front cover of Abusing Religion
Abusing Religion
Literary Persecution, Sex Scandals, and American Minority Religions
Megan Goodwin
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Sex abuse happens in all communities, but American minority religions often face disproportionate allegations of sexual abuse. Why, in a country that consistently fails to acknowledge—much less address—the sexual abuse of women and children, do American religious outsiders so often face allegations of sexual misconduct?  Why does the American public presume to know “what’s really going on” in minority religious communities?  Why are sex abuse allegations such an effective way to discredit people on America’s religious margins? What makes Americans so willing, so eager to identify religion as the cause of sex abuse? Abusing Religion argues that sex abuse in minority religious communities is an American problem, not (merely) a religious one.
 
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The Abyss or Life Is Simple
Reading Knausgaard Writing Religion
Courtney Bender, Jeremy Biles, Liane Carlson, Joshua Dubler, Hannah C. Garvey, M. Cooper Harriss, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, and Erik Thorstensen
University of Chicago Press, 2022
An absorbing collection of essays on religious textures in Knausgaard’s writings and our time.

Min kamp, or My Struggle, is a six-volume novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard and one of the most significant literary works of the young twenty-first century. Published in Norwegian between 2009 and 2011, the novel presents an absorbing first-person narrative of the life of a writer with the same name as the author, in a world at once fully disillusioned and thoroughly enchanted.

In 2015, a group of scholars began meeting to discuss the peculiarly religious qualities of My Struggle. Some were interested in Knausgaard’s attention to explicitly religious subjects and artworks, others to what they saw as more diffuse attention to the religiousness of contemporary life. The group wondered what reading these textures of religion in these volumes might say about our times, about writing, and about themselves. The Abyss or Life Is Simple is the culmination of this collective endeavor—a collection of interlocking essays on ritual, beauty, and the end of the world.
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Across the West and Toward the North
Norwegian and American Landscape Photography
Edited by Shannon Egan and Marthe Tolnes Fjellestad
University of Utah Press, 2021
Across the West and Toward the North compares how photographers in Norway and the United States represented the environment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when once-remote wildernesses were first surveyed, developed, and photographed. Making images while traversing almost inaccessible terrain—often on foot and for months at a time—photographers created a compelling visual language that came to symbolize each nation. 

In this edited volume, Norwegian and American scholars offer the first study of the striking parallels in the production, distribution, and reception of these modern expressions of landscape and nationhood. In recognizing how landscape photographs were made meaningful to international audiences—such as tourists, visitors to world’s fairs, scientists, politicians, and immigrants—the authors challenge notions of American exceptionalism and singularly nationalistic histories.

The book includes stunning photographs of mountainous landscapes, glaciers, and forests, punctuated by signs of human development and engineering, with more than one hundred rarely seen plates by photographers Knud Knudsen, Anders Beer Wilse, Timothy O’Sullivan, Charles R. Savage, and others.
 
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The Action-Adventure Heroine
Rediscovering an American Literary Character, 1697–1895
Sandra Wilson Smith
University of Tennessee Press, 2018
Found in scores of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American narratives, the action-adventure heroine leaves the domestic space to pursue an independent adventure. This bold heroine tramps alone through the forests, demonstrates tremendous physical strength, braves dangers without hesitation, enters the public realm to earn money, and even kills her enemies when necessary. Despite her transgressions of social norms, the narrator portrays this heroine in a positive light and lauds her for her bravery and daring. The Action-Adventure Heroine offers a wide-ranging look at this enigmatic character in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American literature. 

Unlike the “tomboy” or the American frontierswoman, this more encompassing figure has been understudied until now. The action-adventure heroine has special relevance today, as scholars are forcefully challenging the once-dominant separate-spheres paradigm and offering alternative interpretations of gender conventions in nineteenth-century America. The hard-body action heroine in our contemporary popular culture is often assumed to be largely a product of the twentieth-century television and film industries (and therefore influenced by the women’s movement); however, physically strong, agile, sometimes violent female figures have appeared in American popular culture and literature for a very long time. 

Smith analyzes captivity narratives, war narratives, stories of manifest destiny, dime novels, and tales of seduction to reveal the long literary history of female protagonists who step into traditionally masculine heroic roles to win the day. Smith’s study includes such authors as Herman Mann, Mercy Otis Warren, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, E.D.E.N. Southworth, Edward L. Wheeler, and many more who are due for critical reassessment. In examining the female hero—with her strength, physicality, and violence—in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century American narratives, The Action-Adventure Heroine represents an important contribution to the field of American studies. 
 
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Acts of Faith and Imagination
Theological Patterns in Catholic Fiction
Brent Little
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
Acts of Faith and Imagination wagers that fiction written by Catholic authors assists readers to reflect critically on the question: “what is faith?” To speak of a person’s “faith-life” is to speak of change and development. As a narrative form, literature can illustrate the dynamics of faith, which remains in flux over the course of one’s life. Because human beings must possess faith in something (whether religious or not), it inevitably has a narrative structure—faith ebbs and flows, flourishes and decays, develops and stagnates. Through an exploration of more than a dozen Catholic authors’ novels and short stories, Brent Little argues that Catholic fiction encourages the reader to reflect upon their faith holistically, that is, the way faith informs one’s affections, and how a person conceives and interacts with the world as embodied beings. Amidst the diverse stories of modern and contemporary fiction, a consistent pattern emerges: Catholic fiction portrays faith—at its most fundamental, often unconscious, level—as an act of the imagination. Faith is the way one imagines themselves, others, and creation. A person’s primary faith conditions how they live in the world, regardless of the level of conscious reflection, and regardless of whether this is a “religious” faith. Acts of Faith and Imagination investigates the creative depth and vitality of the Catholic literary imagination by bringing late modern Catholic authors into dialogue with more contemporary ones. Readers will then consider well-known works, such as those by Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, and Muriel Spark in the fresh light of contemporary stories by Toni Morrison, Alice McDermott, Uwem Akpan, and several others.
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Adulterous Nations
Family Politics and National Anxiety in the European Novel
Tatiana Kuzmic
Northwestern University Press, 2016

In Adulterous Nations, Tatiana Kuzmic enlarges our perspective on the nineteenth-century novel of adultery, showing how it often served as a metaphor for relationships between the imperialistic and the colonized. In the context of the long-standing practice of gendering nations as female, the novels under discussion here—George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest, and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, along with August Šenoa’s The Goldsmith’s Gold and Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis—can be understood as depicting international crises on the scale of the nuclear family. In each example, an outsider figure is responsible for the disruption experienced by the family. Kuzmic deftly argues that the hopes, anxieties, and interests of European nations during this period can be discerned in the destabilizing force of adultery. Reading the work of Šenoa and Sienkiewicz, from Croatia and Poland, respectively, Kuzmic illuminates the relationship between the literature of dominant nations and that of the semicolonized territories that posed a threat to them. Ultimately, Kuzmic’s study enhances our understanding of not only these five novels but nineteenth-century European literature more generally.

