What does the study of Plato’s dialogues tell us about the modern meaning of ‘sex’? How can recent developments in the philosophy of sex and gender help us read these ancient texts anew? Plato and Sex addresses these questions for the first time. Each chapter demonstrates how the modern reception of Plato’s works Ð in both mainstream and feminist philosophy and psychoanalytical theory Ð has presupposed a ‘natural-biological’ conception of what sex might mean. Through a critical comparison between our current understanding of sex and Plato’s notion of genos, Plato and Sex puts this presupposition into question. With its groundbreaking interpretations of the Republic, the Symposium and the Timaeus, this book opens up a new approach to sex as a philosophical concept. Including critical readings of the theories of sex and sexuation in Freud and Lacan, and relating such theories to Plato’s writings, Plato and Sex both questions our assumptions about sex and explains how those assumptions have coloured our understanding of Plato. What results is not only an original reading of some of the most prominent aspects of Plato’s philosophy, but a new attempt to think through the meaning of sex today.
Every era has its dominant representations. Just as landscape painters of previous centuries captured and expressed new modes of perceiving history, corporate advertisers now devise the imagined landscapes of global capitalism. Advertising functions as an omnipresent discursive form, publicly assembling and circulating the predominant tropes of our era. This project is based on the premise that corporate advertising’s landscapes help shape our epoch’s imaginative conceptualizations of the spatial relations, the temporal flows, and the cultural geographies that correspond to the emergence of a high-tech global economy. In Landscapes of Capital Robert Goldman and Steven Papson examine how corporate television ads from the last fifteen years have organized predominant images, tropes and narrative representations of a world in transition. The volume takes particular interest in how relations of space, time, speed, capital, technology and globalization are narratively represented in advertising. Goldman and Papson skillfully demonstrate how Capital represents itself at a moment of critical historical transition Ð the passage into high-tech globalization and the crises associated with it. They argue that corporate ads can be read to reveal how Capital represents itself and the world that is being wrought Ð in terms of the signifiers it prefers and the stories it tells.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of women become victims of sexual violence in conflict zones around the world; in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, approximately 1,100 rapes are reported each month. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the causes, consequences and responses to sexual violence in contemporary armed conflict. It explores the function and effect of wartime sexual violence and examines the conditions that make women and girls most vulnerable to these acts both before, during and after conflict. To understand the motivations of the men (and occasionally women) who perpetrate this violence, the book analyzes the role played by systemic and situational factors such as patriarchy and militarized masculinity. Difficult questions of accountability are tackled; in particular, the case of child soldiers, who often suffer a double victimization when forced to commit sexual atrocities. The book concludes by looking at strategies of prevention and protection as well as new programs being set up on the ground to support the rehabilitation of survivors and their communities. Sexual violence in war has long been a taboo subject but, as this book shows, new and courageous steps are at last being taken Ð at both local and international level – to end what has been called the “greatest silence in history”.
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Many families leave their children for years to be looked after by young people about whom they know next to nothing, from places they have barely heard of. Who are these au pairs, why do they come and what is their experience of this arrangement? Do they, for their part, find that they are treated as one of the family, and would they even want to be? After a year of careful research, this book shows how most of our assumptions and expectations about au pairs are wrong. This is the first book devoted to the lives of au pairs, their leisure as well as their work time. We see this world from the eyes of the visitors, and their unique perspective on what lies at the heart of our family life. The book does not flinch from documenting the realities of the situation Ð the racism and the problematic behaviour of the au pairs themselves, as much as the ignorance and exploitation they can be subject to. The book is a case study in how to come to feel modern life empathetically from the viewpoint of one of those many migrant groups we take for granted and rely on but rarely try to understand.
n Many people across the world know Antonio Negri as an internationally renowned political thinker whose book, Empire, co-authored with Michael Hardt, is an international bestseller. Much less well known is the fact that, up until 1979, Negri was a university professor teaching in Paris and Padova. On April 7th, 1979 he was arrested, charged with the murder of Italian politician Aldo Moro, accused of 17 other murders, of being the head of the Red Brigades and of fomenting insurrection against the state. He has since been absolved of all these accusations, but thanks to the emergency laws in Italy at the time, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Then, in July 1983, he was elected as a member of parliament, which meant that he was released from prison after four and a half years of preventive detention. After months of debate, the Lower House decided to strip him of his parliamentary immunity Ð by 300 votes in favour and 293 against. At that point he left Italy for exile in France where he remained until 1997 and continued to maintain his innocence of all the crimes of which he was accused. This book is Negri's diary in which he tells of his imprisonment, trial, the elections, and his escape to and exile in France. Both personal and political, it recounts a little known aspect of Negri's life and will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the work of this enormously influential political thinker.