In The Art of Reading as a Way of Life: On Nietzsche’s Truth Daniel T. O’Hara traces critically the current reception and translation of Nietzsche’s corpus and then some of Nietzsche’s boldest textual experiments in the art of reading as a way of life, including those in The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Anti-Christ, and Ecce Homo.
The shape of this critical tracing begins, however, in the middle of his career with The Gay Science andmoves on to Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which Nietzsche believed was the central work of his life. It then revalues Ecce Homo, Nietzsche’s final autobiographical statement about his life and career, and concludes with a comparative analysis of two works from the beginning and end of that career: respectively, The Birth of Tragedy and The Anti-Christ. O’Hara’s highly original study, which uses Badiou’s theory of the truth-event as a guide, will surely provoke larger conversations across many disciplines.
Engage the delightful and inspiring, sometimes rough and rocky road to inclusive and transformative Bible reading
This book offers the results of research within a new area of discipline—empirical hermeneutics in intercultural perspective. The book includes interpretations from the homeless in Amsterdam, to Indonesia, from African Xhosa readers to Norway, to Madagascar, American youths, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.
Interpretations from ordinary readers in more than twenty-five countries
Background introduction with history of the text
Discussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors
Popular culture has divorced itself from the life of the mind. Who has time for great books or deep thought when there is Jersey Shore to watch, a txt 2 respond 2, and World of Warcraft to play?
At the same time, those who pursue the life of the mind have insulated themselves from popular culture. Speaking in insider jargon and writing unread books, intellectuals have locked themselves away in a ghetto of their own creation. It wasn’t always so. Blue Collar Intellectuals vividly captures a time in the twentieth century when the everyman aspired to high culture and when intellectuals descended from the ivory tower to speak to the everyman. Author Daniel J. Flynn profiles thinkers from working-class backgrounds who played a prominent role in American life by addressing their intellectual work to a mass audience. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:he unschooled hobo who migrated from skid row anonymity to White House chats with the president and prime-time TV specials. Blue Collar Intellectuals tells the fascinating story of:
•The scandalous teacher-student romance that spawned a half-century labor of love in writing the history of the world.
•The Ivy League Ph.D. who held neither a high school nor college degree, and fittingly launched a renaissance in reading the great books outside of formal schools.
•The scholarship student who experienced the free market firsthand waiting tables and peddling socks, and who became one of capitalism’s most influential exponents.
•The impoverished outcast who became the poet of the pulps, elevating millions of readers along with heretofore marginal genres.
Guiding us through a world now vanished, Flynn causes us to look anew at our own digital age and its nostrums: Video gaming is just a new form of literacy, Reality shows . . . Challenge our emotional intelligence, and Who cares if Johnny can’t read? The value of books is overstated. Blue Collar Intellectuals shows us how much everyone intellectual and everyman alike has suffered from mass culture’s crowding out of higher things and the elite’s failure to engage the masses.
Praise for Blue Collar Intellectuals
“This book is not only an exciting story; it also corrects a terrible cultural mistake—the mistake of treating high culture, Great Books, and other canon-making visions of tradition as exploitative and spurious. Previous generations of intellectuals believed that our great cultural inheritance belonged to everyone, rich and poor, black and white and brown. Daniel Flynn’s profiles revive that belief, and they mark a vital alternative to the complacent relativism of contemporary cultural stewards.”
—Mark Bauerlein, best-selling author of The Dumbest Generation
“Flynn’s case histories of a wonderful—and uniquely American—tradition of bringing learning to the masses offers us a morality tale in these times of spiraling tuition, esoteric publication, and an insular academia mostly cut off from wider society. The fascinating portraits here remind us how not so long ago an interest in making knowledge known beyond the campus was not antithetical to learning but the very essence of the true intellectual.”
—Victor Davis Hanson, coauthor of Who Killed Homer? and The Bonfire of the Humanities
“Back in the middle decades of the twentieth century, millions of Americans supped at the table of high culture, learning history, philosophy, and economics from intellectual entrepreneurs like Will and Ariel Durant, Mortimer Adler, and Eric Hoffer. Daniel Flynn tells their story inBlue Collar
The Body of Writing: An Erotics of Contemporary American Fiction examines four postmodern texts whose authors play with the material conventions of “the book”: Joseph McElroy’s Plus (1977), Carole Maso’s AVA (1993), Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s DICTEE (1982), and Steve Tomasula’s VAS (2003). By demonstrating how each of these works calls for an affirmative engagement with literature, Flore Chevaillier explores a centrally important issue in the criticism of contemporary fiction. Critics have claimed that experimental literature, in its disruption of conventional story-telling and language uses, resists literary and social customs. While this account is accurate, it stresses what experimental texts respond to more than what they offer. This book proposes a counter-view to this emphasis on the strictly privative character of innovative fictions by examining experimental works’ positive ideas and affects, as well as readers’ engagement in the formal pleasure of experimentations with image, print, sound, page, orthography, and syntax.
Elaborating an erotics of recent innovative literature implies that we engage in the formal pleasure of its experimentations with signifying techniques and with the materiality of their medium. Such engagement provokes a fusion of the reader’s senses and the textual material, which invites a redefinition of corporeality as a kind of textual practice.
Book clubs are everywhere these days. And women talk about the clubs they belong to with surprising emotion. But why are the clubs so important to them? And what do the women discuss when they meet? To answer questions like these, Elizabeth Long spent years observing and participating in women's book clubs and interviewing members from different discussion groups. Far from being an isolated activity, she finds reading for club members to be an active and social pursuit, a crucial way for women to reflect creatively on the meaning of their lives and their place in the social order.
Andrew Piper grew up liking books and loving computers. While occasionally burying his nose in books, he was going to computer camp, programming his Radio Shack TRS-80, and playing Pong. His eventual love of reading made him a historian of the book and a connoisseur of print, but as a card-carrying member of the first digital generation—and the father of two digital natives—he understands that we live in electronic times. Book Was There is Piper’s surprising and always entertaining essay on reading in an e-reader world.
Much ink has been spilled lamenting or championing the decline of printed books, but Piper shows that the rich history of reading itself offers unexpected clues to what lies in store for books, print or digital. From medieval manuscript books to today’s playable media and interactive urban fictions, Piper explores the manifold ways that physical media have shaped how we read, while also observing his own children as they face the struggles and triumphs of learning to read. In doing so, he uncovers the intimate connections we develop with our reading materials—how we hold them, look at them, share them, play with them, and even where we read them—and shows how reading is interwoven with our experiences in life. Piper reveals that reading’s many identities, past and present, on page and on screen, are the key to helping us understand the kind of reading we care about and how new technologies will—and will not—change old habits.
Contending that our experience of reading belies naive generalizations about the future of books, Book Was There is an elegantly argued and thoroughly up-to-date tribute to the endurance of books in our ever-evolving digital world.
"BookMarks is a moving and revelatory memoir... a work of fiercely intelligent scholarship." - Susan Larson,
"Erudite and emotional in turns, [BookMarks] is full of truths that appeal to the head and the heart." - Charlotte News Observer"
What are you reading? What books have been important to you? Whether you are interviewing for a job, chatting with a friend or colleague, or making small talk, these questions arise almost unfailingly. Some of us have stock responses, which may or may not be a fiction of our own making. Others gauge their answers according to who is asking the question. Either way, the replies that we give are thoughtfully crafted to suggest the intelligence, worldliness, political agenda, or good humor that we are hoping to convey. We form our answers carefully because we know that our responses say a lot.
But what exactly do our answers say? In BookMarks, Karla FC Holloway explores the public side of reading, and specifically how books and booklists form a public image of African Americans. Revealing her own love of books and her quirky passion for their locations in libraries and on bookshelves, Holloway reflects on the ways that her parents guided her reading when she was young and her bittersweet memories of reading to her children. She takes us on a personal and candid journey that considers the histories of reading in children’s rooms, prison libraries, and “Negro” libraries of the early twentieth century, and that finally reveals how her identity as a scholar, a parent, and an African American woman has been subject to judgments that public cultures make about race and our habits of reading.
Holloway is the first to call our attention to a remarkable trend of many prominent African American writers—including Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, Malcolm X, and Zora Neale Hurston. Their autobiographies and memoirs are consistently marked with booklists—records of their own habits of reading. She examines these lists, along with the trends of selection in Oprah Winfrey’s popular book club, raising the questions: What does it mean for prominent African Americans to associate themselves with European learning and culture? How do books by black authors fare in the inevitable hierarchy of a booklist?
BookMarks provides a unique window into the ways that African Americans negotiate between black and white cultures. This compelling rumination on reading is a book that everyone should add to their personal collections and proudly carry “cover out.”
Amid present-day conflagrations, this illuminating book reminds us of the sources, and profound consequences, of Christian fundamentalism in the sixteenth century. Simpson focuses on the cultural transformation in early modern England that allowed common people to read the Bible for the first time. The last wave of fundamentalist reading in the West provoked 150 years of violent upheaval; as we approach a second wave, this powerful book alerts us to our peril.
Arguing that composition should renew its interest in reading pedagogy and research, Chasing Literacy offers writing instructors and literacy scholars a framework for understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the proliferation of interactive and multimodal communication technologies in the twenty-first century.
Employing case-study research of student reading practices, Keller explores reading-writing connections in new media contexts. He identifies a culture of acceleration—a gathering of social, educational, economic, and technological forces that reinforce the values of speed, efficiency, and change—and challenges educators to balance new “faster” literacies with traditional “slower” literacies. In addition, Keller details four significant features of contemporary literacy that emerged from his research: accumulation and curricular choices; literacy perceptions; speeds of rhetoric; and speeds of reading.
