Call for Book Reviewers
Call for Book Reviewers
Aigne, 2024 Issue
Deadline: 15 August, 2023
Aigne (“Mind”) is a peer-reviewed online postgraduate journal that falls under the auspices of the Graduate School of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. The journal is scheduled to release Issue 10 in Spring of 2024.
The aim of this issue is to engage with the theme of “Encounters” in diverse ways. This has led to the following selection of books for review.
Azuma, Hiroki. 2023. Philosophy of the Tourist. Urbanomic. Falmouth. [Physical Edition]
Abstract: Tourism is a characteristically modern phenomenon, yet modern thinkers have tended to deride the tourist as a figure of homogenising globalism. This philosophical study considers the tourist anew, as a subject position that enables us to redraw the map of globalised culture in an era increasingly in revolt against the liberal intellectual world view and its call for the welcome of the ‘Other’. Why has the tourist proved so resistant to philosophical treatment, asks Hiroki Azuma, author of Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals and General Will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, and Google. Tracing the reasons for this exclusion through the work of Rousseau, Voltaire, and Kant and subsequently in Carl Schmitt, Alexandre Kojève, Hannah Arendt, and Hardt and Negri, Azuma contends that the figure of the tourist has been rendered illegible by becoming ensnared in a series of misleading conceptual dichotomies and a linear model of world history.
In the widening gap between the infrastructure of globalisation and inherited ties of local belonging, Azuma’s retheorisation of the tourist presents an alternative to the choice between doubling down on local identity and roots - or hoping for the spontaneous uprising of a multitude from within the great networked Empire - for the tourist is the subject capable of moving most freely between the strata of the global and the local. A beguiling exploration of contingency and misdelivery, Azuma’s inventive and optimistic philosophical essay, moving through topics ranging from Hegelian politics to pets as family members, from The Brothers Karamazov to Neuromancer, from the uncanny to dark tourism, serves as an introduction to the work of this important Japanese thinker and sheds unexpected new light on a mode of engagement with the world that is familiar to us all.
Abstract: How is public morality understood in the twenty-first century, and what effect does this have on legislation and social policy?
Public Morality and the Culture Wars is a strictly non-polemical analysis of the intellectual and ideological conflicts at the heart of the ‘culture wars’. Taking debates on human nature, sexuality, gender identity, abortion, censorship, and free speech, Bryan Fanning offers an accessible analysis of modern public morality, identifying a ‘triple divide’ between conservative, liberal and progressive viewpoints.
A nuanced analysis of ‘culture wars’ now dividing Anglophone democracies is badly needed. Public Morality and the Culture Wars makes a vibrant and invigorating contribution to the debate, essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of social policy, law, politics, philosophy, sociology and social justice.
Abstract: With a focus on the object and where it is situated, in time (memory) and space (mobility), Memory, Mobility, and Material Culture embodies a multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach.
The chapters track the movement of the objects and their owner(s), within and between continents, countries, cities, and families. Objects have always been considered with an eye to their worth – economic, aesthetic, and/or functional. If that worth is diminished, their meaning and value disappear, they are just things. Yet things can still fulfil functions in our daily lives; they hold symbolic potential, from personal memory triggers to focal points of public ritual and religion; from collectors’ obsession to symbols of loss, displacement, and violence. By bringing into dialogue the work of specialists in ethnology, art history, architecture, and design; literature, languages, cultures, and heritage studies, this volume considers how displaced memory – the memory of refugees, migrants, and their descendants; of those who have moved from the countryside to the city; of those who have faced personal upheaval and profound social change; those who have been forced into exile or experienced major personal or collective loss – can become embodied in material culture.
This book is important reading to those interested in cultural and social history and cultural studies.
Abstract: Metaphysics and the Moving Image is an investigation into the medium of film's inheritance of metaphysics – Western philosophy's oldest and most ambitious form of 'truth-seeking.' Why does the moving image of film take up this ancient quest at the very moment when philosophy sought to abandon it once and for all? As the long age of metaphysics comes to a close with the Nietzschean ‘death of God’ and its crisis of nihilism, the emergence of film at the dawn of a new century brings forth a new absolute value, both life-affirming and more-than-human: ‘the world in its own image.’ Film radically transforms the metaphysical paradigm from rational speculation through concepts to mechanical revelation through images and sounds – the ‘dream machine’ at the heart of the medium’s capacity to enlighten and enthral.
