Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two UIS faculty members publish new books

Two University of Illinois Springfield faculty members have published books with London connections.

Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science has written a book entitled “Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy”. A book launch celebration will be held in London on Saturday, June 25.

Over the past forty years the ideas and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International have become a constant reference point for those involved in radical politics, the arts, and cultural theory. Despite this ubiquity Debord’s work has been reduced to a palatable cliché rather than being used as a tool for crafting an ongoing practice of critique and engagement.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs.

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Adjunct Philosophy Instructor Boria Sax also has a new book coming out entitled “City of Ravens: The True History of the Legendary Birds in the Tower of London”.

The book solves the century-old mystery of how and when ravens came to the Tower of London, and traces the origin of the legend that "Britain will fall" if they leave. For over a century, the ravens have been symbols of cruelty, avatars of fate — and cuddly national pets. But ravens have come to represent British natural heritage. This informing and reflective volume addresses the need to connect with animals and the natural world and shows the human need for wonder at nature.

Boria Sax has been awarded numerous awards for his articles on human-animal relations. He has been a human rights activist and the founder of the organization Nature in Legend and Story.

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