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Affrilachia
Poems
Frank X Walker
Ohio University Press, 2000
A milestone book of poetry at the intersection of Appalachian and African American literature. In this pathbreaking debut collection, poet Frank X Walker tells the story of growing up young, Black, artistic, and male in one of America’s most misunderstood geographical regions. As a proud Kentucky native, Walker created the word “Affrilachia” to render visible the unique intersectional experience of African Americans living in the rural and Appalachian South. Since its publication in 2000, Affrilachia has seen wide classroom use, and is recognized as one of the foundational works of the Affrilachian Poets, a community of writers offering new ways to think about diversity in the Appalachian region and beyond. Published in 2000 by Old Cove Press
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After the Smoke Clears
Struggling to Get By in Rustbelt America
Steve Mellon
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006

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Against Heidegger
LM Rivera
Omnidawn, 2019
Attachments to proper names, traditions, and entrenched thought formations are a perennial problem and, as LM Rivera shows, an addiction. Against Heidegger is a collection of poetic meditations on that pervasive, and possibly eternal, compulsion. Rivera builds his idiosyncratically lyric argumentation against simplistic, naive, sentimental, and played-out narratives, opting instead for improvised, collaged, bursting-at-the-seams, experimental formations through which he thinks a concept through to its (im)possible end. On this philosophical-poetic journey, Rivera positions the grand figure of Martin Heidegger as a whipping boy who receives the punishment for the sins of blind tradition. Through this collection, Rivera attempts to sever many troubling yet lasting customs—be they overt, hidden, canonical, esoteric, forbidden, or blatantly authoritarian.
 
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Aina Hanau / Birth Land
Brandy Nalani McDougall
University of Arizona Press, 2023
‘Āina Hānau / Birth Land is a powerful collection of new poems by Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) poet Brandy Nālani McDougall. ‘Āina hānau—or the land of one’s birth—signifies identity through intimate and familial connections to place and creates a profound bond between the people in a community. McDougall’s poems flow seamlessly between ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i and English, forming rhythms and patterns that impress on the reader a deep understanding of the land. Tracing flows from the mountains to the ocean, from the sky to the earth, and from ancestor to mother to child, these poems are rooted in the rich ancestral and contemporary literature of Hawaiʻi —moʻolelo, moʻokūʻauhau, and mele —honoring Hawaiian ʻāina, culture, language, histories, aesthetics, and futures.

The poems in Āina Hānau / Birth Land cycle through sacred and personal narratives while exposing and fighting ongoing American imperialism, settler colonialism, militarism, and social and environmental injustice to protect the ʻāina and its people. The ongoing environmental crisis in Hawaiʻi, inextricably linked to colonialism and tourism, is captured with stark intensity as McDougall writes, Violence is what we settle for / because we’ve been led to believe / green paper can feed us / more than green land. The experiences of birth, motherhood, miscarriage, and the power of Native Hawaiian traditions and self-advocacy in an often dismissive medical system is powerfully narrated by the speaker of the titular poem, written for McDougall’s daughters.

‘Āina Hānau reflects on what it means to be from and belong to an ʻāina hānau, as well as what it means to be an ‘āina hānau, as all mothers serve as the first birth lands for their children.
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The Air in the Air Behind It
Brandon Rushton
Tupelo Press, 2022
‘With an eye roving like a documentary camera, Brandon Rushton delivers a post-wonder diorama of the contemporary non-urban United States in which the vaunted American lawn is artificial; the food is full of chemicals; and “what haven’t we / homogenized.” The freedoms of childhood and adolescence are figured here as a kind of lost, damaged paradise before everyone erases themselves into their adult roles: the contractor, the customer, the detective, the pilot, the bank teller, the embezzler, the broker, the milkshake maker. Rushton’s often interweaving lines serve as a formal objective correlative for our interwoven state in this world, which is composed of both the given and the made; the question of why on earth we have chosen what we have made is quietly fuming in every poem. “Honestly, the people / had hoped for more space / to feel spectacular.” The news about that spectacular feeling isn’t good, but knowing Rushton is out there watching, giving a damn, and writing his beautiful poems is reason for hope.’
—Donna Stonecipher
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Aisha’s Cushion
Religious Art, Perception, and Practice in Islam
Jamal J. Elias
Harvard University Press, 2012

Media coverage of the Danish cartoon crisis and the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan left Westerners with a strong impression that Islam does not countenance depiction of religious imagery. Jamal J. Elias corrects this view by revealing the complexity of Islamic attitudes toward representational religious art. Aisha’s Cushion emphasizes Islam’s perceptual and intellectual modes and in so doing offers the reader both insight into Islamic visual culture and a unique way of seeing the world.

Aisha’s Cushion evaluates the controversies surrounding blasphemy and iconoclasm by exploring Islamic societies at the time of Muhammad and the birth of Islam; during early contact between Arab Muslims and Byzantine Christians; in medieval Anatolia and India; and in modern times. Elias’s inquiry then goes further, to situate Islamic religious art in a global context. His comparisons with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu attitudes toward religious art show them to be as contradictory as those of Islam. Contemporary theories about art’s place in society inform Elias’s investigation of how religious objects have been understood across time and in different cultures.

Elias contends that Islamic perspectives on representation and perception should be sought not only in theological writings or aesthetic treatises but in a range of Islamic works in areas as diverse as optics, alchemy, dreaming, calligraphy, literature, vehicle and home decoration, and Sufi metaphysics. Unearthing shades of meaning in Islamic thought throughout history, Elias offers fresh insight into the relations among religion, art, and perception across a broad range of cultures.

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Alexander Wilson
The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology
Edward H. Burtt, Jr. and William E. Davis, Jr.
Harvard University Press, 2013

Audubon was not the father of American ornithology. That honorific belongs to Alexander Wilson, whose encyclopedic American Ornithology established a distinctive approach that emphasized the observation of live birds. In the first full-length study to reproduce all of Wilson’s unpublished drawings for the nine-volume Ornithology, Edward Burtt and William Davis illustrate Wilson’s pioneering and, today, underappreciated achievement as the first ornithologist to describe the birds of the North American wilderness.

Abandoning early ambitions to become a poet in the mold of his countryman Robert Burns, Wilson emigrated from Scotland to settle near Philadelphia, where the botanist William Bartram encouraged his proclivity for art and natural history. Wilson traveled 12,000 miles on foot, on horseback, in a rowboat, and by stage and ship, establishing a network of observers along the way. He wrote hundreds of accounts of indigenous birds, discovered many new species, and sketched the behavior and ecology of each species he encountered.

