Beginning with a widespread definition of Decadence as when individual parts flourish at the expense of the whole, Regenia Gagnier - a leading cultural historian of late nineteenth-century Britain - shows the full range of meanings of individualism at the height of its promise.
individualism decadence and globalization
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This book traces the global circulation of cultures and ideologies from the technological and democratic revolutions of the long nineteenth century to liberal and neoliberal modernity. Focussing on moments of coerced (colonial and postcolonial) and voluntary contact rather than national boundaries, the author draws attention to the global scope of literatures and geopolitical commodities as actants in world affairs, as in processes of liberalization, democratization, and trade, but also to the distinctiveness of each local environment at its moments of transculturation. Based in extensive experience in collaborative, multilingual, interdisciplinary networks, the book synthesizes existing theoretical scholarship, provides original case studies of world-historical Victorian and modern writers, and articulates a new interdisciplinary methodology for literary studies in a global context. It will be of interest to Victorianists, modernists, comparatists, political theorists, translators, and scholars of world literatures, world ecology, and globalization.
A belief in individual self-determination powered the development of universal human rights and inspired social movements from anti-slavery to socialism and feminism. At the same time, every attempt to embed individualism in systems of education and employment has eventually led to increased social inequality. Across the globe individualism has been transformed from a revolutionary force into an explanation for increasingly unequal societies where dissent is largely silent. This book explores the possibility of rediscovering the original, transformative potential of individualism.
The Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature offers 45 chapters by leading international scholars working with the most dynamic and influential political, cultural, and theoretical issues addressing Victorian literature today. Scholars and students will find this collection both useful and inspiring. Rigorously engaged with current scholarship that is both historically sensitive and theoretically informed, the Routledge Companion places the genres of the novel, poetry, and drama and issues of gender, social class, and race in conversation with subjects like ecology, colonialism, the Gothic, digital humanities, sexualities, disability, material culture, and animal studies. This guide is aimed at scholars who want to know the most significant critical approaches in Victorian studies, often written by the very scholars who helped found those fields. It addresses major theoretical movements such as narrative theory, formalism, historicism, and economic theory, as well as Victorian models of subjects such as anthropology, cognitive science, and religion. With its lists of key works, rich cross-referencing, extensive bibliographies, and explications of scholarly trajectories, the book is a crucial resource for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, while offering invaluable support to more seasoned scholars.
A transatlantic phenomenon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the "New Woman" broke away from many of the constraints of the Victorian era to enjoy a greater freedom of movement in the social, physical, and intellectual realms. As Alicia Carroll reveals, the New Woman also played a significant role in environmental awareness and action. From the Arts and Crafts period, to before, during, and after the Great War, the iconic figure of the New Woman accompanied and informed historical women’s responses to the keen environmental issues of their day, including familiar concerns about air and water quality as well as critiques of Victorian floral ecologies, extinction narratives, land use, local food shortages, biodiversity decline, and food importation. As the Land Question intersected with the Woman Question, women contributed to a transformative early green culture, extolling the benefits of going back to the land themselves, as "England should feed her own people." Carroll traces the convergence of this work and a self-realization articulated by Mona Caird’s 1888 demand for the "acknowledgement of the obvious right of the woman to possess herself body and soul." By the early twentieth century, a thriving community of New Woman authors, gardeners, artists, and land workers had emerged and created a vibrant discussion. Exploring the early green culture of Arts and Crafts to women’s formation of rural utopian communities, the Women’s Land Army, and herbalists of the Great War and beyond, New Woman Ecologies shows how women established both their own autonomy and the viability of an ecological modernity.
With Mathilde Blind: Late-Victorian Culture and the Woman of Letters, James Diedrick offers a groundbreaking critical biography of the German-born British poet Mathilde Blind (1841–1896), a freethinking radical feminist. Born to politically radical parents, Blind had, by the time she was thirty, become a pioneering female aesthete in a mostly male community of writers, painters, and critics, including Algernon Charles Swinburne, William Morris, Ford Madox Brown, William Michael Rossetti, and Richard Garnett. By the 1880s she had become widely recognized for a body of writing that engaged contemporary issues such as the Woman Question, the forced eviction of Scottish tenant farmers in the Highland Clearances, and Darwin’s evolutionary theory. She subsequently emerged as a prominent voice and leader among New Woman writers at the end of the century, including Mona Caird, Rosamund Marriott Watson, and Katharine Tynan. She also developed important associations with leading male decadent writers of the fin de siècle, most notably, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Symons. Despite her extensive contributions to Victorian debates on aesthetics, religion, nationhood, imperialism, gender, and sexuality, however, Blind has yet to receive the prominence she deserves in studies of the period. As the first full-length biography of this trailblazing woman of letters, Mathilde Blind underscores the importance of her poetry and her critical writings (her work on Shelley, biographies of George Eliot and Madame Roland, and her translations of Strauss and Bashkirtseff) for the literature and culture of the fin de siècle.
While scholars have long associated the group of nineteenth-century French and English writers and artists known as the decadents with alienation, escapism, and withdrawal from the social and political world, Matthew Potolsky offers an alternative reading of the movement. In The Decadent Republic of Letters, he treats the decadents as fundamentally international, defined by a radically cosmopolitan ideal of literary sociability rather than an inward turn toward private aesthetics and exotic sensation. The Decadent Republic of Letters looks at the way Charles Baudelaire, Théophile Gautier, and Algernon Charles Swinburne used the language of classical republican political theory to define beauty as a form of civic virtue. The libertines, an international underground united by subversive erudition, gave decadents a model of countercultural affiliation and a vocabulary for criticizing national canon formation and the increasing state control of education. Decadent figures such as Joris-Karl Huysmans, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, Aubrey Beardsley, and Oscar Wilde envisioned communities formed through the circulation of art. Decadents lavishly praised their counterparts from other traditions, translated and imitated their works, and imagined the possibility of new associations forged through shared tastes and texts. Defined by artistic values rather than language, geography, or ethnic identity, these groups anticipated forms of attachment that are now familiar in youth countercultures and on social networking sites. Bold and sophisticated, The Decadent Republic of Letters unearths a pervasive decadent critique of nineteenth-century notions of political community and reveals the collective effort by the major figures of the movement to find alternatives to liberalism and nationalism.
An exploration of the way English literature has interacted with architectural edifices and the development of landscape as a national style from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century. Analyzing texts in relation to cultural artefacts, each chapter demonstrates the self-conscious production of English consciousness as its most enduring history.
In his latest book, Patrick Brantlinger probes the state of contemporary America. Brantlinger takes aim at neoliberal economists, the Tea Party movement, gun culture, immigration, waste value, surplus people, the war on terror, technological determinism, and globalization. An invigorating return to classic cultural studies with its concern for social justice and challenges to economic orthodoxy, States of Emergency is a delightful mix of journalism, satire, and theory that addresses many of the most pressing issues of our time.
Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this book evaluates the relations between globalization and Africa's multifarious challenges and identities. The nineteen chapters coalesce to demonstrate that the forces and processes of globalization have increased Africa's marginalization, deepened its crises, escalated and intensified its conflicts, and undermined its ability to determine the content and direction of its cultural changes and economic future.