by Matthew Barker
Alfonso Lingis asks the reader in the opening paragraph of Bodies That Touch Us: “are the bodies we touch really the bodies described by phenomenology?” (p.159). His question probes the limits of the possibilities of description vis a vis the actual body described. To answer the question, Lingis wanders through selected phenomenological texts and writers, pulling attention to moments of significance. His approach is meditative rather than calculative (see Heidegger, 1966) and his overture to Maurice Merleau-Ponty is as noticeable as his silence on Emmanuel Levinas.
by Howard Prosser
“Carnivals in History” (1981) is the only article Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie published in Thesis Eleven. The piece’s appearance, then and now, arguably says more about the journal than it does the esteemed historian. Having him appear in its early pages was a coup for the new publication. Other big names followed. And, mercifully, some lesser ones. To include his piece in the Top 40 offers a marker of the journal’s prestige as well as the persistence of critical thought among its many pages.
by Mark Davis
It’s an evocative theme, a ‘Top 40’. A little alarmingly for some listening no doubt, Thesis Eleven was first conceived the year I was born, 1978. Growing up here in the UK during the 1980s, encountering the ‘Top 40’ meant listening to the radio (later watching TV) to learn which songs had climbed or fallen a few places in the charts depending on the music-buying public’s affections. I used to wait, enduring the songs that didn’t excite me in order to sing the songs that did.
by Jack Palmer
I first read ‘The Making and Unmaking of Strangers’ where it is republished in Postmodernity and its Discontents, a collection of wide-ranging and loosely connected essays. A form typical of this stage of his work. Some of them are transcripts from lectures delivered at invited and esteemed lectures (the Manchester Annual Peace Lecture, for instance), reflecting perhaps a new-found fame and notoriety. Thesis Eleven was clearly a testing ground, it seems, a collection of the like-minded, alongside Telos, Theory, Culture & Society and The Jewish Quarterly.
by John Grumley
George Márkus’s Four Forms of Critical Theory was first published in Thesis Eleven no. 1 in 1980. Reading it again meant revisiting a paper that I had first read forty years ago with fresh eyes. I always thought George was a special person and a great philosopher. He supervised my PhD and became my senior colleague after I was appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. We became close friends after his retirement.
by Harry Blatterer
I encountered Maria’s paper on friendship for the first time as an undergraduate student, so quite some time before it was finally published in Thesis Eleven as part of a Festschrift collection in celebration of Maria’s work. I remember that first encounter vividly.