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"This is a dazzling performance. It supplies conceptual links between phenomena where historians have often sensed a connection without being able to describe it adequately. . . [Bercovitch] has written intellectual history at the highest level."—Edmund S. Morgan, New York Review of Books
When Sacvan Bercovitch’s The American Jeremiad first appeared in 1978, it was hailed as a landmark study of dissent and cultural formation in America, from the Puritans’ writings through the major literary works of the antebellum era. For this long-awaited anniversary edition, Bercovitch has written a deeply thoughtful and challenging new preface that reflects on his classic study of the role of the political sermon, or jeremiad, in America from a contemporary perspective, while assessing developments in the field of American studies and the culture at large.
Vol. 12 (2000) through current issue
Through essays, position papers, and commentaries, along with reviews, interviews, and previously unpublished diaries, letters, and stories, American Literary History surveys the contested field of US culture four times a year. No other scholarly publication offers such a wide-ranging and provocative discussion of critical challenges. American Literary History has become the premier forum for a rich and varied criticism shaping the ways we have come to think about America and setting the agenda of American cultural studies.
Vol. 40 (2007) through current issue
For forty years, American Literary Realism has brought readers critical essays on American literature from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The whole panorama of great authors from this key transition period in American literary history, including Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, and many others, is discussed in articles, book reviews, critical essays, bibliographies, documents, and notes on all related topics. Each issue is also a valuable bibliographic resource.
1998 through current year
Now sold as an annual journal, American Literary Scholarship covers current critical analysis of American literature. Bibliographic essays are arranged by writers and time periods, from pre-1800 to the present. Among the writers discussed are Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Whitman, Twain, James, Pound, and Faulkner.
Vol. 71, no. 3 (1999) - vol. 76 (2004)
American Literature has been regarded since its inception as the preeminent periodical in its field. Each issue contains articles covering the works of several American authors--from colonial to contemporary--as well as an extensive book review section; a "Brief Mention" section that offers citations of new editions and reprints, collections, anthologies, and other professional books; and an "Announcements" section that keeps readers up-to-date on prizes, competitions, conferences, grants, and publishing opportunities.
A Critical Reassessment
Likewise, the authors describe phenomena—such as the FBI’s surveillance of writers (especially African Americans), biopolitics, development theory, struggles over the centralization and decentralization of government, and the cultural work of Reaganism—that open up new contexts for discussing postwar culture. Extending the timeline and expanding the geographic scope of Cold War culture, this book reveals both the literature and the culture of the time to be more dynamic and complex than has been generally supposed.
Literature and science are two disciplines are two disciplines often thought to be unrelated, if not actually antagonistic. But Robert J. Scholnick points out that these areas of learning, up through the beginning of the nineteenth century, "were understood as parts of a unitary endeavor." By mid-century they had diverged, but literature and science have continued to interact, conflict, and illuminate each other. In this innovative work, twelve leaders in this emerging interdisciplinary field explore the long engagement of American writers with science and uncover science's conflicting meanings as a central dimension of the nation's conception of itself. Reaching back to the Puritan poet-minister-physician Edward Taylor, who wrote at the beginning of the scientific revolution, and forward to Thomas Pynchon, novelist of the cybernetic age, this collection of original essays contains essential work on major writers, including Franklin, Jefferson, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Twain, Hart Crane, Dos Passos, and Charles Olson. Through its exploration of the ways that American writers have found in science and technology a vital imaginative stimulus, even while resisting their destructive applications, this book points towards a reconciliation and integration within culture. An innovative look at a neglected dimension of our literary tradition, American Literature and Science stands as both a definition of the field and an invitation to others to continue and extend new modes of inquiry.
Emerson, Whitman, and the New Poetry
"The transmigration of souls is no fable. I would it were, but men and women are only half human." With these words, Ralph Waldo Emerson confronts a dilemma that illuminates the formation of American individualism: to evolve and become fully human requires a heightened engagement with history. Americans, Emerson argues, must realize history's chronology in themselves--because their own minds and bodies are its evolving record. Whereas scholarship has tended to minimize the mystical underpinnings of Emerson's notion of the self, his depictions of "the metempsychosis of nature" reveal deep roots in mystical traditions from Hinduism and Buddhism to Platonism and Christian esotericism. In essay after essay, Emerson uses metempsychosis as an open-ended template to understand human development. In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman transforms Emerson's conception of metempsychotic selfhood into an expressly poetic event. His vision of transmigration viscerally celebrates the poet's ability to assume and live in other bodies; his American poet seeks to incorporate the entire nation into his own person so that he can speak for every man and woman.