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Birmingham, Elizabeth & Brooks, Kevin

Finding McLuhan: The Mind / The Man / The Message
Edited by Jaqueline McLeod Rogers with a chapter by Elizabeth Birmingham and Kevin Brooks

Fifty years ago, Tom Wolfe asked this now famous question of Marshall McLuhan: "what if he is right?" Fifty years later, McLuhan's biographer, Douglas Coupland; his sons, Eric and Michael McLuhan; and sixteen scholars explore in this dynamic collection the many ways in which he was, indeed, right.

Engaging with McLuhan's remarkable legacy and responding to his call to participate actively in understanding technologies, Finding McLuhan offers relevant and timely insights for readers encountering him for the first time and for those re-encountering and re-evaluating him.

With a robust line-up of established scholars and newer voices from different disciplinary traditions, this volume offers multiple sites of entry ranging from theories of landscape and art, aboriginal innovations and medical instruments, to practical pedagogical and rhetorical applications. It concludes with three short, insightful interviews with Douglas Coupland, Eric McLuhan and Michael McLuhan, who provide intimate glimpses into McLuhan as friend, colleague, husband, and father.

Purchase: University of Regina Press
ISBN: 0889773742

Brooks, Kevin

African Soul, American Heart: The Documentary (Flat Valley Production, 2009)
Director: Deb Dawson; Actor: Joseph Akol Makeer
Writers: Deb Dawson, Kevin Brooks

ASAH: African Soul, American Heart -- Protect. Educate. Empower.

African Soul, American Heart is a dream in the heart of Joseph Akol Makeer, one of nearly 4000 Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan resettled in America. Now a college graduate, author of the memoir "From Africa to America: The Journey of a Lost Boy of Sudan," and father to three children born in the United States, Joseph is troubled by memories of the orphans he left behind. After years of war, returning refugees are finding their villages burned, the water contaminated, the cattle gone, and their way of life destroyed.

"African Soul, American Heart" retraces the journey of the Lost Boys from Sudan to Ethiopia to Kenya and follows Joseph back to the Kenyan refugee camp and the Sudanese village where he was born. Focusing on the orphans, Joseph interviews officials, clergy, and the children themselves, learning there are more than 2100 orphans in this village of 19,000. They need food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, and they dream of going to school.

Back in America, he shares his plan to build a boarding facility to nurture these orphans and retain their ties to village life. Joseph knows in his soul that if these children are helped, "they will be good leaders in our nation and in our world."

Purchase with Amazon Smile

Burt, Sean

The Courtier and the Governor: Transformations of Genre in the Nehemiah Memoir (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014)
By Sean Burt
Series: Journal of Ancient Judaism: Supplements

The Nehemiah Memoir, the narrative of the royal cupbearer sent to rebuild Jerusalem, is central to Ezra-Nehemiah's account of Persian Judah. Yet its emphasis on one individual's efforts makes it a text that ill-fits the book's story of a communal restoration.

Sean Burt analyzes the nature of this curious text through the lens of genre criticism and identifies the impact of its use of genres on its early reception in Ezra-Nehemiah. Drawing upon contemporary theorists of literary genre, within the field of biblical studies and beyond, he builds an understanding of genre capable of addressing both its flexibility and its necessarily historical horizon. Burt argues that the Nehemiah Memoir makes use of two ancient genres: the novelistic court tale (e.g. Esther, Ahiqar, and others) and the official memorial, or biographical genre used across the ancient Near East by kings and other governmental officials for individual commemoration.

This study contends that the narrative subtly shifts genres as it unfolds, from court tale to memorial. Nehemiah the courtier becomes Nehemiah the governor. While these genres reveal an affinity to one another, they also highlight a central contradiction in the narratives portrait of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is, like the people of Jerusalem, beholden to the whims of a foreign ruler, but he also simultaneously represents Persia's power over Jerusalem.

Burt concludes that the Nehemiah Memoirs combination of these two ultimately incommensurate genres can account for how the writers of Ezra-Nehemiah modified and corrected Nehemiahs problematic story to integrate it into Ezra-Nehemiahs vision of a holistic restoration enacted by a unified people.

