Violence Narrative and Myth in Joyce and Yeats: Subjective Identity and Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditions

Funding Source: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS - UEFISCDI
Research Grant: PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0106
Grant Period: October 2011— October 2016
Contract number: 129/5.10.2011
Grant Director:
Dr Tudor Balinisteanu
Department of English
University of Suceava
E-mail: mail address ; mail address
Curriculum Vitae
NOTE TO EVALUATORS

Project Summary and Objectives

The general aim of the research programme is to explore the value of literature as means of production of agency in relation to the challenges posed by the development of capitalism and globalisation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and more specifically the ways in which literature contributes materially to society by producing and reproducing agency. The research will show how literature and art inform the world of action by focusing on their aesthetical-ideological functions, while also taking into account historical and economic contexts, and discussing questions regarding the economic impact of the study of literature. In an economic crisis when Universities are hard-pressed to show how their research contributes to social welfare, the analysis of literature as a means to produce material effects in society is particularly relevant. Literature has been traditionally relegated to a spiritual domain, separated from the hard facts of daily living, even though reflecting on those. The proposed research will show how literature is one of the principal means through which we steer ourselves as subjects of action in the material and social reality. Indeed, literature is a form of labour in which the object of labour is the world and the self, the means of production include literary discourse in the broadest possible sense (i.e. involving the manifold cultural praxes enabled by technological change that carry on literary labour), and the end product is a more meaningful self and a subject of action empowered to change the material reality. While literature offers opportunities for self-reconstruction it also binds readers into a shared worldview which unfolds as feeling. My research will explore the forms in which literature participates in a dialectic of subjective binding and subjective regeneration which drives social change.
The project’s aim will be achieved through three complementary goals, designed to provide complementary venues of investigation of literature as both means of production of agency and market form:

(1) the publication of a monograph focusing on the ways in which literature and other art forms engender social change, entitled Violence, Narrative and Myth in Joyce and Yeats: Subjective Identity and Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditions. This was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

(2) the publication of at least three journal articles in high level academic journals such as those indexed in the ISI Web of Knowledge Database. The purpose of these articles is to test the validity of the theory of the role of art in social change, developed in the monograph research, in wider contexts beyond those informing the work and philosophies of Joyce and Yeats. Thus, the articles aim to prove that that theory is one of general interest for the humanities by applying it in analyses of a variety of forms of aesthetic creation in several periods of artistic production stretching from late nineteenth century to the contemporary moment. One such article has been published in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and it is entitled “Goddess Cults in Techno-Worlds: Tank Girl and the Borg Queen”. Another article, entitled "Spellbinding Stories. Gender Theory and Georges Sorel's Concept of Social Myth", has been published in the special issue dedicated to Marxism and Dialectics of Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory. Initially, an article on aesthetic experience as form of religious experience in the work of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett was also planned. The article was developed into a monograph on Joyce and Yeats, with references to Wilde and Beckett, entitled Religion and Aesthetic Experience in Joyce and Yeats. This was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2015.

(3) the creation of a website and an international research network entitled Modernist Literature and Economic Theory to promote the study of the relations between nineteenth/ twentieth centuries modernist literature and economic contexts; this will be completed by the end of the grant tenure. The current stage of this project can be viewed at http://mlet.usv.ro. The network activities shall include the organisation of a number of public seminars (please follow the link “Public seminars” below to for a list of past and forthcoming seminars) and an international conference scheduled for 2016.

Project Outcomes

Publications

Monographs:

Tudor Balinisteanu, Violence, Narrative and Myth in Joyce and Yeats: Subjective Identity and Anarcho-Syndicalist Traditions (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2013)
Links:
UK edition
Worldcat
Amazon
2013 Palgrave Macmillan Literature Catalogue (key word search “Balinisteanu”)

Tudor Balinisteanu, Religion and Aesthetic Experience in Joyce and Yeats (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2015)
Links:
UK edition
Worldcat
Amazon
2015 Palgrave Macmillan Literature Catalogue (key word search "Balinisteanu")
2015 Palgrave Macmillan Philosophy & Religion Scholarly Resources (key word search "Balinisteanu")

Journal articles:

Tudor Balinisteanu, “Goddess Cults in Techno-Worlds: Tank Girl and the Borg Queen”, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 28:1 (2012), pp. 5-24
Links:
EBSCOHost
JSTOR
Project MUSE

Tudor Balinisteanu, "Spellbinding Stories. Gender Theory and Georges Sorel's Concept of Social Myth", Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory (Special Issue: Marxism and Dialectics), 42:1 (2014), pp. 107-126
Links:
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

International research network: Modernist Literature and Economic Theory

The activities carried out by this group and network are described on its dedicated webpage, which can be accessed by clicking the above link. One related long-term goal is to create an online database connecting literary texts with economic concepts in transnational perspective. This shall be accessible through the network webpage (http://mlet.usv.ro/) and shall consist of three cross-referenced data sets: Authors and Textual Excerpts, Criticism Connecting Texts and Economic Theory, and Economic Theory/ Concepts. The website is conceived as an on-going collaborative project which will help foster inter-institutional links; and it has a structure which can be integrated with online teaching/VLE. While serving as scholarly resource for teaching and research, the website can also be extended to include a forum for public debate on the impact of literary narrative in society in material terms, building on the expertise of organising a series of public seminars (see below). A conference is planned for 2015, details of which will be published on the MLET website. They shall also be accessible from this page through the relevant link provided below.

