Global Ralph Ellison

Aesthetics and Politics Beyond US Borders

by Tessa Roynon (Volume editor) Marc C. Conner (Volume editor)
Edited Collection VIII, 316 Pages


This essay collection begins the vast project that is the global history of Ralph Ellison’s life and work. It examines how and why this avowedly «American» author read literature and scholarship from across the world and has in turn been widely read outside the borders of the USA. How did Ellison’s encounters with the «international» Henry James, the Cambridge Ritualists, the Roman poet Ovid and with Dostoevsky shape both the aesthetics and the politics of his own work? And what is the relationship between Invisible Man and the complex and always evolving political and cultural contexts of South Africa, the USSR and Russia, Germany and Japan since World War II? Contributors from seven different countries – based in Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA – deploy significant archival research both in Ellison’s personal library and in the translation and reception histories of his iconic first novel. This study of «the world in Ellison and Ellison in the world» initiates an important new approach in Ellison studies, illuminating hitherto hidden dimensions of the man and his writings.


VIII, 316
Publication date
2021 (September)
Ralph Ellison Invisible Man intertextual translation international reception Ellison in Japan Ellison in South Africa Ellison in Germany Ellison in USSR/Russia Dostoevsky Ovid Henry James Jane Ellen Harrison Global Ralph Ellison Tessa Roynon Marc C. Conner
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2021. VIII, 316 pp.

Biographical notes

Tessa Roynon (Volume editor) Marc C. Conner (Volume editor)

TESSA ROYNON is in her final year as a Senior Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford. She also works as founding Librarian at The Swan School, Oxford. Internationally renowned for her work on Toni Morrison, she has also published widely on and taught numerous other American novelists including Willa Cather, Ralph Ellison, Jeffrey Eugenides, William Faulkner and Marilynne Robinson. Her most recent book is The Classical Tradition in Modern American Fiction (2021). MARC C. CONNER is the President of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. His books include The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison (edited with John Callahan, 2019), which was selected as a New York Times «notable book» for 2020. He has published and lectured widely on Ralph Ellison, Charles Johnson, James Joyce, Toni Morrison, and Irish fiction and drama on screen. He serves as founding member and secretary/treasurer of The Ralph Ellison Society.


Title: Global Ralph Ellison