(2016): ‘In Mendacio Veritas: Telling the Truth through Lies in 1&2 Henry IV and Henry V’, Cahiers Élisabéthains, 91, 1-14
(2015): ‘Feeble Heroism: 1&2 Henry IV and Intellectual Liberty’, Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, Seminar Online, 13, 63-74
(2014): ‘Richard II: History, Degeneracy and Deformity’, Theta, 11, 131–148
(2012): “Civil Monsters’: The Enlightened Dialectics of Othello’, The Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics, 9 (2012), 15–28
Work in Progress
The articles detailed below is a preparatory study for my next book, provisionally entitled The Invention of Home: Dwelling and Belonging 1200 – 1600.
Utopia, Determinate Negation and the Humanities
In a radio discussion from just over fifty years ago, Ernst Bloch and T.W. Adorno sought to restore “honor” to the concept of utopia. For many, it had almost become a dirty word, designating either something utterly impractical, or even evoking the totalitarian horrors perpetrated in its name. Although utopia’s reputation can hardly be said to have improved, there is still a pressing need to better understand its constitutive contradictions. This article concerns itself with the utopian aspects of what the Frankfurt School thinkers termed the “determinate negation” that art offers to reality. Not only does it show how this form of negation is apparent in diverse ways in a vast array of artworks, spanning from Hungarian poetry to Nina Simone’s songs, but it also suggests that understanding this process is of importance to humanities scholarship. While much of the reactionary rhetoric about the “crisis in the humanities”, allegedly brought about by digital analytical techniques, is perhaps melodramatic, it is, nonetheless, vital to remain critical about an insidious ideology of big data, networks and pseudo-connectivity, which risks muting the eloquent discontent with the way things are that lies at the heart of art, music and literature.
KEY WORDS: Hope, Frankfurt School, Critical Theory, Digital Humanities
Please e-mail me for further details.