something Brim has studied at length. The Library’s event will be held in its Wachenheim Trustees Room. You can find out more (and RSVP) here.        

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