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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

This collection of scholarly articles engages with, analyzes, and appreciatively critiques the fiction and non-fiction 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 essays in 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 essays in this book, using a range of theoretical frameworks, claim that Vassanji’s work fits into and also 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 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.
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Edited by Zübeyde Sinem Genç

English language teaching has undergone a lot of changes with fads and trends coming and going for centuries. With the widespread use of English in diverse contexts, the innovations and changes around the world, English language scholars and practitioners faced new challenges. In the 21st century, there is a great need to examine «old» and to explore contemporary issues thoroughly from different angles.

This volume aims at updating perspectives on English language teaching and teacher education, with a special focus on the Turkish EFL context, exploring the status of the English language, learner-centeredness, professional development, conceptualizing teaching, and professionalism. The book will be of value to scholars, prospective and practicing teachers in the TESOL field.

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Crime Fiction

A Critical Casebook

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Edited by Stephen Butler and Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, crime fiction remains one of the most popular genres among both readers and writers. This compilation of essays attempts to trace the reasons behind this ongoing popularity as well as to offer a closer reading of a number of crime fiction texts from English, American, Swedish, Italian, Japanese and other national literatures. It contains twenty-one original essays written by scholars and practitioners of crime fiction which discuss key concepts in the field of crime fiction studies: generic diversity, the evolution of characters, the growing significance of space and place and reader response.

This book includes a short story by David Malcom.

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Accent and Identity in Learner Varieties of English

A Study with German and French University Students in an English as a Lingua Franca Setting

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Stefanie Rottschäfer

This mixed-methods study investigates the link between accent and identity in English as a lingua franca setting. The subjects, German and French university students living in Scandinavia, pursue their study programmes and every-day lives in English. A quantitative speech data analysis of eight phonetic features describes the speakers’ accents, while a qualitative analysis of introspective interview data exhibits how they differ in terms of identity. The results provide an in-depth understanding of individuals using English as a lingua franca. Do the German and French speakers of English alter or keep their foreign accents in order to express identity in the seemingly neutral Scandinavian setting?

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Teaching Cosmopolitanism through Transnational Literature in English

An Empirical Evaluation of Studentsʼ Competence Development in a Life-Writing Approach to Teaching Literature

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Mirja Beutel

The book deals with the question how students in multicultural EFL-classrooms can be prepared for their role as world citizens. The author shows that teaching English offers important potentials for cosmopolitan education due to its role as a «lingua franca». The study develops the construct cosmopolitan communicative competence as a theoretical framework. It also presents a teaching approach that combines students’ life-writing with the discussion of literary texts to advance the associated knowledge, skills and attitudes. The potentials of this approach are evaluated through the assessment of students’ competence development.

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Franco Marucci

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 2 offers a general assessment of all of Shakespeare’s works, summarizes the critical reception since its onset, traces a tentative biography of the playwright, discusses the youthful poems and the sonnets, and analyses the plays one by one. The plays are divided into the traditional thematic and chronological subsets – such as historical dramas, comedies, tragedies and romances – but they are further assessed in terms of their «experimental» or «mature» characteristics.