front cover of The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art
The Part and the Whole in Early American Literature, Print Culture, and Art
Matthew Pethers
Bucknell University Press, 2024

The essays in this pathbreaking collection consider the significance of varied early American fragmentary genres and practices—from diaries and poetry, to almanacs and commonplace books, to sermons and lists, to Indigenous ruins and other material shards and fragments—often overlooked by critics in a scholarly privileging of the “whole.” Contributors from literary studies, book history, and visual culture discuss a host of canonical and non-canonical figures, from Edward Taylor and Washington Irving to Mary Rowlandson and Sarah Kemble Knight, offering insight into the many intellectual, ideological, and material variations of “form” that populated the early American cultural landscape. As these essays reveal, the casting of the fragmentary as aesthetically eccentric or incomplete was a way of reckoning with concerns about the related fragmentation of nation, society, and self. For a contemporary audience, they offer new ways to think about the inevitable gaps and absences in our cultural and historical archive.


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Perilous Performances
Gender and Regency in Early Modern France
Katherine Crawford
Harvard University Press, 2004

In a book addressing those interested in the transformation of monarchy into the modern state and in intersections of gender and political power, Katherine Crawford examines the roles of female regents in early modern France.

The reigns of child kings loosened the normative structure in which adult males headed the body politic, setting the stage for innovative claims to authority made on gendered terms. When assuming the regency, Catherine de Médicis presented herself as dutiful mother, devoted widow, and benign peacemaker, masking her political power. In subsequent regencies, Marie de Médicis and Anne of Austria developed strategies that naturalized a regendering of political structures. They succeeded so thoroughly that Philippe d’Orleans found that this rhetoric at first supported but ultimately undermined his authority. Regencies demonstrated that power did not necessarily work from the places, bodies, or genders in which it was presumed to reside.

While broadening the terms of monarchy, regencies involving complex negotiations among child kings, queen mothers, and royal uncles made clear that the state continued regardless of the king—a point not lost on the Revolutionaries or irrelevant to the fate of Marie-Antoinette.


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The Petrine Revolution in Russian Culture
James Cracraft
Harvard University Press, 2004

The reforms initiated by Peter the Great transformed Russia not only into a European power, but into a European culture--a shift, argues James Cracraft, that was nothing less than revolutionary. The author of seminal works on visual culture in the Petrine era, Cracraft now turns his attention to the changes that occurred in Russian verbal culture.

The forceful institutionalization of the tsar's reforms--the establishment of a navy, modernization of the army, restructuring of the government, introduction of new arts and sciences--had an enormous impact on language. Cracraft details the transmission to Russia of contemporary European naval, military, bureaucratic, legal, scientific, and literary norms and their corresponding lexical and other linguistic effects. This crucial first stage in the development of a "modern" verbal culture in Russia saw the translation and publication of a wholly unprecedented number of textbooks and treatises; the establishment of new printing presses and the introduction of a new alphabet; the compilation, for the first time, of grammars and dictionaries of Russian; and the initial standardization, in consequence, of the modern Russian literary language. Peter's creation of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the chief agency advancing these reforms, is also highlighted.

In the conclusion to his masterwork, Cracraft deftly pulls together the Petrine reforms in verbal and visual culture to portray a revolution that would have dramatic consequences for Russia, and for the world.


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The Politics of Rape
Sexual Atrocity, Propaganda Wars, and the Restoration Stage
Jennifer L. Airey
University of Delaware Press, 2013
The Politics of Rape: Sexual Atrocity, Propaganda Wars, and the Restoration Stage is the first full-length study to examine representations of sexual violence on the Restoration stage. By reading theatrical depictions of sexual violence alongside political tracts, propaganda pamphlets, and circulating broadsides, this study argues that authors used dramatic representations of rape to respond to and engage with late-century upheavals in British political culture. Beginning with an examination of rape scenes in English Civil War propaganda, The Politics of Rape argues that Roundhead authors described acts of rape and atrocity to demonize their enemies, the Irish, the Catholics, and the Cavaliers. After the Restoration, propagandists and playwrights on each side of every political conflict would follow suit, altering the rhetoric of sexual violence in response to each new moment of political upheaval: The Restoration of Charles II, the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars, the Popish Plot, the Exclusion Crisis, the Glorious Revolution, and the accession of William and Mary. The study offers an intensive look at British propaganda culture, gathering together a wealth of understudied pamphlet texts, and identifying a series of stock figures that recur throughout the century: The demonic Irishman, sexually violent villain of the 1641 Irish Rebellion tracts; the debauched Cavalier, the secretly Catholic royalist rapist; the poisonous Catholic bride, the malignant consort who encourages the rapes of Protestant women; the cannibal father, the evil patriarch who rapes his daughters-in-laws before ingesting his own sons as a symbol of monarchical overreach; and the ravished monarch, the male rape victim whose sexual violation protests his political disenfranchisement. The study also traces the appearance of these figures on the British stage, examining well-known works by Dryden, Rochester, Behn, Lee, and Shadwell, alongside lesser-known plays by Orrery, Howard, Settle, Crowne, Ravenscroft, Pix, Cibber, and Brady. The Politics of Rape thus offers a new method for understanding of the geo-political implications of theatrical sexual violence.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

front cover of The Power of Religious Societies in Shaping Early Modern Society and Identities
The Power of Religious Societies in Shaping Early Modern Society and Identities
Rose-Marie Peake
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
The Power of Religious Societies in Shaping Early Modern Society and Identities studies the value system of the French Catholic community the Filles de la Charité, or the Daughters of Charity, in the first half of the seventeenth century. An analysis of the activities aimed at edifying morality in the different strata of society revealed a Christian anthropology with strong links to medieval traditions. The book argues that this was an important survival strategy for the Company with a disconcerting religious identity: the non-cloistered lifestyle of its members engaged in charity work had been made unlawful in the Council of Trent. Moreover, the directors Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul also had to find ways to curtail internal resistance as the sisters rebelled in quest of a more contemplative and enclosed vocation.

