Global Languages and Literatures

Faust Adaptations, edited and introduced by Lorna Fitzsimmons, takes a comparative cultural studies approach to the ubiquitous legend of Faust and his infernal dealings. Including readings of English, German, Dutch, and Egyptian adaptations ranging from the early modern period to the contemporary moment, this collection emphasizes the interdisciplinary and transcultural tenets of comparative cultural studies. Authors variously analyze the Faustian theme in contexts such as subjectivity, genre, politics, and identity. Chapters focus on the work of Christopher Marlowe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Adelbert von Chamisso, Lord Byron, Heinrich Heine, Thomas Mann, D. J. Enright, Konrad Boehmer, Mahmoud Aboudoma, Bridge Markland, Andreas Gössling, and Uschi Flacke. Contributors include Frederick Burwick, Christa Knellwolf King, Ehrhard Bahr, Konrad Boehmer, and David G. John. Faust Adaptations demonstrates the enduring meaningfulness of the Faust concept across borders, genres, languages, nations, cultures, and eras. This collection presents innovative approaches to understanding the mediated, translated, and adapted figure of Faust through both culturally specific inquiry and timeless questions.
The Mexican government's brutal repression of the Student Movement of 1968 in the infamous Massacre of Tlatelolco exposed and exacerbated a serious crisis of political legitimacy. This study examines the cultural impact of this watershed event through historically contextualized readings of five paradigmatic novels: Carlos Fuentes's La region mas transparente (1958), Fernando del Paso's Jose Trigo (1966), Maria Luisa Mendoza's Con el, conmigo, con nosotros tres (1971), Jorge Aguilar Mora's Si muero lejos de ti (1979), and Hector Aguilar Camin's Morir en el golfo (1986).
Found in Translation is at once a themed volume on the translation of ancient Jewish texts and a Festschrift for Leonard J. Greenspoon, the Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor in Jewish Civilization and professor of classical and near Eastern studies and of theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Greenspoon has made significant contributions to the study of Jewish biblical translations, particularly the ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, known as the Septuagint. This volume comprises an internationally renowned group of scholars presenting a wide range of original essays on Bible translation, the influence of culture on biblical translation, Bible translations’ reciprocal influence on culture, and the translation of various Jewish texts and collections, especially the Septuagint. Volume editors have painstakingly planned Found in Translation to have the broadest scope of any current work on Jewish biblical translation to reflect Greenspoon’s broad impact on the field throughout an august career.
This volume presents a historical-textual study about transformations of the aesthetics of the sublime—the literary and aesthetic quality of greatness under duress—from early English Romanticism to the New Poetry Movement in twentieth-century China. Zheng sets up the former and the latter as distinct but historically analogous moments and argues that both the European Romantic reinvention of the sublime and its later Chinese transformation represent cultural movements built on the excessive and capacious nature of the sublime to counter their shared sense of historical crisis.   The author further postulates through a critical analysis of Edmund Burke’s Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, William Wordsworth’s Prelude, and Guo Moruo’s experimental poem “Fenghuang Niepan” (“Nirvana of the Phoenix”) and verse drama Qu Yuan that these aesthetic practices of modernity suggest a deliberate historical hyperbolization of literary agency.   Such an agency is in turn constructed imaginatively and affectively as a means to redress different cultures’ traumatic encounter with modernity. The volume will be of interest to scholars including graduate students of Romanticism, philosophy, history, English literature, Chinese literature, comparative literature, and (comparative) cultural studies.  
The outsized influence of Jews in American entertainment from the early days of Hollywood to the present has proved an endlessly fascinating and controversial topic, for Jews and non-Jews alike. From Shtetl to Stardom: Jews and Hollywood takes an exciting and innovative approach to this rich and complex material. Exploring the subject from a scholarly perspective as well as up close and personal, the book combines historical and theoretical analysis by leading academics in the field with inside information from prominent entertainment professionals. Essays range from Vincent Brook’s survey of the stubbornly persistent canard of Jewish industry “control” to Lawrence Baron and Joel Rosenberg’s panel presentations on the recent brouhaha over Ben Urwand’s book alleging collaboration between Hollywood and Hitler. Case studies by Howard Rodman and Joshua Louis Moss examine a key Coen brothers film, A Serious Man (Rodman), and Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking television series, Transparent (Moss). Jeffrey Shandler and Shaina Hamermann train their respective lenses on popular satirical comedians of yesteryear (Allan Sherman) and those currently all the rage (Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, and Sarah Silverman). David Isaacs relates his years of agony and hilarity in the television comedy writers’ room, and interviews include in-depth discussions by Ross Melnick with Laemmle Theatres owner Greg Laemmle (relative of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle) and by Michael Renov with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. In all, From Shtetl to Stardom offers a uniquely multifaceted, multimediated, and up-to-the-minute account of the remarkable role Jews have played over the centuries and ongoing in American popular culture.    
