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Invisible Effects

Rethinking Writing through Emergence

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Chris Mays

Invisible Effects directly engages systems and complexity theory to reveal how the effects of writing and writing instruction work in deferred, disguised, and unexpected ways. The book explains how writing and language that exist in "writing systems" can indirectly (though powerfully) affect people and environments in sometimes distant contexts. In so doing, the book takes on a question central to rhetoric and writing throughout its long history but perhaps even more pressing today: how do we recognize and measure the effects of writing when those effects are so tangled up with our complex material and discursive environments? The surprisingly powerful effects explored here suggest new ways of thinking about and teaching writing and the applications, lessons, and examples in the text precisely model what this thinking and teaching might look like.

This book is primed to serve as an important addition to reading lists of scholars and graduate students in Writing Studies and Rhetoric and should appear on many syllabi in courses on writing and writing instruction and on rhetoric, both introductory and advanced. As well, the book’s advocacy for the unrecognized potential impact of writing instruction makes it appealing for writing program directors and any potential university faculty, administrators, and non-academics interested in the importance and the efficacy of writing instruction. This book is also a useful resource for scholars and graduate students specializing in Writing Across the Curriculum, as the text provides a useful way to shift the conversation and communicate about writing across disciplines.

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Kipling the Trickster

Knowingness, Practical Jokes and the Use of Superior Knowledge in Kipling's Short Stories

John Coates

This book is an exploration of the way in which the characters in Rudyard Kipling’s short stories use superior knowledge, which often involves deception and the playing of practical jokes. There was early critical hostility to the stance adopted by Kipling’s characters, that of a superior knowledge acquired by friendship with a small male circle. This book engages with a long-standing critical tradition which treats the jokes as acts of vicarious revenge or symptoms of supposed defects in Kipling’s personality, instead setting his use of the practical joke in the wider social context of his time.

In this book Kipling’s writing is examined for what it reveals about a complex, self-conscious but powerful range of values rather than what it is supposed to disguise or conceal. Although he endorsed British colonial rule, Kipling was frank about the slackness, endemic rule-breaking and second-rate nature of British rule in India. He also criticised some of the widespread cultural, religious and moral phenomena of his time, which he thought harmful. Many of his short stories contain an implied but serious criticism of Victorian beliefs, from attitudes to death-beds, and schoolboys to Positivism.

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Composing Legacies

Testimonial Rhetoric in Nineteenth-Century Composition

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Christopher Carter and Russel K. Durst

In 2015, Professor Emerita Lucille M. Schultz donated to the University of Cincinnati her set of composition materials gathered from fifteen libraries and collections around the country. With 350 entries ranging from 1785 to 1916, the collection includes picture books for early primary schools, grammar textbooks, student writing, and advanced rhetoric textbooks for undergraduates. The documents afford a thrilling glimpse into nineteenth-century ways of thinking and teaching, highlighting practices we would today identify as prewriting, collaborative invention, freewriting, and object-oriented pedagogy. Composing Legacies relates these pedagogies to expressions of social class, nationalism, and public engagement that run throughout the Victorian era and the Gilded Age. Early chapters show how writing and grammar handbooks aimed to reproduce social hierarchies; later ones show how textbook authors aimed to mitigate lecture-style pedagogy with attention to student backgrounds, personal interests, economic aspirations, and presumed audiences. Often, those authors demonstrated a pronounced interest in national unity, but not without exception. Little-known Confederate textbooks took the ideology of unity to be a form of Northern aggression, promoting the maintenance of state and local traditions through their classroom exercises and sample passages. Composition scholars who see the nineteenth-century as a period of skills-and-drills teaching, devoid of explicit political concern, will find surprises in the archival texts’ testimonies about national crises and civic participation. Those scholars will also find that the “social turn” in writing and rhetoric, however recent as a historical framework, has been underway for more than two hundred years.
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Silke Schmidt

Management means getting things done. How can research on the theory and practice of management help American Studies move forward? This book offers a pragmatic approach to bridging the gap between the humanities and business studies. Based on a critical reading of the disciplinary cultures of American Studies and Business School education, the book analyses narratives of U.S. management theorists and practitioners, including Peter F. Drucker, Mary Cunningham, and John P. Kotter. The stories help readers acquire effective management and leadership tools for application-oriented humanities in the digital age.

