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    Research re(casted): S1E6 - A conversation with Dr. Erin Cowling
    (2021) Ekelund, Brittany; Cave, Dylan; Cowling, Erin
    Today we learn about chocolate, the meshing of scholarly and creative activities, and discuss early modern and contemporary Spanish theatre with Dr. Erin Cowling, an Associate Professor and Discipline Coordinator of Spanish in the Department of Humanities at MacEwan University. Erin has worked with directors, actors and other artists from around the world, adapting early modern Spanish plays (Think Shakespeare but in Spanish) for modern audiences, and she also had two books published this year (including one on Chocolate!).
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    L’espace carcéral comme lieu d’évasion dans Riz noir d’Anna Moï
    (2022) Kim-Bernard, Kyeongmi
    Dans cette étude, j‘explore les descriptions des espaces clos dans le roman Riz noir d‘Anna Moï, dont la trame principale se déroule pendant quelques mois après le déclenchement de l‘Offensives du Têt au Vietnam. L‘imaginaire de la narratrice autodiégétique âgée de 15 ans flâne constamment entre deux espaces opposés par leur fonction : sa maison bourgeoise protégée de ce qui se passe à l‘extérieur en plein milieu des tueries violentes et l‘espace clos d‘une cellule de prison nommée « la cage aux tigres » dans laquelle elle passe dix-sept mois. C‘est dans ce dernier espace carcéral que le récit prend forme à l‘aide de multiples réminiscences. Les constants va-et-vient entre deux espaces clos, l‘un accueillant et l‘autre hostile, que la jeune prisonnière fréquente avec autant d‘obsession, se confondent en un seul lieu au moment du dénouement inattendu du récit. Ce rapprochement des deux lieux séparés arrive notamment lorsque le lecteur découvre l‘allusion à ce qui s‘est passé dans la vie de la jeune fille dans son domicile jusqu‘à son emprisonnement. En m‘appuyant sur l‘analyse thématique, je tente de mettre en lumière comment et pourquoi cet espace carcéral devient un lieu d‘introspection qui va la sauver paradoxalement de son isolement de l‘extérieur en devenant un moyen de s‘évader de son abîme intérieur.
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    Contemporary care in three works about the Spanish Civil War
    (2023) Epp, Marla
    This article reads Pas pleurer (2014), Dolorès (2018), and Josep (2020) through the lens of care studies. While Lydie Salvayre, Bruno Loth, and Aurel work in different media, they each narrate their account of the Spanish Civil War through a series of flashbacks, with older adults recounting their past experiences. I argue that the notion of care acts as a link between the formal characteristics of these works and their content centered around vulnerable people. The interactive nature of the narrations set up echoes between the different time periods, drawing attention to ongoing, if varied, needs for care.
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    The joy and melancholy of living beings in Mon ancêtre Poisson
    (2022) Epp, Marla
    Christine Montalbetti’s novel Mon ancêtre Poisson (2019) is teeming with descriptions of living things, perhaps not surprisingly given its subject, the life of her great-great-grandfather, the botanist Jules Poisson. In this essay, I argue that the focus on living beings becomes a way of fleshing out her account of this distant ancestor, whose life story she can only piece together from archival documents. As I demonstrate, the narrator, a version of Montalbetti, turns to shared experiences of the physical world as a way of imagining her great-great-grandfather, picturing them walking in the same garden and experiencing similar physiological sensations. The narrator draws attention to the corporeality of both herself and Jules, emphasizing their physicality and carefully positioning them as breathing bodies, part of a complex network of living beings. Ultimately, I show that, for the narrator, the world of living things is a source of both joy and melancholy. Her research into her great-great-grandfather becomes part of a larger process of reconciling the joy of engaging with the abundance of living and growing things around her with the sorrow of accepting the fundamental and inescapable fragility of living bodies, be they animal, plant, or human.
