Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition
Lawrence Lipking
University of Chicago Press, 1988
At the heart of poetic tradition is a figure of abandonment, a woman forsaken and out of control. She appears in writings ancient and modern, in the East and the West, in high art and popular culture produced by women and by men. What accounts for her perennial fascination? What is her function—in poems and for writers? Lawrence Lipking suggests many possibilities. In this figure he finds a partial record of women's experience, an instrument for the expression of religious love and yearning, a voice for psychological fears, and, finally, a model for the poet. Abandoned women inspire new ways of reading poems and poetic tradition.
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Abandoned Women
Rewriting the Classics in Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer
Suzanne Hagedorn
University of Michigan Press, 2003
Medievalists have long been interested in the "abandoned woman," a figure historically used to examine the value of traditional male heroism. Moving beyond previous studies which have focused primarily on Virgil's Dido, Suzanne Hagedorn focuses on the vernacular works of Dante, Bocaccio, and Chaucer, arguing that revisiting the classical tradition of the abandoned woman enables one to reconsider ancient epics and myths from a female perspective and question assumptions about gender roles in medieval literature.
 
[more]

Abandoning the Black Hero
Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel
Charles, John C
Rutgers University Press, 2012

Abandoning the Black Hero is the first book to examine the postwar African American white-life novel—novels with white protagonists written by African Americans. These fascinating works have been understudied despite having been written by such defining figures in the tradition as Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Ann Petry, and Chester Himes, as well as lesser known but formerly best-selling authors Willard Motley and Frank Yerby.

John C. Charles argues that these fictions have been overlooked because they deviate from two critical suppositions: that black literature is always about black life and that when it represents whiteness, it must attack white supremacy. The authors are, however, quite sympathetic in the treatment of their white protagonists, which Charles contends should be read not as a failure of racial pride but instead as a strategy for claiming creative freedom, expansive moral authority, and critical agency.

In an era when “Negro writers” were expected to protest, their sympathetic treatment of white suffering grants these authors a degree of racial privacy previously unavailable to them. White writers, after all, have the privilege of racial privacy because they are never pressured to write only about white life. Charles reveals that the freedom to abandon the “Negro problem” encouraged these authors to explore a range of new genres and themes, generating a strikingly diverse body of novels that significantly revise our understanding of mid-twentieth-century black writing.

[more]

Aberrations In Black
Toward A Queer Of Color Critique
Roderick A. Ferguson
University of Minnesota Press, 2003

A hard-hitting look at the regulation of sexual difference and its role in circumscribing African American culture

The sociology of race relations in America typically describes an intersection of poverty, race, and economic discrimination. But what is missing from the picture—sexual difference—can be as instructive as what is present. In this ambitious work, Roderick A. Ferguson reveals how the discourses of sexuality are used to articulate theories of racial difference in the field of sociology. He shows how canonical sociology—Gunnar Myrdal, Ernest Burgess, Robert Park, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and William Julius Wilson—has measured African Americans’s unsuitability for a liberal capitalist order in terms of their adherence to the norms of a heterosexual and patriarchal nuclear family model. In short, to the extent that African Americans’s culture and behavior deviated from those norms, they would not achieve economic and racial equality.

Aberrations in Black tells the story of canonical sociology’s regulation of sexual difference as part of its general regulation of African American culture. Ferguson places this story within other stories—the narrative of capital’s emergence and development, the histories of Marxism and revolutionary nationalism, and the novels that depict the gendered and sexual idiosyncrasies of African American culture—works by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Toni Morrison. In turn, this book tries to present another story—one in which people who presumably manifest the dysfunctions of capitalism are reconsidered as indictments of the norms of state, capital, and social science. Ferguson includes the first-ever discussion of a new archival discovery—a never-published chapter of Invisible Man that deals with a gay character in a way that complicates and illuminates Ellison’s project.

Unique in the way it situates critiques of race, gender, and sexuality within analyses of cultural, economic, and epistemological formations, Ferguson’s work introduces a new mode of discourse—which Ferguson calls queer of color analysis—that helps to lay bare the mutual distortions of racial, economic, and sexual portrayals within sociology.

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Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction
The Armageddon of the Maternal Instinct
Judith Wilt
University of Chicago Press, 1990
In recent years, public debate has raged over the issue of maternal choice. While personal testimony and political argument have received widespread attention, artistic representations of birth and abortion have been submerged. Judith Wilt offers the first look at how contemporary writers tell and retell the stories that shape our perceptions about abortion. She reveals that the struggle to plot these painful, complex narratives of choice, control, guilt, loss, and liberation has preoccupied an astonishing number of our most distinguished novelists, male and female alike. Readers of twentieth-century novels are more likely to encounter plots centered on maternal choice than those dealing with the more traditional problems of courtship and marriage.

In the opening of the book, Wilt discusses real case histories of several women. After studying the ambiguities of their decisions, she turns to their counterpoints depicted in contemporary fiction. Working from a feminist perspective, Wilt traces the theme of maternal choice in works by Margaret Atwood, Margaret Drabble, Joan Didion, Mary Gordon, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Marge Piercy, Thomas Keneally, Graham Swift, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Barth, John Irving, and others.

Behind the political, medical, and moral debates on abortion, Wilt argues, is a profound psychocultural shock at the recognition that maternity is passing from the domain of instinct to that of conscious choice. Although never wholly instinctual, maternity's potential capture by consciousness raises complex questions. The novels Wilt discusses portray worlds in which principles are endangered by sexual inequality, male power and hidden male fear of abandonment, impotence, female submission, and covert rage, and, in the case of black maternity, the hideous aftermath of slavery.

Wilt provides a resonant new context for debates—whether political or personal—on the issue of abortion and maternal choice. Ultimately she enables us to rethink how we shape our own identities and lives.
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Above the American Renaissance
David S. Reynolds and the Spiritual Imagination in American Literary Studies
Harold K. Bush
University of Massachusetts Press, 2018
Above the American Renaissance takes David S. Reynolds's classic study Beneath the American Renaissance as a model and a provocation to consider how language and concepts broadly defined as spiritual are essential to understanding nineteenth-century American literary culture. In the 1980s, Reynolds's scholarship and methodology enlivened investigations of religious culture, and since then, for reasons that include a rising respect for interdisciplinarity and the aftershocks of the 9/11 attacks, religion in literature has become a major area of inquiry for Americanists. In essays that reconsider and contextualize Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, Abraham Lincoln, and others, this volume captures the vibrancy of spiritual considerations in American literary studies and points a way forward within literary and spiritual investigations.

In addition to the editors and David S. Reynolds, contributors include Jeffrey Bilbro, Dawn Coleman, Jonathan A. Cook, Tracy Fessenden, Zachary Hutchins, Richard Kopley, Mason I. Lowance Jr., John Matteson, Christopher N. Phillips, Vivian Pollak, Michael Robertson, Gail K. Smith, Claudia Stokes, and Timothy Sweet.
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Above Time
Emerson's and Thoreau's Temporal Revolutions
James R. Guthrie
University of Missouri Press, 2001

In Above Time, James R. Guthrie explores the origins of the two preeminent transcendentalists' revolutionary approaches to time, as well as to the related concepts of history, memory, and change. Most critical discussions of this period neglect the important truth that the entire American transcendentalist project involved a transcendence of temporality as well as of materiality. Correspondingly, both writers call in their major works for temporal reform, to be achieved primarily by rejecting the past and future in order to live in an amplified present moment.

Emerson and Thoreau were compelled to see time in a new light by concurrent developments in the sciences and the professions. Geologists were just then hotly debating the age of the earth, while zoologists were beginning to unravel the mysteries of speciation, and archaeologists were deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs. These discoveries worked collectively to enlarge the scope of time, thereby helping pave the way for the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859.

Well aware of these wider cultural developments, Emerson and Thoreau both tried (although with varying degrees of success) to integrate contemporary scientific thought with their preexisting late-romantic idealism. As transcendentalists, they already believed in the existence of "correspondences"—affinities between man and nature, formalized as symbols. These symbols could then be decoded to discover the animating presence in the world of eternal laws as pervasive as the laws of science. Yet unlike scientists, Emerson and Thoreau hoped to go beyond merely understanding nature to achieving a kind of passionate identity with it, and they believed that such a union might be achieved only if time was first recognized as being a purely human construct with little or no validity in the rest of the natural world. Consequently, both authors employ a series of philosophical, rhetorical, and psychological strategies designed to jolt their readers out of time, often by attacking received cultural notions about temporality.

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The Absent Man
The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt
Charles Duncan
Ohio University Press, 1998

As the first African-American fiction writer to achieve a national reputation, Ohio native Charles W. Chesnutt (1858–1932) in many ways established the terms of the black literary tradition now exemplified by such writers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.

Following the highly autobiographical nonfiction produced by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and other slave narrative writers, Chesnutt’s complex, multi-layered short fiction transformed the relationship between African-American writers and their readers. But despite generous praise from W. D. Howells and other important critics of his day, and from such prominent readers as William L. Andrews, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Eric Sundquist in ours, Chesnutt occupies a curiously ambiguous place in American literary history.

In The Absent Man, Charles Duncan demonstrates that Chesnutt’s uneasy position in the American literary tradition can be traced to his remarkable narrative subtlety. Profoundly aware of the delicacy of his situation as a black intellectual at the turn of the century, Chesnutt infused his work with an intricate, enigmatic artistic vision that defies monolithic or unambiguously political interpretation, especially with regard to issues of race and identity that preoccupied him throughout his career.

In this first book-length study of the innovative short fiction, Duncan devotes particular attention to elucidating these sophisticated narrative strategies as the grounding for Chesnutt’s inauguration of a tradition of African-American fiction.

[more]

The Absent Man
The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt
Charles Duncan
Ohio University Press, 1998
As the first African-American fiction writer to achieve a national reputation, Ohio native Charles W. Chesnutt (1858—1932) in many ways established the terms of the black literary tradition now exemplified by such writers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.

Following the highly autobiographical nonfiction produced by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and other slave narrative writers, Chesnutt's complex, multi-layered short fiction transformed the relationship between African-American writers and their readers. But despite generous praise from W. D. Howells and other important critics of his day, and from such prominent readers as William L. Andrews, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Eric Sundquist in ours, Chesnutt occupies a curiously ambiguous place in American literary history.

In The Absent Man, Charles Duncan demonstrates that Chesnutt's uneasy position in the American literary tradition can be traced to his remarkable narrative subtlety. Profoundly aware of the delicacy of his situation as a black intellectual at the turn of the century, Chesnutt infused his work with an intricate, enigmatic artistic vision that defies monolithic or unambiguously political interpretation, especially with regard to issues of race and identity that preoccupied him throughout his career.

In this first book-length study of the innovative short fiction, Duncan devotes particular attention to elucidating these sophisticated narrative strategies as the grounding for Chesnutt's inauguration of a tradition of African-American fiction.
[more]

Absent without Leave
French Literature under the Threat of War
Denis Hollier
Harvard University Press, 1997

They were not the "Banquet Years," those anxious wartime years when poets and novelists were made to feel embarrassed by their impulse to write literature. And yet it was the attitude of those writers and critics in the 1930s and 1940s that shaped French literature--the ideas of Derrida, Foucault, de Man, Deleuze, and Ricoeur--and has so profoundly influenced literary enterprise in the English-speaking world since 1968. This literary history, the prehistory of postmodernism, is what Denis Hollier recovers in his interlocking studies of the main figures of French literary life before the age of anxiety gave way to the era of existentialist commitment.

Georges Bataille, Michel Leiris, Roger Caillois, André Malraux, the early Jean-Paul Sartre are the figures Hollier considers, writers torn between politics and the pleasures of the text. They appear here uneasily balancing the influences of the philosopher and the man of action. These studies convey the paradoxical heroism of writers fighting for a world that would extend no rights or privileges to writers, writing for a world in which literature would become a reprehensible frivolity. If the nineteenth century was that of the consecration of the writer, this was the time for their sacrificial death, and Hollier captures the comical pathos of these writers pursuing the ideal of "engagement" through an exercise in dispossession. His work identifies, as none has before, the master plot for literature that was crafted in the 1940s, a plot in which we are still very much entangled.

[more]

Absolutist Attachments
Emotion, Media, and Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century France
Chloé Hogg
Northwestern University Press, 2019
In Absolutist Attachments, Chloé Hogg uncovers the affective and media connections that shaped Louis XIV’s absolutism. Studying literature, painting, engravings, correspondence, and the emerging periodic press, Hogg diagnoses the emotions that created absolutism’s feeling subjects and publics.

Louis XIV’s subjects explored new kinds of affective relations with their sovereign, joining with the king in acts of aesthetic judgment, tender feeling, or the “newsiness” of emerging print news culture. Such alternative modes of adhesion countered the hegemonic model of kingship upheld by divine right, reason of state, or corporate fidelities and privileges with subject-driven attachments and practices. Absolutist Attachments discovers absolutism’s alternative political and cultural legacy—not the spectacle of an unbound king but the binding connections of his subjects.
 
[more]

The Absurd Hero in American Fiction
Updike, Styron, Bellow, Salinger
By David D. Galloway
University of Texas Press, 1981

When The Absurd Hero in American Fiction was first released in 1966, Granville Hicks praised it in a lead article for the Saturday Review as a sensitive and definitive study of a new trend in postwar American literature. In the years that followed, David Galloway’s analysis of the writings of John Updike, William Styron, Saul Bellow, and J. D. Salinger became a standard critical work, an indispensable tool for readers concerned with contemporary American literature. The New York Times described the book as “a seminal study of the modern literary imagination."

David Galloway, himself an established novelist, later extensively revised The Absurd Hero to include authoritative discussions of more than a dozen novels which had appeared since the first revised edition was released in 1970. Among them are John Updike’s Couples, Rabbit Redux, and The Coup; William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice; and Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet and Humboldt’s Gift. Through detailed analyses of these works, Galloway demonstrates the continuing relevance of his own provocative concept of the absurd hero and provides important insights into the literary achievements of four of America’s most influential postwar novelists.

