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Violent Disruptions

American Imaginations of Racial Anxiety in William Faulkner and Richard Wright


Linda Chavers

Violent Disruptions: American Imaginations of Racial Anxiety in William Faulkner and Richard Wright examines two authors who have powerfully predicted the formation of racial identities and its surrounding discourse in the United States today: William Faulkner (1897–1962) and Richard Wright (1908–1960). Using the works of Faulkner and Wright, this text argues that race becomes visible only through image production and exchange. Further, it argues that following the dismantling of our legally upheld racial inequality and everyday racist language, it is precisely the visual register wherein we see most acutely the continued present-day operation of racial inequality. Violent Disruptions thus places William Faulkner and Richard Wright at the center of our current dramas in the 21st century in popular television, political theater and criminal justice.

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Getting the Blues

Vision and Cognition in the Middle Ages


Brian J. Reilly

Getting the Blues: Vision and Cognition in the Middle Ages is an interdisciplinary study of medieval color. By integrating scientific and literary approaches, it revises our current understanding of how people in medieval Europe experienced color and what it meant to them. This book insists that the past perception of the world can be recovered by joining timeless universal constraints on human experience (discovered by science) to the unique cultural expressions of that experience (revealed by literature).

The Middle Ages may evoke images of the multicolored stained glass of gothic cathedrals, the motley garb of minstrels, or the brilliant illuminations of manuscripts, yet such color often goes unnoticed in scholarly accounts of medieval literature. Getting the Blues restores some of the most important literary works of the Middle Ages to their full living color. Particular consideration is given to the twelfth-century Arthurian romances by Chrétien de Troyes and the thirteenth-century Lancelot-Grail Cycle.

Getting the Blues engages debates within the humanities and the sciences over universalist and relativist approaches to how humans see and name color. Scholars in the humanities often insist that color is a strictly cultural phenomenon, eschewing as irrelevant to the Middle Ages recent developments in cognitive science that show universal constraints on how people in all cultures see and name color. This book contributes to the recent cognitive turn in the humanities and sheds new light on some of the most frequent and meaningful cultural experiences in the Middle Ages: the perception, use, and naming of color.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Amateur Psychologist

Brett Zimmerman

Edgar Allan Poe: Amateur Psychologist is the "first and foremost" major source of information dedicated to the theme of Poe and psychopathology. Its introduction, conclusion, chapters, and appendices highlight and employ the best insights from earlier and current scholars, but this text goes beyond them in its analysis of Poe’s relation to mainstream psychology and its rival system, phrenology. His knowledge of this subject matter is far broader and deeper than Poe specialists have hitherto supposed; his method—contrary to the "Poe myth" according to which an alcoholic, drug-addicted, tormented artist wrote to exorcise his own pathologies—was to research mental illnesses for the sake of scientific precision and verisimilitude. We also come to appreciate the interrelatedness of the psychopathologies he illustrates and other "knowledge frames," characteristic themes, featured in his tales, such as the occult, symbology, chromatography, the "cult of sensibility," Neoplatonism, and Transcendentalist epistemology. While locating Poe firmly within the science and pseudoscience of his time, Edgar Allan Poe: Amateur Psychologist simultaneously looks back from the 1830s and 40s (when Poe’s literary career was at its height) to theories and possible sources of information from the late eighteenth century, as well as forward to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to demonstrate how Poe’s theories of mind, and his depiction of psychological illnesses, occasionally anticipate modern insights and therapies. The book will be of interest not only to Poe scholars but also to students, teachers, and any intelligent reader interested in psychology, psychotherapy, and the history of ideas.

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Dee Horne

This book examines the poetry and essays of Pulitizer prize awarded Mary Oliver. Her writing offers an environmental ethics that is relevant to readers interested not only in poetry, but also environmental writing. She neither replicates hierarchical relationships nor romanticizes nature. In situating all as kin, one family, while also respecting differences, Oliver creates a grass roots poetics and an environmental ethics that invite all readers to re-think our responsibilities and how we interact with others: human and non- human, animate and inanimate. Respectful co-existence with differences is necessary for the survival of all.

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Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr

The Selected Writings of Irmengard Rauch represent that portion of Irmengard Rauch’s articles which center on contemporary and historical Germanic linguistic phenomena. They thus speak to the principal North, East, and West Germanic dialects. Her authored books The Old High German Diphthongization: A Description of a Phonemic Change (1967); The Old Saxon Language: Grammar, Epic Narrative, Linguistic Interference (1992); Semiotic Insights: The Data Do the Talking (1998); The Gothic Language: Grammar, Genetic Provenance and Typology, Readings (2003, 2011); The Phonology/Paraphonology Interface and the Sounds of German Across Time (2008) stand on their own. Her contributions to linguistic fieldwork are documented in BAG—Bay Area German Linguistic Fieldwork Project (2015).

