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Beyond Diversity

The Past and the Future of English Studies

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Edited by Przemysław Żywiczyński, Marta Sibierska and Waldemar Skrzypczak

This book offers a collection of papers that, taken jointly, show the academic potential of English Studies – its most contemporary lines of investigation seen against the area’s traditional concerns. The chapters illustrate a cross section of research in English literature, linguistics, language teaching and translation studies – disciplines traditionally pursued at Departments of English. They also show an expansion of the core philological lines of research into other areas of knowledge, such as semiotics or comparative and cognitive studies. The book thus makes a strong case that the philological ethos, reflected in the Polish translation of «English Studies» as filologia angielska, still constitutes a valuable academic formula.

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Representations of Women in Theocritus’s Idylls

Authenticity of the Female Voice in the Erotic and Non-Erotic Portrayals

Marilyn Likosky

Hellenistic poet Theocritus showcased a wide variety of women and their relationships to men in his work. Representations of Women in Theocritus’s Idylls: Authenticity of the Female Voice in the Erotic and Non-Erotic Portrayals is the first comprehensive analysis of these women. This book uses a unique and widely inclusive set of tools derived from gender studies, literary criticism, and Hellenistic history to extract the voices of females, as most are silent themselves and spoken for by others. This analysis questions the validity of the female voice and determines authenticity through a method derived from Lacanian psychoanalysis. Author Marilyn Likosky identifies a female erotic voice that according to criteria is not attributed to a woman but rather to the imagination of the male responding to perceived risks in engaging with a female at a time in which she received greater liberties. Theocritus explores a number of candidate strategies for males to lessen disruptions from erotic encounters. Likosky identifies an ambiguity in the presentation of voice, finding it likely an intentional means for Theocritus to engage his audience in troublesome issues. This book supports academic seminars in gender studies, Hellenistic poetry, and literary criticism.

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inklings – Jahrbuch für Literatur und Ästhetik

Faszination Harry Potter / The Allure of Harry Potter. Symposium 2017 in Aachen

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Edited by Dieter Petzold and Klaudia Seibel

«Inklings» nannte sich eine Gruppe von Schriftstellern und Geisteswissenschaftlern in Oxford, deren bekannteste Mitglieder J.R.R. Tolkien und C.S. Lewis waren. Die Inklings-Gesellschaft e.V. widmet sich seit 1983 dem Studium und der Verbreitung der Werke dieser und ihnen nahestehender Autoren sowie der Analyse des Phantastischen in Literatur, Film und Kunst allgemein. Ihre Jahrestagungen werden in Jahrbüchern dokumentiert. Dieser Band enthält zehn Vorträge der Tagung «Faszination Harry Potter», die 2017 in Aachen stattfand, sowie drei weitere Beiträge und zahlreiche Rezensionen.

«Inklings» was the name of a group of Oxford scholars and writers; its best-known members were J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. The German Inklings-Gesellschaft, founded in 1983, is dedicated to the discussion and dissemination of the works of these authors and of writers commonly associated with them and to the study of the fantastic in literature, film and the arts in general. The proceedings of the annual Inklings conferences are published in yearbooks. This volume contains ten papers presented at the 2017 conference entitled «The Allure of Harry Potter». In addition, there are three general articles and numerous reviews.

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John Bickley

In Dreams, Visions, and the Rhetoric of Authority, John Bickley explores the ways dreams and visions in literature function as authorizing devices, both affirming and complicating a text’s authority. After providing a framework for categorizing the diverse genres and modes of dream and vision texts, Bickley demonstrates how the theme of authority and strategies for textual self-authorization play out in four highly influential works: the Book of Daniel, Macrobius’s Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Love, and Chaucer’s Hous of Fame.

