Esthetic Experiments: Interdisciplinary Challenges in American Studies

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Edyta Just, Marek Wojtaszek
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Aug 26, 2014 - Science - 197 pages
Contemporary American landscape is wrought with ongoing processes and phenomena of technicization observable at the intersections of multiple layers of society. This book brings to attention their cultural and political aspects, emphasizing timeliness and necessity of academic intervention into, and evaluation of, their specificity and ramifications. Presenting critical and analytical account of cultural narratives which define, speak of, and use diverse technologies (of writing, sound, media representations, surveillance, war), the texts compiled in this volume investigate the coalescence between technological production on the one hand, and the textual on the other. The idea of the book responds to the current academic appeal – inspired by postmodern questioning of the foundations and realized, most importantly, by deconstruction – to dismantle one of the constitutive pillars of Western civilization, namely, between techne and episteme. In their interpretative mode, the texts proceed largely experimentally, bridging the gap between techne and episteme. In doing so, they endeavor to reformulate and complexify an experience of American culture. The book aims to clarify and exemplify that the junction of text and technology implies that meanings are embedded in a material. Consequently, the publication introduces and popularizes the assumption that American cultural experience emerges as a genuine experiment of an esthetic nature.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION ESTHETIC EXPERIMENTS
1
CHAPTER ONE TECHNOLOGY AND ITS DISCONTENTS
11
CHAPTER TWO IN THE LAND OF GHOSTSIGNS OR WILLIAM GIBSONS SPOOK COUNTRY
25
CHAPTER THREE MILITARY MEMOIRS AND MASCULINITY
41
CHAPTER FOUR HUMANE SOLDIERS
57
CHAPTER FIVE DIFFERENT FEMINIST APPROACHES TO REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
73
CHAPTER SIX THE CENTRIFUGAL AGE
89
CHAPTER SEVEN PRESIDENT GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
105
CHAPTER EIGHT SIMPLETON AS A SYMBOL OF AMERICAN JENESAISQUOI OR A QUASINATIONAL ICON
123
CHAPTER NINE MEN WOMEN AND FAME
139
CHAPTER TEN PANTOPIA OF TRANSFERENCE
155
CHAPTER ELEVEN MULTICULTURALISM OF AMERICAN MUSIC AS A BASIS OF THE NATIONAL COMPOSERS SCHOOL
169
CONTRIBUTORS
183
INDEX
187
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About the author (2014)

Edyta Just and Marek M. Wojtaszek are Assistant Professors at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at the University of Łódź, Poland, affiliated with the Department of Transatlantic and Media Studies and the Women’s Studies Centre.

Edyta Just holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Łódź, Poland, and a PhD in Gender Studies from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Her fields of expertise include gender studies, philosophy, pedagogy and cultural studies of science and technology. She recently co-authored a book, Tuning Educational Structures in Europe: Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in Gender Studies (2010) and an article, “Gender Issues in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs),” in the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (2012).

Marek M. Wojtaszek holds a PhD in the Humanities. His recent publications include “Dancing in the Dark: Towards an Aesthetics of Sensible Encounters,” in Quilting Stories, edited by Marek M. Wojtaszek and Edyta Just (2012) and “Pulling One’s Strings: On the Art of Transformative Endurability and the Illusion of the Limit of the Impossible,” in El cuerpo en mente. Versiones del ser desde el pensamiento contemporáneo, edited by Mireia Calafell and Aina Pérez (2011).

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