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National Global Imaginaries Journal articles

2011/11/14

Postcolonial Problematics: A South African Case Study

postcolonial

“The paper argues that earlier literary designations—in this case, “South African literature”—have begun to be subsumed under a generalized category, postcolonial literature or literary studies. It is a category that has been given definitional purpose in North Atlantic literary and cultural institutions and is in danger of settling into orthodoxy: an orthodoxy that is somewhat removed from the palpability of human experience in any particular postcolony. An example is to be found in the treatment by influential postcolonial critics of Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee, whose concern with the ache of history is made subservient to the intricate abstractions of continental philosophy. If the “post-” paradigm wishes to retain purchase in contemporary times, it needs to establish a greater congruence than is current between a language of generality and its object of study, that is, the literary work.”

Habermas’ Communicative Rationality and Connectionist AI – Culture, Theory and Critique…

cultural_studies

“Habermas’ universal pragmatics continues to draw significant attention from sociologists seeking a viable balance between poststructuralism and traditional critical theory, while at the same time becoming increasingly recognised within formal political circles worldwide. A number of social theorists and philosophers, however, have taken Habermas to task with respect to how much his ‘theory of communicative rationality’, the driving force behind universal pragmatics, in fact actually steps away from epistemological foundationalism as Habermas intends it to do. This paper explores parallels between Habermas’ particular notion of human reason and rationality (i.e., communicative rationality) and that expressed within connectionism, today’s dominant paradigm in the discipline of artificial intelligence (AI), created as an alternative to the classical AI view of ‘mind as computer’. Given the homology, I argue, the practical shortcomings of connectionism may indeed lend unique and compelling weight to those claims that Habermas’ system of thought is foundationalist, despite Habermas’ efforts.”

Reciprocal Socialization: Rising Powers and the West – Terhalle

international relations

“This article asks how the international order can be renegotiated with rising powers. Negotiating understood as a process of socialization is the focus of the article. However, given non-Western states’ recent practice of powerfully permeating the existing Western order, it is difficult to explain this process by means of neorealist, constructivist, or liberal socialization. Respectively, they presuppose that some states are already socialized while others need to be adopted into the club of socialized members. In contrast, this article suggests the notion of reciprocal socialization. It explains how rising powers are socialized into the order, while reshaping it when they enter. Two conditions need to be fulfilled to accomplish a socializing process that reflects the reciprocal influencing of states of the Western security community and non-Western veto-players; these are employing “small informal groups” and “personalized interactions.” Their application can be viewed in informal operational rules which are, in turn, capable of governing the renegotiations.”

Frankenstein as a figure of globalization in Canada’s postcolonial popular culture – Co…

postcolonial,economy,governance,globalization

“This essay analyzes the cultural functions of Frankenstein as a figure of globalization in postcolonial popular culture. Focusing on the case of Canadian film production, I begin by contextualizing Canadian film as a postcolonial site of globalized popular culture, characterized by ‘technological nationalism’. In this context, I consider three Canadian films that adapt Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to represent globalization. David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983) borrows from Frankenstein and Marshall McLuhan to critique new media in the ‘global village’; Robert Lepage’s Possible Worlds (2000) quotes from the Universal Frankenstein film; and Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbot’s The Corporation (2003) uses Frankenstein as a recurring analogy for the modern corporation. This essay signals a starting point for a more interculturally and transnationally comparative investigation of how Frankenstein adaptations provide a powerful repertoire of representational devices for a postcolonial theory of globalization”

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