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    Absent animals in Patrick Deville's Kampuchéa
    (2023) Epp, Marla
    This article focuses on the ways in which encounters with animals, a frequent trope in travel literature, are reworked in Patrick Deville's Kampuchéa (2011) to reflect the current dire ecological situation. Deville's narrator is in South East Asia following the path of French naturalist Henri Mouhot, whose diary of his travels was published in 1868. Although the travel routes are similar and the basic components of a travel narrative remain, Mouhot's literary style is reconfigured to reflect the twenty-first-century traveller's awareness of the violent past of the region and anxiety over the future of the planet. If animals abound in Mouhot's diary, they are remarkable in Kampuchéa primarily through their absence. Deville does not, however, occlude them from his narrative, but rather writes about them in absentia. This article studies the implications of Deville's writing about animals without any meaningful face-to-face encounters. It further considers the repercussions of these lost moments of exchange and argues that Deville's commitment to writing about animals, even those who are absent, works to keep their looming extinction at the forefront of readers' minds.
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    La monstruosidad como discurso ideológico en El laberinto del fauno y La forma del agua de Guillermo del Toro
    (2023) Ruiz Serrano, Cristina
    Partiendo de la base del monstruo como construcción cultural, en este capítulo se analiza la significación del monstruo y la monstruosidad ‘normalizada’ en dos películas del director mexicano Guillermo del Toro, El laberinto del fauno (2006) y La forma del agua (2017). El análisis se centra en el uso del ‘monstruo posmoderno’ y la manera en que este permite reivindicar la agencia del sujeto femenino y la solidaridad como estrategias para subvertir las estructuras hegemónicas de poder.
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    Freedom in the age of social stupidity
    (2023) Beauclair, Alain
    This article offers an analysis of "social stupidity": the generation of publics mobilized in a compromised manner as a result of a complex web of forces that compromises the potential for intelligent collective inquiry. The article juxtaposes this phenomenon with the notion of "social intelligence" offered by John Dewey and the concept of the "apparatus" as treated by Michel Foucault.
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    Beneath the ordinary: toward a Deweyan aesthetics of place
    (2021) Beauclair, Alain
    A prominent undercurrent in the tradition of American philosophy concerns the endeavor to recover hope through a return to the ordinary and everyday. Ralph Waldo Emerson envisions and inaugurates such a path for the American scholar: I read with joy some of the auspicious signs of the coming days, as they glimmer already through poetry and art, through philosophy and science, through church and state.... Instead of the sublime and beautiful; the near, the low, the common, was explored and poetized. ([12] 56) Emerson's call for the American scholar seeks to not only democratize the objects of our concern, but to engage in a wholesale reconstruction in how we know, how we choose, indeed, even in how we perceive, all in an attempt to make the world readily available again. No longer should we view everyday experience as a shade of some pure and distant truth, as an ephemera that blinds or distracts us from the genuine target of our understanding. For Emerson, the pursuit of knowledge is not undertaken by those who clamber out of the cave and forsake what is "near, low and common" for that which is eternal, infinite, and beyond. Not merely disparaging the metaphysical quest for certainty and its search for the fixed, the final, the transcendent and absolute, Emerson is renewing (and reversing) the Socratic call for paideia, demanding that the American scholar undergo a "conversion of the soul" such that we can see our world for what it is. Only this time we are to find and fashion the truths of this world not by escaping it, by denying the veracity of sensation or setting the soul free from the body, but by turning our eyes back toward that which sits at our feet, by reclaiming what has become all too familiar such that it can once again stand forth and become "warm with the currents of new life" ([12] 57). Emerson's demand is that we summon those words and works that best enable us to fulfill our proper office, which is not to disregard or disown the throes of ordinary experience in favor of an interminable a priori truth, but to rediscover, reclaim, and rewrite the potency of the everyday, whereby the scholar will take as his or her role "to cheer, to raise and to guide men by showing them facts among appearances" ([12] 58). Such a project is fundamentally imaginative, striving to recover the threads of thinking in the face of bewilderment, to poetize when circumstance confounds agency and fate overwhelms intelligence, and find the way out of despair through the recognition that our words and actions are rife with meaning when we are overwhelmed by the specter of conformity. In a word, Emerson's is a project of hope that restores purpose, value, and promise to what has too often been dismissed as "low and common."
