Book Announcement: Laurence Lux-Sterritt, English Benedictine Nuns in Exile in the Seventeenth Century

Laurence Lux-Sterritt, English Benedictine Nuns in Exile in the Seventeenth Century: Living Spirituality 

Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5261-1005-3

Details: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526110053/

This study of English Benedictine nuns is based upon a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes. It highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences, illustrating the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. It shows how Benedictine convents were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home, but also proposes a different approach to the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.​

Book Announcement: Silke Stroh, Gaelic Scotland in the Colonial Imagination

Silke Stroh, Gaelic Scotland in the Colonial Imagination: Anglophone Writing from 1600 to 1900

Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2017

331 pages

Paperback: regular price $39.95; current discount price: $30 (to obtain the discount, order directly from the publisher at www.nupress.northwestern.edu and cite the discount code NU2016); ISBN 978-0-8101-3405-8

Hardback: $99.95, ISBN 978-0-8101-3403-4
E-book: $39.95, ISBN 978-0-8101-3404-1

Can Scotland be considered an English colony? Is its experience and literature comparable to that of overseas postcolonial countries? Or are such comparisons no more than patriotic victimology to mask Scottish complicity in the British Empire and justify nationalism? These questions have been heatedly debated in recent years, especially in the run-up to the 2014 referendum on independence, and remain topical amid continuing campaigns for more autonomy and calls for a post-Brexit “indyref2.”  However, postcolonialism cannot be reduced to politics: cultural concerns are equally important. Focusing on the first centuries of the British Unions, Gaelic Scotland in the Colonial Imagination also offers a general introduction to the emerging field of postcolonial Scottish studies, assessing both its potential and limitations in order to promote further interdisciplinary dialogue. Accessible to readers from various backgrounds, the book combines overviews of theoretical, social, and cultural contexts with detailed case studies of literary and nonliterary texts. The main focus is on internal divisions between the anglophone Lowlands and traditionally Gaelic Highlands. Central to the ‘internal colonialism’ debate, these divisions also play a crucial role in Scottish–English relations. This study shows how the image of Scotland’s Gaelic margins changed under the influence of two simultaneous developments: the emergence of the modern nation state and the rise of overseas colonialism. Both sparked intense debates over ethnic hierarchies, progress and development, cultural intermixture, exploitation and resistance. Examples are drawn from novels, travel writing, poetry, political and administrative documents, writings by missionaries and educators, historiography, journalism, and anthropology. Continue reading “Book Announcement: Silke Stroh, Gaelic Scotland in the Colonial Imagination”

Book Announcement: Television and Serial Adaptation

Shannon Wells-Lassagne, Television and Serial Adaptation

Routledge, 2017

220 pages, 28 B/W illustrations

As American television continues to garner considerable esteem, rivalling the seventh art in its “cinematic” aesthetics and the complexity of its narratives, one aspect of its development has been relatively unexamined. While film has long acknowledged its tendency to adapt, an ability that contributed to its status as narrative art (capable of translating canonical texts onto the screen), television adaptations have seemingly been relegated to the miniseries or classic serial. From remakes and reboots to transmedia storytelling, loose adaptations or adaptations which last but a single episode, the recycling of pre-existing narrative is a practice that is just as common in television as in film, and this text seeks to rectify that oversight, examining series from “M*A*S*H” to “Game of Thrones”, “Pride and Prejudice to Castle”.

See https://www.routledge.com/Television-and-Serial-Adaptation/Wells-Lassagne/p/book/9781138696358 where about 20 pages of the book can be read.

