Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inhuman Nature

by J J Cohen

I'm happy to announce that through an ongoing partnership between Oliphaunt Books and punctum books, the new title Inhuman Nature has just been released. You can download the book or purchase it in hard copy at either site -- but if you do decide to secure the e-version, may I suggest that you make a donation to punctum along the way? If everyone who reads the book in electronic form pays five or ten dollars to support open access publishing, then the impact will be significant. Bear in mind that open access is not free, and a great deal of labor went into producing the volume.

Inhuman Nature is the third title published by Oliphant and would not have been possible without the unflagging support of Eileen Joy. A participant at the panels from which the book derives as well as a longtime forger of new worlds for humanities research, Eileen has both my abiding gratitude and admiration. Oliphant is sponsored by the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, a scholarly center funded by a collaboration of the GW Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. I am grateful to the twenty-faculty members in nine departments who belong to the center for making it all work, somehow.

This book had its genesis in “Ecologies of the Inhuman,” a roundtable at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. The event generated so much lively conversation that we reconstituted the gathering several months later in Washington DC, under the auspices of GW MEMSI. Ian Bogost joined us for that second event and astonished us with his passion for Marie de France … and his willingness to embrace this group of medievalists and early modernists interested in what happens when ecology is framed nonanthropocentrically. Carolyn Dinshaw participated in both the roundtable and the MEMSI symposium, and I thank her for her engagement. Creative presentations, camaraderie, and some late nights at the Venetian Room of the Hotel Lombardy ensured a shared sense of endeavor that culminated in this book. Here's the table of contents:

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen — Introduction: Ecostitial / Steve Mentz — Shipwreck / Anne Harris — Hewn / Alan Montroso — Human / Valerie Allen — Matter / Lowell Duckert — Recreation / Alfred Kentigern Siewers — Trees / James Smith — Fluid / Ian Bogost — Inhuman

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