This intriguing anthology brings together a broad range of critical essays on girls’ series fiction from established scholars such as Chamberlain, Johnson, and Romalov, along with emerging scholars Katrine Poe, Maureen Reed, and Deborah Siegel. Topics include: Anne of Green Gables, the Isabel Carleton series, early twentieth-century girls’ automobile series, girls’ scouting novels, 1910–1935, Cherry Ames in World War II, Nancy Drew, and Judy Bolton.
In The Networked Wilderness, Matt Cohen examines communications systems in early New England and finds that, surprisingly, struggles over information technology were as important as theology, guns, germs, or steel in shaping the early colonization of North America. Colonists in New England have generally been viewed as immersed in a Protestant culture of piety and alphabetic literacy. At the same time, many scholars have insisted that the culture of the indigenous peoples of the region was a predominantly oral culture. But what if, Cohen posits, we thought about media and technology beyond the terms of orality and literacy?
Reconceptualizing aural and inscribed communication as a spectrum, The Networked Wilderness bridges the gap between the history of the book and Native American systems of communication. Cohen reveals that books, paths, recipes, totems, and animals and their sounds all took on new interactive powers as the English negotiated the well-developed informational trails of the Algonquian East Coast and reported their experiences back to Europe. Native and English encounters forced all parties to think of each other as audiences for any event that might become a kind of "publication."
Using sources ranging from Thomas Morton's Maypole festival to the architecture of today's Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Cohen shows that the era before the printing press came to New England was one of extraordinary fertility for communications systems in America.
In her introduction to Northanger Abbey--part of Harvard's celebrated annotated Austen series--Susan Wolfson proposes that Austen's most underappreciated, most playful novel is about fiction itself and how it can take possession of everyday understandings. Wolfson's running commentary will engage new readers and delight scholars.