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Posthuman Spiritualities in Contemporary Performance: Politics, Ecologies and Perceptions

A new book by Silvia Battista

This book provides an interpretative analysis of the notion of spirituality through the lens of contemporary performance and posthuman theories. The book examines five performance/artworks: The Artist is Present (2010) by Marina Abramovi?; The Deer Shelter Skyscape (2007) by James Turrell; CAT (1998) by Ansuman Biswas; Journey to the Lower World by Marcus Coates (2004); and the work with pollen by Wolfgang Laib. Through the analysis of these works the notion of spirituality is grounded in materiality and embodiment allowing the conceptual juxtaposition of spirit and matter to introduce the paradoxical as the guiding thread of the narrative of the book. Here, the human is interrogated and negotiated with/within a plurality of other living organisms, intangible existences and micro and macrocosmic ecologies. Silence, meditation, shamanic journeys, reciprocal gazing, restraint, and contemplation are analyzed as technologies used to manipulate perception and adventure into the multilayered condition of matter.
 

Peace at Last. A Portrait of Armistice Day, 11 November 1918

New book by Guy Cuthbertson

A vivid, original, and intimate hour-by-hour account of Armistice Day 1918, to mark its centenary this year. 
November 11, 2018, marks the centenary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany ending World War I. While the events of the war and its legacy are much discussed, this is the first book to focus solely on the day itself, examining how the people of Britain, and the wider world, reacted to the news of peace. In this rich portrait of Armistice Day, which ranges from midnight to midnight, Guy Cuthbertson brings together news reports, literature, memoirs, and letters to show how the people on the street, as well as soldiers and prominent figures like D. H. Lawrence and Lloyd George, experienced a strange, singular day of great joy, relief, and optimism.
 

The Future of Interfaith Dialogue. Muslim-Christian Encounters through A Common Word

A new book edited by Yazid Said and Lejla Demiri 

A Common Word Between Us and You (ACW) is an open letter, dated 13 October 2007, from leaders of the Islamic religion to those of the Christian religion. It calls for peace between Muslims and Christians and seeks common ground and understanding between both religions. This volume examines the document from a number of perspectives. Exploring the events that led to ACW, it provides an overview of responses to the document and its use of scripture. It also relates the reception of ACW to several specific and contrasting contexts, and recommends new avenues for ACW-inspired discussion. Advancing debate and dialogue between Jews, Muslims and Christians, this volume promotes a distinctive methodology for inter-religious studies, and serves as an invaluable resource for students and scholars of theology and religious studies.
 

Posthuman Spiritualities in Contemporary Performance. Politics, Ecologies and Perceptions

A new book by Silvia Battista 

This book provides an interpretative analysis of the notion of spirituality through the lens of contemporary performance and posthuman theories. The book examines five performance/artworks: The Artist is Present (2010) by Marina Abramovi?; The Deer Shelter Skyscape (2007) by James Turrell; CAT (1998) by Ansuman Biswas; Journey to the Lower World by Marcus Coates (2004); and the work with pollen by Wolfgang Laib. Through the analysis of these works the notion of spirituality is grounded in materiality and embodiment allowing the conceptual juxtaposition of spirit and matter to introduce the paradoxical as the guiding thread of the narrative of the book. Here, the human is interrogated and negotiated with/within a plurality of other living organisms, intangible existences and micro and macrocosmic ecologies. Silence, meditation, shamanic journeys, reciprocal gazing, restraint, and contemplation are analyzed as technologies used to manipulate perception and adventure into the multilayered condition of matter.
 

Journal of War and Culture Studies, 11.3.August 2018, Special Issue:'Arts and Artefacts: Memory and guilt in Twentieth-Century Europe'

Guest editors, Andrew Frayn and Terry Phillips. 

These papers first came together in a 2010 symposium entitled 'Conflict and Memory', hosted by the Desmond Tutu Centre at Liverpool Hope University.'
 
 

Evolving Work. Employing Self and Community, 1st Edition

A new book by Ronnie Lessem, Tony Bradley

The idea of Self and the authenticity of particular identities have been rapidly dissolving in the acids of post-modern globalising capitalism. The hegemony of patterns of work, wage-labor and the operation of labour markets in the American West (and European North) has ridden rough-shod over distinctive ways of enabling communities to flourish in many parts of the Southern and Eastern worlds (Global South). But, this is not inevitable. Indeed, as this book indicates, there are many practical examples across the globe – that connect with some of the most significant theoretical challenges to the operation of dehumanising work – which reveal that a profound reversal is taking place. As such, the core theme of this book is to show that a movement is occurring whereby self-employment can be transformed into communal work that employs the Self in ways that release the authentic vocations of people, individually and collectively.
 
