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Literary and Cultural Studies


The Life of William Faulkner

The Past Is Never Dead, 1897-1934


Carl Rollyson

Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, William Faulkner was a southerner who became widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of all time. Despite being such a studied figure, however, to date no biography has captured the complexities at the heart of the man and his work. In... More


Letters from Filadelfia

Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite


Rodrigo Lazo

For many Spanish Americans in the early nineteenth century, Philadelphia was Filadelfia, a symbol of republican government for the Americas and the most important Spanish-language print center in the early United States. In Letters from Filadelfia, Rodrigo Lazo opens a window into Spanish-language... More


The Shortest Way with Defoe

Robinson Crusoe, Deism, and the Novel


Michael B. Prince

A scholarly and imaginative reconstruction of the voyage Daniel Defoe took from the pillory to literary immortality, The Shortest Way with Defoe contends that Robinson Crusoe contains a secret satire, written against one person, that has gone undetected for 300 years. By locating Defoe's nemesis... More


Erotic Citizens

Sex and the Embodied Subject in the Antebellum Novel


Elizabeth Dill

What is the role of sex in the age of democratic beginnings? Despite the sober republican ideals of the Enlightenment, the literature of America’s early years speaks of unruly, carnal longings. Elizabeth Dill argues that the era’s proliferation of texts about extramarital erotic intimacy manifests... More


Sight Correction

Vision and Blindness in Eighteenth-Century Britain


Chris Mounsey

The debut publication in a new series devoted to the body as an object of historical study,  Sight Correction provides an expansive analysis of blindness in eighteenth-century Britain, developing a new methodology for conceptualizing sight impairment. Beginning with a reconsideration of the place... More


1930

The First Automobile Trip in North America, from Manhattan to Managua


Arthur Lyon. Edited by Larry Lyon, with annotations by Denis Wood and an afterword by Sally Denton

Imagine setting out on a road trip in a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster, with the stated goal of traveling from Manhattan to Mexico and Central America, after only a week’s worth of preparation. This is exactly what brothers Arthur Lyon and Joe Lyon Jr. did on March 23, 1930. The Lyons acquired some... More


A Language of Things

Emanuel Swedenborg and the American Environmental Imagination


Devin P. Zuber

Long overlooked, the natural philosophy and theosophy of the Scandinavian scientist-turned-mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) made a surprising impact in America. Thomas Jefferson, while president, was so impressed with the message of a Baltimore Swedenborgian minister that he invited him to... More


Children of the Raven and the Whale

Visions and Revisions in American Literature


Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

Taking its cue from Perry Miller’s 1956 classic of American literary criticism, The Raven and the Whale: The War of Words and Wits in the Era of Poe and Melville, Caroline Chamberlin Hellman’s new book examines ways in which contemporary multi-ethnic writers of the United States have responded to... More


Sifilografía

A History of the Writerly Pox in the Eighteenth-Century Hispanic World


Juan Carlos González Espitia

Syphilis was a prevalent affliction in the era of the Americas’ colonization, creating widespread anxiety that is indicated in the period’s literature across numerous fields. Reflecting Spaniards’ political prejudices of the period, it was alternately labeled "mal francés" or "el mal de las Indias... More


Evangelical Gothic

The English Novel and the Religious War on Virtue from Wesley to Dracula


Christopher Herbert

Evangelical Gothic explores the bitter antagonism that prevailed between two defining institutions of nineteenth-century Britain: Evangelicalism and the popular novel. Christopher Herbert begins by retrieving from near oblivion a rich anti-Evangelical polemical literature in which the great... More


Reading with the Senses in Victorian Literature and Science



David Sweeney Coombs

The nineteenth-century sciences cleaved sensory experience into two separate realms: the bodily physics of sensation and the mental activity of perception. This division into two discrete categories was foundational to Victorian physics, physiology, and experimental psychology. As David Sweeney... More


The Dark Thread

From Tragical Histories to Gothic Tales


Edited by John D. Lyons

In The Dark Thread, scholars examine a set of important and perennial narrative motifs centered on violence within the family as they have appeared in French, English, Spanish, and American literatures. Over fourteen essays, contributors highlight the connections between works from early modernity... More


