The study of literature has expanded to include an evolutionary perspective. Its premise is that the literary text and literature as an overarching institution came into existence as a product of the same evolutionary process that gave rise to the human species. In this view, literature is an evolutionary adaptation that functions as any other adaptation does, as a means of enhancing survivability and also promoting benefits for the individual and society. Text in the Natural World is an introduction to the theory and a survey of topics pertinent to the evolutionary view of literature. After a polemical, prefatory chapter and an overview of the pertinent aspects of evolutionary theory itself, the book examines integral building blocks of literature and literary expression as effects of evolutionary development. This includes chapters on moral sense, symbolic thought, literary aesthetics in general, literary ontology, the broad topic of form, function and device in literature, a last theoretical chapter on narrative, and a chapter on literary themes. The concluding chapter builds on the preceding one as an illustration of evolutionary thematic study in practice, in a study of the fauna in the fiction of Maupassant. This text is designed to be of interest to those who read and think about things literary, as well as to those who have interest in the extension of Darwin’s great idea across the horizon of human culture. It tries to bridge the gulf that has separated the humanities from the sciences, and would be a helpful text for courses taught in both literary theory and interdisciplinary approaches to literature and philosophy.
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Imaginary Islands in English Fiction
Taking as its point of departure The Odyssey, Plato’s account of Atlantis and The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor, this book examines the profound influence of these works on the development of island fiction as a genre specific to English literature. Close readings of island fictions from the past four centuries reveal the many ways in which they adapt, rewrite and refer back to these foundational texts, forming an important and intriguing literary tradition. Examples of the genre include such universal classics as Utopia, The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island and Lord of the Flies.
Islands have always attracted travellers, writers and dreamers. This book leads the reader on a voyage of exploration to understand exactly what lies behind the island’s powerful appeal to the literary imagination. Along the way, it explores the cultural and historical background to Britain’s island status and its legacy of colonialism and imperialism.
Mediterranean Palimpsests in European Culture
Stephen G. Nichols, Joachim Küpper and Andreas Kablitz
From the dawn of ancient civilization to modern times, the Mediterranean sea looms in the imagination of the people living on its shores as a space of myth and adventure, of conquest and confrontation, of migration and settlement, of religious ferment and conflict. Since its waters linked the earliest empires and centers of civilization, the Mediterranean generated globalization and multiculturalism. It gave birth to the three great monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—religions of the book, of the land and of the sea. Over the centuries, the Mediterranean witnessed the rise and fall of some of the oldest civilizations in the world. And as these cultures succeeded one another, century after century, each left a tantalizing imprint on later societies. Like the ancient artifacts constantly washed up from its depths, the lost cities and monuments abandoned in its deserts or sunk beneath its waves, Mediterranean topography and culture is a chaotic present spread over a palimpsest many layers deep.
No region grappled more continuously with, nor was more deeply marked by Mediterranean culture and history than Europe. Europe’s religions, its languages, its learning, its laws, its sense of history, even its food and agriculture, all derived from Greek, Roman, and—in the Middle Ages—Muslim and Jewish cultures. The essays in this book lay bare the dynamics of cultural confrontation between Europe and the Mediterranean world from medieval to modern times. One momentous result of this engagement was the creation of vernacular languages and the diverse body of literature, history, and art arising from them. The achievements of the arts reveal—to borrow a geological metaphor—the grinding tectonic pates of Mediterranean cultures and languages butting up against pre-existing European strata.
Drawing on recently released or previously neglected archive material, this book is the first dedicated to the stage career of Cicely Hamilton (1872–1952). Best known for her work with the women’s suffrage movement, Hamilton was at the same time deeply committed to the commercial stage as an actress, dramatist and activist. The book draws extensively on Hamilton’s own recollections as well as those of her close associates, supplemented by contemporary press reviews and articles, and concludes with a chronology of the productions in which she performed as a touring actress based on confirmed dates and venues.
This book «(…) is a fascinating and fantastic resource for current and future scholars of Hamilton’s work, as well as those interested in the wider framework of (…) the theatre industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.»
Dr. Naomi Paxton (School of Advanced Study, University of London)
«With its documentation and assessment of Hamilton's touring career, (…) this well written and meticulously researched study provides an original contribution to theatre, dramatic, and reception history.»
