Faculty Bookshelf 2012-2013

What Are Poets For? An Anthropology of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics

What Are Poets For? An Anthropology of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics

Gerald Bruns

William P. and Hazel B. White Professor Emeritus

What Are Poets For? explores typographical experiments that distribute letters randomly across a printed page, sound tracks made of vocal and buccal noises, and holographic poems that recompose themselves as one travels through their digital space. Bruns surveys one-word poems, found texts, and book-length assemblies of disconnected phrases; he even includes descriptions of poems that no one could possibly write but which are no less interesting or poetic for all of that. This breadth raises philosophical questions that Bruns also addresses—whether poetry should be responsible to anything outside itself; whether it can be reduced to categories, distinctions, and the rule of identity; and whether a particular poem can seem odd when everything is an anomaly.

University of Iowa Press, 2012

 

Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and the Complete Shorter Poems of John Milton

Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and the Complete Shorter Poems of John Milton

Edited by Stephen M. Fallon

The Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities

with William Kerrigan and John Rumrich

Derived from the Modern Library’s The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this new volume, extensively revised and updated by its editors, contains Milton’s two late masterpieces: the brief epic Paradise Regained and the tragic drama Samson Agonistes. Age after age, these works have inspired new controversy and exciting interpretive debates. With commentary to guide the reader through historical contexts and verbal details, as well as the larger political and philosophical implications, the concerns of these canonical pieces live once again for today’s audiences. The volume also contains Milton’s complete shorter poems and the author’s 24 influential sonnets.

Random House/Modern Library, 2012

 

The Essential Prose of John Milton

The Essential Prose of John Milton

Edited by Stephen M. Fallon

The Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities

with William Kerrigan and John Rumrich

The legendary author of Paradise Lost and other poems was also a provocative prose writer. Culled from Modern Library’s definitive The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this annotated and updated collection now includes selections from Milton’s Commonplace Book and the complete text of The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, in addition to Milton’s letters, pamphlets, political tracts, and essays. Milton tackles diverse subjects and takes controversial positions, including notorious defenses of divorce and protests against censorship.

Random House/Modern Library, 2013

 

Transfer Fat (Forsla fett) by Aase Berg

Transfer Fat (Forsla fett) by Aase Berg

Translated by Johannes Göransson

Assistant Professor

Aase Berg’s Transfer Fat (Forsla fett), nominated in 2002 for Sweden’s prestigious Augustpriset for best poetry book, is a haunting amalgamation of languages and elements—of science, of pregnancy, of whales, of the naturally and unnaturally grotesque—that births things unforeseen and intimately alien. Göransson’s translation captures the seething instability of Berg’s bizarre compound nouns and linguistic contortions.

Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012

 

Dark Matter (Mörk materia) by Aase Berg

Dark Matter (Mörk materia) by Aase Berg

Translated by Johannes Göransson

Assistant Professor

Aase Berg’s hallucinatory, post-cataclysmic epic takes place in an unremitting future-past. The bodies mutate and hybridize. They are erotic and artificial, art and adrenaline. Available for the first time in English as a complete collection, the poems of this contemporary Swedish classic contaminate as they become contaminated—drawing on and altering source texts that range from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to string theory. Calling on fables, science, the pastoral, and the body, Dark Matter aggravates their perception while exhausting poetry down to its nerve.

Black Ocean, 2013

Haute Surveillance

 

Haute Surveillance

Johannes Göransson

Assistant Professor

Haute Surveillance is a novel/poetry hybrid text dealing with the movies, sexuality, gender roles, race roles, the pageantry of war, the politics of food (pork for example), the scandal of beauty. The style is over the top.

Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013

 

Coriolanus

Coriolanus

Edited by Peter Holland

The McMeel Family Professor of Shakespeare Studies

Concurrent Professor, English

This Roman play is one of Shakespeare's last tragedies, best known for its political and military themes. Its hero, Coriolanus, is a proud General who does not hesitate to show his arrogant and outspoken contempt of the Roman rabble. The Tribunes banish him and he raises an army to take his revenge on Rome. He finally concedes to the pleas of his mother to spare the city and leaves only to be publicly killed by his former allies. Peter Holland’s comprehensive introduction and commentary notes open up the language, themes and ideas in this complex yet richly rewarding play for the student and teacher.

Bloomsbury Publishing, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, 2013

 

Medieval Shakespeare: Pasts and Presents

Medieval Shakespeare: Pasts and Presents

Edited by Peter Holland

The McMeel Family Professor of Shakespeare Studies

Concurrent Professor, English

With Ruth Morse and Helen Cooper

This work offers a far-ranging series of approaches to Shakespeare's use of medieval material, from original and modern performance practices to ideas of language, religion, and nation. It challenges received ideas of the Middle Ages as a sudden divide marked by Shakespeare and argues that Shakespeare appears as a late medieval or transition figure, not as the ancestor of modernity. Morse, Cooper, and Holland bring readers up to date on some of the most innovative work in current Shakespeare studies.

