Description : This is the 7th volume from the International Sparta Seminar, in the series begun in 1989 by Anton Powell with Stephen Hodkinson. The volume is both thematic and eclectic. Ephraim David and Yoann Le Tallec treat respectively the politics of nudity at Sparta and the role of athletes in forming the Spartan state. Nicolas Richer examines the significance of animals depicted in Lakonian art; Andrew Scott asks what Lakonian figured pottery reveals of local consumerism. Nino Luraghi and Paul Christesen deal respectively with the way in which Sparta was viewed by Messenians and by Ephorus. Jean Ducat treats 'the ghost of the Lakedaimonian state', a major study of formal relations between Spartiate and perioikic communities. Thomas Figueira considers how Spartan women policed masculine behaviour. Anton Powell traces the development of Spartan reactions to political divination in the classical period.
Description : He examines the connection between the personal and the political, showing that Gordimer has always seen the two as inseparable, and that her understanding of this relationship has developed profoundly during her career. Though the book is not biographical, it explores more fully than any preceding publication Gordimer's attitudes toward feminism and her connections with her Jewish background, thereby expanding our comprehension of her social context. Ettin includes a succinct overview of her career and devotes each of six chapters to a major theme, tracing and analyzing the themes as they recur in selected stories, novels, essays, and interview reflections, and as they have emerged in relation to circumstances of her own life. The author sees Gordimer's work as a tool not of propaganda but of understanding, a means of sharpening our perceptions of one another's lives.
Description : The concept that art must have no instrumental function is a doctrine traditionally traced back to Kant's Critique of Judgment. In Reconstituting the Body Politic, Jonathan Hess proposes that this concept of autonomous art marks not a withdrawal from the political realm but the ultimate embodiment of Enlightenment political culture, a response to a crisis in the institution idealized by Jurgen Habermas as the bourgeois public sphere. In Reconstituting the Body Politic, Hess explores the moment in late eighteenth-century Germany that witnessed the emergence of two concepts that marked the modern era: the political concept of the public sphere and the doctrine of aesthetic autonomy. By considering the extent to which, at its very inception, the concept of aesthetic autonomy is inextricably intertwined with the emergence of the concept of the public sphere, he offers both a historical study of the political conditions that produced this concept and a contribution to contemporary literary and political theory. Reading texts by Kant alongside the writings of contemporaries like Karl Philipp Moritz, Hess examines a wide variety of eighteenth-century texts, discourses, and institutions. He then enters into a critical dialogue with Walter Benjamin, Reinhart Koselleck, and Jurgen Habermas to articulate a political critique of this aesthetic. The aesthetic theory of Kant's Critique emerges not as a mere defense of the "disinterestedness" of aesthetic pleasure but as an engaged response to the political limitations of public culture during the Enlightenment. Hess argues for an understanding of these concepts as functionally interdependent, and he reflects on what this interdependence mightmean for the practice of literary and cultural criticism today. His work will interest not only Germanists and critical theorists but also art historians and historians of philosophy and political thought.
Description : In late sixteenth-century Venice, nearly 60 percent of all patrician women joined convents, and only a minority of these women did so voluntarily. In trying to explain why unprecedented numbers of patrician women did not marry, historians have claimed that dowries became too expensive. However, Jutta Gisela Sperling debunks this myth and argues that the rise of forced vocations happened within the context of aristocratic culture and society. Sperling explains how women were not allowed to marry beneath their social status while men could, especially if their brides were wealthy. Faced with a shortage of suitable partners, patrician women were forced to offer themselves as "a gift not only to God, but to their fatherland," as Patriarch Giovanni Tiepolo told the Senate of Venice in 1619. Noting the declining birth rate among patrician women, Sperling explores the paradox of a marriage system that preserved the nobility at the price of its physical extinction. And on a more individual level, she tells the fascinating stories of these women. Some became scholars or advocates of women's rights, some took lovers, and others escaped only to survive as servants, prostitutes, or thieves.
Description : Jonathan Gil Harris examines the origins of modern discourses of social pathology in Elizabethan and Jacobean medical and political writing. Plays, pamphlets and political treatises of this period display an increasingly xenophobic tendency to attribute England's ills to 'foreign bodies' such as Jews, Catholics and witches, as well as treat their allegedly 'poisonous' features for the health of the body politic. Harris argues that this tendency resonates with two of the distinctive paradigms of Paracelsus' pharmacy which also includes the notion that poison has a medicinal power. The emergence of these paradigms in early modern English political thought signals a decisive shift from Galenic humoral tradition towards twentieth-century politico-medical discourses of 'infection' and 'containment', which, like their early modern predecessors, make mysterious the domestic origins of social conflict and the operations of political authority.
Description : J.M. Coetzee's novels can be considered a continued enterprise in figuring and varying the otherness of the human body, which, first and foremost, it comes forward in its vulnerability and pain. Coetzee's fiction offers an understanding that the body is a site upon which politics are played out and made manifest. Political Bodies and the Body Politic in J.M. Coetzee's Novels examines the various manifestations - ugliness, mutilation, cancer, etc. - with regard to the South African body politic. (Series: Transcultural Anglophone Studies - Vol. 3)
Description : "Healing the Body Politic" examines the contested place of health and development in El Salvador over the last two decades. It recounts the dramatic story of radical health activism from its origins in liberation theology and guerrilla medicine during the third-world country's twelve-year civil war, through development of a remarkable "popular health system," administered by lay providers in a former war zone controlled by leftist rebels. The ethnography contributes to the integration of medical and political anthropology by bringing the semiotics of health and the body to bear on cultural understandings of warfare, the state, and globalization.
Description : The chapters in Shakespeare and the Body Politic examine the tensions between the passion and ambition of individuals and the limits of the political communities that encompass and inform them. Shakespeare provides his audiences and readers both timely and timeless political lessons through his diverse portraits of the body politic in his plays and poetry–from ancient city-states of Greece and Rome to the early modern cities and kingdoms of his own time.