In this book, Trevor Mowchun discusses film theorists and philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Stanley Cavell, Robert Bresson, and Heinrich von Kleist, in relation to films which possess a ‘metaphysical film style,’ including The Thin Red Line and The Turin Horse. Painting and photography are also considered a precursor to the moving image, but it’s a specifically cinematic metaphysics which promises to lead us out of the traps of abstraction and alienation inadvertently set by old metaphysics. Mowchun demonstrates that in a post-metaphysical world, questions about being, value, truth, life and death return with renewed force, finding concrete yet open-ended responses in cinema.
Neiman, Susan. 2023. Left is Not Woke. Polity Press. Cambridge. [Physical Edition].
Abstract: If you're woke, you're left. If you're left, you're woke. We blur the terms, assuming that if you're one you must be the other. That, Susan Neiman argues, is a dangerous mistake.
The intellectual roots and resources of wokeism conflict with ideas that have guided the left for more than 200 years: a commitment to universalism, a firm distinction between justice and power, and a belief in the possibility of progress. Without these ideas, Neiman argues, they will continue to undermine their own goals and drift, inexorably and unintentionally, towards the right. In the long run, they risk becoming what they despise.
One of the world's leading philosophical voices, Neiman makes this case by tracing the malign influence of two titans of twentieth-century thought, Michel Foucault and Carl Schmitt, whose work undermined ideas of justice and progress and portrayed social life as an eternal struggle of us against them. A generation schooled with these voices in their heads, raised in a broader culture shaped by the ruthless ideas of neoliberalism and evolutionary psychology, has set about changing the world. It's time they thought again.
Abstract: This book offers a panorama of movement, mobility, and exchange in the early modern world. While the pre-modern centuries have long been portrayed as static and self-contained, it is now acknowledged that Europe from the Middle Ages onwards saw increasing flows of people and goods. Movement also connected the continent more closely to other parts of the world. The present work challenges dominant notions of the ‘fixed,’ immobile nature of pre-modern cultures through study of the inter-connected material, social, and cultural dimensions of mobility. The case studies presented here chart the technologies and practices that both facilitated and impeded movement in diverse spheres of social activity such as communication, transport, politics, religion, medicine, and architecture. The chapters underscore the importance of the movement of people and objects through space and across distance to the dynamic economic, political, and cultural life of the early modern period.
Abstract: In 2015, Germany agreed to accept a million Syrian refugees. The country had become an epicentre of global migration and one of Europe's most diverse countries. But was this influx of migration new to Germany? In this highly readable volume, Jan Plamper charts the groups and waves of post-1945 mobility to Germany. We Are All Migrants is the first narrative history of multicultural Germany told through life-stories. It explores the experiences of the 12.5 million German expellees from Eastern Europe who arrived at the end of the Second World War; the 14 million 'guest workers' from Italy and Turkey who turned West Germany into an economic powerhouse; the GDR's Vietnamese labour migrants; and the 2.3 million Germans and 230,000 Jews who came from the Soviet Union after 1987. Without minimizing racism, We Are All Migrants shows that immigration is a success story – and that Germany has been, and is, one of the most fascinating laboratories on our planet in which multiple ways of belonging, and ethnic, national, and supranational identities, are hotly debated and messily lived.
To be considered for the review of one of the above books, send an email stating intent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th August, 2023. Please title your email “Book Title Review: Surname, Forename” and attach an up-to-date Resume/CV.
Books not listed above may be considered for review. If you have a request, send an email stating intent to email@example.com by 8th August, 2023. The statement of intent should include an abstract of the book and a sentence or two detailing its relevance to the theme. Please title your email “Book Review Request: Surname, Forename” and attach an up-to-date Resume/CV.
Selected reviewers will be notified by 22nd August, 2023 and will be required to submit a c. 1000-word review by 30th October, 2023. To be considered for publication, all reviews must adhere to Aigne’s Author Guidelines and be thoroughly proofread prior to submission.
All queries may be directed to Book Review Editors, Guy Gerba, Laurence Counihan, and Noreen Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.