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Author: Carlos Pereda
Translator: Sean Manning
This book, winner of the 2007 Siglo XXI International Essay Prize, is unique in its approach to exile and offers remarkable insights into the subject. It discusses both human nature and the phenomenon of exile with depth and exactness from the combined perspectives of philosophy, morality, politics, anthropology, and history. After retracing the lessons learned through diverse experiences of exile from antiquity to modern times, it uses poetry as metatestimony to examine exile, subjectivity, and the many moral and political implications involved. The result is a series of thoughtprovoking connections between exile and the way we assume our lives.
The Concept of Authenticity in Celebrity and Fan Studies
Questioning what “makes” a celebrity and how celebrity is controlled, dispersed and received are aspects branching out of (Extra)Ordinary’s debate over celebrities as ordinary/extraordinary. Jade Alexander and Katarzyna Bronk, together with the authors whose chapters make up this inter-disciplinary discussion, not only utilise the existing research on celebrity and fandom, but they also go beyond the often-quoted theorists to engage in multidirectional analyses of what it means to be a celebrity, and what influence they have on the consuming public. The present book provides an avenue for exploring not just what celebrity is as a discursive construction, but also how this involves a complex interplay between celebrities, the media and the audience.
Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction
Author: Ana Sobral
Opting Out explores the theme of deviance as a form of protest in famous cult novels that have left an indelible mark on contemporary American culture – from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Adopting a generational lens, it centers on the deviant heroes and literary spokesmen of two major cohorts: the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Here for the first time the cult texts that defined these generations are submitted to a critical analysis that allows them to enter into a dialogue – or rather a heated debate – with each other. This opens new perspectives on the generation gap in America since 1945, offering a dynamic look at the role of youth as agents of social change and cultural innovation.
The volume is of interest to students and researchers in contemporary American literature and culture, as well as to fans of cult fiction in general. The interdisciplinary approach to the themes of generational conflict and deviant behaviour also makes a significant contribution to the fields of sociology, contemporary history and cultural studies.
Author: Jeffrey Herlihy
Alongside a liberating treatment of the English language, Ernest Hemingway realized some often overlooked innovations in multicultural subject matter. In six of the seven novels published during his lifetime, the protagonist is abroad, bilingual, and bicultural—and these archetypes have significant implications for each character’s sense of identity. In Paris or Paname interprets Hemingway’s overdetermined use of foreignness as a literary device, characterizing how cultural displacement informs plot dynamics. The investigation historicizes the archetypal protagonist’s process of (re)orientation through attention to his intercultural adoptions in language, alcohol consumption, sports, and betrothal rites. Herlihy situates his argument within an apposite research framework from psychological studies on migration, anthropological examinations of cultural ceremony, and literary theory on the poetics of displacement. The analysis offers groundbreaking insights on the distribution of previously overlooked structural patterns (themes, motifs, and symbols) that are present throughout Hemingway’s novelistic corpus, and provides a compelling perspective on the aesthetics of the expatriate/immigrant writing process.
A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing
Volume Editor: Begoña Simal
Selves in Dialogue: A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing constitutes an explicit answer to the urgent call for a comparative study of American autobiography. This collection of essays ostensibly intends to cut across cultural, “racial” and/or “ethnic” boundaries, introducing the concept of “transethnicity” and arguing for its increasing validity in the ever-changing field of American Studies. Accordingly, the comparative analysis in Selves in Dialogue is implemented not by juxtaposing essays that pay “separate but equal” attention to specific “monoethnic” or “monocultural” traditions—as has been the usual strategy in book-length publications of this sort—, but by critically engaging with two or more different traditions in every single essay. Mixing rather than segregating.
The transethnic approach proposed in this collection does not imply erasing the very difference and diversity that makes American autobiographies all the more thrilling to read and study. Group-specific research of an “intra-ethnic” nature should and will continue to thrive. And yet, the field of American Studies is now ready to indulge more freely, and more knowledgeably, in transethnic explorations of life writing, in an attempt to delineate both the divergences and the similarities between the different autobiographies written in the US. Because of its unusual perspective, Selves in Dialogue can be of interest not only for specialists in life writing, but also for those working in the larger fields of American Literature, Ethnic Studies or American Studies.
