• Deconstructionism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism
      December 2018

      Deep Time, Dark Times

      On Being Geologically Human

      by Wood, David

      The new geological epoch we call the Anthropocene is not just a scientific classification. It marks a radical transformation in the background conditions of life on Earth, one taken for granted by much of who we are and what we hope for. Never before has a species possessed both a geological-scale grasp of the history of the Earth and a sober understanding of its own likely fate. Our situation forces us to confront questions both philosophical and of real practical urgency. We need to rethink who “we” are, what agency means today, how to deal with the passions stirred by our circumstances, whether our manner of dwelling on Earth is open to change, and, ultimately, “What is to be done?” Our future, that of our species, and of all the fellow travelers on the planet depend on it. The real-world consequences of climate change bring new significance to some very traditional philosophical questions about reason, agency, responsibility, community, and man’s place in nature. The focus is shifting from imagining and promoting the “good life” to the survival of the species. Deep Time, Dark Times challenges us to reimagine ourselves as a species, taking on a geological consciousness. Drawing promiscuously on the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and other contemporary French thinkers, as well as the science of climate change, David Wood reflects on the historical series of displacements and de-centerings of both the privilege of the Earth, and of the human, from Copernicus through Darwin and Freud to the declaration of the age of the Anthropocene. He argues for the need to develop a new temporal phronesis and to radically rethink who “we” are in respect to solidarity with other humans, and responsibility for the nonhuman stakeholders with which we share the planet. In these brief, lively chapters, Wood poses a range of questions centered on our individual and collective political agency. Might not human exceptionalism be reborn as a sort of hyperbolic responsibility rather than privilege?

    • Christian theology
      November 2018

      When God Was a Bird

      Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World

      by Wallace, Mark I.

      In a time of rapid climate change and species extinction, what role have the world’s religions played in ameliorating—or causing—the crisis we now face? One can point to Christianity’s otherworldly theologies, which privilege our spiritual aspirations over our natural origins, as bearing a disproportionate burden for creating humankind’s exploitative attitudes toward nature. And yet, buried deep within the Christian tradition are startling portrayals of God as the beaked and feathered Holy Spirit—the “animal God” of historic Christian witness. Through biblical readings, historical theology, continental philosophy, and personal stories of sacred nature, this book recovers the Christian God as a creaturely, avian being promiscuously incarnated within all things. This beautifully and accessibly written book shows that “Christian animism” is not a contradiction in terms but Christianity’s natural habitat. Challenging traditional Christianity’s self-definition as an otherworldly religion, Wallace paves the way for a new Earth-loving spirituality grounded in the ancient image of an animal God who signals the presence of spirit in everything, human and more-than-human alike.

    • Christian theology
      December 2018

      Crucified Wisdom

      Theological Reflection on Christ and the Bodhisattva

      by Heim, S. Mark

      This work provides the first systematic discussion of the Bodhisattva path and its importance for constructive Christian theology. Crucified Wisdom examines specific Buddhist traditions, texts, and practices not as phenomena whose existence requires an apologetic justification but as wells of tested wisdom that invite theological insight. With the increasing participation of Christians in Buddhist practice, many are seeking a deeper understanding of the way the teachings of the two traditions might interface. Christ and the Bodhisattva are often compared superficially in Buddhist–Christian discussion. This text combines a rich exposition of the Bodhisattva path, using Śāntideva’s classic work the Bodicaryāvatāra and subsequent Tibetan commentators, with detailed reflection on its implications for Christian faith and practice. Author S. Mark Heim lays out root tensions constituted by basic Buddhist teachings on the one hand, and Christian teachings on the other, and the ways in which the Bodhisattva or Christ embody and resolve the resulting paradoxes in their respective traditions. An important contribution to the field of comparative theology in general and to the area of Buddhist–Christian studies in particular, Crucified Wisdom proposes that Christian theology can take direct instruction from Mahāyāna Buddhism in two respects: deepening its understanding of our creaturely nature through no-self insights, and revising its vision of divine immanence in dialogue with teachings of emptiness. Heim argues that Christians may affirm the importance of novelty in history, the enduring significance of human persons, and the Trinitarian reality of God, even as they learn to value less familiar, nondual dimensions of Christ’s incarnation, human redemption, and the divine life. Crucified Wisdom focuses on questions of reconciliation and atonement in Christian theology and explores the varying interpretations of the crucifixion of Jesus in Buddhist–Christian discussion. The Bodhisattva path is central for major contemporary Buddhist voices such as the Dalai Lama and Thích Nhât Hanh, who figure prominently as conversation partners in the text. This work will be of particular value for those interested in “dual belonging” in connection to these traditions.

    • Ethnic studies
      December 2018

      Alegal

      Biopolitics and the Unintelligibility of Okinawan Life

      by Shimabuku, Annmaria M.

