New Books in Literary Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of Literature about their New Books
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1268 episodes

On Sholem Aleichem’s "The Tevye Stories"

The original production of Fiddler on the Roof won nine Tony awards, held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical, and was adapted into a hit movie. But the musical itself was an adaptation of Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye Stories. Aleichem aimed to create a high literature for Yiddish-speaking readers, but his influence spread much further, to a new country, a new language, and a new medium. Harvard Professor Saul Noam Zaritt discusses the stories behind the musical. Saul Noam Zaritt is an Assistant Professor of Yiddish Studies at Harvard University. He is a founding editor of In geveb, an open-access digital journal of Yiddish studies. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

26m
Aug 12
Simone White, "Or, on Being the Other Woman" (Duke UP, 2022)

In or, on being the other woman (Duke UP, 2022), Simone White considers the dynamics of contemporary black feminist life. Throughout this book-length poem, White writes through a hybrid of poetry, essay, personal narrative, and critical theory, attesting to the narrative complexities of writing and living as a black woman and artist. She considers black social life—from art and motherhood to trap music and love—as unspeakably troubling and reflects on the degree to which it strands and punishes black women. She also explores what constitutes sexual freedom and the rewards and dangers that come with it. White meditates on trap music and the ways artists such as Future and Meek Mill and the sonic waves of the drum machine convey desire and the black experience. Charting the pressures of ordinary black womanhood, White pushes the limits of language, showing how those limits can be the basis for new modes of expression. Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelleedmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 9m
Aug 11
On Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

Zora Neale Hurston was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance, but her novels didn’t conform to the style of her contemporaries. As a result, her work was almost lost—until the writer Alice Walker found her unmarked grave in 1974. Now, Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is on high school reading lists across the US. Dartmouth professor and poet Joshua Bennett discusses the novel’s longstanding impact and what it can teach us about cancel culture. Joshua Bennett is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He is the author of The Sobbing School. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. You can hear the full interview with Professor Bennett on the Lyceum app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

37m
Aug 09
Julia May Jonas, "Vladimir: A Novel" (Simon & Schuster, 2022)

Julia May Jonas is a writer, director, and the founder of theater company Nellie Tinder. She has taught at Skidmore College and NYU and lives in Brooklyn with her family. Vladimir (Simon & Schuster, 2022) is her first novel. Books Recommended in this Episode: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter In the Dark Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin Sarah Moss, Ghost Wall Elisa Albert, Human Blues  Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

38m
Aug 09
Alice M. Kelly, "Decolonising the Conrad Canon" (Liverpool UP, 2022)

With the pressing work of decolonising our reading lists gaining traction in UK higher educational contexts, Decolonising the Conrad Canon (Liverpool UP, 2022) shows how those author-Gods most associated with the colonial literary canon can also be retooled through decolonial, queer, feminist readings. This book finds pockets of powerful anti-colonial resistance and queer dissonance in Joseph Conrad's lesser-known works - breathing spaces from the colonial rhetoric that dominates his novels - and traces the female characters who voice them off the page and into their transmedia (digital/illustrative/cinematic) afterlives. From Immada and Edith's queer gaze in The Rescue and the periodical illustrations that accompanied its initial serialization, to Aïssa's sustained critique of imperialism in An Outcast of the Islands and her portrayal on mass-market paperback book covers, to the structural female bonds of Almayer's Folly and Nina's embodiment in Chantal Akerman's adaptation La Folie Almayer, this book centres Conrad's female characters as viable, meaning-making citizens of the canon. Through this intervention, Decolonising the Conrad Canon proposes an innovative model for teaching, reading and studying not just Joseph Conrad's work but the colonial literary canon more broadly. Dr. Alice Kelly is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

49m
Aug 08
Heide Hinrichs and Jo-Ey Tang, "Shelf Documents: Art Library as Practice" (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, 2021)

