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The presidency of Donald J. Trump, has had a considerable impacts on American politics and society. One of these was his altering of the comedic mood in America, taking comedy away from many of its traditions. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, as comedians on the liberal side of politics turned their efforts to ridiculing Trump’s buffoonish persona, while on the conservative side, a Trump-supportive group of comedians mocked those very comedians who opposed Trump. Trump himself emerged as a comedian, performing his dark, caustic, comical routines with consummate skill at his rallies. If comedy is a pulse for a country, then it is legitimate to ask if that pulse still beating, even after Trump lost reelection in 2020. This book will address this question, examining how Trump’s presidency interrupted the historical flow of American comedic traditions, and how it spread a dark mood throughout American society.
Volume Editors: , , and
This groundbreaking collection of essays tells the surprising story of how the American Western has shaped world literature, fueling provocative novels and reflections about national identity, settler colonialism, and violence. Containing nineteen chapters spanning Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand, as well as a guiding, critical introduction, this book opens an exciting new chapter in the study of popular culture, literature, and globalization. Through this international lens, the literary Western casts off the categories of juvenilia and formula to come into focus as a vital and creative statement about identity, power, and history.

Contributors are: Zbigniew Białas, Manuela Borzone, Flavia Brizio-Skov, Alex Calder, Neil Campbell, Christopher Conway, Samir Dayal, Joel Deshaye, Johannes Fehrle, MaryEllen Higgins, Emily Hind, Shelly Jarenski, Rachel Leket-Mor, Warren Motte, Andrew Nette, Marek Paryż, David Rio, Steffen Wöll, and Sergei Zhuk
Up in Arms provides an illustrative and timely window onto the ways in which guns shape people’s lives and social relations in Texas. With a long history of myth, lore, and imaginaries attached to gun carrying, the Lone Star State exemplifies how various groups of people at different historical moments make sense of gun culture in light of legislation, political agendas, and community building. Beyond gun rights, restrictions, or the actual functions of firearms, the book demonstrates how the gun question itself becomes loaded with symbolic firepower, making or breaking assumptions about identities, behavior, and belief systems.

Contributors include: Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, Pekka M. Kolehmainen, Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, Lotta Kähkönen, Mila Seppälä, and Juha A. Vuori.
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.
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.
Negotiating Multi-Ethnic Identities on the Contemporary North American Stage
This book, the first cross-cultural study of post-1970s anglophone Canadian and American multi-ethnic drama, invites assessment of the thematic and aesthetic contributions of this theater in today’s globalized culture. A growing number of playwrights of African, South and East Asian, and First Nations heritage have engaged with manifold socio-political and aesthetic issues in experimental works combining formal features of more classical European dramatic traditions with such elements of ethnic culture as ancestral music and dance, to interrogate the very concepts of theatricality and canonicity. Their “mouths on fire” (August Wilson), these playwrights contest stereotyped notions of authenticity. In¬spired by songs of anger, passion, experience, survival, and regeneration, the plays analyzed bespeak a burning desire to break the silence, to heal and empower. Foregrounding questions of hybridity, diaspora, cultural memory, and nation, this comparative study includes discussion of some twenty-five case studies of plays by such authors as M.J. Kang, August Wilson, Suzan–Lori Parks, Djanet Sears, Chay Yew, Padma Viswanathan, Rana Bose, Diane Glancy, and Drew Hayden Taylor. Through its cross-cultural and cross-national prism, “Mouths on Fire with Songs” shows that multi-ethnic drama is one of the most diverse and dynamic sites of cultural production in North America today.
Deviance and Generational Identities in American Post-War Cult Fiction
Author:
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:
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.
Images of Eastern European Jewish Migration to America in Contemporary American Children’s Literature
Author:
How is the life-altering event of migration narrated for children, especially if it was caused by Anti-Semitism and poverty? What of the country of origin is remembered and what is forgotten, and what of the target country when the migration is imagined there a century later? Looking Forward, Looking Back examines today’s representation of Jewish mass migration from Eastern Europe to America around the turn of the last century. It explores the collective story that emerges when American authors look back at this exodus from an Eastern European home to a new one to be established in America. Focusing on children’s literature, it investigates a wide range of texts including young adult literature as well as picture books and hence sheds light on the dynamics of the verbal and the visual in generating images of the self and other, the familiar and the strange.
This book is of interest to scholars in the field of imagology, children’s literature, cultural studies, American studies, Slavic studies, and Jewish studies.
A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing
Volume Editor:
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.