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The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities

Method, Theory, Meaning: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Munich, 4–7 August, 2013)


Edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Alison Schofield and Samuel I. Thomas

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities explores the use of methods, theories, and approaches from the humanities in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The volume contains ten essays on topics ranging from New Philology and socio-linguistics to post-colonial thinking and theories of myth.


Scott Shinabargar

If the transgressions of modern French poetry have been amply noted at thematic and formal levels, they remain largely unremarked at the most visceral level of reading. Indebted to, while problematizing the Kristevan concept of sémiotique, Scott Shinabargar’s The Revolting Body of Poetry reveals how the very “matter” of key works forces us to enact these transgressions, when articulating textures of offensive lexica and imagery. While certain phonemes provide access to previously untapped forces, first apparent in Baudelaire and Lautréamont, compulsive repetitions produce expressive inflation, diffusing any initial impact. Césaire and Char, however, demonstrate an acquired control of these forces, intensity contained. Shinabargar concludes with a survey of contemporary poets, inviting readers to consider the legacy of revolting poetics.

Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War

That Better Whiles May Follow Worse


Edited by David Owen and Maria Cristina Pividori

Through chapters dedicated to specific writers and texts, Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War is a collection of essays examining literary responses to the Great War, particularly the confrontation of two distinct languages.
One of these reflects nineteenth-century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other portrays the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.
The ultimate aim of this volume is to convey and reinforce the notion that no explicit literary language can ever be regarded as the definitive language of the Great War, nor can it ever hope to represent this conflict in its entirety. The collection also uncovers how memory constantly develops, triggering distinct and even contradictory responses from those involved in the complex process of remembering.

Contributors: Donna Coates, Brian Dillon, Monique Dumontet, Dorothea Flothow, Elizabeth Galway, Laurie Kaplan, Sara Martín Alegre, Silvia Mergenthal, Andrew Monnickendam, David Owen, Andrew Palmer, Bill Phillips, Cristina Pividori, Esther Pujolrás-Noguer, Richard Smith


Christoph Senft

This study offers a comprehensive overview of Indian writing in English in the 21st century. Through ten exemplary analyses in which canonical authors stand next to less well-known and diasporic ones Christoph Senft provides deep insights into India’s complex literary world and develops an argumentative framework in which narrative texts are interpreted as transmodern re-readings of history, historicity and memory. Reconciling different postmodern and postcolonial theoretical approaches to the interpretation and construction of literature and history, Senft substitutes traditional, Eurocentric and universalistic views on past and present by decolonial and pluralistic practices. He thus helps to better understand the entanglements of colonial politics and cultural production, not only on the subcontinent.

The Alter-Imperial Paradigm

Empire Studies & the Book of Revelation


Shane J. Wood

Many assume the book of Revelation is merely an “anti-imperial” attack on the Roman Empire. Yet, Shane J. Wood argues this conclusion over-exaggerates Rome’s significance and, thus, misses Revelation’s true target—the construction of the alter-empire through the destruction of the preeminent adversary: Satan. Applying insights from Postcolonial criticism and 'Examinations of Dominance,' this monograph challenges trajectories of New Testament Empire Studies by developing an Alter-Imperial paradigm that appreciates the complexities between the sovereign(s) and subject(s) of a society—beyond simply rebellion or acquiescence. Shane J. Wood analyses Roman propaganda, Jewish interaction with the Flavians, and Domitianic persecution to interpret Satan's release (Rev 20:1-10) as the climax of God's triumphal procession. Thus, Rome provides the imagery; Eden provides the target.


Sandra Vlasta

Up until now, ‘migration literature’ has primarily been defined as ‘texts written by migrant authors’, a definition that has been discussed, criticised, and even rejected by critics and authors alike. Very rarely has ‘migration literature’ been understood as ‘literature on the topic of migration’, which is an approach this book adopts by presenting a comparative analysis of contemporary texts on experiences of migration. By focusing on specific themes and motifs in selected texts, this study suggests that migration literature is a sub-genre that exists in both various bodies of literature as well as various languages. This book analyses English and German texts by authors such as Monica Ali, Dimitré Dinev, Anna Kim, Timothy Mo, Preethi Nair, Caryl Phillips, Hamid Sadr, and Vladimir Vertlib, among others.

Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage

Making and Unmaking the Postcolonial Novel


Frances A. Johnson

Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage examines key developments in the field of the Australian postcolonial historical novel from 1989 to the present. In parallel with this analysis, A. Frances Johnson undertakes a unique study of in-kind creativity, reflecting on how her own nascent historical fiction has been critically and imaginatively shaped and inspired by seminal experiments in the genre – by writers as diverse as Kate Grenville, Mudrooroo, Kim Scott, Peter Carey, Richard Flanagan, and Rohan Wilson.
Mapping the postcolonial novel against the impact of postcolonial cultural theory and Australian writers’ intermittent embrace of literary postmodernism, this survey is also read against the post-millenial ‘history’ and ‘culture wars’ which saw politicizations of national debates around history and fierce contestation over the ways stories of Australian pasts have been written.


Edited by Isabel Ermida

This volume brings together fourteen articles that reappraise the productivity of Stoker’s Dracula and the strong influence it still exerts on today’s generations. The volume explores various multimodal and multimedia adaptations of the book, by critically examining its literary, cinematic, theatrical, televised and artistic versions. In so doing, it reassesses the origins, evolution, imagery, mythology, theory and criticism of Gothic fiction and of the Gothic (sub)culture. The volume is innovative in that it congregates various angles to the Gothic phenomenon, providing an overview of the interdisciplinary relationships between different cultural, artistic and creative reworkings of the Gothic in general and of Stoker’s legacy in particular.


Michał Obszyński

Manifestes et programmes littéraires aux Caraïbes francophones étudie les textes manifestaires et programmatiques publiés aux Caraïbes francophones durant le XXe siècle. Il fait apparaître les enjeux esthétiques et idéologiques qui sous-tendent les débats littéraires en Haïti et aux Antilles françaises. Il montre également l’évolution de ces manifestes au gré des mutations socio-politiques et intellectuelles de cette période.
De la génération de La Ronde à la littérature-monde, en passant par, entre autres, l’indigénisme, la négritude, le réalisme merveilleux et la créolité, Michał Obszyński dresse un large panorama des principaux projets littéraires de la Caraïbe francophone. Son ouvrage permet de mieux comprendre l’émergence de ces courants littéraires et montre le rôle vital du manifeste dans leur formation et leur diffusion.

Manifestes et programmes littéraires aux Caraïbes francophones analyses the manifestoes and programmatic texts published in the French speaking Caribbean since the beginning of the twentieth century until present times. It uncovers the aesthetic and ideological issues underlying the literary debates in Haiti and the French West Indies. It also shows the evolution of these manifestos according to the socio-political and intellectual changes of that period.
From the generation of La Ronde to the concept of littérature-monde, through, inter altra, indigénisme, négritude, réalisme merveilleux or créolité, Michał Obszyński provides a broad overview of the major literary projects of the French speaking Caribbean. His work sheds light on the emergence of these literary movements and shows the vital role of the manifesto in their establishment and propagation.

Facing Diasporic Trauma

Self-Representation in the Writings of John Hearne, Caryl Phillips, and Fred D’Aguiar


Fatim Boutros

Fictional writing has an important mnemonic function for the Afro-Carib-bean community. It facilitates an encounter between contemporary societies and their historical origins. The representation of diasporic trauma in the novels of Fred D’Aguiar, John Hearne, and Caryl Phillips challenges territorial under¬standings of nationality and raises awareness of the eurocentric basis of Western historiography. Slavery is a recurring motif of the nine novels analysed in this study. They narrate the fates of silenced victims who all share the traumatic experience of racial violence even if otherwise separated through time, space, gender and age.
These charismatic fictional characters facilitate an empathic access to the history of slavery that goes beyond the anonymity of traditional historical sources. Their most private and intimate sorrows make the traumatic conditions of slavery appear much less remote and reveal their suffering. The euphemistic and distorting selection of the events that has been passed down by the dominant culture is thus countered by a relentless display of historical violence. These literary images establish an important symbolic repertoire and introduce powerful founding myths of the diaspora.
In spite of the traumatic foundations of the community, the nine novels display considerable optimism about the possibility of a convivial future that transcends racial boundaries.The capacity and willingness to improvise and adapt to new environments and to do so even in face of a traumatic heritage can be regarded as the most important precondition for positive future developments within the matrix of a rapidly transforming global environment.