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Sci-Fi

A Companion

Edited by Jack Fennell

What is Sci-Fi?

Science fiction is a non-realist genre that foregrounds a sense of material plausibility, insisting that despite seeming outlandish, it is consonant with history and the laws of nature. By turns subtle and bombastic, sci-fi revels in discovery and revelation, whether through human ingenuity or world-altering paradigm shifts. The same impulse informs both the idealism of Star Trek and the existential terror of Frankenstein.

Each chapter of this book examines a specific trope or theme through a different critical lens – including eco-criticism, feminism and historicism – while also providing a historical overview of the genre, from its disputed origins to the pulp era, the New Wave, and the exponential growth of Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurisms. Revered masters such as Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler and Iain M. Banks are considered alongside newer talents, including Rebecca Roanhorse, N. K. Jemisin and Kameron Hurley. Other chapters provide overviews of different media, from television (Doctor Who, Westworld) to comics/manga (2000AD, Métal Hurlant, Attack on Titan), video games (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and theatre (Alistair McDowall’s X).

Sci-Fi: A Companion not only provides an accessible introduction to sci-fi for general readers and researchers alike, but also illuminates new approaches to a familiar genre.

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Thomas Simmons

This is the first full-length study of the radical poetry of Baton Rouge-based poet Dylan Krieger. Wickedly smart, iconoclastic, daring in their critiques of religion and contemporary culture, Krieger’s poems rank with Allen Ginsberg’s and Adrienne Rich’s as the most provocative and avant-garde of any recent generation. With its debt to third-wave feminism and the "Gurlesque," Krieger’s work nevertheless moves outward and backward across the landmines of sexual precocity and religious fundamentalism, and across the entire western project of epistemology as Krieger came to understand it at the University of Notre Dame. Though this book necessarily stays close to Krieger’s specific poems, it follows her lead in stretching her cultural, sexual, and religious furies to their apotheosis in a manifesto of liberation.

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The Nation of Islam and Black Consciousness

The Works of Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Other Writers

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Ammar Abduh Aqeeli

The Nation of Islam and Black Consciousness: The Works of Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Other Writers engages in the scholarly discussions about the origins and formation of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which rarely give credit to the role of the Nation of Islam’s (NOI) teachings in the emergence of the movement and in shaping the subjects and themes of its literary works. This book reevaluates the common belief that Malcolm X is the most appealing black historical figure in the movement’s literature and demonstrates how the NOI’s perception of black consciousness shaped the aesthetic sensibilities of the movement’s poets and playwrights in their fights against anti-black racism. The Nation of Islam and Black Consciousness can be used in African American literature courses as it provides a thorough analysis of hidden literary texts written by black writers in the 1960s and 1970s. Reading this book today will help readers reflect on how a narrow understanding of "Americanness" is threatening to the American ideals of diversity and inclusiveness on which America was founded. Moreover, this book is useful for those who are interested in studying how identity politics functions to achieve certain social and cultural goals.

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Groups, Coteries, Circles and Guilds

Modernist Aesthetics and the Utopian Lure of Community

Edited by Laura Scuriatti

In the first half of the twentieth century, artists, intellectuals, writers, thinkers and patrons in Europe and the United States created a large number of artistic communities, circles, groups and movements with the aim of providing alternatives to the increasingly conflictual political and intellectual climate; the works and artistic practices of many of these groups were marked by an ethos of collaboration, based on a collective understanding of artistic production, and on the nurturing and exercise of sociability and conviviality. Collaboration, sociability, friendship and collective artistic efforts represented the utopian aspects of the radical experiments carried out by avant-garde and modernist artists; they were also the counterparts of the period’s obsession with the notion of genius and the cult of the artist. This book offers studies of under-researched (and often consciously provincial) avant-garde and modernist groups and authors. Their progressive aims are here read as particular forms of utopia based on the ethics and aesthetics of community.

The essays in this volume analyse the significance (and failures) of literary coteries as spaces of aesthetic and political freedom. They explore the internationalist and interdisciplinary practices of the Porza Group, the abstrakten hannover and the anthroposophical group Aenigma; the utopian efforts of the artists’ communities at Dornach (Switzerland) and Farley Farm, in England; the political and aesthetic implications of collaborative practices of cultural mediation, criticism and translation within the Bloomsbury group, the «Young American Critics», and of single individuals in relation to networks and avant-garde coteries, such as Mina Loy, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and Djuna Barnes. The volume offers an evaluation of the roots and ethos of sociability in the Enlightenment, as the basis of modernist utopias of community; it also reflects on the problematic notion of individual authorship within artistic groups, as in the case of the early-modernist Finnish author Algot Untola, who created around forty fictitious author-names.

