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Concept, text and culture

Sustainability is a notoriously fraught and slippery term, and yet one that is now well-established in mainstream usage across the contemporary world. While sustainability is widely discussed and theorised across range of disciplines, this book sets out to consider what innovations literary scholarship might bring to the sustainability debate, and indeed what sustainability as a concept might bring to literary scholarship. Putting forward a range of essays by leading and upcoming scholars, this book takes a non-prescriptive and critically reflective stance towards the problem of sustainability – a stance we describe as critical sustainability. Essays in this collection accordingly undertake a range of approaches, from applying tools of literary enquiry in order to interrogate sustainability’s paradoxes, to investigating the ways in which literature envisages sustainability or plays out its tropes. Overall, this book seeks to demonstrate how sustainability’s difficulties might open up a productive opportunity for interrogation and exploration of the kind that literary scholars and ecocritics are ideally placed to carry out.

Open Access (free)
Incest and beyond
Jenny DiPlacidi

. Catherine Spooner, Contemporary Gothic ( 2006 ) 1 This book has sought to bring to light the variety of incestuous configurations in the Gothic. In order to do this, I have relied not only on existing literary scholarship, but also on a broad methodological approach that includes anthropological, political, philosophical, legal and

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Disrupting the critical genealogy of the Gothic
Jenny DiPlacidi

almost exclusively as the rape of girls by older male family members. 37 That such formations of this incest paradigm coincided with feminist criticism’s reclamation of the Female Gothic in the 1970s undoubtedly determined literary scholarship to read incest in the Gothic as representative of violent sexual aggression. 38 Seminal works on the Female Gothic by scholars such as Ellen

in Gothic incest
Open Access (free)
Rachel E. Hile

pursuit becomes self-serving, a pointless exercise in scholarly ingenuity” (Dunseath, Spenser’s Allegory, 6). Surely he was reacting, entirely consistently with New Critical scholarly fashion, against the worst excesses of what came to be known—once the New Historicism had been born—as the “old historicism,” the often entirely too ingenious searching after point-for-point correspondences between MUP_Hile_SpenserSatire_Printer.indd 1 14/10/2016 15:35 2 Spenserian satire poem and history. The approach characterized literary scholarship of the early twentieth century

in Spenserian satire
‘Postcolonial’ as periodizer
Andrew Sartori

centrality of literary scholarship to the American model of area studies meant that the postcolonial was recognized as a periodizer of scholarly dispositions by the early 1990s (especially but by no means exclusively in South Asian studies). In contrast, whereas anthropology was an important incubator of critical analysis of colonialism’s significance to the developments of modern epistemological norms, it was slower to embrace the rubric of postcolonialism as a descriptor of these concerns. While the introduction to a 1992

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
Simon Smith
Jackie Watson
, and
Amy Kenny

impact of musical performance, printed drama, theoretical writings, domestic objects, visual art and dance. As a result, although literary examples are still most frequent, we broaden the range of conclusions we can draw about early modern sensual engagement by drawing on cultural experiences, such as dance, which generate a number of simultaneous sensations. Further, the collection’s dramatic and poetic material ranges deliberately wide, not least in order to avoid the tendency in some recent literary scholarship to lionize Shakespearean material. MUP

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
Open Access (free)
(Post-)structuralism between France and the United States
Edward Baring

minded literary scholarship. Rather than placing literary works into their political and social contexts, the New Critics undertook an internal formal analysis to reveal the work’s aesthetic aspects. The turn away from history as an explanatory device coincided with a turn towards poetry as a privileged object of study because, of all literary forms, poetry seemed the most untouched by external forces. The goals of the New Criticism were in part disciplinary, an attempt to assert the singularity and independence of

in Post-everything
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods
Adeline Johns-Putra

, it represents openness in terms of plot and practises openness in terms of structure; for another, it makes explicit comments throughout on the illusory nature of conventional narrative continuity and closure. The yoking of narrative closure with social convention is not new, of course. Literary scholarship abounds with analyses that sometimes celebrate and sometimes critique our desire for plot resolution. The germinal text here is Frank Kermode’s Sense of an Ending, which first appeared in 1967. According to Kermode, we render human existence and time significant

in Literature and sustainability
Characters and stereotypes in late Stuart and Georgian theatre
Bridget Orr

to illuminate the more subtle and ambiguous effects of literature and performance. Undoubtedly the most influential repurposing of the category in literary scholarship is Homi Bhabha’s mobilisation of the term in his much-republished essay ‘The other question: stereotypes and colonial discourse’, a foundational text in post-colonial scholarship. 1 Bhabha’s essay identifies the stereotype as the master trope of colonial discourse, a rhetorical strategy intended to create subject nations through rendering people

in Stereotypes and stereotyping in early modern England
Open Access (free)
Southern worlds, globes, and spheres
Sarah Comyn
Porscha Fermanis

, first, to bring under a synoptic framework new scholarship on the literatures and cultures of the southern colonies and to consider methodologies, from worlding to hemispheric analysis, that might allow us to decentre nation-based accounts of literary scholarship in favour of more permeable oceanic and place-based ones; second, to reflect on the southern colonies’ interconnected histories of imperialism, settler and mercantile colonialism, and structural inequality; and, third, to collectively elucidate a set of shared thematic concerns, literary forms and tropes, and

in Worlding the south