Chasing Literacy outlines a new reading pedagogy that will help students gain versatile, dexterous approaches to both reading and writing and makes a significant contribution to this emerging area of interest in composition theory and practice.
The Iberian chivalric romance has long been thought of as an archaic, masculine genre and its popularity as an aberration in European literary history. Chivalry, Reading, and Women’s Culture in Early Modern Spain contests this view, arguing that the surprisingly egalitarian gender politics of Spain’s most famous romance of chivalry has guaranteed it a long afterlife. Amadís de Gaula had a notorious appeal for female audiences, and the early modern authors who borrowed from it varied in their reactions to its large cast of literate female characters. Don Quixote and other works that situate women as readers carry the influence of Amadís forward into the modern novel. When early modern authors read chivalric romance, they also read gender, harnessing the female characters of the source text to a variety of political and aesthetic purposes.
Over the years, American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative is different.
College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country access to a high-quality liberal arts education. Earning degrees in subjects ranging from Mandarin to advanced mathematics, graduates have, upon release, gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how the liberal arts can alter the landscape of some of our most important public institutions giving people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities.
Drawing on fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI’s development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts dramatic scenes from in and around college-in-prison classrooms pinpointing the contested meanings that emerge in moments of highly-charged reading, writing, and public speaking. Through examining the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions—the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary—College in Prison makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States.
Academic writing often requires students to incorporate material from outside sources (like statistics, ideas, quotations, paraphrases) into their own written texts-a particular obstacle for students who lack strong reading skills. In Connecting Reading and Writing in SecondLanguage Instruction, Alan Hirvela contends that second language writing students should be considered as readers first and advocates the integration of reading and writing instruction with a survey of theory, research, and pedagogy in the subject area.
Although the integrated reading-writing model has gained popularity in recent years, many teachers have little more than an intuitive sense of the connections between these skills. As part of the popular Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers, Connecting Reading and Writing in Second Language Instruction will provide invaluable background knowledge on this issue to ESL teachers in training, as well as teachers who are already practicing.
In this substantively revised new edition, Hirvela moves beyond the argument he made in the first edition of the value of connecting reading and writing. This new edition explains various dimensions of those connections and offers a fresh look at how to implement them in L2 writing instruction. It also provides both new and experienced teachers of writing with a solid grounding in the theoretical foundations and pedagogical possibilities associated with reading-writing connections.
The new edition features two new chapters. The first is a chapter on assessment because students are now being asked to connect reading and writing in the classroom and on formal assessments like the TOEFL®. The second new chapter is an argument for accounting for transfer elements in the teaching and researching of reading-writing connections.
The goals of this revised volume are to provide: resources for those wishing to pursue reading-writing connections, summaries of the beliefs underlying those connections, ideas for teaching the connections in the classroom, and information about the work others have done to develop this domain of L2 writing.
For thirty years the "death of the author" has been a familiar poststructuralist slogan in literary theory, widely understood and much debated as a dismissal of the author, a declaration of the writer's irrelevance to the readers experience. In this concise book, Jane Gallop revitalizes this hackneyed concept by considering not only the abstract theoretical death of the author but also the writer's literal death, as well as other authorial "deaths" such as obsolescence. Through bravura close readings of the influential literary theorists Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, she shows that the death of the author is best understood as a relation to temporality, not only for the reader but especially for the writer. Gallop does not just approach the death of the author from the reader's perspective; she also reflects at length on how impending death haunts the writer. By connecting an author's theoretical, literal, and metaphoric deaths, she enables us to take a fuller measure of the moving and unsettling effects of the deaths of the author on readers and writers, and on reading and writing.
In an ambitious reinterpretation of the premier work of Russia's national poet, J. Douglas Clayton reads Boris Godunov as the expression of Alexander Pushkin's thinking about the Russian state, especially the Russian state of his own time (some two hundred years distant from the events of the play), and even his own place within that state. Here we see how the play marks a sharp break with the Decembrists and Pushkin's own youthful liberalism, signaling its author's emergence as a Russian conservative. Boris Godunov, Clayton argues, can be best understood as an ideologically conservative defense of autocracy.
Sure to shock readers even as it persuades them, Dimitry's Shade reveals, incarnated in Boris Godunov, those three elements that were to become the slogan of Nicholas's Russia in the 1830s: autocracy, orthodoxy, and nationality.
Emily Dickinson's Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing is a fine facsimile edition and aesthetic exploration of a group of forty late drafts and fragments hitherto known as the "Lord letters." The drafts are presented in facsimile form on high-quality paper alongside typed transcriptions that reproduce as fully as possible the shock of script and startling array of visual details inscribed on the surfaces of the manuscripts.
Werner argues that a redefinition of the editorial enterprise is needed to approach the revelations of these writings-- the details that have been all but erased by editorial interventions and print conventions in the twentieth century. Paradoxically, "un-editing" them allows an exploration of the relationship between medium and messages. Werner's commentary forsakes the claims to comprehensiveness generally associated with scholarly narrative in favor of a series of speculative and fragmentary "close-ups"--a portrait in pieces. Finally, she proposes the acts of both reading and writing as visual poems.
A crucial reference for Dickinson scholars, this book is also of primary importance to textual scholars, editorial theorists, and students of gender and cultural studies interested in the production, dissemination, and interpretation of works by women writers.
This publication has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Marta L. Werner received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Buffalo. She is an independent scholar and a member of the Emily Dickinson Editing Collective.
Featuring essays written by the influential historian Antoinette Burton since the mid-1990s, Empire in Question traces the development of a particular, contentious strand of modern British history, the “new imperial history,” through the eyes of a scholar who helped to shape the field. In her teaching and writing, Burton has insisted that the vectors of imperial power run in multiple directions, argued that race must be incorporated into history writing, and emphasized that gender and sexuality are critical dimensions of imperial history. Empire in Question includes Burton’s groundbreaking critiques of British historiography, as well as essays in which she brings theory to bear on topics from Jane Eyre to nostalgia for colonial India. Burton’s autobiographical introduction describes how her early encounters with feminist and postcolonial critique led to her convictions that we must ask who counts as a subject of imperial history, and that we should maintain a healthy skepticism regarding the claims to objectivity that shape much modern history writing. In the coda, she candidly reflects on shortcomings in her own thinking and in the new imperial history, and she argues that British history must be repositioned in relation to world history. Much of Burton’s writing emerged from her teaching; Empire in Question is meant to engage students and teachers in debates about how to think about British imperialism in light of contemporary events.
"A terrifically engaging collection of essays, which exemplifies the very best recent work in the history of reading and affect. The distinguished contributors explore ‘ the feeling of reading' throughout Victorian literature, showing how a broad range of works---novels, lyrics, critical essays---not only represent but also analyze and evoke the surprisingly varied experience of immersing oneself in a book. It's rare to encounter a collection of such consistently high quality: the feeling of reading it is one of rich and manifold pleasure."
---James Eli Adams, Columbia University
"This gathering of state-of-the-art work generates a convincing and compelling vision of the emerging state of the field."
---Daniel Hack, University of Michigan
The Feeling of Reading is the first collection to address how we think of reading today through a focus on Victorian reading practices and the individual experience of reading in the nineteenth century. It brings together essays from some of the most established writers in the field with contributions from younger scholars to provide new ways of thinking about this definitive moment. The collection moves from the general to the particular: from excavations of the material and intellectual conditions of Victorian reading to the consequences of such excavations in readings of individual texts. All of the contributors engage the crucial critical question of the shaping of readerly feeling. In addition, they address a set of interlocking issues central to understanding Victorian reading: Kate Flint explores the material and social settings of reading; Nicholas Dames and Leah Price consider the concrete realities of books and periodicals; and the consequences of the mass circulation of texts are explored by Flint, John Plotz, and Rachel Ablow. The temporality of consumption appears in the contribution of Dames as well as those of Catherine Robson and Herbert F. Tucker, who also address the implications of meter; and Ablow, Plotz, Stephen Arata, and Garrett Stewart investigate the notion of identification.
Rachel Ablow is Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies No. 70
The Female as Subject reveals the rich and lively world of literate women in Japan from 1600 through the early twentieth century. Eleven essays by an international group of scholars from Europe, Japan, and North America examine what women of different social classes read, what books were produced specifically for women, and the genres in which women themselves chose to write. The authors explore the different types of education women obtained and the levels of literacy they achieved, and they uncover women’s participation in the production of books, magazines, and speeches. The resulting depiction of women as readers and writers is also enhanced by thirty black-and-white illustrations. For too long, women have been largely absent from accounts of cultural production in early modern Japan. By foregrounding women, the essays in this book enable us to rethink what we know about Japanese society during these centuries. The result is a new history of women as readers, writers, and culturally active agents. The Female as Subject is essential reading for all students and teachers of Japan during the Edo and Meiji periods. It also provides valuable comparative data for scholars of the history of literacy and the book in East Asia.