Purchase: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISBN: 978-3525550762

Goldwyn, Adam

Allegories of the Iliad (Harvard University Press, 2015)
By John Tzetzes
Translated by Adam J. Goldwyn and Dimitra Kokkini
Series: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 

In the early 1140s, the Bavarian princess Bertha von Sulzbach arrived in Constantinople to marry the Byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos. Wanting to learn more about her new homeland, the future empress Eirene commissioned the grammarian Ioannes Tzetzes to compose a version of the Iliad as an introduction to Greek literature and culture. He drafted a lengthy dodecasyllable poem in twenty-four books, reflecting the divisions of the Iliad, that combined summaries of the events of the siege of Troy with allegorical interpretations. To make the Iliad relevant to his Christian audience, Tzetzes reinterpreted the pagan gods from various allegorical perspectives. As historical allegory (or euhemerism), the gods are simply ancient kings erroneously deified by the pagan poet; as astrological allegory, they become planets whose position and movement affect human life; as moral allegory Athena represents wisdom, Aphrodite desire.

As a didactic explanation of pagan ancient Greek culture to Orthodox Christians, the work is deeply rooted in the mid-twelfth-century circumstances of the cosmopolitan Comnenian court. As a critical reworking of the Iliad, it must also be seen as part of the millennia-long and increasingly global tradition of Homeric adaptation.

Purchase: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 978-0674967854

Graham-Bertolini, Alison

Vigilante Women in Contemporary American Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
By Alison Graham-Bertolini

Gun-toting, rough-riding, crack-shot women; train-robbing female bandits; blood-thirsty mothers who refuse to accept injustice - these women appear in vigilante literature as protagonists that recognize the extent of their own exploitation and directly confront the causes. In this dynamic study, Graham-Bertolini provides the first analysis of vigilante women in contemporary American fiction and develops a model of vigilante heroines using literary and feminist theory. Through close-readings of important texts, including those by Flagg, Glaspell, Hong-Kington, Hurston, Rawlings, Walker, this analysis broadens our understanding of how law and culture infringe upon women's rights and joins the discussion about gender oppression and traditional identity politics.


"Graham-Bertolini has charted a new galaxy of fiery stars in the firmament of women's literature. Her presentation of heroines who challenge, subvert or even kill patriarchal figures to achieve justice and identity willstartle, inform, and inspire readers from many fields." - John Lowe, Robert Penn Warren Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Department of English, Louisiana State University

"Full of drama, color, romance, vitality, the long arm of the law, and the righting of wrongs - what more could anyone want?Vigilante Women in Contemporary American Fictionentertains and inspires, makes you laugh and makes you think and makes you fume. This book is magnificent, even if you're not (for the moment) feeling like you need a hit of revenge. Enjoy!" - Emily Toth, Professor of English and Women's Studies, Louisiana State University and author of Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia

Purchase: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 978-0230339309

Helstern, Linda

Louis Owen (Boise State University Press, 2005)
By Linda Lizut Helstern
Series: Western Writers Series

Biography and criticism of Choctaw-Cherokee-Irish novelist and literary critic Louis Owens (1948-2002)

ISBN: 9780884301684

Mara, Andrew, Mara, Miriam & Maylath, Bruce

Computer-Mediated Communication across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments (IGI Global, 2011)
Edited by Kirk St.Amant and Sigrid Kelsey with chapters by Andrew Mara, Miriam Mara, and Bruce Maylath

Over one billion people access the Internet worldwide, and new problems of language, security, and culture accompany this new excess in access.

Computer-Mediated Communication across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments provides readers with the foundational knowledge needed to communicate safely and effectively with individuals from other countries and cultures via online media. Through a closer examination of the expanded global access to the Web, this book discusses the use and design of cross-cultural digital media and the future of the field for executives, marketers, researchers, educators, and the average user.



“This work edited by two professors brings together 28 chapters authored by 46 international scholars and practitioners, providing an international coverage of both authors and topical coverage. Separated into three sections, the work addresses the changing nature of relationships, the emerging trends in representation, and the new context for education. Focusing not solely on education but rather on the use of computer-mediated communication for any purpose at any level, from matchmaking to collaborating to educating, whether textual, visual, or virtual, synchronous or asynchronous, this book is useful to all who currently use or are considering using computer-mediated communication with a diverse population. Raising awareness of cultural, geographic, and other differences that can occur in these communication settings, the editors have brought together experts in their specific areas to address these issues as related to computer-mediated communication. With the growing international trend for collaboration, this work will help alleviate miscommunications based on cultural differences.”--Sara Marcus