How can a library change the world? How can an art library change the art school or the gallery? Or even an art practice? In Shelf Documents: Art Library as Practice (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, 2021), artists, writers, curators, teachers, and librarians reflect on how they can use the beloved library as a source of inspiration or a field of action. In thinking about diversity in collections, the publication proposes art libraries as sites of intersubjective communion. shelf documents is rooted in a collaborative book acquisition project, initiated by the artist Heide Hinrichs at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, in which her group integrated over 200 new titles in art libraries as a way to fill gaps, to amplify voices, and seek out the self-initiated or the overlooked. Heide Hinrichs, Elizabeth Haines, and Jo-ey Tang speak to Pierre d’Alancaisez about working with institutions, working slowly, and working together to interfere with the permanence of libraries. Heide Hinrichs is an artist who works with found and existing materials. For the first Kathmandu Triennale, she developed the project On Some of the Birds of Nepal. In 2018, she published Silent Sisters/Stille Schwestern, an unauthorised German translation of Theresa Hak Kyng Cha’s novel Dictee. Elizabeth Haines is a historian and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol. Her interdisciplinary interest in the materiality of knowledge productions draws on her education in fine arts. Jo-ey Tang is an artist, curator, and writer. He was previously the director of exhibitions at the Beeler Galery at Columbus College of Art & Design and is currently the director of Kadist, San Francisco. The list of books involved in the project is available at second-shelf.org. Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

56m
Aug 05
On Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass"

“These United States are themselves the greatest poem.” When Walt Whitman wrote this line, he was an unknown Brooklyn newspaper man. But his work would transform American poetry and offer a new vision of American identity—one that was diverse, urban, and embodied. In this episode, Harvard professor Elisa New discusses Walt Whitman’s legacy. Elisa New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University. She is the creator and host of the TV show Poetry in America, and author of The Line's Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight and New England, Beyond Criticism: Rereading America's First Literature. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

39m
Aug 05
Jason Stacy, "Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

A literary and cultural milestone, Spoon River Anthology captured an idea of the rural Midwest that became a bedrock myth of life in small-town America. Jason Stacy places the book within the atmosphere of its time and follows its progress as the poetry took root and thrived. Published by Edgar Lee Masters in 1915, Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town (U Illinois Press, 2021) won praise from modernists while becoming an ongoing touchstone for American popular culture. Stacy charts the ways readers embraced, debated, and reshaped Masters’s work in literary controversies and culture war skirmishes; in films and other media that over time saw the small town as idyllic then conflicted then surreal; and as the source of three archetypes—populist, elite, and exile—that endure across the landscape of American culture in the twenty-first century. A wide-ranging reconsideration of a literary landmark, Spoon River America tells the story of how a Midwesterner's poetry helped change a nation's conception of itself. Jason Stacy is a professor of history and social science pedagogy at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He is the author of Walt Whitman's Multitudes: Labor Reform and Persona in Whitman’s Journalism and the First Leaves of Grass, 1840–1855 and editor of Leaves of Grass, 1860: The 150th Anniversary Facsimile Edition. Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found at https://fifteenminutefilm.podbean.com/ and on Twitter @15MinFilm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 0m
Aug 05
Mohsin Hamid, "The Last White Man" (Riverhead, 2022)

Mohsin Hamid is the author of five novels -- The Last White Man, Exit West, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Moth Smoke -- and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations. His writing has been translated into forty languages, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California. Mohsin Recommends: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day  Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

30m
Aug 05
Christopher Krentz, "Elusive Kinship: Disability and Human Rights in Postcolonial Literature" (Temple UP, 2022)