Heidegger’s later thought is a thinking of things, so argues Andrew J. Mitchell in The Fourfold. Heidegger understands these things in terms of what he names “the fourfold”—a convergence of relationships bringing together the earth, the sky, divinities, and mortals—and Mitchell’s book is the first detailed exegesis of this neglected aspect of Heidegger’s later thought. As such it provides entrée to the full landscape of Heidegger’s postwar thinking, offering striking new interpretations of the atomic bomb, technology, plants, animals, weather, time, language, the holy, mortality, dwelling, and more. What results is a conception of things as ecstatic, relational, singular, and, most provocatively, as intrinsically tied to their own technological commodification. A major new work that resonates beyond the confines of Heidegger scholarship, The Fourfold proposes nothing less than a new phenomenological thinking of relationality and mediation for understanding the things around us.
In this study, Christian Vandendorpe examines how digital media and the Internet have changed the process of reading and writing, significantly altering our approaches toward research and reading, our assumptions about audience and response, and our theories of memory, legibility, and context. Reflecting on the full history of the written word, Vandendorpe provides a clear overview of how materiality makes a difference in the creation and interpretation of texts. Looking to the future, reading and writing will continue to evolve based on the current, contested trends of universal digitization and accessibility.
Gandhi’s Printing Press
Isabel Hofmeyr Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DS481.G3H53 2013 | Dewey Decimal 954.035092
When Gandhi as a young lawyer in South Africa began fashioning the tenets of his political philosophy, he was absorbed by a seemingly unrelated enterprise: creating a newspaper, Indian Opinion. In Gandhi’s Printing Press Isabel Hofmeyr provides an account of how this footnote to a career shaped the man who would become the world-changing Mahatma.
Working with the premise that there are much meaning and value in the "repelling beauty" of mining landscapes, Richard Francaviglia identifies the visual clues that indicate an area has been mined and tells us how to read them, showing the interconnections among all of America's major mining districts. With a style as bold as the landscape he reads and with photographs to match, he interprets the major forces that have shaped the architecture, design, and topography of mining areas. Covering many different types of mining and mining locations, he concludes that mining landscapes have come to symbolize the turmoil between what our society elects to view as two opposing forces: culture and nature.
History of Reading
Steven Roger Fischer Reaktion Books, 2003 Library of Congress Z1003.F56 2003 | Dewey Decimal 028.909
Steven Roger Fischer’s fascinating book traces the complete story of reading from the time when symbol first became sign through to the electronic texts of the present day. Describing ancient forms of reading and the various modes that were necessary to read different writing systems and scripts, Fischer turns to Asia and the Americas and discusses the forms and developments of completely divergent dimensions of reading.
With the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East, innovative re-inventions of reading emerged – silent and liturgical reading; the custom of lectors; reading’s focus in general education – whereupon printing transformed society’s entire attitude to reading. Fischer charts the explosion of the book trade in this era, its increased audience and radically changed subject-matter; describes the emergence of broadsheets, newspapers and public readings; and traces the effect of new font designs on general legibility.
Fischer discusses society’s dedication to public literacy in the sweeping educational reforms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and notes the appearance of free libraries, gender differences in reading matter, public advertising and the "forbidden" lists of Church, State and the unemancipated. Finally, he assesses the future, in which it is likely that read communication will soon exceed oral communication through the use of the personal computer and the internet, and looks at "visual language" and modern theories of how reading is processed in the human brain. Asking how the New Reader can reshape reading’s future, he suggests a radical new definition of what reading could be.
In romances—Renaissance England’s version of the fantasy novel—characters often discover books that turn out to be magical or prophetic, and to offer insights into their readers’ selves. The Immaterial Book examines scenes of reading in important romance texts across genres: Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and The Tempest, Wroth’s Urania, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote. It offers a response to “material book studies” by calling for a new focus on imaginary or “immaterial” books and argues that early modern romance authors, rather than replicating contemporary reading practices within their texts, are reviving ancient and medieval ideas of the book as a conceptual framework, which they use to investigate urgent, new ideas about the self and the self-conscious mind.
A thorough rethinking of a field deserves to take a shape that is in itself new. Interacting with Print delivers on this premise, reworking the history of print through a unique effort in authorial collaboration. The book itself is not a typical monograph—rather, it is a “multigraph,” the collective work of twenty-two scholars who together have assembled an alphabetically arranged tour of key concepts for the study of print culture, from Anthologies and Binding to Publicity and Taste.
Each entry builds on its term in order to resituate print and book history within a broader media ecology throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The central theme is interactivity, in three senses: people interacting with print; print interacting with the non-print media that it has long been thought, erroneously, to have displaced; and people interacting with each other through print. The resulting book will introduce new energy to the field of print studies and lead to considerable new avenues of investigation.
Interpretations is a collection of essays produced by the distinguished philosopher Jude Dougherty over the past decade, written to inform or to provide commentary on contemporary issues. In probing the past to interpret the present they draw upon a perspective that one may call classical, the perspective of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and their followers across the ages, notably Thomas Aquinas, and his modern disciples, such as Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain.
The first part of Interpretations is an attempt to understand modernity’s break with the past, the repudiation of Scholasticism and the classical tradition. Dougherty does this by referencing the dominant preoccupations of the Middle Ages, of the Renaissance, of the Reformation, of eighteenth-century British empiricism, and of nineteenth-century German philosophy, drawing upon the readings of Remi Brague, Pierre Manent, and others. What unifies these reflections is the role of religion (both in Christianity and Islam) in society and its impact on the culture, as well as looking at what is called “modernity” where this role becomes reduced or absent.
The second part of the volume examines selected addresses by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from a philosophical point of view. Benedict, like others through the course of history, has recognized the role of religion in producing cultural unity. These essays are an appreciation primarily of the subtlety of the former pontiff’s thought.
The third part of Interpretations collects essays and addresses on the practice and nature of philosophy that Dean Dougherty has given throughout his career at The Catholic University of America, and reflects the trajectory of his career and the development of his thought.
Nobel Prize-winning novelist J. M. Coetzee is one of the most widely taught contemporary writers, but also one of the most elusive. Many critics who have addressed his work have devoted themselves to rendering it more accessible and acceptable, often playing down the features that discomfort and perplex his readers.
Yet it is just these features, Derek Attridge argues, that give Coetzee's work its haunting power and offer its greatest rewards. Attridge does justice to this power and these rewards in a study that serves as an introduction for readers new to Coetzee and a stimulus for thought for those who know his work well. Without overlooking the South African dimension of his fiction, Attridge treats Coetzee as a writer who raises questions of central importance to current debates both within literary studies and more widely in the ethical arena. Implicit throughout the book is Attridge's view that literature, more than philosophy, politics, or even religion, does singular justice to our ethical impulses and acts. Attridge follows Coetzee's lead in exploring a number of issues such as interpretation and literary judgment, responsibility to the other, trust and betrayal, artistic commitment, confession, and the problematic idea of truth to the self.
The Language of Experience examines the relationship between literacy and change--both personal and social. Gorzelsky studies three cases, two historical and one contemporary, that speak to key issues on the national education agenda.
"Struggle" is a community literacy program for urban teens and parents. It encourages them to reflect on, articulate, and revise their life goals and design and implement strategies for reaching them. To provide historical context for this and other contemporary efforts in using literacy to promote social change, Gorzelsky analyzes two radical religious and political movements of the English Civil Wars and the 1930s unionizing movement in the Pittsburgh region. Charting the similarities and differences in the function of literate practices in each case shows how different situations and contexts can foster very different outcomes.
Gorzelsky's analytic frame is drawn from Gestalt theory, which emphasizes the holistic nature of perception, communication, and learning. Through it she views how discourse and language structures interact with experience and how this interaction changes awareness and perception.
The book is methodologically innovative in its integration of a macro-social view of cultural, social, and discursive structures with a micro-social view of the potential for change embodied in them. Through her analysis and in her use of the voices of the people she studies, Gorzelsky offers a tool for analyzing individual instances of literate practices and their potential for fostering change.
In Local Histories, the contributors seek to challenge the widely held belief that the origin of American composition as a distinguishable discipline can be traced to a small number of elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale, and Michigan in the mid- to late nineteenth century. Through extensive archival research at liberal arts colleges, normal schools, historically black colleges, and junior colleges, the contributors ascertain that many of these practices were actually in use prior to this time and were not the sole province of elite universities. Though not discounting the elites' influence, the findings conclude that composition developed in many locales concurrently.
Individual chapters reflect on student responses to curricula, the influence of particular instructors or pedagogies in the context of compositional history, and the difficulties inherent in archival research. What emerges is an original and significant study of the developmental diversity within the discipline of composition that opens the door to further examination of local histories as guideposts to the origins of composition studies.
We take for granted that words can describe pictures, but we don’t often consider that the reverse is also true: pictures can depict words, as well as the people reading them. In The Look of Reading, Garrett Stewart explores centuries of painted images of reading, arguing that they collectively constitute an overlooked genre in the history of art.
A stunning array of artists—including Rembrandt, Picasso, Cassatt, and Caravaggio, among many others—have worked in this genre during the past five hundred years. With innovative interpretations of their work, ranging from Bellini’s open Bibles to Bacon’s mangled newsprint, Stewart examines the give-and-take between reading matter depicted in painting and the “look of reading” on the portrayed face. He then traces this kind of interaction from the sixteenth century, when pictured reading generally illustrated people reading holy scriptures, to later periods, when secular painting started to represent the inwardness and absorption associated especially with novel reading. Ultimately, Stewart shows how the subject fell out of such paintings altogether in the late twentieth century, replaced by words, scrawls, and blurs that put the viewer in the place of the reader.
Lavishly illustrated with the paintings it discusses, The Look of Reading charts the life and death of an entire genre. Essential reading for art historians and literary theorists alike, it will become the definitive study of this overlooked aspect of the relationship between images and words.
