A History of American Puritan Literature, Kristina Bross and Abram Van Engen, Cambridge University Press, 2020.
For generations, scholars have imagined American puritans as religious enthusiasts, fleeing persecution, finding refuge in Massachusetts, and founding 'America'. The puritans have been read as a product of New England and the origin of American exceptionalism. This History challenges the usual understanding of American puritans, offering new ways of reading their history and their literary culture. Together, an international team of authors make clear that puritan America cannot be thought of apart from Native America, and that its literature is also grounded in Britain, Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and networks that spanned the globe. Each chapter focuses on a single place, method, idea, or context to read familiar texts anew and to introduce forgotten or neglected voices and writings. A History of American Puritan Literature is a collaborative effort to create not a singular literary history, but a series of interlocked new histories of American puritan literature.
Literary Bioethics: Animality, Disability, and the Human, Maren Tova Linett, NYU Press, 2020
Literary Bioethics argues for literature as an untapped and essential site for the exploration of bioethics. Novels, Maren Tova Linett argues, present vividly imagined worlds in which certain values hold sway, casting new light onto those values; and the more plausible and well rendered readers find these imagined worlds, the more thoroughly we can evaluate the justice of those values. In an innovative set of readings, Linett thinks through the ethics of animal experimentation in H.G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, explores the elimination of aging in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, considers the valuation of disabled lives in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, and questions the principles of humane farming through reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. By analyzing novels published at widely spaced intervals over the span of a century, Linett offers snapshots of how we confront questions of value. In some cases the fictions are swayed by dominant devaluations of nonnormative or nonhuman lives, while in other cases they confirm the value of such lives by resisting instrumental views of their worth―views that influence, explicitly or implicitly, many contemporary bioethical discussions, especially about the value of disabled and nonhuman lives.
Milton among Spaniards (Early Modern Exchange), Angelica Duran, University of Delaware Press, 2020.
Firmly grounded in literary studies but drawing on religious studies, translation studies, drama, and visual art, Milton among Spaniards is the first book-length exploration of the afterlife of John Milton in Spanish culture, illuminating underexamined Anglo-Hispanic cultural relations. This study calls attention to a series of powerful engagements by Spaniards with Milton’s works and legend, following a general chronology from the eighteenth to the early twenty-first century, tracing the overall story of Milton’s presence from indices of prohibited works during the Inquisition, through the many Spanish translations of Paradise Lost, to the author’s depiction on stage in the nineteenth-century play Milton, and finally to the representation of Paradise Lost by Spanish visual artists.
One Illuminated Letter of Being, Donald Platt, Red Mountain Press, 2020.
ONE ILLUMINATED LETTER OF BEING is a sequence of poems--by turns lyric, narrative, and dramatic--that limn what it means for a son to watch and be fully present as his mother prepares to die. These poems are about living in the midst of death and about dying, "while everything is coming into bloom." The poet records the natural world flowering and fruiting, and its autumnal fading into winter around him. The book bears witness to grief and how this son remembers with exquisite clarity--and comes to terms with--his mother's passing and its aftermath. Anger, great sadness, but also revelation and transformation are the emotional terrain that the poet walks unwaveringly. Wherever he goes, dying illuminates what it means to live.
Local Language Testing: Design, Implementation, and Development, Slobodanda Dimova, Xun Yan, and April Ginther, Routledge, 2020.
Local Language Testing: Design, Implementation, and Development describes the language testing practice that exists in the intermediate space between large-scale standardized testing and classroom assessment, an area that is rarely addressed in the language testing and assessment literature. Covering both theory and practice, the book focuses on the advantages of local tests, fosters and encourages their use, and provides suggested ideas for their development and maintenance. Aimed at language program directors, graduate students, and researchers involved in language program development and evaluation, this is a timely book in that it focuses on the advantages of local tests, fosters and encourages their use, and outlines their development and maintenance.
Reconciling Translingualism and Second Language Writing (ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series, Tony Silva and Zhaozhe Wang (editors), Routledge, 2020.
This book brings together top scholars on different sides of the important scholarly debate between the translingual movement and the field of second language writing. Drawing on a wide range of perspectives, this volume examines the differences in theory and practice with the hope of promoting reconciliation between the two schools of thought. Chapters address the tensions in the relationship between translingualism and second language writing and explore programs, pedagogies, and research that highlight commonalities between the two camps. With contributions from leading scholars, this book comprehensively addresses the issues related to this contentious debate and offers ways to bring the two camps into conversation with one another in a way that promotes effective teaching practices.
Gender, Sexuality, and the Cultural Politics of Men’s Identity: Literacies of Masculinity (Interdisciplinary Research in Gender), Robert Mundy and Harry Denny, Routledge, 2019.