Dr. Christopher Krentz is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he has a joint appointment with the departments of English and American Sign Language. He is also the author of Writing Deafness: The Hearing Line in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and editor of A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816–1864, as well as numerous articles about disability in literature and culture. He is currently director of the University of Virginia’s Disability Studies Initiative and helped found their American Sign Language Program. Characters with disabilities are often overlooked in fiction, but many occupy central places in literature by celebrated authors like Chinua Achebe, Salman Rushdie, J. M. Coetzee, Anita Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edwidge Danticat, and others. These authors deploy disability to do important cultural work, writes Christopher Krentz in his innovative study, Elusive Kinship: Disability and Human Rights in Postcolonial Literature (Temple UP, 2022). Such representations not only relate to the millions of disabled people in the Global South, but also make more vivid such issues as the effects of colonialism, global capitalism, racism and sexism, war, and environmental disaster. Krentz is the first to put the fields of postcolonial studies, studies of human rights and literature, and literary disability in conversation with each other in a book-length study. He enhances our appreciation of key texts of Anglophone postcolonial literature of the Global South, including Things Fall Apart and Midnight’s Children. In addition, he uncovers the myriad ways fiction gains energy, vitality, and metaphoric force from characters with extraordinary bodies or minds. Depicting injustices faced by characters with disabilities is vital to raising awareness and achieving human rights. Elusive Kinship nudges us toward a fuller understanding of disability worldwide. Autumn Wilke works in higher education as an ADA coordinator and diversity officer and is also an author and doctoral candidate with research/topics related to disability and higher education. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

22m
Aug 05
On "The Story of the Stone"

The 1750s are remembered as a high point of China's Qing Dynasty: a time of power, prestige, and social harmony. But The Story of the Stone paints a different picture: one of harmful traditions, political corruption, and inter-generational conflict. Over 250 years later, it's one of the most loved novels in Chinese literature, with dozens of adaptations and an entire field of scholarship dedicated to it. In this episode, Stanford professor Ronald Egan discusses the revolutionary story and its enduring impact. Ronald Egan is the Confucius Institute Professor of Sinology at Stanford University. He is the author of Li Qingzhao: China's Foremost Woman Poet, The Literary Works of Ou-yang Hsui, and more. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Join the conversation on the Lyceum app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

28m
Aug 04
On Thomas of Monmouth's "The Life and Passion of William of Norwich"

There is only one surviving copy of The Life and Passion of William of Norwich, but its story continues to haunt us. When 12th-century monk Thomas of Monmouth learned of a young boy’s murder in his community, he accused his Jewish neighbors of the heinous crime. Over the course of two decades, he wrote a seven-volume conspiracy theory, building out the accusation and cementing it in history. Stanford professor Rowan Dorin discusses the book’s creation and its challenging legacy. Rowan Dorin is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

32m
Aug 03
Book Talk 54: Anne Fernald on Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway"

Halfway through Mrs Dalloway, Septimus Smith mutters to himself: "Communication is health; communication is happiness, communication.” It’s easy to write off his message that communication is vital for human existence. He’s a shell-shocked World War I vet, who, in this moment, hallucinates that the birds are communicating with him in grief. But in her landmark 1925 novel, Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf understands his traumatized psyche with deep generosity and compassion. Indeed, the book’s pervasive sense is that “it takes a lot of bravery to live a single day,” but that such everyday bravery is amply, richly, wonderfully rewarded in even the simplest of acts. I spoke with Anne Fernald about Mrs Dalloway’s profound politics of emotion—and a host of other ideas. Anne is Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Fordham University. She is the editor of Mrs. Dalloway (2014) and the Norton Critical Edition of Mrs. Dalloway (2021), and the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006). Her incredible knowledge of and love for Woolf is itself an act of bravery, as you can hear in our conversation. You can find Warbler Press’s authoritative edition, with a new introduction by me, here. Uli Baer teaches literature and photography as University Professor at New York University. A recipient of Guggenheim, Getty and Humboldt awards, in addition to hosting "Think About It” he hosts (with Caroline Weber) the podcast "The Proust Questionnaire” and is Editorial Director at Warbler Press. Email ucb1@nyu.edu; Twitter @UliBaer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 35m
Aug 03
Philip Tsang, "The Obsolete Empire: Untimely Belonging in Twentieth-Century British Literature" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021)