Managing Literacy, Mothering America accomplishes two monumental tasks. It identifies and defines a previously unstudied genre, the domestic literacy narrative, and provides a pioneering cultural history of this genre from the early days of the United States through the turn of the twentieth century.
Domestic literacy narratives often feature scenes that depict women-mostly middle-class mothers-teaching those in their care to read, write, and discuss literature, with the goal of promoting civic participation. These narratives characterize literature as a source of shared knowledge and social improvement. Authors of these works, which were circulated in a broad range of publication venues, imagined their readers as contributing to the ongoing formation of an idealized American community.
At the center of the genre's history are authors such as Lydia Sigourney, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Frances Harper, who viewed their writing as a form of teaching for the public good. But in her wide-ranging and interdisciplinary investigation, Robbins demonstrates that a long line of women writers created domestic literacy narratives, which proved to be highly responsive to shifts in educational agendas and political issues throughout the nineteenth century and beyond.
Robbins offers close readings of texts ranging from the 1790s to the 1920s. These include influential British precursors to the genre and early twentieth-century narratives by women missionaries that have been previously undervalued by cultural historians. She examines texts by prominent authors that have received little critical attention to date-such as Lydia Maria Child's Good Wives--and provides fresh context when discussing the well-known works of the period. For example, she reads Uncle Tom's Cabin in relation to Harriet Beecher Stowe's education and experience as a teacher.
Managing Literacy, Mothering America is a groundbreaking exploration of nineteenth-century U.S. culture, viewed through the lens of a literary practice that promoted women's public influence on social issues and agendas.
Literature departments are staffed by, and tend to be focused on turning out, “good” readers—attentive to nuance, aware of history, interested in literary texts as self-contained works. But the vast majority of readers are, to use Merve Emre’s tongue-in-cheek term, “bad” readers. They read fiction and poetry to be moved, distracted, instructed, improved, engaged as citizens. How should we think about those readers, and what should we make of the structures, well outside the academy, that generate them?
We should, Emre argues, think of such readers not as non-literary but as paraliterary—thriving outside the institutions we take as central to the literary world. She traces this phenomenon to the postwar period, when literature played a key role in the rise of American power. At the same time as American universities were producing good readers by the hundreds, many more thousands of bad readers were learning elsewhere to be disciplined public communicators, whether in diplomatic and ambassadorial missions, private and public cultural exchange programs, multinational corporations, or global activist groups. As we grapple with literature’s diminished role in the public sphere, Paraliterary suggests a new way to think about literature, its audience, and its potential, one that looks at the civic institutions that have long engaged readers ignored by the academy.
When Plato set his dialogs, written texts were disseminated primarily by performance and recitation. He wrote them, however, when literacy was expanding. Jill Frank argues that there are unique insights to be gained from appreciating Plato’s dialogs as written texts to be read and reread. At the center of these insights are two distinct ways of learning to read in the dialogs. One approach that appears in the Statesman, Sophist, and Protagoras, treats learning to read as a top-down affair, in which authoritative teachers lead students to true beliefs. Another, recommended by Socrates, encourages trial and error and the formation of beliefs based on students’ own fallible experiences. In all of these dialogs, learning to read is likened to coming to know or understand something. Given Plato’s repeated presentation of the analogy between reading and coming to know, what can these two approaches tell us about his dialogs’ representations of philosophy and politics?
With Poetic Justice, Jill Frank overturns the conventional view that the Republic endorses a hierarchical ascent to knowledge and the authoritarian politics associated with that philosophy. When learning to read is understood as the passive absorption of a teacher’s beliefs, this reflects the account of Platonic philosophy as authoritative knowledge wielded by philosopher kings who ruled the ideal city. When we learn to read by way of the method Socrates introduces in the Republic, Frank argues, we are offered an education in ethical and political self-governance, one that prompts citizens to challenge all claims to authority, including those of philosophy.
Poems—specifically romantic poems, such as those by Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth, and John Keats—link what goes unremembered in our reading to ethics. In "Tintern Abbey," for example, Wordsworth finds in "little . . . unremembered . . . acts" the chance to hear the "still, sad music of humanity."
In The Poetics of Unremembered Acts, Brian McGrath shows that poetry’s capacity to address its reader stages an ethical dilemma of continued importance. Situating romantic poems in relation to Enlightenment debate over how to teach reading, specifically debate about the role of poetry in the process of learning to read, The Poetics of Unremembered Acts develops an alternative understanding of poetry’s role in education. McGrath also explores the ways poetry makes ethics possible through its capacity to pass along what we do not remember and cannot know about our reading.
Is there such a thing as Los Angeles poetry? How do we assess a poem about a city as elusive of identity as Los Angeles? What features do poems about this unique urban landscape of diverse peoples and terrains have in common? Poetry Los Angeles is the first book to gather and analyze poems about sites as different as Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice beaches, the freeways, downtown, South Central and East L.A. Laurence Goldstein presents original commentary on six decades of poets who have contributed to the iconography and poetics of Los Angeles literature, including Elizabeth Alexander, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Dorothy Barresi, Victoria Chang, Wanda Coleman, Dana Gioia, Joy Harjo, James Harms, Robert Hass, Eloise Klein Healy, Garrett Hongo, Suzanne Lummis, Paul Monette, Harryette Mullen, Carol Muske-Dukes, Frederick Seidel, Gary Soto, Timothy Steele, Diane Wakoski, Derek Walcott, and Charles Harper Webb. Forty poems are reproduced in their entirety.
One chapter is devoted to Charles Bukowski, the celebrity face of the city’s poetry. Other chapters discuss the ways that poets explore “Interiors” and “Exteriors” throughout the cityscape. Goldstein also provides ample connections to the novels, films, art, and politics of Southern California. In clear prose, Poetry Los Angeles examines the strategies by which poets make significant places meaningful and memorable to readers of every region of the U.S. and elsewhere.
Since the late 1960s, when he introduced Theodor Adorno’s work on literature and cultural critique to an English-speaking public, Samuel Weber has stimulated the discovery of new and unexpected links within a broad spectrum of humanistic disciplines, including critical theory and psychoanalysis, media studies and literary analysis, continental philosophy and theater studies. The international group of scholars who contribute to Points of Departure demonstrate the persistent fecundity of Weber’s work. Centered around his essay on the Ghost of Hamlet, as reflected in the writings of Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt, the volume is broadly divided into explorations of the nature of spectrality, on the one hand, and the dynamics of reading, on the other. Each of the twelve essays thus takes its point of departure from “Weber’s singular path between languages, cultures, and traditions”—to quote Jacques Derrida, whose fictive “interview with a passing journalist” is published here for the first time.
Can literature make it possible to represent histories that are otherwise ineffable? Making use of the Deleuzian concept of “the powers of the false,” Doro Wiese offers readings of three novels that deal with the Shoah, with colonialism, and with racialized identities. She argues that Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated, Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, and Richard Powers’s The Time of Our Singing are novels in which a space for unvoiced, silent, or silenced difference is created. Seen through the lens of Deleuze and his collaborators’ philosophy, literature is a means for mediating knowledge and affects about historical events. Going beyond any simple dichotomy between true and untrue accounts of what “really” happened in the past, literature’s powers of the false incite readers to long for a narrative space in which painful or shameful stories can be included.
As new ideas arose during the Enlightenment, many political thinkers published their own versions of popular early modern "absolutist" texts and transformed them into manuals of political resistance. As a result, these works never achieved a fixed and stable edition. Publishing The Prince illustrates how Abraham-Nicolas Amelot de La Houssaye created the most popular late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century version of Machiavelli's masterpiece. In the process of translating, Amelot also transformed the work, altering its form and meaning, and his ideas spread through later editions.
Revising the orthodox schema of the public sphere in which political authority shifted away from the crown with the rise of bourgeois civil society in the eighteenth century, Soll uses the example of Amelot to show for the first time how the public sphere in fact grew out of the learned and even royal libraries of erudite scholars and the bookshops of subversive, not-so-polite publicists of the republic of letters.
Jacob Soll is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.
Cover art courtesy of Annenberg Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
Jacket Design: Stephanie Milanowski
"Jacob Soll traces the origins of Enlightenment criticism to the practices of learned humanists and hard-pressed literary entrepreneurs. This learned and lively book is also a tour de force of historical research and interpretation."
---Anthony Grafton, author of Cardano's Cosmos and Bring Out Your Dead
"Brilliant. How the printed page changed political philosophy into investigative reporting, and reason of state into the unmasking of power."
---J. G. A. Pocock, author of The Machiavellian Moment
"Soll's path-breaking study is a 'must read' for all those interested in the history of political thought and early modern intellectual history."
---Barbara Shapiro, University of California Berkeley
"Soll has done [Amelot] and his context justice, writing as he does with a clear, singular, and welcome voice."
---Margaret C. Jacobs, American Historical Review
This volume includes essays presented in the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Contributors explore facets of ongoing research into the interplay of history, fiction, and narrative in ancient Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian texts. The essays examine the ways in which ancient authors in a variety of genre and cultural settings employed a range of narrative strategies to reflect on pressing contemporary issues, to shape community identity, or to provide moral and educational guidance for their readers. Not content merely to offer new insights, this volume also highlights strategies for integrating the fruits of this research into the university classroom and beyond.