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Abusing Religion
Literary Persecution, Sex Scandals, and American Minority Religions
Megan Goodwin
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Sex abuse happens in all communities, but American minority religions often face disproportionate allegations of sexual abuse. Why, in a country that consistently fails to acknowledge—much less address—the sexual abuse of women and children, do American religious outsiders so often face allegations of sexual misconduct?  Why does the American public presume to know “what’s really going on” in minority religious communities?  Why are sex abuse allegations such an effective way to discredit people on America’s religious margins? What makes Americans so willing, so eager to identify religion as the cause of sex abuse? Abusing Religion argues that sex abuse in minority religious communities is an American problem, not (merely) a religious one.
 
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The Abyss of Freedom/Ages of the World
Slavoj Zizek and F.W.J. von Schelling
University of Michigan Press, 1997
In the last decade, F. W. J. von Schelling has emerged as one of the key philosophers of German Idealism, the one who, for the first time, undermined Kant's philosophical revolution and in so doing opened up the way for a viable critique of Hegel. In noted philosopher Slavoj Zizek's view, the main orientations of the post-Hegelian thought, from Kierkegaard and Marx, to Heidegger and today's deconstructionism, were prefigured in Schelling's analysis of Hegel's idealism, and in his affirmation that the contingency of existence cannot be reduced to notional self-mediation. In The Abyss of Freedom, Zizek attempts to advance Schelling's stature even further, with a commentary of the second draft of Schelling's work The Ages of the World, written in 1813.
Zizek argues that Schelling's most profound thoughts are found in the series of three consecutive attempts he made to formulate the "ages of the world/Weltalter," the stages of the self-development of the Absolute. Of the three versions, claims Zizek, it is the second that is the most eloquent and definitive encompassing of Schelling's lyrical thought. It centers on the problem of how the Absolute (God) himself, in order to become actual, to exist effectively, has to accomplish a radically contingent move of acquiring material, bodily existence. Never before available in English, this version finally renders accessible one of the key texts of modern philosophy, a text that is widely debated in philosophical circles today.
The Abyss of Freedom is Zizek's own reading of Schelling based upon Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. It focuses on the notion that Lacan's theory--which claims that the symbolic universe emerged from presymbolic drives--is prefigured in Schelling's idea of logos as given birth to from the vortex of primordial drives, or from what "in God is not yet God." For Zizek, this connection is monumental, showing that Schelling's ideas forcefully presage the post-modern "deconstruction" of logocentrism.
Slavoj Zizek is not a philosopher who stoops to conquer objects but a radical voice who believes that philosophy is nothing if it is not embodied, nothing if it is only abstract. For him, true philosophy always speaks of something rather than nothing. Those interested in the genesis of contemporary thought and the fate of reason in our "age of anxiety" will find this coupling of texts not only philosophically relevant, but vitally important.
Slavoj Zizek is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel and the Critique of Ideology, and most recently, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters. Currently he is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Judith Norman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
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The Abyss or Life Is Simple
Reading Knausgaard Writing Religion
Courtney Bender, Jeremy Biles, Liane Carlson, Joshua Dubler, Hannah C. Garvey, M. Cooper Harriss, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, and Erik Thorstensen
University of Chicago Press, 2022
An absorbing collection of essays on religious textures in Knausgaard’s writings and our time.

Min kamp, or My Struggle, is a six-volume novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard and one of the most significant literary works of the young twenty-first century. Published in Norwegian between 2009 and 2011, the novel presents an absorbing first-person narrative of the life of a writer with the same name as the author, in a world at once fully disillusioned and thoroughly enchanted.

In 2015, a group of scholars began meeting to discuss the peculiarly religious qualities of My Struggle. Some were interested in Knausgaard’s attention to explicitly religious subjects and artworks, others to what they saw as more diffuse attention to the religiousness of contemporary life. The group wondered what reading these textures of religion in these volumes might say about our times, about writing, and about themselves. The Abyss or Life Is Simple is the culmination of this collective endeavor—a collection of interlocking essays on ritual, beauty, and the end of the world.
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Abysses
Pascal Quignard
Seagull Books, 2015
Prolific essayist, translator, and critic Pascal Quignard has described his Last Kingdom series as something unique. It consists, he says, “neither of philosophical argumentation, nor short learned essays, nor novelistic narration,” but comes, rather, from a phase of his work in which the very concept of genre has been allowed to fall away, leaving an entirely modern, secular, and abnormal vision of the world.

In Abysses, the newest addition to the series, Quignard brings us yet more of his troubling, questing characters—souls who are fascinated by what preceded and conceived them. He writes with a rich mix of anecdote and reflection, aphorism and quotation, offering enigmatic glimpses of the present, and confident, pointed borrowings from the past. But when he raids the murkier corners of the human record, he does so not as a historian but as an antiquarian. Quignard is most interested in the pursuit of those stories that repeat and echo across the seasons in their timelessness.
 
[more]

Academic Ableism
Disability and Higher Education
Jay Timothy Dolmage
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center. For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of higher education encourages students and teachers alike to accentuate ability, valorize perfection, and stigmatize anything that hints at intellectual, mental, or physical weakness, even as we gesture toward the value of diversity and innovation. Examining everything from campus accommodation processes, to architecture, to popular films about college life, Dolmage argues that disability is central to higher education, and that building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.
[more]

Academic Ableism
Disability and Higher Education
Jay Timothy Dolmage
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center. For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of higher education encourages students and teachers alike to accentuate ability, valorize perfection, and stigmatize anything that hints at intellectual, mental, or physical weakness, even as we gesture toward the value of diversity and innovation. Examining everything from campus accommodation processes, to architecture, to popular films about college life, Dolmage argues that disability is central to higher education, and that building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.
[more]

The Academic Postmodern and the Rule of Literature
A Report on Half-Knowledge
David Simpson
University of Chicago Press, 1995
This brilliantly argued book is an entirely fresh critique of the postmodern turn. David Simpson sets his sights on the most distinctive aspects of postmodern scholarship: the pervasiveness of the literary and the flight from grand theory to local knowledge.

Simpson examines defining features of postmodern thought—storytelling, autobiography, anecdote, and localism—and traces their unacknowledged roots in literature and literary criticism. Considering such examples as the conversational turn in philosophy led by Richard Rorty and the anecdotal qualities of the New Historicism, he argues that much of contemporary scholarship is literary in its terms, methods, and assumptions about knowledge; in their often unconscious adoption of literary approaches, scholars in philosophy, history, anthropology, and other disciplines have confined themselves to a traditional—and limited—way of looking at the world. Simpson is the first to uncover the largely unacknowledged ancestry of the key paradigms and sensibilities of the academic postmodern—tracing their roots to nineteenth-century Romanticism and to more general traditions of literature. He warns scholars against mistaking the migration of ideas from one discipline to another for a radically new response to the postmodern age.

In his nuanced and balanced assessment of the academic postmodern enterprise, Simpson recognizes that both the literary turn and the emphasis on local, subjective voices have done much to enrich knowledge. But he also identifies the danger in abandoning synthetic knowledge to particular truths, cautioning that "we would be foolish to pretend that little narratives are true alternatives to grand ones, rather than chips off a larger block whose shape we can no longer see because we are not looking."
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Academic Tribes
Hazard Adams
University of Illinois Press, 1988
In The Academic Tribes, an English professor who has survived stints as a dean and a vice-chancellor "takes a gentle, satiric sideswipe at academia, its foibles, follies, and myths" (ALA Booklist). Hazard Adams' parody of anthropological analysis describes the principles and antinomies of academic politics, campus stereotypes, the various tribes divided by discipline, the agonies accompanying each stage on the way to full professorship, and, of course, the power struggle between faculties and academic administrators. This first paperback edition also includes a new preface looking back at the decade since the book's original publication and an appendix that adds three relevant essays.
[more]

Accessible Citizenships
Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
Julie Avril Minich
Temple University Press, 2013
Accessible Citizenships examines Chicana/o cultural representations that conceptualize political community through images of disability. Working against the assumption that disability is a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, Julie Avril Minich analyzes literature, film, and visual art post-1980 in which representations of non-normative bodies work to expand our understanding of what it means to belong to a political community.
 
Minich shows how queer writers like Arturo Islas and Cherríe Moraga have reconceptualized Chicano nationalism through disability images. She further addresses how the U.S.-Mexico border and disabled bodies restrict freedom and movement. Finally, she confronts the changing role of the nation-state in the face of neoliberalism as depicted in novels by Ana Castillo and Cecile Pineda. 
 
Accessible Citizenships illustrates how these works gesture towards less exclusionary forms of citizenship and nationalism. Minich boldly argues that the corporeal images used to depict national belonging have important consequences for how the rights and benefits of citizenship are understood and distributed.

A volume in the American Literatures Initiative
[more]

Accident
A Philosophical and Literary History
Ross Hamilton
University of Chicago Press, 2008
From ancient philosophy to Tristram Shandy and Buster Keaton movies, this book tells the engaging history of accident as an idea.

An accidental glance at a newspaper notice causes Rousseau to collapse under the force of a vision. A car accidentally hits Giacometti, and he experiences an epiphany. Darwin introduces accident to the basic process of life, and Freud looks to accident as the expression of unconscious desire. Accident, Ross Hamilton claims, is the force that makes us modern. Tracing the story of accident from Aristotle to Buster Keaton and beyond, Hamilton’s daring book revives the tradition of the grand history of ideas.

Accident tells an original history of Western thought from the perspective of Aristotle’s remarkably durable categories of accident and substance. Throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages, Aristotle’s distinction underwrote an insistence on order and subordination of the inessential. In a groundbreaking innovation, Hamilton argues that after the Reformation, the concept of accident began to change places with that of substance: accident became a life-transforming event and effectively a person’s essence.  For moderns, it is the accidental, seemingly trivial moments of consciousness that, like Wordsworth’s “spots of time,” create constellations of meaning in our lives. Touching on a broad array of images and texts—Augustine, Dante, the frescoes of Raphael, Descartes, Jane Austen, the work of the surrealists, and twentieth-century cinema—Hamilton provides a new way to map the mutations of personal identity and subjectivity.   
[more]

Accidental Incest, Filial Cannibalism, and Other Peculiar Encounters in Late Imperial Chinese Literature
Tina Lu
Harvard University Press, 2008

Described as “all under Heaven,” the Chinese empire might have extended infinitely, covering all worlds and cultures. That ideology might have been convenient for the state, but what did late imperial people really think about the scope and limits of the human community?

Writers of late imperial fiction and drama were, the author argues, deeply engaged with questions about the nature of the Chinese empire and of the human community. Fiction and drama repeatedly pose questions concerning relations both among people and between people and their possessions: What ties individuals together, whether permanently or temporarily? When can ownership be transferred, and when does an object define its owner? What transforms individual families or couples into a society?

Tina Lu traces how these political questions were addressed in fiction through extreme situations: husbands and wives torn apart in periods of political upheaval, families so disrupted that incestuous encounters become inevitable, times so desperate that people have to sell themselves to be eaten.

[more]

The Accommodated Animal
Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales
Laurie Shannon
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Shakespeare wrote of lions, shrews, horned toads, curs, mastiffs, and hellhounds. But the word “animal” itself only appears very rarely in his work, which was in keeping with sixteenth-century usage. As Laurie Shannon reveals in The Accommodated Animal, the modern human / animal divide first came strongly into play in the seventeenth century, with Descartes’s famous formulation that reason sets humans above other species: “I think, therefore I am.” Before that moment, animals could claim a firmer place alongside humans in a larger vision of belonging, or what she terms cosmopolity.
 
With Shakespeare as her touchstone, Shannon explores the creaturely dispensation that existed until Descartes. She finds that early modern writers used classical natural history and readings of Genesis to credit animals with various kinds of stakeholdership, prerogative, and entitlement, employing the language of politics in a constitutional vision of cosmic membership. Using this political idiom to frame cross-species relations, Shannon argues, carried with it the notion that animals possess their own investments in the world, a point distinct from the question of whether animals have reason. It also enabled a sharp critique of the tyranny of humankind. By answering “the question of the animal” historically, The Accommodated Animal makes a brilliant contribution to cross-disciplinary debates engaging animal studies, political theory, intellectual history, and literary studies.
[more]

Accustomed to Obedience?
Classical Ionia and the Aegean World, 480–294 BCE
Joshua P. Nudell
University of Michigan Press, 2023
Many histories of Ancient Greece center their stories on Athens, but what would that history look like if they didn’t? There is another way to tell this story, one that situates Greek history in terms of the relationships between smaller Greek cities and in contact with the wider Mediterranean. In this book, author Joshua P. Nudell offers a new history of the period from the Persian wars to wars that followed the death of Alexander the Great, from the perspective of Ionia. While recent scholarship has increasingly treated Greece through the lenses of regional, polis, and local interaction, there has not yet been a dedicated study of Classical Ionia. This book fills this clear gap in the literature while offering Ionia as a prism through which to better understand Classical Greece.

This book offers a clear and accessible narrative of the period between the Persian Wars and the wars of the early Hellenistic period, two nominal liberations of the region. The volume complements existing histories of Classical Greece. Close inspection reveals that the Ionians were active partners in the imperial endeavor, even as imperial competition constrained local decision-making and exacerbated local and regional tensions. At the same time, the book offers interventions on critical issues related to Ionia such as the Athenian conquest of Samos, rhetoric about the freedom of the Greeks, the relationship between Ionian temple construction and economic activity, the status of the Panionion, Ionian poleis and their relationship with local communities beyond the circle of the dodecapolis, and the importance of historical memory to our understanding of ancient Greece. The result is a picture of an Aegean world that is more complex and less beholden narratives that give primacy to the imperial actors at the expense of local developments.
[more]

Achilles and the Tortoise
Mark Twain's Fictions
Clark Griffith
University of Alabama Press, 2000

 Covering the entire body of Mark Twain's fiction, Clark Griffith in Achilles and the Tortoise answers two questions: How did Mark Twain write? And why is he funny? Griffith defines and demonstrates Mark Twain's poetics and, in doing so, reveals Twain's ability to create and sustain human laughter.