      Okinawan life, at the crossroads of American militarism and Japanese capitalism, embodies a fundamental contradiction to the myth of the monoethnic state. Suspended in a state of exception, Okinawa has never been an official colony of the Japanese empire or the United States, nor has it ever been treated as an equal part of Japan. As a result, Okinawans live amid one of the densest concentrations of U.S. military bases in the world. By bringing Foucauldian biopolitics into conversation with Japanese Marxian theory, Alegal uncovers Japan’s determination to protect its middle class from the racialized sexual contact around its mainland bases by displacing them onto Okinawa, while simultaneously upholding Okinawa as a symbol of the infringement of Japanese sovereignty. This symbolism, however, has provoked ambivalence within Okinawa. In base towns that facilitated encounters between G.I.s and Okinawan women, the racial politics of the United States collided with the postcolonial politics of the Asia Pacific. Through close readings of poetry, reportage, film, and memoir on base-town life since 1945, Shimabuku traces a continuing failure to “become Japanese.” What she discerns instead is a complex politics surrounding sex work, tipping with volatility along the razor’s edge between insurgency and collaboration. At stake in sovereign powers’ attempt to secure Okinawa as a military fortress was the need to contain alegality itself—that is, a life force irreducible to the legal order. If biopolitics is the state’s attempt to monopolize life, then Alegal is a story about how borderland actors reclaimed its power for themselves.

    • Ethnic studies
      November 2018

      Under Representation

      The Racial Regime of Aesthetics

      by Lloyd, David

      Under Representation shows how the founding texts of aesthetic philosophy ground the racial order of the modern world in our concepts of universality, freedom, and humanity. Late Enlightenment discourse on aesthetic experience proposes a decisive account of the conditions of possibility for universal human subjecthood. The aesthetic forges a powerful “racial regime of representation” whose genealogy runs from Enlightenment thinkers like Kant and Schiller to late Modernist critics like Adorno and Benjamin. For aesthetic philosophy, representation is not just about depiction of diverse humans or inclusion in political or cultural institutions. It is an activity that undergirds the various spheres of human practice and theory, from the most fundamental acts of perception and reflection to the relation of the subject to the political, the economic, and the social. Representation regulates the distribution of racial identifications along a developmental trajectory: The racialized remain “under representation,” on the threshold of humanity and not yet capable of freedom and civility as aesthetic thought defines those attributes. To ignore the aesthetic is thus to overlook its continuing force in the formation of the racial and political structures down to the present. Both a genealogy and an account of our present, Under Representation ultimately helps show how a political reading of aesthetics can help us build a racial politics adequate for the problems we face today, one that stakes claims more radical than multicultural demands for representation.

    • Deconstructionism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism
      July 2019

      The Reproduction of Life Death

      Derrida's La vie la mort

      by Dawne McCance

      The book brings psychoanalysis and genetics together for a broad, interdisciplinary, philosophically-grounded conversation that has recently been animating a range of fields.

    • Deconstructionism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism
      March 2019

      Killing Times

      The Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty

      by David Wills

      Draws on the author’s previous work on the human as “prosthesis” to examine a specific machinery of the State used not to prolong but to end life.

    • Philosophy
      July 2019

      Thinking with Adorno

      The Uncoercive Gaze

      by Gerhard Richter

      The author is one of the leading scholars of Adorno and the Frankfurt School.

    • Christian theology
      May 2019

      A Theology of Failure

      Žižek against Christian Innocence

      by Marika Rose

      Rose builds upon Zizek's work, while remaining deeply critical at key moments.

    • Philosophy
      March 2019

      The Mathematical Imagination

      On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory

      by Matthew Handelman

      This book gives us a more capacious version of critical theory, providing humanists with tools to confront the digital age.

    • Western philosophy: Medieval & Renaissance, c 500 to c 1600
      May 2019

      The Singular Voice of Being

      John Duns Scotus and Ultimate Difference

      by Andrew T. LaZella, Gyula Klima

      The Singular Voice of Being reconsiders John Duns Scotus’s well-studied theory of the univocity of being in light of his less explored discussions of ultimate difference. Ultimate difference is a notion introduced by Aristotle and known by the Aristotelian tradition, but one that, this book argues, Scotus radically retrofits to buttress his doctrine of univocity. Scotus broadens ultimate difference to include not only specific differences, but also intrinsic modes of being (e.g., finite/infinite) and principles of individuation (i.e., haecceitates). Furthermore, he deepens it by divorcing it from anything with categorical classification, such as substantial form. Scotus uses his revamped notion of ultimate difference as a means of dividing being, despite the longstanding Parmenidean arguments against such division. The book highlights the unique role of difference in Scotus’s thought, which conceives of difference not as a fall from the perfect unity of being but rather as a perfective determination of an otherwise indifferent concept. The division of being culminates in individuation as the final degree of perfection, which constitutes indivisible (i.e., singular) degrees of being. This systematic study of ultimate difference opens new dimensions for understanding Scotus’s dense thought with respect to not only univocity, but also to individuation, cognition, and acts of the will.

