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In the context of the ongoing crisis in literary criticism, The Social Imperative reminds us that while literature will never by itself change the world, it remains a powerful tool and important actor in the ongoing struggle to imagine better ways to be human and free. Figuring the relationship between reader and text as a type of friendship, the book elaborates the social-psychological concept of schema to show that our multiple social contexts affect what we perceive and how we feel when we read. Championing and modeling a kind of close reading that attends to how literature reflects, promotes, and contests pervasive sociocultural ideas about race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, Paula M. L. Moya demonstrates the power of works of literature by writers such as Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, and Helena Maria Viramontes to alter perceptions and reshape cultural imaginaries. Insofar as literary fiction is a unique form of engagement with weighty social problems, it matters not only which specific works of literature we read and teach, but also how we read them, and with whom. This is what constitutes the social imperative of literature.
"Margins in the Classroom " was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
For today's teacher of literature, facing a minefield of politics and theory, this book arrives as a much needed guide through the multiplying cultural anxieties of the college classroom. Margins in the Classroom brings together established scholars and emerging voices from diverse backgrounds to show how politics and theory can and do affect the most pressing problems confronting the contemporary teacher of literature. The essays in this volume go beyond questioning and examining existing practices to suggest fresh approaches to teaching the expanding literary canon within the context of the politics of the educational institution. Grounded in literary criticism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, political economy, sociology, and philosophy, these essays apply new theoretical models to the traditional canon, identify new bodies of literature, and show how theory can be used to analyze these new literatures. Focusing on the politics of teaching and theory in the classroom, the authors explore the present practice and future implications of changing textual analysis, literary theory, and pedagogy. Their essays address the politics of literature as it affects the classroom, the design of courses, and the creation of new courses. They mold theory to the variety of classroom populations and materials the teacher of literature encounters today. The resulting volume bridges the differences between the languages of the classroom instructor and the contemporary theorist. Margins in the Classroom is unique in both the breadth and the depth of its concern over the disturbing, if electric, impact of changes in criticism, theory, and pedagogy in college literature classes as we approach the next century of academic instruction.
Kostas Myrsiades is professor of comparative literature, and Linda S. Myrsiades is professor of English, both at West Chester University. Kostas Myrsiades is editor of College Literature, where Linda S. Myrsiades is an associate editor.
Idioms of Self-Interest uncovers an emerging social integration of economic self-interest in early modern England by examining literary representations of credit relationships in which individuals are both held to standards of communal trust and rewarded for risk-taking enterprise. Drawing on women's wills, merchants' tracts, property law, mock testaments, mercantilist pamphlets and theatrical account books, and utilizing the latest work in economic theory and history, the book examines the history of economic thought as the history of discourse. In chapters that focus on The Merchant of Venice, Eastward Ho!, and Whitney's Wyll and Testament, it finds linguistic and generic stress placed on an ethics of credit that allows for self-interest. Authors also register this stress as the failure of economic systems that deny self-interest, as in the overwrought paternalistic systems depicted in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis. The book demonstrates that Renaissance interpretive formations concerning economic behaviour were more flexible and innovative than appears at first glance, and it argues that the notion of self-interest is a coherent locus of interpretation in the early seventeenth century.
The question "What is America?" has taken on new urgency. Weak Nationalisms explores the emotional dynamics behind that question by examining how a range of authors have attempted to answer it through nonfiction since the Second World War, revealing the complex and dynamic ways in which affects shape the literary construction of everyday experience in the United States. Douglas Dowland studies these attempts to define the nation in an eclectic selection of texts from writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, John Steinbeck, Charles Kuralt, Jane Smiley, and Sarah Vowell. Each of these texts makes use of synecdoche, and Weak Nationalisms shows how this rhetorical technique is variously driven by affects including curiosity, discontent, hopefulness, and incredulity. In exploring the function of synecdoche in the creative construction of the United States, Dowland draws attention to the evocative politics and literary richness of nationalism and connects critical literary practices to broader discussions involving affect theory and cultural representation.
An ARTery Best Book of the Year An Art of Manliness Best Book of the Year In a culture that has become progressively more skeptical and materialistic, the desires of the individual self stand supreme, Mark Edmundson says. We spare little thought for the great ideals that once gave life meaning and worth. Self and Soul is an impassioned effort to defend the values of the Soul. "An impassioned critique of Western society, a relentless assault on contemporary complacency, shallowness, competitiveness and self-regard...Throughout Self and Soul, Edmundson writes with a Thoreau-like incisiveness and fervor...[A] powerful, heartfelt book." -Michael Dirda, Washington Post "[Edmundson's] bold and ambitious new book is partly a demonstration of what a `real education' in the humanities, inspired by the goal of `human transformation' and devoted to taking writers seriously, might look like...[It] quietly sets out to challenge many educational pieties, most of the assumptions of recent literary studies-and his own chosen lifestyle." -Mathew Reisz, Times Higher Education "Edmundson delivers a welcome championing of humanistic ways of thinking and living." -Kirkus Reviews
"Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings" is a complete writing
course that will jump-start your writing and guide you through your
first steps towards publication.
