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Victorian Pilgrimage

Sacred-Secular Dualism in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot

M. Joan Chard

Victorian Pilgrimage: Sacred-Secular Dualism in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot argues that Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot are foremost among nineteenth-century novelists to explore the pilgrimage motif, a major preoccupation of the Victorian imagination. Drawing upon their primary sources of the journey archetype—the King James Bible, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and popular hymns—they reveal in their work the significance of the religious impetus, which in their treatment is neither narrowly moralistic nor conformist. Recognizing the radicality of scripture free of its patriarchal bias, they bring a feminine sensibility to their delineation of gender ideologies in romantic and marital relationships as well as to their reformulation of the traditional fictional heroine. Their female protagonists are caught in the struggle between succumbing to the stereotypical ideal of womanhood and attaining authentic selfhood leading to both personal and social transformation. Sharing the conviction that the main dilemma of their times is the separation of sacred from secular, Brontë, Gaskell, and Eliot, each with a distinctive approach to the theme, open up fresh perceptual and relational pathways for pilgrimage.

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Appropriating Thomas Jefferson, 1929-1945

We Are All Jeffersonians Now

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Caroline Heller

This study counters the view that Franklin D. Roosevelt hegemonically exalted Thomas Jefferson to iconic dominance during the Great Depression. It analyzes the diversity of those who appropriated Jefferson to find answers to the socio-economic crisis and modern industrial capitalism. This discourse analysis, spanning the ideological spectrum between 1929–1945, reveals that the creation of the Jefferson icon—in various forms of representation—generated counterhegemonic varieties of Jefferson because the appropriators grafted their values onto the historical figure which led to its transformation. These competing versions of Jefferson expressed a reformed sense of national values not only through commonalities but through the flexibility of interpretative and representational differences.

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Writing War in Contemporary Iran

The Case of Esmāʻil Fasih’s Zemestān-e 62

Saeedeh Shahnahpur

Writing War in Contemporary Iran offers a complete account of Esmā’il Fasih’s life, works, and position in contemporary Iranian literature. This book uses a text-based analysis of Fasih’s wartime novel Zemestān-e 62 (The Winter of ‘83, 1985) as a case study, and illustrates how the book set a precedent for anti-war novels that appeared in the period following the Iran–Iraq War. Unlike the many one-dimensional novels of the time which focused only on state ideology, Fasih’s novel grapples with broader issues, such as the state’s war rhetoric and the socio-political realities of life in wartime, including the impact of the War of the Cities on the daily lives of Iranians, government policies and their enactment, and the contribution of the upper class to war efforts. In this vein, The Winter of ‘83 was the first Persian anti-war novel that was different in that it did not present a glorified or heroic vision of the war and its participants. Furthermore, the book deals with the analysis of Fasih’s postwar novels, which emphasized the roles and sacrifices of Iranian women during the war—a neglected theme in Persian war novels—marking him as one of the most culturally important war writers in contemporary Iran.

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Constance Naden

Scientist, Philosopher, Poet

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Clare Stainthorp

Constance Naden (1858–1889) is a unique voice in Victorian literature and science. This book, the first full-length critical account of her life and works, brings into focus the reciprocal nature of Naden’s poetry, philosophical essays and scientific studies. The development of Naden’s thinking is explored in detail, with newly discovered unpublished poems and notes from her adolescence shedding important light upon this progression.

Close readings of Naden’s wide-ranging corpus of poetry and prose trace her commitment to an interdisciplinary world-scheme that sought unity in diversity. This book demonstrates how a rigorous scientific education, a thorough engagement with poetry and philosophy of the long nineteenth century, an involvement with the Victorian radical atheist movement, and a comic sensibility each shaped Naden’s intellectual achievements. Naden sought to show how the light of reason is made even brighter by the spark of poetic creation and how the imagination is as much a tool of the scientist and the philosopher as the artist.

Taking a comprehensive approach to this complex and overlooked figure of the Victorian period, Stainthorp demonstrates how Naden’s texts provide a new and important vantage point from which to consider synthetic thinking as a productive and creative force within nineteenth-century intellectual culture.

This book was the winner of the 2017 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Nineteenth-Century Studies.