 Through a close reading of the fictions–short and long, early and late–Griffith contends that Mark Twain's strength lay not in comedy or in satire or (as the 19th century understood the term) even in the practice of humor. Rather his genius lay in the joke, specifically the "sick joke." For all his finesse and seeming variety, Twain tells the same joke, with its single cast of doomed and damned characters, its single dead-end conclusion, over and over endlessly.

As he attempted to attain the comic resolution and comically transfigured characters he yearned for, Twain forever played, for Griffith, the role of the Achilles of Zeno's Paradox. Like the tortoise that Achilles cannot overtake in Zeno's tale, the richness of comic life forever remained outside Twain's grasp.

The last third of Griffith's study draws parallels between Mark Twain and Herman Melville. Although the two authors never met and seem not to have read each other's works, they labored under the sense of what, in Moby-Dick, Ishmael calls "a vast practical joke . . . at nobody's expense but [one's] own." The laughter occasioned by this cosmic conspiracy shapes the career of Huckleberry Finn fully as much as it does Ishmael's voyage. Out of the laughter are generated the respective obsessions of Captain Ahab and Bartleby, of Pudd'nhead Wilson and Hadleyburg. Reduced at last to a dry mock, the laughter is the prevailing tone of both Billy Budd and The Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts.
[more]

Achilles Unbound
Multiformity and Tradition in the Homeric Epics
Casey Dué
Harvard University Press

Though Achilles the character is bound by fate and by narrative tradition, Achilles’s poem, the Iliad, was never fixed and monolithic in antiquity—it was multiform. And the wider epic tradition, from which the Iliad emerged, was yet more multiform. In Achilles Unbound, Casey Dué, building on nearly twenty years of work as coeditor of the Homer Multitext (www.homermultitext.org), explores both the traditionality and multiformity of the Iliad in a way that gives us a greater appreciation of the epic that has been handed down to us.

Dué argues that the attested multiforms of the Iliad—in ancient quotations, on papyrus, and in the scholia of medieval manuscripts—give us glimpses of the very long history of the text, access to even earlier Iliads, and a greater awareness of the mechanisms by which such a remarkable poem could be composed in performance. Using methodologies grounded in an understanding of Homeric poetry as a system, Achilles Unbound argues for nothing short of a paradigm shift in our approach to the Homeric epics, one that embraces their long evolution and the totality of the world of epic song, in which each performance was newly composed and received by its audience.

[more]

Acoustic Properties
Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas
Tom McEnaney
Northwestern University Press, 2017
Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas discovers the prehistory of wireless culture. It examines both the coevolution of radio and the novel in Argentina, Cuba, and the United States from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, and the various populist political climates in which the emerging medium of radio became the chosen means to produce the voice of the people.
 
Based on original archival research in Buenos Aires, Havana, Paris, and the United States, the book develops a literary media theory that understands sound as a transmedial phenomenon and radio as a transnational medium. Analyzing the construction of new social and political relations in the wake of the United States’ 1930s Good Neighbor Policy, Acoustic Properties challenges standard narratives of hemispheric influence through new readings of Richard Wright’s cinematic work in Argentina, Severo Sarduy’s radio plays in France, and novels by John Dos Passos, Manuel Puig, Raymond Chandler, and Carson McCullers. Alongside these writers, the book also explores Che Guevara and Fidel Castro’s Radio Rebelde, FDR’s fireside chats, Félix Caignet’s invention of the radionovela in Cuba, Evita Perón’s populist melodramas in Argentina, Orson Welles’s experimental New Deal radio, Cuban and U.S. “radio wars,” and the 1960s African American activist Robert F. Williams’s proto–black power Radio Free Dixie.
 
From the doldrums of the Great Depression to the tumult of the Cuban Revolution, Acoustic Properties illuminates how novelists in the radio age converted writing into a practice of listening, transforming realism as they struggled to channel and shape popular power.
 
[more]

The Acoustic World of Early Modern England
Attending to the O-Factor
Bruce R. Smith
University of Chicago Press, 1999
We know how a Shakespeare play sounds when performed today, but what would listeners have heard within the wooden "O" of the Globe Theater in 1599? What sounds would have filled the air in early modern England, and what would these sounds have meant to people in that largely oral culture?

In this ear-opening journey into the sound-worlds of Shakespeare's contemporaries, Bruce R. Smith explores both the physical aspects of human speech (ears, lungs, tongue) and the surrounding environment (buildings, landscape, climate), as well as social and political structures. Drawing on a staggeringly wide range of evidence, he crafts a historical phenomenology of sound, from reconstructions of the "soundscapes" of city, country, and court to detailed accounts of the acoustic properties of the Globe and Blackfriars theaters and how scripts designed for the two spaces exploited sound very differently.

Critical for anyone who wants to understand the world of early modern England, Smith's pathbreaking "ecology" of voice and listening also has much to offer musicologists and acoustic ecologists.

[more]

Across Spoon River
Edgar Lee Masters; Introduction by Ronald Primeau
University of Illinois Press, 1991

The autobiography of the influential American poet

This intimate and provocative autobiography, first published in 1936, reveals the innermost thoughts of a great American poet. Edgar Lee Masters was a transitional figure in American literature with one foot planted in the nineteenth century and the other firmly placed on the path of what we now think of as the modern period.

Masters expounds on his own development as a poet and as a human being; he shares his views on American culture, politics, and the literary criticism of the times. Masters's friends and acquaintances discussed here include some of the most prominent writers and politicians of his age. And he reflects on his life events that shaped, haunted, and inspired his writings of the classic Spoon River Anthology.

[more]

Across the Wounded Galaxies
Interviews with Contemporary American Science Fiction Writers
Conducted and edited by Larry McCaffery
University of Illinois Press, 1990
Modern science fiction writers have long inhabited a dimension far removed from the comfortable realms of filmic space opera franchises and Dr. Who. Too often lurking along the margins of literature are some of the most intelligent, imaginative, and outrageous writing talents of our day. These interviews by legendary critic and SF proponent Larry McCaffery journeys into the minds and psyches of ten iconic writers whose works influenced the evolution of science fiction. Authors like Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Thomas Disch, Ursula Le Guin, and Bruce Sterling discuss New Wave, hard versus soft SF, and the viability of the genre as a means of suggesting political, radical, and sexual agendas. As these writers speak candidly about their works, backgrounds, and aesthetic impulses, it becomes clear that the issues on their minds and in their fiction are central to contemporary life and art.
[more]

The Act and the Place of Poetry
Selected Essays
Yves Bonnefoy
University of Chicago Press, 1989
The only collection of Yves Bonnefoy's criticism in English, this volume offers a coherent statement of poetic philosophy and intent—a clear expression of the values and convictions of the French poet whom many critics regard as the most important and influential of our time. The Introduction touches on many of the essays' concerns, including Bonnefoy's recourse to moral and religious categories, his particular use of Saussure's distinction between langue and parole, his early fascination with Surrealism, and his view of translation as "a metaphysical and moral experiment." The essays, published over a nearly thirty-year span, respond to one another, the more recent pieces taking up for renewed consideration ideas developed in earlier meditations, thereby providing the volume with integrity and completeness. Among the subjects addressed in these essays are the French poetic tradition, the art of translation, and the works of Shakespeare, of which Bonnefoy is the preeminent French translator.
[more]

Act Like a Man
Challenging Masculinities in American Drama
Robert Vorlicky
University of Michigan Press, 1995
How men communicate with each other on stage when no women are present—and what it tells us about power and gender
[more]

Act Like a Man
Challenging Masculinities in American Drama
Robert Vorlicky
University of Michigan Press

In the first comprehensive study of plays written for male characters only, Robert Vorlicky offers a new theory that links cultural codes governing gender and the conventions determining dramatic form. Act Like a Man looks at a range of plays, including those by O'Neill, Albee, Mamet, Baraka, and Rabe as well as new works by Philip Kan Gotanda, Alonzo Lamont, and Robin Swados, to examine how dialogue within these works reflects the social codes of male behavior and inhibits individualization among men.

Plays in which women are absent are often characterized by the location of a male "other"—a female presence who distances himself from the dominant, impersonal masculine ethos and thereby becomes a facilitator of personal communication. The potential authority of this figure is so powerful that its presence becomes the primary determinant of the quality of men's interaction and of the range of male subjectivities possible. This formulation becomes the basis of an alternative theory of American dramatic construction, one that challenges traditional dramaturgical notions of realism.

The book will appeal to scholars and students interested in drama, gender, race, sexuality, and American culture, as well as playwrights, teachers of playwrights, and artistic directors. It includes an extensive bibliography of more than four hundred male-cast plays and monodramas, the first such compilation and one that points to further research into a previously unexplored area.

[more]

Act Like You Know
African-American Autobiography and White Identity
Crispin Sartwell
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X—their words speak firmly, eloquently, personally of the impact of white America on the lives of African-Americans. Black autobiographical discourses, from the earliest slave narratives to the most contemporary urban raps, have each in their own way gauged and confronted the character of white society. For Crispin Sartwell, as philosopher, cultural critic, and white male, these texts, through their exacting insights and external perspective, provide a rare opportunity, a means of glimpsing and gaining access to contents and core of white identity.

There is, Sartwell contends, a fundamental elusiveness to that identity. Whiteness defines itself as normative, as a neutral form of the human condition, marking all other forms of identity as "racial" or "ethnic" deviations. Invisible to itself, white identity seeks to define its essence over and against those other identities, in effect defining itself through opposition and oppression. By maintaining fictions of black licentiousness, violence, and corruption, white identity is able to cast itself as humane, benevolent, and pure; the stereotype fabricates not only the oppressed but the oppressor as well. Sartwell argues that African-American autobiography perceives white identity from a particular and unique vantage point; one that is knowledgeable and intimate, yet fundamentally removed from the white world and thus unencumbered by its obfuscating claims to normativity.

Throughout this provocative work, Sartwell steadfastly recognizes the many ways in which he too is implicated in the formulation and perpetuation of racial attitudes and discourse. In Act Like You Know, he challenges both himself and others to take a long, hard look in the mirror of African-American autobiography, and to find there, in the light of those narratives, the visible features of white identity.
[more]

Acting Like Men
Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece
Karen Bassi
University of Michigan Press, 1999
"Greek drama demands a story of origins," writes Karen Bassi in Acting Like Men. Abandoning the search for ritual and native origins of Greek drama, Bassi argues for a more secular and less formalist approach to the emergence of theater in ancient Greece. Bassi takes a broad view of Greek drama as a cultural phenomenon, and she discusses a wide variety of texts and artifacts that include epic poetry, historical narrative, philosophical treatises, visual media, and the dramatic texts themselves.
In her discussion of theaterlike practices and experiences, Bassi proposes new conceptual categories for understanding Greek drama as a cultural institution, viewing theatrical performance as part of what Foucault has called a discursive formation. Bassi also provides an important new analysis of gender in Greek culture at large and in Athenian civic ideology in particular, where spectatorship at the civic theater was a distinguishing feature of citizenship, and where citizenship was denied women.
Acting Like Men includes detailed discussions of message-sending as a form of scripted speech in the Iliad, of disguise and the theatrical body of Odysseus in the Odyssey, of tyranny as a theaterlike phenomenon in the narratives of Herodotus, and of Dionysus as the tyrannical and effeminate god of the theater in Euripides' Bacchae and Aristophanes' Frogs. Bassi concludes that the validity of an idealized masculine identity in Greek and Athenian culture is highly contested in the theater, where--in principle--citizens become passive spectators. Thereafter the author considers Athenian theater and Athenian democracy as mutually reinforcing mimetic regimes.
Acting Like Men will interest those interested in the history of the theater, performance theory, gender and cultural studies, and feminist approaches to ancient texts.
Karen Bassi is Associate Professor of Classics, University of California, Santa Cruz.
[more]

Action versus Contemplation
Why an Ancient Debate Still Matters
Jennifer Summit and Blakey Vermeule
University of Chicago Press, 2018
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” Blaise Pascal wrote in 1654. But then there’s Walt Whitman, in 1856: “Whoever you are, come forth! Or man or woman come forth! / You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house.”
 
It is truly an ancient debate: Is it better to be active or contemplative? To do or to think? To make an impact, or to understand the world more deeply? Aristotle argued for contemplation as the highest state of human flourishing. But it was through action that his student Alexander the Great conquered the known world. Which should we aim at? Centuries later, this argument underlies a surprising number of the questions we face in contemporary life. Should students study the humanities, or train for a job? Should adults work for money or for meaning? And in tumultuous times, should any of us sit on the sidelines, pondering great books, or throw ourselves into protests and petition drives? 
 
With Action versus Contemplation, Jennifer Summit and Blakey Vermeule address the question in a refreshingly unexpected way: by refusing to take sides. Rather, they argue for a rethinking of the very opposition. The active and the contemplative can—and should—be vibrantly alive in each of us, fused rather than sundered. Writing in a personable, accessible style, Summit and Vermeule guide readers through the long history of this debate from Plato to Pixar, drawing compelling connections to the questions and problems of today. Rather than playing one against the other, they argue, we can discover how the two can nourish, invigorate, and give meaning to each other, as they have for the many writers, artists, and thinkers, past and present, whose examples give the book its rich, lively texture of interplay and reference.
 
This is not a self-help book. It won’t give you instructions on how to live your life. Instead, it will do something better: it will remind you of the richness of a life that embraces action and contemplation, company and solitude, living in the moment and planning for the future. Which is better? Readers of this book will discover the answer: both.
[more]

Action Writing
Jack Kerouac's Wild Form
Michael Hrebeniak
Southern Illinois University Press, 2006

Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form connects the personal and creative development of the Beat generation's famous icon with cultural changes in postwar America. Michael Hrebeniak asserts that Jack Kerouac's "wild form"—self-organizing narratives free of literary, grammatical, and syntactical conventions—moves within an experimental continuum across the arts to generate a Dionysian sense of writing as raw process. Action Writing highlights how Kerouac made concrete his 1952 intimation of "something beyond the novel" by assembling ideas from Beat America, modernist poetics, action painting, bebop, and subterranean oral traditions.

