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California Sojourns in Five Installations
Site-Seeing Aesthetics: California Sojourns in Five Installations takes the reader to Dodger Stadium, Fort Ross, Chinese Camp, the Winchester House, and letters from the Gold Country in a writing and reading of cultural time and site performance. These sojourns’ are informed by insights from among other literary and cultural studies, site-specific performance studies, human geography, archeology, and history into a kind of “literary chorography.” Along the road, the book considers how places come before us as dramatized, hybrid creations of layered and “haunted” scripts. In its interdisciplinary nature, Site-Seeing in California thus gestures to alternate paths into our time’s fascination with place, region, and memory, engaging also with questions of and dialogues between region and transnationalism in their aesthetic reflections.
Read an interview with Karen Thornber.

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Watch a video interview with Thornber by the Mahindra Humanities Center, part of their conversations on Covid-19.

Read an interview with Thornber on Brill's Humanities Matter blog.
The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams's Chicago
In Eleanor Smith’s Hull House Songs : The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago, the authors republish Hull House Songs (1916), together with critical commentary. Hull-House Songs contains five politically engaged compositions written by the Hull-House music educator, Eleanor Smith. The commentary that accompanies the folio includes an examination of Smith’s poetic sources and musical influences; a study of Jane Addams’s aesthetic theories; and a complete history of the arts at Hull-House. Through this focus upon aesthetic and cultural programs at Hull-House, the authors identify the external, and internalized, forces of domination (class position, racial identity, patriarchal disenfranchisement) that limited the work of the Hull-House women, while also recovering the sometimes hidden emancipatory possibilities of their legacy.

With an afterword by Jocelyn Zelasko.
Missing Pictures and Imagining Loss and Nostalgia
Author: Louisa Söllner
Photographic Ekphrasis in Cuban-American Fiction offers new readings of Cuban-American novels and autobiographies, demonstrating that a focus on photographs (alluded to, analyzed, and/or obsessively recurrent in the narrative discourse) provides fresh insights into these texts. The study introduces the concept of photographic ekphrasis as a reading tool for diasporic literature and argues that visual images are important components of narratives about dislocation, nostalgia, and transcultural experience. Authors treated in depth include Carlos Eire, Cristina García, Oscar Hijuelos, Roberto G. Fernández, Ana Menéndez, Achy Obejas, and Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Missing Pictures offers an original perspective on Cuban-American literature and contributes to the scholarship on ekphrasis and on the interactions between photography and narrative.
Author: David Gleicher
Beyond Marx and Other Entries is a truly original book by David Gleicher, author of The Rescue of the Third Class on the Titanic: A Revisionist History (Liverpool University Press, 2006). It explores deep areas of semiotics, joined with economics, anthropology, sociology, history and philosophy and political science, even Franz Kafka's literary works. These are communicated by entries, based primarily on Gleicher’s actual blog Looking through the crack from 2013 to 2017. No other book quite compares to it, but one might equate it to impressionist art, or the 'the one and the many'. Each entry is independent; nothing in one makes even an allusion to another. Readers, however, cannot help but to make connections themselves and develop their own understandings of dystopian possibilities.
On Autopoietic Modernities
In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will be of value to all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies
Nature and Counternature in a Time of Global Change
Editor: Steven Hartman
Contesting Environmental Imaginaries foregrounds a question central to humanistic environmental studies: How is nature to be perceived and understood in a time of global environmental crisis? A challenge was issued to imagine counter natures, past or present, casting nature as a normative concept into productive relief. One ambition was to highlight shifting perspectives on nature and the environment that may help account for the rise of the environmental humanities; another was to invite challenges to orthodoxies, including those that animate this burgeoning field. Contributions emerged from the study areas of Environmental History, Ecocriticism, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Media Studies, and the History of Ideas. This volume draws together the fruits of this thought experiment.
Postcolonial Justice addresses a major issue in current postcolonial theory and beyond, namely, the question of how to reconcile an ethics grounded in the reciprocal acknowledgment of diversity and difference with the normative, if not universal thrust that appears to energize any notion of justice. The concept of postcolonial justice shared by the essays in this volume carries an unwavering commitment to difference within and beyond Europe, while equally rejecting radical cultural essentialisms, which refuse to engage in “utopian ideals” of convivial exchange across a plurality of subject positions. Such utopian ideals can no longer claim universal validity, as in the tradition of the European enlightenment; instead they are bound to local frames of speaking from which they project world.
Intertextuality & Subversion
Poetic Revolutionaries is an exploration of the relationship between radical textual practice, social critique and subversion. From an introduction considering recent debates regarding the cultural politics of intertextuality allied to avant-garde practice, the study proceeds to an exploration of texts by a range of writers for whom formal and poetic experimentation is allied to a subversive politics: Jean Genet, Monique Wittig, Angela Carter, Kathy Acker, Kathleen Mary Fallon, Kim Scott and Brian Castro. Drawing on theories of avant-garde practice, intertextuality, parody, representation, and performance such as those of Mikhaïl Bakhtin, Julia Kristeva, Gérard Genette, Margaret A. Rose, Linda Hutcheon, Fredric Jameson, Ross Chambers and Judith Butler, these readings explore how a confluence of writing strategies – covering the structural, narratological, stylistic and scenographic – can work to boost a text’s subversive power.
In Cormac McCarthy and the Writing of American Spaces Andrew Estes examines ideas about the land as they emerge in the later fiction of this important contemporary author. McCarthy's texts are shown to be part of larger narratives about American environments. Against the backdrop of the emerging discipline of environmental criticism, Estes investigates the way space has been constructed in U.S. American writing. Cormac McCarthy is found to be heir to diametrically opposed concepts of space: as something Americans embraced as either overwhelmingly positive and reinvigorating or as rather negative and threatening. McCarthy's texts both replicate this binary thinking about American environments and challenge readers to reconceive traditional ways of seeing space. Breaking new ground as to how literary landscapes and spaces are critically assessed this study seeks to examine the many detailed descriptions of the physical world in McCarthy on their own terms. Adding to so-called 'second wave' environmental criticism, it reaches beyond an earlier, limited understanding of the environment as 'nature' to consider both natural landscapes and built environments. Chapter one discusses the field of environmental criticism in reference to McCarthy while chapter two offers a brief narrative of conceptions of space in the U.S. Chapter three highlights trends in McCarthy criticism. Chapters four through eight provide close readings of McCarthy's later novels, from Blood Meridian to The Road.