Insight into the latest developments in ancient Mediterranean narrative
Exploration of how to use ancient texts to encourage students to examine assumptions about ancient gender and sexuality or to view familiar texts from a new perspective
Close readings of classical authors as well as canonical and noncanonical Jewish and Christian texts
How did the invention of writing in the ancient world change our way of thinking, recording, and remembering forever? In this wide-ranging study, Charpin discusses the place of literacy in the early civilization of Babylonia in the time between 2500 and 500 BC. Writing at this time was used for domestic record keeping, tracking inventory and sales, for inscriptions and tombs, and for communicating with gods. He argues for a much wider spread of literacy than previously thought and explains the historical and social contexts within which literacy proliferated in early Babylon.
In this dynamic collection of essays, many leading literary scholars trace gay and lesbian themes in Latin American, Hispanic, and U.S. Latino literary and cultural texts. Reading and Writing the Ambiente is consciously ambitious and far-ranging, historically as well as geographically. It includes discussions of texts from as early as the seventeenth century to writings of the late twentieth century. Reading and Writing the Ambiente also underscores the ways in which lesbian and gay self-representation in Hispanic texts differs from representations in Anglo-American texts. The contributors demonstrate that—unlike the emphasis on the individual in Anglo- American sexual identity—Latino, Spanish, and Latin American sexual identity is produced in the surrounding culture and community, in the ambiente. As one of the first collections of its kind, Reading and Writing the Ambiente is expressive of the next wave of gay Hispanic and Latin scholarship.
Literature is powerful. It offers respite. It provides access to beauty and horror, to new places, new people, and new ideas. It can, as the phrase goes, change your life. Good things, all of them. But also somewhat limited goods: they’re all pretty passive, pretty private—you might even say self-centered.
Reading as Collective Action shifts our focus outward, to another of literature’s powers: the power to reshape our world in very public, very active ways. In this book, you will encounter readers who criticized the Bush administration’s war on terror by republishing poems by writers ranging from Shakespeare to Amiri Baraka everywhere from lampposts to the New York Times. You will read about people in Michigan and Tennessee, who leveraged a community reading program on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath to organize support for those in need during the Great Recession and to engage with their neighbors about immigration. You will meet a pair of students who took to public transit to talk with strangers about working-class literature and a trio who created a literary website that reclaimed the working-class history of the Pacific Northwest.
This book challenges dominant academic modes of reading. For adherents of the “civic turn,” it suggests how we can create more politically effective forms of service learning and community engagement grounded in a commitment to tactical, grassroots actions. Whether you’re a social worker or a student, a zine-maker, a librarian, a professor, or just a passionate reader with a desire to better your community, this book shows that when we read texts as tactics, “that book changed my life” can become “that book changed our lives.”
Why do Americans read contemporary fiction? This question seems simple, but is it? Do Americans read for the purpose of aesthetic appreciation? To satisfy their own insatiable intellectual curiosities? While other forms of media have come to monopolize consumers’ leisure time, in the past two decades book clubs have proliferated, Amazon has sponsored thriving online discussions, Oprah Winfrey has inspired millions of viewers to read both contemporary works and classics, and novels have retained their devoted following within middlebrow communities.
In Reading as Therapy, Timothy Aubry argues that contemporary fiction serves primarily as a therapeutic tool for lonely, dissatisfied middle-class American readers, one that validates their own private dysfunctions while supporting elusive communities of strangers unified by shared feelings. Aubry persuasively makes the case that contemporary literature’s persistent appeal depends upon its capacity to perform a therapeutic function.
Aubry traces the growth and proliferation of psychological concepts focused on the subjective interior within mainstream, middle-class society and the impact this has had on contemporary fiction. The prevailing tendency among academic critics has been to decry the personal emphasis of contemporary fiction as complicit with the rise of a narcissistic culture, the ascendency of liberal individualism, and the breakdown of public life. Reading as Therapy, by contrast, underscores the varied ideological effects that therapeutic culture can foster.
To uncover the many unpredictable ways in which contemporary literature answers the psychological needs of its readers, Aubry considers several different venues of reader-response—including Oprah’s Book Club and Amazon customer reviews—the promotional strategies of publishing houses, and a variety of contemporary texts, ranging from Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner to Anita Shreve’s The Pilot’s Wife to David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. He concludes that, in the face of an atomistic social landscape, contemporary fiction gives readers a therapeutic vocabulary that both reinforces the private sphere and creates surprising forms of sympathy and solidarity among strangers.
Charleston Briefings: Trending Topics for Information Professionals is a thought-provoking series of brief books concerning innovation in the sphere of libraries, publishing, and technology in scholarly communication. The briefings, growing out of the vital conversations characteristic of the Charleston Conference and Against the Grain, will offer valuable insights into the trends shaping our professional lives and the institutions in which we work.
The Charleston Briefings are written by authorities who provide an effective, readable overview of their topics—not an academic monograph. The intended audience is busy nonspecialist readers who want to be informed concerning important issues in our industry in an accessible and timely manner.
How is reading changing in the digital environment? How will it continue to change? Are we headed for an all- digital future? Or does print still have a place in the reading environment? Does format matter? What do readers tell us they want? This brief monograph offers librarians, publishers, vendors, and others an overview of these key issues as well as advice on how their institutions should approach the print versus digital controversy.
Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness, Jessica Brantley uses tools from both literary criticism and art history to illuminate Additional MS 37049, an illustrated Carthusian miscellany housed in the British Library. This revealing artifact, Brantley argues, closes the gap between group spectatorship and private study in late medieval England.
Drawing on the work of W. J. T. Mitchell, Michael Camille, and others working at the image-text crossroads, Reading in the Wilderness addresses the manuscript’s texts and illustrations to examine connections between reading and performance within the solitary monk’s cell and also outside. Brantley reimagines the medieval codex as a site where the meanings of images and words are performed, both publicly and privately, in the act of reading.
Reading in Tudor England
Eugene R. Kintgen University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996 Library of Congress LA631.4.K56 1996 | Dewey Decimal 428.407104209031
Readers in the sixteenth century read (that is, interpreted) texts quite differently from the way contemporary readers do; they were trained to notice different aspects of a text and to process them differently.
Using educational works of Erasmus, Ascham, and others, commentaries on literary works, various kinds of religious guides and homilies, and self-improvement books, Kintgen has found specific evidence of these differences and makes imaginative use of it to draw fascinating and convincing conclusions about the art and practice of reading. Kintgen ends by situating the book within literary theory, cognitive science, and literary studies.
Among the writers covered are Gabriel Harvey, E. K. (the commentator on The Shepheardes Calendar), Sir John Harrington, George Gascoigne, George Puttenham, Thomas Blundeville, and Angel Day.
This work is a guide to the reading of Dante's great poem, intended for the use of students and laymen, particularly those who are approaching the Inferno for the first time. While carefully pointing out the uniqueness, tone, and color of each of Dante's thirty-four cantos, Fowlie never loses sight of the continuity of the poet's discourse. Each canto is related thematically to others, and the rich web of symbols is displayed and disentangled as the poem's unity, patterns, and structures are revealed.
What particularly distinguishes Wallace Fowlie's reading of the Inferno is his emphasis on both the timelessness and the timeliness of Dante's masterpiece. By underlining the archetypal elements in the poem and drawing parallels to contemporary literature, Fowlie has brought Dante and his characters much closer to modern readers.
This study of education for freedmen following Emancipation is the definitive treatment of the subject. Employing a wide range of sources, Robert C. Morris examines the organizations that staffed and managed black schools in the South, with particular attention paid to the activities of the Freedman’s Bureau. He looks as well at those who came to teach, a diverse group—white, black, Northern, Southern—and at the curricula and textbooks they used. While giving special emphasis to the Freedmen’s Bureau school program, Morris places the freedmen’s educational movement fully in its nineteenth-century context, relating it both to the antislavery crusade that preceded it and to the conservative era of race relations that followed.
A collection of essays commemorating the career contributions of Peter W. Flint
An international group of scholars specializing in various disciplines of biblical studies—Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and Christian origins—present twenty-seven new contributions that commemorate the career of Peter W. Flint (1951–2016). Each essay interacts with and gives fresh insight into a field shaped by Professor Flint’s life work. Part 1 explores the interplay between text-critical methods, the growth and formation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the making of modern critical editions. Part 2 maps dynamics of scriptural interpretation and reception in ancient Jewish and Christian literatures of the Second Temple period.
Essays that assess the state of the field and reflect on the methods, aims, and best practices for textual criticism and the making of modern critical text editions
Demonstrations of how the processes of scriptural composition, transmission, and reception converge and may be studied together for mutual benefit
Clarification of the state/forms of scripture in antiquity and how scripture was extended, rewritten, and recontextualized by ancient Jewish and Christian scribes and communities
The Apocalypse lends itself to multivalent readings, and this volume fills a gap for students and scholars by discussing how different methods apply to readings. Using historical, literary, and social analysis in combination with strategies such as social-conflict theory, philosophy, women’s studies, ethics, history of religions, postcolonial studies, and popular culture, the essays in this volume focus on specific texts and show not only how each helps interpret the text but also how diverse methods produce divergent readings of a text. Developed as a classroom resource for undergraduates, this work will also prove useful to graduate students, religious leaders, and others who wish to explore how methods shape our understandings of various texts, including Revelation.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have long captured the public imagination, are now all available in principal editions and accessible translations. This book addresses the next stage in their analysis by raising questions about how they should be read and studied. The essays collected here illustrate two approaches. First, some essays argue that traditional methods of studying ancient texts need to be refined and broadened in the light of the Scrolls. The volume thus contains studies on text criticism, literary traditions, lexicography, historiography, and theology. Second, the book also argues that innovative methods of study, applied fruitfully in other areas, now also need to be applied to the Scrolls, such as studies that consider the relevance for the Scrolls of deviance theory, cultural memory, hypertextuality, intertextuality, genre theory, spatial analysis, and psychology. Many of the examples in these studies relate to how authoritative scripture was handled and appropriated by the groups that gathered the Scrolls together in the caves at and near Qumran, so some of the same texts are analyzed from several different perspectives.