Geared to scholars and students of American literature, Beat studies, and creative writing, Action Writing places Kerouac's writing within the context of the American art scene at midcentury. Reframing the work of Kerouac and the Beat generation within the experimental modernist and postmodernist literary tradition, this probing inquiry offers a direct engagement with the social and cultural history at the foreground of Kerouac's career from the 1940s to the late 1960s.

[more]

The Action-Adventure Heroine
Rediscovering an American Literary Character, 1697–1895
Sandra Wilson Smith
University of Tennessee Press, 2018
Found in scores of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American narratives, the action-adventure heroine leaves the domestic space to pursue an independent adventure. This bold heroine tramps alone through the forests, demonstrates tremendous physical strength, braves dangers without hesitation, enters the public realm to earn money, and even kills her enemies when necessary. Despite her transgressions of social norms, the narrator portrays this heroine in a positive light and lauds her for her bravery and daring. The Action-Adventure Heroine offers a wide-ranging look at this enigmatic character in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature. 

Unlike the “tomboy” or the American frontierswoman, this more encompassing figure has been understudied until now. The action-adventure heroine has special relevance today, as scholars are forcefully challenging the once-dominant separate-spheres paradigm and offering alternative interpretations of gender conventions in nineteenth-century America. The hard-body action heroine in our contemporary popular culture is often assumed to be largely a product of the twentieth-century television and film industries (and therefore influenced by the women’s movement); however, physically strong, agile, sometimes violent female figures have appeared in American popular culture and literature for a very long time. 

Smith analyzes captivity narratives, war narratives, stories of manifest destiny, dime novels, and tales of seduction to reveal the long literary history of female protagonists who step into traditionally masculine heroic roles to win the day. Smith’s study includes such authors as Herman Mann, Mercy Otis Warren, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, E.D.E.N. Southworth, Edward L. Wheeler, and many more who are due for critical reassessment. In examining the female hero—with her strength, physicality, and violence—in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century American narratives, The Action-Adventure Heroine represents an important contribution to the field of American studies. 
 
SANDRA WILSON SMITH is an assistant professor of English at Temple University. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of American Studies, Southern Literary Journal, and E-Learning. 
 
 
 
 
 
[more]

Actium and Augustus
The Politics and Emotions of Civil War
Robert Alan Gurval
University of Michigan Press, 1998
On 2 September 31 B.C.E., the heir of Julius Caesar defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra in a naval engagement at Actium. Despite the varied judgments this battle received in antiquity, common opinion held that Actium marked the start of a new era, a turning point in Roman history and, indeed, in Western civilization.
Actium and Augustus marks a turning point as well. Robert Alan Gurval's unusual approach is to examine contemporary views of the battle and its immediate political and social consequences. He starts with a consideration of the official celebration and public commemoration of the Actian victory and then moves on to other questions. What were the "Actian" monuments that Octavian erected on the battle site and later in Rome? What role did the Actian victory play in the political formation of the Principate and its public ideology? What was the response of contemporary poetry? Throughout, this volume concentrates on contemporary views of Actium and its results.
Written to include the general reader, Actium and Augustus presents a thoughtful examination of a complex period. All Greek and Latin quotations are translated, and extensive illustrations present graphic evidence about the issues Romans faced.
Robert Alan Gurval is Associate Professor of Classics, University of California, Los Angeles, and has been a recipient of the Rome Prize awarded by the American Academy in Rome.
[more]

Active Romanticism
The Radical Impulse in Nineteenth-Century and Contemporary Poetic Practice
Edited by Julie Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson
University of Alabama Press, 2015
A collection of essays highlighting the pervasive, yet often unacknowledged, role of Romantic poetry and poetics on modern and contemporary innovative poetry


Literary history generally locates the primary movement toward poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse carried out against a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the nineteenth century. The original essays in Active Romanticism challenge this interpretation by tracing the fundamental continuities between Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental movements in poetry from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
 
According to editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic response, direct or indirect, to pressing social issues and an attempt to redress forms of ideological repression; at its core, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the evidence of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake at the beginning of the nineteenth century. No other statement from the era of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the challenge for poetry to participate in the liberation of human society from forms of inequality and invisibility. No other statement insists so vividly that a poetic event pushing for social progress demands the unfettering of traditional, customary poetic form and language.
 
Bringing together work by well-known writers and critics, ranging from scholarly studies to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry not to be the sclerotic corpse against which the avant-garde reacted but rather the wellspring from which it flowed.
 
Offering a fundamental rethinking of the history of modern poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped together in this collection a variety of essays that confirm the existence of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic production that is innovative and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic tradition, and a form that reacts and renews itself at any given moment of perceived social crisis.
 
 
Contributors:
Dan Beachy-Quick / Julie Carr / Jacques Darras / Rachel Blau DuPlessis / Judith Goldman / Simon Jarvis / Andrew Joron / Nigel Leask / Jennifer Moxley / Bob Perelman / Jeffrey C. Robinson / Jerome Rothenberg / Elizabeth Willis / and Heriberto Yépez
[more]

Activist Sentiments
Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century
P. Gabrielle Foreman
University of Illinois Press, 2009

Activist Sentiments takes as its subject women who in fewer than fifty years moved from near literary invisibility to prolific productivity. Grounded in primary research and paying close attention to the historical archive, this book offers against-the-grain readings of the literary and activist work of Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Frances E. W. Harper, Victoria Earle Matthews and Amelia E. Johnson.

Part literary criticism and part cultural history, Activist Sentiments examines nineteenth-century social, political, and representational literacies and reading practices. P. Gabrielle Foreman reveals how Black women's complex and confrontational commentary–often expressed directly in their journalistic prose and organizational involvement--emerges in their sentimental, and simultaneously political, literary production.

[more]

Acts of Attention, Second Edition
The Poems of D. H. Lawrence
Sandra M. Gilbert
Southern Illinois University Press, 1990

In the Preface to this second edition of her first book, Sandra M. Gilbert addresses the inevitable question: "How can you be a feminist and a Lawrentian?" The answer is intellectually satisfying and historically revealing as she traces an array of early twentieth-century women of letters, some of them proto-feminists, who revered Lawrence despite his countless statements that would today be condemned as "sexist."

H.D. regarded him as one of her "initiators" whose words "flamed alive, blue serpents on the page." Anais Nin insisted that he "had a complete realization of the feelings of women."

By focusing on Lawrence’s own definition of a poem as an "act of attention," Gilbert demonstrates how he developed the mature style of Birds, Beasts and Flowers, his finest collection of poetry. She discusses this volume at length, examines many of his later poems in detail, including the hymns from The Plumed Serpent, Pansies, Nettles, and More Pansies, and ends with a close look at Last Poems. Her detailed examination provides a clearer image of Lawrence as an artist—an artist whose poetry complements his novels and whose fiction enriches but does not outshine his poetry.

[more]

Acts of Faith and Imagination
Theological Patterns in Catholic Fiction
Brent Little
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
Acts of Faith and Imagination wagers that fiction written by Catholic authors assists readers to reflect critically on the question: “what is faith?” To speak of a person’s “faith-life” is to speak of change and development. As a narrative form, literature can illustrate the dynamics of faith, which remains in flux over the course of one’s life. Because human beings must possess faith in something (whether religious or not), it inevitably has a narrative structure—faith ebbs and flows, flourishes and decays, develops and stagnates. Through an exploration of more than a dozen Catholic authors’ novels and short stories, Brent Little argues that Catholic fiction encourages the reader to reflect upon their faith holistically, that is, the way faith informs one’s affections, and how a person conceives and interacts with the world as embodied beings. Amidst the diverse stories of modern and contemporary fiction, a consistent pattern emerges: Catholic fiction portrays faith—at its most fundamental, often unconscious, level—as an act of the imagination. Faith is the way one imagines themselves, others, and creation. A person’s primary faith conditions how they live in the world, regardless of the level of conscious reflection, and regardless of whether this is a “religious” faith. Acts of Faith and Imagination investigates the creative depth and vitality of the Catholic literary imagination by bringing late modern Catholic authors into dialogue with more contemporary ones. Readers will then consider well-known works, such as those by Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, and Muriel Spark in the fresh light of contemporary stories by Toni Morrison, Alice McDermott, Uwem Akpan, and several others.
[more]

Acts of Poetry
American Poets' Theater and the Politics of Performance
Heidi R. Bean
University of Michigan Press, 2019

American poets’ theater emerged in the postwar period alongside the rich, performance-oriented poetry and theater scenes that proliferated on the makeshift stages of urban coffee houses, shared apartments, and underground theaters, yet its significance has been largely overlooked by critics. Acts of Poetry shines a spotlight on poets’ theater’s key groups, practitioners, influencers, and inheritors, such as the Poets’ Theatre, the Living Theatre, Gertrude Stein, Bunny Lang, Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka, Carla Harryman, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Heidi R. Bean demonstrates the importance of poets’ theater in the development of twentieth-century theater and performance poetry, and especially evolving notions of the audience’s role in performance, and in narratives of the relationship between performance and everyday life. Drawing on an extensive archive of scripts, production materials, personal correspondence, theater records, interviews, manifestoes, editorials, and reviews, the book captures critical assessments and behind-the-scenes discussions that enrich our understanding of the intertwined histories of American theater and American poetry in the twentieth century.

[more]

Adaptation in the Age of Media Convergence
Edited by Johannes Fehrle and Werner Schäfke
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
This collection considers new phenomena emerging in a convergence environment from the perspective of adaptation studies. The contributions take the most prominent methods within the field to offer reconsiderations of theoretical concepts and practices in participatory culture, transmedia franchises, and new media adaptations. The authors discuss phenomena ranging from mash-ups of novels and YouTube cover songs to negotiations of authorial control and interpretative authority between media producers and fan communities to perspectives on the fictional and legal framework of brands and franchises. In this fashion, the collection expands the horizons of both adaptation and transmedia studies and provides reassessments of frequently discussed (BBC’s Sherlock or the LEGO franchise) and previously largely ignored phenomena (self-censorship in transnational franchises, mash-up novels, or YouTube cover videos).
[more]

Addressing Postmodernity
Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change
Barbara Biesecker
University of Alabama Press, 2000
Reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols. In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.
 
Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology, the author addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld revealing postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.
 
Directly confronting the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike and juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.
 

[more]

Adoption Fantasies
The Fetishization of Asian Adoptees from Girlhood to Womanhood
Kimberly D. McKee
The Ohio State University Press, 2023
In Adoption Fantasies, Kimberly D. McKee explores the ways adopted Asian women and girls are situated at a nexus of objectifications—as adoptees and as Asian American women—and how they negotiate competing expectations based on sensationalist and fictional portrayals of adoption found in US popular culture. McKee traces the life cycle of the adopted Asian woman, from the rendering of infant adoptee bodies in the white US imaginary, to Asian American fantasies of adoption, to encounters with the hypersexualization of Asian and Asian American women and girls in US popular culture. Drawing on adoption studies, Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, gender studies, and cultural studies, McKee analyzes the mechanisms informing adoptees’ interactions with consumers of this media—adoptive parents and families and strangers alike—and how those exchanges and that media influence adoptees’ negotiations with the world. From Modern Family to Sex and the City to the notoriety surrounding Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen, among many other instances, McKee scrutinizes the fetishization and commodification of women and girls adopted from Asia to understand their racialized experiences.
[more]

Adoption in America
Historical Perspectives
E. Wayne Carp, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"Includes research on adoption documents rarely open to historians . . . an important addition to the literature on adoption."
---Choice

"Sheds new light on the roots of this complex and fascinating institution."
---Library Journal

"Well-written and accessible . . . showcases the wide-ranging scholarship underway on the history of adoption."
---Adoptive Families

"[T]his volume is a significant contribution to the literature and can serve as a catalyst for further research."
---Social Service Review

Adoption affects an estimated 60 percent of Americans, but despite its pervasiveness, this social institution has been little examined and poorly understood. Adoption in America gathers essays on the history of adoptions and orphanages in the United States. Offering provocative interpretations of a variety of issues, including antebellum adoption and orphanages; changing conceptions of adoption in late-nineteenth-century novels; Progressive Era reform and adoptive mothers; the politics of "matching" adoptive parents with children; the radical effect of World War II on adoption practices; religion and the reform of adoption; and the construction of birth mother and adoptee identities, the essays in Adoption in America will be debated for many years to come.
[more]

Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece
Kid pro quo?
Gonda Van Steen
University of Michigan Press, 2019

This book presents a committed quest to unravel and document the postwar adoption networks that placed more than 3,000 Greek children in the United States, in a movement accelerated by the aftermath of the Greek Civil War and by the new conditions of the global Cold War. Greek-to-American adoptions and, regrettably, also their transactions and transgressions, provided the blueprint for the first large-scale international adoptions, well before these became a mass phenomenon typically associated with Asian children. The story of these Greek postwar and Cold War adoptions, whose procedures ranged from legal to highly irregular, has never been told or analyzed before. Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece answers the important questions: How did these adoptions from Greece happen? Was there any money involved? Humanitarian rescue or kid pro quo? Or both? With sympathy and perseverance, Gonda Van Steen has filled a decades-long gap in our understanding, and provided essential information to the hundreds of adoptees and their descendants whose lives are still affected today.
 

[more]

Adulterous Nations
Family Politics and National Anxiety in the European Novel
Tatiana Kuzmic
Northwestern University Press, 2016

In Adulterous Nations, Tatiana Kuzmic enlarges our perspective on the nineteenth-century novel of adultery, showing how it often served as a metaphor for relationships between the imperialistic and the colonized. In the context of the long-standing practice of gendering nations as female, the novels under discussion here—George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest, and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, along with August Šenoa’s The Goldsmith’s Gold and Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis—can be understood as depicting international crises on the scale of the nuclear family. In each example, an outsider figure is responsible for the disruption experienced by the family. Kuzmic deftly argues that the hopes, anxieties, and interests of European nations during this period can be discerned in the destabilizing force of adultery. Reading the work of Šenoa and Sienkiewicz, from Croatia and Poland, respectively, Kuzmic illuminates the relationship between the literature of dominant nations and that of the semicolonized territories that posed a threat to them. Ultimately, Kuzmic’s study enhances our understanding of not only these five novels but nineteenth-century European literature more generally.