Volume Editor: Cara Cilano
From Solidarity to Schisms is the first collection to expand discussions of the effects the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath have had on fiction and film beyond an exclusively US-based focus. The essays brought together here go beyond critiquing the US to examine the cultural shifts taking place in fiction and cinema from places such as Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Israel, and Iran. From these many sites of production, the works discussed in this collection illustrate more precisely how 9/11 was “global” without succumbing to neat categorizations, such as “us vs. them,” “East vs. West,” “Christianity vs. Islam,” and so on. From Solidarity to Schisms is an important supplement to the US-centered cultural and critical production addressing 9/11, providing researchers and teachers alike with resources and contexts that will allow them to broaden their own examinations of novels and films by Americans and about the US. It also provides a valuable resource for students and scholars of contemporary global history and international politics who are interested in approaching 9/11, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and related topics from a cultural standpoint.
Uncertain Mirrors realigns magical realism within a changing critical landscape, from Aristotelian mimesis to Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics. In between, the volume traverses a vast theoretical arena, from postmodernism and postcolonialism to Lévinasian philosophy and eco-criticism. The volume opens and closes with dialectical instability, as it recasts the mutability of the term “mimesis” as both a “world-reflecting” and a “world-creating” mechanism. Magical realism, the authors contend, offers another stance of the possible; it also situates the reader at a hybrid aesthetic matrix inextricably linked to postcolonial theory, postmodernism, Bakhtinian theory, and quantum physics. As Uncertain Mirrors explores, magical realist texts partake of modernist exhaustion as much as of postmodernist replenishment, yet they stem from a different “location of culture” and “direction of culture;” they offer complex aesthetic artifacts that, in their recreation of alternative geographic and semiotic spaces, dislocate hegemonic texts and ideologies. Their unrealistic excess effects a breach in the totalized unity represented by 19th century realism, and plays the dissonant chord of the particular and the non-identical.
This book details Harris’s travels throughout the globe among common people through sixty-seven countries over twelve years. She stayed in a harem, wore a burqa, and slept on a sidewalk through the biggest battle in the Algerian War! Questions evoke critical reading and philosophical thought, and the book includes a bibliography of suggestions for further reading.
Editor: Kuisma Korhonen
In the last decades, there has been an intense debate on the relationship between literature and historiography, often linked to the debate between “empiricists” and “postmodernists”. The aim of this collective work is to address this debate, and to search for new ways of thinking and encountering the past.
The key note for the book comes from Hayden White, one of the leading academic figures, whose role in launching the contemporary history/literature debate has been crucial. It is followed by three critical readings of his work, all suggesting new ways to apply or challenge his views. In other chapters of the book, history / literature question is then addressed from three points of view: narrativity, history as literature, and literature as history.
Tropes for the Past is an ideal introduction to the literature/historiography debate and Hayden White’s role in it. It will be of use for all students and scholars in the philosophy of history and in historically oriented literary, cultural, and social studies.
Psychoanalytic Anthropology and the Cultural Unconscious in American Life
Author: Howard F. Stein
In this book, the author presents a pioneering interpretation of culture as constituting a dynamic relationship between the visible “crust” and the elusive “core” of social life. He meticulously maps the role of the unconscious in shaping much of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He crosses and transcends disciplinary boundaries in studies of September 11, 2001, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the execution of Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 Worcester, Massachusetts fire, and the eruption of hypernationalism and xenophobia in nations and workplaces — all as cultural phenomena with a psychodynamic core. He shows how the experience of loss in the face of massive social change often leads to equally massive defence against the experience of mourning. Beneath the Crust of Culture will be of interest not only for behavioural and social science professionals, but also for a lay public interested in understandings of culture deeper than the surface of the news and of official pronouncements.