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The Transformative Humanities: A Manifesto


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Publisher Comments:

In his famous classification of the sciences, Francis Bacon not only catalogued those branches of knowledge that already existed in his time, but also anticipated the new disciplines he believed would emerge in the future: the "desirable sciences." Mikhail Epstein echoes, in part, Bacon's vision and outlines the "desirable" disciplines and methodologies that may emerge in the humanities in response to the new realities of the twenty-first century. Are the humanities a purely scholarly field, or should they have some active, constructive supplement? We know that technology serves as the practical extension of the natural sciences, and politics as the extension of the social sciences. Both technology and politics are designed to transform what their respective disciplines study objectively.

The Transformative Humanities: A Manifesto addresses the question: Is there any activity in the humanities that would correspond to the transformative status of technology and politics? It argues that we need a practical branch of the humanities which functions similarly to technology and politics, but is specific to the cultural domain.


Distinguished scholar offers a re-assessment of the role of the humanities and advocates their constructive potential for the society and intellectual culture of the future.

About the Author

Author - Mikhail Epstein is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University, USA, and Professor of Russian and Cultural Theory at Durham University, UK. He has authored 20 books and approximately 600 essays and articles, translated into 16 languages. Professor Epstein has won national and international awards, including The Andrei Bely Prize (S.-Petersburg, 1991); The Social Innovations Award 1995 from the Institute for Social Inventions (London); the International Essay Contest set up by Lettre International and Weimar - Cultural City of Europe, 1999; and The Liberty Prize, awarded annually for "the outstanding contribution to the development of Russian - U.S. cultural relations" (New York, 2000).Editor and Translator: IIgor E. Klyukanov is Professor of Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University. He has authored more than 100 articles, book chapters and books in communication theory, semiotics, translation studies, general linguistics, and intercultural communication. His works have been published in U.S., Russia, England, Spain, Costa Rica, Serbia, Bulgaria, India and Morocco. He served as an associate editor of The American Journal of Semiotics and is the founding editor of the Russian Journal of Communication. Author of Foreword: Caryl Emerson is A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Princeton University, USA.

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsForeword, by Caryl Emerson (Princeton University)Introduction Part One. An Open FutureChapter 1. From Post- to Proto-: Toward a New Prefix in Cultural VocabularyChapter 2. Chronocide: A Prologue to the Resurrection of TimeChapter 3. Mikhail Bakhtin and the Future of the Humanities Part Two. Humans and TextsChapter 4. Reconfigurations of TextualityChapter 5. " ". Ecophilogy: Text and its EnvironmentChapter 6. Semiurgy: From Language Analysis to Language Synthesis Chapter 7. Scriptorics: An Introduction to the Anthropology and Personology of Writing Part Three. Humans and MachinesChapter 8. The Fate of the Human in the Posthuman AgeChapter 9. The Art of World-Making and the New Vocation for MetaphysicsChapter 10. Information Trauma and the Evolution of the Human SpeciesChapter 11. Horrology: The Study of Civilization in Fear of Itself Part Four. Humans and HumansChapter 12. Universics: From Relativism to Critical UniversalityChapter 13. Micronics: The Study of Small ThingsChapter 14. From Body to Self: What Is It Like To Be What You Are?Chapter 15. Differential Ethics: From the Golden Rule to the Diamond Rule Part Five. The Future of Wisdom. Creative TheoryChapter 16. What Is 'The Interesting?' Chapter 17. Philosophy's Return to WisdomChapter 18. Logos and Sophia: Sophian Disciplines Chapter 19. The Philosophy of the Possible and the Possibilities of PhilosophyChapter 20. The Mass of Knowledge and the Energy of Thinking In Place of a Conclusion: A New Introduction to Future Thinking Glossary ReferencesIndex

Product Details

Epstein, Mikhail
Bloomsbury Academic
Klyukanov, Igor E.
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
9.2 x 5.9 x 1.2 in

Related Subjects

Education » General
Education » Teaching » Art
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Literary History » United States » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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Distinguished scholar offers a re-assessment of the role of the humanities and advocates their constructive potential for the society and intellectual culture of the future.
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