Although the boom in historical fiction and historiography about Spain’s recent past has found an eager readership, these texts are rarely studied as two halves of the same story. With Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain, Sara J. Brenneis argues that fiction and nonfiction written by a single author and focused on the same historical moment deserve to be read side-by-side. By proposing a literary model that examines these genres together, Genre Fusion gives equal importance to fiction and historiography in Spain. In her book, Brenneis develops a new theory of “genre fusion” to show how authors who write both historiography and fiction produce a more accurate representation of the lived experience of Spanish history than would be possible in a single genre. Genre Fusionopens with a straightforward overview of the relationships among history, fiction, and memory in contemporary culture. While providing an up-to-date context for scholarly debates about Spain’s historical memory, Genre Fusion also expands the contours of the discussion beyond the specialized territory of Hispanic studies. To demonstrate the theoretical necessity of genre fusion, Brenneis analyzes pairs of interconnected texts (one a work of literature, the other a work of historiography) written by a single author. She explores how fictional and nonfictional works by Montserrat Roig, Carmen Martín Gaite, Carlos Blanco Aguinaga, and Javier Marías unearth the collective memories of Spain’s past. Through these four authors, Genre Fusion traces the transformation of a country once enveloped in a postwar silence to one currently consumed by its own history and memory. Brenneis demonstrates that, when read through the lens of genre fusion, these Spanish authors shelve the country’s stagnant official record of its past and unlock the collective and personal accounts of the people who constitute Spanish history.
Gombrowicz, Polish Modernism, and the Subversion of Form provides a new and comprehensive account of the writing and thought of the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. While Gombrowicz is probably the key Polish modernist writer, with a stature in his native Poland equivalent to that of Joyce or Beckett in the English language, he remains little known in English. As well as providing a commentary on his novels, plays, and short stories, this book sets Gombrowicz's writing in the context of contemporary cultural theory. The author performs a detailed examination of Gombrowicz's major literary and theatrical work, showing how his conception of form is highly resonant with contemporary, postmodern theories of identity. This book is the essential companion to one of Eastern Europe's most important literary figures whose work, banned by the Nazis and suppressed by Poland's Communist government, has only recently become well known in the West.
This book offers original research by leading scholars from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Russia, which covers the central areas of Shpet's work on phenomenology, philosophy of language, cultural theory, and aesthetics and takes forward the current state of knowledge and debates on his contribution to these fields of enquiry. The book also contains, for the first time in English translation, the most seminal portions of Shpet's book-length study of hermeneutics, which is his most significant work for contemporary students of cultural theory. The first part of the book maps out Shpet's legacy in the main areas of his multi-faceted work; the second part examines in closer detail particular aspects of Shpet's philosophical affiliations and contributions in the framework of cultural theory, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and in the field of Russian intellectual history; the final part features the publication of extracts from Shpet's 1918 book on hermeneutics.
What does literature reveal about a country’s changing cultural identity? In History, Violence, and the Hyperreal by Kathryn Everly, this question is applied to the contemporary novel in Spain. In the process, similarities emerge among novels that embrace apparent differences in style, structure, and language. Contemporary Spanish authors are rethinking the way the novel with its narrative powers can define a specific cultural identity. Recent Spanish novels by Carme Riera, Dulce Chacon, Javier Cercas, Ray Loriga, Lucia Etxebarria, and Jose Angel Manas (published from 1995 to 2008) particularly highlight the tension that exists between historical memory and urban youth culture. The novels discussed in this study reconfigure the individual’s relationship to narrative, history, and reality through their varied interpretations of Spanish history with its common threads of national and personal violence. In these books, culture acts as mediator between the individual and the rapidly changing dynamic of contemporary society. The authors experiment with the novel form to challenge fundamental concepts of identity when the narrative acknowledges more than one way of reading and understanding history, violence, and reality. In Spain today, questions of historical accuracy in all foundational fictions—such as the Inquisition, the Spanish Civil War, or globalization—collide with the urgency to modernize. The result is a clash between regional and global identities. Seemingly disparate works of historical fiction and Generation X narrative prove similar in the way they deal with history, reality, and the delicate relationship between writer and reader.
