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Voicing Memories, Unearthing Identities: Studies in the Twenty-First-Century Literatures of Eastern and East-Central Europe
Aleksandra Konarzewska, University of Tübingen, Germany
and Anna Nakai, Central European University, Hungary
254pp. ¦ $86 £71 €81
In the region known as Eastern and East-Central Europe, the framework provided by memory studies became highly valuable for understanding the overload of interpretations of and conflicting perspectives on events during the twentieth century. The trauma of two world wars, the development of collective consciousness according to national and ethnic categories, stories of the trampled lands and lives of people, and resistance to the rule of authoritarian and totalitarian terrors—these trajectories left complex layers of identities to unfold. The following volume addresses the issue of identity as a pivot in studies of memory and literature. In this context, it addresses the question of cultural negotiation as it took shape between memory and literature, history and literature, and memory and history, with the help of contemporary authors and their works. The authors take the literature of countries such as Estonia, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia as the point of departure, and explain its significance in terms of geographical, theoretical, and thematic perspectives.
Tolkien’s Transformative Women: Art in Triptych
Annie Brust, Kent State University
279pp. ¦ $78 £61 €72
J.R. R. Tolkien has been revered as the father of twentieth-century fantasy; however, many initially criticized him for his handling of the textual matter as male-centric magical lands that did not feature prominent female roles or significant female characters. This book will highlight the vast community of powerful female figures that Tolkien created in his fantasy writing, stemming from the distinct and dominant female forces he created in his academic translation and poetry. These fierce women serve as a culmination of the powerful forces of women and female character that originated in Medieval, Norse, and Celtic traditions. They help to create the framework from which Tolkien shaped his female community, not merely as singular figures, as previously featured, but as a dynamic network of figures who shape Tolkien's creative art. For the first time, this discussion looks at the entire community of women, featuring previously excluded figures from his academic works and highlighting translation bias in modern manuscripts of the extant medieval works that influenced these women. It also seeks to create a comprehensive guide and detailed appendices exploring the female characters and influences throughout his writing portfolio. This book seeks to uncover the hidden voices of the past to find their rightful home in the strong female voices of the present, rewriting history to regain a sense of the past.
Perspective: Selected Essays on Space in Art and Design
Sarina Miller, Temple University
Availability: Available 4 weeks
256pp. ¦ $85 £70 €80
'Perspective: Selected Essays on Space in Art and Design' explores the ways in which visual and physical space have been designed and experienced in different cultures. This book amplifies the significance of space as a design element by examining its implications in various contexts through a global perspective of art and design.
Thomas Jefferson’s 'Notes on the State of Virginia': A ProlegomenaFebruary 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-620-0
Availability: In stock
274pp. ¦ $75 £59 €69
Why did Jefferson write 'Notes on the State of Virginia'? There are today two common theses. The first, the Alphabet-Soup Thesis, maintains that the book is more or less a loose collection of notes in answer to the 22 queries given by French diplomat François Barbé-Marbois. Jefferson’s altering the arrangement of his answers to the questions is a matter of allowing for a smoother “narrative” for his answers, but other than that, one ought to be cautious not to read too much into his restructuring. The second, the Deconstructionist Thesis, is that meticulous deconstruction of the text reveals a latent thesis, which Jefferson, consciously or subconsciously, kept from his readers. Both views are problematic. The former cannot explain why Jefferson fell so deeply into the project, rearranged Marbois’ questions so that the book would flow smoothly from nature to culture, and continually revise his often-lengthy answers, even after the Stockdale edition in 1787. The latter suffers from the fact that Jefferson tended never to write elliptically. "Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Notes on the State of Virginia’: A Prolegomena" is an attempt to provide an alternative, “dialectical” reading to current interpretations of the book. The book, Holowchak asserts, is neither a simple omnium gatherum nor is its message accessible only through deconstruction. There is an obvious movement from nature (Gr., 'phusis') in the first seven queries to culture (Gr., 'nomos') in the remaining 16 queries, but that “movement” is not linear. Early naturalistic queries set up neatly Jefferson’s discussion of the cultural aspects of Virginia, and Jefferson’s explication of the cultural aspects of Virginia cannot be grasped without frequent returns to the naturalistic queries, hence its dialectic. Jefferson’s aim overall, sums Holowchak, is the appropriation of what nature had given for humans’ use—to perfect the social state by taming nature and putting it to use for human betterment.
Freedom Taking Place: War, Women and Culture at the Intersection of Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus
Jessica Zychowicz, Fulbright Ukraine; Institute of International Education Kyiv office, Ukraine
Availability: In stock
340pp. ¦ $93 £75 €86
Freedom as a concept shifts with different forms of expression. As the authors of this volume convey in their focus on 'freedom of expression', the idea of 'freedom' in the twenty-first century does not stand apart as a purely physical location marked by national borders. In the Internet Age information is increasingly co-determinate of physical freedom. The information-dense space of the protests of 2021, and beyond, provide soil for the intellectuals writing in this volume to reflect on women’s agency in struggles for human rights. Where historical discourse on “The Woman Question” once conflicted with “feminism” as a perceived importation from the West, this conflict also produced productive tensions that have provided ongoing sites for research. When closely studied, these contexts can deepen global concepts of democracy and justice, providing not only pathways for acts of solidarity and mutual assistance, but intellectual depth and breadth for the future 'ways of knowing', and thus ways of creating, more equitable post-conflict power systems and citizenship amid times of revolution and war. Coming from multiple generations, gender identities, nationalities, and language; the authors in this volume represent the most forward-thinking voices and figures working on gender in the region today.