The approach taken in these chapters traverses the globe, utilising the original ‘integral worlds’ model that will be familiar to students of the Trans4M/Routledge Transformation and Innovation series, developed over more than a decade. Such a standpoint points the way to the release of particular social and economic cultures in each of what we term the four "realities" or "worldviews" of South, East, North and Western worlds. In this book we use the methodology of GENEalogy – identifying the realms associated with each world – to show how the rhythms, that is Grounding, Emergence, Navigation and Effect, of each is leading to greater economic, social and spiritual freedom for individuals, organisations, communities and, indeed, entire societies. 
 

Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention

A new book by Alex J. Bellamy, Stephen McLoughlin

Two leading experts in the field re-examine the traditional understanding of humanitarian intervention in this major new text. The recent high-profile interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria show the various international responses to impending or ongoing humanitarian crises, tracking the development from ad hoc military interventions to a more formalised international human rights regime. This evolution has fundamentally changed the way that states and international society think about, and respond to, atrocities.  This textbook charts and explains the transformation, examines the challenges that confront it, and asks whether this new politics can withstand the growing crises in international politics. The human protection system is not perfect, but attempts to reduce both the incidence and lethality of atrocity crimes.
 
The authors argue that armed intervention alone is rarely sufficient to halt humanitarian atrocities, but must be understood within the wider context of peacemaking, including non-violent action. The requirement for states to intervene is codified in international law, and this raises important practical, political and moral questions for consistent humanitarian action.
Based on the authors' two decades of research, this text is the ideal companion for students of International Relations, taking modules on Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

MOVEMENT AS CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION RESCRIPTING MOSTAR, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVIN

New Book by Susan Forde

This book presents narratives of the social use of space in the divided city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Through the narratives of movement in the city, the work demonstrates how residents engage informally with conflict transformation through new movement and use of spaces. This book will appeal across the social sciences, and in particular to students, academics, and researchers in the fields of peace and conflict studies, political sociology, and human geography.

Forde, S. 2019. Movement as Conflict Transformation. Rescripting Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Palgrave Macmillan.

POSTHUMAN SPIRITUALITIES IN CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE: POLITICS, ECOLOGIES AND PERCEPTIONS

New book by Silvia Battista

This book provides an interpretative analysis of the notion of spirituality through the lens of contemporary performance and posthuman theories. The book examines five performance/artworks: The Artist is Present (2010) by Marina Abramovi?; The Deer Shelter Skyscape (2007) by James Turrell; CAT (1998) by Ansuman Biswas; Journey to the Lower World by Marcus Coates (2004); and the work with pollen by Wolfgang Laib.

Through the analysis of these works the notion of spirituality is grounded in materiality and embodiment allowing the conceptual juxtaposition of spirit and matter to introduce the paradoxical as the guiding thread of the narrative of the book. Here, the human is interrogated and negotiated with/within a plurality of other living organisms, intangible existences and micro and macrocosmic ecologies. Silence, meditation, shamanic journeys, reciprocal gazing, restraint, and contemplation are analyzed as technologies used to manipulate perception and adventure into the multilayered condition of matter.

Battista, Silvia, 2018. Posthuman Spiritualities in Contemporary Performance: Politics, Ecologies and Perceptions. London: Palgrave

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE AND CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Latest article by Neil Ferguson

This article analyses how social movements and collective actors can affect political and social transformation in a structurally violent society using the case study of Northern Ireland. We focus, in particular, on the crucial role played by collective actors within the loyalist community (those who wish to maintain Northern Ireland’s place in the UK), in bringing about social and political transformation in a society blighted by direct, cultural, and structural violence both during the conflict and subsequent peace process. Drawing on data obtained through in-depth interviews with loyalist activists (including former paramilitaries), the article demonstrates the role and impact of loyalists and loyalism in Northern Ireland’s transition.

We identify five conflict transformation challenges addressed by loyalist actors in a structurally violent society: de-mythologizing the conflict; stopping direct violence; resisting pressure to maintain the use of violence; development of robust activist identity; and the measurement of progress through reference to the parallel conflict transformation journey of their former republican enemies. The Northern Ireland case demonstrates the necessity for holistic conflict transformation strategies which attempt not only to stop direct attacks, but also the cultural and structural violence which underpin and legitimize them. In so doing, the article contributes to a broader understanding of how and why paramilitary campaigns are brought to an end.