Drawing on their expertise in both science and art, Burtt and Davis show how Wilson defied eighteenth-century conventions of biological illustration by striving for realistic depiction of birds in their native habitats. He drew them in poses meant to facilitate identification, making his work the model for modern field guides and an inspiration for Audubon, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and other naturalists who followed. On the bicentennial of his death, this beautifully illustrated volume is a fitting tribute to Alexander Wilson and his unique contributions to ornithology, ecology, and the study of animal behavior.

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All Great Art is Praise
Aidan Nichols
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
The volume looks especially closely at Ruskin's changing attitudes to Catholicism. The son of a stoutly Bible-Protestant mother and a father politically opposed to the civil emancipation of Catholics, Ruskin found it increasingly difficult to combine his inherited anti-Catholicism with his appreciation of Byzantine-Venetian, Renaissance-humanist, and Franciscan-evangelical art and the program for living these contained or implied. The rumors in late life of his immanent conversion to Rome proved unfounded, but they were not implausible. All Great Art is Praise seeks to show why
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Allowed to Grow Old
Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries
Isa Leshko
University of Chicago Press, 2019
There’s nothing quite like a relationship with an aged pet—a dog or cat who has been at our side for years, forming an ineffable bond. Pampered pets, however, are a rarity among animals who have been domesticated. Farm animals, for example, are usually slaughtered before their first birthday. We never stop to think about it, but the typical images we see of cows, chickens, pigs, and the like are of young animals. What would we see if they were allowed to grow old?

Isa Leshko shows us, brilliantly, with this collection of portraits. To create these portraits, she spent hours with her subjects, gaining their trust and putting them at ease. The resulting images reveal the unique personality of each animal. It’s impossible to look away from the animals in these images as they unforgettably meet our gaze, simultaneously calm and challenging. In these photographs we see the cumulative effects of the hardships of industrialized farm life, but also the healing that time can bring, and the dignity that can emerge when farm animals are allowed to age on their own terms.

Each portrait is accompanied by a brief biographical note about its subject, and the book is rounded out with essays that explore the history of animal photography, the place of beauty in activist art, and much more.  Open this book to any page. Meet Teresa, a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Pig, or Melvin, an eleven-year-old Angora Goat, or Tom, a seven-year-old Broad Breasted White Turkey. You’ll never forget them.
 
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Alone in the House of My Heart
Poems
Kari Gunter-Seymour
Ohio University Press, 2022
Deeply rooted in respect and compassion for Appalachia and its people, these poems are both paeans to and dirges for past and present family, farmlands, factories, and coal. Kari Gunter-Seymour’s second full-length collection resounds with candid, lyrical poems about Appalachia’s social and geographical afflictions and affirmations. History, culture, and community shape the physical and personal landscapes of Gunter-Seymour’s native southeastern Ohio soil, scarred by Big Coal and fracking, while food insecurity and Big Pharma leave their marks on the region’s people. A musicality of language swaddles each poem in hope and a determination to endure. Alone in the House of My Heart offers what only art can: a series of thought-provoking images that evoke such a clear sense of place that it’s familiar to anyone, regardless of where they call home.
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Altars of Spine and Fraction
Poems
Nicholas Molbert
Northwestern University Press, 2024

A debut poetry collection set in and around Louisiana’s fishing village of Cocodrie

Altars of Spine and Fraction follows its protagonist through the joys and dangers of childhood on the rural Gulf Coast, through familial loss, and into adulthood. Refusing to romanticize what has been lost, Molbert instead interrogates how nostalgia is most often enjoyed by those with the privilege to reject or indulge it.

Violent hurricanes sweep across the landscapes of the poems, and Molbert probes the class inequalities that these climate crises lay bare. Moving from outdoor rural spaces in its first half to indoor domestic spaces in its second half, the collection explores family history, generational trauma, and the toxic masculinity that is shouldered by boys raised in the Deep South.

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American Faces
A Cultural History of Portraiture and Identity
Richard H. Saunders
University Press of New England, 2016
Portraits. We know what they are, but why do we make them? Americans have been celebrating themselves in portraits since the arrival of the first itinerant portrait painters to the colonies. They created images to commemorate loved ones, glorify the famous, establish our national myths, and honor our shared heroes. Whether painting in oil, carving in stone, casting in bronze, capturing on film, or calculating in binary code, we spend considerable time creating, contemplating, and collecting our likenesses. In this sumptuously illustrated book, Richard H. Saunders explores our collective understanding of portraiture, its history in America, how it shapes our individual and national identity, and why we make portraits—whether for propaganda and public influence or for personal and private appreciation. American Faces is a rich and fascinating view of ourselves.
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American Home
Sean Cho A.
Autumn House Press, 2021
Cho A.’s poetry wonders at small everyday delights.
 
Sean Cho A.’s debut poetry chapbook directs a keen eye on everyday occurrences and how these small events shape us as individuals. This collection is filled with longing for love, understanding, and simplicity. But these poems also express great pleasure in continued desire. With exuberant energy that flows through the collection, the speaker announces: “I won’t apologize for the smallness of my delights.” Filled with questions and wonder, these poems revel in the unknowing and liminal spaces, and we as readers are invited to join in this revelry. Cho A.’s poetry reminds and allows us to pause, to wonder, and enjoy our many pleasures.
 
American Home was selected by Danusha Laméris for the 2020 Autumn House Chapbook Prize.
 
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American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism
The Middle Place
Joni Adamson
University of Arizona Press, 2001
Although much contemporary American Indian literature examines the relationship between humans and the land, most Native authors do not set their work in the "pristine wilderness" celebrated by mainstream nature writers. Instead, they focus on settings such as reservations, open-pit mines, and contested borderlands. Drawing on her own teaching experience among Native Americans and on lessons learned from such recent scenes of confrontation as Chiapas and Black Mesa, Joni Adamson explores why what counts as "nature" is often very different for multicultural writers and activist groups than it is for mainstream environmentalists.

This powerful book is one of the first to examine the intersections between literature and the environment from the perspective of the oppressions of race, class, gender, and nature, and the first to review American Indian literature from the standpoint of environmental justice and ecocriticism. By examining such texts as Sherman Alexie's short stories and Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Almanac of the Dead, Adamson contends that these works, in addition to being literary, are examples of ecological criticism that expand Euro-American concepts of nature and place.

Adamson shows that when we begin exploring the differences that shape diverse cultural and literary representations of nature, we discover the challenge they present to mainstream American culture, environmentalism, and literature. By comparing the work of Native authors such as Simon Ortiz with that of environmental writers such as Edward Abbey, she reveals opportunities for more multicultural conceptions of nature and the environment.