The bold essays that make up Reading the Difficulties offer case studies in and strategies for reading innovative poetry.
Definitions of what constitutes innovative poetry are innumerable and are offered from every quarter. Some critics and poets argue that innovative poetry concerns free association (John Ashbery), others that experimental poetry is a “re-staging” of language (Bruce Andrews) or a syntactic and cognitive break with the past (Ron Silliman and Lyn Hejinian). The tenets of new poetry abound.
But what of the new reading that such poetry demands? Essays in Reading the Difficulties ask what kinds of stances allow readers to interact with verse that deliberately removes many of the comfortable cues to comprehension—poetry that is frequently nonnarrative, nonrepresentational, and indeterminate in subject, theme, or message.
Some essays in Thomas Fink and Judith Halden-Sullivan’s collection address issues of reader reception and the way specific stances toward reading support or complement the aesthetic of each poet. Others suggest how we can be open readers, how innovative poetic texts change the very nature of reader and reading, and how critical language can capture this metamorphosis. Some contributors consider how the reader changes innovative poetry, what language reveals about this interaction, which new reading strategies unfold for the audiences of innovative verse, and what questions readers should ask of innovative verse and of events and experiences that we might bring to reading it.
Charles Bernstein / Carrie Conners / Thomas Fink /
Kristen Gallagher / Judith Halden-Sullivan / Paolo Javier /
Burt Kimmelman / Hank Lazer / Jessica Lewis Luck /
Stephen Paul Miller / Sheila E. Murphy / Elizabeth Robinson /
Christopher Schmidt / Eileen R. Tabios
In Reading the East India Company, Betty Joseph offers an innovative account of how archives—and the practice of archiving—shaped colonial ideologies in Britain and British-controlled India during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Drawing on the British East India Company's records as well as novels, memoirs, portraiture and guidebooks, Joseph shows how the company's economic and archival practices intersected to produce colonial "fictions" or "truth-effects" that strictly governed class and gender roles—in effect creating a "grammar of power" that kept the far-flung empire intact. And while women were often excluded from this archive, Joseph finds that we can still hear their voices at certain key historical junctures. Attending to these voices, Joseph illustrates how the writing of history belongs not only to the colonial project set forth by British men, but also to the agendas and mechanisms of agency—of colonized Indian, as well as European women. In the process, she makes a valuable and lasting contribution to gender studies, postcolonial theory, and the history of South Asia.
Foundational essays for students of New Testament epistles
This accessible introduction to contemporary scholarship on the Epistle of James begins with chapters that consider possible sources and backgrounds used by the author of James, the genre and literary structure of the book, and its major theological themes. Building on this foundation, subsequent chapters examine James through social-scientific readings, perspectives of Latin American immigrants and the marginalized, and major recent developments in textual criticism. The final chapters in the volume address the relationship between the epistle and the historical James, reception of the epistle in the early church, and major Catholic and Protestant interpretations of the book in the Reformation era. The contributions in this volume distill a range of important issues for readers undertaking a serious study of this letter for the first time.
An introduction to contemporary scholarship on this important but often-overlooked text
Clear explanations of all technical terms and themes
In-depth discussions of the importance of Jewish Scripture and interpretative traditions, Greco-Roman philosophy and Jewish wisdom motifs, and biblical perspectives on justice, wealth, and poverty
This volume, designed for classroom use, reflects contemporary trends in the study of an important and complex biblical text. Essays address major interpretive issues and emphasize the importance of interpreting Hebrews in light of its ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman contexts.
Heginbotham’s book focuses on Emily Dickinson’s work as a deliberate writer and editor. The fascicles were forty small portfolios of her poems written between 1856 and 1864, composed on four to seven stationery sheets, folded, stacked, and sewn together with twine. What revelations might come from reading her poems in her own context? Are they simply “scrapbooks,” as some claim, or are they evidence of conscious, canny editing? Read in their original places, each lyric becomes different—and more interesting—than when read in isolation.
We cannot know why Dickinson compiled the books or what she thought of them, but we can observe what she left in them. What she left is visible only by noting the way the poem answers in a dialogue across the pages, the way lines spilling onto a second page introduce the next poem, the way openings suggest image clusters so that each book has its own network of concerns and language—not a story or philosophical preachment but an aesthetic wholeness.
This book is the first to demonstrate that Dickinson’s poetic and philosophical creativity is most startling when the reader observes the individual lyric in the poet’s own, and only, context for them. For teacher, student, scholar, and poetry lover, Heginbotham creates an important new framework for understanding one of the most complex, clever, and profound U.S. poets.
In Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy after the New Media D. N. Rodowick applies the concept of “the figural” to a variety of philosophical and aesthetic issues. Inspired by the aesthetic philosophy of Jean-François Lyotard, the figural defines a semiotic regime where the distinction between linguistic and plastic representation breaks down. This opposition, which has been the philosophical foundation of aesthetics since the eighteenth century, has been explicitly challenged by the new electronic, televisual, and digital media. Rodowick—one of the foremost film theorists writing today—contemplates this challenge, describing and critiquing the new regime of signs and new ways of thinking that such media have inaugurated. To fully comprehend the emergence of the figural requires a genealogical critique of the aesthetic, Rodowick claims. Seeking allies in this effort to deconstruct the opposition of word and image and to create new concepts for comprehending the figural, he journeys through a range of philosophical writings: Thierry Kuntzel and Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier on film theory; Jacques Derrida on the deconstruction of the aesthetic; Siegfried Kracauer and Walter Benjamin on the historical image as a utopian force in photography and film; and Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault on the emergence of the figural as both a semiotic regime and a new stratagem of power coincident with the appearance of digital phenomena and of societies of control. Scholars of philosophy, film theory, cultural criticism, new media, and art history will be interested in the original and sophisticated insights found in this book.
Reading the Illegible
Rainer Rumold Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PN1031.D97 2003 | Dewey Decimal 809.1
A poet takes another's text, excises this, prints over that, cancels, erases, rearranges, defaces--and generally renders the original unreadable, at least in its original terms. What twentieth-century writers and artists have meant by such appropriations and violations, and how the "illegible" results are to be read, is the subject Craig Dworkin takes up in this ambitious work.
In his scrutiny of selected works, and with reference to a rich variety of textual materials--from popular and scientific texts to visual art, political and cultural theories, and experimental films--Dworkin proposes a new way of apprehending the radical formalism of so-called unreadable texts. Dworkin unveils what he describes as "the politics of the poem"--what is signified by its form, enacted by its structures, and implicit in the philosophy of language; how it positions its reader; and other questions relating to the poem as material object. In doing so, he exposes the mechanics and function of truly radical formalism as a practice that move beyond aesthetic considerations into the realms of politics and ideology. Reading the Illegible asks us to reconsider poetry as a physical act, and helps us to see how the range of a text's linguistic and political maneuvers depends to a great extent on the material conditions of reading and writing as well as the mechanics of reproduction.
With the recent proliferation of critically acclaimed literature by Asian American writers, this groundbreaking collection of essays provides a unique resource for students, scholars, and the general reading public. The homogeneity implied by the term "Asian American" is replaced in this volume with the rich diversity of highly disparate peoples. Languages, religions, races and cultural and national backgrounds. Examining a century of Asian American literature from the late 19th century up through the contemporary experimental drama of Ping Chong, the contributors address the work of writers with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, East Indian, and Pacific Island ancestry. Asian Canadian and Hawaiian literature are also considered.
Ten original essays by advanced scholars and well-published poets address the middle generation of American poets, including the familiar---Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, and John Berryman---and various important contemporaries: Delmore Schwartz, Theodore Roethke, Robert Hayden, and Lorine Niedecker. This was a famously troubled cohort of writers, for reasons both personal and cultural, and collectively their poems give us powerful, moving insights into American social life in the transforming decades of the 1940s through the 1960s.In addition to having worked during the broad middle of the last century, these poets constitute the center of twentieth-century American poetry in the larger sense, refuting invidious connotations of “middle” as coming after the great moderns and being superseded by a proliferating postmodern experimentation. This middle generation mediates the so-called American century and its prodigious body of poetry, even as it complicates historical and aesthetic categorizations.Taking diverse formal and thematic angles on these poets---biographical-historical, deconstructionist, and more formalist accounts---this book re-examines their between-ness and ambivalence: their various positionings and repositionings in aesthetic, political, and personal matters. The essays study the interplay between these writers and such shifting formations as religious discourse, consumerism, militarism and war, the ideology of America as “nature's nation,” and U.S. race relations and ethnic conflicts. Reading the Middle Generation Anew also shows the legacy of the middle generation, the ways in which their lives and writings continue to be a shaping force in American poetry. This fresh and invigorating collection will be of great interest to literary scholars and poets.
