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Literary Criticism


Scarecrows of Chivalry

English Masculinities after Empire Praseeda Gopinath

Exploring the fate of the ideal of the English gentleman once the empire he was meant to embody declined, Praseeda Gopinath argues that the stylization of English masculinity became the central theme, focus, and conceit for many literary texts that represented the "condition of Britain" in... More


Supposing Bleak House

John O. Jordan

Supposing "Bleak House" is an extended meditation on what many consider to be Dickens’s and nineteenth-century England’s greatest work of narrative fiction. Focusing on the novel’s retrospective narrator, whom he identifies as Esther Woodcourt in order to distinguish her from her younger,... More


Liberal Epic

The Victorian Practice of History from Gibbon to Churchill Edward Adams

In Liberal Epic, Edward Adams examines the liberal imagination’s centuries-long dependence on contradictory, and mutually constitutive, attitudes toward violent domination. Adams centers his ambitious analysis on a series of major epic poems, histories, and historical novels, including... More


Artistic Ambassadors

Literary and International Representation of the New Negro Era Brian Russell Roberts

During the first generation of black participation in U.S. diplomacy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a vibrant community of African American writers and cultural figures worked as U.S. representatives abroad. Through the literary and diplomatic dossiers of figures such... More


Transmigrational Writings between the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa

Literature, Orality, Visual Arts Hélène Colette Tissières. Translated by Marjolijn de Jager

In this innovative and skillful study, Hélène Tissières investigates the "circulations" or transmigrations at work among multiple francophone African cultural forms, ranging geographically between North and sub-Saharan Africa, culturally between words and silences, verbally between spoken... More


Reclaiming Nostalgia

Longing for Nature in American Literature Jennifer K. Ladino

Often thought of as the quintessential home or the Eden from which humanity has fallen, the natural world has long been a popular object of nostalgic narratives. In Reclaiming Nostalgia, Jennifer Ladino assesses the ideological effects of this phenomenon by tracing its dominant forms in... More


Characters of Blood

Black Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination Celeste-Marie Bernier

Across the centuries, the acts and arts of black heroism have inspired a provocative, experimental, and self-reflexive intellectual, political, and aesthetic tradition. In Characters of Blood, Celeste-Marie Bernier illuminates the ways in which six iconic men and women—Toussaint Louverture,... More


The Master, the Modern Major General, and His Clever Wife

Henry James's Letters to Field Marshal Lord Wolseley and Lady Wolseley, 1878–1913 Henry James. Edited by Alan G. James

As his letters attest, for nearly forty years Henry James enjoyed a warm and gratifying friendship with Britain’s foremost soldier of the last quarter of the nineteenth century and his wife. The Wolseleys were notable figures. Lord Wolseley, the field marshal who became Britain’s commander... More


Neobaroque in the Americas

Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film Monika Kaup

In a comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of modern and postmodern literature, film, art, and visual culture, Monika Kaup examines the twentieth century's recovery of the baroque within a hemispheric framework embracing North America, Latin America, and U.S. Latino/a culture. As "... More


Pleasures and Pains

Barry E. Milligan

[Book description not available]


Quirks of the Quantum

Postmodernism and Contemporary American Fiction Samuel Chase Coale

Episodic and disconnected, much of postmodern fiction mirrors the world as quantum theorists describe it, according to Samuel Chase Coale. In Quirks of the Quantum, Coale shows how the doubts, misgivings, and ambiguities reflected in the postmodern American novel have been influenced by the... More


The Bourgeois Interior

Julia Prewitt Brown

From Robinson Crusoe’s cave to Henry Selwyn’s hermitage, the domestic interior tells a story about "things" and their relation to character and identity. Beginning with a description of a typical middle-class interior in America today—noting how its contents echo interiors described in... More


Male Armor

The Soldier-Hero in Contemporary American Culture Jon Robert Adams

There is no shortage of iconic masculine imagery of the soldier in American film and literature—one only has to think of George C. Scott as Patton in front of a giant American flag, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, or Burt Lancaster rolling around in the surf in From Here to Eternity. In Male... More


