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Literary Criticism


Cotton's Queer Relations

Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968 Michael P. Bibler

Finally breaking through heterosexual clichés of flirtatious belles and cavaliers, sinister black rapists and lusty "Jezebels," Cotton’s Queer Relations exposes the queer dynamics embedded in myths of the southern plantation. Focusing on works by Ernest J. Gaines, William Faulkner, Tennessee... More


The Dynamics of Genre

Journalism and the Practice of Literature in Mid-Victorian Britain Dallas Liddle

Newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals reached a peak of cultural influence and financial success in Britain in the 1850s and 1860s, out-publishing and out-selling books as much as one hundred to one. But although scholars have long known that writing for the vast periodical... More


A Rain of Words

A Bilingual Anthology of Women's Poetry in Francophone Africa Irène Assiba d'Almeida, ed. Translated by Janis A. Mayes

Although the past two decades have seen a wide recognition of the notable fiction written in French by African women, little attention has been given to their equally significant poetry. A Rain of Words is the first comprehensive attempt to survey the poetic production of these women,... More


The Fowl and the Pussycat

Love Letters of Michael Field, 1876–1909 Michael Field. Edited by Sharon Bickle

Michael Field was the pseudonym used by Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913) coauthors and lovers for the poetry and verse drama they published. This edition of the love letters of Michael Field brings together for the first time a personal correspondence thought lost... More


The Diasporan Self

Unbreaking the Circle in Western Black Novels J. Lee Greene

Through its critical examination of novels by Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson, Sherley Anne Williams, Octavia Butler, John Edgar Wideman, Phyllis Perry, Ishmael Reed, Caryl Phillips, and others, The Diasporan Self presents a fresh and insightful approach to canonical and noncanonical... More


African Americans and the Culture of Pain

Debra Walker King

In this compelling new study, Debra Walker King considers fragments of experience recorded in oral histories and newspapers as well as those produced in twentieth-century novels, films, and television that reveal how the black body in pain functions as a rhetorical device and as political... More


Byrd's Line

A Natural History Stephen Conrad Ausband

In 1728, William Byrd, the wealthy, English-educated master of Westover plantation, undertook a journey with a troop of commissioners, surveyors, and woodsmen to determine the exact boundary between North Carolina and Virginia. Byrd was not only an indefatigable explorer but also an amateur... More


Border Fictions

Globalization, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United States Claudia Sadowski-Smith

Border Fictions offers the first comparative analysis of multiethnic and transnational cultural representations about the United States' borders with Mexico and Canada. Blending textual analysis with theories of globalization and empire, Claudia Sadowski-Smith forges a new model of inter-... More


Black Fascisms

African American Literature and Culture between the Wars Mark Christian Thompson

In this provocative new book, Mark Christian Thompson addresses the startling fact that many African American intellectuals in the 1930s sympathized with fascism, seeing in its ideology a means of envisioning new modes of African American political resistance. Thompson surveys the work and... More


The Invading Body

Reading Illness Autobiographies Einat Avrahami

Widely debated in feminist, poststructuralist, and literary theory is the relationship between subjectivity and the body. Yet autobiographical criticism--an obvious place for testing this conceptual relationship--has lagged behind contemporary queries about the embodied self. In The Invading... More


Victorian Prism

Refractions of the Crystal Palace Edited by James Buzard, Joseph W. Childers, and Eileen Gillooly

From the moment it opened on the first of May in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, the Great Exhibition of 1851 was one of the defining events of the Victorian period. It stood not only as a visible symbol of British industrial and technological progress but as a figure for modernity... More


Professing Sincerity

Modern Lyric Poetry, Commercial Culture, and the Crisis in Reading Susan B. Rosenbaum

Sincerity—the claim that the voice, figure, and experience of a first-person speaker is that of the author—has dominated both the reading and the writing of Anglo-American poetry since the romantic era. Most critical studies have upheld an opposition between sincerity and the literary... More


Nostalgia in Transition, 1780-1917

Linda M. Austin

Referred to long ago as a "disease" of Swiss soldiers and Highland regiments far from home, nostalgia became known in the 1920s as more of a fleeting rather than debilitating condition. Yet what caused this shift in our collective understanding of the term? In Nostalgia in Transition, 1780-... More