Among the multiple approaches to be taken on an author as multifaceted and prolific as the recent Nobel Laureate Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, Guadalupe Martí-Peña has chosen to look at the novelist as an illusionist. She studies this land of fantasies and daydreams, that seemingly harmless battlefield where literature, theater, and painting contend and join together with the writer, the dreamer, and the illusionist to oust reality. Focusing on Elogio de la madrastra and Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto, and the effect of illusion on the reading process, she argues that by referring to theatrical, pictorial, and mystical patterns Vargas Llosa entices us to experience, along with his characters, the unreal as real, the dream as reality, the magic of fiction as an empowering act. The book looks first at the theatricality and theatrics that enliven both texts. In the light of reader/spectator-response theories and theater semiotics, Martí-Peña shows how the novelist turns narrating into acting, fiction into performance, and reading into seeing. She next reflects upon the role that painting plays in the materialization of the characters’ desires and illusions. By funneling pictorial aesthetics through the prism of narration, and by engaging with theory concerned with issues of text-image interrelations, she examines the various functions paintings play within the linguistic system. Finally, she compares Rigoberto’s writing exercises to the writings of self-examination described by Michel Foucault in “L’écriture de soi.” Both texts encapsulate the main active ingredient in all of Vargas Llosa’s writings: that fiction is not a submission to life, but rather an insurrection against it. Verbal illusionism becomes the most efficient tactic to carry out such a rebellion. The text of this book is in Spanish.
Imre Kertész and Holocaust Literature, the first English language volume on the work of the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Literature contains papers by scholars in Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, and the USA, as well as historical papers about the background of the Holocaust in Hungary. Articles in the volume are "Imre Kertész and Hungarian Literature" by Enikö Molnár Basa, "Jewishness in Hungary, Imre Kertész, and the Choice of an Identity" by Sara Cohen, "The Aporia of Imre Kertész" by Robert Eaglestone, "Imre Kertész, Hegel, and the Philosophy of Reconciliation" by Amos Friedland, "Identities of the Jew and the Hungarian" by András Gerı, "Representing the Holocaust, Kertész's Fatelessness, and Benigni's La vita è bella" by Bettina von Jagow, "Imre Kertész's Fatelessness as Historical Fiction" by Julia Karolle, "Reading Imre Kertész in English" by Adrienne Kertzer, "Imre Kertész's Fatelessness and the Myth about Auschwitz in Hungary" by Kornélia Koltai, "The Historians' Debate about the Holocaust in Hungary" by András Kovács, "Imre Kertész and Hungary Today" by Magdalena Marsovszky, "Imre Kertész's Aesthetics of the Holocaust" by Sára Molnár, "The Dichotomy of Perspectives in the Work of Imre Kertész and Jorge Semprún" by Marie Peguy, "Imre Kertész and the Filming of Sorstalanság (Fatelessness)" by Catherine Portuges, "Danilo Kis, Imre Kertész, and the Myth of the Holocaust" by Rosana Ratkovćić, "Imre Kertész's Jegyzıkönyv (Sworn Statement) and the Self Deprived of Itself" by Tamás Scheibner, "Imre Kertész's Kaddish for an Unborn Child" by Eluned Summers-Bremner, "Imre Kertész's Nobel Prize in Literature and the Print Media" by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, "Holocaust Literature and Imre Kertész" by Paul Várnai, "The Novelness of Imre Kertész's Fatelessness" by Louise O. Vasvári, and "The Media and Imre Kertész's Nobel Prize in Literature" by Judy Young. In addition to the papers about Kertész's work, the volume includes an as of yet in English unpublished text by Imre Kertész, "Galley Boat-Log (Gályanapló): Excerpt(s)" translated by Tim Wilkinson, a review article about books on Jewish identity and anti-Semitism Central Europe by Barbara Breysach, and a "A Bibliography of Imre Kertész's Oeuvre and Publications about His Work" by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek.
