This Is Enlightenment

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Debates about the nature of the Enlightenment date to the eighteenth century, when Immanuel Kant himself addressed the question, “What is Enlightenment?” The contributors to this ambitious book offer a paradigm-shifting answer to that now-famous query: Enlightenment is an event in the history of mediation. Enlightenment, they argue, needs to be engaged within the newly broad sense of mediation introduced here—not only oral, visual, written, and printed media, but everything that intervenes, enables, supplements, or is simply in between. With essays addressing infrastructure and genres, associational practices and protocols, this volume poses its own broader question: how would foregrounding mediation change the kinds and areas of inquiry in our own epoch?

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Editorial Reviews

Literature and History
“This is a game-changing collection of essays in the world of Enlightenment scholarship.”
John Richetti
“Clifford Siskin’s and William Warner’s This Is Enlightenment is nothing less than a major reconsideration of the nature of the historical Enlightenment, understood with forceful originality and historical specificity as an event in the history of mediation, an effect of the proliferation of new kinds of mediation in the eighteenth century. Twenty uniformly provocative essays explore this issue from an exciting variety of perspectives. This book will be essential reading for all those who seek to understand the Enlightenment’s origins and the conditions for its emergence as a form of thought rather than simply a set of ideas or a cultural moment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226761480
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 740,844
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Clifford Siskin is the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English and American Literature at New York University. William Warner is professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

This Is Enlightenment: An Invitation in the Form of an Argument Clifford Siskin William Warner 1

Mediation: A Concept In History

Enlightening Mediation John Guillory 37

Where Were the Media before the Media? Mediating the World at the Time of Condillac and Linnaeus Knut Ove Eliassen Yngve Sandhei Jacobsen 64

Mediation and the Division of Labor Peter De Bolla 87

Transmitting Liberty: The Boston Committee of Correspondence's Revolutionary Experiments in Enlightenment Mediation William Warner 102

Modes and Codes: Samuel F.B. Morse and the Question of Electronic Writing Lisa Gitelman 120

Enlightenment: Evidence and Events

Mediating Information, 1450–1800 Ann Blair Peter StallyBrass 139

Mediated Enlightenment: The System of the World Clifford Siskin 164

Romanticism, Enlightenment, and Mediation: The Case of the Inner Stranger Robert Miles 173

The Present of Enlightenment: Temporality and Mediation in Kant, Foucault, and Jean Paul Helge Jordheim 189

The Strange Light of Postcolonial Enlightenment: Mediatic Form and Publicity in India Arvind Rajagopal 209

proliferation: Mediation And Print

Mediating Media Past and Present: Toward a Genealogy of “Print Culture” and “Oral Tradition” Paula Mcdowell 229

Mediating Antiquarians in Britain, 1760–1830: The Invention of Oral Tradition, or, Close Reading before Coleridge Maureen Mclane 247

Mediating le philosophe: Diderot's Strategic Self-Representations Anne Fastrup 265

Novel Knowledge: Judgment, Experience, Experiment John Bender 284

The Piratical Enlightenment Adrian Johns 301

Effects: Emergent Practices

Financing Enlightenment, Part One: Money Matters Mary Poovey 323

Financing Enlightenment, Part Two: Extraordinary Expenditure Ian Baucom 336

“The Horrifying Ties, from which the Public Order Originates”: The Police in Schiller and Mercier Bernhard Siegert 357

The Preacher's Footing Michael Warner 368

Mediation as Primal Word: The Arts, the Sciences, and the Origins of the Aesthetic Michael Mckeon 384

Notes 413

References 439

List of Contributors 475

Index 479

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