New and Forthcoming Publications


Faculty Author Index

Adesanmi, P. Casteel, S. Leckie, B. Wallace, A.
Barrows, A. DeCook, T. Mason, J. Walton, P.
Beecher, D. Dragunoiu, D. Medd, J. White, M.
Birkwood, S. Henderson, J. Murray, S. Williams, G
Bly Calkin, S. Holton, R. Nudelman, F.
Bohm, A. Kamra, S. Reid, H.
Brouillette, S. Keen, P. Schroeder, J.

 The Bookshelf

Pius Adesanmi

You’re Not A Country, Africa

Penguin, 2011

not-a-country-africa.jpg w=820Winner of The Penguin Prize for African Writing (Non-Fiction)

In this ground-breaking collection of essays, Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what Africa means to him as an African and to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes.  This question has exercised some of the finest African minds of the twentieth century, but pan-Africanism, Negritude, nationalism, decolonization, and all the other projects through which Africans have sought to restore their humanity have failed to solve it.  Criss-crossing the continent, Adesanmi attempts to make meaning of this question for the twenty-first century.


Adam Barrows

Time, Literature, and Cartography after the Spatial Turn

Palgrave, 2016

Time, Literature, and Cartography after the Spatial Turn argues that the spatial turn in literary studies has the unexplored potential to reinvigorate the ways in which we understand time in literature.  Drawing on new readings of time in a range of literary narratives, including Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Adam Barrows explores literature’s ability to cartographically represent the dense and tangled rhythmic processes that constitute lived spaces.  Applying the insights of ecological resilience studies, as well as Henri Lefebvre’s late work on rhythm to literary representations of time, this book offers a sustained examination of literature’s “chronometric imaginary”: its capacity to map the temporal relationships between the human and the non-human, the local and the global.

The Cosmic Time of Empire: Modern Britain and World Literature

University of California Press, 2010

Combining original historical research with literary analysis, Adam Barrows takes a provocative look at the creation of world standard time in 1884 and rethinks the significance of this remarkable moment in modernism for both the processes of imperialism and for modern literature. As representatives from twenty-four nations argued over adopting the Prime Meridian, and thereby measuring time in relation to Greenwich, England, writers began experimenting with new ways of representing human temporality. Barrows finds this experimentation in works as varied as Victorian adventure novels, high modernist texts, and South Asian novels—including the work of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, H. Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad. Demonstrating the investment of modernist writing in the problems of geopolitics and in the public discourse of time, Barrows argues that it is possible, and productive, to rethink the politics of modernism through the politics of time.


Donald Beecher and Massimo Ciavolella, eds.

The Deceived

Italica Press, 2018

A father decides to marry his young daughter to an old man. His daughter escapes from a convent, disguises herself as a young boy and becomes the handsome servant to the man she’s in love with. By happy fortune and mistaken identity, her brother comes to the rescue of his beleaguered sister. But not before a comic Renaissance exploration of gender identity, cross-dressing, and paternal assertions leaves the audience witnessing numerous deceptions and a stage full of deceived, from pedants and servants to tavern keepers and nursemaids. While the action takes place in Modena, the real scene is Siena where the play was staged in 1531/1532 in the wake of the Sack of Rome of 1527. In the shadow of this crisis, the Academy of the Intronati produced The Deceived (Gl’Ingannati) for the Sienese Carnival. This play inspired several more Renaissance works and is the ultimate source for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This dual-language edition is translated and edited by Donald Beecher & Massimo Ciavolella.

The Decameron

Broadview Press, 2017

This edition presents 33 of the 100 tales, with at least two from each of the ten days of storytelling. Boccaccio’s general introduction and conclusion to the work are also included, as are the introduction and conclusion to the first day; the reader is thus provided with a real sense of the Decameron’s framing narrative. Extensive explanatory notes are provided, and the volume is prefaced by a concise but wide-ranging introduction to Boccaccio’s life and times, as well as to the Decameron itself. A unique selection of contextual materials concludes the volume. Translated and edited by Donald Beecher & Massimo Ciavolella.

Donald Beecher

Adapted Brains and Imaginary Worlds

McGill Queen’s University Press, 2016

In Adapted Brains and Imaginary Worlds, Donald Beecher explores the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of the brain as they affect the study of fiction. He builds upon insights from the cognitive sciences to explain how we actualize imaginary persons, read the clues to their intentional states, assess their representations of selfhood, and empathize with their felt experiences in imaginary environments. He considers how our own faculty of memory, in all its selective particularity and planned oblivion, becomes an increasingly significant dimension of the critical act, and how our own emotions become aggressive readers of literary experience, culminating in states which define the genres of literature.

Beecher illustrates his points with examples from major works of the Renaissance period, including Doctor Faustus, The Faerie Queene, Measure for Measure, The Yorkshire Tragedy, Menaphon, The Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolphus, and The Moral Philosophy of Doni. In this volume, studies in the science of mind come into their own in explaining the architectures of the brain that shape such emergent properties as empathy, suspense, curiosity, the formation of communities, gossip, rationalization, confabulation, and so much more that pertains to the behaviour of characters, the orientation of readers, and the construction of meaning.

Discussing a breadth of topics – from the mysteries of the criminal mind to the psychology of tears – Adapted Brains and Imaginary Worlds is the most comprehensive work available on the study of fictional worlds and their relation to the constitution of the human brain.

Donald Beecher and Massimo Ciavolella, eds.

The Scruffy Scoundrels

Italica Press, 2016

The Scruffy Scoundrels (Gli Straccioni) is a masterpiece of humanist playwriting. Caro wrote his play in 1543 and set it firmly in the streets of early modern Rome, making it both a social satire and an endorsement of the civic and legal reforms of the Farnese pope, Paul III. Drama imitates and helps construct life. In the end, the legal order imposed on the fictive Rome of the stage anticipates the new social order the pope intended for the marble, brick and mortar city. Caro extends the range and variety of sophisticated farce, adapting contemporary stage conventions, based on the classical Roman plays of Plautus and Terence, to his acute observation of Roman life in the 1540s. The “scruffy scoundrels” genre meets Boccaccio’s farce and an elaborate love story borrowed from ancient Greek romance. This dual-language edition is edited and translated by Massimo Ciavolella & Donald Beecher.

Donald Beecher, ed. (with introduction)

The Pleasant Nights (Vols. I and II)

University of Toronto Press, 2012

Renowned today for his contribution to the rise of the modern European fairy tale, Giovan Francesco Straparola (c. 1480–c. 1557) is particularly known for his dazzling anthology The Pleasant Nights. Originally published in Venice in 1550 and 1553, this collection features seventy-three folk stories, fables, jests, and pseudo-histories, including nine tales we might now designate for ‘mature readers’ and seventeen proto-fairy tales. Nearly all of these stories, including classics such as ‘Puss in Boots,’ made their first ever appearance in this collection; together, the tales comprise one of the most varied and engaging Renaissance miscellanies ever produced. Its appeal sustained it through twenty-six editions in the first sixty years.

This full critical edition of The Pleasant Nights presents these stories in English for the first time in over a century. The text takes its inspiration from the celebrated Waters translation, which is entirely revised here to render it both more faithful to the original and more sparkishly idiomatic than ever before. The stories are accompanied by a rich sampling of illustrations, including originals from nineteenth-century English and French versions of the text.

As a comprehensive critical and historical edition, these volumes contain far more information on the stories than can be found in any existing studies, literary histories, or Italian editions of the work. Donald Beecher provides a lengthy introduction discussing Straparola as an author, the nature of fairy tales and their passage through oral culture, and how this phenomenon provides a new reservoir of stories for literary adaptation. Moreover, the stories all feature extensive commentaries analysing not only their themes but also their fascinating provenances, drawing on thousands of analogue tales going back to ancient Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic stories.

Donald Beecher and Massimo Ciavolella, eds.

De la maladie d’amour ou mélancolie érotique

Classiques Garnier, 2010

Le traité de Jacques Ferrand, De la maladie d’amour (1623), est surtout une œuvre sur la médecine, mais il est en même temps un trattato d’amore dans la tradition humaniste, un manuel de médecine clinique et un livre polémique suite à la condamnation de la première édition (1610) par l’Inquisition de Toulouse. Donc, de la définition philosophique de l’amour jusqu’aux remèdes pharmaceutiques, ce livre est, en fin de compte, une encyclopédie de l’amour au temps de la Renaissance du point de vue médical. Édition de Donald Beecher et Massimo Ciavolella.

Donald Beecher and Grant Williams, eds.

