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Literary Criticism


Vanishing Lives

Style and Self in Tennyson, D. G. Rossetti, Swinburne, and Yeats James Richardson

One of the characteristic features of Victorian poetry is dimness, a vanishing away-things blur with the motion of their passing, which seems inseparable from the mind's fading as it lets them go. Tennyson, Rossetti, Swinburne, and the young Yeats are elegists of the self; they render life... More


The Arresting Eye

Race and the Anxiety of Detection Jinny Huh

In her reading of detective fiction and passing narratives from the end of the nineteenth century forward, Jinny Huh investigates anxieties about race and detection. Adopting an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, she examines the racial formations of African Americans and Asian... More


The Mysteries of Paris and London

Richard Maxwell

In this ambitious and exciting work Richard Maxwell uses nineteenth century urban fiction- particularly the novels of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens- to define a greater genre, the novel of urban mysteries. His title comes from the "mystery mania" that captured both sides of the channel... More


Performatively Speaking

Speech and Action in Antebellum American Literature Debra J. Rosenthal

In Performatively Speaking, Debra Rosenthal draws on speech act theory to open up the current critical conversation about antebellum American fiction and culture and to explore what happens when writers use words not just to represent action but to constitute action itself. Examining moments... More


The Anguish of Displacement

The Politics of Literacy in the Letters of Mountain Families in Shenandoah National Park Katrina M. Powell

Following Congress’s approval of the creation of Shenandoah National Park in 1926, displaced Virginia mountain families wrote to U.S. government officials requesting various services, property, and harvested crops. The collection of 300 handwritten letters that resulted from this relocation... More


Failed Frontiersmen

White Men and Myth in the Post-Sixties American Historical Romance James J. Donahue

In Failed Frontiersmen, James Donahue writes that one of the founding and most persistent mythologies of the United States is that of the American frontier. Looking at a selection of twentieth-century American male fiction writers—E. L. Doctorow, John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed,... More


Prophetic Remembrance

Black Subjectivity in African American and South African Trauma Narratives Erica Still

Using the term "prophetic remembrance" to articulate the expression of a constituent faith in the performative capacity of language, Erica Still shows how black subjectivity is born of and interprets cultural trauma. She brings together African American neo-slave narratives and Black South... More


The Antagonist Principle

John Henry Newman and the Paradox of Personality Lawrence Poston

The Antagonist Principle is a critical examination of the works and sometimes controversial public career of John Henry Newman (1801–1890), first as an Anglican and then as Victorian England’s most famous convert to Roman Catholicism at a time when such a conversion was not only a minority... More


Ersatz America

Hidden Traces, Graphic Texts, and the Mending of Democracy Rebecca Mark

From the popular legend of Pocahontas to the Civil War soap opera Gone with the Wind to countless sculpted heads of George Washington that adorn homes and museums, whole industries have emerged to feed America’s addiction to imaginary histories that cover up the often violent acts of... More


Second Person Singular

Late Victorian Women Poets and the Bonds of Verse Emily Harrington

Emily Harrington offers a new history of women’s poetry at the turn of the century that breaks from conventional ideas of nineteenth-century lyric, which focus on individual subjectivity. She argues that women poets conceived of lyric as an intersubjective genre, one that seeks to establish... More


Personal Business

Character and Commerce in Victorian Literature and Culture Aeron Hunt

In recent years the analysis of the intersection of literature and economics has generated a vibrant conversation in literary and cultural studies of the Victorian period. But Aeron Hunt argues that an emphasis on abstraction and impersonality as the crucial features of the Victorian... More


A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism, Foreword by David C Greetham

Jerome J. Mcgann

[Book description not available]


The Ghost behind the Masks

The Victorian Poets and Shakespeare W. David Shaw

In The Ghost behind the Masks, W. David Shaw traces Shakespeare’s influence on nine Victorian poets: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Thomas Hardy, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Algernon Swinburne, Arthur Hugh Clough, and George Meredith. Often, he writes,... More


Writing through Jane Crow

Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature Ayesha K. Hardison

In Writing through Jane Crow, Ayesha Hardison examines African American literature and its representation of black women during the pivotal but frequently overlooked decades of the 1940s and 1950s. At the height of Jim Crow racial segregation—a time of transition between the Harlem... More


Between the Novel and the News

The Emergence of American Women's Writing Sari Edelstein

While American literary history has long acknowledged the profound influence of journalism on canonical male writers, Sari Edelstein argues that American women writers were also influenced by a dynamic relationship with the mainstream press. From the early republic through the turn of the... More


Victorian Poets and the Politics of Culture

Discourse and Ideology Antony H. Harrison

With the publication of his ambitious new work Victorian Poets and the Politics of Culture, Antony H. Harrison continues his exploration of poetry as a significant force in the construction of English culture from 1837–1900. In chapters focusing on Victorian medievalist discourse,... More


Close Kin and Distant Relatives

The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women's Literature Susana M. Morris

The "black family" in the United States and the Caribbean often holds contradictory and competing meanings in public discourse: on the one hand, it is a site of love, strength, and support; on the other hand, it is a site of pathology, brokenness, and dysfunction that has frequently called... More


The Life and Undeath of Autonomy in American Literature

Geoff Hamilton

In The Life and Undeath of Autonomy in American Literature, Geoff Hamilton charts the evolution of the fundamental concept of autonomy in the American imaginary across the span of the nation’s literary history. Whereas America’s ideological roots are typically examined in relation to... More


Exodus Politics

Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture Robert J. Patterson

Using the term "exodus politics" to theorize the valorization of black male leadership in the movement for civil rights, Robert J. Patterson explores the ways in which the political strategies and ideologies of this movement paradoxically undermined the collective enfranchisement of black... More


The Haverford Discussions

A Black Integrationist Manifesto for Racial Justice Edited by Michael Lackey

In the late sixties and early seventies, black separatist movements were sweeping across the United States. This was the era of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael's and Charles Hamilton's Black Power, and Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice. In 1969 a group of distinguished... More


Composing Cultures

Modernism, American Literary Studies, and the Problem of Culture Eric Aronoff

The term "culture" has become ubiquitous in both academic and popular conversations, but its usefulness is a point of dispute. Taking the current shift from cultural studies to aesthetics as the latest form of this discussion, Eric Aronoff contends that in American modernism, the concepts of... More


Drawing the Line

The Father Reimagined in Faulkner, Wright, O'Connor, and Morrison Doreen Fowler

In an original contribution to the psychoanalytic approach to literature, Doreen Fowler focuses on the fiction of four major American writers—William Faulkner, Richard Wright, Flannery O'Connor, and Toni Morrison—to examine the father's function as a "border figure." Although the father has... More


Migrant Modernism

Postwar London and the West Indian Novel J. Dillon Brown

In Migrant Modernism, J. Dillon Brown examines the intersection between British literary modernism and the foundational West Indian novels that emerged in London after World War II. By emphasizing the location in which anglophone Caribbean writers such as George Lamming, V. S. Naipaul, and... More


The New Death

American Modernism and World War I Pearl James

Adopting the term "new death," which was used to describe the unprecedented and horrific scale of death caused by the First World War, Pearl James uncovers several touchstones of American modernism that refer to and narrate traumatic death. The sense of paradox was pervasive: death was both... More


Upon Provincialism

Southern Literature and National Periodical Culture, 1870–1900 Bill Hardwig

Drawing on tourist literature, travelogues, and local-color fiction about the South, Bill Hardwig tracks the ways in which the nation's leading interdisciplinary periodicals, especially the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and the Century, translated and broadcast the predominant narratives about... More


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