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Heather McAlpine

In this book, Heather McAlpine argues that emblematic strategies play a more central role in Pre-Raphaelite poetics than has been acknowledged, and that reading Pre-Raphaelite works with an awareness of these strategies permits a new understanding of the movement’s engagements with ontology, religion, representation, and politics. The emblem is a discursive practice that promises to stabilize language in the face of doubt, making it especially interesting as a site of conflicting responses to Victorian crises of representation. Through analyses of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.C. Swinburne, and William Morris, Emblematic Strategies examines the Pre-Raphaelite movement’s common goal of conveying “truth” while highlighting differences in its adherents’ approaches to that task.

The Transformations of Tragedy

Christian Influences from Early Modern to Modern

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Edited by Fionnuala O’Neill Tonning, Erik Tonning and Jolyon Mitchell

The Transformations of Tragedy: Christian Influences from Early Modern to Modern explores the influence of Christian theology and culture upon the development of post-classical Western tragedy. The volume is divided into three parts: early modern, modern, and contemporary. This series of essays by established and emergent scholars offers a sustained study of Christianity’s creative influence upon experimental forms of Western tragic drama.
Both early modern and modern tragedy emerged within periods of remarkable upheaval in Church history, yet Christianity’s diverse influence upon tragedy has too often been either ignored or denounced by major tragic theorists. This book contends instead that the history of tragedy cannot be sufficiently theorised without fully registering the impact of Christianity in transition towards modernity.

Conrad’s Drama

Contemporary Reviews and Observations

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Edited by John G. Peters

Conrad’s Drama: Contemporary Reviews and Observations collects both book reviews and performance reviews of Conrad’s three plays: The Secret Agent, One Day More, and Laughing Anne. These reviews and observations show how Conrad’s plays were received by his contemporaries. More than this, however, Conrad’s Drama reveals the larger conversations surrounding his plays: the state of British drama in the early 20th century, the role the drama critic has in a play’s reception, and the difficulty most fiction writers experience in trying to write for the stage. No other reference work exists for those studying Conrad’s plays, and this volume should prove to be an indispensable reference work for those working on this topic.

Meaningful Absence Across Arts and Media

The Significance of Missing Signifiers

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Edited by Werner Wolf, Nassim Balestrini and Walter Bernhart

This volume focusses on a rarely discussed method of meaning production, namely via the absence, rather than presence, of signifiers. It does so from an interdisciplinary, transmedial perspective, which covers systematic, media-comparative and historical aspects, and reveals various forms and functions of missing signifiers across arts and media. The meaningful silences, blanks, lacunae, pauses, etc., treated by the ten contributors are taken from language and literature, film, comics, opera and instrumental music, architecture, and the visual arts. Contributors are: Nassim Balestrini, Walter Bernhart, Olga Fischer, Saskia Jaszoltowski, Henry Keazor, Peter Revers, Klaus Rieser, Daniel Stein, Anselm Wagner, Werner Wolf

Postcolonial Past & Present

Negotiating Literary and Cultural Geographies

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Edited by Anne Collett and Leigh Dale

In Postcolonial Past & Present twelve outstanding scholars of literature, history and visual arts look to those spaces Epeli Hau’ofa has insisted are full not empty, asking what it might mean to Indigenise culture. A new cultural politics demands new forms of making and interpretation that rethink and reroute existing cultural categories and geographies. These ‘makers’ include Mukunda Das, Janet Frame, Xavier Herbert, Tomson Highway, Claude McKay, Marie Munkara, Elsje van Keppel, Albert Wendt, Jane Whiteley and Alexis Wright. Case studies from Canada to the Caribbean, India to the Pacific, and Africa, analyse the productive ways that artists and intellectuals have made sense of turbulent local and global forces.

Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, Debnarayan Bandyopadhyay, Anne Brewster, Diana Brydon, Meeta Chatterjee—Padmanabhan, Anne Collett, Dorothy Jones, Kay Lawrence, Russell McDougall, Tekura Moeka’a, Tony Simões da Silva, Teresia Teaiwa, Albert Wendt, Lydia Wevers, Diana Wood Conroy

John Banks’s Female Tragic Heroes

Reimagining Tudor Queens in Restoration She-Tragedy

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Paula de Pando

In John Banks’s Female Tragic Heroes, Paula de Pando offers the first monograph on Restoration playwright John Banks. De Pando analyses Banks’s civic model of she-tragedy in terms of its successful adaptation of early modern literary traditions and its engagement with contemporary political and cultural debates. Using Tudor queens as tragic heroes and specifically addressing female audiences, patrons and critics, Banks made women rather than men the subject of tragedy, revolutionising drama and influencing depictions of gender, politics, and history in the long eighteenth century.

Emblems in Scotland

Motifs and Meanings

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Michael Bath

Emblems in the visual arts use motifs which have meanings, and in Emblems in Scotland Michael Bath, leading authority on Renaissance emblem books, shows how such symbolic motifs address major historical issues of Anglo-Scottish relations, the Reformation of the Church and the Union of the Crowns. Emblems are enigmas, and successive chapters ask for instance: Why does a late-medieval rood-screen show a jester at the Crucifixion? Why did Elizabeth I send Mary Queen of Scots tapestries showing the power of women to build a feminist City of God? Why did a presbyterian minister of Stirling decorate his manse with hieroglyphics? And why in the twentieth-century did Ian Hamilton Finlay publish a collection of Heroic Emblems?

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Edited by Elisa A. Foster, Julia Perratore and Steven Rozenski

Devotional Interaction in Medieval England and its Afterlives examines the interaction between medieval English worshippers and the material objects of their devotion. The volume also addresses the afterlives of objects and buildings in their temporal journeys from the Middle Ages to the present day. Written by the participants of a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded seminar held in York, U.K., in 2014, the chapters incorporate site-specific research with the insights of scholars of visual art, literature, music, liturgy, ritual, and church history. Interdisciplinarity is a central feature of this volume, which celebrates interactivity as a working method between its authors as much as a subject of inquiry.
Contributors are Lisa Colton, Elizabeth Dachowski, Angie Estes, Gregory Erickson, Jennifer M. Feltman, Elisa A. Foster
Laura D. Gelfand, Louise Hampson, Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger, Kathleen E. Kennedy, Heather S. Mitchell-Buck, Julia Perratore, Steven Rozenski, Carolyn Twomey, and Laura J. Whatley.

Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex

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Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.