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    The criticism is coming from inside the casa: Sor Juana’s colonial critique
    (2023) Cowling, Erin
    The debates surrounding Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s fictional work have frequently centered on her use of autobiographical details to inform her characterizations and plots. In Los empeños de una casa, Sor Juana incorporates not only her personal details but also her deep connections to Mexico as a colonized state, to an extent not yet fully explored by scholars. Thus, she breaks the rules of her peninsular counterparts, and subsequently critiques Spain as an imperial power under the guise of a simple comedia de capa y espada. Although the gracioso servant, Castaño, has always been obviously a colonial figure, there are arguments that two more of the protagonists have New World roots. As the play progresses, we find they can overcome the machinations of their peninsular foils at least in part due to their outsider status, ultimately demonstrating a kinder, gentler form of living and loving. Given the play’s original intended audience of religious and secular powers, this demonstrates not only Sor Juana’s subtle genius, but her ability to fly under the radar of her potential censors, ultimately foreshadowing the issues that would arise as Spain’s reach grew into an uncontrollably large empire, destined to fail.
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    Recuperating Ruíz de Alarcón: Los empeños de un engaño as source text for Calderón de la Barca and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
    (2023) Cowling, Erin
    This paper considers a little-studied play, Los empeños de un engaño by Juan Ruíz de Alarcón, as a possible source text for both Calderón de la Barca’s Los empeños de un acaso and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s Los empeños de una casa. The phonetic similarities of the latter two titles have relegated Ruíz de Alarcón’s unique drama to obscurity. However, the unusual details of both the Alarcón and Sor Juana pieces demonstrate the relative freedom the two New World authors had in composing unique versions of the capa y espada genre, particularly when compared to their peninsular counterpart. Although all three plays are similar in title, plot, and even character names, they are ultimately unique pieces that speak to the specific conditions under which each of their authors composed and staged their work. It is also the author’s wish that this paper, along with the recent discovery that the play La monja alferez was penned by Alarcón and not Pérez de Montalbán (Vega García-Luengos, 2021), will inspire more scholars to consider the Mexican dramaturg’s oeuvre beyond his better-known pieces such as La verdad sospechosa or Las paredes oyen.
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    The making of the shiny knight of Chicanos, part two: a conversation with Octavio Solis
    (2023) Nieto-Cuebas, Glenda Y.; Cowling, Erin
    This second installment of Erin A. Cowling and Glenda Y. Nieto-Cuebas’ interview with playwright Octavio Solis investigates Solis’ latest Golden Age adaptation, Quixote Nuevo, and continues the conversation about representations of the borderlands between Mexico and the United States in his work.
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    The making of the shiny knight of Chicanos, part one: a conversation with Octavio Solis
    (2023) Nieto-Cuebas, Glenda Y.; Cowling, Erin
    Octavio Solis is one of the most prominent Latinx playwrights of our time. He has written over twenty plays that have been performed at prestigious venues such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center for Performing Arts, the San Diego Repertory Theater, Dallas Theater Company, and many more. He has also taught creative writing at universities around the United States. His work incorporates the Mexican American experience of the border, bringing Chicano culture to the mainstage. This interview is part of Glenda Y. Nieto-Cuebas’ and Erin A. Cowling’s work on Siglo Latinx, a larger project that examines how Latinx artists are updating early modern Spanish theatre to reflect their experiences. Solis discusses how growing up in El Paso, Texas on the Mexico-United States border shaped his work, focusing on his adaptations of three pieces from the Baroque period: Man of the Flesh (from El Burlador de Sevilla), Dreamlandia (from La vida es sueño) and Quixote Nuevo (From Don Quijote de la Mancha).
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    Rebuilding Jerusalem: Zechariah’s vision within visions
    (2009) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    While the temple in Jerusalem and the administration of the new community forming around it are at the centre of Zechariah 1–8, references to the physical city of Jerusalem are concentrated as book ends in the sections 1.8–3.10 and 7.1–8.23. Jerusalem or Zion is explicitly mentioned 23 times in these sections: in the first vision (1.8-17), the second vision (2.1-4), the third vision (2.5-9), the first set off exhortation (2.10-17), the fourth vision (3.1-10), and the prophet’s reply to a question sent to Jerusalem (7.1–8.23). These visions and exhortations contain motifs or literary–ideological tropes of restoration and reconstruction, election and holiness, and the city as an axis mundi, which develop and bring to expression a vision or idea of Jerusalem as well as point to a reality behind the text in tension with that vision.
