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Emblems in Scotland

Motifs and Meanings

Series:

Michael Bath

Emblems in the visual arts use motifs which have meanings, and in Emblems in Scotland Michael Bath, leading authority on Renaissance emblem books, shows how such symbolic motifs address major historical issues of Anglo-Scottish relations, the Reformation of the Church and the Union of the Crowns. Emblems are enigmas, and successive chapters ask for instance: Why does a late-medieval rood-screen show a jester at the Crucifixion? Why did Elizabeth I send Mary Queen of Scots tapestries showing the power of women to build a feminist City of God? Why did a presbyterian minister of Stirling decorate his manse with hieroglyphics? And why in the twentieth-century did Ian Hamilton Finlay publish a collection of Heroic Emblems?

Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex

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Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.

Australian Theatre after the New Wave

Policy, Subsidy and the Alternative Artist

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Julian Meyrick

In Australian Theatre after the New Wave, Julian Meyrick charts the history of three ground-breaking Australian theatre companies, the Paris Theatre (1978), the Hunter Valley Theatre (1976-94) and Anthill Theatre (1980-94). In the years following the controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in 1975, these ‘alternative’ theatres struggled to survive in an increasingly adverse economic environment. Drawing on interviews and archival sources, including Australia Council files and correspondence, the book examines the funding structures in which the companies operated, and the impact of the cultural policies of the period. It analyses the changing relationship between the artist and the State, the rise of a managerial ethos of ‘accountability’, and the growing dominance of government in the fate of the nation’s theatre. In doing so, it shows the historical roots of many of the problems facing Australian theatre today.

“This is an exceptionally timely book... In giving a history of Australian independent theatre it not only charts the amazing rise and strange disappearance of an energetic, radical and dynamically democratic artistic movement, but also tries to explain that rise and fall, and how we should relate to it now.”
Prof. Justin O’Connor, Monash University

“This study makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Australian theatre and, more broadly… to the global discussion about the vexed relationship between artists, creativity, government funding for the arts and cultural policy.”
Dr. Gillian Arrighi, The University of Newcastle, Australia

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Edited by Michael McAteer

Silence in Modern Irish Literature is the first book to focus exclusively on the treatment of silence in modern Irish literature. It reveals the wide spectrum of meanings that silence carries in modern Irish literature: a mark of historical loss, a form of resistance to authority, a force of social oppression, a testimony to the unspeakable, an expression of desire, a style of contemplation. This volume addresses silence in psychological, ethical, topographical, spiritual and aesthetic terms in works by a range of major authors including Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen and Friel.

Tom Stoppard’s Plays

Patterns of Plenitude and Parsimony

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Nigel Purse

In Tom Stoppard’s Plays: Patterns of Plenitude and Parsimony Nigel Purse assesses the complete canon of Tom Stoppard’s works on a thematic basis. He explains that, amongst the plenitude of chaotic comedy, wordplay and intellectual ping-pong of Stoppard’s plays, the principle of parsimony that is Occam’s razor lies at the heart of his works. He identifies key patterns in theme – ethics and duality - and method – Stoppard’s stage debates and his dramatic vehicles - as well as in theatrical devices.

Quoting extensively from all Stoppard’s published works, many of his interviews and also unpublished material Nigel Purse arrives at a comprehensive and unique appraisal of Stoppard’s plays.

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Edited by Ina Habermann and Daniela Keller

English Topographies in Literature and Culture takes a spatial approach to the study of English culture. In order to gain a fresh perspective on constructions of English cultural identity, the collection treats geography, social spaces and spatial practices as well as representations of space and place as complex constellations termed ‘cultural topographies’. Individual contributions focus on writing landscapes, London psychogeography, heritage discourses, urban planning, and idiosyncratic spatial practices such as suburban gardening. In line with the ‘affective turn’, the investigated cultural topographies transcend the dichotomy between the material and the immaterial through embodiment and embeddedness, displaying a ‘new sensitivity’ in textual, visual and aural representations that seek to transcend an anthropocentric perspective. Space thus emerges as both political and shaped by affect.