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Weiss (University of Vienna)
This book analyses certain ideologies which governed the middle class’ hegemonic approach to leisure in Victorian Manchester. The study presents different forms of leisure, recreation and entertainment in the city. The author also examines the reasons for the support and financial involvement of Manchester bourgeoisie and its municipal authorities in their development. The analysis covers a wide range of cultural practices and activities, such as institutions and activities promoting intellectual and moral development, family recreation and entertainment, as well as activities and facilities improving health, physical and moral condition of the Mancunians, and sport.
A Student's Guide
William Blake (1757–1827) is one of the most significant figures in the history of English poetry. He is also one of the most mysterious, most challenging, and most frequently misunderstood. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience, on the surface so simple, are laden with mysteries that seem to deepen on every reading.
In this book, aimed at A Level and undergraduate students, Brendan Cooper explores the subtleties and contradictions of the Songs, avoiding formulaic readings by asking key questions about Blake’s life and art. What are the Songs about? What does Blake mean by «Innocence» and «Experience»? Why are they called «Songs»? Was Blake a genius, or a madman?
This engaging and accessible introduction to Blake’s work will help students to navigate its complexities and develop their own critical responses to the text.
Nation Building in the National Border Patrol Museum
Gabriela E. Moreno
The National Border Patrol Museum (NBPM) in El Paso, Texas, presents a view of the history, culture, and life along the U.S.-Mexico border that is not offered in any other museum in the world. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to study and understand people and life along the border through the different forms in which they represent themselves and how they are viewed by others. Mean Green: Nation Building in the National Border Patrol Museum presents an analysis of the museum that deploys theoretical approaches in the disciplines of visual and cultural studies, border studies, ethnic studies, discourse analysis, museology, and spatial theory.
The objectives of this book are to study the varied representations, that is, the hypermasculine male and the disenfranchised "illegal" immigrant, that reinforce and challenge the dominant discourse present in the hegemonic state; to analyze why the museum represents a homotopia within the limits of a heterotopia; to learn how the museum creates imagined communities through the use of its historical patrimony; to observe the practices in relations of power by employing the notion of a panopticon; and, lastly, to understand how the museum is providing a commodification of symbols to promote the hegemonic state.
Malgorzata Martynuska and Elzbieta Rokosz-Piejko
This book analyses the applicability of postcolonial theories and contemporary issues, and also revisits previously tackled cultural, social and literary phenomena. The contributions examine contemporary social, economic and cultural processes. The authors look back at older cultural texts, coming from either former colonies or former colonisers. They furthermore refer to the fact that theories of postcolonialism are currently more frequently applied to study countries originally not classified as colonial. They attempt to define and explain the experiences of the native peoples of colonial territories in various historical situations of dependence.
Eleni Papargyriou, Semele Assinder and David Holton
Greece in British Women’s Literary Imagination, 1913–2013 offers a comprehensive overview of British female writing on Greece in the twentieth century and beyond. Contributors cover a vast array of authors: Rose Macaulay, Jane Ellen Harrison, Virginia Woolf, Ann Quin, Dorothy Una Ratcliffe, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Olivia Manning, Mary Stewart, Victoria Hislop, Loretta Proctor and Sofka Zinovieff formed special ties with Greece and made it the focus of their literary imagination. Moving from Bloomsbury to Mills & Boon, the book offers insight into the ways romantic literature has shaped readers’ perceptions about Greece. Why have female authors of such diverse backgrounds and literary orientations been attracted by a country burdened by its past and troubled by its present? What aspects of the country do they choose to highlight? Are female perceptions of Greece different from male ones? The book examines these and many more exciting questions. Given its focus and diversity, it is addressed to audiences in English and Greek studies, Classical reception, European modernism, cultural studies and popular fiction, as well as to non-academic English-speaking readers who have an interest in Greece.
Hans Krabbendam and Derek Rubin
This collection puts the topic of Jewish Studies and Holocaust Studies in a new American Studies perspective. This perspective compares the similarities and differences in responses and their transatlantic interaction. As the Holocaust grew into an important factor in American culture, it also became a subject of American Studies, both as a window on American trends and as a topic to which outsiders responded. When Americans responded to information on the early signs of the Holocaust, they were dependent on European official and informal sources. Some were confirmed, others were contradicted; some were ignored, others provoked a response. This book follows the chronology of this transatlantic exchange, including the alleged abandonment of the Jews in Europe and the post-war attention to the Holocaust victims.