Ars Reminiscendi: Mind and Memory in Renaissance Culture

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2009

Williams BeecherThe Art of Memory in Renaissance scholarship was, for many years, confined to a footnote in classical rhetoric, until Francis Yates’s groundbreaking study of 1966 argued for its considerable influence on hermetic philosophy and literature. Over the last few decades, another shift in scholarship has occurred that goes well beyond Yates’s conceptualization of memory as an occult and occulted phenomenon in the history of ideas. Recent studies suggest memory to be less a theme or idea than the prevailing episteme, whose discourses, practices, and mentations produce and reproduce Renaissance culture. Humanism’s project of recovering the past by retrieving and reconstructing textuality privileges recollection as a mode of epistemological engagement with the world, as a means of subjective and collective identity formation, and as an organ for achieving ethical goals. For that reason, memory finds itself involved in the passage to modernity, when its ascendancy is challenged by the rise of seventeenth-century science and fall of rhetoric, the emergence of the European nation state, and the explosion of the printing press and book technologies. Acknowledging this new direction in scholarship, this volume seeks to trace the plurality and complexity of memory’s cultural work throughout the English and Continental Renaissance. Among the thinkers and writers to receive attention are Thomas Hoby, Conrad Gesner, Erasmus, Conrad Celtis, Johann Sturm, Machiavelli, Jehan du Pré, Spenser, Robert Hooke, Milton, Sebastian Münster, and Shakespeare. A long critical and historical afterword extends the historical contexts around the contributions and provides an overview of the materials central to the field, as well as a sense of the field’s future development.

Donald Beecher, ed.

Renaissance Comedy: The Italian Masters

University of Toronto Press, 2008

beecher mastersA rich and multi-faceted aspect of the Italian Renaissance, the comedy has been largely overlooked as a cultural force during the period. In Renaissance Comedy, editor Donald Beecher corrects this oversight with a collection of eleven comedies representative of the principal styles of writing that define the genre. Proceeding from early, ‘erudite’ imitations of Plautus and Terence to satires, sentimental plays of the middle years, and later, more experimental works, the development of Italian Renaissance comedy is here dissected in a fascinating and vivid light.

This first of two volumes boasts five of the best-known plays of the period, each with its own historical and critical introduction. Also included is a general introduction by the editor, which discusses the features of Italian Renaissance comedy, as well as examines the stage histories of the plays and what little is known, in many cases, of the circumstances surrounding their original performances. The introduction raises questions concerning the nature of audiences, the festival occasions during which the plays were performed, and the academies which sponsored many of their creations.

As a much-needed reappraisal of these comedic plays, Renaissance Comedy is an invaluable look at the performance history of the Renaissance and Italian culture in general.

Donald Beecher (with Introduction and Annotations) and David Margolies, eds.

Greene in Conceit by John Dickerson

CRRS Publications, 2008

beecher 2The story of Valeria is an archetypal tale of unequal marriage, escape and betrayal, abuse and retribution. Trapped in the social conventions of late sixteenth-century London, the heroine’s vitality and wilfulness make her ultimately a tragic figure. Dickenson, in keeping with the temper of the age, is a moralist, but he goes beyond conventional moralising to explore the position of women in a patriarchal society. He is an accomplished stylist yet also delivers a fast-moving narrative that makes him very accessible. The title refers to the late Robert Greene, an outstanding popular fiction writer of the period, who supposedly gains permission to return briefly to the land of the living to let the world know the tragic tale of Valeria, whose shade has recently arrived in Hades. Encountering Dickenson, Greene appoints him to bring the tale to the public.

Donald Beecher, ed., with Introduction and Notes (text established by Henry Janzen)

A Margarite of America by Thomas Lodge

CRRS Publications, 2005

beecher 3According to Lodge, at least part of the “horror” romance was written aboard the Cavendish expedition while attempting to run the Strait of Magellan, making this the first English prose fiction written in “America.” But the tale itself is set in the romance lands of Arcadia and Central Europe. A Margarite is a story of war and peace, pathetic loyalty and brazen betrayal, attempted rape, imperial strategems and a bloodbath dénouement – decisive and dramatic as the Elizabethans liked their plots of revenge. This was to be Lodge’s au revoir to the writing of commercial fiction – a masterpiece, employing all the prose and poetic styles he had developed throughout his writing career. Readers of Elizabethan fiction will enjoy the challenge of classifying Lodge’s innovative genre and tracing the scope of his reading, evident in his richly referential textures.

Donald Beecher, Massimo Ciavolella and Roberto Fedi, eds.

Ariosto Today: Contemporary Perspectives

University of Toronto Press, 2003

Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso is one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance, a work which, many argue, signalled the apogee of Renaissance fancy on the precipice of irony and decline. This collection of essays brings together twelve noted Italian and American scholars to provide a complete picture of Ariosto and all his works, covering topics such as historical criticism relating to Ariosto’s place and time; philological investigations into the varying literary styles of the author, especially outside of the Furioso; Ariosto’s extrinsic relationships with other literary traditions; and formal and thematic excavations of the immanent aesthetics of the Furioso.

Each essayist acknowledges the fact that Ariosto’s creations are charged with allusions and allegiances variously inviting recognition or demanding the status of record. This reading of his works reveals that Ariosto was not a writer who believed, as it was previously thought, that literature is something escapist or fantastic in nature, but one who, in writing and re-writing his works, tried to re-interpret literary tradition while incorporating the new literary instruments that were available to him at the time: Ariosto’s literary production is an integration of tradition and invention. This new reading of his work will be essential to any Italianist’s library.

Donald Beecher (with introduction and notes), John Butler, Carmine Di Biase, eds.

The Moral Philosophy of Doni popularly known as The Fables of Bidpai

CRRS Publications, 2003

North published his translations of these famous fables in London in 1570. His source was Anton Francesco Doni’s Filosofia morale, published in Venice some 18 years earlier. The fables had arrived in Italy from Spain, taken from the Latin that went back to the ancient Sanskrit sources through Hebrew, Arabic, and Pahlevi. Of the 40 fables and novelle—ensconced within the framing tale of the Lion who, as king, is duped by a wily and envious Mule into killing his trusty minister and loyal friend the Bull—survive from the ancient Panchantantra. Another 14 are Arabic in origin going back to the eighth century. These tales can be read individually for leisure and profit, as one reads the fables of Aesop, but insofar as they are “emboxed” within one another and within the framing tale, they may also be read referentially as parts of a “treatise” on political conduct. In this way, Doni understood them to constitute a “moral philosophy.” Over half are beast fables in the grand tradition, and the book was lavishly illustrated by woodcuts made in the shops of Antwerp for the English printer, Denham, some 19 of them based on emblematic Italian originals. North, famous for his translations of Plutarch’s Lives was, arguably, the finest translator of Tudor England.

Donald Beecher, ed., with an Introduction and Notes

Characters and Related Pieces

CRRS Publications, 2002

This book is a Jacobean miscellany comprised of poems, 83 character sketches, items of news, and paradoxes. But the heart of the collection remains the characters—pithy, “conceited,” miniature essays on contemporary Londoners by trade, religion, nationality, humors and temperaments—written by several hands. Technically they are anonymous, but more than half, on stylistic grounds, can be traced to Donne (?), Webster, Dekker, and Ford. The collection is accompanied by a full study of “charactery” as a Jacobean phenomenon with roots in the theatre, in satiric tracts and manuals of rhetoric, the characters of Theophrastus, and perhaps in the social games played at court. The brief and often elliptical style in which these sketches are written was cultivated for its mind-teasing effects which can be as engaging for modern readers as it was for the Jacobeans.

Donald Beecher, ed., with an Introduction and Notes

Thomas Lodge: Rosalind

CRRS Publications, 1997

Lodge’s pastoral romance has enjoyed some recognition as the source of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. But the work deserves more than second-hand fame, for Rosalind is an exquisite tale in its own right, arguably the finest prose romance after Sidney’s Arcadia, featuring a balance between the plainer and more embellished styles, an anthology of elegant pastoral lyrics, and a fully worthy prototype of Shakespeare’s memorable heroine. It was Lodge who supplied the male disguise wherein Rosalind teases and tests her man, the baffled Rosader, and then finds herself the object of amorous attention by another woman; Lodge who, out of his medieval source, turned Arden into a world of passage and redemption; and Lodge who worked out the grand comic finale in a triple marriage. It is a masterpiece of prose comic fiction that went through ten contemporary editions.

Jacques Ferrand, Donald A. Beecher and Massimo Ciavolella, eds.

A Treatise on Lovesickness (Iroquois and Their Neighbors)

lovesicknessSyracuse University Press, 1994

This is a critical edition of Ferrand’s treatise of 1610, on erotic melancholy. It is preceded by nine introductory chapters, in which the editors examine the place of erotic ideas in Renaissance culture.


Susan Birkwood, ed.

A Year In Canada

Canadian Poetry, 2004

A Year in Canada is one of the earliest published English-language texts by women concerning this country. Written by Ann Cuthbert Knight, this collection of poems was published in Scotland and is made available for the first time in a new edition.


