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The Astronomer’s Palace: an Instrument for the Observation of the Sky

Maria Elisa Navarro Morales, McGill University, Canada

Abstract

As a result of the improvement in observational astronomy in the seventeenth century, particularly with the advent of the telescope, astronomical observatories started to be built to house the instruments for the observation of the heavens. With Tycho Brahe’s Uraniborg as precedent in the XVI century, the astronomical observatories of the XVII century were mainly institutional buildings with a political agenda. In contrast, the project for an Astronomical Palace by Juan Caramuel de Lobkowitz (1678-9), was neither a building to contain instruments, nor did it follow an institutional program.  In Caramuel’s project, the building serves as an instrument for the observation and measurement of the celestial movements, integrating the instruments traditionally housed in the building and the building itself into a single structure.  The present paper will look at the Astronomical Palace as an instance of architecture as an instrument to inquire into the natural world. 

The Forking Paths of Open Your Eyes and Vanilla Sky

Carolina Ferrer, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada

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Abstract

In March 1992, researchers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean inaugurated in Paris the conference Épistémocritique et Cognition, thus giving official birth to epistemocriticism. This new branch of literary criticism incites us to make a re-appropriation of culture as a whole. Essentially, this perspective calls on us to explore the relations between literature and science. The purpose of my paper is to extend epistemocriticism to film studies. Thus, I analyse how bifurcation theory and Borges’s story “The Garden of Forking Paths” operate as main interdiscoursive artefacts in Alejandro Amenábar’s Open Your Eyes and in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky. Accordingly, I believe that extending this perspective to film studies, we can achieve a better understanding of what happens in these forking-paths films.

Cities of Struggle and Resistance: The Image of the Palestinian City in Modern Arabic Poetry

Saddik M.Gohar, UAE University, UAE

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Abstract

This paper aesthetically articulates the representation of the Palestinian city in modern Arabic poetry in order to argue that while Arab -and non-Arab poets-incorporate  variety of attitudes toward the city ,  the presentation of the Palestinian city reveals a radical difference from the rest of Arabic and non-Arabic poetry  due to the peculiar history of struggle, resistance and victimization characterizing life in the Palestinian metropolis.  To the Palestinian poets, in particular, the city is part of a homeland they have lost or a refugee camp that has been resisting the invaders for decades.  Contrary to western cities  inhabited by alien residents such as Eliot’s Prufrock, or Arab cities populated by strangers, outsiders, whores, outcasts and political prisoners  as in the literary  cities of Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab  and Ahmed Abdul-Muti  Hejazi , the Palestinian city is inhabited by heroes and martyrs.  These heroes who appear in contemporary Palestinian poetry and take different shapes personify the struggle and resistance of a nation that has frequently refused to surrender at times of crisis.  Representing the spirit of the Palestinian people confronting  a world replete with  treachery and hypocrisy,  the Palestinian city and its nameless heroes , in contemporary Arabic  poetry, is an embodiment of  an eternal and unlimited Palestinian dream , the dream of return, rebirth and liberation.  In this context, the paper affirms that unlike Arab cities which are associated with decadence, corruption, exploitation and moral bankruptcy, the Palestinian city,  due to the Palestinian history of exile, resistance, victimization and pain, is viewed in Arabic/Palestinian poetry as a location of heroism,  struggle, defiance and martyrdom.

Political Economy, Alexander Von Humboldt, and Mexico’s 1810 and 1910 Revolutions

José Enrique Covarrubias

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico

Richard Weiner

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.02

 Introduction

2010 is a significant year in Mexico since it is the centennial of the 1910 Revolution and the bicentennial of the 1810 Revolution for independence.[i] Next year will also be historic since it will mark the bicentennial of the publication of Alexander von Humboldt’s highly influential 1811 study about Mexico, Ensayo político sobre el reino de la Nueva España.  One of the novel features of this article is that it examines the ties between Humboldt’s famous 1811 work and Mexico’s Revolutions of 1810 and 1910. While Humboldt’s impact has been stressed for the independence era, it has been entirely unnoticed for the 1910 Revolution. By showing Humboldt’s enduring influence, this essay will demonstrate an important connection between the two Revolutions that has been overlooked. While Humboldt remained prominent throughout, the discourse about him varied significantly in the 1810 and 1910 Revolutions. Additionally, this essay will suggest that Humboldt’s influence during the age of the 1810 Revolution was more complex and varied than conventional wisdom—which emphasizes his contribution to the idea of Mexico as a land of vast natural abundance—acknowledges.[ii]

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