Book Reviews – Mind/Body Relationships

full name / name of organization: 
Schuylkill Graduate Journal, Temple University
contact email: 
skook@temple.edu

Deadline: November 15, 2010

Book Reviews for Schuylkill graduate journal: Mind/Body
Relationships -- Special Issue

Schuylkill graduate journal is seeking submissions from all disciplines for our 9th volume of critical essays and book reviews to be published in Spring of 2011 (online and print). We are seeking book reviews on works addressing the mind/body relationship (broadly defined), 5 pages in length; double spaced; MLA format; no footnotes. Current graduate students should direct their work to Gabriel Cutrufello at skook@temple.edu by November 15, 2010; no simultaneous submissions please. All reviews will be anonymously reviewed by at least two staff members. Please e-mail submissions with author name and contact info on first page only. In an effort to minimize our environmental impact, copies of submissions not accepted for publication will be recycled.

In a famous chapter-long digression in Samuel Beckett’s Murphy (1938), the narrator pauses to justify the expression “Murphy’s mind:”
Thus Murphy felt himself split in two, a body and a mind. They had intercourse apparently, otherwise he could not have known that they had anything in common. But he felt his mind to be bodytight and did not understand through what channel the intercourse was effected nor how the two experiences came to overlap…He neither thought a kick because he felt one nor felt a kick because he thought one…Perhaps there was, outside space and time, a non-physical Kick from all eternity, dimly revealed to Murphy in its correlated modes of consciousness and extension, the kick in intellectu and the kick in re…But how much more pleasant was the sensation of being a missile without provenance or target, caught up in a tumult of non-Newtonian motion. So pleasant that pleasant was not the word.

Beckett’s self-conscious reflection parodies Cartesian mind-body dualism, the Victorian novel, metaphysics (the divine reduced to “Kick”) and post-Newtonian physics with astonishing efficiency, but does so while raising important questions about the relationship between mind and body. What exactly IS the nature of the “intercourse” between the two? How have new ideas and discoveries in neuroscience and other fields complicated our understanding of these “channels”? If Murphy records a productive tension between science, philosophy, and literature during the interwar years, where do we stand now?

Because we want to provide an original and important angle to the discussion of new works, we will publish reviews by graduate students exclusively. Additionally, the reviews will explicitly address the reviewer's impressions of the importance of the work to future research as well as emerging fields, disciplines, approaches, etc.

To compliment the articles centered on this issue’s special topic of mind/body relationships, The Schuylkill seeks book reviews of recent scholarship that in some way deal with this topic. Below is a list of suggestions, but the editors are open to other works provided they were published in the past two years.

A few suggestions (though the possibilities are by no means limited to this list):

William M. Etter’s The Good Body: Normalizing Visions in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, 1836-1867. (2010).

Martin Griffin’s Ashes of the Mind: War and Memory in Northern Literature, 1865-1900. (2009)

Ulrika Maude’s Beckett, Technology and the Body. (2009)

Debra Hawhee’s Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language. (2009).

Irving Massey’s The Neural Imagination: Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Approaches to the Arts. (2009).

Please feel free to write with questions or proposals.
The Schuylkill is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal founded, edited, and run by graduate students at Temple University in Philadelphia. We are looking to publish the scholarly work of graduate students in the humanities from around the globe. We are especially interested in work that, in presenting a rich and nuanced perspective on the topic of mind/body relationships, blurs the boundaries of the disciplines (literary theory; philosophy; history; political theory; religious studies; cinema studies; women’s studies; art history; etc.)

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