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    Reconstructing Jerusalem : Persian period prophetic perspectives
    (2016) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    Jerusalem--one of the most contested sites in the world. Reconstructing Jerusalem takes readers back to a pivotal moment in its history when it lay ruined and abandoned and the glory of its ancient kings, David and Solomon, had faded. Why did this city not share the same fate as so many other conquered cities, destroyed and forever abandoned, never to be rebuilt? Why did Jerusalem, disgraced and humiliated, not suffer the fate of Babylon, Nineveh, or Persepolis? Reconstructing Jerusalem explores the interrelationship of the physical and intellectual processes leading to Jerusalem's restoration after its destruction in 587 B.C.E., stressing its symbolic importance and the power of the prophetic perspective in the preservation of the Judean nation and the critical transition from Yahwism to Judaism. Through texts and artifacts, including a unique, comprehensive investigation of the archaeological evidence, a startling story emerges: the visions of a small group of prophets not only inspired the rebuilding of a desolate city but also of a dispersed people. Archaeological, historical, and literary analysis converge to reveal the powerful elements of the story, a story of dispersion and destruction but also of re-creation and revitalization, a story about how compelling visions can change the fate of a people and the course of human history, a story of a community reborn to a barren city.
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    Recreating Jerusalem: Trito-Isaiah’s vision for the reconstruction of the city
    (2017) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    Judean literature indicates that Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, and its slow recovery, triggered a theological crisis (with potentially existential implications). The earliest tremors of this crisis are reflected in laments, especially Lamen­tations and Psalms 44, 69, 74, 79, 89, 102, and 137. The theology of these texts is generally consistent, conveying grief-suffused confessions of corporate guilt, anguish over severed relations with Yahweh, and horror at the ruination and disgrace of Jerusalem and her inhabitants. To be sure, this literature frames these concerns within a worldview and liturgical practices in which Jerusalem’s preeminence and Yahweh’s sovereignty remain important and a diversity of belief and dissent – e.g., any radical impiety – is muted. Yet in late prophetic literature and historiography, counter-narratives that go even further are preserved. Opposition and reluctance to rebuilding and settling in the city are noted (Hag 1:1-11; Zech 8:4-8; Ezra 4; Neh 4:1-12; 11:1-2) and many texts appear to reflect the challenges of restoring the temple and maintaining enthusiasm for tithes and offerings (Hag 2:3; Mal 1:6-14; 3:8-12; Ezra 3:12-13; Neh 13:10-13). This apathy or disregard may have come especially from those who, in addition to worshipping Yahweh, also venerated other deities (Isa 57:3-13; 65:3-4; 66:3, 17; Jer 44) and/or worshipped at other cult sites (Isa 19:18-19; Jer 41:4-5; Zech 7:2-3).
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    "In the house of Judah, my father’s house": the character of Joab in the book of Chronicles
    (2015) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    An inadequately explored area of biblical scholarship in the book of Chronicles is the character of Joab. One of the primary reasons for this scholarly oversight may be that in omitting a sizeable portion of the Davidic narratives in which Joab figures prominently, the Chronicler (hereafter, “Chr”) has left a somewhat exiguous witness to Joab. Aside from his inclusion in the Davidide genealogy in 1 Chr 2:16 and other passing references (1 Chr 11:20, 26, 39; 18:15; 26:28; 27:7, 24, 34), there are only three pericopes in Chronicles in which Joab figures prominently: 1 Chr 11:4–9; 19:1–20:3; and 21:1–22:1. Interestingly, all three pericopes are reconstructions of parallel texts in 2 Samuel, and a closer examination of each pericope reveals that the Chr’s compositional activity directly concerns the characterization of Joab. This present study will investigate and elucidate the Chr’s portrait of Joab, focusing primarily on these pericopes, and then briefly consider the implications that this portrait might have for evaluating the Chr’s ideology.