Indios en escena engages both the Baroque and Colonial fields of Hispanism in order to reevaluate fourteen major plays of Spanish Golden Age literature from a social-historical perspective. Castillo argues that these plays portray Amerindians not in their “otherness” but as subjects of empire. It is the author’s contention that these dramas reveal the vast contradictions between the two leading ideological trends of the age as performed on the stage: the discourse of honor and the juridical-theological code, both of which attempt to assimilate the Amerindian phenomenon under the auspices of church and state. These works consistently raise the paradoxical question of how a person can be a savage and have honor at the same time. The Amerindian must become a new “subject” for the Spanish Crown (as stated by the discourse of honor in these plays), i.e., an honorable and distinguished Indian capable of lofty speech and courage in battle. Yet, Amerindians are also barbarians or wild “children” (F. de Vitoria, Las Casas) who need the redemptive intervention of the Church to mature (evolve) and to be capable of salvation. These plays reveal the effort to integrate and assimilate the new indigenous entities under the monarcho-seigneurial system while exposing the philosophical contradictions that Baroque ideology has to overcome in order to elicit obedience. Thus, Castillo claims that this theater propagates the concept of the “Amerindian” both as “Honorable Subject,” a theatrical archetype, and idolatrous barbarian “Other,” a model of representation that belongs to the mindset of religious crusades and evangelical enterprises.
Intellectual Philanthropy: The Seduction of the Masses by Aurélie Vialette examines representations of charity in modern Spanish literature and culture. Through detailed studies of collective readings, dramas, manuals, catechisms, and fiction, Vialette reveals how depictions of urban philanthropic activities can inform our understanding of interactions in the economic, cultural, religious, and educational spheres, class power dynamics, and gender roles in urban Spanish society.
The sesquicentennial of the birth of the influential American philosopher and educator John Dewey in 2009 marked an opportunity for members of the society that bears his name to reflect on his legacy. This book contains papers also published in the journal of the John Dewey Society, Education and Culture (Volume 25,2). Contents: Introduction: A. G. Rud, Jim Garrison, and Lynda Stone; Looking Forward from A Common Faith (Nel Noddings); Secularism, Secularization, and John Dewey (Larry A. Hickman); How to Use Pragmatism Pragmatically? Suggestions for the Twenty-First Century (Gert J. J. Biesta); Transforming Schooling through Technology: Twenty-First-Century Approaches to Participatory Learning (Craig A. Cunningham); Dewey’s Aesthetics and Today’s Moral Education (Jiwon Kim); Toward Inclusion and Human Unity: Rethinking Dewey’s Democratic Community (Hongmei Peng); More than “Mere Ideas”: Deweyan Tools for the Contemporary Philosopher (Barbara S. Stengel); Reconstruction in Dewey’s Pragmatism: Home, Neighborhood, and Otherness (Naoko Saito); John Dewey’s Contribution to Pragmatic Cosmopolitanism (Leonard J. Waks); Dewey and Cosmopolitanism (David T. Hansen).  
Based on extensive interviews and archival research, this book traces the career of Orville Redenbacher, the “popcorn king,” from his agricultural studies at Purdue University to his emergence as an American advertising icon. Born in Brazil, Indiana, in 1907, Orville began his lifelong obsession with the development of new strains of seed at Purdue where he earned a degree in agronomy while also playing in the All-American Marching Band. After experimenting with thousands of varieties, Orville and his business partner Charlie Bowman launched Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn in 1970. Through a combination of shrewd marketing and a notably superior product, the partners controlled a third of the market for popping corn by 1976, when their “Chester Hybrids” business was sold to Hunt Wesson Foods. Orville Redenbacher continued to prosper as a larger-than-life brand spokesperson and a symbol of wholesomeness and fun until his death in 1995. Based on interviews conducted in the last few years of Orville’s life, this book paints a fascinating picture of a deeply serious agricultural pioneer and marketing genius, whose image can still be found in almost every North American home. Hear more about this book in an interview broadcast on WBAA, Indiana's oldest radio station, on July 14, 2011.
