Reading Cinema: The Dream that Kicks by Michael Chanan, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, pp 353, £12.50 Stars by Richard Dyer, London: British Film Institute, 1979, pp 204, £2.25 Women's Pictures by Annette Kuhn, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982, pp xiv + 226, E4.95 Cultures on Celluloid by Keith Reader, London: Quartet Books, 1981, pp 216 £11.50 The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo, New York: Harper & Row, 1981, pp xil + 276, £15.
In the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle sets down a scattered and fractional account of the development of moral virtue within young people. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum defends Aristotle's neglect of a systematic account of moral development and argues that more complex expressions of character?building, such as learning to expose oneself to proper desires, feelings, pleasures and pains, are better illustrated through drama or literature than through philosophy. In this vein, the author draws upon literary thinkers J.B. Kerfoot, Sven Birkerts and Wayne C. (...) Booth, as well as the imaginative Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, to illustrate more concretely Aristotle's process of moral development. The author concludes with a proviso about the vulnerability of the connected process of reading and moral development in the current consumer culture. (shrink)
There is a rapidly growing public interest in nanotechnology such that people increasingly buy various books to inform themselves about nanotechnology. This paper tries to measure the public interest focus on nanotechnology and its relation to the public interest in other fields of knowledge by applying a new method. I combine formal network analysis of co-purchase book data with traditional content analysis. The method is successful in identifying the books that the public reads to be informed about nanotechnology, (...) in distinguishing between different kinds and classes of books and thereby between different interest foci and readerships and their relations. The results suggest that nanotechnology is for many the first intense contact with science and technology and that they read a great variety of different kinds of books. Rather than on general introductions to current research written by scientists or science journalists, readers focus on forecasting and visionary literature including business guides, written by software entrepreneurs and business consultants. Unlike expert readers, who connect nanotechnology to other fields of science and engineering, the broader public connects it to visions about dissolving the human/machine distinction. Although the distinction between non-fiction and science fiction is still important for readers, border-crossing authors increasingly blur it. (shrink)
This deeply researched and beautifully crafted study takes as its subject a generation of women who came to maturity in America's Gilded Age. They were scientists and social workers, physicians and educators, and, perhaps most notably, Progressive reformers engaged in the pursuit of social justice. Claiming the newly available opportunities for higher education and professional employment, these women successfully pursued lives in uncharted territory. Barbara Sicherman introduces us to a less visible but equally salient factor in their journey to public (...) identities marked by achievement and acclaim—their sustained and sustaining engagement with reading. (shrink)
Money isn’t everything, so what is? Many government leaders, social policy theorists, and members of the general public have a ready answer: happiness. This paper examines an opposing view due to Robert Nozick, which centres on his experience-machine thought experiment. Despite the example's influence among philosophers, the argument behind it is riddled with difficulties. Dropping the example allows us to re-version Nozick's argument in a way that makes it far more forceful - and less dependent on people's often divergent intutions (...) about the experience machine. (shrink)
Summary This paper re?examines some aspects of the ?real books?reading scheme books? debate which erupted into the British literacy education field a decade ago. It argues that the debate was not only over?polarised but that it did not take appropriate account of a scholarly review of related research by Professor Jeanne Chall which had been published a few years earlier. Subsequent research has further supported Chall's arguments. The paper indicates how the use of reading scheme and (...) real books can be reconciled in curriculum programmes which are sensitive to how learning needs change in the course of early literacy development. It also notes the related significance of some current developments in the field, such as the National Literacy Project and the Literacy Task Force. (shrink)
The intent of this chapter is to suspend the belief in the goodness of literacy -- our chirographic bias -- in order to gain a deeper understanding of how the engagement with texts structures human consciousness, and particularly the minds of children. In the following pages literacy (a term which in this chapter refers to the ability to read and produce written text) is discussed as a consciousness altering technology. A phenomenological analysis of the act of reading shows the (...) child’s engagement with texts as a perceptual as well as a symbolic event that builds upon but also alters children’s speech acts. Speaking and reading are both forms of language use, but with different configurations of perceptual and symbolic qualities. Children’s literature uses textual technology and, intentionally or not, participates in structuring children’s pre-literate minds. Some of its forms, such as picture books and early readers, are directly intended to bridge the gap between the pre-literate listener and the literate reader and ease the transition into the literate state. It is my hope that the phenomenological analysis of the experiences of speaking and reading might help us understand more clearly how children’s literature impacts the minds of children. Such an analysis can awaken a critical awareness of the power that letters wield as they shape the reader’s psychological reality, and it can sharpen our sense of wonder about the metamorphosis of language from speaking to writing. (shrink)
Montaigne’s wide and critical reading contributed enormously to his writing. that we know more about Montaigne’s reading than any other Renaissance author. This chapter begins by discussing the books Montaigne read and the comments he made on his reading. It argues that we should take seriously his advice to read in order to become wise, by discovering one’s own views, rather than to become learned, by summarizing the views of others. It describes Montaigne’s method of writing (...) in reaction to his reading by building fragments, such as axioms, proverbs, narratives and comparisons into logical sequences, using seven basic types of logical connection and the ways in which Montaigne uses quotations taken from history and poetry in the Essays, concluding with a discussion of the use of quotations in “Of vanity”. (shrink)
