In her study of eighteenth-century literature and medical treatises, Mary McAlpin takes up the widespread belief among cultural philosophers of the French Enlightenment that society was gravely endangered by the effects of hyper-civilization. McAlpin's study explores a strong thread in this rhetoric of decline: the belief that premature puberty in young urban girls, supposedly brought on by their exposure to lascivious images, titillating novels, and lewd conversations, was the source of an increasing moral and physical degeneration. In how-to hygiene books intended for parents, the medical community declared that the only cure for this obviously involuntary departure from the "natural" path of sexual development was the increased surveillance of young girls. As these treatises by vitalist and vitalist-inspired physiologists became increasingly common in the 1760s, McAlpin shows, so, too, did the presence of young, vulnerable, and virginal heroines in the era's novels. Analyzing novels by, among others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, and Choderlos de Laclos, she offers physiologically based readings of many of the period's most famous heroines within the context of an eighteenth-century discourse on women and heterosexual desire that broke with earlier periods in recasting female and male desire as qualitatively distinct. Her study persuasively argues that the Western view of women's sexuality as a mysterious, nebulous force-Freud's "dark continent"-has its secular origins in the mid-eighteenth century.
Based on encyclopedias, medical journals, historical, and literary sources, this collection of interdisciplinary essays focuses on the intersection of women, gender, and disease in England and France. Diverse critical perspectives highlight contributions women made to the scientific and medical communities of the eighteenth century. In spite of obstacles encountered in spaces dominated by men, women became midwives, and wrote self-help manuals on women’s health, hygiene, and domestic economy. Excluded from universities, they nevertheless contributed significantly to such fields as anatomy, botany, medicine, and public health. Enlightenment perspectives on the nature of the female body, childbirth, diseases specific to women, “gender,” sex, “masculinity” and “femininity,” adolescence, and sexual differentiation inform close readings of English and French literary texts. Treatises by Montpellier vitalists influenced intellectuals and physicians such as Nicolas Chambon, Pierre Cabanis, Jacques-Louis Moreau de la Sarthe, Jules-Joseph Virey, and Théophile de Bordeu. They impacted the exchange of letters and production of literary works by Julie de Lespinasse, Françoise de Graffigny, Nicolas Chamfort, Mary Astell, Frances Burney, Lawrence Sterne, Eliza Haywood, and Daniel Defoe. In our post-modern era, these essays raise important questions regarding women as subjects, objects, and readers of the philosophical, medical, and historical discourses that framed the project of enlightenment.
How did the French Revolutionaries explain, justify, and understand the extraordinary violence of their revolution? In debating this question, historians have looked to a variety of eighteenth-century sources, from Rousseau's writings to Old Regime protest tactics. A Natural History of Revolution suggests that it is perhaps on a different shelf of the Enlightenment library that we might find the best clues for understanding the French Revolution: namely, in studies of the natural world. In their attempts to portray and explain the events of the Revolution, political figures, playwrights, and journalists often turned to the book of nature: phenomena such as hailstorms and thunderbolts found their way into festivals, plays, and political speeches as descriptors of revolutionary activity. The particular way that revolutionaries deployed these metaphors drew on notions derived from the natural science of the day about regeneration, purgation, and balance. In examining a series of tropes (earthquakes, lightning, mountains, swamps, and volcanoes) that played an important role in the public language of the Revolution, A Natural History of Revolution reveals that understanding the use of this natural imagery is fundamental to our understanding of the Terror. Eighteenth-century natural histories had demonstrated that in the natural world, apparent disorder could lead to a restored equilibrium, or even regeneration. This logic drawn from the natural world offered the revolutionaries a crucial means of explaining and justifying revolutionary transformation. If thunder could restore balance in the atmosphere, and if volcanic eruptions could create more fertile soil, then so too could episodes of violence and disruption in the political realm be portrayed as necessary for forging a new order in revolutionary France.