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Advances in the Analysis of Spanish Exclamatives
Ignacio Bosque
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
Advances in the Analysis of Spanish Exclamatives is the first book entirely devoted to Spanish exclamatives, a special sentence type often overlooked by contemporary linguists and neglected in standard grammatical descriptions. The seven essays in this volume, each by a leading specialist on the topic, scrutinize the syntax—as well as the semantic and pragmatic aspects—of exclamations on theoretical grounds.
The book begins by summarizing, commenting on, and evaluating previous descriptive and theoretical contributions on Spanish exclamatives. This introductory overview also contains a detailed classification of Spanish exclamative grammatical types, along with an analysis of their main properties. Special attention is devoted in the book throughoutto the syntactic structures displayed by exclamative patterns; the differences between exclamations and other speech acts (specifically questions and imperatives); the peculiar semantic denotation of exclamative words and their relationship to quantifiers denoting high degree; the semantics of adjectives and adverbs expressing extreme evaluation; the form and interpretation of negated and embedded exclamatives; the properties of optative utterances; and the different ways in which expressive contents are related to unexpected reactions of the speaker, as well as possible knowledge shared by interlocutors.
This groundbreaking volume provides a complete and accurate picture of Spanish exclamation by integrating its numerous component parts.
 
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Adventure, Mystery, and Romance
Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture
John G. Cawelti
University of Chicago Press, 1976
In this first general theory for the analysis of popular literary formulas, John G. Cawelti reveals the artistry that underlies the best in formulaic literature. Cawelti discusses such seemingly diverse works as Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors, and Owen Wister's The Virginian in the light of his hypotheses about the cultural function of formula literature. He describes the most important artistic characteristics of popular formula stories and the differences between this literature and that commonly labeled "high" or "serious" literature. He also defines the archetypal patterns of adventure, mystery, romance, melodrama, and fantasy, and offers a tentative account of their basis in human psychology.
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Advertisements for Myself
Norman Mailer
Harvard University Press, 1992
Originally published in 1959, Advertisements for Myself is an inventive collection of stories, essays, polemic, meditations, and interviews. It is Norman Mailer at his brilliant, provocative, outrageous best. Emerging at the height of “hip,” Advertisements is at once a chronicle of a crucial era in the formation of modern American culture and an important contribution to the great autobiographical tradition in American letters.
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Advertising the Self in Renaissance France
Authorial Personae and Ideal Readers in Lemaire, Marot, and Rabelais
Scott Francis
University of Delaware Press, 2019
Advertising the Self in Renaissance France is a study of how authors and readers are represented in printed editions of three major literary figures of the French Renaissance: Jean Lemaire de Belges, Clément Marot, and François Rabelais. Print culture is marked by an anxiety of reception that became much more pronounced with increasingly anonymous and unpredictable readerships in the sixteenth century. To allay this anxiety, authors, as well as editors and printers, turned to self-fashioning in order to sell not only their books, but also particular ways of reading. They advertised correct modes of reading as transformative experiences that helped the actual reader attain the image of the ideal reader held up by the text and paratext, experiences provided by selfless authors. Thus, authorial personae were constructed around the self-fashioning offered to readers, creating an interdependent relationship that anticipated modern advertising.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
 
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Aeneas
Lee T. Pearcy
University of Michigan Press, 2021
The central character of Vergil’s Aeneid seems to elude readers. To some, he is unlikable; to others, he seems unreal, a figure on which to hang a plot. Aeneas discovers a tragic figure whose defining virtue depends on a past that has been stripped from him, and whose destiny blocks him from the knowledge of the future that gives meaning to his life. His choices, silences, tears, and anger reflect an existential struggle that, in the end, he loses. Aeneas is a hero of the Trojan War, a time as distant from Vergil as Vergil is from us, but he is also a literary character created in response to political chaos and civil strife as the Roman Republic gave way to the Augustan empire. Lee T. Pearcy’s book creates an Aeneas for our time: an age of liquid modernity, when identities seem fungible and precarious, amid a moment of political conflict and collapsing institutions. This volume gives readers new translations and close readings of important passages, and it restores Aeneas to the center of Rome’s most important poem.
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Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, and Onasander
Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus, and Onasander
Harvard University Press

Aeneas was perhaps a general, and certainly author of several didactic military works of which the sole survivor is that on defence against siege. From it we can deduce that he was a Peloponnesian of the fourth century BCE who served in the Aegean and in Asia Minor and composed the work from direct knowledge and from oral and some literary tradition, possibly in 357–6 BCE. It is devoted entirely to defence of fortified places and deals specially with use of defending troops; defensive positions; morale; resistance to attacks and to actual assault; guards; obviation of treachery and revolution; and other subjects.

Asclepiodotus, philosopher and pupil of the Stoic Posidonius, wrote a rather dry but ordered work on tactics as if a subject of the lecture room, based not on personal experience but on earlier manuals. His main subjects were the branches of a military force; infantry; cavalry; chariots; elephants; arms; maneuvers; military evolutions; marching formation. The work ends with words of command.

Onasander (Onasandros), a Platonic philosopher, dedicated his work “The General” to the Roman Veranius, who was a consul in 49 CE. The work deals in plain style with the sort of morals and social and military qualities and attitudes expected of a virtuous and militarily successful general. It is also concerned with such matters as his choice of staff; attitude to war; religious duties; military formations; conduct in allied and hostile lands; difficult terrains; camps; drill; spies; guards; deserters; battle formations and maneuvers; and other matters, ending with conduct after victory.

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The Aeneid of Virgil
Virgil
University of Michigan Press, 1995
Called "the best poem by the best poet," Virgil's Aeneid is perhaps the most famous work in Latin literature. It tells the story of Rome's founding by the Trojan prince Aeneas after many years of travel, and it contains many of the most famous stories about the Trojan War. It also reveals much of what the Romans felt and believed about themselves- the sensitive reader will see that these same values and issues often trouble us today.
In this new translation Edward McCrorie has performed the difficult task of rendering Virgil's compact, dense Latin into fine, readable, modern English verse. The sometimes complex text is made clear and comprehensible even for first-time readers, and a glossary of names helps identify characters and place-names in the poem. The translation is well suited for students at all levels, and readers already familiar with Virgil will find many fresh images and ideas.
"A brilliant effort."--Robert Bly
"I admire the ambition of the project, and the generosity of many of the lines."--Robert Fagles
Edward McCrorie is Professor of English, Providence College. His poetry and translations of Latin verse have been widely published.
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Aeschines
Translated by Chris Carey
University of Texas Press, 2000

This is the third volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece series. Published over several years, the series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries B.C. in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today's undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public.

Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have been largely ignored: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.

This volume contains the three surviving speeches of Aeschines (390-? B.C.). His speeches all revolve around political developments in Athens during the second half of the fourth century B.C. and reflect the internal political rivalries in an Athens overshadowed by the growing power of Macedonia in the north. The first speech was delivered when Aeschines successfully prosecuted Timarchus, a political opponent, for having allegedly prostituted himself as a young man. The other two speeches were delivered in the context of Aeschines' long-running political feud with Demosthenes. As a group, the speeches provide important information on Athenian law and politics, Demosthenes and his career, sexuality and social history, and the historical rivalry between Athens and Macedonia.

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Aeschylus’s Suppliant Women
The Tragedy of Immigration
Geoffrey W. Bakewell
University of Wisconsin Press, 2013
This book offers a provocative interpretation of a relatively neglected tragedy, Aeschylus's Suppliant Women. Although the play's subject is a venerable myth, it frames the flight of the daughters of Danaus from Egypt to Greece in starkly contemporary terms, emphasizing the encounter between newcomers and natives. Some scholars read Suppliant Women as modeling successful social integration, but Geoffrey W. Bakewell argues that the play demonstrates, above all, the difficulties and dangers noncitizens brought to the polis.
            Bakewell's approach is rigorously historical, situating Suppliant Women in the context of the unprecedented immigration that Athens experienced in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. The flow of foreigners to Attika increased under the Pisistratids but became a flood following liberation, Cleisthenes, and the Persian Wars. As Athenians of the classical era became increasingly aware of their own collective identity, they sought to define themselves and exclude others. They created a formal legal status to designate the free noncitizens living among them, calling them metics and calling their status metoikia. When Aeschylus dramatized the mythical flight of the Danaids from Egypt in his play Suppliant Women, he did so in light of his own time and place. Throughout the play, directly and indirectly, he casts the newcomers as metics and their stay in Greece as metoikia.
            Bakewell maps the manifold anxieties that metics created in classical Athens, showing that although citizens benefited from the many immigrants in their midst, they also feared the effects of immigration in political, sexual, and economic realms. Bakewell finds metoikia was a deeply flawed solution to the problem of large-scale immigration. Aeschylus's Argives accepted the Danaids as metics only under duress and as a temporary response to a crisis. Like the historical Athenians, they opted for metoikia because they lacked better alternatives.
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Aesopica
A Series of Texts Relating to Aesop or Ascribed to Him
Edited by Ben Edwin Perry
University of Illinois Press, 1952
The most complete corpus of the proverbs and fables of Aesop ever assembled

Ben Edwin Perry's Aesopica remains the definitive edition of all fables reputed to be by Aesop. The volume begins traditionally with a life of Aesop, but in two different and previously unedited Greek versions, with collations that record variations in the major recensions. It includes 179 proverbs attributed to Aesop and 725 carefully organized fables, for which Perry also provides their eldest known sources. To better evaluate the place of Aesop in literary history, Perry includes testimonies about Aesop made by Greek and Latin authors, from Herodotus to Maximus Planudes.

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Aesop's Human Zoo
Roman Stories about Our Bodies
Phaedrus
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Most of us grew up with Aesop's Fables—tales of talking animals, with morals attached. In fact, the familiar versions of the stories attributed to this enigmatic and astute storyteller are based on adaptations of Aesop by the liberated Roman slave Phaedrus. In turn, Phaedrus's renderings have been rewritten so extensively over the centuries that they do not do justice to the originals. In Aesop's Human Zoo, legendary Cambridge classicist John Henderson puts together a surprising set of up-front translations—fifty sharp, raw, and sometimes bawdy, fables by Phaedrus into the tersest colloquial English verse.

Providing unusual insights into the heart of Roman culture, these clever poems open up odd avenues of ancient lore and life as they explore social types and physical aspects of the body, regularly mocking the limitations of human nature and offering vulgar or promiscuous interpretations of the stuff of social life.

Featuring folksy proverbs and satirical anecdotes, filled with saucy naughtiness and awful puns, Aesop's Human Zoo will amuse you with its eccentricities and hit home with its shrewdly candid and red raw messages. The entertainment offered in this volume of impeccably accurate translations is truly a novelty—a good-hearted and knowing laugh courtesy of classical poetry. Beginning to advanced classicists and Latin scholars will appreciate the original Latin text provided in this bilingual edition. The splash of classic Thomas Bewick wood engravings to accompany the fables renders the collection complete.
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The Aesthetic Astronaut
sonnets by Roger Armbrust
Roger Armbrust
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2009

One hundred twenty-two sonnets that touch on contemporary American popular culture, social trends, and personalities. Poet Roger Armbrust is described by some as a mystic, by others as a spiritualist, and by yet others as a guy who toys with really big thoughts, making them objects both of serious study and of humor.  His sonnets will push you to laughter and meditation: a satisfying literary ride. 

In The Aesthetic Astronaut, Roger Armbrust escorts readers on an insightful journey throughout Earth and beyond. We experience the loneliness and instpiration of "the Aesthetic Astronaut"; cold-blooded calculations of "The Armchair Assassin"; passion and sense of the romantic lover; reflective memories of a gentle heart growing older; ironic vision of an observer to history, and subtle--and sometimes not so subtle--humor of a fellow human involved in our day-to-day challenge of living a worthwhile life. The poet's imagery and attitude. . . may fascinate, thrill, sadden, anger, or push you to laughter or meditation. But you'll find the trip a fascinating literary ride.

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The Aesthetic Border
Colombian Literature in the Face of Globalization
Brantley Nicholson
Bucknell University Press, 2022
This groundbreaking study examines how modern Colombian literature—from Gabriel García Márquez to Juan Gabriel Vásquez—reflects one of the world’s most tumultuous entrances into globalization. While these literary icons, one canonical, the other emergent, bookend Colombia’s fall and rise on the world stage, the period between the two was inordinately violent, spanning the Colombian urban novel’s evolution into narco-literature. Marking Colombia’s cultural and literary manifestations as threefold, this book explores García Márquez’s retreat to a rural romanticism that paradoxically made him a global literary icon; the country’s violent end to the twentieth century when its largest economic export was narcotics; and the contemporary period in which a new major author has emerged to create a “literature of national reconstitution.” Harkening back to the Regeneration movement and extending through the early twenty-first century, this book analyzes the cultural implications of Colombia’s relationship to the wider world.
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An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Harvard University Press, 2013

During the past twenty years, the world’s most renowned critical theorist—the scholar who defined the field of postcolonial studies—has experienced a radical reorientation in her thinking. Finding the neat polarities of tradition and modernity, colonial and postcolonial, no longer sufficient for interpreting the globalized present, she turns elsewhere to make her central argument: that aesthetic education is the last available instrument for implementing global justice and democracy.

Spivak’s unwillingness to sacrifice the ethical in the name of the aesthetic, or to sacrifice the aesthetic in grappling with the political, makes her task formidable. As she wrestles with these fraught relationships, she rewrites Friedrich Schiller’s concept of play as double bind, reading Gregory Bateson with Gramsci as she negotiates Immanuel Kant, while in dialogue with her teacher Paul de Man. Among the concerns Spivak addresses is this: Are we ready to forfeit the wealth of the world’s languages in the name of global communication? “Even a good globalization (the failed dream of socialism) requires the uniformity which the diversity of mother-tongues must challenge,” Spivak writes. “The tower of Babel is our refuge.”