More than a work of literary criticism, this is a book about the search to find ways to understand our cultural and historical differences and similarities in order to arrive at a better agreement of what the human role in nature is and should be. It exposes the blind spots in early ecocriticism and shows the possibilities for building common ground— a middle place— where writers, scholars, teachers, and environmentalists might come together to work for social and environmental change.
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American Sage
The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Barry M. Andrews
University of Massachusetts Press, 2021
Even during his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson was called the Sage of Concord, a fitting title for this leader of the American Transcendentalist movement. Everything that Emerson said and wrote directly addressed the conduct of life, and in his view, spiritual truth and understanding were the essence of religion. Unsurprisingly, he sought to rescue spirituality from decay, eschewing dry preaching and rote rituals.

Unitarian minister Barry M. Andrews has spent years studying Emerson, finding wisdom and guidance in his teachings and practices, and witnessing how the spiritual lives of others are enriched when they grasp the many meanings in his work. In American Sage, Andrews explores Emerson's writings, including his journals and letters, and makes them accessible to today's spiritual seekers. Written in everyday language and based on scholarship grounded in historical detail, this enlightening book considers the nineteenth-century religious and intellectual crosscurrents that shaped Emerson's worldview to reveal how his spiritual teachings remain timeless and modern, universal and uniquely American.
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American Studies as Transnational Practice
Turning toward the Transpacific
Edited by Yuan Shu and Donald E. Pease
Dartmouth College Press, 2016
This wide-ranging collection brings together an eclectic group of scholars to reflect upon the transnational configurations of the field of American studies and how these have affected its localizations, epistemological perspectives, ecological imaginaries, and politics of translation. The volume elaborates on the causes of the transnational paradigm shift in American studies and describes the material changes that this new paradigm has effected during the past two decades. The contributors hail from a variety of postcolonial, transoceanic, hemispheric, and post-national positions and sensibilities, enabling them to theorize a “crossroads of cultures” explanation of transnational American studies that moves beyond the multicultural studies model. Offering a rich and rewarding mix of essays and case studies, this collection will satisfy a broad range of students and scholars.
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American War Stories
Brenda M. Boyle
Rutgers University Press, 2021
American War Stories asks readers to contemplate what traditionally constitutes a “war story” and how that constitution obscures the normalization of militarism in American culture. The book claims the traditionally narrow scope of “war story,” as by a combatant about his wartime experience, compartmentalizes war, casting armed violence as distinct from everyday American life.  Broadening “war story” beyond the specific genres of war narratives such as “war films,” “war fiction,” or “war memoirs,” American War Stories exposes how ingrained militarism is in everyday American life, a condition that challenges the very democratic principles the United States is touted as exemplifying.

 
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Among Giants
A Life with Whales
Charles "Flip" Nicklin with K. M. Kostyal
University of Chicago Press, 2011

It all started in 1965 with a guy riding a whale. The guy was Flip Nicklin’s father, Chuck, and the whale was an unlucky Bryde’s Whale that had gotten caught up in some anchor line. Hoping to free the whale, Chuck and some friends took their boat as near as they could, and, just before they cut it loose, Chuck posed astride it for a photo.


That image, carried on wire services nationwide, became a sensation and ultimately changed the life of Chuck’s young son, Flip. In the decades since that day, Flip Nicklin has made himself into the world’s premier cetacean photographer. It’s no exaggeration to say that his photos, published in such venues as National Geographic and distributed worldwide, have virtually defined these graceful, powerful creatures in the mind of the general public—even as they helped open new ground in the field of marine mammalogy.


Among Giants tells the story of Nicklin’s life and career on the high seas, from his first ill-equipped shoots in the mid-1970s through his long association with the National Geographic Society to the present, when he is one of the founders of Whale Trust, a nonprofit conservation and research group. Nicklin is equal parts photographer, adventurer, self-trained scientist, and raconteur, and Among Giants reflects all those sides, matching breathtaking images to firsthand accounts of their making, and highlighting throughout the importance of conservation and new advances in our understanding of whale behavior. With Nicklin as our guide, we see not just whales but also our slowly growing understanding of their hidden lives, as well as the evolution of underwater photography—and the stunning clarity and drama that can be captured when a determined, daring diver is behind the lens.


Humpbacks, narwhals, sperm whales, orcas—these and countless other giants of the ocean parade through these pages, spouting, breaching, singing, and raising their young. Nicklin’s photographs bring us so completely into the underwater world of whales that we can’t help but feel awe, while winning, personal accounts of his adventures remind us of what it’s like to be a lone diver sharing their sea.


For anyone who has marveled at the majesty of whales in the wild, Among Giants is guaranteed to be inspiring, even moving—its unmatched images of these glorious beings an inescapable reminder of our responsibility as stewards of the ocean.

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The Animal Indoors
Carly Inghram
Autumn House Press, 2021
Poems following a Black queer woman as she seeks refuge from an unsafe world.
 
Carly Inghram’s poems explore the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman who is ceaselessly bombarded with images of mass-consumerism, white supremacy, and sexism, and who is forced, often reluctantly, back indoors and away from this outside chaos. The poems in The Animal Indoors seek to understand and define the boundaries between our inside and outside lives, critiquing the homogenization and increasing insincerity of American culture and considering what safe spaces exist for Black women. The speaker in these poems seeks refuge, working to keep the interior safe until we can reckon with the world outside, until the speaker is able to “unleash the indoor news onto the unclean water elsewhere.”
 
The Animal Indoors won the 2020 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Terrance Hayes.
 
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The Animal Indoors
Carly Inghram
Autumn House Press, 2021
Poems following a Black queer woman as she seeks refuge from an unsafe world.
 
Carly Inghram’s poems explore the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman who is ceaselessly bombarded with images of mass-consumerism, white supremacy, and sexism, and who is forced, often reluctantly, back indoors and away from this outside chaos. The poems in The Animal Indoors seek to understand and define the boundaries between our inside and outside lives, critiquing the homogenization and increasing insincerity of American culture and considering what safe spaces exist for Black women. The speaker in these poems seeks refuge, working to keep the interior safe until we can reckon with the world outside, until the speaker is able to “unleash the indoor news onto the unclean water elsewhere.”
 
The Animal Indoors won the 2020 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Terrance Hayes.
 