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    Reading and re-reading Josiah: the chronicler’s representation of Josiah for the post-exilic community
    (2009) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    In historical-, source-, and redaction-critical studies of the Hebrew Bible, Josiah king of Judah often occupies a pivotal place. Any student or scholar of biblical studies will know something of the enormous body of literature that exists on Josiah, as the key figure in theories of the historical development of the Israelite religion and the sources and development of the biblical text. These studies, in large part, have their roots in work on the Deuteronomistic History and, more specifically, in the account of Josiah’s reign in 2 Kgs 22–23. This account, particularly the reports of the finding of the book of the law (2 Kgs 22:8–9) and the extensive reforms (2 Kgs 23:1–25) that this find inaugurates, has captured the imagination of many scholars, who have since expanded their studies to look for Josiah in the prophetic writings and in other books of the Hebrew Bible.
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    The Achaemenid Persian empire in the west and Persian-period Yehud
    (2018) Ristau, Kenneth A.
    The disruption and caesura caused by the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BCE are not easily overstated. In addition to precipitating severe ideological tremors that undermined the traditional political and religious claims of Jerusalem's inviolability and Yahweh's perpetual support for the house of David, the architectonic and demographic evisceration of the city and its environs as well as the concomitant collapse of the kingdom of Judah were undeniably dramatic. In the wake of destruction and collapse, Judean society splintered. On the one hand, the Babylonian campaigns in 597 and 587 produced exiles and refugees, which created or added to Diaspora communities throughout the greater Near East that had been growing and developing since the Neo-Assyrian period (ca. 732-604 BCE). On the other hand, the remnants left in the land coalesced into two distinct enclaves: one in Benjamin, centered on Mizpah, and a second in the highlands south of Jerusalem. These enclaves consisted of a few landholding families, an impoverished populace, and disenfranchised refugees with tribal sheikhs, clan chiefs, and family heads as the local leadership.
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    Mysticism and materialism in the wake of German idealism
    (2022) Goggin, W. Ezekiel; Hannan, Sean
    This book argues that the rediscovery of mystical theology in nineteenth-century Germany not only helped inspire idealism and romanticism, but also planted the seeds of their overcoming by way of critical materialism. Thanks in part to the Neoplatonic turn in the works of J. G. Fichte, as well as the enthusiasm of mining engineer Franz X. von Baader, mystical themes gained a critical currency, and mystical texts returned to circulation. This reawakening of the mystical tradition influenced romantic and idealist thinkers such as Novalis and Hegel, and also shaped later critical interventions by Marx, Benjamin, and Bataille. Rather than rehearsing well-known connections to Swedenborg or Böhme, this study goes back further to the works of Meister Eckhart, Nicholas of Cusa, Catherine of Siena, and Angela of Foligno. The book offers a new perspective on the reception of mystical self-interrogation in nineteenth-century German thought and will appeal to scholars of philosophy, history, theology, and religious studies.
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    Pearson’s peacekeepers : Canada and the United Nations Emergency Force, 1956-1967
    (2009) Carroll, Michael
    In 1957 Lester Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the United Nations Emergency Force during the Suez Crisis. A crowning achievement in a distinguished career, the award also established Canada’s reputation as a peacekeeping nation. Was this reputation earned, or do accounts of Canadian peacekeeping reside in the realm of national myths that obscure complex historical realities? Pearson’s Peacekeepers explores the reality behind the rhetoric by offering a comprehensive account of the UN’s first major peacekeeping operation. The UNEF eased tensions and kept peace along the Egyptian-Israeli border for more than a decade. Yet peacekeeping has never been easy, and this mission was no exception: it faced tremendous challenges in its creation, its funding, and during daily operations. And the UN’s inability to imagine, let along manage, the withdrawal of peacekeeping paved the way for further hostilities between Israel and Egypt during the Six Day War. By providing a nuanced account of Canada’s participation in the UNEF, this book not only challenges perceived notions of Canada’s past, it helps to more accurately evaluate international peacekeeping efforts in the present. It will appeal to students of history and political science and to veterans and general readers interested in peacekeeping, the Middle East, international diplomacy, and Canadian military and diplomatic history.