Purchase: IGI Global
ISBN: 9781609608330

Maylath, Bruce & Sullivan, Dale

Revisiting the Past through Rhetorics of Memory and Amnesia: Selected Papers from the 50th Meeting of the Linguistic Circle of Manitoba and North Dakota (Cambridge Scholars, 2010)
Edited by Dale Sullivan, Bruce Maylath, and Russel Hirst

As the 21st century’s first decade draws to a close, we are reminded of events of the past, both distant and recent. Many resulted in violent conflict. This volume investigates how our memories are shaped by rhetorics crafted by people who want audiences to remember events in specific ways. From the pivotal battle between Americans and British and their Loyalist allies during the American Revolution to North America’s First Nations conflicts with the White mainstream to current memories and rhetoric about the recent war in Iraq, the authors of this book examine the ways in which rhetoric acts as a catalyst not only for cultural memory but also cultural amnesia.

Both scholars and the general public will find the analyses in these chapters informative, insightful, and provocative. The authors delve into literary fiction, accounts of history, and even the vocabulary of the English language to examine what and how we remember and forget.

Assembled from coast to coast across the US and Canada, the authors demonstrate how several rhetorics at once are often at play, from Wallace Stegner’s fiction to the architecture of urban Toronto, the US Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and even in rural cemeteries.

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"Even though it is one of the parts of classical rhetoric, memory has been ignored in rhetoric studies for centuries. Revisiting the Past Through Rhetorics of Memory and Amnesia introduces the reader to the current reclamation of memory in rhetoric studies. The essays cover nearly every aspect of memory studies, and the book’s introduction and organization serve as a primer for memory theory. Indeed, one of the book’s strengths is that it contains no overt theorizing. Instead theory emerges from specific empirical case studies of memory (or amnesia). For example, Michael Halloran’s study of the accounts of the battle of Saratoga illustrates the disfigurement of memory to suit ideology. Miriam Raethel’s study of traumatic memory breaks new ground in studies of Holocaust literature. Mary Fitzgerald and Elizabethada Wright’s “Rhetorical Situation of the Sacred: Exigences of the Human Body” confronts anthropological and religious attitudes toward the dead and sees a conflict between two value-laden definitions of memory. The essays not only present the most current thinking in memory studies but also reveal how memory studies can reconfigure approaches to problems that bedevil history and the social sciences."—John D. Schaeffer, Professor of English, Northern Illinois University

Purchase: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 978-1443825559

Sassi, Kelly

Writing on Demand for the Common Core State Standards Assessments
By Kelly Sassi, North Dakota State University, Anne Ruggles Gere,  University of Michigan, Leila Christenbury, Virginia Commonwealth

What will students be asked to do when faced with the writing tasks on the Common Core State Standards assessments?  What are the
instructional shifts teachers will need to make so that students can understand and master them?  Kelly Sassi and Anne Ruggles Gere unpack the PARCC and Smarter Balanced approaches to writing assessment, and provide effective strategies to help students develop as writers as well as prepare for the new writing tasks.

Writing on Demand for the Common Core State Standard Assessments provides teachers with the principles of effective writing and then shows how to apply those principles to the Common Core assessments.  Samples of performance tasks with student responses
illustrate the importance of helping writers:
● analyze prompts, including those of Smarter Balanced and PARCC
● build reading skills that support text‐dependent writing
● transfer writing strategies to science and social studies
● manage time in a digital space.

Producing an effective piece of writing can be challenging in any timed writing context.  Give your students the strategies they’ll need to succeed on the Common Core State Standards writing assessments—and become better writers for life.

Purchase: Heinemann Publishing 
ISBN: 978-0325050850

Sassi, Kelly

A Student Guide to Writing on Demand: Strategies for High-Scoring Essays (Heinemann, 2006)
By Anne Ruggles Gere, Leila Christenbury, Kelly Sassi

Get ready to write to the prompt. Get A Student Guide to Writing on Demand and prepare for testing in a new way that:
● eases concerns about timed writing situations
● increases familiarity with the forms encountered in testing
● boosts scores on standardized writing tests.

A Student Guide to Writing on Demand helps build up a bank of writing and coping strategies that can be drawn from during live testing. Be ready for success with:
● flash writes for self‐reflection
● opportunities for pressure‐free timed writing
● exercises and activities designed to mimic testing situations.

Preempt the prompt with A Student Guide to Writing on Demand.

See techniques students can use to analyze prompts in Chapter Six.

