Conceptual Odysseys: Passages to Cultural Analysis
I.B.Tauris, 2007 - Art - 245 pages
The "theoretical turn" within the arts and humanities in the 1970's and 1980's has, for many, had its day, with work produced under its rubric all too often feeling tired or even downright lazy. In its place -- whilst hazarding against an outright rejection of theory -- this book, introduced by Mieke Bal, presents work by a new generation of scholars responding directly to Bal's idea of the "travelling concept". By taking a concept from one discipline and, with a genuine understanding of its origin, thoughtfully applying this in a new context, exciting new possibilities are opened up for analysis of artworks and other cultural objects. Here we find these "travelling concepts" employed in fresh explorations of subjects as diverse as the paintings of Poussin and of Adam Elsheimer; Chantal Akerman's film; The Museum of the French Revolution and the work of German Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon. This is a uniquely illuminating contribution to the edgy territorial conflicts between visual culture, art history and cultural studies.
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