What does it mean to respect the dignity of a human being? What sort of support do human capacities demand from the world, and how should we think about this support when we encounter differences of gender or sexuality? How should we think about each other across divisions that a legacy of injustice has created? In Sex and Social Justice, Martha Nussbaum delves into these questions and emerges with a distinctive conception of feminism that links feminist inquiry closely to the important progress that has been made during the past few decades in articulating theories of both national and global justice. Growing out of Nussbaum's years of work with an international development agency connected with the United Nations, this collection charts a feminism that is deeply concerned with the urgent needs of women who live in hunger and illiteracy, or under unequal legal systems. Offering an internationalism informed by development economics and empirical detail, many essays take their start from the experiences of women in developing countries. Nussbaum argues for a universal account of human capacity and need, while emphasizing the essential role of knowledge of local circumstance. Further chapters take on the pursuit of social justice in the sexual sphere, exploring the issue of equal rights for lesbians and gay men. Nussbaum's arguments are shaped by her work on Aristotle and the Stoics and by the modern liberal thinkers Kant and Mill. She contends that the liberal tradition of political thought holds rich resources for addressing violations of human dignity on the grounds of sex or sexuality, provided the tradition transforms itself by responsiveness to arguments concerning the social shaping of preferences and desires. She challenges liberalism to extend its tradition of equal concern to women, always keeping both agency and choice as goals. With great perception, she combines her radical feminist critique of sex relations with an interest in the possibilities of trust, sympathy, and understanding. Sex and Social Justice will interest a wide readership because of the public importance of the topics Nussbaum addresses and the generous insight she shows in dealing with these issues. Brought together for this timely collection, these essays, extensively revised where previously published, offer incisive political reflections by one of our most important living philosophers.
During the eighteenth-century, at a time when secular and religious authors in France were questioning women’s efforts to read, a new literary genre emerged: conduct books written specifically for girls and unmarried young women. In this carefully researched and thoughtfully argued book, Professor Nadine Bérenguier shares an in-depth analysis of this development, relating the objectives and ideals of these books to the contemporaneous Enlightenment concerns about improving education in order to reform society. Works by Anne-Thérèse de Lambert, Madeleine de Puisieux, Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Louise d'Epinay, Barthélémy Graillard de Graville, Chevalier de Cerfvol, abbé Joseph Reyre, Pierre-Louis Roederer, and Marie-Antoinette Lenoir take up a wide variety of topics and vary dramatically in tone. But they all share similar objectives: acquainting their young female readers with the moral and social rules of the world and ensuring their success at the next stage of their lives. While the authors regarded their texts as furthering the common good, they were also aware that they were likely to be controversial among those responsible for girls' education. Bérenguier's sensitive readings highlight these tensions, as she offers readers a rare view of how conduct books were conceived, consumed, re-edited, memorialized, and sometimes forgotten. In the broadest sense, her study contributes to our understanding of how print culture in eighteenth-century France gave shape to a specific social subset of new readers: modern girls.
This volume explores the realities and representations of same-sex sexuality in France in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, the period that witnessed the emergence of "homosexuality" in the modern sense of the word. Based on archival research and textual analysis, the articles examine the development of homosexual subcultures and illustrate the ways in which philosophes, pamphleteers, police, novelists, scientists, and politicians conceptualized same-sex relations and connected them with more general concerns about order and disorder. The contributors--Elizabeth Colwill, Michael David Sibalis, Victoria Thompson, William Peniston, Vernon Rosario II, Francesca Canade-Sautman, Martha Hanna, Robert A. Nye, and the editors Bryant T. Ragan, Jr. and Jeffrey Merrick--use the methods of intellectual and cultural history, the history of science, literary studies, legal and social history, and microhistory. This collection shows how the subject of homosexuality is related to important topics in French history: the Enlightenment, the revolutionary tradition, social discipline, positivism, elite and popular culture, nationalism, feminism, and the construction of identity. Given the role of gays and lesbians in modern French culture and the work of French scholars on the history of sexuality, this collection fills an important gap in the literature and represents the first attempt in any language to explore this subject over three centuries from a variety of perspectives.