As past markers of masculine norms have been challenged on cultural, social, and economic fronts, men occupy public space ever aware that how they interact with others is questioned and questionable. What does manhood mean? Who is included in its dominant formations? What performances signify membership in the club? How are men reading this contemporary moment and to what extent does cultural literacy inform, maintain, or challenge normative male identities and subsequent performances? This work examines such questions through language and symbolic meaning, and challenges its readers to critically examine what men know and how they understand and embody gender and sexuality in a post-millennial society.
Out in the Center: Public Controversies and Private Struggle, Harry Denny and Robert Mundy (editors), Utah State University Press, 2019.
Out in the Center explores the personal struggles of tutors, faculty, and administrators in writing center communities as they negotiate the interplay between public controversies and features of their own intersectional identities. These essays address how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, faith, multilingualism, and learning differences, along with their intersections, challenge those who inhabit writing centers and engage in their conversations.
Captain Singleton by Daniel Defoe, Manushag Powell (editor), Broadview Press, 2019.
Manushag Powell’s excellent edition of Captain Singleton fills a need for teachers and students of Defoe and the eighteenth-century novel, since there is no widely available edition of this important work. Powell’s introduction is informative about Defoe and about the eighteenth century’s fascination with pirates. Her copious annotation of the text is judicious; the supplementary readings of other pirate and travel narratives from the period provide very useful contexts for Defoe’s novel.
The Anti-Grief, Marianne Boruch, Copper Canyon Press, 2019.
What to do with the everything crossing one’s path? Everything for and against, upside down and inside out, grief first then its dogged shadow life, which could be joy. In The Anti-Grief, Marianne Boruch challenges our conceptions of memory, age, and time, revealing the many layers of perception and awareness. A book of meditations, these poems venture out into the world, jump their synapse, tie and untie knots, and misbehave. From Emily Dickinson’s chamber pot to meat-eating plants, from an angry octopus to crowds of salmon swimming upstream, Boruch’s imagery blurs the line between natural and supernatural. And of course there is grief―working through grief, getting over grief, living with grief, and in these magnificent poems, anti-grief.
Ivy vs. Dogg: A Case of Thounsand!, Brian Leung, C&R Press, 2018.
Teenage Ivy Simmons has a longstanding rivalry with Jimmy, "Dogg," Doggins, high school tennis star, and hometown hero. Their sparring comes to a head when the town of Mudlick's annual Jr. Mr. Mayor election is announced and Ivy becomes the first female ever to run. Mudlick's busybody leaders, known as "the committee" do not approve, especially when Ivy reveals that she is pregnant. Displeased with the public debate over what Ivy should do about her unborn child, reclusive matriarch, Abigail Colton, displays a lifelike topiary girl on her front lawn, enchanting all of Mudlick to the point where they fear for the life of this "girl" when Colton also rolls out a topiary of a giant squid. Between this and the election, emotions run high, squeezing Ivy and Dogg from all sides and forcing them to make the most adult decision of their lives.
Writing Postindustrial Places: Technoculture amid the Cornfields, Michael J. Salvo, Routledge Press, 2018.
Exploring the relationship between postindustrial writing and developments in energy production, manufacturing, and agriculture, Michael J. Salvo shows how technological and industrial innovation relies on communicative and organizational suppleness. Through representative case studies, Salvo demonstrates the ways in which technical communicators formulate opportunities that link resources with need. His book is a supple articulation of the opportunities and pitfalls that come with great change.
Rhetoric and Experience Architecture, Liza Potts and Michael J. Salvo, Parlor Press, 2018.
Rhetoric and Experience Architecture represents the evolving ideas of an emerging area of study. Experience architecture focuses on the research and practice of creating technologies, products, policies, and services that serve the needs of various participants. Experience architecture addresses issues of usability, interaction design, service design, user experience, information architecture, and content management for websites, mobile apps, software applications, and technology services.
The Internationalization of US Writing Programs, edited by Shirley K Rose and Irwin Weiser, Utah State University Press, 2018
The Internationalization of US Writing Programs illuminates the role writing programs and WPAs play in defining goals, curriculum, placement, assessment, faculty development, and instruction for international student populations. The volume offers multiple theoretical approaches to the work of writing programs and illustrates a wide range of well-planned writing program–based empirical research projects.
As of 2016, over 425,000 international students were enrolled as undergraduates in US colleges and universities, part of a decade-long trend of increasing numbers of international students coming to the United States for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Writing program administrators and writing teachers across the country are beginning to recognize this changing demographic as a useful catalyst for change in writing programs, which are tasked with preparing all students, regardless of initial level of English proficiency, for academic and professional writing.
Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1690-1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century (The Edinburgh History of Womens Periodical Culture in Britain), edited by Jennie Batchelor and Manushag Powell, 1st Edition, Edinburgh University Press; 2018.
This innovative volume presents for the first time collective expertise on women's magazines and periodicals of the long eighteenth century. While this period witnessed the birth of modern periodical culture and its ability to shape aspects of society from the popular to the political, most studies have traditionally obscured the very active role women's voices and women readers played in shaping the periodicals that in turn shaped Britain. The 30 essays here demonstrate the importance of periodicals to women, the importance of women to periodicals, and, crucially, they correct the destructive misconception that the more canonized periodicals and popular magazines were enemy or discontinuous forms. This collection shows how both periodicals and women drove debates on politics, education, theatre, celebrity, social practice, popular reading and everyday life itself.
