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Bread and Circuses
Theories of Mass Culture As Social Decay
Patrick Brantlinger
Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories of mass culture, it ranges widely from Greek and Roman origins, through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Ortega y Gasset, T. S. Eliot, and the...



After Lavinia
A Literary History of Premodern Marriage Diplomacy
John Watkins
In medieval and early modern Europe, marriage treaties were a perennial feature of the diplomatic landscape. In After Lavinia, John Watkins traces the history of the practice, focusing on the unusually close relationship between diplomacy and literary production in Western Europe from antiquity through the seventeenth...



Borderwork
Feminist Engagements with Comparative Literature
The first book to assess the impact of feminist criticism on comparative literature, Borderwork recharts the intellectual and institutional boundaries on that discipline and calls for the contextualization of the study of comparative literature within the areas of discourse, culture, ideology, race, and...



The Challenge of Bewilderment
Understanding and Representation in James, Conrad, and Ford
Paul B. Armstrong
The Challenge of Bewilderment treats the epistemology of representation in major works by Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford, attempting to explain how the novel turned away from its traditional concern with realistic representation and toward self-consciousness about the relation between knowing and...



Chaos Bound
Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science
N. Katherine Hayles
N. Katherine Hayles here investigates parallels between contemporary literature and critical theory and the science of chaos. She finds in both scientific and literary discourse new interpretations of chaos, which is seen no longer as disorder but as a locus of maximum information and complexity. She examines structures and themes of disorder...



The City Lament
Jerusalem across the Medieval Mediterranean
Tamar M. Boyadjian
Poetic elegies for lost or fallen cities are seemingly as old as cities themselves. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this genre finds its purest expression in the Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem; in Arabic, this genre is known as the rithā’ al-mudun. The City Lament, Tamar M. Boyadjian traces the trajectory of...



The Cosmic Web
Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century
N. Katherine Hayles, Katherine Hayles
From the central concept of the field—which depicts the world as a mutually interactive whole, with each part connected to every other part by an underlying field— have come models as diverse as quantum mathematics and Saussure’s theory of language. In The Cosmic Web, N. Katherine Hayles seeks to establish the scope of the field concept and to...



Critical Terrains
French and British Orientalisms
Lisa Lowe
Examining and historicizing the concept of "otherness" in both literature and criticism, Lisa Lowe explores representations of non-European cultures in British and French writings from the eighteenth through the twentieth century. Lowe traces the intersections of culture, class, and sexuality in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy...



Decadent Genealogies
The Rhetoric of Sickness from Baudelaire to D'Annunzio
Barbara Spackman
Barbara Spackman here examines the ways in which decadent writers adopted the language of physiological illness and alteration as a figure for psychic...



Diogenes of Oinoanda/Diogène d'Oenoanda
Epicureanism and Philosophical Debates/Épicurisme et controverses
The texts of Diogenes of Oinoanda (2nd century AD) who invited his readers to an Epicurean life is the largest ancient inscription ever discovered. Over 70 new finds have increased the number of known wall blocks and fragments to nearly 300, offering new insights into Diogenes' distinctive presentation of philosophy. This collection of essays...



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