Early Modern Cultural Studies 1500–1700

Stupid Humanism

Folly as Competence in Early Modern and Twenty-First-Century Culture

Authors: Hoffmann, Christine

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  • Re-conceives how scholars and thinkers should approach traditional notions of Humanism
  • Explores a wide range of source material from both the Early Modern period and contemporary culture, including Shakespeare, memes, YouTube videos, Spenser, and more
  • Offers useful discussion and thought for scholars within rhetoric and composition, new media, and cultural studies, particularly those interested in posthumanism, queer studies and/or object-oriented ontology
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eBook $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-63751-8
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Hardcover $109.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-63750-1
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Softcover $109.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-87626-9
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About this book

This book frames the undeniably copious 21st-century performances of stupidity that occur within social media as echoes of rhetorical experiments conducted by humanist writers of the Renaissance. Any historical overview of humanism will associate it with copia—abundance of expression—and the rhetorical practices essential to managing it. This book argues that stupidity was and is a synonym for copia, making the humanism of which copia is a central element an inherently stupid philosophy. A transhistorical exploration of stupidity demonstrates that not only is excess still the surest way to eloquence, but it is also just the kind of spammy, speculative undertaking to generate a more generous and inventive comprehension of human and nonhuman relationships. In chapters exploring the rhetorics of memes, attack ads, public shaming blogs, clickbait and gifs, Stupid Humanism outlines the possibilities for a humanism less invested in the normative logics that enshrine knowledge, eloquence and linear development as the chief indicators of an active, articulated selfhood and more supportive of a program for queer knowledge, trivial pursuits, anti-social ethics and the curious relationships that form around and in response to abundance of expression.

About the authors

Christine Hoffmann is Assistant professor in the English Department at West Virginia University. She writes and teaches about early modern English literature; the rhetoric and ethics of social media; and the posthuman intercessions within copia and collecting. If you are a collector of weird stuff, contact her at cehoffmann@mail.wvu.edu.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63751-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-63750-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-87626-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Stupid Humanism
Book Subtitle
Folly as Competence in Early Modern and Twenty-First-Century Culture
Authors
Series Title
Early Modern Cultural Studies 1500–1700
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-63751-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-63751-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-63750-1
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-87626-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 192
Number of Illustrations
31 b/w illustrations
Topics