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Legacies of Indigenous Resistance

Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan in Australian Indigenous Film, Theatre and Literature

Matteo Dutto

This book explores the ways in which Australian Indigenous filmmakers, performers and writers work within their Indigenous communities to tell the stories of early Indigenous resistance leaders who fought against British invaders and settlers, thus keeping their legacies alive and connected to community in the present. It offers the first comprehensive and trans-disciplinary analysis of how the stories of Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan (Bidjigal, Bunuba and Noongar freedom fighters, respectively) have been retold in the past forty years across different media. Combining textual and historical analysis with original interviews with Indigenous cultural producers, it foregrounds the multimodal nature of Indigenous storytelling and the dynamic relationship of these stories to reclamations of sovereignty in the present. It adds a significant new chapter to the study of Indigenous history-making as political action, while modelling a new approach to stories of frontier resistance leaders and providing a greater understanding of how the decolonizing power of Indigenous screen, stage and text production connects past, present and future acts of resistance.

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Mutating Idylls

Uses and Misuses of the Locus Amoenus in European Literature, 1850-1930

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Edited by Carsten Meiner

Mutating Idylls examines the surprising presence of the antique literary topos of the idyllic landscape, the locus amoenus, in European literature from the latter half of the 19th century. The book sets out to identify how this topos, which for many obvious reasons has no place in politically and socially realistic and naturalist literature, actually does have a role to play. Chapters on central 19th century authors like Flaubert and Zola, Fontane, Verga and Hamsun, Austen, Eliot and Wilde, Jiménez, Cernuda, and Galdós demonstrate both the presence and the multiple refunctionalizations of the locus amoenus. The theoretical aim of Mutating Idylls is to rehabilitate the notion of literary topos. This feature is present in the introduction as a possibility in literary studies today. The articles all argue in the direction of a notion of topos, which is more flexible than the one Curtius defines along the lines of formula or cliché. In this way, the book intervenes in at least three major fields of study: 19th century studies, classical philology, and literary theory. Through empirical analyses covering diverse authors who all, more or less unconsciously, use the locus amoenus, Mutating Idylls offers a new understanding of the culture of writing in the 19th century and contributes to literary theory a rehabilitation of the important notion of the topos.

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Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction

Homosociality and Nihilist Performance

Sandra Singer

Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction considers fictional work of the time subsequent to the attacks. The book develops and investigates models of stock characters in 9/11 fiction who promote the trauma meme within a narrative arc of tragedy; the conceptual evolution of trauma and media as thematic arcs is interpreted within specific 9/11 novels and in correspondence with other terrorist fiction. The almost exclusively male stock character protagonists include the male homosocial perpetrator and the tightrope walker. Among the more recent authors discussed are Amy Waldman and Thomas Pynchon, whose novels illustrate the way characters inhabit media models, rather than, as previously thought, using media for disseminating terrorist events and messaging. Other featured writers include Bernhard Schlink, Don DeLillo, Claire Messud, Ian McEwan, Joseph O’Neill, and Colum McCann. Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction is a valuable text for scholars of 9/11 fiction, as well as for professors and university students studying contemporary literature.

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Violent Language and Its Use in Religious Conflicts in Elizabethan England

Discourses on Values and Norms in the Marprelate Controversy (1588/89)

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Sarah Ströer

Elizabethans saw eloquent language as the mark of the civilized gentleman. At the same time, they believed language to be able to harm, analogous to physical violence. Such concepts of language have important implications for the study of religious controversies of the time, in which the authors often attacked each other harshly via printed language. Employing historical discourse analysis, this study analyses Elizabethan concepts of violent language and shows under which circumstances Elizabethans understood language use as violence. In a second step, the main contributions in one of the most notorious theological controversies of the time, the Marprelate controversy, are analysed in terms of how these concepts of violent language were used as strategies of legitimation and de-legitimation.

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Verleger als Leser und als Vermittler von Lesekultur

Britische Verlegerkarrieren zwischen 1800 und 1926 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung lesebiographischer Ansätze

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Sandra Simon

Verlegerpersönlichkeiten, die das Profil ihrer Verlage entscheidend gestalteten und auf die Lesekultur ihrer Zeit einwirkten, prägten das Verlagswesen im neunzehnten Jahrhundert. Gegenstand der vorliegenden Publikation sind die vier britischen Verleger William (1800-1883) und Robert Chambers (1802-1871), C. Kegan Paul (1828-1902) sowie J. M. Dent (1849-1926). Im Rückgriff auf biographische Ansätze der Leserforschung und Verlagsgeschichte arbeitet die Autorin die konkreten Umstände der Lesesozialisation der Verleger, ihren Bezug zum Lesen und zum Buch sowie die Auswirkungen auf das Selbstverständnis der Verleger und ihren Einfluss auf die Lesekultur ihrer Zeit heraus.

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Tomasz Sawczuk

The book is the first monograph which examines the correspondences between the oeuvre of Jack Kerouac and the thought of Jacques Lacan, the two apparently incompatible worlds which prove to be complementary when taking a closer look. The study demonstrates a number of points. Firstly, with Jacques Lacan as a silent partner, it helps to better understand why psychoanalysis won Kerouac’s enmity in the mid-1950s. It also delves into Lacan’s reflections on spontaneous free-association to prove their convergence with Beats’ literary tactics. In its final part, by employing Lacanian theory, the book offers an extensive insight into Kerouac’s oeuvre to excavate the problematic status of the father figure, a crucial matter not yet given a rigorous critical attention.