Of Levinas and Shakespeare: To See Another Thus, edited by Moshe Gold, Sandor Goodhart, and Kent Lehnhof, Purdue University Press, 2018.
Scholars have used Levinas as a lens through which to view many authors and texts, fields of endeavor, and works of art. Yet no book-length work or dedicated volume has brought this thoughtful lens to bear in a sustained discussion of the works of Shakespeare. It should not surprise anyone that Levinas identified his own thinking as Shakespearean. "The play’s the thing" for both, or put differently, the observation of intersubjectivity is. What may surprise and indeed delight all learned readers is to consider what we might yet gain from considering each in light of the other.
Calling a Wolf a Wolf, Kaveh Akbar, Alice James Books, 2017.
This highly-anticipated debut boldly confronts addiction and courses the strenuous path of recovery, beginning in the wilds of the mind. Poems confront craving, control, the constant battle of alcoholism and sobriety, and the questioning of the self and its instincts within the context of this never-ending fight.
Man Praying, Donald Platt, Parlor Press, 2017
In his sixth book, Donald Platt starts a poem by exclaiming, “The days are one thousand / puzzle pieces.” He gathers up the days into this book of terrors and ecstasies decanted in seamlessly reversing tercets of long and short lines, syllabic couplets, and lyric prose. The puzzle pieces include a dying father-in-law, AIDS, maimed World War I veterans, Caravaggio’s painting of the beheading of St. John the Baptist (his largest canvas), and the story of a gay boxer who KOs and kills the opponent who has called him a faggot at the weigh-in. It is a book that encompasses contradictions. The poet writes about his bisexuality, his close and intimate marriage, Rudolf Nureyev, a daughter with manic depression, a painting by James Ensor entitled Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889, and la Playa los Muertos, the Beach of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The poet puts these fragments of a life together into a thousand-piece jigsaw, a self-portrait of the artist in middle age, and calls it unabashedly Man Praying.
Once, In Lourdes, Sharon Solwitz, Random House, 2017.
As the Vietnam War rages overseas, four friends make a vow. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship.
In the two-week span in which the novel takes place, during the summer before their senior year of high school, the lives of Kay, CJ, Saint, and Vera will change beyond their expectations, and what they gain and lose will determine the novel’s outcome. Once, in Lourdes is a gripping, haunting novel about the power of teenage bonds, the story of four young people who will win your heart and transport you back to your own high school years. As the heady 1960s shift the ground beneath their feet, all of them must face who they are—and who they want to be.
The Little Death of Self: Nine Essays toward Poetry, Marianne Boruch, University of Michigan Press, 2017.
The line between poetry (the delicate, surprising not-quite) and the essay (the emphatic what-about and so-there!) is thin, easily crossed. Both the poem and the essay work beyond a human sense of time. Both welcome a deep mulling-over, endlessly mixing image and idea and running with scissors; certainly each distrusts the notion of premise or formulaic progression. The essays in The Little Death of Self emerged by way of an odd detail or bothersome question that would not quit— Why does the self grow smaller as the poem grows enormous, or as quiet as a half-second of genuine discovery? Why does closure in a poem so often mean keep going, so what if the world is ending! Must we stalk the poem or does the poem stalk us until the world clicks open?
Future History: Global Fantasies in English and American Writings, Kristina Bross, Oxford University Press, 2017.
Kristina Bross’s current book, Future History: Global Fantasies in English and American Writings, extends her interests in colonial identity, cultural contact, and archival theory to a study of how early modern English and American writers imagined themselves in the world before England was a global power. Reviewers praised Bross as “unusually good at engaging her sources,” noted that the book’s “disciplinarity is hard to pigeonhole,” and praised her book manuscript as “imaginative, exciting, and persuasive.”
Reading Environmental History: Ecological Memory in the Wake of Landscape Change, Christian Knoeller, University of Nevada Press, 2017.
Christian Knoeller presents a radical reinterpretation of environmental history set in the heartland of America. In an excellent model of narrative-based scholarship, this book dynamically reimagines American environmentalism across generations of writers, artists, and scientists. Knoeller starts out with Audubon, and cites Thoreau’s journals in the 1850s as he assesses an early 17th century account of New England’s natural resources by William Wood, showing the epic decline in game and bird populations in Concord. This reading of environmental history is replicated throughout with a gallery of novelists, poets, essayists, and other commentators as they explore ecological memory and environmental destruction. In apt discussions of Matthiessen, Lopez, Wendell Berry, William Stafford and many others, Knoeller offers vibrant insights into literary history. He also cites his own memoir of perpetual development on his family’s farm in Indiana, enriching the scholarship and making an urgent plea for the healing aesthetics of the imagination.