"A wide-ranging inquiry into an important area of contemporary scholarly interest, and also an engaging, well written and intelligently conceived collection." -Eric Smoodin, author of Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons From the Sound Era
Despite the success of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and their Looney cohorts, Warner Bros. animation worked in the shadow of Disney for many years. The past ten years have seen a resurgence in Warner Bros. animation as they produce new Bugs Bunny cartoons and theatrical features like Space Jam as well as television shows like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs. While Disney's animation plays it safe and mirrors traditional cinema stories, Warner Bros. is known for a more original and even anarchistic style of narration, a willingness to take risks in story construction, a fearlessness in crossing gender lines with its characters, and a freedom in breaking boundaries. This collection of essays looks at the history of Warner Bros. animation, compares and contrasts the two studios, charts the rise and fall of creativity and daring at Warner's, and analyzes the ways in which the studio was for a time transgressive in its treatment of class, race, and gender. It reveals how safety and commercialization have, in the end, triumphed at Warner Bros. just as they much earlier conquered Disney.
The book also discusses fan parodies of Warner Bros. animation on the Internet today, the Bugs Bunny cross-dressing cartoons, cartoons that were censored by the studio, and the merchandising and licensing strategies of the Warner Bros. studio stores. Contributors are Donald Crafton, Ben Fraser, Michael Frierson, Norman M. Klein, Terry Lindvall, Bill Mikulak, Barry Putterman, Kevin S. Sandler, Hank Sartin, Linda Simensky, Kirsten Moana Thompson, Gene Walz, and Timothy R. White.
“John Hildebrand sets out in a canoe . . . to explore the great riverway of northwestern Canada and Alaska. . . . The geography is closely rendered and the characters especially sharply drawn. The country is filled with mad dropouts at river fish camps, good-hearted girls in the towns, sullen natives in tumbledown villages, cranky old-timers, terrible drunks and worse moralizers who live off the wild landscape and its abundant resources. . . . This is a fine work, and Hildebrand is a fine writer.”—Charles E. Little, Wilderness
Reading the Shape of Nature vividly recounts the turbulent early history of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard and the contrasting careers of its founder Louis Agassiz and his son Alexander. Through the story of this institution and the individuals who formed it, Mary P. Winsor explores the conflicting forces that shaped systematics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Debates over the philosophical foundations of classification, details of taxonomic research, the young institution's financial struggles, and the personalities of the men most deeply involved are all brought to life.
In 1859, Louis Agassiz established the Museum of Comparative Zoology to house research on the ideal types that he believed were embodied in all living forms. Agassiz's vision arose from his insistence that the order inherent in the diversity of life reflected divine creation, not organic evolution. But the mortar of the new museum had scarcely dried when Darwin's Origin was published. By Louis Agassiz's death in 1873, even his former students, including his son Alexander, had defected to the evolutionist camp. Alexander, a self-made millionaire, succeeded his father as director and introduced a significantly different agenda for the museum.
To trace Louis and Alexander's arguments and the style of science they established at the museum, Winsor uses many fascinating examples that even zoologists may find unfamiliar. The locus of all this activity, the museum building itself, tells its own story through a wonderful series of archival photographs.
From the time of Aristotle until the late eighteenth century, meteorology meant the study of "meteors"—spectacular objects in the skies beneath the moon, which included everything from shooting stars to hailstorms. In Reading the Skies, Vladimir Jankovic traces the history of this meteorological tradition in Enlightenment Britain, examining its scientific and cultural significance.
Jankovic interweaves classical traditions, folk/popular beliefs and practices, and the increasingly quantitative approaches of urban university men to understanding the wonders of the skies. He places special emphasis on the role that detailed meteorological observations played in natural history and chorography, or local geography; in religious and political debates; and in agriculture. Drawing on a number of archival sources, including correspondence and weather diaries, as well as contemporary pamphlets, tracts, and other printed sources reporting prodigious phenomena in the skies, this book will interest historians of science, Britain, and the environment.
Reading The Social Body
Catherine B. Burroughs University of Iowa Press, 1993 Library of Congress GT495.R43 1993 | Dewey Decimal 391.6
The overarching argument of Reading the Social Body is that the body is cultural rather than “natural.” Some of the essays treat the social construction of bodies that have actually existed in human history; others discuss the representation of bodies in artistic contexts; all recognize that everything visible to the human body—from posture and costume to the width of an eyebrow or a smile—is determined by and shaped in response to a particular culture.
A provocative new way to read and interpret the classic works of John Muir, Mary Austin, and Gary Snyder, and to bring their ideas into the discussion of ecological values and the current environmental crisis. Lewis combines a perceptive discussion of their work and ideas with an engaging account of his own trail experiences as hiker/backpacker and volunteer trail builder, proposing that such a field-based, interdisciplinary approach to literary study and outdoors experience can enrich our appreciation for the work of nature writers.
The decade following the American defeat in Vietnam has been filled with doubts about American politics and values, confusion over the lessons of the war, and anger about the physical and psychological suffering that occurred during the war as well as thereafter. In the years since the U.S. withdrawal, our need to make sense of Vietnam has prompted an outpouring of thinking and writing, from scholarly reappraisals of American foreign policy to highly personal accounts of participants. On the tenth anniversary of the final U. S. withdrawal, the Asia Society sponsored a conference on the Vietnam experience in American literature at which leading writers, critics, publishers, commentators, and academics wrestled with this phenomenon. Drawing on the synergy of this conference, Timothy J. Lomperis has produced an original work that focuses on the growing body of literature—including novels, personal accounts, and oral histories—which describes the experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam as well as the experience of veterans upon their return home.
The thirteenth century saw such a proliferation of new encyclopedic texts that more than one scholar has called it the “century of the encyclopedias.” Variously referred to as a speculum, thesaurus, or imago mundi—the term encyclopedia was not commonly applied to such books until the eighteenth century—these texts were organized in such a way that a reader could easily locate a collection of authoritative statements on any given topic. Because they reproduced, rather than simply summarized, parts of prior texts, these compilations became libraries in miniature.
In this groundbreaking study, Mary Franklin-Brown examines writings in Latin, Catalan, and French that are connected to the encyclopedic movement: Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum maius; Ramon Llull’s Libre de meravelles, Arbor scientiae, and Arbre de filosofia d’amor; and Jean de Meun’s continuation of the Roman de la Rose. Franklin-Brown analyzes the order of knowledge in these challenging texts, describing the wide-ranging interests, the textual practices—including commentary, compilation, and organization—and the diverse discourses that they absorb from preexisting classical, patristic, and medieval writing. She also demonstrates how these encyclopedias, like libraries, became “heterotopias” of knowledge—spaces where many possible ways of knowing are juxtaposed.
But Franklin-Brown’s study will not appeal only to historians: she argues that a revised understanding of late medievalism makes it possible to discern a close connection between scholasticism and contemporary imaginative literature. She shows how encyclopedists employed the same practices of figuration, narrative, and citation as poets and romanciers, while much of the difficulty of the imaginative writing of this period derives from a juxtaposition of heterogeneous discourses inspired by encyclopedias.
With rich and innovative readings of texts both familiar and neglected, Reading the World reveals how the study of encyclopedism can illuminate both the intellectual work and the imaginative writing of the scholastic age.
Essays with a methodological and metacritical focus
The psychological approach known as affect theory focuses on bodily feelings—depression, happiness, disgust, love—and can illuminate both texts and their interpretations. In this collection of essays scholars break new ground in biblical interpretation by deploying a range of affect-theoretical approaches in their interpretations of texts. Contributors direct their attention to the political, social, and cultural formation of emotion and other precognitive forces as a corrective to more traditional historical-critical methods and postmodern approaches. The inclusion of response essays results in a rich transdisciplinary dialog, with, for example, history, classics, and philosophy. Fiona C. Black, Amy C. Cottrill, Rhiannon Graybill, Jennifer L. Koosed, Joseph Marchal, Robert Seesengood, Ken Stone, and Jay Twomey engage a range of texts from biblical, to prayers, to graphic novels. Erin Runions and Stephen D. Moore’s responses push the conversation in new fruitful directions.
An overview of the development of affect theory and how it has been used to interpret biblical texts
Examples of how to apply affect theory to biblical exegesis
Interdisciplinary studies that engage history, literature, classics, animal studies, liturgical studies, philosophy, and sociology
Reading With Lincoln
Robert Bray Southern Illinois University Press, 2010 Library of Congress E457.2.B83 2010 | Dewey Decimal 973.7092
Through extensive reading and reflection, Abraham Lincoln fashioned a mind as powerfully intellectual and superlatively communicative as that of any other American political leader. Reading with Lincoln uncovers the how of Lincoln’s inspiring rise to greatness by connecting the content of his reading to the story of his life.
At the core of Lincoln’s success was his self-education, centered on his love of and appreciation for learning through books. From his early studies of grammar school handbooks and children’s classics to his interest in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Bible during his White House years, what Lincoln read helped to define who he was as a person and as a politician. This unique study delves into the books, pamphlets, poetry, plays, and essays that influenced Lincoln’s thoughts and actions.
Exploring in great depth and detail those readings that inspired the sixteenth president, author Robert Bray follows Lincoln’s progress closely, from the young teen composing letters for illiterate friends and neighbors to the politician who keenly employed what he read to advance his agenda. Bray analyzes Lincoln’s radical period in New Salem, during which he came under the influence of Anglo-American and French Enlightenment thinkers such as Thomas Paine, C. F. Volney, and Voltaire, and he investigates Lincoln’s appreciation of nineteenth-century lyric poetry, which he both read and wrote. Bray considers Lincoln’s fascination with science, mathematics, political economics, liberal social philosophy, theology, and the Bible, and devotes special attention to Lincoln’s enjoyment of American humor. While striving to arrive at an understanding of the role each subject played in the development of this remarkable leader, Bray also examines the connections and intertextual relations between what Lincoln read and how he wrote and spoke.
