Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: post-structuralism

5 Towards a Deconstructive Text: Beyond Language and the Politics of Absences in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot

Authors: Afia Shahid

Abstract:

The writing of Samuel Beckett is associated with meaning in the meaninglessness and the production of what he calls ‘literature of unword’. The casual escape from the world of words in the form of silences and pauses, in his play Waiting for Godot, urges to ask question of their existence and ultimately leads to investigate the theory behind their use in the play. This paper proposes that these absences (silence and pause) in Beckett’s play force to think ‘beyond’ language. This paper asks how silence and pause in Beckett’s text speak for the emergence of poststructuralist text. It aims to identify the significant features of the philosophy of deconstruction in the play of Beckett to demystify the hostile complicity between literature and philosophy. With the interpretive paradigm of poststructuralism this research focuses on the text as a research data. It attempts to delineate the relationship between poststructuralist theoretical concerns and text of Beckett. Keeping in view the theoretical concerns of Poststructuralist theorist Jacques Derrida, the main concern of the discussion is directed towards the notion of ‘beyond’ language into the absences that are aimed at silencing the existing discourse with the ‘radical irony’ of this anti-formal art that contains its own denial and thus represents the idea of ceaseless questioning and radical contradiction in art and any text. This article asks how text of Beckett vibrates with loud silence and has disrupted language to demonstrate the emptiness of words and thus exploring the limitless void of absences. Beckett’s text resonates with silence and pause that is neither negation nor affirmation rather a poststructuralist’s suspension of reality that is ever changing with the undecidablity of all meanings. Within the theoretical notion of Derrida’s Différance this study interprets silence and pause in Beckett’s art. The silence and pause behave like Derrida’s Différance and have questioned their own existence in the text to deconstruct any definiteness and finality of reality to extend an undecidable threshold of poststructuralists that aims to evade the ‘labyrinth of language’.

Keywords: Différance, language, pause, poststructuralism, silence, text

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4 Biopolitics and Race in the Age of a Global Pandemic: Interactions and Transformations

Authors: Aistis ZekevicIus

Abstract:

Biopolitical theory, which was first developed by Michel Foucault, takes into consideration the administration of life by implying a style of government based on the regulation of populations as its subject. The intensification of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and popular outcries against racial discrimination in the US health system have prompted us to reconsider the relationship between biopolitics and race in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on works by Foucault, Achille Mbembe and Nicholas Mirzoeff that transcend the boundaries of poststructuralism, critical theory and postcolonial studies, the paper suggests that the global pandemic has highlighted new aspects of the interplay between biopower and race by encouraging the search for scapegoats, deepening the structural racial inequality, and thus producing necropolitical regimes of exclusion.

Keywords: biopolitics, biopower, necropolitics, pandemic, race

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3 Postmodernism and Metanarrative: Deconstruction of Narrative in a Song of Ice and Fire Fantasy TV Series

Authors: Narjes Azimi

Abstract:

It has been a while that narrative and storytelling turned to be the inevitable part of media. The narrative has so many aspects and among those entire aspects, the fantasy genre is consciously challenging one as fantasy readers are used to reading narratives like good versus evil plot. This paper will analyze the ASOIF TV series as a Meta narrative cultural production that deconstructs the elements of a traditional narrative. This study will shade on a grand narrative perspective from poststructuralism point of view. The theoretical framework is structuralism and post structuralism. Lyotard and Barthes are two main poststructuralists and focus of the study. Lyotard grand narrative elements will analyze in this research study. Fantasy genre generated a number of outstanding authors that explore innovative perspectives. Among all these leading authors George R.R Martin is one of the best. George R. R. Martin’s Fantasy a Song of Ice and Fire picturized the brutal world that seven kingdoms struggling for the power. Since 2011 this production has been followed and watched by millions of audiences all around the world. The methodology is the textual analysis of selected scenes. Martin’s distinctive fantasy style which makes it different from other fantasies, yet this shift does not negate how the previous fantasy writers represent the mentioned concepts of war, and etc., but Martin’ fantasy and left the mature audiences full of uncertainty.

