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Release of the Conference Proceedings "Cultures of Solitude"

 

The International and Interdisciplinary Conference "Cultures of Solitude" was sponsored by the Bavarian American Academy and took place on July 30-31, 2015 at the University of Wuerzburg. The conference explored American cultures of solitude and their representations in cultural products from the colonial era to the present time. Representations of hermits and recluses – whether fictional or historical, deliberately seeking or forced into isolation, temporarily or finally withdrawing from society – are abound in American cultural history.

The conference proceedings Cultures of Solitude: Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation, edited by Ina Bergmann and Stefan Hippler, have now been published by the Peter Lang Publishing Group.

This collection of essays comprises cultural analyses of practices of eremitism and reclusiveness in the USA, which are inseparably linked to the American ideals of individualism and freedom. Covering a time frame from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, the essays study cultural products such as novels, poems, plays, songs, paintings, television shows, films, and social media, which represent the costs and benefits of deliberate withdrawal and involuntary isolation from society. Thus, this book offers valuable contributions to contemporary cultural discourses on privacy, surveillance, new technology, pathology, anti-consumerism, simplification, and environmentalism. Solitaries can be read as trailblazers for an alternative future or as symptoms of a pathological society.

 

Learn more about the book (Publisher Website Peter Lang)

 

Learn more about the Conference "Cultures of Solitude" (Website of the University of Wuerzburg)

 

(Foto: ©Stefan Hippler)