"With her outsider perspective on the discourse in management research and application, Schmidt proposes interesting questions that can turn into fruitful research issues in Business Studies and its interdisciplinary exchange with American Studies. I hope this book falls on open ears." – Evelyn Korn

"Schmidt did pioneering work by taking the risk of entering novel terrain to show new paths for the further development of American Studies." – Carmen Birkle

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Edited by A.Nejat Töngür and Yıldıray Çevik

Studies on the distinguished works of English and American literature of various genres like poetry, plays and fiction are included in this book focusing on and around the central themes of “Marginalisation, Discrimination, Isolation, and Existence.” The aim of the book is to investigate the issues of “Marginalisation, Discrimination, Isolation, and Existence” within the frameworks of gender, colonization, multiculturalism, religion, race, generation gap, politics, technology, immigration, and class.

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Edited by Dieter Fuchs, Wojciech Klepuszewski and Matthew Leroy

Attempts to approach the topic of drink and literature and the question of how far this is interconnected with the habits of the writers can be considered within the wider frame of what is called drinking studies. This is an interdisciplinary field which is a composite of numerous facets, the common denominator being the analysis of how drink has functioned and functions in the lives of individuals and communities, taking into consideration diverse contexts, perspectives and backgrounds connected with alcohol consumption (or abuse). Among numerous examinations within the field of drinking studies, the province of literary criticism offers interesting insights. Any critical debate in this respect inevitably focuses on two areas, the first one being the study of literature per se; the other encompasses the writers’ lives and the extent to which their drinking affects their writing. Thus, the perspective can be critical, biographical, or both, reflecting what is often referred to as life-writing, or self-writing. In some instances, one might even risk calling it inspirational writing, and in these cases, one needs to debate the question of how alcohol as a source of inspiration – or ‘booze as a muse’ – is perceived.

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Literacy Heroines

Women and the Written Word

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Alice S. Horning

Literacy Heroines is about twelve amazing women who lived and worked in the period 1880-1930 who used their literacy abilities to address major issues in the country in those years, including some we still face today: racism, sexism, voting rights, educational and economic inequality, health disparities and others. They used their exemplary literacy skills to teach, to bring issues to light, to right wrongs, to publish books, articles, pamphlets and other materials to reach their goals. They benefited from focused help in the form of sponsorship from others and provided sponsorship in many forms to others to foster literacy in people young and old. They stand as Literacy Heroines, working in a variety of roles, using their literacy abilities in heroic efforts to serve as respected exemplars and sponsors of literacy for others. They used their grit and willingness to stand up for their principles, took small steps, worked collaboratively, hospitably inviting people to literacy. Ultimately, it should be clear that in one way or another, the Heroines were addressing the many forms of inequality in American society; their lives and work show that literacy is thus a key tool in the struggle for social justice, then and now. Suitable for courses in the history of literacy or writing studies, history of feminism, history of education and related areas.

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From East to West

The Portrayal of Nature in British Fantasy and its Projection in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Western American "Earthsea"

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Martin Simonson and Jon Alkorta Martiartu

The portrayal of nature in the genre of fantasy fiction, from the Middle Ages to more modern times, has been conditioned by the diverging social, political and historical contexts. This book seeks to disclose how the natural world has been depicted within this genre during different periods, drawing a comparison between the British tradition of fantasy literature and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle. Le Guin adheres to the general traits of the genre up to a point, but as a woman of the 20th century living in the American West, her works also deviate from the received tradition in many significant ways.

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Salem – A Literary Profile

Themes and Motifs in the Depiction of Colonial and Contemporary Salem in American Fiction

Clara Petino

To this day, Salem, Massachusetts, is synonymous with the witch trials of 1692. Their unique pace and structure has not only made the infamous town a strong cultural metaphor, but has generated countless novels, short stories, and plays over the past 200 years. This book marks the first comprehensive analysis of literary Salem and its historical as well as contemporary significance, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literature of the 19th century to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to a growing corpus of contemporary fiction.

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The Conflict Revisited

The Second World War in Post-Postmodern Fiction

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Marco Malvestio

This book traces the development of literary poetics after postmodernism and outlines the most important features of what is defined here as «post-postmodernism». This new literary form simultaneously recovers the characteristics of the traditional novel and abandons the ironic approach of postmodernism, while also retaining some postmodern narrative devices such as autofiction and metafiction. To render the global dimension of this phenomenon, this book focuses on the theme of the Second World War, an increasingly pivotal subject for historical novels in the twenty-first century worldwide. The study analyses the work of a variety of authors from several national literatures, focusing mainly on Roberto Bolaño, William T. Vollmann and Jonathan Littell, and drawing comparison with other authors, such as Rachel Seiffert, Sarah Waters, Laurent Binet, Ian McEwan and Giorgio Falco.