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Medusa's Ear
University Foundings from Kant to Chora L
Medusa's Ear
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Dawne McCance - Author
Price: $55.00 
Hardcover - 180 pages
Release Date: October 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6247-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6247-8

Price: $23.95 
Paperback - 180 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-6248-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6248-5

Subject to availability
Billed when shipped
Price: $23.95 
Electronic - 180 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8429-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Reads modern philosophy (and the university) as rooted in an audiocentric fantasy.

In traditional mythology and iconography, Medusa's killing powers are attributed to visual means: the monster is slain for her looks and her effect is to kill men for looking at her. Challenging the familiar account of the modern era as ocularcentric, this book reads the Medusa-effect on the philosophy of the modern research university as rooted in an audiocentric fantasy. Author Dawne McCance links phonocentrism to an aural imaginary by tracking the trope—and terror—of the deaf ear and mute mouth in the discourse on the university that was inaugurated by Kant and that extends through Hegel and Heidegger to the present. She shows how, repeatedly, in founding texts on the modern research university, the philosopher's fearful recoil from an animal-female figure that he defines as deaf and dumb has the effect—the Medusa-effect—of cutting off his own, and therefore the institution's, ear and tongue. McCance also considers some recent efforts to shake the modern institution out of its Medusa-effect petrification.

“This richly textured book offers inquiries into the history of ideas, art, and architecture, issues of the privileging of certain modes of sensory experience as related to conditions of subjectivity, and the assumptions structuring models of the modern Western university.” — University of Toronto Quarterly

"This superb volume makes a significant contribution to several fields, including university studies, women's studies, animal studies, philosophy, and literary theory. McCance is at her best when she is making arguments. She makes these founding texts on the modern research university come alive for me in a way that has not happened since I first read them several years ago." — Matthew Calarco, coeditor of Levinas and Buber: Dialogue and Difference

"This book covers themes of central importance to all of us who care about the future of higher education. I have not read anything on the subject this insightful since early Kristeva." — Alison Leigh Brown, author of On Hegel

"Medusa's Ear seeks to deconstruct the conception of intelligibility that has led philosophers from Aristotle to Hegel to assume that the deaf are unable to form concepts. Especially intriguing is McCance’s claim that the university model which Kant bequeathed to modernity is itself structured around a certain 'deaf spot.'" — Andrew Cutrofello, author of Discipline and Critique: Kant, Poststructuralism, and the Problem of Resistance

Dawne McCance is Professor and Head of the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba and a Fellow of St. John’s College. She is the author of Posts: Re Addressing the Ethical, also published by SUNY Press, and the editor of Life Ethics in World Religions.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


List of Abbreviations

1. Mourning the Voice

2. The Architecture of Institution

3. Passages

4. Who Has Ears to Hear?

5. Four Ways of Reading Two Pairs: Of Shoes

6. Architecture's (the University's) Chora: Two Postmodern Collaborations


Works Cited


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