Purchase: Heinemann Publishing
ISBN: 978-0325008769

Sassi, Kelly

Writing on Demand: Best Practices and Strategies for Success (Heinemann, 2005)
By Anne Ruggles Gere, Leila Christenbury, Kelly Sassi

In Writing on Demand, you'll discover how to help your students gain the valuable skills they need to succeed on the essay portions of the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement, and other exams and to help them develop as writers.
Key strategies for on‐demand writing include how to:

● quickly decode writing prompts to uncover the goals and expectations of the assignment
● organize thoughts swiftly and use the allotted time efficiently
● understand how tests are scored
● approach the scorers as an audience

Most importantly, they show you how integrate these strategies into a program of best practices instead of mere test prep.

Review Chapter 6: Contexts: What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Write.

Purchase: Heinemann Publishing
ISBN: 978-0325007281

Taggart, Amy Rupiper

Research Matters, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2013)
By Rebecca Moore Howard and Amy Rupiper Taggart

Research Matters unites research, reasoning, documentation, and composing into a cohesive whole, helping students see the conventions of writing as a network of responsibilities writers have . . .

. . .to other writers. Research Matters clarifies the responsibility writers have to one another - to treat information fairly and accurately and to craft writing that is fresh and original - their own!

. . .to the audience. Research Matters stresses the importance of using conventions appropriate to the audience, to write clearly, and to provide readers with the information and interpretation they need to make sense of a topic.

. . .to the topic. Research Matters emphasizes the writer's responsibility to explore a topic thoroughly and creatively, to assess sources carefully, and to provide reliable information at a depth that does the topic justice.

. . .to themselves. Research Matters encourages writers to take their writing seriously and to approach writing and research as an opportunity to learn about a topic and to expand their scope as writers. By framing writing in the context of responsibility, Research Matters addresses composition students as mature and capable fellow participants in the research and writing process.

The second edition includes more information on the author's exciting research findings from the Citation Project which helps students better understand proper sourcing and documentation and how to avoid plagiarism in their research.

Purchase: Amazon 
ISBN: 978-0073405940

Taggart, Amy Rupiper

A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press, 2013)
Edited by Gary Tate, Amy Rupiper Taggart, Kurt Schick, and H. Brooke Hessler

Reflecting the rich complexity of contemporary college composition pedagogy, A Guide to Composition Pedagogies presents original essays on the most important approaches to teaching writing. Each essay is written by an experienced teacher/scholar and describes one of the major pedagogies employed today to familiarize newcomers with the topography of Composition Studies. An invaluable tool for graduate students and new teachers, this bibliographic resource provides an exceptional introduction to Composition Studies and the extensive range of available pedagogical approaches.

Now in its second edition, this guide substantially updates all chapters from the previous edition--on basic, collaborative, community-engaged, critical, expressive, feminist, process, Writing Across the Curriculum, and writing center pedagogies. It also features new chapters--"What Is Composition Pedagogy: An Introduction," "Genre," "Second Language Writing," "Literature and Writing," "New Media ," "Online and Hybrid," and "Research Writing"--and also an expanded chapter, "Rhetoric and Argumentation". The essays within now contain an increased focus on issues raised by diversity, each pedagogy's approach to assessment, and technology's effect on composition.

The only bibliographic resource that offers readers the experience of a great graduate course in each chapter

"A Guide to Composition Pedagogies provides students with the theoretical framework that they will need to understand teaching composition and to develop their own pedagogical concepts. More importantly, it provides realistic, applicable examples of what can and does happen in composition classrooms and how instructors of composition shape students' college experiences as writers and thinkers."--Carol Zitzer-Comfort, California State University-Long Beach

Purchase: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0199922161

Theile, Verena

New Formalisms and Literary Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
Edited by Verena Theile and Linda Tredennick

New Formalisms and Literary Theory examines the political motivations of a return to formalism. Together with our contributors, we want to propose and challenge the conception of New Formalism as an extension of contextual readings and as a 'mere' return to aesthetic readings. The essays gathered here encourage reflection upon New Formalism's points of intersection with other theoretical approaches and demand a reinstatement of form as the critic's central focus, form, that is, as it reflects a culture's creative imagination and historicizes itself within and against a politically charged background.


