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Series: Series in Literary Studies

Post45 Vs. The World: Literary Perspectives on the Global Contemporary

Edited by William G. Welty

ISBN: 978-1-64889-479-4
Availability: Pre-order
$68 £57 €65

Much of the work done on the Post45 literary field carries an implicitly Americanist perspective. Even the name of the field suggests a certain literary history, with certain assumptions and blind spots about national spaces, identities, and histories. But what would Post45 look like when considered from outside of the United States? How do the current contours of the field exclude certain voices, either in the United States or elsewhere in the world? And how would such new perspectives shift the beginning and possible endpoint of that literary period? What new narratives of the contemporary emerge if we begin telling the story in a different year or from a different national or global perspective? This collection attempts to re-frame the discussions in Post45 by engaging with non-American writers, texts, and perspectives. Additionally, productive conversations emerge by attempting to think of canonical American writers like Mark Twain and Ishmael Reed from other national and global perspectives. The authors consider both the ways texts themselves as well as their reception histories approach and challenge our understandings of the contemporary. Ultimately, the collection interrogates prevailing narratives of history, culture, identity, and space within the Post45 field. In so doing, it re-considers the historical periodization of the field, which currently covers approximately 75 years of literary history. The resulting essays thus work towards a new intertwined narrative about what defines the contemporary and how national and global literatures fit into that moment of world history.

Common and Uncommon Quotes: A Theory and History of Epigraphs

Jared Griffin, University of Alaska Anchorage

ISBN: 978-1-64889-114-4
Availability: Pre-order
$75 £59 €70

This history and rhetorical study of epigraphs builds on the initial theoretical work on paratextuality by Gérard Genette by exploring how the rhetoric of epigraphs functions in English literature. The author brings the readers a comprehensive understanding of epigraphs in their literary contexts, building on an understanding of epigraphs that has been largely simplistic, relegated primarily to literary dictionary definitions. Thus, this book explores the social and rhetorical functions of epigraphs, arguing that they are employed by epigraphers not only to articulate a thematic connection between texts, but also—more importantly—to build a community of readers, authority, and meaning. Common and Uncommon Quotes: A History of Epigraphs in English Literature contextualizes epigraphy in literary history, tracing the various trends, interpretations, and roles of epigraphy from the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century. This study will demonstrate how epigraphs were used in the reinvigoration of Greek and Roman culture in 17th-century epigraphy, helped to create the modern English canon in the 18th and 19th centuries, signified the secular-literary shift of scriptural references in the 19th, contributed to the 20th-century age of irony, and emphasized the modernist/post-modernist unreliability of authority. To accomplish this, the author examines thousands of epigraphs in English literature from the 16th to the 21st century to build a history and rhetoric of influence, of reading, of community, and to show how epigraphs are an author’s attempt to establish a particular ethos, thereby inferring and exerting control of how their works are read and interpreted. This book will appeal to independent scholars, researchers, and students at all levels working on English literature, literary studies, and paratext studies

War, Espionage, and Masculinity in British Fiction

Edited by Susan L. Austin, Landmark College

ISBN: 978-1-64889-507-4
Availability: Pre-order
$87 £72 €82

'War, Espionage, and Masculinity in British Fiction' explores the masculinities represented in British works spanning more than a century. Studies of Rudyard Kipling’s 'The Light That Failed' (1891) and Erskine Childer’s 'The Riddle of the Sands' (1903) investigate masculinities from before World War I, at the height of the British Empire. A discussion of R.C. Sherriff’s play 'Journey’s End' takes readers to the battlefields of World War I, where duty and the harsh realities of modern warfare require men to perform, perhaps to die, perhaps to be unmanned by shellshock. From there we see how Dorothy Sayers developed the character of Peter Wimsey as a model of masculinity, both strong and successful despite his own shellshock in the years between the world wars. Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter (1948) and The Quiet American (1955) show masculinities shaken and questioning their roles and their country’s after neither world war ended all wars and the Empire rapidly lost ground. Two chapters on 'The Innocent' (1990), Ian McEwan’s fictional account of a real collaboration between Great Britain and the United States to build a tunnel that would allow them to spy on the Soviet Union, dig deeply into the 1950’s Cold War to examine the fictional masculinity of the British protagonist and the real world and fictional masculinities projected by the countries involved. Explorations of Ian Fleming’s 'Casino Royale' (1953) and 'The Living Daylights' (1962) continue the Cold War theme. Discussion of the latter film shows a confident, infallible masculinity, optimistic at the prospect of glasnost and the potential end of Cold War hostilities. John le Carré’s 'The Night Manager' (1993) and its television adaptation take espionage past the Cold War. The final chapter on Ian McEwan’s 'Saturday' (2005) shows one man’s reaction to 9/11.

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.