Polygraphies

Francophone Women Writing Algeria Alison Rice

Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria's independence, Polygraphies is significant and timely in its focus on autobiographical writings by seven of the most prominent francophone women writers from Algeria today, including Maïssa Bey, Hélène Cixous, Assia Djebar, and Malika... More


Activism and the American Novel

Religion and Resistance in Fiction by Women of Color Channette Romero

Since the 1980s, many activists and writers have turned from identity politics toward ethnic religious traditions to rediscover and reinvigorate their historic role in resistance to colonialism and oppression. In her examination of contemporary fiction by women of color—including Toni... More


The Modern Portrait Poem

From Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Ezra Pound Frances Dickey

In The Modern Portrait Poem, Frances Dickey recovers the portrait as a poetic genre from the 1860s through the 1920s. Combining literary and art history, she examines the ways Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Swinburne, and J. M. Whistler transformed the genre of portraiture in both painting... More


Backstage in the Novel

Frances Burney and the Theater Arts Francesca Saggini. Translated by Laura Kopp

In Backstage in the Novel, Francesca Saggini traces the unique interplay between fiction and theater in the eighteenth century through an examination of the work of the English novelist, diarist, and playwright Frances Burney. Moving beyond the basic identification of affinities between the... More


In the Hollow of the Wave

Virginia Woolf and Modernist Uses of Nature Bonnie Kime Scott

Examining the writings and life of Virginia Woolf, In the Hollow of the Wave looks at how Woolf treated "nature" as a deliberate discourse that shaped her way of thinking about the self and the environment and her strategies for challenging the imbalances of power in her own culture—all of... More


Elizabeth Bishop in the Twenty-First Century

Reading the New Editions Edited by Angus Cleghorn, Bethany Hicok, and Thomas Travisano

In recent years, a series of major collections of posthumous writings by Elizabeth Bishop--one of the most widely read and discussed poets of the twentieth century--have been published, profoundly affecting how we look at her life and work. The hundreds of letters, poems, and other writings... More


Best New Poets 2011

50 Poems from Emerging Writers Edited by D. A. Powell. Series edited by Jazzy Danziger and Jeb Livingood

Entering its sixth year, Best New Poets has established itself as a crucial venue for rising poets and a valuable resource for poetry lovers. The only publication of its kind, this annual anthology is made up exclusively of work by writers who have not yet published a full-length book. The... More


Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke

At the Roots of the Racial Divide Bryan Crable

Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke focuses on the little-known but important friendship between two canonical American writers. The story of this fifty-year friendship, however, is more than literary biography; Bryan Crable argues that the Burke-Ellison relationship can be interpreted as a... More


Victorian Poets and the Changing Bible

Charles LaPorte

Victorian Poets and the Changing Bible charts the impact of post-Enlightenment biblical criticism on English literary culture. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw a widespread reevaluation of biblical inspiration, in which the Bible’s poetic nature came to be seen as an integral... More


Ecocritical Theory

New European Approaches Edited by Axel Goodbody and Kate Rigby

One of the more frequently lodged, serious, and justifiable complaints about ecocritical work is that it is insufficiently theorized. Ecocritical Theory puts such claims decisively to rest by offering readers a comprehensive collection of sophisticated but accessible essays that productively... More


Shaken Wisdom

Irony and Meaning in Postcolonial African Fiction Gloria Nne Onyeoziri

In her focus on irony and meaning in postcolonial African fiction, Gloria Nne Onyeoziri refers to an internal subversion of the discourse of the wise and the powerful, a practice that has played multiple roles in the circulation of knowledge, authority, and opinion within African communities... More


Talking Shop

The Language of Craft in an Age of Consumption Peter Betjemann

Describing everything from bread and cappuccinos to mass-market furnishings, a language of the "artisanal" saturates our culture today. That language, Peter Betjemann proposes, has a rich and specifiable history. Between 1840 and 1920, the cultural appetite for handmade chairs, tables,... More


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