Ferguson, Neil, McDaid, Shaun and McAuley, James W. (2017) Social movements, structural violence and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland: The role of Loyalist paramilitaries. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. ISSN 1078-1919 (In Press)

LEE MILLER, PHOTOGRAPHY, SURREALISM AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Book release by Lynn Hilditch

Lee Miller (1907-1977) was an American-born Surrealist and war photographer who, through her role as a model for Vogue magazine, became the apprentice of Man Ray in Paris, and later one of the few women war correspondents to cover the Second World War from the frontline. Her comprehensive understanding of art enabled her to photograph vivid representations of Europe at war – the changing gender roles of women in war work, the destruction caused by enemy fire during the London Blitz, and the horrors of the concentration camps – that embraced and adapted the principles and methods of Surrealism.

This book examines how Miller’s war photographs can be interpreted as ‘surreal documentary’ combining a surrealist sensibility with a need to inform. Each chapter contains a close analysis of specific photographs in a generally chronological study with a thematic focus, using comparisons with other photographers, documentary artists, and Surrealists, such as Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, George Rodger, Cecil Beaton, Bill Brandt, Henry Moore, Humphrey Jennings and Man Ray. In addition, Miller’s photographs are explored through André Breton’s theory of ‘convulsive beauty’ – his credence that any subject, no matter how horrible, may be interpreted as art – and his notion of the ‘marvellous’.

For more information on the book, please visit the Cambridge Scholars website

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY AND GLOBAL JUSTICE

New publication by Prof. Solomon Salako


The Professorial Lecture delivered by Prof. Solomon Salako on 3rd May 2017 was published online on 28th August 2017. It is entitled: "Climate Change,Environmental Security and Global Justice", International Law Research,Vol.6,No.1,2017 : 119 - 131 and you can download it.

THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DEBATE ON LAND RESTITUTION

New book by Maryluz Vallejo Mejía and Catalina Montoya Londoño

The Law 1448 of Victims and Land Restitution aims to redress victims of the armed conflict and promote peace using an agrarian and transitional justice focus. The book explores the coverage of the Law of Victims and Land Restitution in Colombia by seven national and local news media, using an innovative methodological approach, which integrates rhetorical and framing analysis in a systematic fashion.

An analysis of more than 1,500 articles reveal political and economic interests not always aligned with the public interest, and show the ways in which media outlets of key regions in the implementation of the Law reinterpreted the governmental discourse about the Law. In addition, the analysis shows how rhetorical fallacies and figures increased the resonance of certain frames, very much in line with the post-truth environment.

The book contributes to political communication and journalism studies, with a novel methodological approach in which rhetorical and framing analysis converge in a systematic fashion. In addition, the book contributes to discussions about land tenure, a key factor of conflict in Colombia historically neglected in political and media agendas. The book will be of interest for academics, professionals in the areas of communication, politics and media, agrarian development and law interested in the context of the Law 1448, and more broadly, in the contribution that the analysis of rhetorical framing can make to public debates.

EU-US COOPERATION ON INTERNAL SECURITY. BUILDING A TRANSATLANTIC REGIME

By Dr Dimitrios Anagnostakis, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Politics

This book analyses the cooperation between the European Union and the United States on internal security and counter-terrorism since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

In particular, four areas of cooperation are examined: customs and supply chain security; judicial cooperation (the mutual legal assistance and extradition agreements); law enforcement cooperation (the Europol-US agreements); and the EU-US agreements for the sharing of air passengers’ data (PNR agreements). These cases are analysed through a conceptual framework based on the theories of international regimes, with the data being drawn from an extensive documentary analysis of media sources collected through the 'Nexis' database, official documents, and from 13 semi-structured elite interviews with US and EU officials. The book argues that the EU and the US have established a transatlantic internal security regime based on shared principles, norms, rules, and interests. While at the beginning of this process the EU had a more reactive and passive stance at the later stages both the EU and the US were active in shaping the transatlantic political agenda and negotiations. The book demonstrates how the EU has had a much more proactive role in its relations with the US than has often been assumed in the current literature.

This book will be of much interest to researchers and students of EU policy, foreign policy, international security and IR in general.

Click here for more information on the book.

GHAZALI'S POLITICS IN CONTEXT

Rev. Dr. Yazid Said

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali is perhaps the most celebrated Muslim theologian of medieval Islam, yet little attention has been paid to his personal theology. This book sets out to investigate the relationship between law and politics in the writings of Ghazali and aims to establish the extent to which this relationship explains Ghazali's political theology. Articles concerned with Ghazali's political thought have invariably paid little attention to his theology and his thinking about God, neglecting to ask what role these have contributed to his definition of politics and political ethics.