Modernist literature at the end of the British empire challenges conventional notions of homeland, heritage, and community.The waning British empire left behind an abundance of material relics and an inventory of feelings not easily relinquished.  In The Obsolete Empire: Untimely Belonging in Twentieth-Century British Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021), Philip Tsang brings together an unusual constellation of writers—Henry James, James Joyce, Doris Lessing, and V. S. Naipaul—to trace an aesthetics of frustrated attachment that emerged in the wake of imperial decline. Caught between an expansive Britishness and an exclusive Englishness, these writers explored what it meant to belong to an empire that did not belong to them.Thanks to their voracious reading of English fiction and poetry in their formative years, all of these writers experienced a richly textured world with which they deeply identified but from which they felt excluded. The literary England they imagined, frozen in time and out of place with the realities of imperial decline, in turn figures in their writings as a repository of unconsummated attachments, contradictory desires, and belated exchanges. Their works arrest the linear progression from colonial to postcolonial, from empire to nation, and from subject to citizen. Drawing on a rich body of scholarship on affect and temporality, Tsang demonstrates how the British empire endures as a structure of desire that outlived its political lifespan. By showing how literary reading sets in motion a tense interplay of intimacy and exclusion, Tsang investigates a unique mode of belonging arising from the predicament of being conscripted into a global empire but not desired as its proper citizen. Ultimately, The Obsolete Empire asks: What does it mean to be inside or outside any given culture? How do large-scale geopolitical changes play out at the level of cultural attachment and political belonging? How does literary reading establish or unsettle narratives of who we are? These questions preoccupied writers across Britain's former empire and continue to resonate today. Dr. Philip Tsang is Assistant Professor at Colorado State University.  Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

47m
Aug 03
Emily O. Wittman, "Interwar Itineraries: Authenticity in Anglophone and French Travel Writing" (Amherst College Press, 2022)

How people traveled, and how people wrote about travel, changed in the interwar years. Novel technologies eased travel conditions, breeding new iterations of the colonizing gaze. The sense that another war was coming lent urgency and anxiety to the search for new places and "authentic" experiences. In Interwar Itineraries: Authenticity in Anglophone and French Travel Writing (Amherst College Press, 2022), Emily O. Wittman identifies a diverse group of writers from two languages who embarked on such quests. For these writers, authenticity was achieved through rugged adventure abroad to economically poorer destinations. Using translation theory and new approaches in travel studies and global modernisms, Wittman links and complicates the symbolic and rhetorical strategies of writers including André Gide, Ernest Hemingway, Michel Leiris, Isak Dinesen, Beryl Markham, among others, that offer insight into the high ethical stakes of travel and allow us to see in new ways how models of the authentic self are built and maintained through asymmetries of encounter. This book is available open-access here.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 2m
Aug 03
Wendy Doniger, "After the War: The Last Books of the Mahabharata" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Wendy Doniger's After the War: The Last Books of the Mahabharata (Oxford UP, 2022) is a new translation of the final part of the Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit Epic poem about a devastating fraternal war. In this aftermath of the great war, the surviving heroes find various deaths, ranging from a drunken debacle in which they kill many of their own comrades to suicide through meditation and, finally, magical transportation to both heaven and hell. Bereaved mothers and widows on earth are comforted when their dead sons and husbands are magically conjured up from heaven and emerge from a river to spend one glorious night on earth with their loved ones. Ultimately, the bitterly opposed heroes of both sides are reconciled in heaven, but only when they finally let go of the vindictive masculine pride that has made each episode of violence give rise to another. Throughout the text, issues of truth and reconciliation, of the competing beliefs in various afterlives, and of the ultimate purpose of human life are debated. This last part of the Mahabharata has much to tell us both about the deep wisdom of Indian poets during the centuries from 300 BCE to 300 CE (the dates of the recension of this enormous text) and about the problems that we ourselves confront in the aftermath of our own genocidal and internecine wars. The author, a distinguished translator of Sanskrit texts (including the Rig Veda, the Laws of Manu, and the Kamasutra), puts the text into clear, flowing, contemporary prose, with a comprehensive but unintrusive critical apparatus. This book will delight general readers and enlighten students of Indian civilization and of great world literature. Ujaan Ghosh is a graduate student at the Department of Art History at University of Wisconsin, Madison Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

57m
Aug 02
On Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days"