In essays on theory, translation, Marxism, gender, and world literature, and on writers such as Assia Djebar, J. M. Coetzee, and Rabindranath Tagore, Spivak argues for the social urgency of the humanities and renews the case for literary studies, imprisoned in the corporate university. “Perhaps,” she writes, “the literary can still do something.”

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Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics
Jauss, Hans Robert
University of Minnesota Press, 1982

Aesthetic Ideology
Paul De Man
University of Minnesota Press, 1996
An important reconsideration of ideology by one of this century's most eminent theorists. This long-awaited volume by one of the major figures of twentieth-century thought represents perhaps the most provocative, serious, and important rethinking of "ideology" since the publication of Althusser's essays in the 1960s and 1970s. Aesthetic Ideology offers the definitive resource to de Man's thoughts on philosophy, politics, and history. The core of Aesthetic Ideology is a rigorous inquiry into the relation of rhetoric, epistemology, and aesthetics, one that presents radical notions of materiality. De Man reads Kant and Hegel with a combination of philosophical rigor, interpretive pressure, speculative daring, and ironic good humor that is unique to him, ultimately reaching the heart of philosophical aesthetics. The texts collected here were written or delivered as lectures during the last years of de Man's life, between 1977 and 1983. Many of them have never been available previously in any form; these include essays on Kant's materialism, his relation to Schiller, and the concept of irony. A culmination of de Man's thinking on these central issues, Aesthetic Ideology is a necessary and vital component of your humanities bookshelf. Paul de Man (1919-1983) held appointments at Cornell, Johns Hopkins, the University of Zurich, and Yale. Among his books are Blindness and Insight (1983), The Resistance to Theory (1986), Critical Writings, 1953-1978 (1993), and Allegories of Reading (1979). Andrzej Warminski is professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Readings in Interpretation (1987) and the forthcoming Material Inscriptions.
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The Aesthetic Life of Infrastructure
Race, Affect, Environment
Edited by Kelly M. Rich, Nicole M. Rizzuto, and Susan Zieger
Northwestern University Press, 2023

A critical reading of the unstable structures that organize biological and social life

This timely and radically interdisciplinary volume uncovers the aesthetics and politics of infrastructure. From roads and bridges to harbors and canals, infrastructure is conventionally understood as the public works that allow for the circulation of capital. Yet this naturalized concept of infrastructure, driven by capital’s restless expansion, is haunted by imperial tendencies to occupy territory, extract resources, and organize life. Infrastructure thus undergirds the living nexus of modernity in an ongoing project of racialization, affective embodiment, and environmental praxis. Rather than merely making visible infrastructure’s modes of power, however, The Aesthetic Life of Infrastructure brings literary methods to bear on the interpretive terrain, reading infrastructural space and temporalities to show that their aesthetic and sensorial experience cannot be understood apart from histories of production and political economies.

Building on critical infrastructure studies in anthropology, geography, and media studies, this collection demonstrates the field’s vitality to scholars working across the humanities, including in literary, visual, and cultural studies. By querying the presumed invisibility of infrastructure’s hidden life, the volume’s contributors revitalize ongoing literary debates about reading surface and depth. How, they ask, might infrastructure and aesthetics then function as epistemic tools for rethinking each other? And what urgency do they acquire in light of current crises that bear on death, whether biological, social, or planetary?

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Aesthetic Theology and Its Enemies
Judaism in Christian Painting, Poetry, and Politics
David Nirenberg
Brandeis University Press, 2015
Through most of Western European history, Jews have been a numerically tiny or entirely absent minority, but across that history Europeans have nonetheless worried a great deal about Judaism. Why should that be so? This short but powerfully argued book suggests that Christian anxieties about their own transcendent ideals made Judaism an important tool for Christianity, as an apocalyptic religion—characterized by prizing soul over flesh, the spiritual over the literal, the heavenly over the physical world—came to terms with the inescapable importance of body, language, and material things in this world. Nirenberg shows how turning the Jew into a personification of worldly over spiritual concerns, surface over inner meaning, allowed cultures inclined toward transcendence to understand even their most materialistic practices as spiritual. Focusing on art, poetry, and politics—three activities especially condemned as worldly in early Christian culture—he reveals how, over the past two thousand years, these activities nevertheless expanded the potential for their own existence within Christian culture because they were used to represent Judaism. Nirenberg draws on an astonishingly diverse collection of poets, painters, preachers, philosophers, and politicians to reconstruct the roles played by representations of Jewish “enemies” in the creation of Western art, culture, and politics, from the ancient world to the present day. This erudite and tightly argued survey of the ways in which Christian cultures have created themselves by thinking about Judaism will appeal to the broadest range of scholars of religion, art, literature, political theory, media theory, and the history of Western civilization more generally.
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Aesthetics and Revolution
Nicaraguan Poetry 1979-1990
Greg Dawes
University of Minnesota Press, 1993
The distinction in North Atlantic cultures between aesthetics and politics, argues Greg Dawes, is artificially constructed because it does not take into account the socially based origins of these spheres. Although it is true that intellectuals and artists often function as politicians or diplomats in Latin America and that they are relegated to an autonomous realm in North America, the fact remains that aesthetics in both regions is embedded in sociohistorical events.

In Aesthetics and Revolution, Dawes demonstrates that there is an objective grounding for cultural studies found in the aesthetic means of production. By analyzing the relations and forces of production in this realm we inevitably cross over into the economic means of production as well as the struggle for political representation. Ultimately, aesthetics is at the intersection of class and gender interests and their struggle for hegemony.

In Aesthetics and Revolution, Dawes has chosen a group of writers of different theoretical sympathies, class, gender, and social positions to reveal the conflictual interests of the social classes and genders as a whole. Through close readings of their work, Dawes examines the thematic nodes that are expressed in positions as diverse as Ernesto Cardenal’s liberation theology, Pablo Antonio Cuadra’s populism, the campesino’s oral tradition, and Gioconda Belli’s erotic verses in relation to the changes taking place in revolutionary Nicaragua.
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Aesthetics of Alienation
Reassessment of Early Soviet Cultural Theories
Evgeny Dobrenko
Northwestern University Press, 2005
This provocative work takes issue with the idea that Socialist Realism was mainly the creation of party leaders and was imposed from above on the literati who lived and worked under the Soviet regime. Evgeny Dobrenko, a leading expert on Soviet literature, argues instead--and offers persuasive evidence--that the aesthetic theories underpinning Socialist Realism arose among the writers themselves, born of their proponents' desire for power in the realm of literary policymaking. Accordingly, Dobrenko closely considers the evolution of these theories, deciphering the power relations and social conditions that helped to shape them.

In chapters on Proletkult, RAPP, LEF, and Pereval, Dobrenko reexamines the theories generated by these major Marxist literary groupings of the early Soviet Union. He shows how each approached the problems of literature's response to the presumed social mandate of the young communist society, and how Socialist Realism emerged as a conglomerate of these earlier, revolutionary theories. With extensive and detailed reference to supporting testimony and documents, Dobrenko clearly demonstrates how Socialist Realism was created from within the revolutionary culture, and how this culture and its disciples fully participated in this creative process. His work represents a major breakthrough in our current understanding of the complex sources that contributed to early Soviet culture.
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Aesthetics of Discomfort
Conversations on Disquieting Art
Frederick Aldama and Herbert Lindenberger
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Through a series of provocative conversations, Frederick Luis Aldama and Herbert Lindenberger, who have written widely on literature, film, music, and art, locate a place for the discomforting and the often painfully unpleasant within aesthetics. The conversational format allows them to travel informally across many centuries and many art forms. They have much to tell one another about the arts since the advent of modernism soon after 1900—the nontonal music, for example, of the Second Vienna School, the chance-directed music and dance of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, the in-your-faceness of such diverse visual artists as Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Egon Schiele, Otto Dix, and Damien Hirst. They demonstrate as well a long tradition of discomforting art stretching back many centuries, for example, in the Last Judgments of innumerable Renaissance painters, in Goya’s so-called “black” paintings, in Wagner’s Tristan chord, and in the subtexts of Shakespearean works such as King Lear and Othello. This book is addressed at once to scholars of literature, art history, musicology, and cinema. Although its conversational format eschews the standard conventions of scholarly argument, it provides original insights both into particular art forms and into individual works within these forms. Among other matters, it demonstrates how recent work in neuroscience may provide insights in the ways that consumers process difficult and discomforting works of art. The book also contributes to current aesthetic theory by charting the dialogue that goes on—especially in aesthetically challenging works—between creator, artifact, and consumer.
 
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The Aesthetics of Disturbance
Anti-Art in Avant-Garde Drama
David Graver
University of Michigan Press, 1995
The wild innovations of the early twentieth-century avant-garde have been widely celebrated for their influence on the course of experimental drama but rarely examined closely and systematically. Through an exploration of the plays from Germany, France, and England, The Aesthetics of Disturbance discusses modernism and the avant-garde, the relationship of drama to art movements such as expressionism, dada, and surrealism, and the interactions of visual, literary, and performance art.
Beginning with a survey of the history and theory of avant- garde art, David Graver critically juxtaposes important competing interpretations of the avant-garde, establishes basic distinctions between forms of avant-garde art, compares the aesthetic interests of the avant- garde to those of modernism, and discusses the relationship between the avant-garde and drama. Then, through close readings of the works of five preeminent avant-garde playwrights and visual artists- Oskar Kokoschka, Gottfried Benn, Raymond Roussel, Roger Vitrac, and Wyndham Lewis- he examines the innovations in dramatic literature carried out by these visionaries and finally relates them to the innovations in theater articulated by Brecht and Artaud. Graver argues that anti-art principles, most noticeable in the confrontational tactics of dada performance, can also be found within literary dramatic texts, where they create an "aesthetics of disturbance" that destabilizes the integrity of the work without allowing it to self-destruct.
"A corrective to the oft-repeated, over-simple idea that anti-art consists of the same destructive gesture repeated in different forms. This is a useful book that fills a gap, both conceptually and in terms of the figures discussed." --Philip Auslander, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Original, important, well- done."--Anthony Kubiak, Harvard University
David Graver is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University.
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An Aesthetics of Injury
The Narrative Wound from Baudelaire to Tarantino
Ian Fleishman
Northwestern University Press, 2018
An Aesthetics of Injury exposes wounding as a foundational principle of modernism in literature and film. Theorizing the genre of the narrative wound—texts that aim not only to depict but also to inflict injury—Ian Fleishman reveals harm as an essential aesthetic strategy in ten exemplary authors and filmmakers: Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, Georges Bataille, Jean Genet, Hélène Cixous, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Werner Schroeter, Michael Haneke, and Quentin Tarantino.

Violence in the modernist mode, an ostensible intrusion of raw bodily harm into the artwork, aspires to transcend its own textuality, and yet, as An Aesthetics of Injury establishes, the wound paradoxically remains the essence of inscription. Fleishman thus shows how the wound, once the modernist emblem par excellence of an immediate aesthetic experience, comes to be implicated in a postmodern understanding of reality reduced to ceaseless mediation. In so doing, he demonstrates how what we think of as the most real object, the human body, becomes indistinguishable from its “nonreal” function as text. At stake in this tautological textual model is the heritage of narrative thought: both the narratological workings of these texts (how they tell stories) and the underlying epistemology exposed (whether these narrativists still believe in narrative at all).

With fresh and revealing readings of canonical authors and filmmakers seldom treated alongside one another, An Aesthetics of Injury is important reading for scholars working on literary or cinematic modernism and the postmodern, philosophy, narratology, body culture studies, queer and gender studies, trauma studies, and cultural theory. 
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The Aesthetics of Kinship
Form and Family in the Long Eighteenth Century
Heidi Schlipphacke
Bucknell University Press, 2023
The Aesthetics of Kinship intervenes critically into rigidified discourses about the emergence of the nuclear family and the corresponding interior subject in the eighteenth century. By focusing on kinship constellations instead of “family plots” in seminal literary works of the period, this book presents an alternative view of the eighteenth-century literary social world and its concomitant ideologies. Whereas Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophy and political theory posit the nuclear family as a microcosm for the ideal modern nation-state, literature of the period offers a far more heterogeneous image of kinship structures, one that includes members of various classes and is not defined by blood. Through a radical re-reading of the multifarious kinship structures represented in literature of the long eighteenth century, The Aesthetics of Kinship questions the inevitability of the dialectic of the Enlightenment and invokes alternative futures for conceptions of social and political life.
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An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance
Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany
Claudia Breger
The Ohio State University Press, 2012
The contemporary moment has been described in terms of both a “narrative” and a “performative turn,” but the overlap between these two has largely escaped attention. This curious gap is explained by the ways in which scholars across the humanities have defined narrative and performance as opposite forces, emphasizing their respective affiliations with time vs. space and identity constitution vs. its undoing. Although the opposition has been acknowledged as false by many in this simple form, its shifting instantiations continue to shape the ways we make sense of the arts as well as society. Instead, An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance: Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany by Claudia Breger maps the complexities of imaginative worldmaking in contemporary culture through an aesthetics of narrative performance: an ensemble of techniques exploring the interplay of rupture and recontextualization in the process of configuration. Interlacing diverging definitions of both narrative and performance, the study outlines two clusters of such techniques—scenic narration and narrative “presencing” in performance vs. forms of narrative theatricalization—and analyzes the cultural work they do in individual works in three different media: literature, film, and theater. These readings focus on the rich configurations of contemporary worldmaking “at location Germany.” In the discussed representations of German unification, contemporary cultures of migration, and the transnational War on Terror, the aesthetics of narrative performance finds its identity as a multifaceted imaginative response to the post/modern crisis of narrative authority.
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The Aesthetics of Service in Early Modern England
Elizabeth Rivlin
Northwestern University Press, 2011

In The Aesthetics of Service in Early Modern England, Elizabeth Rivlin explores the ways in which servant-master relationships reshaped literature. The early modern servant is enjoined to obey his or her master out of dutiful love, but the servant's duty actually amounts to standing in for the master, a move that opens the possibility of becoming master. Rivlin shows that service is fundamentally a representational practice, in which the servant who acts for a master merges with the servant who acts as a master. 

