Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clash of Identities By Dipak K. Gupta

hardback, 70 pp.
US $20.00

Clash of Identities presents Dipak K. Gupta's research on issues surrounding prediction in the social sciences, specifically, forecasting outbreaks of political violence. Honored as San Diego State University's eleventh Distinguished Graduate Research Lecturer, Gupta explores ethnic nationalism, globalization, and the dimensions of reason and intuition in the complex processes of political prediction in a variety of contexts. This book features Gupta's public lecture "Clash of Identities," his colloquium "Can We Predict Humanitarian Crises?", the article "An Early Warning about Political Forecasts: Oracle to Academics," and a comprehensive listing of the author's previous publications. Dipak K. Gupta is Professor in San Diego State University's School of Public Administration and Urban Studies, and Co-Director of the University's Institute for International Security and Conflict Resolution.

Perceiving and Telling: A Study of Iterative Discourse By Danièle Chatelain

ISBN 1-879691-52-3
paper, 202 pp.
US $17.50

Perceiving and Telling: A Study of Iterative Discourse is a comparatist study exploring verbal conventions that create the illusion of time, as well as of theories about how these conventions have operated in the works of various authors. In her introduction, Danièle Chatelain says, "Central to current theories of narratology is a persistent sense of the separation of space and time. In Gerald Prince's A Dictionary of Narratology (1987), the categories of narratology appear to have reached canonical status, and the separation between time and space seems encoded in them. Typically, Prince defines "description," as "the representation of objects, beings, situations, or (nonpurposeful, nonvolitional) happenings in their spatial rather than temporal existence, their topological rather than chronological functioning, their simultaneity rather than succession" (19). "Narration," on the other hand, is "a discourse representing one or more events," that is, temporal phenomena (57). What we have, then, are sets of binary oppositions, which inform everything from structural distinctions, such as narration versus description, down to the fundamental binary histoire (story) and récit (narrative). In terms of story versus narrative, the separation of space and time is in a sense built into the very terms in which that distinction is traditionally formulated. In Prince's Dictionary, "story" is the content of the narrative; it is a succession of events "with an emphasis on chronology" (91). On the other hand, "narrative"is the recounting of this chronology; it is a "structuration," that is, a mental spatialization of this presumed flow of events. Underlying modern theory of narrative, in fact, is both a separation of time and space (story = chronology; narrative = structuration), and a sense of rivalry between these two dimensions. The result, it seems, is a valorization of the latter over the former." In her study, Chatelain seeks to show how these dimensions exist on a "spacetime continuum." The book is provided with a glossary of terms. Danièle Chatelain is Professor of French at the University of Redlands, California.