The Problem of Profit

Finance and Feeling in Eighteenth-Century British Literature


Michael Genovese

Attacks against the pursuit of profit in eighteenth-century Britain have been largely read as reactions against market activity in general or as critiques of financial innovation.  In  The Problem of Profit, however, Michael Genovese contends that such rejections of profit derive not from a... More


The Alchemy of Conquest

Science, Religion, and the Secrets of the New World


Ralph Bauer

The Age of the Discovery of the Americas was concurrent with the Age of Discovery in science. In The Alchemy of Conquest, Ralph Bauer explores the historical relationship between the two, focusing on the connections between religion and science in the Spanish, English, and French literatures about... More


Goodness and the Literary Imagination

Harvard's 95th Ingersoll Lecture with Essays on Morrison's Moral and Religious Vision


Toni Morrison. Edited by David Carrasco, Stephanie Paulsell, and Mara Willard

What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time in book form.... More


Transfusion

Blood and Sympathy in the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination


Ann Louise Kibbie

"England may with justice claim to be the native land of transfusion," wrote one European physician in 1877, acknowledging Great Britain’s crucial role in developing and promoting human-to-human transfusion as treatment for life-threatening blood loss. As news of this revolutionary medical... More


The Field of Imagination

Thomas Paine and Eighteenth-Century Poetry


Scott M. Cleary

One of America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine is best remembered as the pamphleteer who inspired the American Revolution. Yet few also know him as an eighteenth-century poet of considerable repute. In The Field of Imagination, Scott Cleary offers the first book on Paine’s poetry, exploring how... More


Without the Novel

Romance and the History of Prose Fiction


Scott Black

No genre manifests the pleasure of reading—and its power to consume and enchant—more than romance. In suspending the category of the novel to rethink the way prose fiction works,  Without the Novel demonstrates what literary history looks like from the perspective of such readerly excesses and... More


Anecdotes of Enlightenment

Human Nature from Locke to Wordsworth


James Robert Wood

Anecdotes of Enlightenment is the first literary history of the anecdote in English. In this wide-ranging account, James Robert Wood explores the animating effects anecdotes had on intellectual and literary cultures over the long eighteenth century. Drawing on extensive archival research and... More


Women Warriors in Early Modern Spain

A Tribute to Bárbara Mujica


Edited by Susan L. Fischer and Frederick A. de Armas

Although scholars often depict early modern Spanish women as victims, history and fiction of the period are filled with examples of women who defended their God-given right to make their own decisions and to define their own identities. The essays in Women Warriors in Early Modern Spain examine... More


Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair



Amina Menia, Maureen Shanahan, and Beth Hinderliter

This companion volume to the Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair exhibition at James Madison University’s Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art contributes to debates about monuments, historical amnesia, and memories of war and colonialism. It includes essays by co-curators Maureen G. Shanahan and Beth... More


Character and Mourning

Woolf, Faulkner, and the Novel Elegy of the First World War


Erin Penner

In response to the devastating trauma of World War I, British and American authors wrote about grief. The need to articulate loss inspired moving novels by Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner. Woolf criticized the role of Britain in the "war to end all wars," and Faulkner recognized in postwar... More


Public Vows

Fictions of Marriage in the English Enlightenment


Melissa J. Ganz

In eighteenth-century England, the institution of marriage became the subject of heated debates, as clerics, jurists, legislators, philosophers, and social observers began rethinking its contractual foundation. Public Vows argues that these debates shaped English fiction in crucial and previously... More


Mourning El Dorado

Literature and Extractivism in the Contemporary American Tropics


Charlotte Rogers

What ever happened to the legend of El Dorado, the tale of the mythical city of gold lost in the Amazon jungle? Charlotte Rogers argues that El Dorado has not been forgotten and still inspires the reckless pursuit of illusory wealth. The search for gold in South America during the colonial period... More


A World of Disorderly Notions

Quixote and the Logic of Exceptionalism


Aaron R. Hanlon

From Jonathan Swift to Washington Irving, those looking to propose and justify exceptions to social and political norms turned to Cervantes’s notoriously mad comic hero as a model. A World of Disorderly Notions examines the literary and political effects of Don Quixote, arguing that what makes this... More


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