Description : From essays about the Salem witch trials to literary uses of ghosts by Twain, Wharton, and Bierce to the cinematic blockbuster The Sixth Sense, this book is the first to survey the importance of ghosts and hauntings in American culture across time. From the Puritans’ conviction that a thousand preternatural beings appear every day before our eyes, to today’s resurgence of spirits in fiction and film, the culture of the United States has been obsessed with ghosts. In each generation, these phantoms in popular culture reflect human anxieties about religion, science, politics, and social issues. Spectral America asserts that ghosts, whether in oral tradition, literature, or such modern forms as cinema have always been constructions embedded in specific historical contexts and invoked for explicit purposes, often political in nature. The essays address the role of "spectral evidence" during the Salem witch trials, the Puritan belief in good spirits, the convergence of American Spiritualism and technological development in the nineteenth century, the use of the supernatural as a tool of political critique in twentieth-century magic realism, and the "ghosting" of persons living with AIDS. They also discuss ghostly themes in the work of Ambrose Bierce, Edith Wharton, Gloria Naylor, and Stephen King.
Description : What does it mean to live as a ghost? Exploring spectrality as a metaphor in the contemporary British and American cultural imagination, Peeren proposes that certain subjects – migrants, servants, mediums and missing persons – are perceived as living ghosts and examines how this figuration can signify both dispossession and empowerment or agency.
Description : Theater’s materiality and reliance on human actors has traditionally put it at odds with modernist principles of aesthetic autonomy and depersonalization. Spectral Characters argues that modern dramatists in fact emphasized the extent to which humans are fictional, made and changed by costumes, settings, props, and spoken dialogue. Examining work by Ibsen, Wilde, Strindberg, Genet, Kopit, and Beckett, the book takes up the apparent deadness of characters whose selves are made of other people, whose thoughts become exteriorized communication technologies, and whose bodies merge with walls and furniture. The ghostly, vampiric, and telepathic qualities of these characters, Sarah Balkin argues, mark a new relationship between the material and the imaginary in modern theater. By considering characters whose bodies respond to language, whose attempts to realize their individuality collapse into inanimacy, and who sometimes don’t appear at all, the book posits a new genealogy of modernist drama that emphasizes its continuities with nineteenth-century melodrama and realism.
Description : This anthology explores the spatial dimension and politics of haunting. It considers how the ‘appearance’ of absence, emptiness and the imperceptible can indicate an overwhelming presence of something that once was, and still is, (t)here. At its core, the book asks: how and why do certain places haunt us? Drawing from a diversity of mediums, forms and disciplinary approaches, the contributors to Spectral Spaces and Hauntings illustrate the complicated ways absent presences can manifest and be registered. The case studies range from the memory sites of a terrorist attack, the lost home, a vanished mining town and abandoned airports, to the post-apocalyptic wastelands in literary fiction, the photographic and filmic surfaces where spectres materialise, and the body as a site for re-corporealising the disappeared and dead. In ruminating on the afteraffects of spectral spaces on human experience, the anthology importantly foregrounds the ethical and political imperative of engaging with ghosts and following their traces.
Description : Contemporary urban regeneration seeks to encourage diverse, creative new neighbourhoods that are rich in economic potential. Yet the end result frequently displaces precisely those qualities, activities and communities it claims to engender. Are people best served by a preoccupation with regeneration as economic growth? In The Regeneration Game Ben Campkin provides a lucid and wide-ranging critique of contemporary regeneration. Focusing on present-day regeneration areas in London that are key to the capital’s modern identity, including the site of the 2012 Olympics, the result is both a compelling account of contested sites within the capital’s recent history and a powerful critique of modern methods of urban regeneration.
Description : The sociocultural turn in psychology treats psychological subjects, such as the mind and the self, as processes that are constituted, or "made up," within specific social and cultural practices. In other words, though one's distinct psychology is anchored by an embodied, biological existence, sociocultural interactions are integral to the evolution of the person. Only in the past two decades has the sociocultural turn truly established itself within disciplinary and professional psychology. Providing advanced students and practitioners with a definitive understanding of these theories, Suzanne R. Kirschner and Jack Martin, former presidents of the American Psychological Association's Division of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, assemble a collection of essays that describes the discursive, hermeneutic, dialogical, and activity approaches of sociocultural psychology. Each contribution recognizes psychology as a human science and supports the individual's potential for agency and freedom. At the same time, they differ in their understanding of a person's psychological functioning and the best way to study it. Ultimately the sociocultural turn offers an alternative to overly biological or interiorized theories of the self, emphasizing instead the formation and transformation of our minds in relation to others and the world.
