Signs of Change: Premodern - Modern - Postmodern / Edition 1

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This book examines the nature of change in history, philosophy, and culture. Precisely because the idea of change is so vast, the book's strategy is to exercise some control over it by organizing itself as a structured progression of theoretical, political, and ideological concerns whose focus is on change. Barker begins with the idea of history and historicity and proceeds through an investigation of the relationship of semiotics and hermeneutics to change, to topography and topology as functions of change, to sexuality and gender as political aspects of a hypothetical theory of change, and to the seemingly culminative issue of life and death themselves as functions of change. Finally, the book concludes with a "coda" concerning alterity both as concept and as lived and literary phenomenon ranging from the avant-garde's "drunkenness" to the alterity of the characters in Chinese poetry. Not only does the book not attempt to make categorical statements about the nature of change, but it delights in an open-ended discussion of the implications and reverberations of change throughout the world of human experience.
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Editorial Reviews

Twenty selected papers from the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, Universite de Montreal, May 1991, are loosely bound to the thesis of change. Though the title refers to premodern and modern classifications, the essays are primarily postmodern in attitude and include discussions of: semantics, semiotics, hermeneutics, Wittgenstein, Nietzche, Marx, historiography, the theory of Roland Barthes, the poetry of Celan; and, of course, sexuality, gender, and politics in the writings of Lacan and Foucault. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents



I. Semantics/Semiotics/Hermeneutics

1. The Semiotics of Laughter
Ib Johansen

2. Silence and the Rehabilitation of Beauty: Twentieth Century German Perspectives on the Poet's Task
Erdmann Waniek

3. Postmodernism and the Scene of Theatre
Elinor Fuchs

4. Theoretical Invention and the Contingency of Critique: The Example of Postmodern Semiotics
John Johnston

II. Topography/Topology/Concretions of Change

5. From Wittgenstein's House to Morphosis: Deconstructing "Forms of Life"
Roger Bell

6. Nietzsche's Trees—And Where They Grow
Eva Geulen

7. A Misreading of Maps: The Politics of Cartography in Marxism and Poststructuralism
Bruno Bosteels

III. History/Historicity/Historiography

8. Speaking for Nothing: Michel de Certeau on Narrative and Historical Time
Michael Beehler [For Joseph Riddel]

9. The Revolution of a Trope: The Rise of the New Science and the Divestment of Rhetoric in the Seventeenth Century
Joseph Chaney

10. Memory, History, Discourse
Patrizia Calefato

IV. The Ends of History: Life/Death/(Dis)Closure

11. The Loss of Language within Imperial Liberalism: The United States' Political Structure as Differend
Steve Martinot

12. Spinning Ethics in Its Grave: Tradition and Rupture in the Theory of Roland Barthes
Sharon Meagher

13. Célan's Poetics of Address: How the Dead Resist Their History
James Hatley

V. Sexuality/Gender/Politics

14. A Union Forever Deferred: Sexual Politics After Lacan
Barbara Claire Freeman

15. Love and Reproduction: Plagiarism, Pornography, and Don Quixote's Abortions
Sylvia Söderlind

16. Writing the Body as Social Discourse: Prolegomena to Carnal Hermeneutics
Hwa Yol Jung

VI. Alterity as a Strategy of Change

17. The Intoxication of the Avant-Garde in Benjamin and Habermas
Soraya Tlatli

18. Foucault, Conventions, and New Historicism
David F. Bell

19. Irreconcilable Similarities: The Idea of Nonrepresentation
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

20. The Impossible Limit
Cynthia Pon




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