The late J. Kirby Risk II called himself “a small-town businessman from the banks of the Wabash.” He was much more. The fastidious, dapper man from Lafayette, Indiana, exuded philanthropy and free enterprise. Like a sheepdog, he tended the flock, rounded up strays, darted to key places to close up stragglers, and nudged everyone toward a common goal. Sometimes his stubborn persistence caused clashes. His demanding behavior was for good, no matter what others thought. That was Kirby’s way.   Kirby’s integrity was the basis for his two occupations. His first career was compassion, and his second career was the building of the battery company he cofounded in 1926 with $500 borrowed from his father. Today, Kirby Risk Corporation is a multimillion-dollar electrical products and services industry headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana, and led by Kirby’s son, Jim.   Kirby’s Way captures the essence of this imitable gentleman, who with his wife of fifty-five years, Caroline, raised four children, gave time, money, and meals to strangers, refugees, Purdue University students, and their beloved community, while building from their kitchen table a successful Midwest corporation. He believed in “sacrificial service.” Kirby noticed people. He recognized their importance. In turn, they loved him and wanted to help him. He dwelled on his favorite song, “Mankind is My Business.” Relationships shaped his success. Kirby was quiet about his deeds. He lived the Bible passage, Matthew 6:3—“But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—do not tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.”   Kirby Risk may not have wanted this book. Yet he would have esteemed it as a parable, a spiritual truth that compels readers to discover certainties for themselves. From heaven, he tends the flock and rounds up strays, so more people might live Kirby’s Way.
Knights of the Quill offers a unique assessment of war correspondence in Southern newspapers during the American Civil War. The men and women who covered the battles and political developments for Southern newspapers were of a different breed than those who reported the war for the North. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, editors, and businessmen, nearly all of them with college and professional degrees. Sleeping on beds of snow, dining on raw corn and burned bread, they exhibited a dedication that laid the groundwork for news gathering in the twenty-first century. Objectivity and accuracy became important news values, as shows that Southern war correspondence easily equaled in quality the work produced by reporters for Northern newspapers. With its emphasis on primary sources, the book offers an important and enduring historical perspective on the Civil War and also meets the highest standards of historical scholarship.  
In Knowing Subjects, Barbara Simerka uses an emergent field of literary study—cognitive cultural studies—to delineate new ways of looking at early modern Spanish literature and to analyze cognition and social identity in Spain at the time. Simerka analyzes works by Cervantes and Gracían, as well as picaresque novels and comedias. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, she brings together several strands of cognitive theory and details the synergies among neurological, anthropological, and psychological discoveries that provide new insights into human cognition.   Her analysis draws on Theory of Mind, the cognitive activity that enables humans to predict what others will do, feel, think, and believe. Theory of Mind looks at how primates, including humans, conceptualize the thoughts and rationales behind other people’s actions and use those insights to negotiate social relationships. This capacity is a necessary precursor to a wide variety of human interactions—both positive and negative—from projecting and empathizing to lying and cheating.   Simerka applies this theory to texts involving courtship or social advancement, activities in which deception is most prevalent—and productive. In the process, she uncovers new insights into the comedia (especially the courtship drama) and several other genres of literature (including the honor narrative, the picaresque novel, and the courtesy manual). She studies the construction of gendered identity and patriarchal norms of cognition—contrasting the perspectives of canonical male writers with those of recently recovered female authors such as María de Zayas and Ana Caro. She examines the construction of social class, intellect, and honesty, and in a chapter on Don Quixote, cultural norms for leisure reading at the time. She shows how early modern Spanish literary forms reveal the relationship between an urbanizing culture, unstable subject positions and hierarchies, and social anxieties about cognition and cultural transformation.  
While a large amount of scholarship about Milan Kundera's work exists, in Liisa Steinby's opinion his work has not been studied within the context of (European) modernity as a sociohistorical and a cultural concept. Of course, he is considered to be a modernist writer (some call him even a postmodernist), but what the broader concept of modernity intellectually, historically, socially, and culturally means for him and how this is expressed in his texts has not been thoroughly examined. Steinby's book fills this vacuum by analyzing Kundera's novels from the viewpoint of his understanding of the existential problems in the culture of modernity. In addition, his relation to those modernist novelists from the first half of the twentieth century who are most important for him is scrutinized in detail. Steinby’s Kundera and Modernity is intended for students of modernism in literary and (comparative) cultural studies, as well as those interested in European and Central European studies.   Key Points: Offers new insights into the work of the popular modern writer Milan Kundera. Expands the reader’s understanding of the meaning of the concept of “modernity.” Widens the literature available in English about Central European culture.