This bold study traces the processes by which a `history' and canon of Caribbean literature and criticism have been constructed. It offers a supplement to that history by presenting new writers, texts and critical moments that help to reconfigure the Caribbean tradition. Focusing on Anglophone or Anglocreole writings from across the twentieth century, Alison Donnell asks what it is that we read when we approach `Caribbean Literature', how it is that we read it and what critical, ideological and historical pressures may have influenced our choices and approaches. In particular, the book: * addresses the exclusions that have resulted from the construction of a Caribbean canon * rethinks the dominant paradigms of Caribbean literary criticism, which have brought issues of anti-colonialism and nationalism, migration and diaspora, `double-colonised' women, and the marginalization of sexuality and homosexuality to the foreground * seeks to put new issues and writings into critical circulation by exploring lesser-known authors and texts, including Indian Caribbean women's writings and Caribbean queer writings. Identifying alternative critical approaches and critical moments, Twentieth-Century Caribbean Literature allows us to re-examine the way in which we read not only Caribbean writings, but also the literary history and criticism that surround them.
Donald Davie's poems are here arranged chronologically from the
1950s to the beginning of the 1990s. Taken together, the poems
display that reverence for the distinctive qualities of the English
language which has earned him a name as one of Britain's finest
Holocaust literature is recognized as a major postwar literary genre, but there is little consensus as to its generic definition. As an addition to the Genres in Context series, The Holocaust Novel provides the first comprehensive generic study of Holocaust literature. This student-friendly volume answers a dire need for readers to understand a genre in which boundaries are often blurred between history fiction, autobiography and memoir. The Holocaust Novel offers a student guide to holocaust literature, along with an annotated bibliography, chronology and further reading list. Major texts discussed include such widely taught works as Night Maus, The Shawl, Schindler's List, Sophie's Choice, White Noise and Time's Arrow.
"American Identities" is a dazzling array of primary documents and critical essays culled from American history, literature, memoir, and popular culture that explore major currents and trends in American history from 1945 to the present.
This classic work presents sixteen key myths and legends of the Arthurian, Carolingian, Teutonic and Scandinavian cycles which embody the chivalric code and which inspired the greatest works of romance literature and art. The tales illuminate the mystical significance of knighthood and its ethos of self-purification and honour, decoding many allusions found in medieval art, literature and song.
It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, "Slavery and the Culture of Taste" demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time.
Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure.
Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, "Slavery and the Culture of Taste" sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.
What makes us the people we are? Culture evidently plays a part,
but how large a part? Is culture alone the source of our
identities? Some have argued that human nature is the foundation of
culture, others that culture is the foundation of human identity.
Catherine Belsey now calls for a more nuanced, relational account
of what it is to be human, and in doing so puts forward a
significant new theory of culture.
"The Architecture of Address" traces the evolution of an American species of lyric capable of public pronouncement without polemic. Beginning with Whitman, Jake Adam York seeks to describe a kind of poem wherein the most ambitious poets--including Hart Crane and Robert Lowell--occupy and reconstruct important public spaces. This study argues that American poets become civic actors when their poems imagine and reconstruct the conceptual architecture of the monument.
The theory of narrative, or narratology, was developed in the first part of the twentieth century as a way of accounting for the wide appeal of the novel as the predominant literary genre and has since become a central theory in literary study (itself a growing and specializing area of the humanities). However, the concept really rose to prominence in the west in the 1960s, inspired by the work of leading cultural thinkers such as Roland Barthes, and was a significant factor in the so-called 'linguistic turn' in the human sciences. Following the more recent development of cultural studies, narratology is currently enjoying a kind of comeback due to its long history of engaging non-literary objects. culture has opened up a dialogue between narratology and visual art, which has been made indispensable by the flourishing development of film studies courses. Narrative theory therefore has relevance for a wide number of academic disciplines, including: anthropology; communication; cultural & media studies; history; organization studies; philosophy; post-colonial studies; religious studies and women's/gend studies. This set of volumes sketches the history, breadth, and applicability of narrative theory, thus demonstrating its value as analytical instrument. The collection includes articles from the leading names of narrative theory, such as Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, Tzvetan Todorov and Jean-Francoise Lyotard, as well as lesser-known, though equally important, contributions.
Although courtly literature is often associated with a chivalrous and idyllic life, the fifteen original essays in this collection demonstrate that the quest for love in the world of medieval courtly literature was underpinned by violence. Lovers were rejected, mistrust ruled, rape was a rampant problem, and marriage was often characterized by brutality. Albrecht Classen brings together an outstanding group of historical, cultural, and literary scholars in this volume to investigate the complicated, nuanced, and often surprising unions of love and violence in courtly medieval literature.
