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Northwestern University Press

Northwestern University Press

Website: http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/

The mission of Northwestern University Press is the publication of books that disseminate knowledge and further understanding of cultural, political, social, and community issues. Since its inception in 1893, Northwestern University Press has produced important scholarly works in various disciplines as well as quality regional and Chicago books, fiction, poetry, literature in translation, literary criticism, and books on drama and the performing arts. Northwestern University Press authors have been the recipients of numerous prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Literature, the National Book Award, and the Tony Award. For more information and a complete list of Northwestern University Press titles, please visit www.nupress.northwestern.edu

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Northwestern University Press

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Finding the Middle Ground

Krestovskii, Tur, and the Power of Ambivalence in Nineteenth Century Russian Women's Prose

Gheith, Jehanne

Though among the most prominent writers in Russia in the mid nineteenth century, Evgeniia Tur (1815 92) and V. Krestovskii (1820? 89) are now little known. By looking in depth at these writers, their work, and their historical and aesthetic significance, Jehanne M. Gheith shows how taking women's writings into account transforms traditional understandings of the field of nineteenth century Russian literature. Gheith's analysis of these writers' biographies, prose, and criticism intervenes in debates about the Russian literary tradition in general, Russian women's writing in particular, and feminist criticism on female authors and authority as it has largely been developed in and for Western contexts.

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First Person Singular

Lingis, Alphonso

Alphonso Lingis’s singular works of philosophy are not so much written as performed, and in The First Person Singular the performance is characteristically brilliant, a consummate act of philosophical reckoning.  Lingis’s subject here, aptly enough, is the subject itself, understood not as consciousness but as embodied, impassioned, active being.  His book is, at the same time, an elegant cultural analysis of how subjectivity is differently and collectively understood, invested, and situated.

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Form and Instability

Eastern Europe, Literature, Postimperial Difference

Anita Starosta

How are we to read the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Form and Instability brings notions of figuration and translation to bear on the post-1989 condition. "Eastern Europe" in this book is more than a territory. Marked by belatedness and untimely remainders, it is an unstable object that is continually misapprehended. From the intersection of comparative literature, area studies, and literary theory, Anita Starosta considers the epistemological and aesthetic consequences of the disappearance of the Second World. Literature here becomes a critical lens in its own right—both object and method, it confronts us with the rhetorical dimension of language and undermines the ideological and hermeneutic coherence of established categories. In original readings of Joseph Conrad and Witold Gombrowicz, among other twentieth-century writers, Form and Instability unsettles cultural boundaries as we know them.

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The Forsaken Son

Child Murder and Atonement in Modern American Fiction

The Forsaken Son engages the provocative coincidence of the vocabularies of infanticide and Christianity, specifically atonement theology, in six modern American novels: Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, the first two installments of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Joyce Carol Oates’s My Sister, My Love, and Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark.

Christian atonement theology explains why God lets His son be crucified. Yet in recent years, as an increasing number of scholars have come to reject that explanation, the cross reverts from saving grace to trauma—or even crime. More bluntly, without atonement, the cross may be a filicide, in which God forces his son to die for no apparent reason. Pederson argues that the novels about child murder mentioned above likewise give voice to modern skepticism about traditional atonement theology.

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Foucault, Politics, and Violence

Johnanna Oksala

In her book, Oksala shows that the arguments for the ineliminability of violence from the political are often based on excessively broad, ontological conceptions of violence distinct from its concrete and physical meaning and, on the other hand, on a restrictively narrow and empirical understanding of politics as the realm of conventional political institutions.

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Foucault’s Askesis

An Introduction to the Philosophical Life

McGushin, Edward F.

In his renowned courses at the Collège de France from 1982 to 1984, Michel Foucault devoted his lectures to meticulous readings and interpretations of the works of Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius, among others. In this his aim was not, Edward F. McGushin contends, to develop a new knowledge of the history of philosophy; rather, it was to let himself be transformed by the very activity of thinking. Thus, this work shows us Foucault in the last phase of his life in the act of becoming a philosopher. Here we see how his encounter with ancient philosophy allowed him to experience the practice of philosophy as, to paraphrase Nietzsche, a way of becoming who one is: the work of self formation that the Greeks called askésis.

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The Fourfold

Reading the Late Heidegger

Andrew Mitchell

Heidegger’s later thought is a thinking of things, so argues Andrew J. Mitchell in The Fourfold. Heidegger understands these things in terms of what he names “the fourfold”—a convergence of relationships bringing together the earth, the sky, divinities, and mortals—and Mitchell’s book is the first detailed exegesis of this neglected aspect of Heidegger’s later thought. As such it provides entrée to the full landscape of Heidegger’s postwar thinking, offering striking new interpretations of the atomic bomb, technology, plants, animals, weather, time, language, the holy, mortality, dwelling, and more. What results is a conception of things as ecstatic, relational, singular, and, most provocatively, as intrinsically tied to their own technological commodification. A major new work that resonates beyond the confines of Heidegger scholarship, The Fourfold proposes nothing less than a new phenomenological thinking of relationality and mediation for understanding the things around us.

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Fowling Piece


Heidy Steidlmayer

Heidy Steidlmayer was awarded the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry. Her poems have appeared in TriQuarterly,, Literary Imagination, and River City. She lives in northern California.

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Freedom Hill

A Poem

L. S. Asekoff

L. S. Asekoff, former director of the Brooklyn College MFA Program in Poetry, has published three previous poetry collections: Dreams of a Work (1994), North Star (1997), and The Gate of Horn (Northwestern University Press, 2010).

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From Scenarios to Networks

Performing the Intercultural in Colonial Mexico

Leo Cabranes-Grant

In this innovative study, Leo Cabranes-Grant analyzes four intercultural events in the Viceroyalty of New Spain that took place between 1566 and 1690. Rather than relying on racial labels to describe alterations of identity, Cabranes-Grant focuses on experimentation, rehearsal, and the interaction between bodies and objects. His analysis shows how scenarios are invested with affective qualities, which in turn enable cultural and semiotic change. Central to his argument is Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory, which figures society as a constantly evolving web of relationships among objects, people, and spaces. In examining these scenarios, Cabranes-Grant attempts to discern the reasons why the conditions of an intensified moment within this ceaseless flow take on a particular value and inspire their re-creation. Cabranes-Grant offers a fresh perspective on Latour’s theory and reorients debates concerning history and historiography in the field of performance studies.


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