Book Announcement: Dimensions of Madeleine L’Engle

Suzanne Bray (ed.), Dimensions of Madeleine L’Engle : New Critical Approaches

McFarland, Jefferson NC, 2017

Table of contents

Introduction
Suzanne Bray –  New Directions in L’Engle Studies ?
Anne-Frédérique Mochel-Caballero – A Scientific Girl and Intuitive Boys : The Unconventional Protagonists of A Wrinkle in Time
 Chantel Lavoie – Thinking, Doing, and Delaying Insemination in Madeleine L’Engle’s Many Waters
Carole Franko –  Narration of the Poet as a Young Woman: Intertextuality, Genre, and World-Building in L’Engle’s Austin Family Novels
Sophie Dillinger – What Madeleine Inherited from her “Grandfather George”: The Influence of George MacDonald on Madeleine L’Engle in her Children’s Fantasy Books
Gregory G. Pepetone – Madeleine L’Engle: An Anti-Romantic Romantic?
Naomi Wood – Discarded Image and Expanding Universe: The (Meta)physics of C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle
Gérald Préher – A Problematic Sense of Place: Madeleine L’Engle’s “White in the Moon the Long Road Lies”
Emily Zimbrick-Rogers – Of God and Women: The Evolution of Theology in L’Engle’s Biblical Reimaginings
Suzanne Bray – “And what should I do in Illyria?”: Discovering the American South and its Gods in Madeleine L’Engle’s The Other Side of the Sun
Bibliography
Contributors’ biographies

Book Announcement: Heritage and Ruptures in Indian Literature, Culture and Cinema

Cornelius Crowley, Geetha Ganapathy-Doré and Michel Naumann (eds.), Heritage and Ruptures in Indian Literature, Culture and Cinema

Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017

This book investigates the millennial history of the Indian subcontinent. Through the various methods adopted, the objects and moments examined, it questions various linguistic, literary and artistic appropriations of the past, to address the conflicting comprehensions of the present and also the figuring/imagining of a possible future. 

The volume engages with this general cultural condition, in relation both to the subcontinent’s current “synchronic” reality and to certain aspects of the culture’s underlying diachronic determinations. It also reveals how the multiple heritages are negotiated through the subcontinent’s long-term sedimentational history. It scrutinizes both conservative interpretations of heritage and a possibly incremental enrichment, and the additional possibility of a mode of appropriation open to a dialectic of creative destruction, in which the patrimonial imperative is challenged, leaving room for processes of renewal and rejuvenation.

The collection is organized around four major topics: Orientalism, addressed by way of the Tamil Epic Manimekalai, through the evocation of the Hastings Circle and views on a possible Hindu-Muslim unity sketched out by Sayyid Ahmed Khan; modernism in Indian and Burmese texts written in English; pictorial art, through a consideration of the work of some modern and contemporary Indian artists and British Asian and Indian film directors; and, finally, the current state of a body of critical thinking on gender. Continue reading “Book Announcement: Heritage and Ruptures in Indian Literature, Culture and Cinema”

Book Announcement – Marina Cano, Jane Austen and Performance

 

Marina Cano, Jane Austen and Performance

Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

eBook ISBN 978-3-319-43988-4
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-43988-4
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-43987-7

This is the first exploration of the performative and theatrical force of Austen’s work and its afterlife, from the nineteenth century to the present. It unearths new and little-known Austen materials: from suffragette novels and pageants to school and amateur theatricals, passing through mid-twentieth-century representations in Scotland and America. The book concludes with an examination of Austen fandom based on an online survey conducted by the author, which elicited over 300 responses from fans across the globe. Through the lens of performative theory, this volume explores how Austen, her work and its afterlives, have aided the formation of collective and personal identity; how they have helped bring people together across the generations; and how they have had key psychological, pedagogical and therapeutic functions for an ever growing audience. Ultimately, this book explains why Austen remains the most beloved author in English Literature.

CONTENTS

1 Introduction
2 Jane Austen and Suffrage
3 Jane Austen and the Theatre of War
4 Early Re-Enactments
5 Reinscribing Emma
6 Jane Austen Abroad
7 Women’s Rewritings
8 Jane and Fans
9 Epilogue
Appendix: Jane Austen on the Scottish Stage, 1940–1960