Sample Chapter 

"Following on several prominent interventions announcing the arrival of a New Formalism, this collection takes a catholic view of that movement, emphasizing an aesthetic turn, a return to formalism that cooperates with historical and contextual analysis. It recognizes craft, acknowledging the experience of practitioners. It will be widely assigned and debated." - Suzanne Keen, Washington and Lee University, USA

"This exciting collection of essays and manifesti reminds us of the "form" behind "formalism": that it engages society and history, is realized through process, and depends on transactions across the literary work. New Formalisms and Literary Theory will make you think again about both concepts." - Roland Greene, Stanford University, USA

Purchase: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 978-1137010483

Theile, Verena

Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, 2013)
Edited by Verena Theile and Andrew D. McCarthy
Series: Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama

Engaging with fiction and history-and reading both genres as texts permeated with early modern anxieties, desires, and apprehensions-this collection scrutinizes the historical intersection of early modern European superstitions and English stage literature.

Contributors analyze the cultural mechanisms that shape, preserve, and transmit beliefs. They investigate where superstitions come from and how they are sustained and communicated within early modern European society. It has been proposed by scholars that once enacted on stage and thus brought into contact with the literary-dramatic perspective, belief systems that had been preserved and reinforced by historical-literary texts underwent a drastic change. By highlighting the connection between historical-literary and literary-dramatic culture, this volume tests and explores the theory that performance of superstitions opened the way to disbelief.

Sample Chapter


“This illuminating collection brings together chapters on literature and history to explore how superstition permeated early modern society. A lively new must-have for all those interested in witchcraft, demonology and magic.”—Marion Gibson, University of Exeter, UK

“The quality of the scholarship here is high… ten fascinating essays, which between them offer reflections on a broad range of subjects (including, but not limited to, early modern religious debates and the Reformation; the language of rhetoric; gender relations; sexuality; political affairs; violence and crime; and mind and memory)… the book is a clear success.”—Journal of the Northern Renaissance

Purchase: Ashgate
ISBN: 978-1409440086

Theile, Verena

Reclaiming Home, Remembering Motherhood, Rewriting History: African American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Literature in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge Scholars, 2009)
Edited by Verena Theile and Marie Drews

Reclaiming Home, Remembering Motherhood, Rewriting History: African American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Literature in the Twentieth Century offers a critical valuation of literature composed by black female writers and examines their projects of reclamation, rememory, and revision. As a collection, it engages black women writers’ efforts to create more inclusive conceptualizations of community, gender, and history, conceptualizations that take into account alternate lived and written experiences as well as imagined futures.

Contributors to this collection probe the realms of gender studies, postcolonialism, and post-structural theory and suggest important ways in which to explore connections between home, motherhood, and history across the multifarious narratives of African American and Afro-Caribbean experiences. Together they argue that it is through their female characters that black women writers demonstrate the tumultuous processes of deciphering home and homeland, of articulating the complexities of mothering relationships, and of locating their own personal history within local and national narratives.

Essays gathered in this collection consider the works of African American women writers (Pauline Hopkins, Toni Morrison, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Audre Lorde, Lalita Tademy, Lorene Cary, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Sherley Anne Williams) alongside the works of black women writers from the Caribbean (Jamaica Kincaid and Gisèle Pineau), Guyana (Grace Nichols), and Cuba (María de los Reyes Castillo Bueno).

View Excerpt

Purchase: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 978-1443809627

Totten, Gary

"MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States"
Editor-in-Chief, Gary Totten
Managing Editor, Kaylee Jangula-Mootz

MELUS, a prestigious and rigorous journal in the field of multi-ethnic literature of the United States, has been a vital resource for scholarship and teaching for more than thirty-five years. Published quarterly, MELUS illuminates the national, international, and transnational contexts of US ethnic literature.

Articles in MELUS also engage newly emerging art forms such as graphic narrative and internet blogs, as well as multi-ethnic film, history, and culture. By including interviews with well-established authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston and Richard Rodriguez, as well as more recent writers such as Cynthia Kadohata and Diana Abu-Jaber, MELUS plays a pivotal role in the field of US Ethnic Literature and is an indispensable resource for students, teachers, and scholars.

The journal is sponsored by the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. Founded in 1973, the society endeavors to expand the definition of American literature through the study and teaching of Latina/o American, Native American, African American, Asian and Pacific American, and ethnically specific Euro-American literary works, their authors, and their cultural contexts.