La pasión esclava addresses the masochist discursivity of La Regenta (1884–1885) by Leopoldo Alas, Clarín, as a subversive strategy of dominance and submission through which the foundations of liberal thinking on education, agency, and freedom of the modern subject are refuted. Differing from studies that prioritize the Freudian psychoanalytic focus and link masochism with perverse and passive behaviors, this book offers a pluralist approach, where cultural, clinical-historical, and literary perspectives are essential to relocate masochism to the area of passions, while emphasizing the agency and creativity upon which the discursive meaning of transgressive masochism in fin-de-siècle narrative is articulated. Nuria Godón shows how La Regenta challenges the models of partnership in modern society by displaying a reformulation of the masochist contract that parodies the marital contract, satirizes Rousseau’s social contract, and places the wheels of Krause’s educational machine under scrutiny. Likewise, she explores Catholicism’s impact on the masochist dynamic in other contemporary texts by authors such as Emilia Pardo Bazán and Armando Palacio Valdés, without excluding Leopold von Sacher-Masoch—the Austrian writer from whom the term masochism was coined—to further disclose how religion’s influence shapes the dialectic of female and filial masochism in the Spanish context represented in Alas’s masterpiece. In this sense, La pasión esclava invites one to reconsider masochism as a tool that tears apart the mechanisms of gender subjection, which are observable not only in the Spanish literary texts analyzed in this book, but also in other cultural productions.   La pasión esclava aborda la discursividad masoquista en La Regenta (1884–1885) de Leopoldo Alas, Clarín, como una estrategia subversiva de dominio y sumisión mediante la cual se rebaten los fundamentos del pensamiento liberal sobre la educación, la agencia y la libertad del sujeto moderno. Frente a las investigaciones que priman el enfoque psicoanalítico de tradición freudiana y vinculan el masoquismo a conductas perversas y pasivas, este estudio brinda una aproximación pluralista –donde destaca la perspectiva cultural, histórica-clínica y literaria— gracias a la cual es posible reubicar el masoquismo en el amplio terreno de las pasiones y subrayar la agencia y creatividad sobre las que se conforma el sentido discursivo del masoquismo transgresor en la narrativa finisecular. Nuria Godón muestra cómo la novela cumbre de Alas problematiza las propuestas de compañerismo en la sociedad moderna presentando una reformulación del contrato masoquista que parodia el contrato matrimonial, satiriza el contrato social rousseriano y cuestiona el engranaje del sistema educativo krausista. Asimismo, explora el impacto del catolicismo en la dinámica masoquista en otros textos de autores contemporáneos entre los cuales figuran Emilia Pardo Bazán y Armando Palacio Valdés, sin olvidar a Leopold von Sacher-Masoch—autor sobre el que se acuña el término de masoquismo—para explicar posteriormente cómo la influencia religiosa da forma al despliegue de la dialéctica del masoquismo femenino y filial en el contexto español trazado en La Regenta. En este sentido, La pasión esclava invita a una reconsideración del masoquismo como herramienta que hace saltar los mecanismos de sujeción genérica, susceptibles de ser observados no solo en el ámbito literario español que el libro presenta sino también dentro de otras producciones culturales.
Historically a source of emigrants to Northern Europe and the New World, Italy has rapidly become a preferred destination for immigrants from the global South. Life in the land of la dolce vita has not seemed so sweet recently, as Italy struggles with the cultural challenges caused by this surge in immigration. Marvelous Bodies by Vetri Nathan explores thirteen key full-length Italian films released between 1990 and 2010 that treat this remarkable moment of cultural role reversal through a plurality of styles. In it, Nathan argues that Italy sees itself as the quintessential internal Other of Western Europe, and that this subalternity directly influences its cinematic response to immigrants, Europe’s external Others. In framing his case to understand Italy’s cinematic response to immigrants, Nathan first explores some basic questions: Who exactly is the Other in Italy? Does Italy’s own past partial alterity affect its present response to its newest subalterns? Drawing on Homi Bhabha’s writings and Italian cinematic history, Nathan then posits the existence of marvelous bodies that are momentarily neither completely Italian nor completely immigrant. This ambivalence of forms extends to the films themselves, which tend to be generic hybrids. The persistent curious presence of marvelous bodies and a pervasive generic hybridity enact Italy’s own chronic ambivalence that results from its presence at the cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean.