When French author Jules Verne wrote Around the World in 80 Days in the late 1800s, scheduled global travel was practically science fiction, and 80 days seemed impossibly fast. But his techno-futurist novel inspired everyday adventurers to traverse the globe by boat, train, bike, and foot—and beat his protagonist’s record. Harvard professor Joyce Chaplin discusses what we can learn from Jules Verne’s classic novel. Joyce Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. She is the author of Round About The Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

28m
Aug 02
Timothy Bewes, "Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age" (Columbia UP, 2022)

What is the purpose of a novel? What purpose or logic do literary critics assign to a novel? How has the novel changed? What does that mean for its readers and literary criticism in the contemporary era? What does novel share with cinema and what does that mean for contemporary thought? Timothy Bewes provides brilliant insights on these questions in his book, Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age (Columbia UP, 2022). Everywhere today, we are urged to “connect.” Literary critics celebrate a new "honesty" in contemporary fiction or call for a return to "realism." Yet such rhetoric is strikingly reminiscent of earlier theorizations. Two of the most famous injunctions of twentieth-century writing - E. M. Forster's “Only connect . . .” and Fredric Jameson’s “Always historicize!” - helped establish connection as the purpose of the novel and its reconstruction as the task of criticism. But what if connection was not the novel’s modus operandi but the defining aesthetic ideology of our era-and its most monetizable commodity? What kind of thought is left for the novel when all ideas are acceptable as long as they can be fitted to a consumer profile? This book develops a new theory of the novel for the twenty-first century. In the works of writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Rachel Cusk, James Kelman, W. G. Sebald, and Zadie Smith, Timothy Bewes identifies a mode of thought that he calls "free indirect," in which the novel's refusal of prevailing ideologies can be found. It is not situated in a character or a narrator and does not take a subjective or perceptual form. Far from heralding the arrival of a new literary genre, this development represents the rediscovery of a quality that has been largely ignored by theorists: thought at the limits of form. Free Indirect contends that this self-awakening of contemporary fiction represents the most promising solution to the problem of thought today. Iqra Shagufta Cheema is writer, researcher, and chronic procrastinator. When she does write, she writes in the areas of postmodernist postcolonial literatures, transnational feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and film studies. Check out her latest book chapter Queer Love: He is also Made in Heaven. She can be reached via email at IqraSCheema@gmail.com or Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

45m
Aug 02
Joshua A. Fogel and Matthew Fraleigh, "Sino-Japanese Reflections: Literary and Cultural Interactions between China and Japan in Early Modernity" (de Gruyter, 2022)

Joshua A. Fogel and Matthew Fraleigh's edited volume Sino-Japanese Reflections: Literary and Cultural Interactions between China and Japan in Early Modernity (de Gruyter, 2022) offers ten richly detailed case studies that examine various forms of cultural and literary interaction between Japanese and Chinese intellectuals from the late Ming to the early twentieth century. The authors consider efforts by early modern scholars on each side of the Yellow Sea to understand the language and culture of the other, to draw upon received texts and forms, and to contribute to shared literary practices. Whereas literary and cultural flow within the Sinosphere is sometimes imagined to be an entirely unidirectional process of textual dissemination from China to the periphery, the contributions to this volume reveal a more complex picture: highlighting how literary and cultural engagement was always an opportunity for creative adaptation and negotiation. Examining materials such as Chinese translations of Japanese vernacular poetry, Japanese engagements with Chinese supernatural stories, adaptations of Japanese historical tales into vernacular Chinese, Sinitic poetry composed in Japan, and Japanese Sinology, the volume brings together recent work by literary scholars and intellectual historians of multiple generations, all of whom have a strong comparative interest in Sino-Japanese studies. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

44m
Aug 02
Kimberly Anne Coles, "Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2022)

