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Jessica Lawson

Gravity’s Rainbow is an exercise in interpretive paranoia. The characters develop strategies to decipher the coded worlds they navigate in the novel, presenting the reader with different methods of textual engagement with which to discover the meanings of the novel. These different approaches to interpretation cross-pollinate intellectual inquiry with modes of physical, even erotic, engagement. Putting these textual strategies in conversation with Barthes’s The Pleasure of the Text, I argue that Gravity’s Rainbow aligns literary intercourse with sexual intercourse, making writing and reading inherently sexual practices. This essay examines the link between sex and text, in which erotics work through and around inscription, language, and sign. From Pirate’s masturbatory decoding to Slothrop’s curious map, sexuality is inextricably linked to the making of meaning. A series of counter-examples provide alternative models for intimacies that elide code (Roger and Jessica) or break the rules of Wittgenstein’s language games (the Casino Herman Goering), while continuing to complicate the relationship between the physical interiorities and protrusions of the human body and their fluid relationship with the interiorities and penetrations of literary objects. Moving from the precedents of sexual reading set early in the novel, I trace different and particularized approaches to the erotic, from Pointsman’s pedophilia to Slothrop’s toilet fantasies, which are complemented by equally specific practices of writing and interpretation. Finally, with this vocabulary of sexual and textual methodologies at hand, I consider the interpenetrative possibilities for a reader’s engagement with Gravity’s Rainbow: how we get inside it, how it gets inside us, and who exactly comes out on top.

James Fenimore Cooper

New Historical and Literary Contexts


Edited by W.M. Verhoeven

Most of the essays in James Fenimore Cooper: New Historical and Literary Contexts are either directly or indirectly informed by the need to confront Cooper's tales with the indeterminate historical context from which they arose. Others start from the premise that our understanding of Cooper's work can benefit significantly from displacing it from its traditional position in American literary history and by repositioning it in a new literary context. What unites all the essays is a commitment to read Cooper's works as culturally-encoded documents that both reflect and give us access to the complex, equivocal mind that created them. This is not to say that the essays share a common critical or methodological approach; indeed, they were commissioned and selected with the specific intention of applying contending approaches in contemporary literary discourse to the canonical Cooper. While the array of critical approaches represented in the book is by no means exhaustive, interpretive strategies vary from textual, formalistic New Critical readings to old historical, contextual readings, and from new historical, revisionist readings to deconstructive readings. Through their critical diversity these essays will cast a new light on Cooper's work in relation to its historical context, and on the relevance of Cooper's work to both nineteenth-century and modern literary, historical, and ideological debates.


Edited by Eric J. Sterling

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the third volume in the Dialogue series, covers six major and controversial topics dealing with Miller’s classic play. The topics include feminism and the role of women in the drama, the American Dream, business and capitalism, the significance of technology, the legacy that Willy leaves to Biff, and Miller’s use of symbolism. The authors of the essays include prominent Arthur Miller scholars such as Terry Otten and the late Steven Centola as well as young, emerging scholars. Some of the essays, particularly the ones written by the emerging scholars, tend to employ literary theory while the ones by the established scholars tend to illustrate the strengths of traditional criticism by interpreting the text closely. It is fascinating to see how scholars at different stages of their academic careers approach a given topic from distinct perspectives and sometimes diverse methodologies. The essays offer insightful and provocative readings of Death of a Salesman in a collection that will prove quite useful to scholars and students of Miller’s most famous play.


Jade Alexander

, as an academic discipline is advancing methodologically and conceptually, there are limitations to the current body of work. In order to develop our understanding of individuals’ lived experiences of celebrity and fandom there has been a call to expand the discipline towards studies that focus on the

Musico-Poetics in Perspective

Calvin S. Brown in Memoriam


Edited by Jean-Louis Cupers and Ulrich Weisstein

The volume is dedicated to the memory of the late Calvin S. Brown of the University of Georgia, author of the first systematically conceived survey - Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts (1948) - of the branch of interart studies now generally known as Melopoetics. Part One consists of six original contributions by experts from Austria, Belgium, France, and the United States. Authored by a novelist and a composer/scholar, respectively, the first two essays - Jean Libis's “Inspiration musicale et composition littéraire: Réflexions sur un roman schubertien” and David M. Hertz's “The Composer's Musico-Literary Experience: Reflections on Song Writing” - focus, not surprisingly, on the creative process. The third piece - Francis' Claudon's review of the pertinent research done between 1970 and 1990 - complements the honoree's analogous report on the preceding decades, reprinted in the present volume, whereas the fourth - Jean-Louis Cupers' “Métaphores de l'écho et de l'ombre: Regards sur l'évolution des études musico-littéraires” - surveys the plethora of metaphorical applications, in music and literature, of two significant natural phenomena, the one acoustic and the other optical. Linked to each other, the two remaining papers - Ulrich Weisstein's ”The Miracle of Interconnectedness: Calvin S. Brown, a Critical Biography” and Walter Bernhart's “A Profile in Retrospect: Calvin S. Brown as a Musico-Literary Scholar” - offer critical accounts of the honoree's theoretical and methodological stance as viewed, in the first case, from a biographical angle and, in the second, in the light of subsequent scholarly practice.
Part Two bundles eleven of Professor Brown's previously uncollected articles, covering a period of nearly half a century of significant scholarly activity in the field. The selection demonstrates Brown's poignant interest in transpositions d'art exemplifying the “musicalization” of literature in the formal and structural, rather than thematic, domain as culminating in his trenchant critique of “music in poetry” as understood, somewhat naïvely, by Mallarmé and his critics, and, to a slightly lesser extent, by his translation of Josef Weinhebers' variations on Friedrich Hölderlin's ode “An die Parzen”. Just as Professor Brown's successive anatomies of melopoetic theory and practice illustrate his steadily growing sophistication and the maturing of his mind, so his Bloomington lecture “The Writing and Reading of Language and Music: Thoughts on Some Parallels Between two Artistic Media” reflects his unique ability to assemble, and organize, vast materials and comprehensive data in such a way as to reveal the underlying pattern.