While Deleuze and Guattari's passion for certain literature is well known, the nature of a ‘Deleuzian’ literary criticism remains an open question. However, most critics appear to agree that Deleuze and Guattari's comments on meaning and interpretation offer an ontological alternative to the textual focus of deconstruction. Through an interrogation of the difficult style of their books in relation to Plato, Nietzsche and Derrida, this paper offers a different reading of Deleuze and Guattari in relation to literary criticism. (...) Despite appearances, transcendental empiricism and the project of ‘overturning Platonism’ provide a Deleuzian theory of reading that attends to textuality. (shrink)
Representing the best popular and scholarly contributions to transgender/ sex studies, and with their mutual concern with female-to-male sex and gender crossing (among other topics), these three books mark an important shift in scholarship on gender and sexuality. Trans studies has reached a level of autonomy and sophistication that firmly establishes it as a field with its own theoretical and political questions. Of course, connections to feminist and queer theory are still very apparent in these texts, and all three (...) authors are committed—to varying degrees—to reading trans identities against the backdrop of male dominance and heteronormativity. It’s no longer enough, however, for feminist readers to dismiss the projects of trans theorists and activists as epiphenomenal to feminist discourses or even queer theory, or to view trans studies as an optional extra in discussions of sex and gender. These books represent the best arguments against this position, and thus offer a new challenge to the inclusivity, scope, and terms of “women’s studies.”. (shrink)
This article reads Carlyle as a reader of Goethe to recover why he proclaimed Goethe as the `benignant spiritual revolutionist' of modernity and `first of the moderns'. As Goethe's first major English translator, Thomas Carlyle was also arguably the first to grasp the nature and purpose of Goethe's project to interpret modernity as a revolutionary epoch involving changes in consciousness, culture and material development. For Carlyle, Goethe's Faust presents modern consciousness and culture from the side of elegy - as the (...) search by an old man for eternal youth and an infinite world without constraints involving tragic loss. Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, by contrast, presents the same processes from the side of romantic quest, that is, from the perspective of a youth growing into adulthood, as looking into the future with infinite hope. Finally in Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Carlyle discerns that the radical form of this novel as a discontinuous narrative that embodies movement, change and incompletion enables Goethe to represent the social conditions of moderns as a spiritual challenge and historic achievement. Carlyle's critical perspicacity is evident not least in his choice of Goethe's works to translate as much as his own essays on Goethe's place in modern European letters. In his close reading of Goethe, Carlyle captures the symbolic form of modernity as incorporating three levels of revolutionary transformation of individual consciousness, of culture and of modernity as mythic condition consisting of tragic development, creative destruction and perpetual movement and change. Moderns then are challenged to become authors of their own texts and lives. Carlyle contrasts Goethe's achievement against other primary candidates for the title of modern spiritual revolutionist in ironically Goethean terms: Napoleon (Prometheus), Byron (Faust and Young Werther) and Voltaire (Mephistopheles). Thereafter, the older Carlyle puts aside his critical readings of Goethe to become his own Goethean authority on the modern condition, most notably in his most famous books, Sartor Resartus, The French Revolution, Chartism, On Heroes, and Past and Present. By reading Carlyle as a reader of Goethe we can begin to discern that Carlyle was not only an historian, biographer and political commentator of his own place and times but a critical theorist seeking to interpret the modern epoch, with and beyond Goethe. (shrink)
Reading is an affective and reflective relationship with a text, whether it is a new, groundbreaking monograph or one of those books that keeps getting pulled off the shelf year after year. Unlike traditional reviews, the pieces in this section may veer off in new directions as critical reading becomes an extended occurrence of thinking, being, and creation. The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life, by Giorgio Agamben.Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.
This paper is a short report about a series of picture books and manuals designed for P4C (especially Philosophy for Korean Young Children). There were not proper educational reading materials or books to help Korean young children to think by (or for) themselves and dialogue with. Dr. Sharp’s is a very helpful guidebook for young children to think by themselves, dialogue with friends, and discuss with others (peers, older or younger children, teacher and parents, etc.). (...) However, there remain some needs for consideration of Korean culture. I developed new eight picture books for young children and short manuals for parents and teachers to do ‘thinking experiments’ with children. The stories were created in the contexts of Korean young children’s daily lives and typical episodes. The community of inquiry, which Korean young children participate in, needs to consider general and special aspects, such as the relationship between peers, children-parents, and children-teachers, Confucius or new western customs, new and old generations, moral and cultural atmosphere of Korean kindergartens or childcare centers, etc. Various episodes and scenes in the picture books will revoke and encourage Korean children’s deeper or higher thinking, interesting and creative dialogues, vivid and harmonious discussions based on their own experiences and contexts of life in the community of inquiry. (shrink)
In a market place crowded with practical rhetoric books what educational value could a challenging work such as Kenneth Burke’s A Rhetoric of Motives possibly have? Burke knows but doesn’t use the terminology of the classical art and rather than analysing the persuasive rhetoric of well-known speeches to equip us with strategies, he weaves his way around literary texts, teasing out meanings that their authors something intended, sometimes did not. Yet, despite such difficulties, A Rhetoric of Motives is a (...) practical rhetoric book. It is just that its process of explication teaches us to think well. This essay tries to explain Burke’s rethinking of the purpose and contents of a traditional teaching tool—the rhetorical handbook—and defends the value of literary-rhetorical reading that aims to ‘equip’ citizens to think openly. (shrink)
Reading is an affective and reflective relationship with a text, whether it is a new, groundbreaking monograph or one of those books that keeps getting pulled off the shelf year after year. Unlike traditional reviews, the pieces in this section may veer off in new directions as critical reading becomes an extended occurrence of thinking, being, and creation. The Book: Eating Anxiety: The Perils of Food Politics. by Chad Lavin. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.