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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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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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Agnieszka Łowczanin

This book fills the gap in research of the early stages of literary Gothicism and examines its transfer from England, via French, to Poland-Lithuania in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The focus is on the oeuvre of Anna Mostowska, the first professional female writer of the Gothic in the region, and the extent to which it was shaped both by local literary tradition and political circumstances, and by Gothic fiction of Ann Radcliffe. This volume aims to redraw the maps of early Gothic by providing new insights into our understanding of the routes and meaning of its cross-cultural dissemination.

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Edited by Janusz Semrau

This book is a collection of critical essays on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850) – one of the most influential American works of fiction. The presented interpretations deal not only with the principal characters of the novel, but also with «The Custom-House», the Spanish sailors, the Book of Revelations, and the artist as adulterer. The critical tools employed include allegory, the Biedermeier, hermeneutical exposition, semiosis of the infans, and triangular desire.

This publication is dedicated to the memory of Andrzej Kopcewicz (1934-2007), the first professor ordinarius of American literature in the history of English studies in Poland, on the tenth anniversary of his death.

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William P. Banks and John Pruitt

In 1995, George Haggerty and Bonnie Zimmerman’s landmark volume Professions of Desire: Lesbian and Gay Studies in Literature—followed by William Spurlin’s Lesbian and Gay Studies and the Teaching of English (2000)—began addressing the esoteric discussions complicating the intersections among gender, sexuality, and other identity constructs within the English classroom. Given the perpetuation of heteronormativity in the educational system, Haggerty encourages instructors to help LGBT students "learn about the politics of oppression in their own lives as well as in the cultural context that, after all, determines what they mean when they call themselves lesbian or gay."

Approaches to Teaching LGBT Literature is designed to help teachers address what it means to teach LGBT literature. How can pre-service teacher educators prepare their students to teach LGBT literature? How should teachers introduce different bodies of students to these texts? Those interested in starting LGBT-themed courses and/or thinking about how LGBT literatures might fit into the broader undergraduate curriculum will benefit from this scholarship addressing the history and evolution of LGBT literature courses in different contexts and providing a diverse set of example courses, projects, and activities that would help an array of faculty to implement such courses on their campuses.

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Imagination in Ian McEwan's Fiction

A Literary and Cognitive Science Approach

Cécile Leupolt

The imagination is a distinctive cognitive feature of the human brain which enables us to navigate both the real world and fictional story worlds. Drawing from literary and cognitive science approaches, this book investigates contemporary British author Ian McEwan’s differentiated portrayal of the imagination as a cognitive process, a result derived from that process or a vital social strategy that individuals use to daydream, mind-read, (self)deceive or manipulate. The book shows that McEwan’s novels reveal the complex positive and negative potential of the imagination and engage, tease and push to its tentative limits our mind-reading capacity on a range of narrative levels.

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Adina Ciugureanu, Eduard Vlad and Nicoleta Stanca

The essays in this volume examine aspects of the ever-changing American imaginary over the last two centuries from the cultural perspectives of the present age, in which transnational approaches have vigorously challenged American exceptionalist narratives. It is a time in which uncertainties and reappraisals of group and national identity, both within the US and abroad, are part of the framework of a comprehensive field of research for scholars in American Studies, in the social sciences and the humanities alike. While situated in the current tumultuous century, the contributors to this volume focus on specific issues of the US defining and redefining itself from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

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History of English Literature, Volume 1

Medieval and Renaissance Literature to 1625

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 1 begins by discussing Anglo-Saxon literature before focusing on the three major Middle English poets of the late fourteenth century: Gower, Langland and Chaucer. It then engages with the sixteenth-century prose romances of Sidney, the epic and lyrical poetry of Spenser, and Donne’s love and religious poems. Full coverage is devoted to the legendary fifty-year blossoming of the Elizabethan theatre (excluding Shakespeare, the object of Volume 2), from Kyd and Marlowe up to Jonson, Webster, Middleton, Ford and Shirley. The final part addresses the sixteenth-century prose works of Lyly, Greene and Nashe, homiletics by Hooker and others, and Elizabethan travel literature and historiography.

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Indigenous Cultural Capital

Postcolonial Narratives in Australian Children’s Literature

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Daozhi Xu

This book explores how Australian Indigenous people’s histories and cultures are deployed, represented and transmitted in post-Mabo children’s literature authored by Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers. Postcolonial narratives in Australian children’s books enable readers access to Indigenous cultures, knowledge and history, which bring with them the possibility of acculturation. This process of acquisition emerges as an embodiment of cultural capital, as theorised by Pierre Bourdieu, but carries an alternative, anti-colonial force. This book argues that by affirming Indigenous cultural value and re-orienting the instituting power of recognition, the operation of «Indigenous cultural capital» enacts a tactic of resistance and functions with transformative potential to change the way in which cultural relations are reproduced in settler society. Through examining the representation, formative processes, modes of transmission, and ethical deployment of Indigenous cultural capital, this book provides a fresh perspective on postcolonial readings of children’s literature. In doing so, it makes original contributions to literary criticism and significant theoretical advances to postcolonial scholarship.