Memory and Myth is an interdisciplinary study of the Civil War and its enduring impact on American writers and filmmakers. Its twenty-five chapters are all concerned, in one way or another, with creative responses to the Civil War, and the ways in which artists have sought to make sense of the war and to convey their findings to succeeding generations of readers and filmgoers. The book also examines the role of movies and television in transmuting the historical memories of the Civil War into durable, ever-changing myths.
Women’s voices routinely have been muted or omitted entirely when a nation assembles its historical narrative. In Miradas Transatlánticas: El periodismo literario de Elena Poniatowska y Rosa Montero, Alicia Rita Rueda-Acedo examines the relationship between the journalistic and literary work of the two writers named in the title as they utilize a distinct combination of journalism and fiction to create new spaces where women’s voices and experiences may be situated prominently in their nations’ historical narratives.   Rueda-Acedo analyzes the works of the two writers from the perspectives of both gender and genre studies, extending the notion of genre from the literary tradition and applying it to journalistic production. Each of the chapters rethinks and revises the concept of literary genres by arguing for the inclusion of the interview, the reportage, the article, and the chronicle within the category of literature. In her study of Las siete cabritas by Poniatowska and Historias de mujeres by Montero, Rueda-Acedo argues successfully that these are works of homage to women who have influenced history. By interpreting and subverting patriarchal models, the writers draw attention to the ways in which women have engaged Mexican, Spanish, and Universal history. Rueda-Acedo focuses on the characteristics of the journalistic interview and proposes its interpretation as a literary text. A poetics of this genre is also proposed.   Rueda-Acedo’s study explores how Poniatowska and Montero represent women who have marked history as part of the feminist agenda that the two writers have promoted in their journalistic and literary production. The book also emphasizes the role of the two writers as researchers and critics and deepens the vibrant debate about the relationship between literature and journalism currently being discussed on both sides of the Atlantic.  
In 2012 the Swedish Academy announced that Mo Yan had received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work that “with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history, and the contemporary.” The announcement marked the first time a resident of mainland China had ever received the award. This is the first English-language study of the Chinese writer’s work and influence, featuring essays from scholars in a range of disciplines, from both China and the United States. Its introduction, twelve articles, and epilogue aim to deepen and widen critical discussions of both a specific literary author and the globalization of Chinese literature more generally. The book takes the “root-seeking” movement with which Mo Yan’s works are associated as a metaphor for its organizational structure. The four articles of “Part I: Leaves” focus on Mo Yan’s works as world literature, exploring the long shadow his works have cast globally. Howard Goldblatt, Mo Yan’s English translator, explores the difficulties and rewards of interpreting his work, while subsequent articles cover issues such as censorship and the “performativity” associated with being a global author. “Part II: Trunk” explores the nativist core of Mo Yan’s works. Through careful comparative treatment of related historical events, the five articles in this section show how specific literary works intermingle with China’s national and international politics, its mid-twentieth-century visual culture, and its rich religious and literary conventions, including humor. The three articles in “Part III: Roots” delve into the theoretical and practical extensions of Mo Yan’s works, uncovering the vibrant critical and cultural systems that ground Eastern and Western literatures and cultures. Mo Yan in Context concludes with an epilogue by sociologist Fenggang Yang, offering a personal and globally aware reflection on the recognition Mo Yan’s works have received at this historical juncture.  
Moose! The Reading Dog is inspired by a registered therapy dog. Moose shares his story about his time in an animal shelter, finding a forever home, and eventually, after a good deal of hard work, learning how to become an officially registered Pet Partners and Reading Education Assistance Dog for children in his area. In the final chapter, Moose reflects on his journey and describes his love for helping children become better readers. Along the way, we learn about hard work and the importance of finding and pursuing one’s dream.