Against the Unspeakable

Complicity, the Holocaust, and Slavery in America Naomi Mandel

In the wake of World War II, the Nazi genocide of European Jews has come to stand for "the unspeakable," posing crucial challenges to the representation of suffering, the articulation of identity, and the practice of ethics in an increasingly multinational and multicultural world. In this... More


The English Cult of Literature

Devoted Readers, 1774–1880 William R. McKelvy

What constitutes reading? This is the question William McKelvy asks in The English Cult of Literature. Is it a theory of interpretation or a physical activity, a process determined by hermeneutic destiny or by paper, ink, hands, and eyes? McKelvy seeks to transform the nineteenth-century... More


Ethnic American Literature

Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African American Writing Dean J. Franco

In Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African American Writing, Dean J. Franco offers a comparative approach to ethnic literature that begins by accounting for the intrinsic historical, geographical, and political contingencies of different American cultures. These... More


The Golden Avant-Garde

Idolatry, Commercialism, and Art Raphael Sassower and Louis Cicotello

Since the eighteenth century, artists--especially so-called avant-garde artists--have played a conflicting role in society. Part of the reason for their complex position, argue Raphael Sassower and Louis Cicotello, is the survival of the culture of idolatry in the modern age. In the... More


Westernness

A Meditation Alan Williamson

A first-person meditation on the literary and visual arts of the American West, Westernness: A Meditation explores how this region has developed its own distinct culture, in literature and painting, from the point of view of someone who has been, at different times in his life, both a... More


I'm No Angel

The Blonde in Fiction and Film Ellen Tremper

Have you ever wondered why there are so many "dumb blonde" jokes—always about women? Or how Ivanhoe's childhood love, the"flaxen Saxon" Rowena, morphed into Marilyn Monroe? Between that season in 1847 when readers encountered Becky Sharp playing the vengeful Clytemnestra—about to plunge a... More


Sex, Lies, and Autobiography

The Ethics of Confession James O'Rourke

In Sex, Lies, and Autobiography James O’Rourke explores the relationships between literary form and ethics, revealing how autobiographical texts are able to confront readers with the moral complexities of everyday life. Tracing the ethical legacy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions in a... More


Carolyn G. Heilbrun

Feminist in a Tenured Position Susan Kress

Carolyn G. Heilbrun is renowned as a provocative feminist critic of the culture and (as Amanda Cross) a writer of witty detective novels. In Carolyn G. Heilbrun: Feminist in a Tenured Position, Susan Kress provides a compelling intellectual biography, tracing the evolution of Heilbrun’s... More


Fettered Genius

The African American Bardic Poet from Slavery to Civil Rights Keith D. Leonard

In Fettered Genius, Keith D. Leonard identifies how African American poets’ use and revision of traditional poetics constituted an antiracist political agency. Comparing this practice to the use of poetic mastery by the ancient Celtic bards to resist British imperialism, Leonard shows how... More


Caribbean Literature and the Environment

Between Nature and Culture Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Renée K. Gosson, and George B. Handley, eds.

Perhaps there is no other region in the world that has been more radically altered in terms of human and botanic migration, transplantation, and settlement than the Caribbean. Theorists such as Edouard Glissant argue that the dialectic between Caribbean "nature" and "culture," engendered by... More


Artist of Wonderland

The Life, Political Cartoons, and Illustrations of Tenniel Frankie Morris

Best known today as the illustrator for Lewis Carroll's Alice books, John Tenniel was the Victorian era's chief political cartoonist. This extensively illustrated book is the first to draw almost exclusively on primary sources in family collections, public archives, and other depositories.... More


The Land without Shadows

Abdourahman A. Waberi. Translated by Jeanne Garane. Foreword by Nuruddin Farah.

One of the first literary works to portray Djiboutians from their own point of view, The Land without Shadows is a collection of seventeen short stories. The author, Abdourahman A. Waberi, one of a handful of francophone writers of fiction to have emerged in the twentieth century from the "... More


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