Kimberly Anne Coles is Professor of English at the University of Maryland; her first book, Religion, Reform and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2008. Her work has been supported by the John W. Kluge Center, the Warburg Institute, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Today, we are discussing Bad Humor: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England, which was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2022. In Bad Humor, Professor Coles charts how concerns around lineage, religion and nation converged around a pseudoscientific system that confirmed the absolute difference between Protestants and Catholics, guaranteed the noble quality of English blood, and justified English colonial domination. Professor Coles delineates the process whereby religious error, first resident in the body, becomes marked on the skin. Early modern medical theory bound together psyche and soma in mutual influence. By the end of the sixteenth century, there is a general acceptance that the soul's condition, as a consequence of religious belief or its absence, could be manifest in the humoral disposition of the physical body. The history that this book unfolds describes developments in natural philosophy in the early part of the sixteenth century that force a subsequent reconsideration of the interactions of body and soul and that bring medical theory and theological discourse into close, even inextricable, contact. With particular consideration to how these ideas are reflected in texts by Elizabeth Cary, John Donne, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Mary Wroth, and others, Professor Coles reveals how science and religion meet nascent capitalism and colonial endeavor to create a taxonomy of Christians in Black and White. John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 2m
Jul 29
On the Wanderer's Havamal and the Poetic Edda

Dr. Jackson W. Crawford is Instructor of Nordic Studies and Coordinator of the Nordic Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Crawford is the author and translator of The Wanderer’s Havamal and The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes. Both books are available from Hackett Publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

54m
Jul 28
Alice Elliott Dark, "Fellowship Point: A Novel" (Simon and Schuster, 2022)

Alice Elliott Dark is the author of the novels Fellowship Point and Think of England, and two collections of short stories, In The Gloaming and Naked to the Waist. Her work has appeared in, among others, The New Yorker, Harper's, DoubleTake, Ploughshares, A Public Space, Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards, and has been translated into many languages. "In the Gloaming," a story, was chosen by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of The Century and was made into films by HBO and Trinity Playhouse. Her non-fiction reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many anthologies. She is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Associate Professor at Rutgers-Newark in the English department and the MFA program. Books Recommended in this episode: Fellowship Point (Simon and Schuster, 2022) Alice Recommends: Elena Ferrante, The Neapolitan Quartet Jean Stafford, The Catherine Wheel Willa Cather, The Professor’s House Joanne Beard, Festival Days Mary Oliver, Upstream Rebecca Solnit, Orwell’s Roses Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 2m
Jul 26
F. Brett Cox, "Roger Zelazny" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) combined poetic prose with fearless literary ambition to become one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 1960s. Yet many critics found his later novels underachieving and his turn to fantasy a disappointment.  In Roger Zelazny (University of Illinois Press, 2021), F. Brett Cox surveys the landscape of Zelazny's creative life and contradictions. Launched by the classic 1963 short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes," Zelazny soon won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with …And Call Me Conrad and two years later won again for Lord of Light. Cox looks at the author's overnight success and follows Zelazny into a period of continued formal experimentation, the commercial triumph of the Amber sword and sorcery novels, and renewed acclaim for Hugo-winning novellas such as “Home Is the Hangman” and “24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai.” Throughout, Cox analyzes aspects of Zelazny's art, from his preference for poetically alienated protagonists to the ways his plots reflected his determined individualism. F. (Francis) Brett Cox is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Norwich University. In addition to his critical study of Roger Zelazny (recently awarded second place for nonfiction in the 2022 Locus Awards), he has published over thirty short stories, most of which appear in his collection The End of All Our Exploring: Stories (Fairwood Press, 2018). He has also co-edited the anthology Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004). Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found at https://fifteenminutefilm.podbean.com/ and on Twitter @15MinFilm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 7m
Jul 26
Elliott Rabin, "The Biblical Hero: Portraits in Nobility and Fallibility" (Jewish Publication Society, 2020)

