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In: Morality, Identity and Narrative in the Fiction of Richard Ford
History, Societies, Environments and Cultures
A peer-reviewed series of “state-of-the-field” handbooks to provide up-to-date surveys of themes, places, persons, movements, events, and more in the history of the Americas from the earliest times to the present and of the societal, environmental, and cultural forces that shaped them. Written by teams of foremost specialists in their respective fields, these companions aim to offer new approaches to area studies and to open up critical questions to discussion, but also to provide full and balanced accounts and syntheses of debate and the state of scholarship in the field. Each volume is constructed in a similar manner: a small number of introductory chapters to present the current narratives and update recent historiography followed by a larger number of thematic chapters.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Assistant Editor Debbie de Wit.

Brill is pleased to present this Study Edition of the Hebräisches und Aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament in two handy volumes. It has proven to be a valuable resource for scholars and students. In this Study Edition the complete vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible, including those parts of books which are written in Aramaic, is available. The dictionary combines scholarly thoroughness with easy accessibility, and so meets the needs of a wide range of users. The enormous advances that have taken place in the field of Semitic linguistics since the days of the older dictionaries of Classical Hebrew are well documented and assessed, as well as the often detailed discussions in modern Bible commentaries of words where the meaning is particularly difficult. But the alphabetical ordering of entries rather than the traditional arrangement of words according to their roots is particularly helpful to the new student, and also saves the advanced user much time.
This Study Edition is an unabridged version of the five volume edition of the Hebräisches und Aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament.
Editor: Kheven LaGrone
Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Color Purple is a tale of personal empowerment which opens with a protagonist Celie who is at the bottom of America's social caste. A poor, black, ugly and uneducated female in the America's Jim Crow South in the first half of the 20th century, she is the victim of constant rape, violence and misogynistic verbal abuse. Celie cannot conceive of an escape from her present condition, and so she learns to be passive and unemotional. But The Color Purple eventually demonstrates how Celie learns to fight back and how she discovers her true sexuality and her unique voice. By the end of the novel, Celie is an empowered, financially-independent entrepreneur/landowner, one who speaks her mind and realizes the desirability of black femaleness while creating a safe space for herself and those she loves. Through a journey of literary criticism, Dialogue: Alice Walker's The Color Purple follows Celie's transformation from victim to hero. Each scholarly essay becomes a step of the journey that paves the way for the development of self and sexual awareness, the beginnings of religious transformation and the creation of nurturing places like home and community.

Antoni Kapcia (ed.), Rethinking Past and Present in Cuba: Essays in Memory of Alistair Hennessy . London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 2018. xv + 210 pp. (Paper US $ 30.00) Alistair Hennessy died in 2013, having brought a breadth of scholarship to the study of Cuba that continues to be

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids
Editors-in-Chief: Alexandra Chang and Alice Ming Wai Jim
Call for Papers
Special Issue on “Transpacific Minor Visions in Japanese Diasporic Art”

Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas is a peer-reviewed journal that features multidisciplinary scholarship on intersections between visual culture studies and the study of Asian diasporas across the Americas. Perspectives on and from North, Central and South America, as well as the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean are presented to encourage the hemispheric transnational study of multiple Americas with diverse indigenous and diasporic populations. The broad conceptualization of the Americas as a complex system of continual movement, migratory flows and cultural exchange, and Asian diaspora as an analytical tool, enables the critical examination of the historically under-represented intersections between and within, Asian Canadian Studies, Asian American Studies, Asian Latin American Studies, Asian Caribbean Studies, and Pacific Island Studies. The journal explores visual culture in all its multifaceted forms, including, but not limited to, visual arts, craft, cinema, film, performing arts, public art, architecture, design, fashion, media, sound, food, networked practices, and popular culture. It recognizes the ways in which diverse systems of visualities, inclusive of sensorial, embodied experience, have shaped and embedded meanings within culturally specific, socio-political and ideological contexts.

Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas is dedicated to the critical examination of visual cultural production by and about Asian diasporic communities in the Americas and largely conceived within a globally connected framework. The journal provides an intellectual forum for researchers and educators to showcase, engage and be in dialogue with this growing multidisciplinary area of investigation within the humanities and is published twice annually with one double issue. Along with academic articles, each issue features reviews of a wide range of visual cultural production, including books, films, and exhibitions, as well as full colour artist pages. The journal welcomes transnational and transhistorical as well as site-based scholarly critique and investigation on visual cultures that engage with historical, material, cultural and political contextualizations within current discussions on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, dis/ability and class as well as aesthetics, ethics, epistemologies, and technologies of visuality. Transcultural areas of investigation in the humanities, including Asian-Indigenous collaborations, historical formulations of Afro-Asian connections, and studies on transnational subjects of mixed-race heritage, are welcome. In this way, the journal recognizes the critical project of challenging not only the assumed pan-ethnicity of cultural groupings but also the varying degrees of racialized experiences that have been freighted by cultural stereotypes or based on regional identifications, geographical proximity and fixed temporalities.