An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
This book argues that Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill are the two primary architects of the modern theory of women's rights as human rights. It only through addressing women's rights, Botting argues, that the idea of human rights was given universal scope and application. Botting describes the development of the idea of women's human rights beginning with the work of Wollstonecraft and Mill, and gives an account of their reception in both western and nonwestern contexts. Her goal is to strip liberal feminism of its Eurocentric bias and offer the theory that remains as a resource for thinking about women's human rights globally.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE ‘Brilliant' Orhan Pamuk 'The best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating' Pankaj Mishra 'It strikes a blow ... for common humanity.' Sunday Times The Islamic Enlightenment: a contradiction in terms? The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy. Who were the scholars and scientists, writers and politicians that brought about these remarkable changes? And why is their legacy now under threat? Beginning with the dramatic collision of East and West following Napoleon’s arrival in Egypt, and taking us through 200 tumultuous years of Middle Eastern history, Christopher de Bellaigue introduces us to key figures and reformers; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals like Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn and the writer Ibrahim Sinasi, who transformed Ottoman Turkey’s language and literature. This book tells the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment. It shows us how to look beyond sensationalist headlines to foster a genuine understanding of modern Islam and Muslim culture, and is essential reading for anyone engaged with the state of the world today.
Leading scholars offer new readings of Degas1 representations of the family, prostitution, city life and leisure in which looking at women is shown to be a complex and ambiguous process. One major topic of the book is the encounter between feminism and art history. Having put images of women1 on the agenda of cultural analysis, feminist interventions in the theory and analysis of representation have created a diverse and intricate field of interpretation which now supersedes that formulation. These essays challenge art history to confront issues of spectatorship, the interface of class and gender, identification and the politics of vision. This illustrated collection is thus a major contribution to debates on representation and sexuality.
The definitive compilation of texts from a “a great, horrifying, but also vastly illuminating figure . . . one of the most radical minds in Western history” (Newsweek). The Marquis de Sade, vilified by respectable society from his own time through ours, apotheosized by Apollinaire as “the freest spirit that has yet existed,” wrote The 120 Days of Sodom while imprisoned in the Bastille. An exhaustive catalogue of sexual aberrations and the first systematic exploration—a hundred years before Krafft-Ebing and Freud—of the psychology of sex, it is considered Sade’s crowning achievement and the cornerstone of his thought. Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935. In addition to The 120 Days, this volume includes Sade’s “Reflections on the Novel,” his play Oxtiem, and his novella Ernestine. The selections are introduced by Simone de Beauvoir’s landmark essay “Must We Burn Sade?” and Pierre Klossowski’s provocative “Nature as Destructive Principle.” “Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.” —Marquis de Sade’s last will and testament
In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements celebrated as measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilisation. In this book, Mathew Head restores his earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music.
Two of the most important political movements of the late twentieth century are those of environmentalism and feminism. In this book, Val Plumwood argues that feminist theory has an important opportunity to make a major contribution to the debates in political ecology and environmental philosophy. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature explains the relation between ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, and other feminist theories including radical green theories such as deep ecology. Val Plumwood provides a philosophically informed account of the relation of women and nature, and shows how relating male domination to the domination of nature is important and yet remains a dilemma for women.
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
With forceful logic, Professor John M. Ellis contends that humanistic education today, far from being historically aware, relies on anachronistic thinking. Ellis speaks out against an orthodoxy that has installed race, gender, and class perspectives at the center of college humanities curricula, and proposes change to repair the damage.
Western civilization is becoming increasingly pluralistic,secularized, and biblically illiterate. Many people todayhave little sense of how their lives have benefited fromChristianity’s influence, often viewing the church withhostility or resentment.How Christianity Changed the World is a topicallyarranged Christian history for Christians and non-Christians. Grounded in solid research and written in apopular style, this book is both a helpful apologetic toolin talking with unbelievers and a source of evidence forwhy Christianity deserves credit for many of thehumane, social, scientific, and cultural advances in theWestern world in the last two thousand years.Photographs, timelines, and charts enhance eachchapter.This edition features questions for reflection anddiscussion for each chapter.
"Acts as a concise introduction to the study of both contemporary and historical stardom and celebrity. Collecting together in one source companion an easily accessible range of readings surrounding stardom and celebrity culture, this book is a worthwhile addition to any library." - Kerry Gough, Birmingham City University "Absolutely wonderful. The inclusion of seminal works and more recent works makes this a very valuable read." - Beschara Karam, University of South Africa "An engaging and often insightful book." - Media International Australia This book brings together some of the seminal interventions which have structured the development of stardom and celebrity studies, while crucially combining and situating these within the context of new essays which address the contemporary, cross-media and international landscape of today's fame culture. From Max Weber, Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes to Catherine Lumby, Chris Rojek and Graeme Turner. At the core of the collection is a desire to map out a unique historical trajectory - both in terms of the development of fame, as well as the historical development of the field.