Public seminars

The research undertaken through this grant is complemented by a series of public seminar which should enable attendees to broaden their understanding of its contexts. The seminars which have taken place and those planned are listed below. The list will be extended in due course to include additional seminars taking place within the grant period.

Public Seminar 1: “Art as a Form of Religious Experience: is the artist a priest of the imagination?” (click here to view poster)
Date: Thursday, 6 December 2012 - 18:00
VENUE: Room D101
Programme:
Introduction of the Modernist Literature and Economic Theory Project Team: aims and activities (15 mins)
Presentation (Dr Tudor Balinisteanu, Department of English): “Art and the Religious Dimension of Social Action: Yeats, Joyce, and Sorel’s concept of social myth” (45 mins)
Coffee break (10 mins)
Discussion and Debate (50 mins)

Public Seminar 2: "Art and Economic Materialism: can art help us to overcome the economic crisis?" (click here to view poster)
Date: Thursday, 7 March 2013 - 14:00
VENUE: Room S2
Programme:
Presentation (Ana Craciunescu, British Culture and Civilisation MA Programme): “The Aesthetics of Social Domination: Knowledge vs. Money”
Coffee break
Discussion and Debate

Public Seminar 3: "Modernism, Empire and Archipelago" (click here to view poster)
Date: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 - 16:00
VENUE: Room S206
Programme:
Lecture (Prof Nicholas Allen, Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia)
Coffee break
Discussion and Debate

Public Seminar 4: "What Is Art Good For?" (click here to view poster)
Date: Thursday, 16 January 2014 - 14:00
VENUE: Room A120
Seminar and Roundtable Topics:
Art and Social Change: is the activist an artist?
Art and Violence: does art play a role in terrorism or war?
"Words never ground a grain of corn": is art useful for material production?
Moderators:
Ana Craciunescu, British Culture and Civilisation MA programme
Gabriela Vacariu, 3rd year student, French-English programme
Iuliana Ilasca, 3rd year student, French-English programme
Dr Tudor Balinisteanu, Department of English

Public Seminar 5: "In the Midst of Things: Material Culture, Materiality, and Self-Definition" (click here to view poster)
Date: Wednesday, 5 March 2014 - 14:30
VENUE: Room A111
Programme:
Lecture (Diana Socoliuc, MA Social and Cultural Anthropology, Catholic University of Leuven)
Discussion and Debate

Public Seminar 6: "Neurohumanities: can aesthetic experience be quantified in material terms?" (click here to view poster)
Date: Thursday, 30 October 2014 - 16:00
VENUE: Room A39
Programme:
Presentation (Dr Tudor Balinisteanu, Department of English)
Discussion and Debate

Public Seminar 7: "Mythos over Logos or Logos over Mythos? Modernist perspectives on the social value of art" (click here to view poster)
Date: Friday, 28 November 2014 - 18:00
VENUE: Room A206
Programme:
Presentation (Dr Tudor Balinisteanu, Department of English)
Discussion and Debate

Conference Presentations (Tudor Balinisteanu)

15-20 June 2014: XXIII International James Joyce Symposium: a long the krommerun (Utrecht University): "Conviction and Aesthetico-Religious Experience in Joyce's Poetics"
Click here for conference programme

29 August - 1 September 2013: Modernist Studies Association (MSA 15)Conference: Everydayness and the Event (University of Sussex and Queen Mary, University of London): "The Aesthetico-Religious Value of Social Myth in Joyce and Yeats"
Click here for conference programme

11-15 June 2013: XXIII International James Joyce Conference (The College of Charleston and University of South Carolina): “The Political Aesthetics of Myth in Joyce’s Ulysses in Sorelian Perspective”
Click here for conference programme

18-21 October 2012: Modernist Studies Association (MSA 14) Conference: Modernism & Spectacle (University of Nevada, Las Vegas): “The Bergsonian Ethos of Joyce’s and Yeats’s Writing: A Sorelian Perspective”
Click here for conference programme

10-16 June 2012: XXIII International James Joyce Symposium: Joyce, Dublin, and Environs (Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin): “Social Myth and James Joyce’s Political Aesthetic”
Click here for conference programme

22-24 May 2012: Cycles, Recueils, Macrotexts: Theorizing the Short Stories Collection (Catholic University of Leuven): “Women’s Identities and the Masculine Folktale Tradition in Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s The Inland Ice
Click here for conference programme

Collaborations and Affiliations

Modernist Literature and Economic Theory Network Conference

Call for Papers