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Subscription Information

Frequency: 4
Online ISSN: 1946-3170
Print ISSN: 0163-755X

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Totten, Gary

Memorial Boxes and Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture (University of Alabama Press, 2007)
Edited by Gary Totten
Series: American Literary Realism and Naturalism Series

In Edith Wharton’s works, references to architecture, interior decoration, painting, sculpture, and fashion abound. As these essays demonstrate, art and objects are for Wharton evidence of cultural belief and reflect the values, assumptions, and customs of the burgeoning consumer culture in which she lived and about which she wrote. Furthermore, her meditations about issues of architecture, design, and decoration serve as important commentaries on her vision of the literary arts.

In The Decoration of Houses she notes that furniture and bric-à-brac are often crowded into a room in order to compensate for a "lack of architectural composition in the treatment of the walls," and that unless an ornamental object "adequately expresses an artistic conception" it is better removed from the room. These aesthetic standards apply equally to her construction of narratives and are evidence of a sensibility that counters typical understandings of Wharton as a novelist of manners and place her instead as an important figure in the development of American literary modernism.

“Individual essays ‘speak’ to one another, and the volume coheres as a whole. Scholars and general readers alike will welcome this study of Wharton’s engagement with material cultures of her time—Carol Singley, author of Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit

“This is a valuable collection of essays containing illuminating insights.”—Elsa Nettels, author of Language and Gender in American Fiction: Howells, James, Wharton, and Cather

Purchase: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 978-0817354190

Totten, Gary

African American Travel Narratives from Abroad: Mobility and Cultural Work in the Age of Jim Crow (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015)
By Gary Totten

During the Jim Crow era, African American travelers faced the prospects of violence, harassment, and the denial of services, especially as they made their way throughout the American South. Those who journeyed outside the United States found not only a political and social context that was markedly different from America's, but in their international mobility, they also discovered new ways of identifying themselves in relation to others.

In this book, Gary Totten examines the global travel narratives of a diverse set of African American writers, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Matthew Henson, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. While these writers deal with issues of identity in relation to a reimagined sense of self―in a way that we might expect to find in travel narratives―they also push against the constraints and conventions of the genre, reconsidering discourses of tourism, ethnography, and exploration.

This book not only offers new insights about African American writers and mobility, it also charts the ideological distinctions and divergent agendas within this group of writers. Totten demonstrates how these travelers and their writings challenged dominant ideologies about African American experience, expression, and identity in a period of escalating racial violence. By setting these texts in their historical context and within the genre of travel writing, Totten presents a nuanced understanding of both popular and recovered work of the period.

"Totten does an excellent job demonstrating how the mobility of authors represented in these narratives in most cases cuts against centuries of systematic political, economic, and social immobilization of African Americans as a result of the Atlantic Slave Trade, centuries of chattel slavery in the U.S., and decades of Jim Crow segregation. This study makes a valuable and original contribution to the 'spatial turn' in American literary and cultural studies."―John C. Charles Williamson, author of Abandoning the Black Hero: Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel

Purchase: University of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 978-1-62534-161-7

Totten, Gary

Politics, Identity, and Mobility in Travel Writing (Routledge, 2015)
Edited by Miguel A. Cabañas, Jeanne Dubino, Veronica Salles-Reese, and Gary Totten
Series: Routledge Research in Travel Writing

This collection examines the intersections between the personal and the political in travel writing, and the dialectic between mobility and stasis, through an analysis of specific cases across geographical and historical boundaries.

The authors explore the various ways in which travel texts represent actual political conditions and thus engage in discussions about national, transnational, and global citizenship; how they propose real-world political interventions in the places where the traveler goes; what tone they take toward political or socio-political violence; and how they intersect with political debates. Travel writing can be viewed as political in a purely instrumental sense, but, as this volume also demonstrates, travel writing’s reception and ideological interventions also transform personal and cultural realities.

This book thus examines the ways in which politics’ material effects inform and intersect with personal experience in travel texts and engage with travel’s dialectic of mobility and stasis. In spite of globalization and efforts to eradicate the colonial vision in travel writing and in travel writing criticism, this vision persists in various and complex ways. While the travelogue can be a space of discursive and direct oppression, these essays suggest that the travelogue is also a narrative space in which the traveler employs the genre to assert authority over his or her experiences of mobility.

This book will be an important contribution for interdisciplinary scholars with interests in travel writing studies, global and transnational studies, women’s studies, multicultural studies, the social sciences, and history.

View Excerpt

Purchase: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138823457

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