Details: http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319439877

Book Announcement – Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play

Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play

Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017

eBook ISBN 978-1-349-94963-2
Hardcover ISBN 978-1-349-94963-2

This book discusses Irish Passion plays (plays that rewrite or parody the story of the Passion of Christ) in modern Irish drama from the Irish Literary Revival to the present day. It offers innovative readings of such canonical plays as J. M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, W. B. Yeats’s Calvary, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer and Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, as well as of less well-known plays by Padraic Pearse, Lady Gregory, G. B. Shaw, Seán O’Casey, Denis Johnston, Samuel Beckett and David Lloyd. Challenging revisionist readings of the rhetoric of “blood sacrifice” and martyrdom in the Irish Republican tradition, it argues that the Passion play is a powerful political genre which centres on the staged death of the—usually male—protagonist, and makes visible the normally invisible violence perpetrated both by colonial power and by the postcolonial state in the name of modernity. Continue reading “Book Announcement – Alexandra Poulain, Irish Drama, Modernity and the Passion Play”

Book Announcement – Annie Ramel, The Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy

Annie Ramel, The Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy

Amsterdam: Brill Rodopi, June 2015

ISBN13: 9789004293403
E-ISBN: 9789004296626 (e-book)         

The “madder stain” imprinted on Tess d’Urberville’s arm is part of a motif which runs through Hardy’s fiction. Similar to Barthes’s punctum shooting out of the studium, the stain is a place where the Real erupts, a blind spot that eludes interpretation. In the diegesis of the tragic novels, it is a surplus object whose intrusion disrupts reality and spells disaster. This book attempts to approach that unknowable kernel of jouissance by using Lacan’s concepts of object-gaze and object-voice—sometimes revisited by Žižek.

The stain has a vocal quality: it is silence audible. In a world where sound cannot reverberate for lack of a structural void, voice is by necessity muted, stuck in the throat. Hence the peculiar quality of Tess’s voice, a silent feminine cry that has retained something of the lost vocal object. The sound of silence is what Hardy’s poetic prose allows us to hear.

Book Announcement – Sandrine Sorlin, Language and Manipulation in House of Cards

Sandrine Sorlin, Language and Manipulation in House of Cards: A Pragma-Stylistic Perspective

Basingstoke: Palgrave / Macmillan, 2016.

ISBN 978-1-137-55848-0. 267p.

This book is to date the first monograph-length study of the popular American political TV series House of Cards. It proposes an encompassing analysis of the first three seasons from the unusual angles of discourse and dialogue. The study of the stylistic idiosyncrasies of the ruthless main protagonist, Frank Underwood, is completed by a pragmatic and cognitive approach exposing the main characters’ manipulative strategies to win over the other. Taking into account the socio-cultural context and the specificities of the TV medium, the volume focuses on the workings of interaction as well as the impact of the direct address to the viewer. The book critically uses the latest theories in pragmatics and stylistics in its attempt at providing a pragma-rhetorical theory of manipulation.

Details: http://www.palgrave.com/in/book/9781137558473

Book Announcement – John Mullen, Britain in the 1970s

John Mullen, Britain in the 1970s: an Annotated Timeline

britain-1970sEbook published by Starebooks, Saint Gratien, France
ASIN: B01NGZAE4T
135 pages, 7,99 euros
Available at Amazon (Kindle), and, shortly, at other major online bookshops.

 

From Callaghan to the Clash, from Grunwick to Rock against Racism, from Edward Heath to Britain’s string of Nobel Science prizes, this annotated timeline of the 1970s recounts the key events and the key statistics of the decade of feminism, the three day week and Monty Python.

Ideal as a reference or revision tool, the book covers well-known and forgotten-but-symbolic features of a period torn between continuing social progress and mass unemployment, a time which produces no consensus among those who study it, but which inspires respect and even awe.

Dozens of links to online resources- BBC videos, articles or sitcoms- make the work even more useful to help get to the truths behind the headlines.

There exists a good selection of books on the 1970s in Britain, and several new publications have been brought out in 2016 : the present author was involved with two of these. This book, an annotated chronology of the UK in the 1970s is intended as a complementary resource, a tool for revision or for reference. For very good reasons, the existing publications are structured thematically (one chapter on trade unions, one chapter on Northern Ireland, etc.). Nevertheless, the disposition of events and declarations on a timeline is also tremendously important in building an understanding of the complex interactions of politics, economics and culture which make up the decade. This is the raison d’être of this work.