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Another Land of My Body
Rodney Terich Leonard
Four Way Books, 2024
Ephemeral yet tangible, bridging the delicate border between understanding and awe, Rodney Terich Leonard’s poems live in the world even as they leave it, clinging like “a ribbon in the sand / Captivated by your ankle,” that “Bojangles next to your chair.” Leonard’s sophomore collection, Another Land of My Body, collects singular poems, each a distinct marvel, even as together they witness aging, champion the resilience of desire, articulate Black Southern identity, memorialize the unequal burdens of the pandemic across racial and socioeconomic strata, and preserve the time capsule of one’s particular memories that will depart with them when they go. When “COVID pumped up on” Ms. Clematine and Ms. Bessie Will, who “paid taxes in an American town with six ICU beds,” “the heirloom chitlins / & pound cake recipes / & summer-white buckets of Budweiser / To B.B. King went hush.” Leonard’s impeccable ear subverts legacy, using the musicality of lyric and the sonic patterning of form to remember neighbors alongside martyrs of the police state: “Heels cold cold-heeled history heels claimed cold: / Ahmaud Arbery—George Floyd—Rayshard Brooks.” In these pages, every figure is totemic, reiterating the invaluable outside the ceaseless binds of global capitalism. Leonard writes, “She wears her own hair & Fashion Fair. / Stutter ignores her penchant / For fried whiting & hushpuppies. / No one I know calls her baby.” “Here is a woman as monument,” he says. “My mother’s allure wasn’t from a magazine; / Jet came later.” In his own style, Leonard, too, is truly original, always encountering new terrain as he brings the past along. His poems are oft dispatches from “an abrupt ravine,” where “[he] learned another land of [his] body.” They are also lifelines, brief housecalls, promises of reunion amid temporary goodbyes. “I’m at my retrospective,” he answers the phone. “Let me call you back.” 
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Anthropocene Poetics
Deep Time, Sacrifice Zones, and Extinction
David Farrier
University of Minnesota Press, 2019

How poetry can help us think about and live in the Anthropocene by reframing our intimate relationship with geological time
 

The Anthropocene describes how humanity has radically intruded into deep time, the vast timescales that shape the Earth system and all life-forms that it supports. The challenge it poses—how to live in our present moment alongside deep pasts and futures—brings into sharp focus the importance of grasping the nature of our intimate relationship with geological time. In Anthropocene Poetics, David Farrier shows how contemporary poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, Seamus Heaney, Evelyn Reilly, and Christian Bök, among others, provides us with frameworks for thinking about this uncanny sense of time.

Looking at a diverse array of lyric and avant-garde poetry from three interrelated perspectives—the Anthropocene and the “material turn” in environmental philosophy; the Plantationocene and the role of global capitalism in environmental crisis; and the emergence of multispecies ethics and extinction studies—Farrier rethinks the environmental humanities from a literary critical perspective. Anthropocene Poetics puts a concern with deep time at the center, defining a new poetics for thinking through humanity’s role as geological agents, the devastation caused by resource extraction, and the looming extinction crisis. 

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Antigone's Ghosts
The Long Legacy of War and Genocide in Five Countries
Wolfgram, Mark A
Bucknell University Press, 2019
Sophocles' play Antigone is a starting point for understanding the perpetual problems of human societies, families, and individuals who are caught up in the terrible aftermath of mass violence. What is one to do after the killing has stopped? What can be done to prevent a round of new violence? The tragic and dramatic tension in the play is put in motion by setting an unyielding Antigone against King Creon. As we see through the investigation of how Germany, Japan, Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey have dealt with their histories of mass violence and genocide in the 20th century, the forces represented by Antigone and Creon remain very much part of our world today.  Through a comparison of the five countries, their political institutions, and cultural traditions, we begin to appreciate the different pathways that societies have taken when confronting their violent histories.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
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Apocalyptic Ecologies
From Creation to Doom in Middle English Literature
Shannon Gayk
University of Chicago Press
A meditative reflection on what medieval disaster writing can teach us about how to respond to the climate emergency.
 
When a series of ecological disasters swept medieval England, writers turned to religious storytelling for precedents. Their depictions of biblical floods, fires, storms, droughts, and plagues reveal an unsettled relationship to the natural world, at once unchanging and bafflingly unpredictable. In Apocalyptic Ecologies, Shannon Gayk traces representations of environmental calamities through medieval plays, sermons, and poetry such as Cleanness and Piers Plowman. In premodern disaster writing, she recovers a vision of environmental flourishing that could inspire new forms of ecological care today: a truly apocalyptic sensibility capable of seeing in every ending, every emergency a new beginning waiting to emerge.
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Appalachian Images
Folk Popular Culture
W.K. Mcneil
University of Tennessee Press, 1995

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The Arches Reader
Edited by Jeffrey D. Nichols
University of Utah Press, 2024
Geology is the star attraction in many national parks, but Arches National Park reveals erosional wonders like no other place on earth. There’s something thrilling and slightly unsettling about a massive rock with a hole in its middle or a ribbon of stone flung like a spider’s thread from one rock face to another. And there’s nothing quite like a view of blue sky or snow-capped mountains framed by stone. So many stony holes of so many shapes and sizes abound here that people spend years hunting unrecorded arches, quarreling over measurements and categories, and dreaming up original names.

Part of the National Park Readers series, The Arches Reader is an anthology of writing about Arches National Park and the surrounding area. The selections range from creative nonfiction to short fiction to poetry to amateur versions of scientific reports; they are wide-ranging and have never before been collected in one place; several selections are previously unpublished. Photographs collected here include both historic black-and-white images and beautiful, full-color images of some of Arches’ most striking features. The Arches Reader is an essential companion for anyone who wants to better understand its unique natural and human past.
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Architect
Alison Thumel
University of Arkansas Press, 2024
“When he died, my brother became the architect of the rest of my life,” writes Alison Thumel in Architect, which interweaves poems, lyric essays, and visual art to great emotional effect. In this debut collection, the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright become a blueprint for elegy, as Thumel overlays the language of architecture with the language of grief to raze and reconstruct memories, metaphors, and myths. With obsessive and exacting focus, the poet leads us through room after room in a search to answer whether it is possible to rebuild in the wake of loss. Meanwhile, the midwestern landscape beyond these rooms—the same landscape that infuses the low, horizontal forms of Wright’s Prairie Style buildings—shapes the figures in Architect as well as their fates: “For years after my brother’s death, I collected news articles on people who died young and tragically in landlocked states. Prairie Style deaths—boys sucked down into grain silos or swept up by tornadoes or fallen through a frozen pond. The boys I didn’t know, but the landscape I did. The dread of it. How many miles you can look ahead. For how long you see what is coming.”
 
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Architecture at the End of the Earth
Photographing the Russian North
William Craft Brumfield
Duke University Press, 2015
Carpeted in boreal forests, dotted with lakes, cut by rivers, and straddling the Arctic Circle, the region surrounding the White Sea, which is known as the Russian North, is sparsely populated and immensely isolated. It is also the home to architectural marvels, as many of the original wooden and brick churches and homes in the region's ancient villages and towns still stand. Featuring nearly two hundred full color photographs of these beautiful centuries-old structures, Architecture at the End of the Earth is the most recent addition to William Craft Brumfield's ongoing project to photographically document all aspects of Russian architecture.

The architectural masterpieces Brumfield photographed are diverse: they range from humble chapels to grand cathedrals, buildings that are either dilapidated or well cared for, and structures repurposed during the Soviet era. Included are onion-domed wooden churches such as the Church of the Dormition, built in 1674 in Varzuga; the massive walled Transfiguration Monastery on Great Solovetsky Island, which dates to the mid-1550s; the Ferapontov-Nativity Monastery's frescoes, painted in 1502 by Dionisy, one of Russia's greatest medieval painters; nineteenth-century log houses, both rustic and ornate; and the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Vologda, which was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1560s. The text that introduces the photographs outlines the region's significance to Russian history and culture.

