Aside from essays on Lawrence, Woolf, Hardy, Austen, Frost, and Golding,I Have been writing about the relationship between ritual and story. Two books of mine –The Rituals of Life and Ritual Passage and Narrative Structures–explore some of the relationships, especially liminality ( RP AND NS) Now retired, I still read (casually) in anthropology and try to keep up with such topics as liminality and rites of passage and the ways they inform novels and short stories, as wells as poetry occasionally.
Food and foodways have long been present in American (and other) fiction, of course, but inadequate critical attention has been paid to this oft-used narrative strategy. What I call “Significant Food” in fiction is food used as a significant plot or other substantial literary device, food where the important concomitant cultural signifiers related to nourishment […]
The Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Merced will be hosting an interdisciplinary conference on the theme The World Upside-Down, April 10-11, 2015. We are interested in sub-themes that explore the notion of “the world upside-down”—the multifarious historical and contemporary meanings of the concept, as it expresses itself in and through different social […]
Late Tudor and Stuart Drama: Gender, Performance, Material Culture Series Editors: Cristina León Alfar, Hunter College, CUNY, and Helen Ostovich, McMaster University This series provides a forum for monographs and essay collections that investigate the material culture, broadly conceived, of theatre and performance in England from the late Tudor to the pre-Restoration Stuart periods (c. […]
Late Tudor and Stuart Drama: Gender, Performance, and Material Culture This series provides a forum for monographs and essay collections that investigate the material culture, broadly conceived, of theatre and performance in England from the late Tudor to the pre-Restoration Stuart periods (c. 1550–1650). The editors invite proposals for book-length studies engaging in the material […]
Būqālah refers both to a ceramic pitcher as well as to poems ritually embedded in the traditional, favorite, divinatory pastime associated with women city dwellers of specific Algerian towns such as Blida,Cherchell, Tlemcen, Constantine, and Algiers. This essay considers the shift from orality to a written archive of French and Algerian collections of būqālah poems by focusing on analyses of Algerian Arabic oral literature as an expression of feminine cultural protest and resistance to the domination of language policies under French colonialism. What are the ways in which an intimate ritual—one linked to orality, the divinatory, women’s poesis, and the Algerian Arabic dialect—begins to carry political meanings during the War of Independence and in post-1962 independent Algeria? Contributing to the circulation and creation of new meanings, forms, and venues for būqālah poetry are Algerian radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings, and the publication of the 1962 French poem “Boqala” by Djamila Amrane.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, David! I’m glad to find others in the broader literary studies community who are willing to help me think through this. Not many at my institution are as fond of talking Wittgensteinanly. Your reading of the notion of metaphysics that I was trying to convey is apt, I think, […]
I hold a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and I study theatrical and liturgical performance in early modern France. Research and teaching themes include theater and drama, age of Louis XIV, Catholic Counter-Reformation, devotional literature, life writing, court culture, material and visual culture, ritual and performance theory, archival research methods.
My thesis research investigates parallels between early modern English discourses on stage playing, ritual magic, and witchcraft. Main interests include early modern drama, philosophy of language, etymology, and the history of emotions. I also produce, perform, and teach improvisational theatre in the Melbourne area. Company website: https://www.soothplayers.com
Something I’ve been working on is just how to conceive of a Wittgensteinian approach to literary criticism/theory. I know that his latter work is rather anti-theory (even, as some read it, anti-philosophical), and it would seem most likely that, were he alive today, he’d tell most literary theorists and critics to leave what they’re doing […]