Today I talked to Elliott Rabin about his book The Biblical Hero: Portraits in Nobility and Fallibility (Jewish Publication Society, 2020). Approaching the Bible in an original way—comparing biblical heroes to heroes in world literature—Rabin addresses a core biblical question: What is the Bible telling us about what it means to be a hero? Focusing on the lives of six major biblical characters—Moses, Samson, David, Esther, Abraham, and Jacob—Rabin examines their resemblance to hero types found in (and perhaps drawn from) other literatures and analyzes why the Bible depicts its heroes less gloriously than do the texts of other cultures. Matthew Miller is a graduate of Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah. He studied Jewish Studies and Linguistics at McGill for his BA and completed an MA in Hebrew Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He works with Jewish organizations in media and content distribution, such as TheHabura.com and RabbiEfremGoldberg.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

59m
Jul 22
Prison Notebooks: Thinking (and Writing) about Incarceration

I can point you to mountains of research about prisons. I can also recommend at least a dozen Netflix documentaries, and highlight a handful of radical activists and scholars. There’s a lot of intellectual work done about prison. But what about intellectual work done in prison? As part of this week’s “ideas in strange places” theme, we want to play you this episode from right near when we started Darts and Letters, where we ask what kind of radical thought can come from the extreme oppression prisoners endure. We’ll be back with brand new episodes on September 18th, until then we’re replaying the best of our catalogue with a different theme each week. In Prison Notebooks… First, in the opening essay, host Gordon Katic discusses the long history of radical prison writing. From Thoreau to Gramsci, MLK, Oscar Wilde, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and even Wittgenstein. Next (@5:36), Chandra Bozelko served 6 years, three months, and 11 days in a women’s prison in Connecticut. While inside, she started an award-winning newspaper column. She tells us what writing did for her while inside, and what everyday prison intellectualism really looks like. Then (@42:30), Justin Piché edits one of the most amazing academic journals you will ever come across. It’s called the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons. It has been around for over thirty years. In each and every edition, you will see brilliant scholarly work—it just so happens that this work is written by prisoners themselves. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. —————————-CONTACT US————————- To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to write us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly. —————————-CREDITS—————————- This episode of Darts and Letters was produced by Jay Cockburn. Research and support from David Moscrop and Addye Susnick. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, and our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 3m
Jul 21
85* Pu Wang and John Plotz look back on their Cixin Liu interview

Our first August rebroadcast was John and Pu's 2019 interview with SF superstar Cixin Liu (you may want to re-listen to that episode before this one!). Here, they reflect on the most significant things that Liu had said, and to ponder the political situation for contemporary Chinese writers who come to the West to discuss their work. They consider whether our world is like a cabinet in a basement, and what kind of optimism or pessimism might be available to science fiction writers. They compare the interview to a recent profile of Liu in The New Yorker, and ponder the advantages and disadvantages of pressing writers to weigh in on the hot-button topics of the day. Discussed in this episode: Cixin Liu, The Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End Jiayang Fan, “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds” (New Yorker interview/profile) Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution Isaac Asimov, The End of Eternity George Melies (dir.), A Voyage to the Moon Fritz Lang (dir.), Metropolis Frant Gwo (dir.), The Wandering Earth Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov Transcript available here. Elizabeth Ferry is Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University. Email: ferry@brandeis.edu. John Plotz is Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative. Email: plotz@brandeis.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

31m
Jul 21
Volodymyr Rafeyenko, "Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love" (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2022)

Today I talked to Mark Andryczyk, translator of Volodymyr Rafeyenko’s novel Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2022). A mondegreen is something that is heard improperly by someone who then clings to that misinterpretation as fact. Fittingly, Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love explores the ways that memory and language construct our identity, and how we hold on to it no matter what. The novel tells the story of Haba Habinsky, a refugee from Ukraine’s Donbas region, who has escaped to the capital city of Kyiv at the onset of the Ukrainian–Russian war. His physical dislocation—and his subsequent willful adoption of the Ukrainian language—place the protagonist in a state of disorientation during which he is forced to challenge his convictions. Written in beautiful, experimental style, the novel shows how people—and cities—are capable of radical transformation and how this, in turn, affects their interpersonal relations and cultural identification. Taking on crucial topics stirred by Russian aggression that began in 2014, the novel stands out for the innovative and probing manner in which it dissects them, while providing a fresh Donbas perspective on Ukrainian identity. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

