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British Literature and Culture

Modernism in a Global Context

Bloomsbury, 2016

Peter Kalliney

Exploring the transnational dimension of literary modernism and its increasing centrality to our understanding of 20th-century literary culture, Modernism in a Global Context surveys the key issues and debates central to the 'global turn' in contemporary Modernist Studies.

Topics covered include:
- Transnational exchanges between Western and non-Western literary cultures
- Imperialism and the Modernism
- Cosmopolitanism and postcolonial literatures
- Global literary institutions - from the Little Magazine to the Nobel Prize
- Mass media - photography, cinema, and radio broadcasting in the modernist age

Exploring the work of writers such as T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie and critics such as Edward Said, Pascale Casanova, Paul Gilroy, and Gayatri Spivak amongst many others, the book provides an overview of modernism as a global movement in literature.

Commonwealth of Letters: British Literary Culture and the Emergence of Postcolonial Aesthetics

Oxford University Press, 2013

Peter Kalliney

Commonwealth of Letters examines midcentury literary institutions integral to modernism and postcolonial writing. Several organizations central to interwar modernism, such as the BBC, influential publishers, and university English departments, became important sites in the emergence of postcolonial literature after the war. How did some of modernism's leading figures of the 1930s-such as T.S. Eliot, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender-come to admire late colonial and early postcolonial literature in the 1950s? Similarly, why did late colonial and early postcolonial writers-including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Claude McKay, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o-actively seek alliances with metropolitan intellectuals? Peter Kalliney's original and extensive archival work on modernist cultural institutions demonstrates that this disparate group of intellectuals had strong professional incentives to treat one another more as fellow literary professionals, and less as political or cultural antagonists.

Victorians Institute Journal



Ellen B. Rosenman


Giving Women: Alliance and Exchange in Victorian Culture

Oxford University Press, 2012

Jill Rappoport

Giving Women examines the literary expression and cultural consequences of English women's giving from the 1820s to the First World War. Attending to the dynamic action and reaction of gift exchange in fiction and poetry by Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Christina Rossetti as well as in literary annuals, Salvation Army periodicals, and political pamphlets, Rappoport demonstrates how female authors and fictional protagonists alike mobilized networks outside of marriage and the market. Through giving, women redefined the primary allegiances of their everyday lives, forged public coalitions, and advanced campaigns for abolition, slum reform, eugenics, and suffrage.

Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us About Popular Culture

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012

Lisa Zunshine

Getting Inside Your Head uses research in theory of mind to look at movies, musicals, novels, classic Chinese opera, stand-up comedy, mock-documentaries, photography, and reality television. It follows Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy as he tries to conceal his anger, Tyler Durden as he lectures a stranger at gunpoint in Fight Club, and Ingrid Bergman as she fakes interest in horse races in Notorious.

This engaging book exemplifies the new interdisciplinary field of cognitive cultural studies, demonstrating that collaboration between cognitive science and cultural studies is both exciting and productive.

Letters of Louis MacNeice

Faber and Faber (London), 2010

Jonathan Allison

Louis MacNeice is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, and Letters of Louis MacNeice (edited by Jonathan Allison) is indispensable as a resource for an understanding of the intellectual culture of the mid-twentieth century. A Classics don, poet, playwright and BBC producer, the medley and blend of MacNeice's cultural influences seems exemplary in its modernity. He kept up a significant correspondence with T.S. Eliot, Anthony Blunt and E. R. Dodds, to name but three prominent figures of the time. During his time at the BBC MacNeice witnessed many key events, including the partition of India in 1947 and the independence of the Gold Coast from Britain in 1957, and these are recorded in two long sequences to his wife, the singer Hedli Anderson. His complex relationship to Ireland and to his Irish heritages speak resonantly to contemporary debates about Irish and Northern Irish cultural identity. Finally, the Letters will do much to broaden our understanding of a vivid and often enigmatic personality whose varied life and individual charisma have often resisted explanation.

Other Mothers: Beyond the Maternal Ideal

The Ohio State University Press, 2008

Ellen Bayuk Rosenman and Claudia C. Klaver

Other Mothers, edited by Ellen Bayuk Rosenman and Claudia C. Klaver, offers a range of essays that open a conversation about Victorian motherhood as a wide-ranging, distinctive experience and idea. In spite of its importance, however, it is one of the least-studied aspects of the Victorian era, subsumed under discussions of femininity and domesticity.