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The Power of Silence

Exploration of Muteness in Jerzy Kosinski's «The Painted Bird» and Ken Kesey's «One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest»

Hasine Şen

This book discusses silence as a state born either by trauma-inflicted muteness or deliberate abstinence from speech focusing on the mute(d) characters, the nonverbal forms of communication and textual ellipses in Jerzy Kosinski’s «The Painted Bird» and Ken Kesey’s «One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest». Using a methodological approach based on the close reading of the novels, the work proposes that Kosinski and Kesey disrupt the conventional equation of power with speech and present silence as a valiant mode of resistance too. It also explores how the trope of muteness functions as an implicit strategy for the investigation of language itself, its power to create meaning, to control and eventually— silence.

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The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji

Diaspora, Literature, and Culture

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Edited by Karim Murji and Asma Sayed

The Transnational Imaginaries of M. G. Vassanji is a collection of scholarly articles that engages with, analyzes, and appreciatively critiques the fiction and nonfiction writing of M. G. Vassanji, a multiple award-winning author. Vassanji’s works have a sense of multiple connections across four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He challenges the imperial centers of Western powers through the content of his work and his deeply-felt humanist engagements with the politics of displacement, settlement, partition and postcolonialism. Ranging across almost his entire oeuvre, the contributors to this book argue that Vassanji’s work should be read as one emerging from a transnational space that connects people, places and issues across the world. Collectively, the chapters in this book, using a range of theoretical frameworks, claim that Vassanji’s work both fits into and goes beyond the usual categorizations, structures and styles of analysis applied to writers from the colonies.

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Inci Bilgin Tekin

This study aims at examining the contemporary stage adaptations of «Othello» by the four noteworthy contemporary playwrights Ann Marie MacDonald, Djanet Sears, Paula Vogel and Toni Morrison, while discussing their plays both within and outside the framework of Adaptation Studies. Drawing on postcolonial and feminist theories along with psychoanalytical theories and theories of adaptation, this book explores the adaptive levels, contexts and strategies of the four women playwrights in revising «Othello». The anxiety of canonization that the contemporary women playwrights experience, is also addressed as an issue parallel to their authorial relations with Shakespeare. In the hands of contemporary women playwrights, «Othello» thematically makes a call for new contemporary women’s perspectives and technically provides an everlasting space for further feminist adaptations, already becoming a signifier of the signification process itself.

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What Literature Knows

Forays into Literary Knowledge Production

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Edited by Antje Kley and Kai Merten

This volume sheds light on the nexus between knowledge and literature. Arranged historically, contributions address both popular and canonical English and US-American writing from the early modern period to the present. They focus on how historically specific texts engage with epistemological questions in relation to material and social forms as well as representation. The authors discuss literature as a culturally embedded form of knowledge production in its own right, which deploys narrative and poetic means of exploration to establish an independent and sometimes dissident archive. The worlds that imaginary texts project are shown to open up alternative perspectives to be reckoned with in the academic articulation and public discussion of issues in economics and the sciences, identity formation and wellbeing, legal rationale and political decision-making.

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Nota Bene

Making Digital Marks on Medieval Manuscripts

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Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel

We stand at the cusp of an exciting moment in digital medieval studies. The advent of ubiquitously available digitized manuscripts alongside platforms that host encoded medieval texts has democratized access to the cultural heritage of the Middle Ages, and gives us the potential for greater understanding of that era. Seen through the lens of late medieval French literature, in particular the Roman de la Rose and the works of Guillaume de Machaut, this book exhorts us to be optimistic about what we can achieve. Challenging the pessimism inherent in views that see our historical situatedness as a barrier to truly understanding the medieval era, Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel argues that digital networks of manuscript images, texts, and annotations, can not only aid us in comprehending medieval literary culture, but are, in fact, complementary to medieval modes of thought and manner in which manuscripts transmitted ideas. Using her teaching of Guillaume de Machaut and her work with the Roman de la Rose Digital Library, Mahoney-Steel envisages a future in which the digital humanities can enable us to build transhistorical relationships with our medieval objects of study.