Empowering Contemporary Fiction in English

The Impact of Empowerment in Literary Studies


Empowerment as a concept is making its impact on the field of literary studies. This volume shows its intricate relation to contemporary fiction in English, applying a broad range of approaches such as feminist, transcultural, and intersectional studies. Dealing with genres as diverse as dystopia, science fiction, TV adaptations, the historical novel, and immigrant fiction, this collection offers the first in-depth study of empowerment in literature. How, and to which end, do texts endow characters with power? In which ways can fiction become a tool of authorial self-empowerment? And which effects do such narratives have on readers? With this book, empowerment is put on the map of literary studies as a new, highly relevant critical concept stimulating fresh perspectives on contemporary fiction. Contributors: Peter Childs, Britta Maria Colligs, Sarah Dillon, Paul Hamann-Rose, Ralf Hertel, David Malcolm, Diana Thiesen, Eleanor Ty, Eva-Maria Windberger.

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Ralf Hertel is Professor of English Literature (University of Trier) and has published widely on contemporary fiction, including Making Sense: Sense Perception in the British Novel of the 1980s and 1990s and On John Berger (co-edited with David Malcolm).

Eva-Maria Windberger is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Trier. Her PhD project investigated the poetics of empowerment in David Mitchell’s novels.
 Notes on Contributors

Empowering Contemporary Fiction
  Ralf Hertel and Eva-Maria Windberger

Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Literature

 Feminist Fiction and Forms of Empowerment
  Sarah Dillon

 Reclaiming Didacticism
Empowerment and the Representation of Science in Genetic Fiction
  Paul Hamann-Rose

 Empowering the Reader and the Viewer
Strategies of Empowerment in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones
  Britta Maria Colligs

Stories and Histories

 'The Power to Liberate'
Telling Tales of the Contemporary Past
  Peter Childs

 Of Memory Boxes and Rhizomatic Structures
Strategies of Empowerment in David Mitchell’s ‘Über-book’
  Eva-Maria Windberger

 The Empowering Allohistorical? Some Questions on a Stochastic Borderline
  David Malcolm

Transcultural Perspectives

 Xiaolu Guo’s Empowering Fictions
  Ralf Hertel

 Empowerment through Multiple Voices
Culture, Media, and Identity in Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat
  Eleanor Ty

 Of Monkey Kings and Fox Ladies
Intersectionality, Empowerment, and Myth in Wayson Choy’s The Jade Peony
  Diana Thiesen

All interested in narrative studies, the literary negotiation of power and the forms of empowerment within fiction, and contemporary Anglophone writings in general.
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