Brumfield is challenged by the immense difficulty of accessing the Russian North, and recounts traversing sketchy roads, crossing silt-clogged rivers on barges and ferries, improvising travel arrangements, being delayed by severe snowstorms, and seeing the region from the air aboard the small planes he needs to reach remote areas.

The buildings Brumfield photographed, some of which lie in near ruin, are at constant risk due to local indifference and vandalism, a lack of maintenance funds, clumsy restorations, or changes in local and national priorities. Brumfield is concerned with their futures and hopes that the region's beautiful and vulnerable achievements of master Russian carpenters will be preserved. Architecture at the End of the Earth is at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of this bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.
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Architecture under Construction
Stanley Greenberg
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Mies van der Rohe once commented, “Only skyscrapers under construction reveal their bold constructive thoughts, and then the impression made by their soaring skeletal frames is overwhelming.” Never has this statement resonated more than in recent years, when architectural design has undergone a radical transformation, and when powerful computers allow architects and engineers to design and construct buildings that were impossible just a few years ago.  At the same time, what lies underneath these surfaces is more mysterious than ever before. 

In Architecture under Construction, photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the anatomy and engineering of some of our most unusual new buildings, helping us to understand our own fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down. As designs for new constructions are revealed and the public watches closely as architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg captures penetrating images that reveal the complex mystery—and beauty—found in the transitory moments before the skin of a building covers up the structures that hold it together.  

Framed by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa and including an afterword by the author, the eighty captivating and thought-provoking images collected here—which focus on some of the most high-profile design projects of the past decade, including buildings designed by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Renzo Piano, among others —are not to be missed by anyone with an eye for the almost invisible mechanisms that continue to define our relationship with the built world.

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The Argument about Things in the 1980s
Goods and Garbage in an Age of Neoliberalism
Tim Jelfs
West Virginia University Press, 2018
In the late 1970s, a Jeff Koons art exhibit featured mounted vacuum cleaners lit by fluorescent tube lighting and identified by their product names: New Hoover Quik Broom, New Hoover Celebrity IV. Raymond Carver published short stories such as “Are These Actual Miles?” that cataloged the furniture, portable air conditioners, and children’s bicycles in a family home. Some years later the garbage barge Mobro 4000 turned into an international scandal as it spent months at sea, unable to dump its trash as it was refused by port after port.
Tim Jelfs’s The Argument about Things in the 1980s considers all this and more in a broad study of the literature and culture of the “long 1980s.” It contributes to of-the-moment scholarly debate about material culture, high finance, and ecological degradation, shedding new light on the complex relationship between neoliberalism and cultural life. 
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Arjuna and the Hunter
Bharavi
Harvard University Press, 2016

The first complete English translation of one of the great court epics of Sanskrit literature.

Kirātārjunīya, or Arjuna and the Hunter, is one of the great court epics of the Sanskrit literary canon. Written by the sixth-century poet Bharavi, it is also the first and most remarkable reinterpretation of a pivotal episode in the Mahābhārata, India’s ancient epic. The warrior Arjuna travels to the Himalayas to perform penance and win a boon from the god Shiva that will help his brothers, the Pandavas, overcome their enemies in righteous war. Appearing in the guise of a hunter, Shiva tests Arjuna’s courage in combat, ultimately reveals himself, and bestows upon the hero an invincible weapon.

In Bharavi’s hands, the episode is turned into a masterful contemplation of heroic action, ethical conduct, ascetic discipline, and religious devotion—core values in India’s classical civilization and enduring themes in Indian literature. But the poem’s fame rests above all on its aesthetic achievement. With its elegant, epigrammatic verse, powerful imagery, dramatic speeches, and vivid descriptions, Arjuna and the Hunter, now made available for the first time in a complete English translation and accompanied by the Sanskrit original in the Devanagari script, will dazzle and move contemporary readers no less powerfully than its first courtly connoisseurs.

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An Arkansas Florilegium
The Atlas of Botanist Edwin Smith Illustrated by Naturalist Kent Bonar
Edwin Smith
University of Arkansas Press, 2017
An Arkansas Florilegium is a late-flowering extension of the work initiated sixty years ago with University of Arkansas botanist Edwin B. Smith’s first entries in his pioneering Atlas and Annotated List of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas. Soon after this seminal survey of the state’s flora was published in 1978, Kent Bonar, a Missouri-born Thoreau acolyte employed as a naturalist by the Arkansas Park Service, began lugging the volume along on hikes through the woods surrounding his Newton County home, entering hundreds upon hundreds of meticulous illustrations into Smith’s work.

Thirty-five years later, with Smith retired and Bonar long gone from the park service but still drawing, Bonar’s weathered and battered copy of the atlas was seized by a diverse cadre of amateur admirers motivated by fears of its damage or loss. Their fears were certainly justified; after all, the pages were now jammed to the margins with some 3,500 drawings, and the volume had already survived one accidental dunking in an Ozark stream.

An Arkansas Florilegium brings Smith’s and Bonar’s knowledge and lifelong diligence to the world in this unique mix of art, science, and Arkansas saga.
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Armor & Ornament
Christopher Lee Miles
University of Alaska Press, 2019
Armor & Ornament turns away from the popular trends of contemporary poetry, calling instead upon traditional and Biblical forms. Rather than drawing on recent styles and modern trends, Miles looks to the texts that have inspired artists for millennia. These are Christian poems that have a deep and unapologetic understanding of God’s world, and they explore, with steady faith, all sides of this world.

As a military veteran, Miles also centers his poetry amongst war. Through tone and voice, warfare permeates these poems, providing poetry that relies less on the traditional, Christian tension of doubt and shaken faith than on the inherent tension of a broken world. This resonant new collection melds deep-rooted spirituality with contemporary tensions, offering modern psalms for a tumultuous and uncertain age.
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The Art of Biblical Interpretation
Visual Portrayals of Scriptural Narratives
Heidi J. Hornik
SBL Press, 2021

A richly illustrated collection of essays on visual biblical interpretation

For centuries Christians have engaged their sacred texts as much through the visual as through the written word. Yet until recent decades, the academic disciplines of biblical studies and art history largely worked independently. This volume bridges that gap with the interdisciplinary work of biblical scholars and art historians. Focusing on the visualization of biblical characters from both the Old and New Testaments, essays illustrate the potential of such collaboration for a deeper understanding of the Bible and its visual reception. Contributions from Ian Boxall, James Clifton, David B. Gowler, Jonathan Homrighausen, Heidi J. Hornik, Jeff Jay, Christine E. Joynes, Yohana A. Junker, Meredith Munson, and Ela Nuțu foreground diverse cultural contexts and chronological periods for scholars and students of the Bible and art.