This collection addresses that void and reveals the extraordinary diversity of Victorian motherhood. Exploring diaries, novels, and court cases, with contexts ranging from London to Egypt to Australia, these varied accounts take the collection “beyond the maternal ideal” to consider the multiple, unpredictable ways in which motherhood was experienced and imagined in this formative historical period.

Bound for the 1890s: Essays on Writing and Publishing in Honor of James G. Nelson

Rivendale Press, 2007

Jonathan Allison, Philip K. Cohen, et al.

This volume of new essays by some of today’s most important scholars of the British 1890s is inspired by the groundbreaking work in publishing history of James G. Nelson. Based on original research using primary resources and full of insights and discoveries, these reinterpretations focus on figures that shaped fin-de-siècle literature, book illustration, and aesthetic publishing.

Parliament and Literature in Late Medieval England

Cambridge University Press, 2007

Matthew Giancarlo

Focusing on the major poets of the late fourteenth century such as Chaucer and Langland, this study investigates the close relationship between artistic and political developments at a time when poets and parliamentarians were very close to one another in practices, concerns, and themes.

Cities of Affluence And Anger: A Literary Geography of Modern Englishness

University of Virginia Press, 2006

Peter J. Kalliney

Providing a compact literary history of the twentieth century in England, Cities of Affluence and Anger studies the problematic terms of national identity during England's transition from an imperial power to its integration in the global cultural marketplace. While the countryside had been the dominant symbol of Englishness throughout the previous century, modern literature began to turn more and more to the city to redraw the boundaries of a contemporary cultural polity. The urban class system, paradoxically, still functioned as a marker of wealth, status, and hierarchy throughout this long period of self-examination, but it also became a way to project a common culture and mitigate other forms of difference. Local class politics were transformed in such a way that enabled the English to reframe a highly provisional national unity in the context of imperial disintegration, postcolonial immigration, and, later, globalization.

Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Samuel Richardson

Modern Language Association, 2006

Lisa Zunshine and Jocelyn Harris

This volume in the Approaches to Teaching series turns the challenges of his novels into opportunities for inventive pedagogy. Part 1, “Materials” surveys available editions of Richardson’s works, including letters and published commentary and evaluates background material. Part 2, “Approaches,” is divided into four sections, one on the background of Richardson’s novels and one each on Clarissa, Pamela, and Sir Charles.

Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel

Ohio State University Press, 2006

Lisa Zunshine

Why We Read Fiction offers a lucid overview of the most exciting area of research in contemporary cognitive psychology known as “Theory of Mind” and discusses its implications for literary studies. Zunshine’s surprising new interpretations of well-known literary texts and popular culture representations constantly prod her readers to rethink their own interest in fictional narrative.

Bastards and Foundlings: Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century England

The Ohio State University Press, 2005

Lisa Zunshine

Bastards and Foundlings pits the official legal views on illegitimacy against the actual everyday practices that frequently circumvented the law; it reconstructs the history of social institutions called upon to regulate illegitimacy, such as the London Foundling Hospital; and it examines a wide array of novels and plays written in response to the same concerns that informed the emergence and functioning of such institutions.

Unauthorized Pleasures: Accounts of Victorian Erotic Experience

Cornell University Press, 2003.

Ellen Bayuk Rosenman

Recent books and exhibitions have shown that Victorians were not so straitlaced about sexual matters as has been popularly assumed. This engrossing and enlightening book proves that the Victorians were extraordinarily articulate and resourceful when it came to expressing their sexual desires. Narratives of erotic experience were written, justified to the conservative culture, and circulated for the pleasure of readers. Rosenman's exploration of masculinity and femininity in Victorian sexual storytelling includes an account of the "spermatorrhea panic" that terrified the men of Britain, tells of Theresa Longworth's erotic revisions of the romance plot, and takes up the exhaustive, even exhausting, pornographic epic My Secret Life.

Poetry and Contemporary Culture: The Question of Value

Edinburgh University Press & Columbia University Press, 2002.

Andrew Michael Roberts
and Jonathan Allison, eds.

A collection of new essays by leading American and British scholars on the subject of how poetry is valued, represented, and mediated in contemporary culture both American and British. Includes essays on the use of poetry on television, film, and the internet, and essays on nationalism, race, democracy, and the Avant-Garde.


Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats

Sterling Publishing, 2002.

Jonathan Allison, ed.
Glenn Harrington, ill.

Part of a popular series by Sterling Books, "Poetry for Young People", this is a lavishly illustrated, lightly annotated edition of twenty-five lyric poems by William Butler Yeats, chosen by the editor, and designed specifically for the younger reader (9-12). Matching Yeats' s written images are a series of exquisite and evocative paintings by American artist Glenn Harrington, which range from panoramic natural landscapes to compelling portraits of characters, both human and fantastic. As always, this acclaimed series features a biographical sketch of the author, brief introductions to each poem, and glosses that define difficult or unfamiliar vocabulary.

Women and Race in Early Modern Texts

Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Joyce Green MacDonald

Joyce Green MacDonald discusses the links between women's racial, sexual, and civic identities in early modern texts. She examines the scarcity of African women in English plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the racial identity of the women in the drama and also that of the women who watched and sometimes wrote the plays. The coverage also includes texts from the late fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, by, among others, Shakespeare, Jonson, Davenant, the Countess of Pembroke and Aphra Behn.

Nabokov at the Limits: Redrawing Critical Boundaries

Border Crossings Series

Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

Lisa Zunshine

This volume represents an attempt to negotiate the boundaries of contemporary Nabokov scholarship by addressing several themes hitherto unexplored and even considered off-limits by students of fiction. Although Nabokov's strongly expressed aesthetic preferences seem to have effectively forestalled certain venues of scholarly investigation, this collection seeks to demonstrate that it is possible to open up formerly proscribed venues of inquiry without violating the personal and aesthetic integrity of the writer.

Yeats's Political Identities

University of Michigan Press, 1996.

Jonathan Allison, ed.

A collection of 18 essays by various hands on the subject of W.B.Yeats's political involvement, and the political contexts of his poetry. Includes sections on Fascism, Nationalism & Revolution, the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, etc. Contributors include Seamus Heaney, Roy Foster, Declan Kiberd, Elizabeth Cullingford, and others.


A Room of One's Own: A Reader's Companion

Twayne's Masterwork Studies: Women Writers and the Politics of Creativity
Twayne Publishers, 1995.

Ellen Bayuk Rosenman

In a broad sense, Rosenman points out, A Room of One's Own analyzes the constraints on women's achievement--the hostile environment in which they write--and the responses, both creative and self-defeating, that this environment provokes. As she follows the essay's analysis of patriarchy and feminism, she also pays special attention to the essay as a novel, showing how the twists and turns of Woolf's narrative resemble experimental literary techniques.

In a broad sense, Rosenman points out, analyzes the constraints on women's achievement--the hostile environment in which they write--and the responses, both creative and self-defeating, that this environment provokes. As she follows the essay's analysis of patriarchy and feminism, she also pays special attention to the essay as a novel, showing how the twists and turns of Woolf's narrative resemble experimental literary techniques.

The Invisible Presence: Virginia Woolf and the Mother-Daughter Relationship

Lousiana State University Press, 1986.

Ellen Bayuk Rosenman

In both theme and technique, Woolf's writing reflects an ambivalent, obsessive relationship with her remarkable mother, Julia Duckworth Stephen. Rosenman employs psychoanalytic perspectives that focus on the mother-daughter relationship as the source and center of female identity, and feminist literary criticism that explores the role of the woman writer in a male-dominated culture. The mother-daughter relationship informed many aspects of her work, including narrative structure and characterization as well as the thematic issues of sexual politics, romantic and familial love, literary inheritance, and the role of the woman writer.

The Music of the Close: The Final Scenes of Shakespeare’s Tragedies

The University of Kentucky Press, 1978

Walter C. Foreman, Jr.

In this essay, Walter Foreman studies the closing scenes of Shakespeare’s tragedies, considering the tragic structure of the plays and the shapes the tragic characters give their lives by the way their encounter death. Mr. Foreman sees in the variety of tragic endings of the plays evidence that Shakespeare consciously experimented with tragic forms, for when he repeated he also changed, and changed more than superficially. Further, Foreman believes that these varieties and extensions of dramatic form were fundamentally a way of experiencing a various, often mysterious world.