Staging Scripture

Biblical Drama, 1350-1600

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Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

Against a background which included revolutionary changes in religious belief, extensive enlargement of dramatic styles and the technological innovation of printing, this collection of essays about biblical drama offers innovative approaches to text and performance, while reviewing some well-established critical issues. The Bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries appears in a complex of roles in relation to the drama: as an authority and centre of belief, a place of controversy, an emotional experience and, at times, a weapon. This collection brings into focus the new biblical learning, including the re-editing of biblical texts, as well as classical influences, and it gives a unique view of the relationship between the Bible and the drama at a critical time for both.

Contributors are: Stephanie Allen, David Bevington, Philip Butterworth, Sarah Carpenter, Philip Crispin, Clifford Davidson, Elisabeth Dutton, Garrett P. J. Epp, Bob Godfrey, Peter Happé, James McBain, Roberta Mullini, Katie Normington, Margaret Rogerson, Charlotte Steenbrugge, Greg Walker, and Diana Wyatt.

Decolonizing the Landscape

Indigenous Cultures in Australia

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Edited by Beate Neumeier and Kay Schaffer

How does one read across cultural boundaries? The multitude of creative texts, performance practices, and artworks produced by Indigenous writers and artists in contemporary Australia calls upon Anglo-European academic readers, viewers, and critics to respond to this critical question.
Contributors address a plethora of creative works by Indigenous writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and painters, including Richard Frankland, Lionel Fogarty, Lin Onus, Kim Scott, Sam Watson, and Alexis Wright, as well as Durrudiya song cycles and works by Western Desert artists. The complexity of these creative works transcends categorical boundaries of Western art, aesthetics, and literature, demanding new processes of reading and response. Other contributors address works by non-Indigenous writers and filmmakers such as Stephen Muecke, Katrina Schlunke, Margaret Somerville, and Jeni Thornley, all of whom actively engage in questioning their complicity with the past in order to challenge Western modes of knowledge and understanding and to enter into a more self-critical and authentically ethical dialogue with the Other.
In probing the limitations of Anglo-European knowledge-systems, essays in this volume lay the groundwork for entering into a more authentic dialogue with Indigenous writers and critics.

Staging Vice

A Study of Dramatic Traditions in Medieval and Sixteenth-Century England and the Low Countries

Series:

Charlotte Steenbrugge

Characters representing various sins and vices became the stars of their respective theatrical traditions in the course of the late medieval and early modern period in both the Low Countries and England. This study assesses the importance of such characters, and especially the English Vice and Dutch sinnekens, for our understanding of medieval and sixteenth-century Dutch and English drama by charting diachronic developments and through synchronic comparisons. The analysis of the functions as well as theatrical and meta-theatrical aspects of these characters reveals how these plays were conditioned by their literary and social setting. It sheds invaluable light on the subtly divergent appreciation of the concept of drama in these two regions and on their different use of drama as a didactic tool. In a wider perspective this study also investigates how the moral plays and their negative characters reflect the changes in the intellectual and religious climate of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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Edited by Laura Colombino and Max Saunders

The controversial British writer Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) is increasingly recognized as a major presence in early twentieth-century literature. This series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies was founded to reflect the recent resurgence of interest in him. Each volume is based upon a particular theme or issue; and relates aspects of Ford’s work, life, and contacts, to broader concerns of his time.
Ford is best-known for his fiction, especially The Good Soldier, long considered a modernist masterpiece; and Parade’s End, which Anthony Burgess described as ‘the finest novel about the First World War’, Samuel Hynes has called ‘the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman’, and which has been adapted by Tom Stoppard for the acclaimed BBC/HBO television series.
This volume focuses on Ford’s work from the Edwardian decade and a half before the First World War. It contains Michael Schmidt’s Ford Madox Ford Lecture, and fourteen other essays by British, American, French and German experts, both leading authorities and younger scholars. Chapters on Ford’s fiction, poetry, criticism of literature and painting, writing about England, and dealings on the Edwardian literary scene as editor and with publishers, bring out his versatility and ingenuity throughout his first major creative phase.