Siobhain Bly Calkin

Saracens and the Making of English Identity: The Auchinleck Manuscript

Routledge, 2005

bly caulkinThis book explores the ways in which discourses of religious, racial, and national identity blur and engage each other in the medieval West. Specifically, the book studies depictions of Muslims in England during the 1330s and argues that these depictions, although historically inaccurate, served to enhance and advance assertions of English national identity at this time. The book examines Saracen characters in a manuscript renowned for the variety of its texts, and discusses hagiographic legends, elaborations of chronicle entries, and popular romances about Charlemagne, Arthur, and various English knights. In these texts, Saracens engage issues such as the demarcation of communal borders, the place of gender norms and religion in communities’ self-definitions, and the roles of violence and history in assertions of group identity. Texts involving Saracens thus serve both to assert an English identity, and to explore the challenges involved in making such an assertion in the early fourteenth century when the English language was regaining its cultural prestige, when the English people were increasingly at odds with their French cousins, and when English, Welsh, and Scottish sovereignty were pressing matters.


Arnd Bohm

Goethe’s Faust and European Epic: Forgetting the Future

Camden House, February 2007

bohmGoethe has long been enshrined as the greatest German poet, but his admirers have always been uneasy with the idea that he did not produce a great epic poem. A master in all the other genres and modes, it has been felt, should have done so. Arnd Bohm proposes that Goethe did compose an epic poem, which has been hidden in plain view: Faust. Goethe saw that the Faust legends provided the stuff for a national epic: a German hero, a villain (Mephistopheles), a quest (to know all things), a sublime conflict (good versus evil), a love story (via Helen of Troy), and elasticity (all human knowledge could be accommodated by the plot). Bohm reveals the care with which Goethe draws upon such sources as Tasso, Ariosto, Dante, and Vergil. In the microcosm of the “Auerbachs Keller” episode Faust has the opportunity to find “what holds the world together in its essence” and to end his quest happily, but he fails. He forgets the future because he cannot remember what epic teaches. His course ends tragically, bringing him back to the origin of epic, as he replicates the Trojans’ mistake of presuming to cheat the gods.


Sarah Brouillette

UNESCO and the Fate of the Literary

Stanford University Press, 2019

A case study of one of the most important global institutions of cultural policy formation, UNESCO and the Fate of the Literary demonstrates the relationship between such policy-making and transformations in the economy. Focusing on UNESCO’s use of books, Sarah Brouillette identifies three phases in the agency’s history and explores the literary and cultural programming of each. In the immediate postwar period, healthy economies made possible the funding of an infrastructure in support of a liberal cosmopolitanism and the spread of capitalist democracy. In the decolonizing 1960s and ’70s, illiteracy and lack of access to literature were lamented as a “book hunger” in the developing world, and reading was touted as a universal humanizing value to argue for a more balanced communications industry and copyright regime. Most recently, literature has become instrumental in city and nation branding that drive tourism and the heritage industry. Today, the agency largely treats high literature as a commercially self-sustaining product for wealthy aging publics, and fundamental policy reform to address the uneven relations that characterize global intellectual property creation is off the table. UNESCO’s literary programming is in this way highly suggestive. A trajectory that might appear to be one of triumphant success—literary tourism and festival programming can be quite lucrative for some people—is also, under a different light, a story of decline.

Literature and the Creative Economy

Stanford University Press, forthcoming February 2014

brouillette 2For nearly twenty years, social scientists and policy makers have been highly interested in the idea of the creative economy. This book contends that mainstream considerations of the economic and social force of culture, including theories of the creative class and of cognitive and immaterial labor, are indebted to historic conceptions of the art of literary authorship. What’s more, it shows how contemporary literature has been involved in and has responded to creative-economy phenomena, including the presentation of artists as models of contentedly flexible and self-managed work, the treatment of training in and exposure to art as a pathway to social inclusion, the use of culture and cultural institutions to increase property values, and support for cultural diversity as a means of growing cultural markets.

Contemporary writers have not straightforwardly bemoaned these phenomena in a classic rejection of the instrumental application of art. Rather, they have tended to explore how their own critical capacities have become compatible with or even essential to a neoliberal economy that has embraced art’s autonomous gestures as proof that authentic self-articulation and social engagement can and should occur within capitalism. Taking a sociological approach to literary criticism, Brouillette interprets major works of contemporary fiction by Monica Ali, Aravind Adiga, Daljit Nagra, and Ian McEwan alongside government policy, social science, and theoretical explorations of creative work and immaterial labor.

Sarah Brouillette

Postcolonial Writers in the Global Literary Marketplace

Palgrave Macmillan, 2007; paperback edition 2011

Postcolonial Writers in the Global Literary Marketplace, now in paperback and with a new Preface, considers some of the market conditions that have framed the emergence of English-language postcolonial literatures, and suggests modifications to existing accounts of how a writer’s marginality is experienced by consumers of postcolonial texts. Arguing that the incorporation of writers who are marketed as postcolonial has been crucial to global expansion and consolidation in the publishing industry, Sarah Brouillette connects market incorporation to the self-consciousness of a set of postcolonial writers. She situates their attempts at self-definition, self-critique, and self-defence within the general history of literary authorship, and argues for new ways of understanding authorship in light of the experiences of figures like Derek Walcott and Salman Rushdie. Combining explorations of existing theory with wide-scale market analysis and close attention to writers’ careers and texts, the study makes an exciting contribution to globalization studies and to the emerging history of the postcolonial book.


Sarah Phillips Casteel and Heidi Kaufman, eds.

Caribbean Jewish Crossings

University of Virginia Press, 2019

Caribbean Jewish Crossings is the first essay collection to consider the Caribbean’s relationship to Jewishness through a literary lens. Although Caribbean novelists and poets regularly incorporate Jewish motifs in their work, scholars have neglected this strain in studies of Caribbean literature.

The book takes a pan-Caribbean approach, with chapters addressing the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Part I traces the emergence of a Caribbean-Jewish literary culture in Suriname, St. Thomas, Jamaica, and Cuba from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. Part II brings into focus Sephardic and crypto-Jewish motifs in contemporary Caribbean literature, while Part III turns to the question of colonialism and its relationship to Holocaust memory. The volume concludes with the compelling voices of contemporary Caribbean creative writers.

Sarah Phillips Casteel

Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination

Columbia University Press, 2016

In original and insightful ways, Caribbean writers have turned to Jewish experiences of exodus and reinvention, from the Sephardim expelled from Iberia in the 1490s to the “Calypso Jews” who fled Europe for Trinidad in the 1930s. Examining these historical migrations through the lens of postwar Caribbean fiction and poetry, Sarah Phillips Casteel presents the first major study of representations of Jewishness in Caribbean literature. Bridging the gap between postcolonial and Jewish studies, Calypso Jews enriches cross-cultural investigations of Caribbean creolization.

Caribbean writers invoke both the 1492 expulsion and the Holocaust as part of their literary archaeology of slavery and its legacies. Despite the unequal and sometimes fraught relations between Blacks and Jews in the Caribbean before and after emancipation, Black-Jewish literary encounters reflect sympathy and identification more than antagonism and competition. Providing an alternative to U.S.-based critical narratives of Black-Jewish relations, Casteel reads Derek Walcott, Maryse Condé, Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid, Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen, and Paul Gilroy, among others, to reveal a distinctive interdiasporic literature.

Sarah Phillips Casteel and Winfried Siemerling

Canada and Its Americas: Transnational Navigations

McGill-Queen’s UP, 2010

casteel 2In the last few decades Canadian and Québécois literatures have been catapulted onto the global stage, gaining international readership and recognition. Canada and Its Americas challenges the convention that study of this literature should be limited to its place within national borders, arguing that these works should be examined from the perspective of their place and influence within the Americas as a whole. The chapters in this volume, a groundbreaking work in the burgeoning field of hemispheric American studies, expand the horizons of Canadian and Québécois literatures, suggest alternative approaches to models centred on the United States, and analyze the risks and benefits of hemispheric approaches to Canada and Quebec. Revealing the connections among a broad range of Canadian, Québécois, American, Caribbean, Latin American, and diasporic literatures, the contributors critique the neglect of Canadian works in Hemispheric studies and show how such writing can be successfully integrated into an emerging area of literary inquiry. An important development in understanding the diversity of literatures throughout the western hemisphere, Canada and Its Americas reveals exciting new ways for thinking about transnationalism, regionalism, border cultures, and the literatures they produce.

Sarah Phillips Casteel

Second Arrivals: Landscape and Belonging in Contemporary Writing of the Americas

University of Virginia Press, 2007

casteel 1Diaspora studies have tended to privilege urban landscapes over rural ones, wanting to avoid the racial homogeneity, conservatism, and xenophobia usually associated with the latter. In Second Arrivals: Landscape and Belonging in Contemporary Writing of the Americas, Sarah Phillips Casteel examines the work of writers such as Derek Walcott, V. S. Naipaul, Jamaica Kincaid, Philip Roth, and Joy Kogawa, among others, to show how it expresses the appeal that rural and wilderness spaces can hold for the diasporic imagination.

