Differences first appeared in 1989 at the moment of a critical meeting of theories of difference, which was primarily continental, and the politics of diversity, which was primarily from the United States. The journal has established a critical forum where the problematic of differences is explored in texts ranging from the literary and the visual to the political and social. Differences highlights theoretical debates across the disciplines that address the ways concepts and categories of differences-notably but not exclusively gender-operate within culture. This special issue of differences raises the long-critiqued concept of humanism, faith in the sovereignty of human reason and potential that grew out of Renaissance thought and discovery. Twentieth-century ideologies, from liberalism to fascism, are rooted in this tradition. "Humanism" asks such as questions as have all vestiges of humanism been dismantled or has it taken on new forms? Have new versions of historical analysis and cultural studies reanimated humanist themes?
This issue approaches questions of technology and the boundaries between the human and the non-human, reconsiders the canon of anti-humanists such as Heidegger and Foucault, and broaches the intractable problems posed by efforts to comprehend the holocaust, the camps, and ethnic cleansing. Contributors: Etienne Balibar, Carolyn Dean, Jacques Lezra, Lynne Joyrich, Athena Athanasiou, Mara de Gennaro, and Brady Heiner.
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