Rivlin argues that in the early modern period, servants found new positions as subjects and authors found new forms of literature. Representations of servants and masters became a site of contact between pressing material concerns and evolving aesthetic ones. Offering readings of dramas by Shakespeare, Jonson, and Thomas Dekker and prose fictions by Thomas Deloney and Thomas Nashe, Rivlin suggests that these authors discovered their own exciting and unstable projects in the servants they created.

[more]

The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry, 1914-1928
Willard Bohn
University of Chicago Press, 1993
In this, the only full-length study of the visual poetry of the early twentieth century, Willard Bohn expertly illuminates the works of Apollinaire, Josep-Maria Junow, Guillermo de Torre, and others. His fascinating aesthetic insights bring to life this elusive and often misunderstood genre.

"An important contribution. Highly sophisticated, the study tends to raise its reader's impression of visual poetry in the twentieth century from trivial pastime to serious preoccupation."—Eric Sellin, Journal of Modern Literature

"With his definitive analyses full of quotable observations and sharp critical insights, Bohn has provided a model, pioneering study, one from which current and future studies of visual poetry will most certainly benefit."—Gerald J. Janacek, Romance Quarterly

"Bohn substantiates his thesis with thoughtful and often ingenious explications of texts both well known and hard to find. . . . Aesthetics of Visual Poetry is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written and fascinating introduction to an infinitely intriguing genre."—Mechthild Cranston, French Review
[more]

Aetia, Iambi, Hecale and Other Fragments. Hero and Leander
Callimachus and Musaeus
Harvard University Press, 1975

Callimachus of Cyrene, born ca. 310 BCE, after studying philosophy at Athens, became a teacher of grammar and poetry at Alexandria. Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt (reigned 285–247) made him when still young a librarian in the new library at Alexandria; he prepared a great catalogue of its books.

Callimachus was author of much poetry and many works in prose, but not much survives. His hymns and epigrams are given with works by Aratus and Lycophron in another volume (no. 129) of the Loeb Classical Library. In the present volume are included fragments of the Aetia (Causes), aetiological legends concerning Greek history and customs; fragments of a book of Iambi; 147 fragments of the epic poem Hecale, which described Theseus’s victory over the bull which infested Marathon; and other fragments.

We have no explicit information about the poet Musaeus, author of the short epic poem on Hero and Leander, except that he is given in some manuscripts the title Grammatikos, a teacher learned in the rhetoric, poetry and philosophy of his time. He was obviously a follower of the Egyptian poet Nonnus of Panopolis, of the fifth century AD, and his poem seems also to presuppose the Paraphrase of the Psalms of Pseudo-Apollinarius which can be dated to the period 460–470.

Musaeus takes up a subject whose first detailed treatment is preserved in Ovid’s Heroides (Epistles 18 and 19), but he presents it in a quite different manner. Among the literary antecedents to which this learned grammatikos expressly alludes, the most prominent are Books 5 and 6 of the Odyssey and Plato’s Phaedrus. He draws too on the Hymns of Proclus and the Metaphrasis of the Gospel of St. John by Nonnus. He was most probably a Christian Neoplatonist writing a Christian allegory.

[more]

Aetia. Iambi. Lyric Poems
Callimachus
Harvard University Press, 2022

Callimachus (ca. 303–ca. 235 BC), a proud and well-born native of Cyrene in Libya, came as a young man to the court of the Ptolemies at Alexandria, where he composed poetry for the royal family; helped establish the Library and Museum as a world center of literature, science, and scholarship; and wrote an estimated 800 volumes of poetry and prose on an astounding variety of subjects, including the Pinakes, a descriptive bibliography of the Library’s holdings in 120 volumes. Callimachus’ vast learning richly informs his poetry, which ranges broadly and reworks the language and generic properties of his predecessors in inventive, refined, and expressive ways. The “Callimachean” style, combining learning, elegance, and innovation and prizing brevity, clarity, lightness, and charm, served as an important model for later poets, not least at Rome for Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and the elegists, among others.

This edition, which replaces the earlier Loeb editions by A. W. Mair (1921) and C. A. Trypanis (1954, 1958), presents all that currently survives of and about Callimachus and his works, including the ancient commentaries (Diegeseis) and scholia. Volume I contains Aetia, Iambi, and lyric poems; Volume II Hecale, Hymns, and Epigrams; and Volume III miscellaneous epics and elegies, other fragments, and testimonia, together with concordances and a general index. The Greek text is based mainly on Pfeiffer’s but enriched by subsequently published papyri and the judgment of later editors, and its notes and annotation are fully informed by current scholarship.

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Affect, Animals, and Autists
Feeling Around the Edges of the Human in Performance
Marla Carlson
University of Michigan Press, 2018
When theater and related forms of live performance explore the borderlands labeled animal and autism, they both reflect and affect their audiences’ understanding of what it means to be human. Affect, Animals, and Autists maps connections across  performances that question the borders of the human whose neurodiverse experiences have been shaped by the diagnostic label of autism, and animal-human performance relationships that dispute and blur anthropocentric edges.

By analyzing specific structures of affect with the vocabulary of emotions, Marla Carlson builds upon the conception of affect articulated by psychologist Silvan Tomkins. The book treats a diverse selection of live performance and archival video and analyzes the ways in which they affect their audiences. The range of performances includes commercially successful productions such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse, and The Lion King as well as to the more avant-garde and experimental theater created by Robert Wilson and Christopher Knowles, Back to Back Theatre, Elevator Repair Service, Pig Iron Theatre, and performance artist Deke Weaver.
[more]

The Affect Theory Reader
Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
This field-defining collection consolidates and builds momentum in the burgeoning area of affect studies. The contributors include many of the central theorists of affect—those visceral forces beneath, alongside, or generally other than conscious knowing that can serve to drive us toward movement, thought, and ever-changing forms of relation. As Lauren Berlant explores “cruel optimism,” Brian Massumi theorizes the affective logic of public threat, and Elspeth Probyn examines shame, they, along with the other contributors, show how an awareness of affect is opening up exciting new insights in disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and psychology to philosophy, queer studies, and sociology. In essays diverse in subject matter, style, and perspective, the contributors demonstrate how affect theory illuminates the intertwined realms of the aesthetic, the ethical, and the political as they play out across bodies (human and non-human) in both mundane and extraordinary ways. They reveal the broad theoretical possibilities opened by an awareness of affect as they reflect on topics including ethics, food, public morale, glamor, snark in the workplace, and mental health regimes. The Affect Theory Reader includes an interview with the cultural theorist Lawrence Grossberg and an afterword by the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart. In the introduction, the editors suggest ways of defining affect, trace the concept’s history, and highlight the role of affect theory in various areas of study.

Contributors. Sara Ahmed, Ben Anderson, Lauren Berlant, Lone Bertelsen, Steven D. Brown, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Anna Gibbs,Melissa Gregg, Lawrence Grossberg, Ben Highmore, Brian Massumi, Andrew Murphie, Elspeth Probyn, Gregory J. Seigworth, Kathleen Stewart, Nigel Thrift, Ian Tucker, Megan Watkins

[more]

The Affect Theory Reader 2
Worldings, Tensions, Futures
Gregory J. Seigworth and Carolyn Pedwell, editors
Duke University Press, 2023
Building on the foundational The Affect Theory Reader, this new volume gathers together contemporary scholarship that highlights and interrogates the contemporary state of affect inquiry. Unsettling what might be too readily taken-for-granted assumptions in affect theory, The Affect Theory Reader 2 extends and challenges how contemporary theories of affect intersect with a wide range of topics and fields that include Black studies, queer and trans theory, Indigenous cosmologies, feminist cultural analysis, psychoanalysis, and media ecologies. It foregrounds vital touchpoints for contemporary studies of affect, from the visceral elements of climate emergency and the sensorial sinews of networked media to the minor feelings entangled with listening, looking, thinking, writing, and teaching otherwise. Tracing affect’s resonances with today’s most critical debates, The Affect Theory Reader 2 will reorient and disorient readers to the past, present, and future potentials of affect theory.

Contributors. Lauren Berlant, Lisa Blackman, Rizvana Bradley, Ann Cvetkovich, Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román, Adam J. Frank, M. Gail Hamner, Omar Kasmani, Cecilia Macón, Hil Malatino, Erin Manning, Derek P. McCormack, Patrick Nickleson, Susanna Paasonen, Tyrone S. Palmer, Carolyn Pedwell, Jasbir K. Puar, Jason Read, Michael Richardson, Dylan Robinson, Tony D. Sampson, Kyla Schuller, Gregory J. Seigworth, Nathan Snaza, Kathleen Stewart, Elizabeth A. Wilson
[more]

Affecting Fictions
Mind, Body, and Emotion in American Literary Realism
Jane F. Thrailkill
Harvard University Press, 2007

What happens when the cerebral--that is, theories of literature and of affect--encounters the corporeal, the human body? In this study by Jane Thrailkill, what emerges from the convergence is an important vision of late-nineteenth-century American realist literature and the role of emotion and physiology in literary criticism.

Affecting Fictions offers a new understanding of American literary realism that draws on neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Thrailkill positions herself against the emotionless interpretations of the New Critics. Taking as her point of departure realist works of medicine, psychology, and literature, she argues that nineteenth-century readers and critics would have taken it for granted that texts engaged both mind and body. Feeling, she writes, is part of interpretation.

Examining literary works by Henry James, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thrailkill explores the connections among the aesthetic, emotion, consciousness, and the body in readings that illuminate lesser-known works such as "Elsie Venner" and that resuscitate classics such as "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Focusing on pity, fear, nervousness, pleasure, and wonder, Thrailkill makes an important contribution to the growing body of critical work on affect and aesthetics, presenting a case for the indispensability of emotions to the study of fiction.

[more]

Affective Ecologies
Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative
Alexa Weik von Mossner
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
Affective Ecologies: EmpathyEmotion, and Environmental Narrative explores our emotional engagement with environmental narrative. Focusing on the American cultural context, Alexa Weik von Mossner develops an ecocritical approach that draws on the insights of affective science and cognitive narratology. This approach helps to clarify how we interact with environmental narratives in ways that are both biologically universal and culturally specific. In doing so, it pays particular attention to the thesis that our minds are both embodied (in a physical body) and embedded (in a physical environment), not only when we interact with the real world but also in our engagement with imaginary worlds.
 
How do we experience the virtual environments we encounter in literature and film on the sensory and emotional level? How do environmental narratives invite us to care for human and nonhuman others who are put at risk? And how do we feel about the speculative futures presented to us in ecotopian and ecodystopian texts? Weik von Mossner explores these central questions that are important to anyone with an interest in the emotional appeal and persuasive power of environmental narratives.
 
[more]

Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas
Judith Sierra-Rivera
The Ohio State University Press, 2018
In her groundbreaking Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas, Judith Sierra-Rivera studies five different contexts of crisis: natural disasters in Mexico, forced displacements between Central America and the United States, a whitewashed transition to democracy in Chile, colonialism and wars in Puerto Rico, and racism and patriarchy in Cuba. All of these scenarios share the common ground of the neoliberal space of catastrophe, which also generates new groups and forms of resistance. Affective Intellectuals argues that a new kind of intellectual emerges from these contemporary configurations to speak and act guided by the stories and desires of those who have been systematically pushed out of the public sphere: indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, immigrants, LGBTQ sexualities, and inhabitants of poverty.
 
Pursuing this argument, Sierra-Rivera examines print, radio, and web materials by authors whose emotional discourses have also had a measurable impact on the formation of communities that demand their full political inclusion in society. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the study of the relationship between materiality (space and bodies), emotions, and the political imagination. Affective Intellectuals demonstrates that writers and intellectuals themselves are vital in reshaping their communities and fighting for social justice in the Hemispheric Americas.
 
[more]

Affective Mapping
Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism
Jonathan Flatley
Harvard University Press, 2008

The surprising claim of this book is that dwelling on loss is not necessarily depressing. Instead, Jonathan Flatley argues, embracing melancholy can be a road back to contact with others and can lead people to productively remap their relationship to the world around them. Flatley demonstrates that a seemingly disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers showed how aesthetic activity can give us the means to comprehend and change our relation to loss.

The texts at the center of Flatley’s analysis—Henry James’s Turn of the Screw, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, and Andrei Platonov’s Chevengur—share with Freud an interest in understanding the depressing effects of difficult losses and with Walter Benjamin the hope that loss itself could become a means of connection and the basis for social transformation. For Du Bois, Platonov, and James, the focus on melancholy illuminates both the historical origins of subjective emotional life and a heretofore unarticulated community of melancholics. The affective maps they produce make possible the conversion of a depressive melancholia into a way to be interested in the world.

[more]

Africa Wo/Man Palava
The Nigerian Novel by Women
Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Africa Wo/Man Palava offers the first close look at eight Nigerian women writers and proposes a new vernacular theory based on their work. Flora Nwapa, Adaora Lily Ulasi, Buchi Emecheta, Funmilayo Fakunle, Ifeoma Okoye, Zaynab Alkali, Eno Obong, and Simi Bedford are the writers Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi considers. African womanism, an emerging model of female discourse, is at the heart of their writing. In their work, female resistance shifts from the idea of palava, or trouble, to a focus on consensus, compromise, and cooperation; it tackles sexism, totalitarianism, and ethnic prejudice. Such inclusiveness, Ogunyemi shows, stems from an emphasis on motherhood, acknowledging that everyone is a mother's child, capable of creating palava and generating a compromise.

