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New edited collection, "Reframing Authority: The Role of Media and Materiality"

Edited by Laura Feldt and Christian Høgel, with contributions by Laura Feldt, Christian Høgel, and Lars Boje Mortensen.


Laura Feldt and Christian Høgel, eds., Reframing Authority - the Role of Media and Materiality (Equinox Publishing, 2018).

Questions of authority are perennial. Authority has been and still is a key topic in many studies of history, society, literature, and religion, just as it is a key issue in contemporary societies. In spite of the scholarly attention, authority continues to have an elusive quality.

Reframing Authority provides new perspectives by focusing on the role of materiality and media for questions of authority, as well as on the changing roles of authority historically and cross-culturally. The volume argues that forms of mediation and materiality are crucial in any constitution, contestation, or transformation of authority. New understanding of authority can be gained by focusing on materiality and media in situations where authority is created, contested, or transformed in different historical eras and cultures.

As the in-depth historical case studies show, authority is dependent upon a range of media and materiality forms – objects, paraphernalia, spaces and spatial practices, visual culture, literary forms, technologies, and bodies. Thus, authority is vulnerable and in need of continual maintenance, as struggles against, negotiations of, and transformations within authority constellations demonstrate. Reframing Authority demonstrates the fundamental relational nature of authority, makes a contribution to broader debates in the human sciences and offers a long historical perspective, ranging from ancient Rome and Christianity, to medieval literature, the early modern, modern, and contemporary eras in Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, Mexico and the US.

Table of Contents

  1. Reframing Authority: The Role of Media and Materiality (Laura Feldt, Christian Høgel)
  2. Authority, Space, and Literary Media – Eucherius’ Epistula de laude eremi and Authority Changes in Late Antique Gaul (Laura Feldt)
  3. The Authority of Translators: Vendors, Manufacturers, and Materiality in the Transfer of Barlaam and Josaphat along the Silk Road (Christian Høgel)
  4. The Material and the Implied Library: Book Collections, Media History, and Authority in 12th Century Papal Europe (Lars Boje Mortensen)
  5. Claiming Authority in the Sphere of Roman ‘Deathscapes’: Tomb 100 in the Isola Sacra Necropolis (Jane Hjarl Petersen)
  6. The Resurrection of the Body: Authoritative Creed, Materiality, and Changes in Popular Belief in Denmark in the 18th and 19th Centuries (Martin Rheinheimer)
  7. Myth, Materiality, and the Book of Mormon Apologetics: A Sacred Text and Its Interpreters (Olav Hammer)
  8. Constructing a Narrative of Progress: Authority, Ethno-Racial Politics and The Gonzales Inquirer in the 19th and Early 20th Century (Anne Magnussen)
  9. Resisting the Silence: The Emergence of the Danish Jewish Congregational Magazine and its Reorientation of Communal Authority (Maja G. Zuckerman)
  10.  The Multiple Faces of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: Authority, Iconography, and Subjectivity in Modern Turkey (Dietrich Jung)
  11.  A Tradition in Need of How-To Books: The Contemporary Revitalization of Traditional Rituals and Lifestyle among Smārta Brahmins of South India (Mikael Aktor)
Editing was completed: 22.11.2018