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Series: Series in Literary Studies

Common and Uncommon Quotes: A Theory and History of Epigraphs

Jared A. Griffin, University of Alaska Anchorage

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-114-4
Availability: In stock
274pp. ¦ $75 £59 €70

'Common and Uncommon Quotes: A Theory and History of Epigraphs' is a prolegomenon to the study of epigraphic paratextuality. Building on the work of Gerard Genette’s paratextual studies, this volume contextualizes and traces the practice of epigraphy in Anglophone literary history, from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century. This study explores how epigraphs are used by author-functions as a hermeneutic for their text and to establish ethos with their audience, and how that paratextual relationship changed as publishing opportunities and literacy rates grew over four centuries. The first broad-reaching study of this kind, 'Common and Uncommon Quotes' seeks to understand how epigraphs work: through their privilege on the page, their appeal to conjured ideas of the past, and their calls to citizenship.

Theatre as Alter/"Native" in Derek Walcott

Nirjhar Sarkar, Raiganj University, India

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-431-2
Availability: In stock
179pp. ¦ $55 £40 €46

'Theatre as Alter/“Native” in Derek Walcott' attempts a close and detailed politico-aesthetic analysis of his major plays. At the core of this book lies the attempt to answer the question of how postcolonial artists and intellectuals have dared to imagine radically different ways of living in the face of oppositional, binary choices. And as the title suggests, Walcott’s plays carve out critical spaces for new narratives of “becoming” and alternative priorities, entangled in contesting identities inscribed by race, language and ethnicity. Theatre, as Walcott knew, would be instrumental in demystifying Caribbean “Absence” and “Void” and generating an alternative version of dominant reality. By a deliberate unseating of the Western texts, filled with banal stereotypes and their representational biases, and by triggering “re-action” to the scripts of the colonizers in profoundly paradoxical ways, Walcott’s plays affirm the Caribbean identity. This study seeks to demonstrate how his plays open an alter/“native” universe in terms of aesthetics, dramaturgy and the performative, and reclaims ‘New World’ identity in terms of negotiation rather than negation—undermining the claim of “solid”, “authentic” culture. Placing the arts at the forefront of nation-building, Walcott situated his plays at a crucial juncture between the passing of the Empire and the newly-born Federation in his archipelago.

Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary and Cultural Intersections at NeMLA

Edited by Carine Mardorossian, University of Buffalo and Simona Wright, The College of New Jersey

December 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-233-2
Availability: In stock
144pp. ¦ $66 £56 €63

This volume celebrates fifty years of NeMLA’s important presence in the world of academia with a collection of essays that adopt a transnational critical lens. With the present selection, we intend to add our voices to the ongoing debate centered on the renegotiation of space, national, and cultural geographies; to foster both the re-thinking of language(s) and literature(s) not exclusively in English and the study of race, gender, sexuality, and class within and across national boundaries. Most pertinently for this collection, we hope to add meaningful material to produce new theoretical paradigms and to rethink the role and significance of the humanities in today’s world. In this light, 'Transnational Spaces: Celebrating Fifty Years of Literary, Cultural, and Language Intersections at NeMLA' offers a contribution to the study of our present, transnational condition, from the point of view of an organization, the 'Northeast Modern Language Association', that since its inception in 1969, has sought to provide a space of encounter, debate, and open intellectual exchange for all its members as well as for the academe at large. The essays contained in this volume emphasize the interdependency and interrelations engendered by the globalized world in which we live, highlighting the possibility to create new knowledge and forms of understanding across the boundaries of nationhood and region. At the same time, they remind us that the present situation calls for a radical self-examination of a history of systemic racism which continues to produce episodes of police brutality, rationalizes cultural and economic exclusion, and normalizes the incarceration of African Americans and “illegal” immigrants, including children and minorities. In this light, with this volume, we hope to have provided inclusive, egalitarian, and cosmopolitan spaces of encounter, exchange, and interrogation.

Transculturación y trans-identidades en la literatura contemporánea mexicana

Edited by Herlinda Flores Badillo, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

September 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-146-5
Availability: In stock
305pp. ¦ $85 £66 €73

La historia y cultura de México han sido transculturadas desde la época prehispánica. La mezcla surgida a partir de la llegada de los españoles dio lugar a un proceso de transculturación y al surgimiento de nuevas identidades, que se trasladaron a la literatura de esta época, dando cuenta de la transición vivida. La literatura se presenta en México como un producto heterogéneo y diverso, fruto del proceso de transculturación, no sólo en su literatura canónica, sino también en aquella de los otros Méxicos, o del México Profundo. “Transculturacion y trans-identidades en la literatura contemporánea mexicana” explora el juego de identidades en las obras de Pablo Soler Frost, Álvaro Enrigue o Fernanda Melchor, entre otros. Una colección de ensayos que abrirá un diálogo entre investigadores y académicos cuya área de estudio esté relacionada con la intersección de culturas, literaturas y escritores, así como un volumen de gran interés a todo público interesado en la literatura mexicana, los fenómenos de transculturación, migración, translacionalismo y políticas identitarias. Mexican history and culture have been transculturated since the pre-Hispanic era. The mixture that developed from the Spaniards arrival promoted the increase of transculturation and the development of new identities. Examples that can easily be spotted in Mexican contemporary literature, showing that due to this phenomena, Mexican literature is heterogeneous and diverse, not only in its canonic literature, but in that from the other Mexicos, or “deep Mexico”. “Transculturation and trans-identities in contemporary Mexican Literature” explores identities in the works of Pablo Soler Frost, Álvaro Enrigue or Fernanda Melchor, to only cite a few. A book that will open a dialogue among researchers, academics and students whose area of study is related to the intersection of culture, identities, spaces, literature and writers. An ambitious collection of essays, of great interest regarding Mexican culture, but also “border culture”, migration, transcultural issues and identity politics.

Novels, Rhetoric, and Criticism: A Brief History of Belles Lettres and British Literary Culture, 1680 – 1900

Jack M. Downs, Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

July 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-476-3
Availability: In stock
158pp. ¦ $53 £42 €50

Developing a history of the English novel requires the inclusion of a vast range of cultural, economic, religious, social, and aesthetic influences. But the role of eighteenth-century English rhetorical theory in the emergence of the novel – and the critical discourse surrounding that emergence – has often been neglected or overlooked. The influence of rhetorical theory in the development of the English novel is undeniable, however, and changes to rhetorical theory in Britain during the eighteenth century led to the development of a critical aesthetic discourse about the novel in Victorian England. This study argues that eighteenth-century 'belles lettres' rhetorical theory played a key role in developing a horizon of expectation concerning the nature and purpose of the novel that extended well into the nineteenth century. There is a connection between the emergence of the English novel, eighteenth-century rhetorical theory, and Victorian novel criticism that has been neglected; this study attempts to recover and articulate that connection.