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Disclosing Intertextualities

The Stories, Plays, and Novels of Susan Glaspell

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Edited by Martha C. Carpentier and Barbara Ozieblo

For the first time, this volume brings together essays by feminist, Americanist, and theater scholars who apply a variety of sophisticated critical approaches to Susan Glaspell’s entire oeuvre. Glaspell’s one-act play, “Trifles,” and the short story that she constructed from it, “A Jury of Her Peers,” have drawn the attention of many feminist critics, but the rest of her writing—the short stories, plays and novels—is largely unknown. The essays gathered here will allow students of literature, women’s studies and theater studies an insight into the variety and scope of her oeuvre.
Glaspell’s political and literary thinking was radicalized by the turbulent Greenwich Village environment of the first decades of the twentieth century, by progressive-era social movements and by modernist literary and theatrical innovation. The focus of Glaspell studies has, till recently, been dominated by the feminist imperative to recover a canon of silenced women writers and, in particular, to restore Glaspell to her rightful place in American drama. Transcending the limitations generated by such a specific agenda, the contributors to this volume approach Glaspell’s work as a dialogic intersection of genres, texts, and cultural phenomena—a method that is particularly apt for Glaspell, who moved between genres with a unique fluidity, creating such modernist masterpieces as The Verge or Brook Evans. This volume establishes Glaspell’s work as an “intersection of textual surfaces,” resulting for the first time in the complex aesthetic appreciation that her varied life’s work merits.

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

Motherhood in Sylvia Plath’s Work

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Nephie Christodoulides

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking delves deeply into the notion of motherhood in Sylvia Plath’s work in order to redeem Plath from the one-dimensional role assigned to her of the suicidal, father-obsessed poet. Written from the theoretical perspective of Julia Kristeva’s theory of subject formation, the book focuses on Plath’s baby poems in which mother figures are seen as subjects-in-process oscillating between authentication and non-authentication in motherhood. Furthermore, since the mother is always a daughter, part of the discussion centers on Plath’s daughterhood poetry in which daughter figures are engaged in an endless struggle to release themselves from a suffocating maternal hold and achieve their own linguistic individuation. Finally Plath’s works for children, The Bed Book, The-It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit, “Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen”, as well as her fairy tale poems, largely ignored until now, are read as manifestations of the self’s regressive journey to “once below a time” to grasp an elusive pre-symbolic organization and take signification back to infancy. The book makes extensive use of Plath’s drafts, mainly of the Ariel poems, her recycled materials, annotated books from her personal library, published and unpublished material from The Lilly Library Archive, The Mortimer Rare Book Room, and The Ted Hughes Archive in Emory.

Diaspora and Multiculturalism

Common Traditions and New Developments

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Edited by Monika Fludernik

In postcolonial theory we have now reached a new stage in the succession of key concepts. After the celebrations of hybridity in the work of Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak, it is now the concept of diaspora that has sparked animated debates among postcolonial critics. This collection intervenes in the current discussion about the 'new' diaspora by placing the rise of diaspora within the politics of multiculturalism and its supercession by a politics of difference and cultural-rights theory. The essays present recent developments in Jewish negotiations of diasporic tradition and experience, discussing the reinterpretation of concepts of the 'old' diaspora in late twentieth- century British and American Jewish literature. The second part of the volume comprises theoretical and critical essays on the South Asian diaspora and on multicultural settings between Australia, Africa, the Caribbean and North America. The South Asian and Caribbean diasporas are compared to the Jewish prototype and contrasted with the Turkish diaspora in Germany. All essays deal with literary reflections on, and thematizations of, the diasporic predicament.

Caught Between Cultures

Women, Writing & Subjectivities

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Edited by Elizabeth Russell

The essays in this collection ( on Canada, the USA, Australia and the UK) question and discuss the issues of cross-cultural identities and the crossing of boundaries, both geographical and conceptual. All of the authors have experienced cross-culturalism directly and are conscious that positions of ‘double vision’, which allow the / to participate positively in two or more cultures, are privileges that only a few can celebrate. Most women find themselves “caught between cultures”. They become involved in a day-to-day struggle, in an attempt to negotiate identities which can affirm the self and, at the same time, strengthen the ties which unites the self with others. Theoretical issues on cross-culturalism, therefore, can either liberate or constrict the /. The essays here illustrate how women's writing negotiates this dualism through a colourful and complex weaving of words - thoughts and experiences both pleasurable and painful - into texts, quilts, rainbows. The metaphors abound. The connecting thread through their writing and, indeed, in these essays, is the concept of ‘belonging’, a theoretical/emotional composite of be-ing and longing. ‘Home’, too, assumes a variety of meanings; it is no longer a static geographical place, but many places. It is also a place elsewhere in the imagination, a mythic place of desire linked to origin.
Policies of multiculturalism can throw up more problems than they solve. In Canada, the difficulties surrounding the cross-cultural debate have given rise to a state of “messy imbroglio”. Notions of authenticity move dangerously close to essentialist identities. ‘Double vision’ is characteristic of peoples who have been uprooted and displaced, such as Australian Aboriginal writers of mixed race abducted during childhood. ‘Passing for’ black or white is full of complications, as in the case of Pauline Johnson, who passed as an authentic Indian. People with hyphenated citizenship (such as Japanese-Canadian) can be either free of national ties or trapped in subordination to the dominant culture; in these ‘visible minorities’, it is the status of being female (or coloured female) that is so often ultimately rendered invisible.
Examination of Canadian anthologies on cross-cultural writing by women reveals a crossing of boundaries of gender and genre, race and ethnicity, and, in some cases, national boundaries, in an attempt to connect with a diasporic consciousness. Cross-cultural women writers in the USA may stress experience and unique collective history, while others prefer to focus on aesthetic links and literary connections which ultimately silence difference. Journeying from the personal space of the / into the collective space of the we is exemplified in a reading of texts by June Jordan and Minnie Bruce Pratt. For these writers identity is in process. It is a painful negotiation but one which can transform knowledge into action.