This book attempts to answer a fundamental question: How did Douglass manage to persuade anyone about the evils of slavery, and even impress viewers with his personal qualities, when his speeches were commonly considered mere entertainment, in the same category as Barnum's circus acts? In answering this question, Terry Baxter provides a means of understanding the positive responses of Frederick Douglass's white audiences and African American celebrities' roles as both objects of consumption and vehicles for social change.
Looking at a diverse series of authors--Herman Melville, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Mark Twain, Charles Warren Stoddard, and Jack London--"The Colonizer Abroad" claims that as the U.S. emerged as a colonial power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the literature of the sea became a literature of imperialism. This book applies postcolonial theory to the travel writing of some of America's best-known authors, revealing the ways in which America's travel fiction and nonfiction have both reflected and shaped society.
Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism provides a nuanced analysis of Pakistani women's lives, particularly in terms of how they engage with the environment, through readings of their literary and cinematic fictions. Shazia Rahman demonstrates the ways in which these women explore alternative, environmental means of belonging, examines the vitality of place-based identities within Pakistani culture, and, as such, contributes to evolving understandings of Pakistani women-both in relation to their environment as well as to various discourses of nation and patriarchy. Deploying a postcolonial, ecofeminist approach, Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism allows theories of space and place-based identities to supply a framework for exploring everyday practices represented within Pakistani women's film and literature-the material reality of how people live among each other, deal with their environment, and intuit their relationship with the spiritual. By analyzing the cinematic and literary fictions that portray Pakistani women's engagements with the more-than-human environment, Rahman explains how nationalist and religious identifications exist simultaneously with less visible narratives of belonging, thereby enriching the understanding of the ways Pakistani women explore alternative, environmental ways of inclusion in order to counter dominant discourses of religious nationalism and global Islam.
The documents emerging from the secret police archives of the
former Soviet bloc have caused scandal after scandal, compromising
revered cultural figures and abruptly ending political careers.
"Police Aesthetics" offers a revealing and responsible approach to
such materials. Taking advantage of the partial opening of the
secret police archives in Russia and Romania, Vatulescu focuses on
their most infamous holdings--the personal files--as well as on
movies the police sponsored, scripted, or authored. Through the
archives, she gains new insights into the writing of literature and
raises new questions about the ethics of reading. She shows how
police files and films influenced literature and cinema, from
autobiographies to novels, from high-culture classics to
avant-garde experiments and popular blockbusters. In so doing, she
opens a fresh chapter in the heated debate about the relationship
between culture and politics in twentieth-century police states.
A History of Scandinavian Literature, 1870-1980 was first published in 1982. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.The decade of the 1870s marked a breakthrough in the literature of Denmark and Norway and, in the next decade, of Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Until that time, these countries had to a large extent received literary and cultural impulses from abroad, but with the development of new realistic and naturalistic literary modes in the 1870s, they became a creative cultural area, one of the centers of world literature.Sven Rossel begins his literary history at this turning point. Instead of providing a complete survey, with its risks of superficiality, he focuses on a number of outstanding writers who are considered representative of literary periods, stylistic trends, or social groups. Among the authors whose work he considers are the Danish essayist Georg Brandes and novelist Isak Dinesen, Norwegians Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, and Ole E. Rolvaag, Swedes August Strindberg, Selma Lagerloef, and Vilhelm Moberg, Minna Canth and Christer Kijlman of Finland, and the Icelandic novelist and poet, Halldor Kiljan Laxness. He does not, however, confine himself to authors well established in the non-Scandinavian world but gives attention also to talented writers who have - undeservedly - remained unrecognized even in their native lands.Rossel provides a social, cultural, and political context for his literary study and emphasizes the interrelationship among the five countries. In addition, he stresses reciprocal influences in world literature, devoting special attention to Anglo-American cross-currents. This book is for scholars, students, and general readers interested in the literary and cultural life of the Nordic countries or in comparative literature.
Currently the definitive text in the field and now available in an expanded third edition, Eighteenth-Century Poetry presents the rich diversity of English poetry from 1700-1800 in authoritative texts and with full scholarly annotation. * Balanced to reflect current interests and favorites (including prominent poets like Finch, Swift, Pope, Montagu, Johnson, Gray, Burns, and Cowper) as well as less familiar material, offering a variety of voices and new directions for research and learning * Includes 46 new poems with more texts by women poets and the inclusion of four additional poets (Mary Barber, Mehetabel Wright, Anna Seward, and Mary Robinson); poems reflecting new ecological approaches to 18th-century literature; and poems on the art of writing * Accessible and user-friendly, with generous head notes, full foot-of-page annotations, an expanded thematic index, and a visually appealing text design
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