Casteel proposes an alternative to postmodern celebrations of rootlessness, bringing together writers from the Caribbean and North America who uniquely reimagine the New World landscape from the vantage point of cultural and geographical dislocation. As represented in a range of genres and media—fiction, poetry, garden writing, and installation art—these alternative forms of belonging reinterpret New World nature as infused with history and as subject to competing claims, generating a new poetics of American place. The author’s transnational approach also gives significant attention to Canadian material, which has largely been overlooked in hemispheric studies of the literature of the Americas.

Contributing to the growing movement of comparative American studies, Second Arrivals will appeal to scholars and students of inter-American studies, Caribbean studies, Canadian studies, diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, and ecocriticism.


Travis DeCook

The Origins of the Bible and Early Modern Political Thought

Cambridge University Press, 2021

In this book, Travis DeCook explores the theological and political innovations found in early modern accounts of the Bible’s origins. In the charged climate produced by the Reformation and humanist historicism, writers grappled with the tension between the Bible’s divine and human aspects, and they produced innovative narratives regarding the agencies and processes through which the Bible came into existence and was transmitted. DeCook investigates how these accounts of Scripture’s production were taken up beyond the expected boundaries of biblical study, and were redeployed as the theological basis for wide-reaching arguments about the proper ordering of human life.

DeCook provides a new, critical perspective on ideas regarding secularity, secularization, and modernity, challenging the dominant narratives regarding the Bible’s role in these processes. He shows how these engagements with the Bible’s origins prompt a rethinking of formulations of secularity and secularization in our own time.

Travis DeCook and Alan Galey, eds.

Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book: Contested Scriptures

Routledge, 2011

decookWhy do Shakespeare and the English Bible seem to have an inherent relationship with each other? How have these two monumental traditions in the history of the book functioned as mutually reinforcing sources of cultural authority? How do material books and related reading practices serve as specific sites of intersection between these two textual traditions? This collection makes a significant intervention in our understanding of Shakespeare, the Bible, and the role of textual materiality in the construction of cultural authority. Departing from conventional source study, it questions the often naturalized links between the Shakespearean and biblical corpora, examining instead the historically contingent ways these links have been forged. The volume brings together leading scholars in Shakespeare, book history, and the Bible as literature, whose essays converge on the question of Scripture as source versus Scripture as process—whether that scripture is biblical or Shakespearean—and in turn explore themes such as cultural authority, pedagogy, secularism, textual scholarship, and the materiality of texts. Covering an historical span from Shakespeare’s post-Reformation era to present-day Northern Ireland, the volume uncovers how Shakespeare and the Bible’s intertwined histories illuminate the enduring tensions between materiality and transcendence in the history of the book.


Dana Dragunoiu

Vladimir Nabokov and the Poetics of Liberalism

Northwestern University Press, 2011

dragunoiuAlongside the puzzles contained in Nabokov’s fiction, scholars have been unable to untangle the seemingly contradictory relationship between, on one hand, the fiction and the beliefs and principles suggested by Nabokov’s biography and, on the other hand, the statements he made outside of his work. Through a close examination of Nabokov’s father’s political, moral, and aesthetic values and, more generally, Russian liberalism as it existed in the first few decades of the twentieth century, Dragunoiu provides persuasive answers to many long-standing questions in this deeply researched, innovative study. Showing the particular influence of the thought of Kant and Berkeley, she focuses on what she calls Nabokov’s “most deceptively apolitical novels”: The Gift, Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada. In bringing to them a more extensive context than previous Nabokov scholars, Dragunoiu argues that their treatment of various moral and political subjects can be more clearly understood in the light of ideas inherited by Nabokov from his father and his father’s generation.


Jennifer Henderson and Pauline Wakeham, eds.

Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress

University of Toronto Press, 2013

Truth and reconciliation commissions and official governmental apologies continue to surface worldwide as mechanisms for coming to terms with human rights violations and social atrocities. As the first scholarly collection to explore the intersections and differences between a range of redress cases that have emerged in Canada in recent decades, Reconciling Canada provides readers with the contexts for understanding the phenomenon of reconciliation as it has played out in this multicultural settler state.

In this volume, leading scholars in the humanities and social sciences relate contemporary political and social efforts to redress wrongs to the fraught history of government relations with Aboriginal and diasporic populations. The contributors offer ground-breaking perspectives on Canada’s ‘culture of redress,’ broaching questions of law and constitutional change, political coalitions, commemoration, testimony, and literatures of injury and its aftermath. Also assembled together for the first time is a collection of primary documents – including government reports, parliamentary debates, and redress movement statements – prefaced with contextual information. Reconciling Canada provides a vital and immensely relevant illumination of the dynamics of reconciliation, apology, and redress in contemporary Canada.

Eva C. Karpinski, Jennifer Henderson, Ian Sowton, and Ray Ellenwood, eds.

Trans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard

WLU Press, 2013

karpinski-godardTrans/acting Culture, Writing, and Memory is a collection of essays written in honour of Barbara Godard, one of the most original and wide-ranging literary critics, theorists, teachers, translators, and public intellectuals Canada has ever produced. The contributors, both established and emerging scholars, extend Godard’s work through engagements with her published texts in the spirit of creative interchange and intergenerational relay of ideas. Their essays resonate with Godard’s innovative scholarship, situated at the intersection of such fields as literary studies, cultural studies, translation studies, feminist theory, arts criticism, social activism, institutional analysis, and public memory. In pursuit of unexpected linkages and connections, the essays venture beyond generic and disciplinary borders, zeroing in on Godard’s transdisciplinary practice which has been extremely influential in the way it framed questions and modelled interventions for the study of Canadian, Québécois, and Acadian literatures and cultures. The authors work with the materials ranging from Canadian government policies and documents to publications concerning white-supremacist organizations in Southern Ontario, online materials from a Toronto-based transgender arts festival, a photographic mural installation commemorating the Montreal Massacre, and the works of such writers and artists as Marie Clements, Nicole Brossard, France Daigle, Nancy Huston, Yvette Nolan, Gail Scott, Denise Desautels, Louise Warren, Rebecca Belmore, Vera Frenkel, Robert Lepage, and Janet Cardiff.

Jennifer Henderson

Settler Feminism and Race Making in Canada

University of Toronto Press, 2003

jhenderson_settlerfem_largeSettler Feminism and Race Making in Canada engages in a discursive analysis of three ‘texts’: the narratives of Anna Jameson (Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada), Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney (Two Months in the Camp of Big Bear), and the ‘Janey Canuck’ books of Emily Murphy in order to examine how, in the context of a settler colony, white women have been part of the project of its governance, its racial constitution, and its role in British imperialism. Using Foucauldian theories of governmentality to connect these first-person narratives to wider strategies of race making, Jennifer Henderson develops a feminist critique of the ostensible freedom that Anglo-Protestant women found within nineteenth-century liberal projects of rule.

Henderson’s interdisciplinary approach including critical studies in law, literature, and political history offers a new perspective on these women that detaches them from the dominant colony-to-nation narrative and shows their importance in a tradition of moral regulation. This project not only redresses problems in Canadian literary history, it also responds to the limits of postcolonial, nationalist, and feminist projects that search for authentic voices and resistant agency without sufficient attention to the layers of historical sedimentation through which these voices speak.


Hilary Holladay and Robert Holton, eds.

What’s Your Road, Man?

Southern Illinois University Press, 2008

The ten essays in this groundbreaking volume cover a broad range of topics and employ a variety of approaches–including theoretical interpretations and textual and comparative analysis–to investigate such issues as race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as the novel’s historical and literary contexts. What’s Your Road, Man? illustrates the richness of the critical work currently being undertaken on this vital American narrative. Featuring essays from renowned Kerouac experts as well as emerging scholars, What’s Your Road, Man? draws on an enormous amount of research into the literary, social, cultural, biographical, and historical contexts of Kerouac’s canonical novel. Since its publication in 1957, On the Road has remained in print and has continued to be one of the most widely read twentieth-century American novels.

Robert Holton

On the Road: Kerouac’s Ragged American Journey

Twayne Publishers (Masterwork Studies Series), 1999

Robert Holton’s new study, On The Road: Kerouac’s Ragged American Journey, is one of the few to consider the cultural and literary impact of this iconic novel. Most previous studies have concentrated on the autobiographical nature of the work and undervalued the context from which it sprang and its impact on American culture. Rock and Roll artists like Bob Dylan and John Lennon were early Kerouac fans, and the Beat movement paved the way for subsequent youth movements like the hippies of the 1960s and the grunge kids of the 1990s. However, it may be because of this association with youth and rebellion that the novel has never made it into the official literary canon. But unlike other critics who dismiss it, Holton is not looking for answers to today’s problems in this 1950s novel. Instead, in this close reading of the novel he seeks to explore the connections between this hugely influential work and the evolution of American culture in the postwar era and beyond.

