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American Culture in the 1910s

Author: Mark Whalan

This book offers a cultural survey of this decade, dominated by the horrors of the first modern war, but which also witnessed the flowering of modernism, the birth of Hollywood, and the rise of progressive interpretations of culture and society. Chapters focus on fiction and poetry; fine art and photography; cinema and vaudeville; music, dance, and theater; and a conclusion which explores the impact of the First World War on cultural understandings of nationalism, citizenship, and propaganda.

Art’s Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism

Pyle BookAuthor: Forest Pyle

Art’s Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism (2013) is about radical aestheticism, the term that best describes a recurring event in some of the most powerful and resonating texts of nineteenth-century British literature. A radical aestheticism offers us the best way to reckon with what takes place at certain moments in certain texts by Shelley, Keats, Dickinson, Hopkins, D.G. Rossetti, and Wilde when aestheticized representations reach their radicalization. (more…)

Asian American Literature


Edited by:  David Li

From The Woman Warrior to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Chang-rae Lee to Jhumpa Lahiri, Asian American literature—and the serious scholarly work it has spawned—is now central to debates about national cultures, world civilizations, and transnational imaginaries. A fine-tuned assemblage of collective critical wisdom from distinguished scholarly journals and monographs of the last four decades, this authoritative and comprehensive reference collection is organized by genre into four volumes. The first volume (“Literary History: Criticism and Theory”) showcases the foundational work that defines the parameters of Asian American literature in its various stages of evolution. Volume II (“Prose”) brings together the best interpretive work and practical criticism on key works of Asian American fiction and non-fiction. Volume III (“Poetry”) assembles the essential scholarship on Asian American verse, while the final volume in the set (“Drama”) highlights significant research on theatrical texts, performance, and “cyberrace.”Asian American Literature is fully indexed and includes a new introduction by the editor, which places the representative corpus in its historical and intellectual contexts. In charting the categorical shifts from identity to difference, politics to aesthetics, and grievance to grief, this critical overview enables a clear understanding of Asian American literary formation in the complex geo-political, economic, and social sea-change between what is now known as “liberalism” and “neoliberalism.” An indispensable reference collection, Asian American Literature is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research and pedagogical resource.

Barbarous Play

Author:  Lara Bovilsky

In Barbarous Play, Lara Bovilsky examines English Renaissance understandings of race as depicted in drama revealing deep parallels between the period’s conceptions of race and gender.


Beginning the Mahabharata

Author:  James Earl

Anyone wanting to read the Mahābhārata in English will find no helpful guidance in print, and helpful guidance is definitely needed. The epic opens with a set of frame stories that the most recent translator calls “frankly confusing, even bewildering.” Earl guides the reader through the opening 56 chapters, analyzing the epic’s major themes and narrative strategies along the way. This is the way to begin one of world literature’s greatest reading projects.


Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment

Editor: Louise Westling

Louise Westling’s Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment (2013) includes contributions from experts in the interdisciplinary field of environmental literary criticism. The collection traces the development of ecocriticism from its origins in European pastoral literature to contemporary environmental literary scholarship [dealing with] an array of issues such as the place of the human within nature, ecofeminism, critical animal studies, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and climate change.


Chain Saw Sculptor: The Art of J. Chester Armstrong

Author:  Sharon Sherman

Sharon Sherman’s book Chain-Saw Sculptor: The Art of J. Chester Armstrong, published by University Press of Mississippi, 1995, explores the processes of creativity, raises questions about the difference between folk art and fine art, and captures Armstrong’s unique aesthetic sensibilities, outlook on life, his surroundings, and his growing reputation.


Chaucer’s Italian Tradition

Author:  Warren Ginsberg

Warren Ginsberg’s book, Chaucer’s Italian Tradition, published by The University of Michigan Press, 2002, addresses important questions about the dynamics of cross-cultural translation and the formation of tradition.

Criticism and the Color Line

Criticism and the Color Line

Edited by Henry Wonham

Criticism and the Color Line celebrates the hybridity of American literary culture by examining the complex interaction of black and white voices in American writing.


Dance and the Hollywood Latina: Race, Sex and Stardom

Author: Priscilla Ovalle

Dance and the Hollywood Latina asks why every Latina star in Hollywood history, from Dolores Del Rio in the 1920s to Jennifer Lopez in the 2000s, began as a dancer or danced onscreen. While cinematic depictions of women and minorities have seemingly improved, a century of representing brown women as natural dancers has popularized the notion that Latinas are inherently passionate and promiscuous. Yet some Latina actresses became stars by embracing and manipulating these stereotypical fantasies.

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