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Cultures of Solitude

Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation

Edited By Ina Bergmann and Stefan Hippler

This collection of essays comprises cultural analyses of practices of eremitism and reclusiveness in the USA, which are inseparably linked to the American ideals of individualism and freedom. Covering a time frame from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, the essays study cultural products such as novels, poems, plays, songs, paintings, television shows, films, and social media, which represent the costs and benefits of deliberate withdrawal and involuntary isolation from society. Thus, this book offers valuable contributions to contemporary cultural discourses on privacy, surveillance, new technology, pathology, anti-consumerism, simplification, and environmentalism. Solitaries can be read as trailblazers for an alternative future or as symptoms of a pathological society.

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Jochen Achilles is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

Nassim Winnie Balestrini is Director of the Center for Intermediality Studies in Graz (CIMIG) and Professor of American Studies and Intermediality at the University of Graz, Austria.

Ina Bergmann is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

Julie C. Bowker is Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York, Buffalo, USA.

Ira J. Cohen is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA.

Kevin L. Cope is Professor of English and Member of the Faculty of Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA.

Robert J. Coplan is Director of the Pickering Centre for Research in Human Development and Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Coby Dowdell is Associate Professor of English at King’s University College at Western University, London, ON, Canada.

Clare Hayes-Brady is Lecturer in American Literature at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Rüdiger Heinze is Professor of American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Braunschweig, Germany.

Stefan Hippler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

Svend Erik Larsen is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Aarhus University, Denmark and Yangtze River Visiting Professor at Sichuan University, China.

Kevin Lewis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion and Culture at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA.

Margaretta M. Lovell is Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art and Architecture and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. ← 303 | 304 →

Hélène Quanquin is Department Chair and Associate Professor of American History at the University of Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle, France.

Randall Roorda is Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.

Scott Slovic is English Department Chair and Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Idaho, Moscow, USA.