Description : This book presents experiments which will teach physics relevant to astronomy. The astronomer, as instructor, frequently faces this need when his college or university has no astronomy department and any astronomy course is taught in the physics department. The physicist, as instructor, will find this intellectually appealing when faced with teaching an introductory astronomy course. From these experiments, the student will acquire important analytical tools, learn physics appropriate to astronomy, and experience instrument calibration and the direct gathering and analysis of data. Experiments that can be performed in one laboratory session as well as semester-long observation projects are included.
Description : The Spectral Body: Aspects of the Cinematic Oeuvre of István Szabó analyses some of the films made by Academy Award winner Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó to establish an interpretative matrix disclosing the root of haunting effects in the visual and the narrative levels of the diegeses. By combining two distinct—and often incongruous—lines of psychoanalytic thought (by Nicolas Abraham and Jacques Lacan), Zoltán Dragon argues that these films are fuelled by the work of a phantom on all levels, hiding the secrets of the family history of the characters and producing uncanny visual scenarios to make the act of hiding even more effective. The book brings the reader into the realm of the “phantom text” generating the film texts and crypt screens of the oeuvre, and investigates the causes of undiscussible and painful secrets that propel some pivotal characters to reappear in subsequent films, apparently driven by a compulsion to continue their narration, failing to finish their stories—even when they appear to be successful. The Spectral Body: Aspects of the Cinematic Oeuvre of István Szabó introduces a visual reinterpretation of Abraham’s phantom theory that opens up possibilities for an alternative way of studying film. I first saw this work in the form of a full and detailed draft. I was impressed by the boldness of the ideas, the attempt to integrate and work with different theoretical positions and the quite extraordinary reading of the films of István Szabó. There was clearly a powerful and creative and original intelligence at work. A further draft accomplished one important thing that had been missing from the first one – the direct analysis of the visual material and its contribution to the overall narrative and theoretical framework. The work employs a psychoanalytic framework with some key concepts such as ‘the phantom’ drawn from the work of Torok and Abraham. This theory is fairly well known but it has not, to my knowledge, been used in any extensive way in the analysis of film texts before. Zoltan also makes reference to Freud and uses some Lacanian ideas in his analysis at the level of the visual. These multiple theoretical references are not inconsistent; they are finely judged and are most productive. Theory is never used as a grid to be imposed on the material. There is a fine balance between theory and textual analysis that is hard to achieve, but it is successful here. I think that the position that Zoltan Dragon has forged for himself and from which he writes, is a highly original and interesting one. He has been most successful in developing his framework in relation to Szabó’s oeuvre which he knows in the greatest detail. His readings of that oeuvre are rich and powerful and will provoke considerable debate in the world of film studies and also of psychoanalytical studies. Parveen Adams, Core Teaching Faculty, London Consortium
Description : Spectral methods are well-suited to solve problems modeled by time-dependent partial differential equations: they are fast, efficient and accurate and widely used by mathematicians and practitioners. This class-tested 2007 introduction, the first on the subject, is ideal for graduate courses, or self-study. The authors describe the basic theory of spectral methods, allowing the reader to understand the techniques through numerous examples as well as more rigorous developments. They provide a detailed treatment of methods based on Fourier expansions and orthogonal polynomials (including discussions of stability, boundary conditions, filtering, and the extension from the linear to the nonlinear situation). Computational solution techniques for integration in time are dealt with by Runge-Kutta type methods. Several chapters are devoted to material not previously covered in book form, including stability theory for polynomial methods, techniques for problems with discontinuous solutions, round-off errors and the formulation of spectral methods on general grids. These will be especially helpful for practitioners.
Description : This study argues that a turn to religion in philosophy anticipates and accompanies this development in the contemporary world. It addresses the necessity for a philosophical thinking that situates itself both close to and at the farthest remove from traditional manifestations of the religious