Keywords: narrative theory, metanarrative, deconstruction, post-structuralism, Lyotard, Barthes

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2 Agency Beyond Metaphysics of Subjectivity

Authors: Erik Kuravsky

Abstract:

One of the problems with a post-structuralist account of agency is that it appears to reject the freedom of an acting subject, thus seeming to deny the very phenomenon of agency. However, this is only a problem if we think that human beings can be agents exclusively in terms of being subjects, that is, if we think agency subjectively. Indeed, we tend to understand traditional theories of human freedom (e.g., Plato’s or Kant’s) in terms of a peculiar ability of the subject. The paper suggests to de-subjectivize agency with the help of Heidegger’s later thought. To do it, ir argues that classical theories of agency may indeed be interpreted as subject-oriented (sometimes even by their authors), but do not have to be read as such. Namely, the claim is that what makes agency what it is, what is essential in agency, is not its belonginess to a subject, but its ontological configuration. We may say that agency “happens,” and that there is a very specific ontological characteristics to this happening. The argument of the paper is that we can find these characteristic in the classical accounts of agency and that these characteristics are sufficient to distinguish human freedom from other natural phenomena. In particular, it offers to think agency not as one of human characteristics, but as an ontological event in which human beings take part. Namely, agency is a (non-human) characteristic of the different modes in which the experienceable existence of beings is determined by Being. To be an agent then is to participate in such ontological determination. What enables this participation is the ways human beings non-thematically understand the ontological difference. For example, for Plato, one acts freely only if one is led by an idea of the good, while for Kant the imperative for free action is categorial. The agency of an agent is thus dependent on the differentiation between ideas/categories and beings met in experience – one is “free” from contingent sensibility in terms of what is different from it ontologically. In this light, modern dependence on subjectivity is evident in the fact that the ontological difference is thought as belonging to one’s thinking, consciousness etc. That is, it is taken subjectively. A non-subjective account of agency, on the other hand, requires thinking this difference as belonging to Being itself, and thinking human beings as a medium within which occurs the non-human force of ontological differentiation.

Keywords: Heidegger, freedom, agency, poststructuralism

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1 A Foucauldian Analysis of Child Play: Case Study of a Preschool in the United States

Authors: Meng Wang

Abstract:

Historically, young members (children) in the society have been oppressed by adults through direct violent acts. Direct violence was evident in rampant child labor and child maltreatment cases. After acknowledging the rights of children from the United Nations, it is believed in public that children have been protected against direct physical violence. Nevertheless, at present, this paper argues from Foucauldian and disability study standpoints that similar to the old times, children are oppressed objects in the context of child play, which is constructed by adults to substitute direct violence in regulating children. Particularly, this paper suggests that on the one hand, preschool play is a new way that adults adopt to oppress preschoolers and regulate the society as a whole; on the other hand, preschoolers are taught how to play as an acquired skill and master self-regulation through play. There is a line of contemporary research that centers on child play from social constructivism perspective. Yet, current teaching practices pertaining to child play including guided child play and free play, in fact, serve the interest of adults and society at large. By acknowledging and deconstructing the prevalence of 'evidence-based best practice' in early childhood education field within western society, reconstruction of child-adult power relation could be achieved and alternative truth could be found in early childhood education. To support the argument of this paper, an on-going observational case study is conducted in a preschool setting in the United States. Age range of children is 2.5 to 4 years old. Approximately 10 children (5 boys) are participating in this case study. Observation is conducted throughout the weekdays as children follow through the classroom routine with a lead and an assistant teacher. Classroom teachers are interviewed pertaining to their classroom management strategies. Preliminary research finding of this case study suggested that preschool teachers tended to utilize scenarios from preschoolers’ dramatic play to impart core cultural values to young children. These values were pre-determined by adults. In addition, if young children have failed to follow teachers' guidance in terms of playing in a correct way, children ran the risk of being excluded from the play scenario by peers and adults. Furthermore, this study tended to indicate that through child play, preschoolers are obliged to develop an internal violence system, that is self-regulation skill to regulate their own behavior; and if this internal system is unestablished based on various assessments by adults, then potentially there will be consequences of negative labeling and disabling toward young children intended by adults. In conclusion, this paper applies Foucauldian analysis into the context of child play. At present, within preschool, child play is not free as it seems to be. Young children are expected to perform cultural tasks through their play activities designed by adults. Adults utilize child play as technologies of governmentality to further predict and regulate future society at large.

Keywords: child play, developmentally appropriate practice, DAP, poststructuralism, technologies of governmentality

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