Robert Holton

Jarring Witnesses: Modern Fiction and the Representation of History

Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994

rholton_jarringwitness_largeJarring Witnesses begins by surveying the problem of point of view as a formal, cognitive and cultural determinant in narrative historiography, particularly in the way certain dominant forms of ‘legitimate’ history have necessitated the suppression of the voices of ‘jarring witnesses’. The problem is explored in relation to Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of doxa and heterodoxy, Bakhtin’s concept of heteroglossia, and postmodernism. With this theoretical framework established, a number of modern novels concerned with history are then explored. Chapters devoted to Conrad’s Nostromo, Ford’s Parade’s End, and Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! examine the ultimately orthodox historiographical points of view in these novels, while a chapter on the fiction of African-American women engages the problem of historiography from the margins of the dominant culture. In the final chapter, Pynchon’s V is the focus of a discussion of postmodernism and historical discourse. This is an original, interdisciplinary work which engages issues of contemporary academic debate and illustrates its arguments with examples from well-known texts. The book is relevant to current debates in the problems of narrative representation both in fiction and the writing of history, while addressing questions being raised in literary studies concerning the representation of cultural difference and the varieties of social and discursive power.


Sukeshi Kamra

The Indian Periodical Press and the Production of Nationalist Rhetoric

Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

kamra 2011This book relates the dramatic story of the struggle that took place between the Indian press and the British government for control of the Indian public sphere between 1870 and 1910. The contest gave the Indian reading publics their first taste of a struggle conducted from within the confines of the law, introduced vocabularies for conceiving counter-discursivity and defined the press and the government as distinct and opposed communities. Sukeshi Kamra deftly shows that the increasingly antagonistic relationship between the press and colonial regime is where and how a nationalist public sphere first developed.

Sukeshi Kamra

Bearing Witness: Partition, Independence, End of the Raj

University of Calgary Press, 2002

kamra witnessAugust 14/15, 1947, reverberates with meaning for Indian and Pakistani people and means much more than the “independence” of India. This momentous time marks the birth of two nation states, India and Pakistan, and is fixed in the memory of many as Partition and end of the Raj.

Bearing Witness attempts to nuance this historical moment by considering contemporary and post-event responses to Partition, which Indians and Pakistanis have inherited as one of uncontested significance. From testimonials and speeches by Jinnah and Nehru to fictional and non-fictional accounts by Indians and the British, and political cartoons that appeared in English newspapers at the time, Kamra offers an inductive study of primary texts that have been ignored until now. The book studies the three groups most affected by the events of 1947: the educated Indians, for whom the event is inextricably linked with trauma and loss of home, family, and community; and the British, for whom this was the beginning of exile.

Author Sukeshi Kamra asks, “Why do we not consider these valid and contesting readings in the teaching and learning of our history? Not doing so means that testimonials to Partition, such as narratives of trauma, autobiographies as ‘personal’ statements on a ‘public’ moment, and political cartoons as a minute-by-minute construction of history have yet to be considered.”


Paul Keen

The Humanities in a Utilitarian Age: Imagining What We Know, 1800-1850

Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

This book explores the ways that critics writing in the early nineteenth century developed arguments in favour of the humanities in the face of utilitarian pressures. Its focus reflects the ways that similar pressures today have renewed the question of how to make the case for the public value of the humanities. The good news is that in many ways, this self-reflexive challenge is precisely what the humanities have always done best: highlight the nature and the force of the narratives that have helped to define how we understand our society – its various pasts and its possible futures – and to suggest the larger contexts within which these issues must ultimately be situated.

Paul Keen and Nancy E. Johnson, eds.

Mary Wollstonecraft in Context

Cambridge University Press, 2020

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) was one of the most influential and controversial women of her age. No writer, except perhaps her political foe, Edmund Burke, and her fellow reformer, Thomas Paine, inspired more intense reactions. In her brief literary career before her untimely death in 1797, Wollstonecraft achieved remarkable success in an unusually wide range of genres: from education tracts and political polemics, to novels and travel writing. Just as impressive as her expansive range was the profound evolution of her thinking in the decade when she flourished as an author. In this collection of essays, leading international scholars reveal the intricate biographical, critical, cultural, and historical context crucial for understanding Mary Wollstonecraft’s oeuvre. Chapters on British radicalism and conservatism, French philosophes and English Dissenters, constitutional law and domestic law, sentimental literature, eighteenth-century periodicals and more elucidate Wollstonecraft’s social and political thought, historical writings, moral tales for children, and novels.

Paul Keen, one of 24 equal authors.

Interacting with Print: Keywords for the Era of Media Saturation

Chicago University Press, 2018

A thorough rethinking of a field deserves to take a shape that is in itself new. Interacting with Print delivers on this premise, reworking the history of print through a unique effort in authorial collaboration. The book itself is not a typical monograph—rather, it is a “multigraph,” the collective work of twenty-two scholars who together have assembled an alphabetically arranged tour of key concepts for the study of print culture, from Anthologies and Binding to Publicity and Taste.

Each entry builds on its term in order to resituate print and book history within a broader media ecology throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The central theme is interactivity, in three senses: people interacting with print; print interacting with the non-print media that it has long been thought, erroneously, to have displaced; and people interacting with each other through print. The resulting book will introduce new energy to the field of print studies and lead to considerable new avenues of investigation.

Paul Keen

The Age of Authors: An Anthology of Eighteenth-Century Print Culture

Broadview Press, 2013

Eighteenth-century critics differed about almost everything, but if there was one point on which they almost universally agreed, it was that they were living through an age of extraordinary change. The texts in this collection respond to a series of fundamental questions about the changing nature of the literary field during a tumultuous age: What types of writing mattered in a thriving commercial nation? What kinds of knowledge ought literature to offer, if it was to continue to be relevant? What did it mean to be an author in this busy modern world, and what sorts of social distinction should authors expect to enjoy?

The Age of Authors explores the complexity, sophistication, and creativity with which the eighteenth century literary community (or “republic of letters”) responded to the challenges of the time.

Paul Keen

Literature, Commerce, and the Spectacle of Modernity, 1750-1800

Cambridge University Press, 2012

Paul Keen explores how a consumer revolution which reached its peak in the second half of the eighteenth century shaped debates about the role of literature in a polite modern nation, and tells the story of the resourcefulness with which many writers responded to these pressures. From dream reveries which mocked their own entrepreneurial commitments, such as Oliver Goldsmith’s account of selling his work at a ‘Fashion Fair’ on the frozen Thames, to the Microcosm’s mock plan to establish ‘a licensed warehouse for wit,’ writers insistently tied their literary achievements to a sophisticated understanding of the uncertain complexities of a modern transnational society. This book combines a new understanding of late eighteenth-century literature with the materialist and sociological imperatives of book history and theoretically inflected approaches to cultural history.

Ina Ferris and Paul Keen, eds.

Bookish Histories: Books, Literature and Commercial Modernity, 1700-1900

Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

Bookish Histories presents a new ‘bookish’ approach to the literary history of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain. Concentrating on overlooked dimensions of literary practice and production during the period when printed matter became incorporated into everyday life, the essays in the volume bring together book history, cultural history, and literary studies to expand our understanding of books in modernity. Gathering together leading scholars, the volume represents a collective rethinking of the making of the modern literary field as they reflect on topics such as the repositioning of authors in the literary market, the development of intimate reading routines, changing book practices, transformations in print genres, and experiments in publishing.

Paul Keen

Revolutions in Romantic Literature: An Anthology of Print Culture, 1780-1832

Broadview Press, 2004

revolutions-in-romantic-literature-anthology-print-culture1780-1832-paul-keen-paperback-cover-artThis concise Broadview anthology of primary source materials is unique in its focus on Romantic literature and the ways in which the period itself was characterized by wide-ranging, self-conscious debates about the meaning of literature. It includes materials that are not available in other Romantic literature anthologies.

The anthology is organized into thirteen sections that highlight the intensity and sophistication with which a variety of related literary issues were debated in the Romantic period. These debates posed fundamental questions about the very nature of literature as a cultural phenomenon, the extent and role of the reading public, literature’s relation to the sciences and the aesthetic, the influence of contemporary commercial pressures, and the impact of perceived excesses in consumer fashions. The anthology foregrounds the ways that these literary debates converged with broader social and political controversies such as the French Revolution, the struggle for women’s rights, colonialism, and the anti-slave trade campaign.