Cambridge University Press, 2013

 

Shakespeare Survey, Volume 65: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare Survey, Volume 65: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Edited by Peter Holland

The McMeel Family Professor of Shakespeare Studies

Concurrent Professor, English

Shakespeare Survey is a yearbook of Shakespeare studies and production. Since 1948, Survey has published the best international scholarship in English and many of its essays have become classics of Shakespeare criticism. Each volume is devoted to a theme, a play, or a group of plays; each also contains a section of reviews of that year's textual and critical studies and of the year's major British performances. The theme for Volume 65 is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Cambridge University Press, 2012

 

Opening Up Middle English Manuscripts: Literary and Visual Approaches

Opening Up Middle English Manuscripts: Literary and Visual Approaches

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton

The Notre Dame Professor of English

with Maidie Hilmo and Linda Olson

This comprehensive introduction is intended for students and scholars who are familiar with some of the major Middle English literary works but who may not know much about the surviving manuscripts. The book approaches these texts in a way that takes into account the whole manuscript or codex—its textual and visual contents, physical state, readership, and cultural history. It also explores the function of illustrations in fashioning audience response to particular authors and their texts over the course of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Cornell University Press, 2012

 

Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique

Américo Paredes: Culture and Critique

José E. Limón

The Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies

Embarking on an in-depth, critical exploration of the body of work produced by Américo Paredes, Limón puts the spotlight on Paredes as a scholar/citizen who bridged multiple arenas of Mexican American cultural life during a time of intense social change and cultural renaissance. Serving as a counterpoint to hagiographic commentaries, Américo Paredes challenges and corrects prevailing readings by contemporary critics of Paredes’ Asian period and of such works as the novel titled George Washington Gómez, illuminating new facets in Paredes’ role as a folklorist and public intellectual.

University of Texas Press, 2012

 

The Powers

The Powers

Valerie Sayers

Professor

1941 is a year of drama and spectacle for Americans. Joe DiMaggio’s record-breaking hitting streak enlivens the summer, and winter begins with the shock and horror of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The news from Europe is bleak, especially for the Jewish population. Joltin’ Joe, possessing a sweet swing and range in center, also has another gift: he can see the future. And he sees dark times ahead. In her novel titled The Powers, Sayers, in both realistic and fantastic chapters, transports the reader to an age filled with giants: Dorothy Day and Walker Evans appear beside DiMaggio.

Northwestern University Press, 2013

 

The Daughter of Adoption by John Thelwall

The Daughter of Adoption by John Thelwall

Edited by Yasmin Solomonescu

Assistant Professor

With Michael Scrivener and Judith Thompson

The Daughter of Adoption; a Tale of Modern Times is a wide-ranging work in which the picaresque, sentimental novel of the 18th century confronts the revolutionary ideas and forms of the Romantic period. Thelwall puts his main characters through their paces in a slave rebellion in Haiti, where they barely escape with their lives, and in London society, where one almost loses his soul. Combining political analysis with melodrama and farce, Daughter expands the scope of the abolitionist novel to challenge empire and racial superiority. Historical materials on Thelwall's life, the abolitionist movement, and 18th-century educational theories provide a detailed context.

Broadview Press, 2013

 

IN & OZ

IN & OZ

Steve Tomasula

Associate Professor

IN & OZ is a novel of art, love, and auto mechanics. The story follows five different characters—an auto designer, photographer, musical composer, poet/sculptor, and mechanic—who live in two very different places: IN, a back-alley here and now; and OZ, which reflects the desire for somewhere better. The men and women who populate Tomasula’s landscape desperately hope to fill a void in their lives through a variety of media: music, language, dirt, light, and automobiles. As the plot moves forward, the story of the residents of IN and that of their counterparts in OZ converge. A fanciful allegory that tackles class relations, art, commerce, and language, IN & OZ is a tale of the human condition.

University of Chicago Press, 2012

 

Fra Keeler

Fra Keeler

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Assistant Professor

A man purchases a house—the house of Fra Keeler—moves in, and begins investigating the circumstances of the latter’s death. Yet the investigation quickly turns inward, and the reality it seeks to unravel seems only to grow more strange, as the narrator pursues not leads but lines of thought, most often to hideous conclusions.

Dorothy, 2012

Los Angeles Times review of Fra Keeler: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-fiction-roundup-20121230,0,7105501.story

 

Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas

Alexander von Humboldt and the Americas

Edited by Laura Dassow Walls

The William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English

with Vera Kutzinski and Ottmar Ette

Humboldt’s writings opened up exciting cultural spaces in his time—and they can certainly do so again today. As the 21st century addresses the problems of intercultural violence, environmental devastation, social justice, and global climate change, the tools and perspectives Humboldt developed and popularized may offer useful resources to meet challenges that he foresaw. The aim of this collection of essays about and translations of Humboldt’s writings is to foreground the importance of multiple vantage points. In addition to her work as editor, Walls contributed an essay titled “Humboldt’s Passage to America.”

Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey, 2012

 

Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon

Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon

Edited by Laura Dassow Walls

The William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English

with François Specq and Michel Granger

Does Thoreau belong to the past or to the future? Instead of canonizing him as a celebrant of “pure” nature apart from the corruption of civilization, the essays in Thoreauvian Modernities reveal edgier facets of his work—how Thoreau is able to unsettle as well as inspire and how he is able to focus on both the timeless and the timely. Contributors from the United States and Europe explore Thoreau’s modernity and reassess his work in a global context. Together, their 16 essays reveal Thoreau’s relevance to a number of fields, including science, philosophy, aesthetics, environmental ethics, political science, and animal studies. Walls authored an essay titled “Walking West, Gazing East: Planetarity on the Shores of Cape Cod.”

University of Georgia Press, 2013

 

The Blank-Verse Tradition from Milton to Stevens: Freethinking and the Crisis of Modernity

The Blank-Verse Tradition from Milton to Stevens: Freethinking and the Crisis of Modernity

Henry Weinfield

Professor, Program of Liberal Studies

concurrent in Department of English

Blank verse—unrhymed iambic pentameter—has been central to English poetry since the Renaissance. It is the basic vehicle of Shakespeare's plays and the form in which Milton chose to write Paradise Lost. Weinfield's detailed readings of the masterpieces of English blank verse focus on Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, and Stevens. He traces the philosophical and psychological struggles underlying these poets' choice of form and genre, and the extent to which their work is marked, consciously or not, by the influence of other poets.

Cambridge University Press, 2012