Ogunyemi uses the novels to trace a Nigerian women's literary tradition that reflects an ideology centered on children and community. Of prime importance is the paradoxical Mammywata figure, the independent, childless mother, who serves as a basis for the new woman in these novels. Ogunyemi tracks this figure through many permutations, from matriarch to exile to woman writer, her multiple personalities reflecting competing loyalties—to self and other, children and nation. Such fragmented personalities characterize the postcolonial condition in their writing. Mapping geographies of pain and endurance, the work opens a space for addressing the palava between different groups of people. Valuable as the first sustained critical study of a substantial but little known body of literature, this book also counters the shortcomings of prevailing "masculinist" theories of black literature in a powerful narrative of the Nigerian world.
[more]

Africa Writes Back
The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature
James Currey
Ohio University Press, 2008

June 17, 2008, is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart by Heinemann. This publication provided the impetus for the foundation of the African Writers Series in 1962 with Chinua Achebe as the editorial adviser.

Africa Writes Back: The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature captures the energy of literary publishing in a new and undefined field. Portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers make Africa Writes Back a stand-out book. James Currey’s voice and insights are an added bonus.

CONTENTS
Publishing and selling the African Writers Series
The African Writers Series Portfolio & George Hallett’s covers
Main dates for the African Writers Series

INTRODUCTION: The establishment of African Literature
Publishing Chinua Achebe

1. WRITERS FROM WEST AFRICA
Nigeria: The country where so much started
Negritude from Senegal to Cameroun
Magic & realism from Ghana, The Gambia & Sierra Leone

2. WRITERS FROM EASTERN AFRICA
Towards the oral & the popular in Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania
Publishing Ngugi

3. WRITERS FROM THE HORN & NORTH-EASTERN AFRICA
Emperors in Ethiopia
Publishing Nuruddin Farah
Arab authors in Egypt & Sudan

4. WRITERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Resistance in South Africa
Publishing Alex la Guma
Publishing Dennis Brutus
Publishing Bessie Head
Publishing Masizi Kunene

5. WRITERS FROM SOUTHERN AFRICAN
Guns & Guerrillas in Mozambique &Angola
Zambia Shall be Free
Death & detention in Malawi
The struggle to become Zimbabwe
Publishing Dambudzo Marechera

CONCLUSION: Is there still a role for the African Writers Series?

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African American Satire
The Sacredly Profane Novel
Darryl Dickson-Carr
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Satire's real purpose as a literary genre is to criticize through humor, irony, caricature, and parody, and ultimately to defy the status quo. In African American Satire, Darryl Dickson-Carr provides the first book-length study of African American satire and the vital role it has played. In the process he investigates African American literature, American literature, and the history of satire.

Dickson-Carr argues that major works by such authors as Rudolph Fisher, Ishmael Reed, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and George S. Schuyler should be read primarily as satires in order to avoid misinterpretation and to gain a greater understanding of their specific meanings and the eras in which they were written. He also examines the satirical rhetoric and ideological bases of complex works such as John Oliver Killens's The Cotillion and Cecil Brown's The Life and Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger—books that are currently out of print and that have received only scant critical attention since they were first published.

Beginning with the tradition of folk humor that originated in West Africa and was forcibly transplanted to the Americas through chattel slavery, Dickson-Carr focuses in each chapter on a particular period of the twentieth century in which the African American satirical novel flourished. He analyzes the historical contexts surrounding African American literature and culture within discrete crucial movements, starting with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ending in the present. He also demonstrates how the political, cultural, and literary ethos of each particular moment is manifested and contested in each text.

By examining these texts closely within their historical and ideological contexts, Dickson-Carr shows how African American satirical novels provide the reader of African American literature with a critique of popular ideologies seldom found in nonsatirical works. Providing a better understanding of what satire is and why it is so important for fulfilling many of the goals of African American literature, African American Satire will be an important addition to African American studies.

[more]

African American Travel Narratives from Abroad
Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow
Gary Totten
University of Massachusetts Press, 2015
During the Jim Crow era, African American travelers faced the prospects of violence, harassment, and the denial of services, especially as they made their way throughout the American South. Those who journeyed outside the United States found not only a political and social context that was markedly different from America's, but in their international mobility, they also discovered new ways of identifying themselves in relation to others.

In this book, Gary Totten examines the global travel narratives of a diverse set of African American writers, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Matthew Henson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. While these writers deal with issues of identity in relation to a reimagined sense of self—in a way that we might expect to find in travel narratives—they also push against the constraints and conventions of the genre, reconsidering discourses of tourism, ethnography, and exploration. This book not only offers new insights about African American writers and mobility, it also charts the ideological distinctions and divergent agendas within this group of writers. Totten demonstrates how these travelers and their writings challenged dominant ideologies about African American experience, expression, and identity in a period of escalating racial violence. By setting these texts in their historical context and within the genre of travel writing, Totten presents a nuanced understanding of both popular and recovered work of the period.
[more]

African American Writers and Classical Tradition
William W. Cook and James Tatum
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Constraints on freedom, education, and individual dignity have always been fundamental in determining who is able to write, when, and where. Considering the singular experience of the African American writer, William W. Cook and James Tatum here argue that African American literature did not develop apart from canonical Western literary traditions but instead grew out of those literatures, even as it adapted and transformed the cultural traditions and religions of Africa and the African diaspora along the way.
Tracing the interaction between African American writers and the literatures of ancient Greece and Rome, from the time of slavery and its aftermath to the civil rights era and on into the present, the authors offer a sustained and lively discussion of the life and work of Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Rita Dove, among other highly acclaimed poets, novelists, and scholars. Assembling this brilliant and diverse group of African American writers at a moment when our understanding of classical literature is ripe for change, the authors paint an unforgettable portrait of our own reception of “classic” writing, especially as it was inflected by American racial politics.
[more]

African American Writing
A Literary Approach
Werner Sollors
Temple University Press, 2016

Werner Sollors’ African American Writing takes a fresh look at what used to be called “Negro literature.” The essays collected here, ranging in topic from Gustavus Vassa/Olaudah Equiano to LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and in time from the Enlightenment to the Obama presidency, take a literary approach to black writing and present writers as readers and as intellectuals who were or are open to the world. 

From W.E.B. Du Bois commenting on Richard Wagner and Elvis Presley, to Zora Neale Hurston attacking Brown v. Board of Ed. in a segregationist newspaper, to Charles Chesnutt’s effigy darkened for the black heritage postage stamp, Sollors alternates between close readings and broader cultural contextualizations to delineate the various aesthetic modes and intellectual exchanges that shaped a series of striking literary works.

Readers will make often-surprising discoveries in the authors’ writing and in their encounters and dialogues with others. The essays, accompanied by Winold Reiss’s pastels, Carl Van Vechten’s photographs, and other portraits, attempt to honor this important literature’s achievement, heterogeneity, and creativity.

[more]

African Literature in the Twentieth Century
O.R. Dathorne
University of Minnesota Press, 1976

African Literature in the Twentieth Century was first published in 1976. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This paperback makes available the major part of Professor Dathorne's The Black Mind.It concentrates on the writings of Africans in various African and European languages and provides insight, both broad and deep, into the Black intellect. Professor Dathorne examines the literature of Africans as spoken or written in their local languages and in French, Portuguese, and English. This extensive survey and interpretation gives the reader a remarkable pathway to an understanding of the Black imagination and its relevance to thought and creativity throughout the world.

The author himself lived in Africa for ten years, and his view is not that of an outsider, since it is as a Black man that he speaks about Black people. Throughout the book, a major theme is the demonstration that, despite slavery and colonialism, Africans remained very close to their own cultures. Professor Dathorne shows that African writers may be, like some Afro-American writers, "marginal men," but that they are Black men and it is as Black men that they feel the nostalgia of their past and the corrosive influences of their present.

O. R. Dathorne is a member of the Department of Black Studies and of the Department of English at Ohio State University. He has taught at universities in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and served as a UNESCO adviser in Sierra Leone. He also has taught at Ohio State University, Howard University, and the University of Wisconsin and lectured at Yale, Federal City College, Michigan State, and other universities in and out of the United States. He is the author of two novels and editor of a number of anthologies of Black literature, and has written widely in journals on his subject.

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Afrindian Fictions
Diaspora, Race, and National Desire in South Africa
Pallavi Rastogi
The Ohio State University Press, 2008
In the first published book-length study of Indian fiction in South Africa, Pallavi Rastogi demonstrates that Indians desire South African citizenship in the fullest sense of the word, a longing for inclusion that is asserted through an “Afrindian” identity. Afrindian Fictions: Diaspora, Race, and National Desire in South Africa examines Afrindian identity and blurs the racial binary of black and white interaction in South African studies as well as unsettles the East-West paradigm of migration dominant in South Asian diaspora studies.
 
While offering incisive analyses of the work of the most important South African Indian writers today—Ahmed Essop, Farida Karodia, Achmat Dangor, Imraan Coovadia, and Praba Moodley among others—the author also places South African Indian fiction within broader literary traditions. Rastogi’s project of recovery shines a light on the rich but neglected literature by South African Indians. The book closes with interviews conducted with six key South African Indian writers. Here the authors not only reflect on their own writing but also comment on many of the issues raised in the book itself, particularly the role of Indians in South Africa today, and the status of South African Indian writing.
 
Afrindian Fictions is a valuable introduction to South African Indian literature as well as a major interrogation of some of the foundational notions of post-colonial literary studies.
 
[more]

Afro Orientalism
Bill V. Mullen
University of Minnesota Press, 2004

Reveals a century of political solidarity uniting Asians and African Americans

As early as 1914, in his pivotal essay “The World Problem of the Color Line,” W. E. B. Du Bois was charting a search for Afro-Asian solidarity and for an international anticolonialism. In Afro-Orientalism, Bill Mullen traces the tradition of revolutionary thought and writing developed by African American and Asian American artists and intellectuals in response to Du Bois’s challenge.

Afro-Orientalism unfolds here as a distinctive strand of cultural and political work that contests the longstanding, dominant discourse about race and nation first fully named in Edward Said’s Orientalism. Mullen tracks Afro-Asian engagement with U.S. imperialism—including writings by Richard Wright, Grace and James Boggs, Robert F. Williams, and Fred Ho—and companion struggles against racism and capitalism around the globe. To this end, he offers Afro-Orientalism as an antidote to essentialist, race-based, or narrow conceptions of ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, calling on scholars in these fields to re-imagine their critical enterprises as mutually constituting and politically interdependent.

[more]

Afro-American Literary Study in the 1990s
Edited by Houston A. Baker Jr. and Patricia Redmond
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Featuring the work of the most distinguished scholars in the field, this volume assesses the state of Afro-American literary study and projects a vision of that study for the 1990s. "A rich and rewarding collection."—Choice.

"This diverse and inspired collection . . . testifies to the Afro-Am academy's extraordinary vitality."—Voice Literary Supplement
[more]

Afro-Atlantic Flight
Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic
Michelle D. Commander
Duke University Press, 2017
In Afro-Atlantic Flight Michelle D. Commander traces how post-civil rights Black American artists, intellectuals, and travelers envision literal and figurative flight back to Africa as a means by which to heal the dispossession caused by the slave trade. Through ethnographic, historical, literary, and filmic analyses, Commander shows the ways that cultural producers such as Octavia Butler, Thomas Allen Harris, and Saidiya Hartman engage with speculative thought about slavery, the spiritual realm, and Africa, thereby structuring the imaginary that propels future return flights.  She goes on to examine Black Americans’ cultural heritage tourism in and migration to Ghana; Bahia, Brazil; and various sites of slavery in the US South to interrogate the ways that a cadre of actors produces “Africa” and contests master narratives. Compellingly, these material flights do not always satisfy Black Americans’ individualistic desires for homecoming and liberation, leading Commander to focus on the revolutionary possibilities inherent in psychic speculative returns and to argue for the development of a Pan-Africanist stance that works to more effectively address the contemporary resonances of slavery that exist across the Afro-Atlantic.
[more]

Afro-Future Females
Black Writers Chart Science Fiction's Newest New-Wave Trajectory
Marlene S. Barr
The Ohio State University Press, 2008
Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory,edited by Marleen S. Barr, is the first combined science fiction critical anthology and short story collection to focus upon black women via written and visual texts. The volume creates a dialogue with existing theories of Afro-Futurism in order to generate fresh ideas about how to apply race to science fiction studies in terms of gender. The contributors, including Hortense Spillers, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, and Steven Barnes, formulate a woman-centered Afro-Futurism by repositioning previously excluded fiction to redefine science fiction as a broader fantastic endeavor. They articulate a platform for scholars to mount a vigorous argument in favor of redefining science fiction to encompass varieties of fantastic writing and, therefore, to include a range of black women’s writing that would otherwise be excluded. Afro-Future Females builds upon Barr’s previous work in black science fiction and fills a gap in the literature. It is the first critical anthology to address the "blackness" of outer space fiction in terms of feminism, emphasizing that it is necessary to revise the very nature of a genre that has been constructed in such a way as to exclude its new black participants. Black science fiction writers alter genre conventions to change how we read and define science fiction itself. The work’s main point: black science fiction is the most exciting literature of the nascent twenty-first century.
[more]

Afrofuturism Rising
The Literary Prehistory of a Movement
Isiah Lavender III
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
Growing out of the music scene, afrofuturism has emerged as an important aesthetic through films such as Black Panther and Get Out. While the significance of these sonic and visual avenues for afrofuturism cannot be underestimated, literature remains fundamental to understanding its full dimensions. Isiah Lavender’s Afrofuturism Rising explores afrofuturism as a narrative practice that enables users to articulate the interconnection between science, technology, and race across centuries.
 
By engaging with authors as diverse as Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, Samuel R. Delany Jr., Pauline Hopkins, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright, Afrofuturism Rising extends existing scholarly conversations about who creates and what is created via science fiction. Through a trans-historical rereading of texts by these authors as science fiction, Lavender highlights the ways black experience in America has always been an experience of spatial and temporal dislocation akin to science fiction. Compelling and ambitious in scope, Afrofuturism Rising redefines both science fiction and literature as a whole.
 
[more]