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Elżbieta Perkowska-Gawlik

The book focuses on contemporary staff-centred mystery novels set in the academic domain, written by scholars who enrich the generic convention of the detective novel with their academic expertise. The author delineates the academic mystery genre conventions and their connection with the characteristics of both the classical detective novel and the academic (university) novel. The analysis shows that the academic mystery novel not only fills in the classical detective formula with academic discourse, university settings, and the characters and conflicts of academics from different echelons of the university hierarchy but also, and more importantly, refers to and comments upon the current situation of tertiary education.

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Making the Best of a Bad Job

Representations of Disability, Gender and Old Age in the Novels of Samuel Beckett

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Manuel Barberá López

This book explores the representations of disability, gender and old age in the novels of Samuel Beckett. His works go against the foundations of Western thought, which has been traditionally focused on success, clarity, learning and ability, while Beckett chose to focus on failure, confusion, decay and impotence. This study purports to show the central importance of the three categories chosen for the general understanding of the writer’s work. It constitutes an attempt to provide a gendered interpretation of Beckett’s protagonists, who are increasingly unable to reason, talk or move properly, extremely old and do not fit hegemonic models of masculinity. Beckett, who denies his own ability as an author to understand and explain a chaotic world, chooses these disabled, old men as the ultimate representatives of the human condition and the best models to transmit his worldview. This is a book combining different perspectives and getting to conclusions regarding power structures which are particularly interesting for researchers or students taking courses on the dialectics of alterity, masculinities studies or new readings of Samuel Beckett’s works. The author’s research is based on the main arguments of feminist thought, masculinities studies, disability studies, ageing studies and recent work on Beckett. The ultimate goal of such interdisciplinary approach is to show how different systems of oppression work in similar ways and to draw the political implications of Beckett’s literary choices, in terms of visibility and solidarity.

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Edited by Louis Fantasia

Playing Shakespeare’s Rebels and Tyrants is the fourth volume in the Peter Lang series, Playing Shakespeare’s Characters. As in the previous volumes, a broad range of contributors (actors, directors, scholars, educators, etc.) analyze the concepts of rebellion, tyranny, leadership, empathy with not only references to Elizabethan and Jacobean studies, but also to Donald Trump, the social justice movement, and the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Shakespeare's rebels occupy space in both the personal and political, and often quickly turn from rebel to tyrant once in power. How can Shakespeare's text inform current conversations about race, equity, representation, rebellion and tyranny? Who gets to define the power dynamics in Shakespeare’s plays? This volume looks at the Henrys, Hotspurs, Richards, Lears, Brutuses and Caesars, as well as the Juliets, Rosalinds and Cordelias who make up the panoply of Shakespeares rebels and tyrants.

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Agata Handley

When, in 1948, Tony Harrison entered Leeds Grammar School as a scholarship boy, he found himself, as Richard Hoggart saw, “at the friction point of two cultures”. His schooling introduced him to the “classics”; but it also deprived him of a clear identification with the place where he grew up. His work reflects and explores this tension; and it may be seen, in some ways, as a form of “identity construction.”

The book examines key texts such as v. and the School of Eloquence sequence, where this “construction” takes different forms—oscillating between identity as a state, or a process; as continuity, or change; or as the outcome of conformity, or revolt.

This second edition has been extensively revised and includes a new chapter on Harrison’s Elegies.

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Kenneth J. Yin

Dungan Folktales and Legends is a unique anthology that acquaints English-speaking readers with the rich and captivating folk stories of the Dungans, Chinese-speaking Muslims who fled Northwest China for Russian Central Asia after failure of the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) against the Qing dynasty. The most comprehensive collection of Dungan folk narratives, available now in English for the first time, this volume features translations of oral narratives collected in the former Soviet Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in the twentieth century, and first published in Dunganskie narodnye skazki i predaniia (1977), which was edited by the internationally renowned Russian sinologist Boris L. Riftin and compiled by his prominent Dungan colleagues Makhmud A. Khasanov and Ilʹias I. Iusupov. The Dungan folk narrative tradition is a vibrant and fascinating tapestry of Chinese, Islamic, and various Central Asian cultural elements.

The present volume is comprised of a chapter introducing the Dungan tale and three chapters containing 78 folk stories organized in the following categories: wonder tales and animal tales; novelistic tales, folk anecdotes, and adventure stories; and legends, historical tales, and narratives. Also included are appendixes, a glossary, an index, the original notes to the texts, and translator’s notes aimed at an English-reading audience. This volume will be of interest to general readers, as well as students and scholars of folklore, ethnography, anthropology, comparative literature, Chinese studies, and Central Asian studies.