Here, the question of Ghazali's politics takes into account his thinking on God, knowledge, law and the Koran, in addition to political systems and ethics. If Ghazali's legal and political epistemology provide a polemic analogous to his writings on philosophy, for which he is more famed, they would reveal to us a manifesto for an alternative order, concerned with a coherent definition of the community, or ummah. The book is an invaluable source for students and scholars of the Middle East, political theology and Islamic studies.

For more details about the book, click here.

RELIGION IN THE MEDIA: A LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

By Salman Al-Azami

This ground-breaking book takes an interdisciplinary approach to language, religion and media using an audience-response study. In this book, the author investigates how the three Abrahamic faiths - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - are represented in mainstream British media and analyses how members of each religious group and those with no religion receive those representations. Employing Critical Discourse Analysis, Al-Azami considers the way the media use their power of language to influence the audience’s perceptions of the three religions through newspaper articles, television documentaries and television dramas.

Chapter 3 presents the results of an original investigation into the responses of members of the three religious groups and those with no religion when exposed to those same media materials. The author applies the encoding/decoding model and also considers people’s views in face-to-face interactions compared to comments on online newspapers. Comprehensive in its analysis, this book will be of interest to students of Linguistics, Media Studies, Religious Studies, and Journalism.

More details about the book available on the Palgrave Macmillan website.

UNDERSTANDING PEACE AND CONFLICT THROUGH SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY: CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Shelley McKeown (Editor), Reeshma Haji (Editor), Neil Ferguson (Editor)

This volume brings together perspectives on social identity and peace psychology to explore the role that categorization plays in both conflict and peace-building. To do so, it draws leading scholars from across the world in a comprehensive exploration of social identity theory and its application to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as intrastate conflict, uprising in the middle east, the refugee crisis, global warming, racism and peace building. A crucial theme of the volume is that social identity theory affects all of us, no matter whether we are currently in a state of conflict or one further along in the peace process.

The volume is organized into two sections. Section 1 focuses on the development of social identity theory. Grounded in the pioneering work of Dr. Henri Tajfel, section 1 provides the reader with a historical background of the theory, as well as its current developments. Then, section 2 brings together a series of country case studies focusing on issues of identity across five continents. This section enables cross-cultural comparisons in terms of methodology and findings, and encourages the reader to identify general applications of identity to the understanding of peace as well as applications that may be more relevant in specific contexts. Taken together, these two sections provide a contemporary and diverse account of the state of social identity research in conflict situations and peace psychology today.

It is evident that any account of peace requires an intricate understanding of identity both as a cause and consequence of conflict, as well as a potential resource to be harnessed in the promotion and maintenance of peace. Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory: Contemporary Global Perspectives aims to help achieve such an understanding and as such is a valuable resource to those studying peace and conflict, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, public policy makers, and all those interested in the ways in which social identity impacts our world.

Link to the books webpage.

ARTISTS AND MIGRATION 1400-1850 BRITAIN, EUROPE AND BEYOND

Kathrin Wagner, Jessica David and Matej Klemen?i?

This volume offers a thematic exploration of the migrant artist’s experience in Europe and its colonies from the early modern period through to the Industrial Revolution. The influence of the transient artist, both on their adoptive country as well as their own oeuvre and native culture, is considered through a collection of essays arranged according to geographic location. The contributions here examine the impetuses behind artistic migrations and the status of the foreign artist at home and abroad through the patterns of patronage, contemporary responses to their work and the preservation of their artistic legacy in domestic and foreign settings. Objects and sites from across the visual arts are considered as evidence of the migrant artist’s experience; talismans of cultural exchange that yielded hybrid artistic styles and disseminated foreign tastes and workshop practices across the globe.

Link to the book's webpage.

IRISH LITERATURE AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR: CULTURE, IDENTITY AND MEMORY

Terry Phillips and Peter Lang

This book analyses poetry and prose written by combatant and non-combatant Irish writers during the First World War, focusing on key works influenced by Irish, English and European literary traditions. It highlights the complex positions adopted by writers in relation to the international conflict and to Irish debates about nationhood, which resist reduction to the simple binaries of Unionist/pro-war and Nationalist/anti-war. The book goes on to discuss the literature of the decades following the war, looking at how the conflict was remembered in the two parts of the now divided island, both by individuals and collectively, and investigating the dynamic interrelationship between personal recollection and public memory. In conclusion, the author discusses contemporary literature about the war, which often examines family memory as well as collective memory, and explores its role in the narrative of nationhood, both north and south of the border.

Dr Terry Phillips is an Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool Hope University and a member of the Desmond Tutu Centre.

Link to the book's webpage here