The Conning of America

The Great War and American Popular Literature

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Patrick J. Quinn

The Conning of America examines for the first time from a literary perspective the propaganda writings produced in the United States during the period of World War I. This American propaganda literature was written in two distinct stages: the first stage was written by the pro-War establishment based on the East Coast of the United States before American entry into the conflict. It attempted to vilify Germany and her Allies while at the same time showing England, France, and Russia as the victims of a well-planned organized German plan for world domination—beginning with the invasion of neutral Belgium. The literature urged the United States to prepare for a German invasion of America and to be wary of German-Americans, who most likely were spies in the employ of the Imperial German government. The second stage of propaganda literature occurred when America declared war on the Central Powers in April 1917.
While still using the blood thirsty militaristic Hun as a symbol of German inherent evil, the propaganda literature began to portray the Americans as the saviors of European culture. American boys were being sent to Europe on a spiritual mission to purify decadent European culture, while at the same time their sacrifice would rejuvenate and sanctify American values in the fire of the conflict in order for America to take her proper place in the new post-war order.

The Model Man

A Life of Edward William Bok, 1863-1930

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Hans Krabbendam

Edward William Bok was the most famous Dutch-American in early twentieth-century America thanks to his thirty-year editorship of the Ladies’ Home Journal, the most prestigious women’s magazine of the day. This first complete coverage of Edward Bok’s life places him against his ethnic background and portrays him as the spokesman for and the molder of the American middle class between 1890 and 1930. He acted as a mediator between a Victorian and a modern society, reconciling consumerism with idealism. As a Dutch immigrant he became a model for successful adaptation to a new country and modern times. He used his national reputation to restore America’s internationalism in the 1920s. His life story is relevant to those interested in the history of immigration, journalism, the rise of big business, the women’s movement, and the Progressive Movement.

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Edited by Poul Houe and Sven Hakon Rossel

The subject of Images of America in Scandinavia, the first comprehensive study of its kind, is as multifaceted, complex, and overwhelming as America or the United States, itself. It concerns the nature and function, reality and fiction of such images in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden past and present. The book is intended to be a source of solid information as well as a starting point for further inquiries into its cultural territory.
Part of its focus is on images of America rooted in printed sources, but, in addition, general surveys of other cultural signs of America in the Scandinavian countries present a broader picture and provide some of the background for the predominantly literary images. Issues such as government and politics, popular and vanguard music and art, and socio-cultural institutions intermittently come to the fore.
Framing the volume's three pairs of national surveys is an introductory chapter, which addresses the entire subject from a bird's-eye view, and a concluding chapter, which, by contrast, delves into the cross-fire of sentiments defining people whose images of America, are both American and Scandinavian. The discussion of America as perceived in Scandinavia sheds new light on intriguing inter-Scandinavian cultural distinctions and borderlines.
Countless books and articles, methods and theories, have been devoted to the study of national and cultural identity. Still, the exchanges between such identities and the images they engender - so indispensable for the participants in a global culture - remain clouded by many misconceptions. Images of America in Scandinavia whose editors and authors all have Scandinavian backgrounds, will contribute an improved understanding of the cultural interplay between Scandinavia and the United States of America.

Gender I-deology

Essays on theory, fiction and film

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Edited by Chantal Cornut-Gentille d'Arcy and José Angel García

Powerless Fictions?

Ethics, Cultural Critique, and American Fiction in the Age of Postmodernism

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Edited by Ricardo Miguel-Alfonso

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Edited by A. Robert Lee and W.M. Verhoeven

If 1776 heralds America's Birth of the Nation, so, too, it witnesses the rise of a matching, and overlapping, American Literature. For between the 1770s and the 1820s American writing moves on from the ancestral Puritanism of New England and Virginia - though not, as yet, into the American Renaissance so strikingly called for by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even so, the concourse of voices which arise in this period, that is between (and including) Benjamin Franklin and James Fenimore Cooper, mark both a key transitional literary generation and yet one all too easily passed over in its own imaginative right.
This collection of fifteen specially commissioned essays seeks to establish new bearings, a revision of one of the key political and literary eras in American culture. Not only are Franklin and Cooper themselves carefully re-evaluated in the making of America's new literary republic, but figures like Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Philip Frencau, William Cullen Bryant, the other Alexander Hamilton, and the playwrights Royall Tyler and William Dunlop. Other essays take a more inclusive perspective, whether American epistolary fiction, a first generation of American women-authored fiction, the public discourse of The Federalist Papers, the rise of the American periodical, or the founding African-American generation of Phillis Wheatley. What unites all the essays is the common assumption that the making of America was as much a matter of creating its national literature; as the making of American literature was a matter of shaping a national identity.