This anthology includes an impressive range of writings from the period (including literary criticism and philosophical, political, scientific, and travel writing) which embodies the collection’s broad approach to Romantic literature. Both lesser-known and more canonical writings are included, and the selections are organized by topic in such a way as to dramatize the debates and exchanges which characterize the Romantic period.

Paul Keen, ed.

The Popular Radical Press in Britain, 1811-1821: A Reprint of Early Nineteenth-Century Radical Periodicals

Pickering & Chatto Publishers, 2003

The radical weekly newspaper or pamphlet was the leading print organ of popular radical expression during what has been called the “heroic age of popular Radicalism”; the years of public agitation for parliamentary reform between 1815 and 1820. This work reprints the original runs of the rarest periodicals. Following the model of the radical weekly paper established by William Corbett’s “Political Register” (1803) and John and Leigh Hunt’s “examiner” (1808), and spurred on by a difficult period of post-war economic dislocation, and by Corbett’s invention of an unstamped, two-penny format that managed to evade newspaper taxes designed to keep political information out of the hands of the poor, these newspapers flourished in the period leading up to the Six Acts of 1819, which closed the legal loophole exploited by Cobbett and his imitators, and effectively suppressed popular radical expression in periodical form until its revival in the Chartist period. These weekly periodicals had a social, cultural and political impact far beyond what their brief period of circulation might suggest, and they have been the subject of revived interest in recent times by historians and literary scholars alike. Emerging under extraordinary conditions of social and political crisis, and in some cases produced from prison by editors found guilty of blasphemy and sedition, these periodicals occupy a critical nexus of rapid social and literary transformation in an age of revolution. With the exception of the longer periodicals, this edition includes nearly all of the London-based radical periodicals of the period, and allows researchers and students to appreciate the full range of a confident radical culture, from the more traditional, constitutionalist protest of the “Cap of Liberty” and the “Radical Reformer” to the progressive, infidel arguments of “The Theological Comet”; from the more middle-class premises of John Hunt’s “Reformists’ Register” to the plebian “Cap of Liberty” and “White Hat”; from the high seriousness of Richard Carlile’s “Deist” to the festive language of the celebrated satirist William Hone; and from the self-consciously literary tenor of the “Radical Magazine” and “The Yellow Dwarf”, for which William Hazlitt produced some of his most brilliant political essays, to the more rational discourse of John Wade’s “Gorgon”, patronized by Jeremy Bentham and a crucial medium for the transmission of utilitarian principles to the working class.

Paul Keen

The Crisis of Literature in the 1790s: Print Culture and the Public Sphere

Cambridge University Press, 1999; paperback edition 2006

public sphereThis book offers an original study of debates that arose in the 1790s about the nature and social role of literature and the new class of readers produced by the revolution in information and literacy in eighteenth-century England. The first part concentrates on the dominant arguments about the role of literature and the status of the author; the second shifts its focus to the debates about working-class activists and radical women authors, and examines the growth of a Romantic ideology within this context of political and cultural turmoil.


Tom Crook and Barbara Leckie, eds.

Sanitary Reform in Victorian Britain, Vol. II

Pickering & Chatto Publishers, 2013

Sanitary reform was one of the great debates of the nineteenth century. Unprecedented urban growth significantly increased the spread of disease. This presented new challenges to public health not least because the relationship between sanitary conditions and disease was not universally acknowledged. Opinions from those involved in medicine, engineering, civic development, architecture and politics are all represented, providing a wide overview of Victorian society. This six volume edition, published in two parts, makes available for the first time a modern, edited collection of rare nineteenth-century documents specifically addressing sanitary reform.

The collection includes material on Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin and London, giving a nationwide perspective on the conditions of British urban life. It covers burial, sewerage, water supply, public baths, housing and inspection. The material comes from newspapers and journals, reports of Medical Health Officers and government agencies, architectural guides and promotional literature from sanitary communities. This unique resource is an invaluable tool for researchers of the History of Science and Medicine and Victorian Studies.

Barbara Leckie

Culture and Adultery: The Novel, the Newspaper, and the Law, 1857-1914

University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999

culture-adultery-novel-newspaper-law-1857-1914-barbara-leckie-hardcover-cover-artAdultery, it is often assumed, was not a major concern of English culture during the Victorian age, and the apparent absence of adultery–indeed, of all explicit representations of sexuality–in turn made censorship for obscene libel unnecessary. Very few writers, conventional wisdom has it, were bold enough to defy the powerful implicit constraints imposed upon literary production.

If we find no English Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary, Barbara Leckie nevertheless demonstrates that adultery preoccupied English culture during this period. After the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 was passed, adultery was prominently discussed in the Divorce Court. Transcriptions of divorce trials were an immensely popular front-page feature of almost all daily newspapers for more than fifty years. At the same time as narratives of adultery stood at the center of sensation novels such as Mary Elizabeth Bradden’s The Doctor’s Wife, literary reviews and cultural debates strongly encouraged serious novelists to avoid the topic.

In Culture and Adultery, Leckie mines novels, newspapers, court and Parliamentary records to explore several related sets of issues. How, first, did adultery become “visible” in the public sphere in the second half of the nineteenth century? Why, conversely, has the discursive history of adultery been deemphasized in the English critical tradition? And how is the history of the Victorian and early twentieth-century English novel revised when the culture’s concern with adultery and censorship are reintroduced?

Rohinton Mistry and His Works

ECW Press, 1996


Jody Mason

Home Feelings: Liberal Citizenship and the Canadian Reading Camp Movement

McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019

Literature, literacy, and citizenship took on new and contested meanings in early twentieth-century Canada, particularly in frontier work camps. In this critical history of the reading camp movement, Jody Mason undertakes the first sustained analysis of the organization that became Frontier College in 1919.

Employing an interdisciplinary approach, Home Feelings investigates how the reading camp movement used fiction, poetry, songs, newspapers, magazines, school readers, and English-as-a-second-language and citizenship manuals to encourage ideas of selfhood that were individual and intimate rather than collective. Mason shows that British-Canadian settlers’ desire to define themselves in relation to an expanding non-British immigrant population, as well as a need for immigrant labour, put new pressure on the concept of citizenship in the first decades of the twentieth century. Through the Frontier College, one of the nation’s earliest citizenship education programs emerged, drawing on literature’s potential to nourish “home feelings” as a means of engaging socialist and communist print cultures and the non-British immigrant communities with which these were associated.

Shifting the focus away from urban centres and postwar state narratives of citizenship, Home Feelings tracks the importance of reading projects and conceptions of literacy to the emergence of liberal citizenship in Canada prior to the Second World War.

Writing Unemployment: Worklessness, Mobility, and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century Canadian Literatures

University of Toronto Press, 2013

This landmark study explores the cultural and literary history of unemployment in Canada from the 1920s to the 1970s, which were crucial decades in the formation of our current conception of Canada as a nation. Writing Unemployment asks how writers with diverse political affiliations participated in and protested against the discursive framing of unemployment. It argues that Depression-era conceptions of unemployment shaped later twentieth-century understandings of both worklessness and citizenship.

By examining novels, short stories, poetry, manifestos, and agitprop, Jody Mason situates the literary history of the cultural left in a broader context, challenges the dominant literary-historical narrative of the pioneer settler, and contributes to new scholarship on Canada’s modern period. By bridging close textual readings with book and publishing history, economic and sociological analysis, and original archival research, Writing Unemployment offers new ideas on work by many of Canada’s most important writers.


Jodie Medd, ed.

The Cambridge Companion to Lesbian Literature

Cambridge University Press, 2015

Edited by Jodie Medd, The Cambridge Companion to Lesbian Literature examines literary representations of lesbian sexuality, identities, and communities, from the medieval period to the present. In addition to providing a helpful orientation to key literary-historical periods, critical concepts, theoretical debates and literary genres, this Companion considers the work of such well-known authors as Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Alison Bechdel and Sarah Waters. Written by a host of leading critics and covering subjects as diverse as lesbian desire in the long eighteenth century and same-sex love in a postcolonial context, this Companion delivers insight into the variety of traditions that have shaped the present landscape of lesbian literature.

Jodie Medd

Lesbian Scandal and the Culture of Modernism

Cambridge University Press, 2012

meddBefore lesbianism became a specific identity category in the West, its mere suggestion functioned as a powerful source of scandal in early twentieth-century British and Anglo-American culture. Reconsidering notions of the ‘invisible’ or ‘apparitional’ lesbian, Jodie Medd argues that lesbianism’s representational instability, and the scandals it generated, rendered it an influential force within modern politics, law, art and the literature of modernist writers like James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Virginia Woolf. Medd’s analysis draws on legal proceedings and parliamentary debates as well as crises within modern literary production – patronage relations, literary obscenity and cultural authority – to reveal how lesbian suggestion forced modern political, cultural and literary institutions to negotiate their own identities, ideals and limits. Medd’s text will be of great interest to scholars and graduate students in gender and women’s studies, modernist literary studies and English literature.


Dave Holmes, Stuart J. Murray, Thomas Foth, eds.

Radical Sex Between Men

Routledge, 2018

Bringing together theory and public health practice, this interdisciplinary collection analyses three forms of nonconventional or radical sexualities: bareback sex, BDSM practices, and public sex. Drawing together the latest empirical research from Brazil, Canada, Spain, and the USA, it mobilizes queer theory and poststructuralism, engaging the work of theorists such as Bataille, Butler, Deleuze and Guattari, and Foucault, among others. While the collection contributes to current research in gender and sexuality studies, it does so distinctly in the context of empirical investigations and discourses on critical public health. Radical Sex Between Men: Assembling Desiring-Machineswill be of interest to advanced undergraduate students, postgraduate students, and researchers in gender and sexuality studies, sexology, social work, anthropology, and sociology, as well as practitioners in nursing, medicine, allied health professions, and psychology.

Alan Blum and Stuart J. Murray, eds.

The Ethics of Care

Routledge, 2017

Beginning with a focus on the ethical foundations of caregiving in health and expanding towards problems of ethics and justice implicated in a range of issues, this book develops and expands the notion of care itself and its connection to practice.

Organised around the themes of culture as a restraint on caregiving in different social contexts and situations, innovative methods in healthcare, and the way in which culture works to position care as part of a rhetorical approach to dependency, responsibility, and justice, The Ethics of Care presents case studies examining institutional responses to end-of-life issues, the notion of informed consent, biomedicine, indigenous rights and postcolonialism in care and theoretical approaches to the concept of care.

Offering discussions from a variety of disciplinary approaches, including sociology, communication, and social theory, as well as hermeneutics, phenomenology, and deconstruction, this book will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in healthcare, medicine, justice and the question of how we think about care as a notion and social form, and how this is related to practice.


Franny Nudelman

“The Document” (an essay on British photojournalist Tim Hetherington)
in A Concise Companion to Visual Culture,
eds. Aubrey Anable, Joan Saab, Catherine Zuromskis

Wiley Blackwell, 2021

Franny Nudelman

Fighting Sleep: The War for the Mind and the US Military

Verso Books, 2019

How the military used sleep as a weapon—and how soldiers fought back

On April 21, 1971, hundreds of Vietnam veterans fell asleep on the National Mall, wondering whether they would be arrested by daybreak. Veterans had fought the courts for the right to sleep in public while demonstrating against the war. When the Supreme Court denied their petition, they decided to break the law and turned sleep into a form of direct action.

During and after the Second World War, military psychiatrists used sleep therapies to treat an epidemic of “combat fatigue.” Inducing deep and twilight sleep in clinical settings, they studied the effects of war violence on the mind and developed the techniques of brainwashing that would weaponize both memory and sleep. In the Vietnam era, radical veterans reclaimed the authority to interpret their own traumatic symptoms—nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia —and pioneered new methods of protest.

In Fighting Sleep, Franny Nudelman recounts the struggle over sleep in the postwar world, revealing that the subject was instrumental to the development of military science, professional psychiatry, and antiwar activism.

Sara Blair, Joseph B. Entin, and Franny Nudelman, eds.

Remaking Reality: U.S. Documentary After 1945

University of North Carolina Press, 2018

After World War II, U.S. documentarians engaged in a rigorous rethinking of established documentary practices and histories. Responding to the tumultuous transformations of the postwar era–the atomic age, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the emergence of the environmental movement, immigration and refugee crises, student activism, the globalization of labor, and the financial collapse of 2008–documentary makers increasingly reconceived reality as the site of social conflict and saw their work as instrumental to struggles for justice. Examining a wide range of forms and media, including sound recording, narrative journalism, drawing, photography, film, and video, this book is a daring interdisciplinary study of documentary culture and practice from 1945 to the present. Essays by leading scholars across disciplines collectively explore the activist impulse of documentarians who not only record reality but also challenge their audiences to take part in reality’s remaking.

Franny Nudelman

John Brown’s Body: Slavery, Violence, and the Culture of War

UNC Press, 2004

fnudelman_johnborwn_largeSinging “John Brown’s Body” as they marched to war, Union soldiers sought to steel themselves in the face of impending death. As the bodies of these soldiers accumulated in the wake of battle, writers, artists, and politicians extolled their deaths as a means to national unity and rebirth. Many scholars have followed suit, and the Civil War is often remembered as an inaugural moment in the development of national identity.

Revisiting the culture of the Civil War, Franny Nudelman analyzes the idealization of mass death and explores alternative ways of depicting the violence of war. Considering martyred soldiers in relation to suffering slaves, she argues that responses to wartime death cannot be fully understood without attention to the brutality directed against African Americans during the antebellum era.

Throughout, Nudelman focuses not only on representations of the dead but also on practical methods for handling, studying, and commemorating corpses. She narrates heated conflicts over the political significance of the dead: whether in the anatomy classroom or the Army Medical Museum, at the military scaffold or the national cemetery, the corpse was prized as a source of authority. Integrating the study of death, oppression, and war, John Brown’s Body makes an important contribution to a growing body of scholarship that meditates on the relationship between violence and culture.


Hugh Reid

The Nature and Uses of Eighteenth-Century Book Subscription Lists

reidEdwin Mellen Press, 2010

This study examines the nature of eighteenth-century book subscription lists: how they worked and the role they played in the eighteenth century book trade. It also analyzes specific lists and how they may be used as exemplars for those wishing to investigate and analyse other lists.


Susan Hamilton and Janice Schroeder, eds.

Nineteenth Century British Women’s Education, 1840-1900

Routledge, 2007

This six-volume collection from Routledge and Edition Synapse brings together key documents from the Victorian feminist campaign to establish and improve girls’ and women’s education. The set is divided into two sections, both of which incorporate materials that argue for the improvement of girls’ and women’s education as well as arguments made against education for girls and women. The first section focuses on the debate surrounding the quality of women’s education and the question of access to higher education for women. This section also brings together documents from the feminist campaign with writing from the established press on the question of women’s higher education, and writings from the Social Sciences Association where many education reformers aired their views. The second section concentrates on the strengths and successes of Victorian women as educators, and highlights some of the most influential women in the field of education during this era.

Drawing widely on articles from the feminist and established press, government papers, newspapers, professional and association journals, as well as memoirs, addresses, pamphlets, and reviews, this essential collection gives researchers excellent and comprehensive access to nineteenth-century debates on improving girls’ and women’s education, and women’s work as educators.


Andrew Wallace

The Presence of Rome in Medieval and Early Modern Britain: Texts, Artefacts and Beliefs

Cambridge University Press, 2020

This book explores the cultural and intellectual stakes of medieval and Renaissance Britain’s sense of itself as living in the shadow of Rome, a city whose name could designate the ancient, fallen, quintessentially human power that had conquered and colonized Britain, and also the alternately sanctifed and demonized Roman Church. Wallace presses medieval texts in a range of languages (including Latin, medieval Welsh, Old English and Old French) into conversation with early modern English and humanistic Latin texts (including works by Gildas, Bede, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Bacon, St. Augustine, Dante, Erasmus, Luther and Montaigne). ‘The Ordinary’, ‘The Self’, ‘The Word’, and ‘The Dead’ are taken as compass points by which individuals lived out their orientations to, and against, Rome, isolating important dimensions of Rome’s enduring ability to shape and complicate the effort to come to terms with the nature of the self and the structure of human community.

Virgil’s Schoolboys: The Poetics of Pedagogy in Renaissance England

Oxford University Press, 2010

WallaceVirgil’s Schoolboys adds a new layer of complexity to the story of Virgil’s pedagogical afterlife. Reading the ancient Roman poet as an adventurous theorist of instruction, Andrew Wallace examines the relationship between serial meditations on teaching in the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid, and the pedagogical theories and practices that dominated the spaces in which those poems came to be taught in the grammar schools of Renaissance England. Wallace argues not only that Virgil was a keen student of the elusive operations of instruction, but that vitae and scholia from antiquity to the Renaissance preserve a range of fractured acknowledgements that pedagogical questions supply Virgil’s poems with one of their characteristic preoccupations. In grammar schools across Renaissance England ‘the book of Maro’ was a gateway to upper-form studies of the auctores. More significantly, it was a gateway to some of humanist pedagogy’s most self-conscious meditations on the promise and fragility of the educational project.


Bruce Tucker and Priscilla Walton

American Culture Transformed: Dialing 9/11

Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

Walton 911The bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, marked a major turning point in modern American culture. Priscilla Walton and Bruce Tucker examine critical moments in the aftermath of 9/11 – the Enron scandal, the trial of Martha Stewart, the capture and rescue of Jessica Lynch, the torture at Abu Ghraib prison, the widespread popularity of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Tim LeHaye’s “Left Behind” series, Michael Moore’s movie Fahrenheit 9/11, and former president Ronald Reagan’s funeral. The authors argue that commentators on the American scene abandoned complexity, seeking to reduce events to their simplest signification. They ask how the singularity of meaning came to dominate American cultural consciousness, and they seek to theorize the critical cultural and political movements of the post 9/11 period.

