Presence: Philosophy, History, and Cultural Theory for the Twenty-First Century

Presence: Philosophy, History, and Cultural Theory for the Twenty-First Century

by Ranjan Ghosh
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The philosophy of “presence” seeks to challenge current understandings of meaning and understanding. One can trace its origins back to Vico, Dilthey, and Heidegger, though its more immediate exponents include Jean-Luc Nancy, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, and such contemporary philosophers of history as Frank Ankersmit and Eelco Runia. The theoretical paradigm

Overview

The philosophy of “presence” seeks to challenge current understandings of meaning and understanding. One can trace its origins back to Vico, Dilthey, and Heidegger, though its more immediate exponents include Jean-Luc Nancy, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, and such contemporary philosophers of history as Frank Ankersmit and Eelco Runia. The theoretical paradigm of presence conveys how the past is literally with us in the present in significant and material ways: Things we cannot touch nonetheless touch us. This makes presence a post-linguistic or post-discursive theory that challenges current understandings of “meaning” and “interpretation.” Presence provides an overview of the concept and surveys both its weaknesses and its possible uses.

In this book, Ethan Kleinberg and Ranjan Ghosh bring together an interdisciplinary group of contributors to explore the possibilities and limitations of presence from a variety of perspectives—history, sociology, literature, cultural theory, media studies, photography, memory, and political theory. The book features critical engagements with the presence paradigm within intellectual history, literary criticism, and the philosophy of history. In three original case studies, presence illuminates the relationships among photography, the past, memory, and the Other. What these diverse but overlapping essays have in common is a shared commitment to investigate the attempt to reconnect meaning with something “real” and to push the paradigm of presence beyond its current uses. The volume is thus an important intervention in the most fundamental debates within the humanities today.

Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, University of New South Wales; Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley; Susan A. Crane, University of Arizona; Ranjan Ghosh, University of North Bengal; Suman Gupta, Open University Ethan Kleinberg, Wesleyan University; John Michael, University of Rochester; Vincent P. Pecora, University of Utah; Roger I. Simon.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Presence offers a timely constellation of essays addressing the recent turn toward presence in various disciplines, notably aesthetics, literary criticism, philosophy, and history. The interacting essays in this volume provide an informed, thought-provoking, sometimes contestable, and at points uncannily defamiliarizing guide to the sinuous, many-sided turn to presence."—Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of History, Literature, Critical Theory

"This book can be compared to a river: starting from the central notion of presence its chapters cover a whole delta of theoretical issues. In truly impressive fashion, the authors convince readers of the importance of the notion of presence. There is a certain ground to their argument, namely a 'return to the real.' The stakes could not possibly be higher and it cannot be doubted that with the notion of presence a new paradigm in the humanities announces itself."—Frank Ankersmit, University of Groningen, author of Meaning, Truth, and Reference in Historical Representation

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801469190
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
10/11/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Ranjan Ghosh teaches in the Department of English of the University of North Bengal, India. He is the author most recently of Lover's Quarrel with the Past: Romance, Representation, Reading.

Ethan Kleinberg is Professor of History and Letters at Wesleyan University and Executive Editor of History and Theory. He is the author of Generation Existential: Heidegger's Philosophy in France, 1927–1961 and coeditor of Presence: Philosophy, History, and Cultural Theory for the Twenty-First Century, both from Cornell.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >