“A Protean Device”
An academic conference held at Stanford University in February 2005 drew new voices, young scholars, and academic veterans who responded to the call to “think allegory otherwise” by considering their work in an allegorical mode. This book is a collection of essays that came out of that conference, the objective of which is to inspire broader and deeper engagements with what Angus Fletcher calls “protean device.” The essays tackle a wide range of topics, including the role of metaphysics in allegory and thinking about allegory without reference to ideas; the allegorical construction of colonialism and the ideology of the museum; allegorical structures in the architectural debates and broadsides of early modern Paris; allegory in the performative aspects of diagrams in texts by Giordano Bruno and Galileo; and allegorical structure in philosophy in Hannah Arendt's Life of the Mind. The book also explores the place of allegory in contemporary scientific discourse as well as the materialist allegory of good and evil in Francis Bacon's fables and John Milton's epic.
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