Rauch’s writings spanning half a century, from the early sixties to the present, encompass an array of subjects from the state of the art, to multiple language components, that is, segmental and prosodic phonology, morphology, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic topics informing Germanic languages, as well as to literature and to nonverbal communication. Linguistic and interdisciplinary methods imbue all of her writings. At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where Generative Grammar made early inroads, she was trained as an American structuralist, reaping the benefits of the functionalist Prague School, preceded by Saussure, the Neogrammarians, Darwin, Rask, Grimm (all 19th-century instigators of linguistics as a science), and of the founding of the LSA. Since the early seventies she opened her methods of analysis to the semiotic approach of Locke, Saussure, and Peirce. Consequently, Rauch’s writings exploit the combined approaches of linguistics and semiotics. These are the inextricable work-horses, which in combination, enhance her arguments detailing given linguistic problems that define the field of General and Germanic Linguistics and thus feed the multi-disciplinary research interests of both seasoned researchers and neophytes.

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Dostoevsky and the Realists

Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy

Slobodanka M. Vladiv-Glover

Dostoevsky and the Realists: Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy​ offers a radical redefinition of Realism as a historical phenomenon, grounded in the literary manifestos of the 1840s in three national literary canons - the English, the French and the Russian - which issue a call to writers to record the manners and mores of their societies for posterity and thus to become ‘local historians’.The sketch of manners becomes the instituting genre of Realism but is transformed in the major novels of the Realists into history as genealogy and into a phenomenology of modern subjectivity. Dickens, Flaubert and Tolstoy are brought into relation with Dostoevsky via a shared poetics as well as through a deconstructive and/or psychoanalytic analysis of their respective novels, which are interpreted in the context of various doctrines of Beauty, including Dostoevsky’s own artistic credo of 1860. In this broad context of European aesthetics and the European literary canon, Dostoevsky’s own view of history is illuminated in a new perspective, in which his concept of the "soil" is stripped of its conservative mask behind which emerges a (post-exile) Dostoevsky with socialist, pan-European views. The portrait of Dostoevsky which thus emerges from the present study is that of a European writer with a radically modern aesthetics and with a progressivist political orientation which is in consonance with his pre-exile affiliation with utopian socialism.

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No! In Whispers

The Rhetoric of Dissent in American Writing


Edited by Michele Bottalico

No! In Whispers is based on the assumption that dissent, particularly in literary writing, is not necessarily shouted. Rather, it is conveyed by means of persuasion strategies, through subtle transversal allusions and an undercurrent of moral analysis and protest, through what can metaphorically be defined as ‘whispers’ that penetrate the readers’ conscience and are meant to promote change. The essays in this book explore the rhetoric of dissent in a range of texts that include letters, novels, poems and nonfiction, mostly focusing on selected works by such authors as Abigail Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Ovington, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. The last two chapters, devoted to nonfiction, consider Edward Said’s memoir and the debate about the New Musicology. The authors come from four different countries and have largely distinct cultural backgrounds and scientific interests; thus they analyze the statements of dissent from various angles utilizing different methodological approaches. They concur in outlining the image of a country that has been historically torn by the tension between what it is and what it was meant to be.

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Space in Literature

Method, Genre, Topos


Edited by Urszula Terentowicz-Fotyga

This study focuses on the problem of spatiality in literature. Evoking a wide range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, the book demonstrates that the analysis of the spatial aspect of the literary text encompasses a variety of textual elements and structures. Organized around three defining problems - spatial topoi, genres and methods - the study gives the reader a good insight into contemporary research on the intersection of space and literature. The topics covered in this book range from the symbolism of different topoi, spatial modelling in literary genres to the spatial form of textual materiality. The individual chapters address the problem of literary space in poetry, drama and fiction.

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Roman Shakespeare

Intersecting Times, Spaces, Languages


Edited by Daniela Guardamagna

This book addresses the memory of Rome: the dialectic between the glorious historical past of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire and its echoes, representations and interpretations in the works of Shakespeare. The essays explore multiple layers of time and place in relation to Shakespearean plays: throughout the world (from Romania to Japan) and down the centuries, in the arts (paintings, music) and in dramatic performances.

Individual essays (by Michel Dobson, Peter Holland, Richard Wilson and Piero Boitani, among others) address multiple aspects of the complex relationship between two countries (England and Italy) and two moments in time (the Ancient Roman and Early Modern periods). Essays include analyses of less studied works (e.g. Cymbeline), rewritings of Roman narratives (e.g. Titus Andronicus and The Rape of Lucrece), modern enactments of Shakespearean performances around the world, the representation of Shakespearean myths in Renaissance paintings, and the music accompanying the text of Roman plays.