Neil Gerlach, Sheryl Hamilton, Rebecca Sullivan, and Priscilla Walton

Becoming Biosubjects:  Bodies, Systems, Technologies.

University of Toronto Press, 2011

Percy bioBecoming Biosubjects examines the ways in which the Canadian government, media, courts, and everyday Canadians are making sense of the challenges being posed by biotechnologies. The authors argue that the human body is now being understood as something that is fluid and without fixed meaning. This has significant implications both for how we understand ourselves and how we see our relationships with other forms of life.

Focusing on four major issues, the authors examine the ways in which genetic technologies are shaping criminal justice practices, how policies on reproductive technologies have shifted in response to biotechnologies, the debates surrounding the patenting of higher life forms, and the Canadian (and global) response to bioterrorism. Regulatory strategies in government and the courts are continually evolving and are affected by changing public perceptions of scientific knowledge. The legal and cultural shifts outlined in Becoming Biosubjects call into question what it means to be a Canadian, a citizen, and a human being.

Priscilla L. Walton

Our Cannibals, Ourselves: The Body Politic

University of Illinois Press, 2004

percy cannibalsWhy does Western culture remain fascinated with and saturated by cannibalism? Moving from the idea of the dangerous Other, Priscilla L. Walton’s Our Cannibals, Ourselves shows us how modern-day cannibalism has been recaptured as in the vampire story, resurrected into the human blood stream, and mutated into the theory of germs through AIDS, Ebola, and the like. At the same time, it has expanded to encompass the workings of entire economic systems (such as in “consumer cannnibalism”).

Our Cannibals, Ourselves is an interdisciplinary study of cannibalism in contemporary culture. It demonstrates how what we take for today’s ordinary culture is imaginatively and historically rooted in very powerful processes of the encounter between our own and different, often “threatening,” cultures from around the world. Walton shows that the taboo on cannibalism is heavily reinforced only partly out of fear of cannibals themselves; instead, cannibalism is evoked in order to use fear for other purposes, including the sale of fear entertainment.

Ranging from literature to popular journalism, film, television, and discourses on disease, Our Cannibals, Ourselves provides an all-encompassing, insightful meditation on what happens to popular culture when it goes global.

Arnold E. Davidson, Priscilla L. Walton, and Jennifer Andrews

Border Crossings:  Thomas King’s Cultural Inversions

University of Toronto Press, 2003

percy kingThomas King is the first Native writer to generate widespread interest in both Canada and the United States. He has been nominated twice for Governor General’s Awards, and his first novel, Medicine River, has been transformed into a CBC movie. His books have been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The Globe and Mail, and People magazine. King is also the author of the serialized radio series The Dead Dog Café and is an accomplished photographer. Border Crossings is the first full-length study to explore King’s art.

Davidson, Walton, and Andrews employ a framework of postcolonial and border studies theory to examine the concepts of nation, race, and sexuality in King’s work. They examine how King’s art routinely explores cross-cultural dynamics, including Native rights and race relations, American and Canadian cultural interaction, and the artistic traditions of Europe and North America. The authors argue that, by situating these concepts within a comic framework, King avoids the polemics that often surface in cultural critiques. His writing engages, entertains, and educates. This provocative analysis of King’s art reads across cultures and between borders, and makes an important contribution to the study of Native writing, Canadian and American literature, border studies, and humour studies.

Manina Jones and Priscilla Walton

Detective Agency:  Women Re-Writing the Hard-Boiled Tradition

The University of California Press, 1999

Since the late 1970s, a subgenre of crime fiction, written by women and featuring a professional woman investigator, has exploded on the popular fiction market. Priscilla L. Walton and Manina Jones focus on this recent proliferation of women writers of detective fiction, providing the first book-length study of the historical and societal changes that fueled this popularity, along with insightful and entertaining readings of the texts themselves.

Walton and Jones place the genre within its aesthetic, social, and economic contexts, reading it as an index of cultural beliefs. Addressing the ways that Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, and others work through the conventions of the “hard-boiled” genre made popular by writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Mickey Spillane, the authors show how the male hard-boiled tradition has been challenged and transformed. Issues of child, spousal, and sexual abuse are more likely to surface in women’s detective novels, the authors show, and female sleuths face many of the same dilemmas as those who read about them—everyday problems with relationships, parenting, and money.

Detective Agency also integrates interviews with authors and publishers, reader surveys, publication data, and analysis of internet discussion groups to present a fascinating picture of the “industry” of women’s detective fiction. Authors of these works are powerful players in the publishing system as well as agents of cultural intervention, Walton and Jones claim. They conclude by examining the rise of female detectives in television and film.

Lynne van Luven and Priscilla Walton, eds.

POP CAN: Popular Culture in Canada

Pearson Education Canada, 1999

Pop Can: Popular Culture in Canada provides an accessible and insightful overview of the Canadian mass media and cultural industries. A collection of essays by leading cultural critics writing and teaching in Canada, the book is unified by means of an extensive introduction and editors’ notes for the various articles. Pop Can includes analyses of popular film, television, music, genre fiction, advertising, journalism, and sports.

Priscilla L. Walton

Patriarchal Desire and Victorian Discourse: A Lacanian Reading of Anthony Trollope’s Palliser Novels

University of Toronto Press, 1995

Priscilla L. Walton

The Disruption of the Feminine in Henry James

University of Toronto Press, 1992


Micheline White, Leah Knight and Elizabeth Sauer

Early Modern Women’s Bookscapes: Reading, Ownership, Circulation

University of Michigan Press, 2018

Women in 16th- and 17th-century Britain read, annotated, circulated, inventoried, cherished, criticized, prescribed, and proscribed books in various historically distinctive ways. Yet, unlike that of their male counterparts, the study of women’s reading practices and book ownership has been an elusive and largely overlooked field.

In thirteen probing essays, Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain brings together the work of internationally renowned scholars investigating key questions about early modern British women’s figurative, material, and cultural relationships with books. What constitutes evidence of women’s readerly engagement? How did women use books to achieve personal, political, religious, literary, economic, social, familial, or communal goals? How does new evidence of women’s libraries and book usage challenge received ideas about gender in relation to knowledge, education, confessional affiliations, family ties, and sociability? How do digital tools offer new possibilities for the recovery of information on early modern women readers?

The volume’s three-part structure highlights case studies of individual readers and their libraries; analyses of readers and readership in the context of their interpretive communities; and new types of scholarly evidence—lists of confiscated books and convent rules, for example—as well as new methodologies and technologies for ongoing research. These essays dismantle binaries of private and public; reading and writing; female and male literary engagement and production; and ownership and authorship.

Interdisciplinary, timely, cohesive, and concise, this collection’s fresh, revisionary approaches represent substantial contributions to scholarship in early modern material culture; book history and print culture; women’s literary and cultural history; library studies; and reading and collecting practices more generally.


William E. Engel, Rory Loughnane, and Grant Williams, eds.

The Memory Arts in Renaissance England: A Critical Anthology

Cambridge University Press, 2016

This is the first critical anthology of writings about memory in Renaissance England. Drawing together excerpts from more than seventy writers, poets, physicians, philosophers and preachers, and with over twenty illustrations, the anthology offers the reader a guided exploration of the arts of memory. The introduction outlines the context for the tradition of the memory arts from classical times to the Renaissance and is followed by extracts from writers on the art of memory in general, then by thematically arranged sections on rhetoric and poetry, education and science, history and philosophy, religion, and literature, featuring texts from canonical, non-canonical and little-known sources. Each excerpt is supported with notes about the author and about the text’s relationship to the memory arts, and includes suggestions for further reading. The book will appeal to students of the memory arts, Renaissance literature, the history of ideas, book history and art history.

Donald Beecher, Travis DeCook, Andrew Wallace, and Grant Williams, eds.

Taking Exception to the Law: Materializing Injustice in Early Modern English Literature

University of Toronto Press, 2015

Taking Exception to the Law explores how a range of early modern English writings responded to injustices perpetrated by legal procedures, discourses, and institutions. From canonical poems and plays to crime pamphlets and educational treatises, the essays engage with the relevance and wide appeal of legal questions in order to understand how literature operated in the early modern period.

Justice in its many forms – legal, poetic, divine, natural, and customary – is examined through insightful and innovative analyses of a number of texts, including The Merchant of VeniceThe Faerie Queene, and Paradise Lost. A major contribution to the growing field of law and literature, this collection offers cultural contexts, interpretive insights, and formal implications for the entire field of English Renaissance culture.