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The Art of Love and Other Poems
Cosmetics. Remedies for Love. Ibis. Walnut Tree. Sea Fishing. Consolation
Ovid
Harvard University Press, 1979

Seductive verse.

Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso, 43 BC–AD 17), born at Sulmo, studied rhetoric and law at Rome. Later he did considerable public service there, and otherwise devoted himself to poetry and to society. Famous at first, he offended the emperor Augustus by his Ars amatoria, and was banished because of this work and some other reason unknown to us, and dwelt in the cold and primitive town of Tomis on the Black Sea. He continued writing poetry, a kindly man, leading a temperate life. He died in exile.

Ovid’s main surviving works are the Metamorphoses, a source of inspiration to artists and poets including Chaucer and Shakespeare; the Fasti, a poetic treatment of the Roman year of which Ovid finished only half; the Amores, love poems; the Ars amatoria, not moral but clever and in parts beautiful; Heroides, fictitious love letters by legendary women to absent husbands; and the dismal works written in exile: the Tristia, appeals to persons including his wife and also the emperor; and similar Epistulae ex Ponto. Poetry came naturally to Ovid, who at his best is lively, graphic and lucid.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Ovid is in six volumes.

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The Art of Medieval Technology
Images of Noah the Shipbuilder
Unger, Richard W.
Rutgers University Press, 1991
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The Art of Migration
Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland
Paintings by Peggy Macnamara
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region’s two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi.

As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist’s notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area.

A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.
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The Art of the Bird
The History of Ornithological Art through Forty Artists
Roger J. Lederer
University of Chicago Press, 2019
The human history of depicting birds dates to as many as 40,000 years ago, when Paleolithic artists took to cave walls to capture winged and other beasts. But the art form has reached its peak in the last four hundred years. In The Art of the Bird, devout birder and ornithologist Roger J. Lederer celebrates this heyday of avian illustration in forty artists’ profiles, beginning with the work of Flemish painter Frans Snyders in the early 1600s and continuing through to contemporary artists like Elizabeth Butterworth, famed for her portraits of macaws. Stretching its wings across time, taxa, geography, and artistic style—from the celebrated realism of American conservation icon John James Audubon, to Elizabeth Gould’s nineteenth-century renderings of museum specimens from the Himalayas, to Swedish artist and ornithologist Lars Jonsson’s ethereal watercolors—this book is feathered with art and artists as diverse and beautiful as their subjects. A soaring exploration of our fascination with the avian form, The Art of the Bird is a testament to the ways in which the intense observation inherent in both art and science reveals the mysteries of the natural world.
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Art, Theory, Revolution
The Turn to Generality in Contemporary Literature
Mitchum Huehls
The Ohio State University Press, 2022
Can form be political? Do specific aesthetic and literary forms necessarily point us toward a progressive or reactionary politics? Artists, authors, and critics like to imagine so, but what happens when they lose control of the politics of their forms? In Art, Theory, Revolution: The Turn to Generality in Contemporary Literature, Mitchum Huehls argues that art’s interest in revolution did not end with the twentieth century, as some critics would have it, but rather that the relationship between literary forms and politics has been severed, resulting in a twenty-first century investment in forms of generality such as genre, gesture, constructivism, and abstraction. Focusing on three particular domains (art, theory, and revolution) in which the relationship between form and politics has collapsed, Huehls shows how twenty-first-century US fiction writers such as Chris Kraus, Percival Everett, Jonathan Safran Foer, Rachel Kushner, Salvador Plascencia, and Sheila Heti are turning to forms of generality that lead us toward a more modest, ad hoc, context-dependent way to think about the politics of form. The result is the first major study of generality in literature.
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Arthur Tress
Rambles, Dreams, and Shadows
James A. Ganz
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2023
This richly illustrated volume is the first critical look at the early career of Arthur Tress, a key proponent of magical realism and staged photography.

Arthur Tress (b. 1940) is a singular figure in the landscape of postwar American photography. His seminal series, The Dream Collector, depicts Tress’s interests in dreams, nightmares, fantasies, and the unconscious and established him as one of the foremost proponents of magical realism at a time when few others were doing staged photography.

This volume presents the first critical look at Tress’s early career, contextualizing the highly imaginative, fantastic work he became known for while also examining his other interrelated series: Appalachia: People and Places; Open Space in the Inner City; Shadow; and Theater of the Mind. James A. Ganz, Mazie M. Harris, and Paul Martineau plumb Tress’s work and archives, studying ephemera, personal correspondence, unpublished notes, diaries, contact sheets, and more to uncover how he went from earning his living as a social documentarian in Appalachia to producing surreal work of “imaginative fiction.” This abundantly illustrated volume imparts a fuller understanding of Tress’s career and the New York photographic scene of the 1960s and 1970s.

This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from October 31, 2023, to February 18, 2024.
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Asinou across Time
Studies in the Architecture and Murals of the Panagia Phorbiotissa, Cyprus
Annemarie Weyl Carr
Harvard University Press, 2012
The church of Asinou is among the most famous in Cyprus. Built around 1100, the edifice, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is decorated with accretions of images, from the famous fresco cycle executed shortly after initial construction to those made in the early seventeenth century. During this period the church served the adjacent monastery of the Mother of God ton Phorbion ("of the vetches"), and was subject to Byzantine, Lusignan (1191-1474), Venetian (1474-1570), and Ottoman rule. This monograph is the first on one of Cyprus's major diachronically painted churches. Written by an international team of renowned scholars, the book sets the accumulating phases of Asinou's art and architecture in the context of the changing fortunes of the valley, of Cyprus, and of the eastern Mediterranean. Chapters include the first continuous history of the church and its immediate setting; a thorough analysis of its architecture; editions, translations, and commentary on the poetic inscriptions; art-historical studies of the post-1105/6 images in the narthex and nave; a detailed comparative analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the frescoes; and a diachronic table of paleographical forms.
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Assembling Ethnicities in Neoliberal Times
Ethnographic Fictions and Sri Lanka’s War
Nimanthi Perera-Rajasingham
Northwestern University Press, 2019

Assembling Ethnicities in Neoliberal Times: Ethnographic Fictions and Sri Lanka’s War argues that the bloody war fought between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist Tamil Tigers from 1983 to 2009 should be understood as structured and animated by the forces of global capitalism. Using Aihwa Ong’s theorization of neoliberalism as a mobile technology and assemblage, this book explores how contemporary globalization has exacerbated forces of nationalism and racism.