This comprehensive and long-awaited book provides fresh insight into the self-made man from the wilderness of Illinois. Bray offers a new way to approach the mind of the political artist who used his natural talent, honed by years of rhetorical study and practice, to abolish slavery and end the Civil War.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Seagull Books, 2014 Library of Congress PN85.S65 2014
Throughout her distinguished career, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has sought to locate and confront shifting forms of social and cultural oppression. As her work shows, the best method for doing so is through extended practice in the ethics of reading.
In Readings, Spivak elaborates a utopian vision for the kind of deep and investigative reading that can develop a will for peaceful social justice in coming generations. Through her own analysis of specific works, Spivak demonstrates modes in which such a vision might be achieved. In the examples here, she pays close attention to signposts of character, action, and place in J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. She also offers rereads of two of her own essays, addressing changes in her own thinking and practice over the course of her career. Now in her fifth decade of teaching, Spivak passes on her lessons through anecdote, interpretation, warning, and instruction to students and teachers of literature. She writes, “I urge students of English to understand that utopia does not happen, and yet to understand, also, their importance to the nation and the world. Indeed, I know how hard it is to sustain such a spirit in the midst of a hostile polity, but I urge the students to consider the challenge.”
Globalization and the Internet are smothering cultural regionalism, that sense of place that flourished in simpler times. These two villains are also prime suspects in the death of reading. Or so alarming reports about our homogenous and dumbed-down culture would have it, but as Regionalism and the Reading Class shows, neither of these claims stands up under scrutiny—quite the contrary.
Wendy Griswold draws on cases from Italy, Norway, and the United States to show that fans of books form their own reading class, with a distinctive demographic profile separate from the general public. This reading class is modest in size but intense in its literary practices. Paradoxically these educated and mobile elites work hard to put down local roots by, among other strategies, exploring regional writing. Ultimately, due to the technological, economic, and political advantages they wield, cosmopolitan readers are able to celebrate, perpetuate, and reinvigorate local culture.
Griswold’s study will appeal to students of cultural sociology and the history of the book—and her findings will be welcome news to anyone worried about the future of reading or the eclipse of place.
Securing a Place for Reading in Composition addresses the dissonance between the need to prepare students to read, not just write, complex texts and the lack of recent scholarship on reading-writing connections. Author Ellen C. Carillo argues that including attention-to-reading practices is crucial for developing more comprehensive literacy pedagogies. Students who can read actively and reflectively will be able to work successfully with the range of complex texts they will encounter throughout their post-secondary academic careers and beyond.
Considering the role of reading within composition from both historical and contemporary perspectives, Carillo makes recommendations for the productive integration of reading instruction into first-year writing courses. She details a “mindful reading” framework wherein instructors help students cultivate a repertoire of approaches upon which they consistently reflect as they apply them to various texts. This metacognitive frame allows students to become knowledgeable and deliberate about how they read and gives them the opportunity to develop the skills useful for moving among reading approaches in mindful ways, thus preparing them to actively and productively read in courses and contexts outside first-year composition.
Securing a Place for Reading in Composition also explores how the field of composition might begin to effectively address reading, including conducting research on reading, revising outcome statements, and revisiting the core courses in graduate programs. It will be of great interest to writing program administrators and other compositionists and their graduate students.
For almost eight hundred years (100 BC–AD 650) Nasca artists modeled and painted the plants, animals, birds, and fish of their homeland on Peru’s south coast as well as numerous abstract anthropomorphic creatures whose form and meaning are sometimes incomprehensible today. In this first book-length treatment of Nasca ceramic iconography to appear in English, drawing upon an archive of more than eight thousand Nasca vessels from over 150 public and private collections, Donald Proulx systematically describes the major artistic motifs of this stunning polychrome pottery, interprets the major themes displayed on this pottery, and then uses these descriptions and his stimulating interpretations to analyze Nasca society. After beginning with an overview of Nasca culture and an explanation of the style and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx moves to the heart of his book: a detailed classification and description of the entire range of supernatural and secular themes in Nasca iconography along with a fresh and distinctive interpretation of these themes. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically known Nasca society, he ends with a thorough and accessible examination of this ancient culture viewed through the lens of ceramic iconography. Although these static images can never be fully understood, by animating their themes and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this complex society.
This volume features in-depth, oral interviews with eleven incarcerated women, each of whom offers a narrative of her life and her reading experiences within prison walls. The women share powerful stories about their complex and diverse efforts to negotiate difficult relationships, exercise agency in restrictive circumstances, and find meaning and beauty in the midst of pain. Their shared emphases on abuse, poverty, addiction, and mental illness illuminate the pathways that lead many women to prison and suggest possibilities for addressing the profound social problems that fuel crime.
Framing the narratives within an analytic introduction and reflective afterword, Megan Sweeney highlights the crucial intellectual work that the incarcerated women perform despite myriad restrictions on reading and education in U.S. prisons. These women use the limited reading materials available to them as sources of guidance and support and as tools for self-reflection and self-education. Through their creative engagements with books, the women learn to reframe their own life stories, situate their experiences in relation to broader social patterns, deepen their understanding of others, experiment with new ways of being, and maintain a sense of connection with their fellow citizens on both sides of the prison fence.
It is often claimed that we know ourselves and the world through narratives. In this book, Robert D. Newman portrays narrative engagement as a process grounded in psychoanalytic theory to explain how readers (or listeners or viewers) manage to engage with specific narratives and derive from them a personal experience. Newman describes this psychodrama of narrative engagement as that of exile and return, an experience in which narrative becomes a type of homeland, beckoning and elusive, endlessly defining and disrupting the borders of a reader's identity. Within this paradigm, he considers a fascinating variety of narrative texts: from the Jim Jones episode in Guyana to Freud's repression of personal history in his story of Moses; from a surrealistic collage novel by Max Ernst to the horror films of Alfred Hitchcock; from the works of James Joyce, Ariel Dorfman, Milan Kundera, and D. M. Thomas to the tales of abjection in pornography. Transgressions of Reading is itself an engaging work, as interesting for its provocative readings of particular works as for its theoretical insights. It will appeal to readers from all fields in which narrative plays a crucial role, in the study of film and art, modern and contemporary literature, popular culture, and feminist, psychoanalytic, and reader response theory.
In Turned Inside Out: Reading the Russian Novel in Prison, Steven Shankman reflects on his remarkable experience teaching texts by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vasily Grossman, and Emmanuel Levinas in prison to a mix of university students and inmates. These persecuted writers—Shankman argues that Dostoevsky’s and Levinas’s experiences of incarceration were formative—describe ethical obligation as an experience of being turned inside out by the face-to-face encounter. Shankman relates this experience of being turned inside out to the very significance of the word “God,” to Dostoevsky’s tormented struggles with religious faith, to Vasily Grossman’s understanding of his Jewishness in his great novel Life and Fate, and to the interpersonal encounters the author has witnessed reading these texts with his students in the prison environment.
Turned Inside Out will appeal to readers with interests in the classic novels of Russian literature, in prisons and pedagogy, or in Levinas and phenomenology. At a time when the humanities are struggling to justify the centrality of their mission in today’s colleges and universities, Steven Shankman by example makes an undeniably powerful case for the transformative power of reading great texts.
In the United States, precious little is known about the active role Muslim women have played for nearly a century in the religious culture of Indonesia, the largest majority-Muslim country in the world. While much of the Muslim world excludes women from the domain of religious authority, the country's two leading Muslim organizations--Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)--have created enormous networks led by women who interpret sacred texts and exercise powerful religious influence.
In Women Shaping Islam, Pieternella van Doorn-Harder explores the work of these contemporary women leaders, examining their attitudes toward the rise of radical Islamists; the actions of the authoritarian Soeharto regime; women's education and employment; birth control and family planning; and sexual morality. Ultimately, van Doorn-Harder reveals the many ways in which Muslim women leaders understand and utilize Islam as a significant force for societal change; one that ultimately improves the economic, social, and psychological condition of women in Indonesian society.
Women in 16th- and 17th-century Britain read, annotated, circulated, inventoried, cherished, criticized, prescribed, and proscribed books in various historically distinctive ways. Yet, unlike that of their male counterparts, the study of women’s reading practices and book ownership has been an elusive and largely overlooked field.
In thirteen probing essays, Women’s Bookscapesin Early Modern Britain brings together the work of internationally renowned scholars investigating key questions about early modern British women’s figurative, material, and cultural relationships with books. What constitutes evidence of women’s readerly engagement? How did women use books to achieve personal, political, religious, literary, economic, social, familial, or communal goals? How does new evidence of women’s libraries and book usage challenge received ideas about gender in relation to knowledge, education, confessional affiliations, family ties, and sociability? How do digital tools offer new possibilities for the recovery of information on early modern women readers?
The volume’s three-part structure highlights case studies of individual readers and their libraries; analyses of readers and readership in the context of their interpretive communities; and new types of scholarly evidence—lists of confiscated books and convent rules, for example—as well as new methodologies and technologies for ongoing research. These essays dismantle binaries of private and public; reading and writing; female and male literary engagement and production; and ownership and authorship.
Interdisciplinary, timely, cohesive, and concise, this collection’s fresh, revisionary approaches represent substantial contributions to scholarship in early modern material culture; book history and print culture; women’s literary and cultural history; library studies; and reading and collecting practices more generally.