    • Deconstructionism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism
      June 2019

      For the Love of Psychoanalysis

      The Play of Chance in Freud and Derrida

      by Elizabeth Rottenberg

      For the Love of Psychoanalysis is a book about what exceeds or resists calculation—in life and in death. Rottenberg examines what emerges from the difference between psychoanalysis and philosophy.Part I, “Freuderrida,” announces a non-traditional Freud: a Freud associated not with sexuality, repression, unconsciousness, and symbolization, but with accidents and chance. Looking at accidents both in and of Freud’s writing, Rottenberg elaborates the unexpected insights that both produce and disrupt our received ideas of psychoanalytic theory. Whether this disruption is figured as a foreign body, as traumatic temporality, as spatial unlocatability, or as the death drive, it points to something that is neither simply inside nor simply outside the psyche, neither psychically nor materially determined.Whereas the close reading of Freud leaves us open to the accidents of psychoanalytic writing, Part II, “Freuderrida,” addresses itself to what transports us back and limits the openness of our horizon. Here the example par excellence is the death penalty and the cruelty of its calculating decision. If “Freuderrida” insists on the death penalty, if it returns to it compulsively, it is not only because its calculating drive is inseparable from the history of reason as philosophical reason; it is also because the death penalty provides us with one of the most spectacular and spectacularly obscene expressions of Freud’s death drive.Written with rigor, elegance, and wit, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in Freud, Derrida, and the many critical debates to which their thought gives rise.

    • Medieval history
      March 2019

      Colonizing Christianity

      Greek and Latin Religious Identity in the Era of the Fourth Crusade

      by George E. Demacopoulos

      Colonizing Christianity employs postcolonial critique to analyze the transformations of Greek and Latin religious identity in the wake of the Fourth Crusade. Through close readings of texts from the period of Latin occupation, this book argues that the experience of colonization splintered the Greek community over how best to respond to the Latin other while illuminating the mechanisms by which Western Christians authorized and exploited the Christian East. The experience of colonial subjugation opened permanent fissures within the Orthodox community, which struggled to develop a consistent response to aggressive demands for submission to the Roman Church.

    • Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500
      October 2019

      Whose Middle Ages?

      Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past

      by Andrew Albin, Mary C. Erler, Thomas O'Donnell, Nicholas L. Paul, Nina Rowe, David Perry, Geraldine Heng, Sandy Bardsley, Fred Donner, Nicholas L. Paul, Cord Whitaker, Magda Teter, W. Ormrod, Katherine Wilson, Ryan Szpiech, William Diebold, Lauren Mancia, Stephennie Mulder, Sarah Guérin, Pamela Patton, Elizabeth Tyler, David Wacks, Marian Bleeke, Andrew Reeves, Will Cerbone, Maggie Williams, Helen Young, Adam Bishop, J. Patrick Hornbeck II

      Whose Middle Ages? is an ideal course reader, featuring scholarship on the Middle Ages and the misuses of medievalism from across fields and disciplines including history, literature, religion and theology, art history, critical race studies, labor and economic history, gender and sexuality, Crusades studies, migration studies, Islamic studies, and more

    • Political science & theory
      November 2019

      Mutant Neoliberalism

      Market Rule and Political Rupture

      by William Callison, Zachary Manfredi, Étienne Balibar, Wendy Brown, Melinda Cooper, Sören Brandes, Julia Elyachar, Michel Feher, Megan C. Moodie, Christopher Newfield, Dieter Plehwe, Lisa Rofel, Leslie Salzinger, Quinn Slobodian

      While taking on the big question of our day, this book spans topics that will find interested readers everywhere: far right movements, immigration, feminism, populism, mass media, socialism, fascism, and struggles over the contemporary university.

    • Anthropology
      November 2019

      Morality at the Margins

      Youth, Language, and Islam in Coastal Kenya

      by Sarah Hillewaert

      Models how linguistic anthropological methods—including attention to speech acts and even gestures—can be used to provide new insights into discussions of ethical self-fashioning.

    • Philosophy
      October 2019

      Welcoming Finitude

      Toward a Phenomenology of Orthodox Liturgy

      by Christina M. Gschwandtner

      The Orthodox emphasis on living tradition and lived experience make the Orthodox liturgy especially fertile ground for a phenomenological investigation into religious experience more broadly

    • Judaism
      May 2020

      At Wit's End

      The Jewish Joke from the Weimar Republic through the Holocaust

      by Louis Kaplan

      .

    • Political science & theory
      March 2020

      Crimmigrant Nations

      Resurgent Nationalism and the Closing of Borders

      by Robert Koulish, Maartje van der Woude

      .

    • Philosophy
      August 2020

      Merleau-Ponty's Poetic of the World

      Philosophy and Literature

      by Galen A. Johnson, Emmanuel de Saint Aubert, Mauro Carbone

      The authors are three of the leading scholars of Merleau-Ponty and phenomenology today.

    Subscribe to our newsletter