Passions and Subjectivity in Early Modern Culture

Author: Freya Sierhuis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317083466
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Bringing together scholars from literature and the history of ideas, Passions and Subjectivity in Early Modern Culture explores new ways of negotiating the boundaries between cognitive and bodily models of emotion, and between different versions of the will as active or passive. In the process, it juxtaposes the historical formation of such ideas with contemporary philosophical debates. It frames a dialogue between rhetoric and medicine, politics and religion, in order to examine the relationship between mind and body and between experience and the senses. Some chapters discuss literature, in studies of Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton; other essays concentrate on philosophical arguments, both Aristotelian and Galenic models from antiquity, and new mechanistic formations in Descartes, Hobbes and Spinoza. A powerful sense of paradox emerges in treatments of the passions in the early modern period, also reflected in new literary and philosophical forms in which inwardness was displayed, analysed and studied”the autobiography, the essay, the soliloquy”genres which rewrite the formation of subjectivity. At the same time, the frame of reference moves outwards, from the world of interior states to encounter the passions on a public stage, thus reconnecting literary study with the history of political thought. In between the abstract theory of political ideas and the inward selves of literary history, lies a field of intersections waiting to be explored. The passions, like human nature itself, are infinitely variable, and provoke both literary experimentation and philosophical imagination. Passions and Subjectivity in Early Modern Culture thus makes new connections between embodiment, selfhood and the emotions in order to suggest both new models of the self and new models for interdisciplinary history.

Reading the Early Modern Passions

Author: Gail Kern Paster
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812218728
Format: PDF
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How translatable is the language of the emotions across cultures and time? What connotations of particular emotions, strongly felt in the early modern period, have faded or shifted completely in our own? If Western culture has traditionally held emotion to be hostile to reason and the production of scientific knowledge, why and how have the passions been lauded as windows to higher truths? Assessing the changing discourses of feeling and their relevance to the cultural history of affect, Reading the Early Modern Passions offers fourteen interdisciplinary essays on the meanings and representations of the emotional universe of Renaissance Europe in literature, music, and art. Many in the early modern era were preoccupied by the relation of passion to action and believed the passions to be a natural force requiring stringent mental and physical disciplines. In speaking to the question of the historicity and variability of emotions within individuals, several of these essays investigate specific emotions, such as sadness, courage, and fear. Other essays turn to emotions spread throughout society by contemporary events, such as a ruler's death, the outbreak of war, or religious schism, and discuss how such emotions have widespread consequences in both social practice and theory. Addressing anxieties about the power of emotions; their relation to the public good; their centrality in promoting or disturbing an individual's relation to God, to monarch, and to fellow human beings, the authors also look at the ways emotion serves as a marker or determinant of gender, ethnicity, and humanity. Contributors to the volume include Zirka Filipczak, Victoria Kahn, Michael Schoenfeldt, Bruce Smith, Richard Strier, and Gary Tomlinson.

Affect Theory and Early Modern Texts

Author: Amanda Bailey
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137561262
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The first book to put contemporary affect theory into conversation with early modern studies,this volume demonstrates how questions of affect illuminate issues of cognition, political agency, historiography, and scientific thought in early modern literature and culture. Engaging various historical and theoretical perspectives, the essays in this volume bring affect to bear on early modern representations of bodies, passions, and social relations by exploring: the role of embodiment in political subjectivity and action; the interactions of human and non-human bodies within ecological systems; and the social and physiological dynamics of theatrical experience. Examining the complexly embodied experiences of leisure, sympathy, staged violence, courtiership, envy, suicide, and many other topics, the contributors open up new ways of understanding how Renaissance writers thought about the capacities, pleasures, and vulnerabilities of the human body.

The Renaissance Bible

Author: Debora K. Shuger
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520213876
Format: PDF, Docs
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The book treats the Protestant cultures of northern Europe, particularly England, examining biblical commentaries, plays, poems, sermons, and treatises, as well as the often startling negotiations between these texts and other cultural discourses. In Shuger's hands, these biblical materials serve to illuminate, and often radically reinterpret, the dominant issues in contemporary Renaissance studies: gender, the body, colonialism, subjectivity, desire, law, and history. Her work forcefully demonstrates the cultural centrality of Renaissance religion.

Time Narrative and Emotion in Early Modern England

Author: David Houston Wood
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9780754666752
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Exploiting a link between early modern concepts of the medical and the literary, David Wood examines the ways that depictions of time expressed in early modern medical texts reveal themselves in contemporary literary works, demonstrating that the early modern recognition of the self as a palpably volatile entity facilitated the realistic portrayal of literary characters and served as a structuring principle for narrative experimentation.

