Vanities of the eye: vision in early European culture
by Stuart Clark
Vanities of the Eye investigates the cultural history of the senses in early modern Europe, a time in which the nature and reliability of human vision was the focus of much debate. In medicine, art theory, science, religion, and philosophy, sight came to be characterised as uncertain or paradoxical – mental images no longer resembled the external world. Was seeing really believing? Stuart Clark explores the controversial debates of the time – from the fantasies and hallucinations of melancholia, to the illusions of magic, art, demonic deceptions, and witchcraft. The truth and function of religious images and the authenticity of miracles and visions were also questioned with new vigour, affecting such contemporary works as Macbeth – a play deeply concerned with the dangers of visual illusion. Clark also contends that there was a close connection between these debates and the ways in which philosophers such as Descartes and Hobbes developed new theories on the relationship between the real and virtual. Original, highly accessible, and a major contribution to our understanding of European culture, Vanities of the Eye will be of great interest to a wide range of historians and anyone interested in the true nature of seeing.
Draculas, vampires, and other undead forms: essays on gender, race and culture
by John Edgar Browning
Since the publication of Dracula in 1897, Bram Stoker’s original creation has been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and filmmakers. From Universal’s early black-and-white films and Hammer’s Technicolor representations that followed, iterations of Dracula have been cemented in mainstream cinema. This anthology investigates and explores the far larger body of work coming from sources beyond mainstream cinema reinventing Dracula.
Draculas, Vampires and Other Undead Forms assembles provocative essays that examine Dracula films and their movement across borders of nationality, sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and genre since the 1920s. The essays analyze the complexity Dracula embodies outside the conventional landscape of films with which the vampire is typically associated. Focusing on Dracula and Dracula-type characters in film, anime, and literature from predominantly non-Anglo markets, this anthology offers unique perspectives that seek to ground depictions and experiences of Dracula within a larger political, historical, and cultural framework.
Understanding postpartum psychosis: a temporary madness
by Teresa M. Twomey
Offering an understanding of postpartum psychosis, this riveting book explains what happens and why during this temporary and dangerous disorder that develops for some women rapidly after childbirth. Most of us are familiar with the baby blues, a passing sadness that strikes 50 to 75 percent of new mothers after delivery. And most of us understand postpartum depression, a sadness post-delivery that lingers for weeks or months for an estimated one in every 10 new mothers. But a more serious form of disorder that strikes up to one in every 500 is postpartum psychosis – triggering severe agitation, confusion, insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, mania, and possible thoughts of suicide or murder. Every year, women in the United States and around the world kill their babies, children, and themselves as a result of this mental illness. Here, author Twomey, an official with Postpartum Support International, gives us insight into the psychological, personal, medical, legal, and historical perspectives on this little-understood mental illness, which is both preventable and treatable.
While most women who suffer postpartum psychosis eventually recover without harming anyone, they most often do so in silence. Paranoia is a common symptom, explains Twomey, and that moves women to hide their symptoms from everyone around them. The woman can hence appear normal, but be putting both herself and her baby at risk. We can prevent and treat this, but we need to recognize it by better screening of women postpartum, says Twomey.
Nanoethics: big ethical issues with small technology
by Donal P. O’mathuna
Nanotechnology is revolutionising modern science, yet the public has little understanding of its ethical implications – this book explores the philosophy behind this hugely topical contemporary debate. Nanotechnology manipulates matter at the atomic level. It leads to innovative processes and products that are revolutionizing many areas of modern life. Huge amounts of public funds are being invested in the science, yet the public has little understanding of the technology or its ethical implications. Indeed, the ethical, social and political dimensions of nanotechnology are only beginning to receive the attention they require – outside of science fiction contexts. Surveillance devices may become so small that they are practically invisible to the naked eye, raising concerns about privacy. Nanomedicine may lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic devices, yet anxieties have been raised about the impact of ‘nanobots’ circulating in our bodies. Military applications, or misuses, of nanotechnology raise other concerns. This book explores in an accessible and informative way how nanotechnology is likely to impact the lives of ordinary people in the coming years and why ethical reflection on nanotechnology is needed now. Articulate, provocative and stimulating, this timely book will make a significant contribution to one of the most important debates of our time. “Think Now” is a new series of books which examines central contemporary social and political issues from a philosophical perspective. These books aim to be accessible, rather than overly technical, bringing philosophical rigour to modern questions which matter the most to us. Provocative yet engaging, the authors take a stand on political and cultural themes of interest to any intelligent reader.