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Mostafa Azizpour Shoobie

Cosmopolitanism in the Indian English Novel argues that select novels by Indian writers in English largely present a kind of micro-cosmopolitanism that preserves nation as a primary site for social and cultural formation while opening it up to critique. During colonial times, local cultural expression wrestled with the global as represented by the systems of empire. The ideal subject or literary work was one that could happily inhabit both ends of the center-periphery in a kind of cosmopolitan space determined by imperial metropolitan and local elite cultures. As colonies liberated themselves, new national formations had to negotiate a mix of local identity, residual colonial traits, and new forces of global power. New and more complex cosmopolitan identities had to be discovered, and writers and texts reflecting these became correspondingly more problematic to assess, as old centralisms gave way to new networks of cultural control. This book contends that novels written in the context of the postcolonial cultural politics after the successful attainment of national independence question how a nation is to be made while recognizing its relation to globalization. The strong waves of globalization enforce sociological, political, and economic values in developing countries that may not be readily acceptable in those societies.

Cosmopolitanism in the Indian English Novel focuses on three novelists in particular: Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, and Aravind Adiga, all of whom have received the prestigious Man Booker Prize for their work. Despite the varied but broadly elite cosmopolitan positions of these writers, they all depict characters working toward a cosmopolitanism from the grassroots, rather than through a top-down practice. Furthermore, these writers and their works, to varying degrees, turn a suspicious eye to the effects (cultural, economic, or otherwise) of globalization as a phenomenon that can prevent possibilities for more fluid forms of belonging and border-crossing. Cosmopolitanism in the Indian English Novel should appeal to researchers in cultural studies interested in Indian English fiction and/or the form and function of cosmopolitanism in a rapidly globalizing postcolonial world.

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Critical Negotiations

New Perspectives on Asian American Women’s Fiction

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Weiwei Shen

In a global context where the speed and volume of migration have continuously increased, communicative failure shows up in cultural conflicts as thematized in Asian American women’s literature. When the text surface suggests that migrant identity is flexibly hybrid, are there deeper textual layers? This book probes the limitations not only of the usual methods of literary study, but of Western constructions of the experience of loss and deprivation. Can literary interpretation gain from adapting new conceptualizations developed in the science-oriented field of intercultural communication studies? A critical negotiation concept opens unexpected analytical potential with far-reaching implications.
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Sci-Fi

A Companion

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Edited by Jack Fennell

What is Sci-Fi?

Science fiction is a non-realist genre that foregrounds a sense of material plausibility, insisting that despite seeming outlandish, it is consonant with history and the laws of nature. By turns subtle and bombastic, sci-fi revels in discovery and revelation, whether through human ingenuity or world-altering paradigm shifts. The same impulse informs both the idealism of Star Trek and the existential terror of Frankenstein.

Each chapter of this book examines a specific trope or theme through a different critical lens – including eco-criticism, feminism and historicism – while also providing a historical overview of the genre, from its disputed origins to the pulp era, the New Wave, and the exponential growth of Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurisms. Revered masters such as Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler and Iain M. Banks are considered alongside newer talents, including Rebecca Roanhorse and N. K. Jemisin. Other chapters provide overviews of different media, from television (Doctor Who, Westworld) to comics/manga (2000AD, Métal Hurlant), video games (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and theatre (Alistair McDowall’s X).

Sci-Fi: A Companion not only provides an accessible introduction to sci-fi for general readers and researchers alike, but also illuminates new approaches to a familiar genre.

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Jana doc. PhDr. Bérešová

This book presents the results of an empirical investigation based on theoretical insights into and empirical verification of the concepts referring to intercultural communicative competence in the Slovak educational system, focusing on culture and its relation to language. Their intertwinedness was proved through thorough analyses of the national curricula for languages, based on the CEFR descriptors and language course books and attitudes of teachers and undergraduate students towards developing ICC in local English language teaching. Language professionals should be aware of how cultural context affects the way language is used to construct, interpret and communicate meanings.

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Edited by Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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R. C. De Prospo

Poe’s Difference argues that Edgar Allan Poe has much more in common with early American, medieval, and ancient writers than with the modern and post-modern ones with whom the writer is so often associated. This book emphasizes Poe’s anachronisms to make a number of theoretical, pedagogical, literary historical, and political claims about the backwardness of antebellum U.S. culture. Some time ago Michael Colacurcio issued the challenge that "the full case for the Puritan character of Poe’s ‘horror’ remains to be made." Although going back a good deal further than just to the "Puritans," Poe’s Difference aspires fully to make precisely this case.