Maurice Blanchot was a legend in French literature, politics, and thought. French icons such as Foucault, Derrida, and Nancy have counted him among their influences. Though his writing was never overly academic, much of it focused on politics and philosophy. Fordham is proud to present a collection of his most political essays, letters, and other fragments in the forthcoming Maurice Blanchot: Political Writings, 1953-1993, translated by Zakir Paul, with a foreword by Kevin Hart. The trajectory of the writings go from the French-Algerian War to the construction of the Berlin Wall and postwar debates of the Shoah. Read together, these pieces are not only thoughts on current events and the politics that create them, but rather a demonstration of a higher form of writing and political thought.
Powers: Religion as a Social and Spiritual Force is part of the series The Future of the Religious Past. The series seeks to collect scholars from diverse disciplines and geographic locations to share their thoughts on religion as more than simply beliefs in specific tenets, but rather a complex system that factors in our daily personal and social lives. Powers collects essays that refute the idea that religion’s political power is a relic from the past. Rather, the political relevance and cultural importance of religion is alive and well. Edited by Meerten B. ter Borg and Jan Willem van Henten, this volume strikes a balance between broad analyses of the nature of religion and power in their modes of emergence today and specific case studies from anthropology, sociology, and the arts.
We have two February titles from the American Literatures Initiative project: “Not Even Past”: Race, Historical Trauma, and Subjectivity in Faulkner, Larsen, and Van Vechten and Poetics of Emptiness: Transformations of Asian Thought in American Poetry. “Not Even Past” focuses on US slavery and racism in the period of the late 1920s-early 1930s in literary and photographic projects, highlighting novels by William Faulkner and Nella Larsen, and portraits by Carl Van Vechten. Poetics of Emptiness analyzes the term “emptiness” and how it’s transformed within 20th century American poetry. Two sections, one on transpacific Buddhist poetics and one on transpacific Daoist poetics, detail how American poetics has been shaped by these traditions and the concept of “emptiness.”
In Trials: Of Antigone and Jesus, William Robert weaves together two landmark trials: those of Christ and Antigone. By intertwining these two iconic figures, Robert ruminates on the relationship between divinity and humanity–“one that can contribute to religious understandings of embodiment and prayer and can open avenues of inquiry into tragedy, sexual difference, posthumanism, and politics.”
Two titles by Rusmir Mahmutćehajić are also forthcoming in February: Across the River: On the Poetry of Mak Dizdar and On the Other: A Muslim View. Mak Dizdar was a groundbreaking poet in Bosnian literature, mixing Christian, Islamic, and medieval Bosnian themes into his poetry. Mahmutćehajić discusses the collection Stone Sleeper and the poem “Blue River.” On the Other, rather, seeks to illuminate the foundations of Islamic thought on human nature and its relationship to the divine and to dispel the largely negative ways in which Islam can be interpreted in modern society. It “provides an excellent introduction to the Muslim intellectual tradition for those who wish to penetrate beyond the stereotypes put forward by ideologists on both sides of the East-West divide.”