The editors invite manuscript submissions in the form of articles (approximately 5,000-6,000 words), reviews (800-1,000 words) as well as proposed artist pages (up to 6 pages), which enrich, advance and expand the study of visual cultures in diverse Asian diasporic communities across the Americas, conceived of in the broadest way.

Online submission: Articles for publication in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 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.

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In Against the Day, The Russian balloonists under Captain Igor Padzhitnoff fly in a skyship called BOL’SHAIA IGRA, or “The Great Game.” This is a direct reference to Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim (1901). Kipling sets his story in India in what was for him the present, hence the time period coincides with that of Against the Day, which overtly spans from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to just after the First World War, round about 1922. Kipling’s young protagonist is torn between two tendencies in his identity: he is a Sahib, and as such gets involved in “The Great Game”, but having been brought up in India, his spiritual side is attracted to a Tibetan lama, and he becomes his follower. Pynchon’s narrator refers explicitly to espionage as “styled by Mr. Kipling, in a simpler day, ‘The Great Game.’” It is as if the narrator is speaking from the days of the Cold War (the concept of the Great Game having been taken originally by the Russians from chess), or later, for example, the beginning of the twenty-first century, and looking back to the beginning of the twentieth century, and seeing it as “simpler” then. Against the Day, therefore, contains, amongst its myriad subjects and styles, a postmodern reworking of the spy-adventure story with specific reference to Kipling. While investigating this possibility, I have come across many parallels between the two novels: (conflicting) quest stories involving the material and the spiritual; their “plotlessness,” where unity is provided through images and symbols; similarities between Kim and Kit; parallels between Kim and some of the other spies in Against the Day; the treatment of light; and the foretelling of the future, with the war looming ahead as a sort of apocalypse. Kim is the least pessimistic of Kipling’s works, but of the two moral precepts underlying the novel, one is negative but unavoidable: a recognition of man’s mortal insufficiency. Pynchon’s postmodernism eschews any moralizing, but the threat of death is ever-present in all his works. Furthermore, his rejection of any monolithic vision is not dissimilar to Kipling’s other moral precept in Kim: the appeal for ecumenical understanding.

In: Against the Grain

This essay tries to capture and explain the complex relationship of underworld forces (both human and supernatural) represented in Against the Day with the Croatian struggle for freedom in the context of Pynchon’s novel, drawing on a historical and mythological framework. It addresses this question: how do underground forces that are present in all of Pynchon’s novels function in this particular context of narration, and how do they support a mythological structure tied to the stereotypical beliefs that justify violence and unceasing struggles? The analysis includes the investigation of Pynchon’s narrative framework that mostly hinges on mythology and Western thought about more remote Eastern places, tolerating elisions and imposed disfigurations, yet with a dose of criticism. Yet both the structure and his arguments are more convincing because he interjects the re-writing of ideological views and the demeaning stereotypes about the Balkans, as well as stressing Western, external domination and control, while trying to illustrate the Easterners’ perception of imperialist powers and their notion of self-determination.

In: Against the Grain

This essay looks at the theme of the Fourth Dimension in Against the Day. Speculations about the existence of a Fourth Dimension proliferated in the period during which the novel is set, and a four-dimensional space-time continuum became part of the way mainstream science saw the world with the advent of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in the early years of the twentieth century. This essay looks at texts from this period by H. G. Wells, Israel Zangwill, Charles Howard Hinton, P. D. Ouspensky, Henri Bergson, and Herman Minkowski, as a way of approaching Pynchon’s treatment of the Fourth Dimension.

Hinton proposed the existence of a Fourth Dimension of space; Wells, in The Time Machine, called time the Fourth Dimension. The essay argues that these two versions of the Fourth Dimension are equivalent in many ways, including the types of narrative they enable, which tend to be variations on the ancient tale of the journey to the land of the dead. Relativistic space-time, on the other hand, is something quite different, as it denies the possibility of perceiving all of time as a static whole, which is implicit in earlier accounts of the Fourth Dimension.

This essay argues that Pynchon explores the narrative possibilities presented by both the pre-relativistic Fourth Dimension and relativistic space-time in Against the Day, and that by doing so he situates historically the different models of time which he has explored in his earlier writing.

In: Against the Grain

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.

In: Against the Grain