The Shattering of the Self

Author: Cynthia Marshall
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801876435
Format: PDF, Docs
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In The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity, and Early Modern Texts, Cynthia Marshall reconceptualizes the place and function of violence in Renaissance literature. During the Renaissance an emerging concept of the autonomous self within art, politics, religion, commerce, and other areas existed in tandem with an established, popular sense of the self as fluid, unstable, and volatile. Marshall examines an early modern fascination with erotically charged violence to show how texts of various kinds allowed temporary release from an individualism that was constraining. Scenes such as Gloucester's blinding and Cordelia's death in King Lear or the dismemberment and sexual violence depicted in Titus Andronicus allowed audience members not only a release but a "shattering"—as opposed to an affirmation—of the self. Marshall draws upon close readings of Shakespearean plays, Petrarchan sonnets, John Foxe's Acts and Monuments of the Christian Martyrs, and John Ford's The Broken Heart to successfully address questions of subjectivity, psychoanalytic theory, and identity via a cultural response to art. Timely in its offering of an account that is both historically and psychoanalytically informed, The Shattering of the Self argues for a renewed attention to the place of fantasy in this literature and will be of interest to scholars working in Renaissance and early modern studies, literary theory, gender studies, and film theory. -- Tzachi Zamir

Subjectivity

Author: Nick Mansfield
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814756515
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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What am I referring to when I say "I"? This little word is so easy to use in daily life, yet it has become the focus of intense theoretical debate. Where does my sense of self come from? Does it arise spontaneously or is it created by the media or society? This concern with the self, with our subjectivity, is now our main point of reference in Western societies. How has it come to be so important, and what are the different ways in which we can approach an understanding of the self? Nick Mansfield explores how our notions of subjectivity have developed over the past century. Analyzing the work of key modern and postmodern theorists such as Freud, Foucault, Nietzsche, Lacan, Kristeva, Deleuze and Guattari, and Haraway, he shows how subjectivity is central to debates in contemporary culture, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, postmodernism, and technology.

Reading Memory in Early Modern Literature

Author: Andrew Hiscock
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521761212
Format: PDF, Docs
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Focusing on the lively debate of memory, this book maps how radical cultural and political changes shaped early modern England.

Shakespeare s Schoolroom

Author: Lynn Enterline
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812207130
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Shakespeare's Schoolroom places moments of considerable emotional power in Shakespeare's poetry—portraits of what his contemporaries called "the passions"—alongside the discursive and material practices of sixteenth-century English pedagogy. Humanist training in Latin grammar and rhetorical facility was designed to intervene in social reproduction, to sort out which differences between bodies (male and female) and groups (aristocrats, the middling sort, and those below) were necessary to producing proper English "gentlemen." But the method adopted by Lynn Enterline in this book uncovers a rather different story from the one schoolmasters invented to promote the social efficacy of their pedagogical innovations. Beginning with the observation that Shakespeare frequently reengaged school techniques through the voices of those it excluded (particularly women), Enterline shows that when his portraits of "love" and "woe" betray their institutional origins, they reveal both the cost of a Latin education as well as the contradictory conditions of genteel masculinity in sixteenth-century Britain. In contrast to attempts to explain early modern emotion in relation to medical discourse, Enterline uncovers the crucial role that rhetoric and the texts of the classical past play in Shakespeare's passions. She relies throughout on the axiom that rhetoric has two branches that continuously interact: tropological (requiring formal literary analysis) and transactional (requiring social and historical analysis). Each chapter moves between grammar school archives and literary canon, using linguistic, rhetorical, and literary detail to illustrate the significant difference between what humanists claimed their methods would achieve and what the texts of at least one former schoolboy reveal about the institution's unintended literary and social consequences. When Shakespeare creates the convincing effects of character and emotion for which he is so often singled out as a precursor of "modern" subjectivity, he signals his debt to the Latin institution that granted him the cultural capital of an early modern gentleman precisely when undercutting the socially normative categories schoolmasters invoked as their educational goal.

Love as Passion

Author: Niklas Luhmann
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745694454
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this important book Niklas Luhmann - one of the leading social thinkers of the late 20th century - analyses the emergence of ‘love' as the basis of personal relationships in modern societies. He argues that, while family systems remained intact in the transition from traditional to modern societies, a semantics for love developed to accommodate extra-marital relationships; this semantics was then transferred back into marriage and eventually transformed marriage itself. Drawing on a diverse range of historical and literary sources, Luhmann retraces the emergence and evolution of the special semantics of passionate love that has come to form the basis of modern forms of intimacy and personal relationships. This classic book by Luhmann has been widely recognized as a work of major importance. It is an outstanding contribution to social theory and it provides an original and illuminating perspective on the nature of modern marriage and sexuality.