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Precious Volumes
An Introduction to Chinese Sectarian Scriptures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Daniel L. Overmyer
Harvard University Press, 1999

“Precious volumes,” or pao-chüan, were produced by popular sects in the Ming and early Qing dynasties. These scriptures were believed to have been divinely revealed to sect leaders and contain teachings and ritual instructions that provide valuable information about a lively and widespread religious tradition outside mainstream Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Largely neglected until now, they testify to the imagination and devotion of popular religious leaders.

This book, the most detailed and comprehensive study of pao-chüan in any language, studies 34 early examples of this literature in order to understand the origins and development of this textual tradition. Although the work focuses on content and structure, it also treats the social context of these works as well as their transmission and ritual use.


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The Princess Nun
Bunchi, Buddhist Reform, and Gender in Early Edo Japan
Gina Cogan
Harvard University Press, 2014

The Princess Nun tells the story of Bunchi (1619–1697), daughter of Emperor Go-Mizunoo and founder of Enshōji. Bunchi advocated strict adherence to monastic precepts while devoting herself to the posthumous welfare of her family. As the first full-length biographical study of a premodern Japanese nun, this book incorporates issues of gender and social status into its discussion of Bunchi’s ascetic practice and religious reforms to rewrite the history of Buddhist reform and Tokugawa religion.

Gina Cogan’s approach moves beyond the dichotomy of oppression and liberation that dogs the study of non-Western and premodern women to show how Bunchi’s aristocratic status enabled her to carry out reforms despite her gender, while simultaneously acknowledging how that same status contributed to their conservative nature. Cogan’s analysis of how Bunchi used her prestigious position to further her goals places the book in conversation with other works on powerful religious women, like Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila. Through its illumination of the relationship between the court and the shogunate and its analysis of the practice of courtly Buddhism from a female perspective, this study brings historical depth and fresh theoretical insight into the role of gender and class in early Edo Buddhism.


front cover of The Problem of Piracy in the Early Modern World
The Problem of Piracy in the Early Modern World
Maritime Predation, Empire, and the Construction of Authority at Sea
John Coakley
Amsterdam University Press, 2024
In the early modern period, both legal and illegal maritime predation was a common occurrence, but the expansion of European maritime empires exacerbated existing and created new problems of piracy across the globe. This collection of original case studies addresses these early modern problems in three sections: first, states’ attempts to exercise jurisdiction over seafarers and their actions; second, the multiple predatory marine practices considered ‘piracy’; and finally, the many representations made about piracy by states or the seafarers themselves. Across nine chapters covering regions including southeast Asia, the Atlantic archipelago, the North African states, and the Caribbean Sea, the complexities of defining and criminalizing maritime predation is explored, raising questions surrounding subjecthood, interpolity law, and the impacts of colonization on the legal and social construction of ocean, port, and coastal spaces. Seeking the meanings and motivations behind piracy, this book reveals that while European states attempted to fashion piracy into a global and homogenous phenomenon, it was largely a local and often idiosyncratic issue.

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Prologues and Epilogues of Restoration Theater
Gender and Comedy, Performance and Print
Diana Solomon
University of Delaware Press, 2013
Often perceived as merely formulaic or historical documents, dramatic prologues and epilogues – players’ comic, poetic bids for the audience’s good opinion – became essential parts of Restoration theater, appearing in over 90 percent of performed and printed plays between 1660 and 1714. Their popularity coincided with the rise of the English actress, and Prologues and Epilogues of Restoration Theater unites these elements in the first book-length study on the subject. It finds that these paratexts provided the first sanctioned space for actresses in Britain to voice ideas in public, communicate directly with other women, and perform comedy – arguably the most powerful type of speech, and one that enabled interrogation of misogynist social practices. This book provides a taxonomy of prologues and epilogues with a corresponding appendix, and demonstrates through case studies of Anne Bracegirdle and Anne Oldfield how the study of prologues and epilogues enriches Restoration theater scholarship.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

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A Ukrainian Apocryphal Parliamentary Speech of 1615-1618
Bohdan A. Struminski
Harvard University Press

Struminski's study concentrates on text-critical, biographical, and linguistic aspects of the Speech in order to demonstrate that the original (no longer extant) was in Ukrainian and that it was an actual speech delivered at the Warsaw Diet, not a parody of such a speech as has been assumed. The author has discovered hitherto unknown copies of the text and archival materials concerning the historical Meleško. With the use of this data Struminski was able to build a stemma for the interrelationship of the extant copies and to reconstruct the archetype of the text.

Further, the author has established little known facts of Meleško's life and connected them with the origin of the Speech. The study concludes with a full glossary to the text, with translation of all foreign words into English.

The work will be useful to experts and students in the field of Slavic languages and literature.


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