This issue is dedicated to the memory of Wolfgang Iser, a world-renowned literary theorist and specialist in English literature, long one of the leading figures in the Konstanz school of criticism. As Richard van Oort‘s commemorative essay makes clear, Iser went well beyond reception theory to construct a literary anthropology having considerable affinities with GA, which Iser knew and respected while remaining skeptical about its founding hypothesis. Wolfgang Iser was a man of rare personal and intellectual generosity, and it is a source of pride that his last book, How to Do Theory (Blackwell, 2006), contains a chapter on GA.
The composition of this issue illustrates the importance that the British Commonwealth, and more specifically, Vancouver has assumed in the world of GA. Three of the articles in this issue come from the Vancouver group. Andrew Bartlett’s analysis of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is the second of a groundbreaking three-part series on Frankenstein and modern scientific revelation; the third part will appear in the Fall 2007 / Winter 2008 issue. Amir Khan, who as he tells us below was introduced to GA at UBC, offers for his second Anthropoetics article a reflection on the ineluctable “passionate” component of language that reflects the priority of the ostensive over the declarative. The first contribution in a number of years by Anthropoetics co-founder Richard van Oort deals with a fascinating confluence between originary thinking and the work of Michael Tomasello on the psychology of apes and children. Finally, Chris Fleming and John O’Carroll, our stalwart team from Down Under, audaciously propose GA as a superior replacement for Cultural Studies.
About Our Contributors
Andrew Bartlett lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He teaches composition and literary analysis at Kwantlen University College in Surrey (a suburb of Vancouver). Kwantlen has granted him an Educational Leave for the 2006-2007 academic year so that he might work on a book-length manuscript, Playing God: Science Fictions of the Artificial Human, a project in applied GA. He has attended several annual meetings of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, and participates in Sparagmos!, the Vancouver GA Group.
Chris Fleming is Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. His research interests include theatre and performance, the philosophy of science, and anthropology. His book, René Girard: Violence and Mimesis was published in 2004 by Polity Press.
John O’Carroll is Lecturer in the School of Social Science and Liberal Studies, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst NSW, Australia. His research interests lie in the area of the philosophy of communication, postcolonial theory, and Western epistemologies of landscapes (especially in Australia and the South Pacific). He has also taught at the University of the South Pacific (Fiji Laucala campus).
Amir Khan has taken to GA with the type of quasi-religious zeal that only ever materializes during the graduate years (or earlier); this being the case, he is still, very much, ‘wet behind the ears.’ He is currently finishing up a Creative MA thesis at the University of Windsor and is set to begin doctoral studies in January of 2008 at the University of Ottawa.
Richard van Oort, after two postdoctoral appointments at the University of British Columbia, is very happy to be returning to his alma mater, the University of Victoria, as Assistant Professor of English. Among other things, he will be teaching Shakespeare and Renaissance drama.