32m
Jul 21
World Literature

Roanne Kantor tells us about World Literature, in the ideas and practices of readers, writers, and scholars. Spatial metaphors like libraries, closets, and airport bookshops, help her imagine the “world” in world literature. In the episode Roanne references work by many scholars in the field, including David Damrosch’s What is World Literature (Princeton UP, 2003); Debjani Ganguly’s This Thing Called the World (Duke UP, 2016), and Gloria Fisk’s Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature (Columbia UP, 2018). In the longer version of our conversation, we talked about how little magazines from the 1970s New York literary scene, like Ed Sanders’ Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, circulated in South Asia, inspiring avant-garde magazines like Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s damn you/a magazine of the arts. Roanne is an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She has a brand new book, South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English, (Cambridge UP, 2022). If you want to learn more about the world of world lit, check it out. This week’s image of an airport bookshop at the Incheon International Airport in South Korea, was photographed by Adli Wahid and made publicly available on Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons License. Music used in promotional material: ‘Six More Weeks’ by Evening Fires Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

14m
Jul 21
The Kushnameh: The Persian Epic of Kush the Tusked

The Kushnameh is unique, literally. Only one copy of the “Epic of Kush”exists, sitting in the British Library. Hardly anything is known about its author, Iranshah. It features a quite villainous protagonist, the tusked warrior Kush, who carves a swathe of destruction across the region. And it spans nearly half the world, with episodes in Spain, the Maghreb, India, China and even Korea. It was that last reference that encouraged academics in Korea to study the Kushnameh, and bring Kaveh Hemmat to do its first-ever English translation, published by the University of California Press this year.  Kaveh L. Hemmat is assistant professor, professional faculty in History at Benedictine University, scholar of world history and Islamicate culture, director of the NEH-funded Khataynameh Translation Project, an unusually determined cyclist, and a dabbler in sundry pursuits ranging from sourdough bread baking to drawing. He completed his Ph.D at the University of Chicago in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 2014. His research focuses on interaction between the Islamic world and East Asia and the importance of this interaction to Islamic political thought and premodern global political history. In this interview, Kaveh and I discuss this unique document and the cultural and political context behind its writing.  You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of the Kushnameh. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

39m
Jul 21
Darts and Lasers: The Future of Science Fiction, Afro-Futurism, and Feminist Speculative Fiction

It’s stardate 99040.01 and lead producer Jay Cockburn is temporarily taking over command of Darts and Letters for an episode. For this episode, as part of the week’s theme of “ideas in strange places” we boldly go into the strange new worlds of science fiction, revealing how it’s long been a vehicle for radical thought. We dig into post-scarcity, Afrofuturism, and feminist speculative fiction as we set our phasers to fun and go where no podcast has gone before. This episode is a rebroadcast from our catalogue. We’re revisiting some of our favourites until the new season of Darts and Letters launches on September 18th. First (@10:54), Cory Doctorow is a journalist, activist, blogger, and author of many books including the post-scarcity speculative fiction novel Walkaway. He takes us through the idea of a post-scarcity world as he breaks down the idea of abundance and what we might do with it, or not. Then, (@34:52), Nalo Hopkinson is a science fiction writer, editor, professor, and author of Brown Girl in the Ring. She talks to us about Afrofuturism as a critical lens and different ways of seeing the future for different communities — and re-imagining the present. Plus, be sure to read her own recommendation: Sister Mine. Finally, (@49:43), Batya Weinbaum is a poet, artist, professor, and the editor of FemSpec, an academic journal of feminist speculative fiction. She charts the history of feminism in science fiction and how art, including novels, helps drive social, political, and economic change. —————————-CONTACT US————————- To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to write to us, email darts@citedmedia.ca or tweet Gordon directly. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. —————————-CREDITS—————————- Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic; this episode our guest host and lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Gordon Katic is our editor. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. Our research assistants for this episode were Addye Susnick and David Moscrop. Our theme song was created by Mike Barber. Our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/literary-studies

1h 2m
Jul 20