Maroons in Guyane

Getting the Numbers Right

Richard Price


This note presents new demographic data on the number and location of “Suriname Maroons” in Guyane (French Guiana), as well as elsewhere in the world. After brief discussion of the methodological challenges of estimating the size of “ethnic” populations in a country whose census prohibits such counts, it shows that about 38 percent of Maroons now live in Guyane and that they form one-third of the total population. It ends by suggesting some implications of this demographic explosion.

Editor-in-Chief Damian Alan Pargas

Prize Announcement The Journal of Global Slavery announces an annual prize of € 500 for excellence and originality in a major work on any theme related to global slavery. More details .

The Journal of Global Slavery (JGS) aims to advance and promote a greater understanding of slavery and post-slavery from comparative, transregional, and/or global perspectives, as well as methodological and theoretical aspects of its study. It especially underscores the global and globalizing nature of slavery in world history.

As a practice in which human beings were held captive for an indefinite period of time, coerced into extremely dependent and exploitative power relationships, denied rights (including potentially rights over their labor, lives, and bodies), could be bought and sold, were vulnerable to forced relocation by various means, and forced to labor against their will, slavery in one form or another has existed in innumerable societies throughout history. JGS fosters a global view of slavery by integrating the latest scholarship from around the world and providing an interdisciplinary platform for scholars working on slavery in regions as diverse as ancient Rome, Pre-Colombian Mexico, Han dynasty China, the Ottoman Empire, the antebellum United States, and twenty-first-century Mali.

The journal also promotes a view of slavery as a globalizing force in the development of world civilizations. Global history focuses heavily upon the global movement of people, goods, and ideas, with a particular emphasis on processes of integration and divergence in the human experience. Slavery straddles all of these focal points, as it connected and integrated various societies through economic and power-based relationships, and simultaneously divided societies by class, race, ethnicity, and cultural group.

JGS is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles based on original research, book reviews, short notes and communications, and special issues. It especially invites articles that situate studies of slavery (whether historical or modern-day forms) in explicitly comparative, transregional, and/or global contexts. Themes may include (but are not limited to):
• the different and changing social, cultural, and legal meanings of slavery across time and space;
• the roles that slavery has played in the development of intersecting and interdependent relationships between societies throughout world history;
• comparative practices of enslavement (through warfare, indebtedness, trade, etc.);
• human trafficking and forced migration;
• transregional dialogues and the movement of ideas and practices of slavery and anti-slavery across space;
• slave cultures and cultural transfer;
• political, economic, and ideological causes and effects of slavery;
• religion and slavery;
• resistance;
• abolition, emancipation, and manumission practices from global or comparative perspectives;
• the psychological effects, memories, legacies, and representations of slave practices.

Online submission: Articles for publication in the Journal of Global Slavery can be submitted online through Editorial Manager, please click here.

Need support prior to submitting your manuscript? Make the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript easier with Brill's suite of author services, an online platform that connects academics seeking support for their work with specialized experts who can help.


Edited by Jesús Benito and Ana María Manzanas

This volume stems from the idea that the notion of borders and borderlines as clear-cut frontiers separating not only political and geographical areas, but also cultural, linguistic and semiotic spaces, does not fully address the complexity of contemporary cultural encounters. Centering on a whole range of literary works from the United States and the Caribbean, the contributors suggest and discuss different theoretical and methodological grounds to address the literary production taking place across the lines in North American and Caribbean culture. The volume represents a pioneering attempt at proposing the concept of the border as a useful paradigm not only for the study of Chicano literature but also for the other American literatures. The works presented in the volume illustrate various aspects and manifestations of the textual border(lands), and explore the double-voiced discourse of border texts by writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Rudolfo Anaya, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Helena Viramontes, Paule Marshall and Monica Sone, among others. This book is of interest for scholars and researchers in the field of comparative American studies and ethnic studies.

Emily L. Taylor

first two chapters outline her methodology, drawing heavily on Western feminist and theological sources to establish how these women writers are reimagining motherhood. Using the placental metaphor to make the case for a different model of literary influence that complicates a center-periphery colonial

Alejandra Bronfman

familiar material. As might be expected with such delicate subject matter, however, there are tough methodological questions that remain unresolved. The Wars of Independence and subsequent U.S. occupation in Cuba marked a moment of renewal for Mazorra, founded in the mid-nineteenth century and widely