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Reflections on Syntax

Lectures in General Linguistics, Syntax, and Child Language Acquisition

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Joseph Galasso

The lectures in this book are immensely Chomskyan in spirit, recursive-syntactic in nature, and tethered to a framework which takes as the null hypothesis the notion that language is an innate, pre-determined biological system—a system which by definition is multi-complex, human-specific, and analogous to a philosophy highly commensurate of Descartes’ great proverbial adage which announces the calling for a ‘ghost-in-the-machine’. The book begins with a gradual assessment of the kinds of complex constructs students of syntax need to work-up. Leading to the classic ‘Four-Sentences’—each of which bears as a kind of post-mark its own decade of Chomskyan analysis—we trace the origins of generative grammar from the fields of child language acquisition (of the 1960s), to psycholinguistics (of the 1970s), to where we stand today within the Minimalist Program. Various spin-off proposals have been spawned by envisioned analyses which treat syntactic movement as the quintessential human processing—a processing which would give rise to human language. Such spin-offs include ‘Proto-language’ and a new treatment of the so-called morpho-syntactic ‘Dual Mechanism Model’.

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The Theatre of the Absurd, the Grotesque and Politics

A Study of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard

Jadwiga Uchman

The monograph deals with chosen aspects of modern drama based on the output of three playwrights. It discusses the works of Beckett, Pinter and Stoppard in reference to their employment of the grotesque and the theatre of the absurd. Elements of the grotesque appear in political dramas of all three playwrights. While Beckett does not shy away from absurdity in his plays, some of the early dramas of Pinter and Stoppard present a general existential condition of man, even though their strictly political plays are basically realistic in respect to form, yet satirical in their content. Most of the political plays discussed portray the absurdity of totalitarian countries, stemming from the tragicomic discrepancy between what the authorities are saying they are doing and their actual actions.

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Erasure and Recollection

The Memory of Racial Passing within and beyond the United States

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Edited by Hélène Charlery and Aurélie Guillain

Many recent studies of racial passing have emphasized the continuing, almost haunting power of racial segregation even in the post-segregation period in the US, or in the post-apartheid period in South Africa. This "present-ness" of racial passing, the fact that it has not really become "passé," is noticeable in the great number of testimonies which have been published in the 2000s and 2010s by descendants of individuals who passed for white in the English-speaking world. The sheer number of publications suggest a continuing interest in the kind of relation to the personal and national past which is at stake in the long-delayed revelation of cases of racial passing.

This interest in family memoirs or in fictional works re-tracing the erasure of some relative’s racial identity is by no means limited to the United States: for instance, Zoë Wicomb in South Africa or Zadie Smith in the UK both use the passing novel to unravel the complex situation of mixed-race subjects in relation to their family past and to a national past marked by a history of racial inequality.

Yet, the vast majority of critical approaches to racial passing have so far remained largely focused on the United States and its specific history of race relations. The objective of this volume is twofold: it aims at shedding light on the way texts or films show the work of individual memory and collective recollection as they grapple with a racially divided past, struggling with its legacy or playing with its stereotypes. Our second objective has been to explore the great variety in the forms taken by racial passing depending on the context, which in turn leads to differences in the ways it is remembered. Focusing on how a previously erased racial identity may resurface in the present has enabled us to extend the scope of our study to other countries than the United States, so that this volume hopes to propose some new, transnational directions in the study of racial passing.

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Collisions, Deflections, and Conjunctions

The Representations of Turks and Moors in Italian Folktales

Aşkın Çelikkol

Witches, fairies, unicorns, giants, dwarves, gnomes, and talking animals. Folk tales feature many magical creatures and larger or smaller than life entities and are great for pastime activities. What if such enchanted beings are replaced by familiar figures of kings, queens, lords, peasants, pirates, and slaves? What if folk tales are given center stage to understand the international politics and sociocultural matters of a milieu? By analyses of Italian folktales and the notion of Other as represented by Turks and Moors, the book is premised to address the clashing, bifurcating, and intersecting paths of the ruling classes and the subaltern groups and is set to throw a light on the convoluted hegemonic relations between different strata in the Italian society in the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries.

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Mine Own Familiar Friend

The Relationship between Gerard Hopkins and Robert Bridges

William Adamson