Nimanthi Perera-Rajasingham finds that ethnographic fictions have both internalized certain colonial Orientalist impulses and critically engaged with categories of objective gazing, empiricism, and temporal distancing. She demonstrates that such fictions take seriously the task of bearing witness and documenting the complex productions of ethnic identities and the devastations wrought by warfare. To this end, Assembling Ethnicities
explores colonial-era travel writing by Robert Knox (1681) and Leonard Woolf (1913); contemporary works by Michael Ondaatje, Romesh Gunesekera, Shobasakthi, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, and Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan; and cultural festivals and theater, including vernacular performances of Euripides’s The Trojan Women and women workers’ theater. 

The book interprets contemporary fictions to unpack neoliberalism’s entanglements with nationalism and racism, engaging current issues such as human rights, the pastoral, Tamil militancy, immigrant lives, feminism and nationalism, and postwar developmentalism.

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Asterism
Ae Hee Lee
Tupelo Press, 2024
An intelligent and gorgeous collection of poems.

At times personal, at others political, slipping back and forth between lyric and narrative and drawing on various languages and geographies, Asterism is a collection of grace and grit, the work of a mind at work—in, and on, a world that is simultaneously expanding and contracting. Both accessible and legitimately experimental, these poems invite and challenge the reader, moving between registers and modes with ease.
 
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At The Drive-In Volcano
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Tupelo Press, 2007
From the author of the award-winning book of poems, Miracle Fruit, comes the eagerly anticipated second collection, At the Drive-In Volcano. In this new and imaginative followup, Aimee Nezhukumatathil examines the full circle journey of desire, loss, and ultimately, an exuberant lovetraveling around a world brimming with wild and delicious offerings such as iced waterfalls, jackfruit, and pistol shrimp. From the tropical landscapes of the Caribbean, India, and the Philippines to the deep winters of western New York and mild autumns of Ohio, the natural world Nezhukumatathil describes is dark but also lovelyso full of enchantment and magic. Here, worms glow in the dark, lizards speak, the most delicious soup in the world turns out to be deadly, and a woman eats soil as if it were candy. Her trademark charm, verve and wit remain elemental and a delight to behold, even in the face of a crumbling relationship. These poems confront delicate subjects of love and loss with an exacting exuberance and elegance not hardly seen in a writer so young.
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Aunt Bird
Yerra Sugarman
Four Way Books, 2022

Aunt Bird is an astonishing, hybrid poetry of witness that observes and testifies to social, political, and historical realities through the recovery of one life silenced by the past. Within these pages, poet Yerra Sugarman confronts the Holocaust as it was experienced by a young Jewish woman: the author’s twenty-three-year-old aunt, Feiga Maler, whom Sugarman never knew, and who died in the Kraków Ghetto in German-occupied Poland in 1942. In lyric poems, prose poems, and lyric essays, Aunt Bird combines documentary poetics with surrealism: sourcing from the testimonials of her kin who survived, as well as official Nazi documents about Feiga Maler, these poems imagine Sugarman’s relationship with her deceased aunt and thus recreate her life. Braiding speculation, primary sources, and the cultural knowledge-base of postmemory, Aunt Bird seeks what Eavan Boland calls “a habitable grief,” elegizing the particular loss of one woman while honoring who Feiga was, or might have been, and recognizing the time we have now.

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Ausonius, Volume II
Books 18–20. Paulinus Pellaeus: Eucharisticus
Ausonius. Paulinus Pellaeus
Harvard University Press

A master of the jeweled style.

Ausonius (Decimus Magnus), ca. AD 310–ca. 395, a doctor’s son, was born at Burdigala (Bordeaux). After a good education in grammar and rhetoric and a short period during which he was an advocate, he took to teaching rhetoric in a school that he began in the University of Bordeaux in 334. Among his students was Paulinus, who was afterwards Bishop of Nola; and he seems to have become some sort of Christian himself. Thirty years later Ausonius was called by Emperor Valentinian to be tutor to Gratian, who subsequently as emperor conferred on him honors including a consulship in 379. In 383, after Gratian’s murder, Ausonius retired to Bordeaux.

Ausonius’ surviving works, some with deep feeling, some composed it seems for fun, some didactic, include much poetry: poems about himself and family, notably “The Daily Round”; epitaphs on heroes in the Trojan War, memorials on Roman emperors, and epigrams on various subjects; poems about famous cities and about friends and colleagues. “The Moselle,” a description of that river, is among the most admired of his poems. There is also an address of thanks to Gratian for the consulship.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Ausonius is in two volumes; the second includes Eucharisticus (“Thanksgiving”) by Paulinus Pellaeus.

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Authorizing Early Modern European Women
From Biography to Biofiction
James Fitzmaurice
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
The essays in this volume analyze strategies adopted by contemporary novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, and biographers interested in bringing the stories of early modern women to modern audiences. It also pays attention to the historical women creators themselves, who, be they saints or midwives, visual artists or poets and playwrights, stand out for their roles as active practitioners of their own arts and for their accomplishments as creators. Whether they delivered infants or governed as monarchs, or produced embroideries, letters, paintings or poems, their visions, the authors argue, have endured across the centuries. As the title of the volume suggests, the essays gathered here participate in a wider conversation about the relation between biography, historical fiction, and the growing field of biofiction (that is, contemporary fictionalizations of historical figures), and explore the complicated interconnections between celebrating early modern women and perpetuating popular stereotypes about them.
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Avant-Garde Post–
Radical Poetics after the Soviet Union
Marijeta Bozovic
Harvard University Press, 2023

The remarkable story of seven contemporary Russian-language poets whose experimental work anchors a thriving dissident artistic movement opposed to both Putin’s regime and Western liberalism.

What does leftist art look like in the wake of state socialism? In recent years, Russian-language avant-garde poetry has been seeking the answers to this question. Marijeta Bozovic follows a constellation of poets at the center of a contemporary literary movement that is bringing radical art out of the Soviet shadow: Kirill Medvedev, Pavel Arseniev, Aleksandr Skidan, Dmitry Golynko, Roman Osminkin, Keti Chukhrov, and Galina Rymbu. While their formal experiments range widely, all share a commitment to explicitly political poetry. Each one, in turn, has become a hub in a growing new-left network across the former Second World.

Joined together by their work with the Saint Petersburg–based journal [Translit], this circle has staunchly resisted the Putin regime and its mobilization of Soviet nostalgia. At the same time, the poets of Avant-Garde Post– reject Western discourse about the false promises of leftist utopianism and the superiority of the liberal world. In opposing both narratives, they draw on the legacies of historical Russian and Soviet avant-gardes as well as on an international canon of Marxist art and theory. They are also intimately connected with other artists, intellectuals, and activists around the world, collectively restoring leftist political poetry to global prominence.

The avant-garde, Bozovic shows, is not a relic of the Soviet past. It is a recurrent pulse in Russophone—as well as global—literature and art. Charged by that pulse, today’s new left is reimagining class-based critique. Theirs is an ongoing, defiant effort to imagine a socialist future that is at once global and egalitarian.

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