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Gender, Culture, and Class in the Age of Realism
In this very readable volume, Stephanie Foote gathers a range of print sources—from novels by Edith Wharton and Henry James to gossip columns, fashion magazines, popular novels, and etiquette manuals—to ask how the realist period understood the individual experience of class. Examining the female arriviste (the parvenu of the title) in turn-of-the-century New York (where a supposedly stable elite was threatened by the nouveaux riches), Foote shows how class became more than just an economic position: it was a fundamental part of individual identity, exemplified by a shifting set of social behaviors that form the core of many nineteenth-century novels. She persuasively presents the female parvenu as a key figure in turn-of-the-century culture that embodies the volatility of social standing and the continuing project of structuring and justifying it.
Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism
Written a generation apart and rarely treated together by scholars, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women (1868) and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth (1905) share a deep concern with materialism, moral development, and self-construction. The heroines in both grapple with conspicuous consumption, an aspect of modernity that challenges older beliefs about ethical behavior and core identity.
Placing both novels at the historical intersection of modern consumer culture and older religious discourses on materialism and identity, Sarah Way Sherman analyzes how Alcott and Wharton rework traditional Protestant discourses to interpret their heroines' struggle with modern consumerism. Her conclusion reveals how Little Women's optimism, still buoyed by otherworldly justice, providential interventions, and the notion of essential identity, ultimately gives way to the much darker vision of modern materialistic culture in The House of Mirth.
The Politics of Feeling in Black Atlantic Antislavery Writing, 1770-1850
From the eighteenth century on, appeals to listeners' and readers' feelings about the sufferings of slaves were a predominant strategy of abolitionism. This book argues that expressions of feeling in those texts did not just appeal to individual readers' inclinations to sympathy but rather were inherently political. The authors of these texts made arguments from the social and political ideologies that grounded their moral and social lives.
Levecq examines liberalism and republicanism, the main Anglo-American political ideologies of the period, in the antislavery texts of a range of African-American and Afro-British authors. Disclosing the political content hitherto unexamined in this kind of writing, she shows that while the overall story is one of increased liberalization of ideology on both sides of the Atlantic, the republican ideal persisted, particularly among black authors with transatlantic connections.
Demonstrating that such writers as Phillis Wheatley, Ignatius Sancho, Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, and Mary Prince were men and women of their times, Levecq provides valuable new insight into the ideological world of black Atlantic writers and puts them, for the first time, on modernity's political map.
Food, Sex, and Carnal Appetite in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction
A pathbreaking “gastrocritical” approach to the poetics of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and their contemporaries This remarkable work by Ronald D. LeBlanc is the first study to appraise the representation of food and sexuality in the nineteenth-century Russian novel. Meticulously researched and elegantly and accessibly written, Slavic Sins of the Flesh sheds new light on classic literary creations as it examines how authors Nikolay Gogol, Ivan Goncharov, Grigorii Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Lev Tolstoy used eating in their works as a trope for male sexual desire. The treatment of carnal desire in these renowned works of fiction stimulated a generation of young writers to challenge Russian culture’s anti-eroticism, supreme spirituality, and utter disregard for the life of the body, so firmly rooted in centuries of ideological domination by the Orthodox Church.
One University’s Journey to the Future
Case studies from the University of New Hampshire explore all the dimensions of sustainability in campus life, combining frugality and creativity University communities have the potential to serve as models in the development and application of sustainability principles and practices, not only by what they teach and study, but also by how they operate facilities and engage with off-campus partners. With the oldest endowed campus-wide sustainability program in the country, established in 1997, the University of New Hampshire has become a leader in advancing a campus culture of sustainability. The UNH experience provides a unique window into the development of a new and integrated approach to teaching, learning, research, and operations. It is also a valuable guide for other institutions that aim to enhance the quality of campus life while reducing their environmental footprint. The book’s organization along four functional domains (curriculum, operations, research, and engagement) allows faculty, staff, students, and managers to focus on sections of particular relevance to their university roles. Each chapter develops standards of best practices and presents interesting case studies to humanize the larger effort.
The Biography of an American Holiday
In this, the first in-depth study of the most American of holidays, James Baker sweeps away lingering myths and misconceptions to show how this celebration day was born and grew to be an essential part of our national spirit. Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday opens with an overview of the popular mythos of the holiday before discussing its possible religious and cultural precedents. This classic Yankee holiday is examined in historical and contemporary detail that embraces everything from proclamations, sermons, and local and regional traditions to family reunions, turkey dinners, and recipes. Thanksgiving's evolving face is illustrated with charming and often revealing period prints that chart our changing attitudes: the influence of Victorian sentiment in Thanksgiving's development, Progressive utilitarianism, intellectual "debunking," patriotic wartime reclamation, and 1960s-era protest. Thanksgiving remains controversial up to the present day, as Mayflower descendants, Native Americans, and commercial exploiters compete for the American public's opinion of the holiday's contemporary significance and its future status. This is an intelligent and illuminating introduction to a beloved holiday and a fascinating cultural history of America and Americana.
New England Intellectuals and the Varieties of American Identity
In this thoughtful and wide-ranging cultural critique, Taylor explores the condition and role of the intellectual in nineteenth-century New England by examining five writers: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, William James, and George Santayana. Using key texts from each, he analyzes the status and identity of intellectual figures, and explores the relationship between intellectual work and theories of national identity. The questions the book raises--about the alliance between thought and action, about the best locations for intellectual work, and about the challenges posed to thinking by an increasingly fragmented and diverse public--remain pertinent today. Chronologically and geographically focused, Thinking America has wide resonance for the ongoing debates about the genealogy--and future viability--of the public intellectual.
This rich and diverse collection of essays explores the literary and ideological cultural exchanges between Britain and New England from 1610 to 1910. The contributors embrace material studies of written and printed texts, performance, the novel, expository writing, and early film. Through intriguingly fresh readings of the work of writers ranging from Anne Bradstreet to Walt Whitman and from John Winthrop, Jr., to Jack London, the book examines the intellectual and aesthetic exchanges produced by transatlantic cultural traffic. The focus and detail of the essays make an important contribution to the ongoing debates about British-American transatlantic literary exchanges, highlighting the conversions, adjustments, and translations in the transnational circulation of culture.
This book will appeal to a broad spectrum of scholars in American, British, and Transatlantic literary studies.
Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Great Britain
In this volume, fifteen scholars from diverse backgrounds analyze American women writers' transatlantic exchanges in the nineteenth century. They show how women writers (and often their publications) traveled to create or reinforce professional networks and identities, to escape strictures on women and African Americans, to promote reform, to improve their health, to understand the workings of other nations, and to pursue cultural and aesthetic education. Presenting new material about women writers' literary friendships, travels, reception and readership, and influences, the volume offers new frameworks for thinking about transatlantic literary studies.
Towards a Culture of Responsibility
Clean, fresh drinking water is essential to human and animal life. It's equally important to the world economy: it functions as a universal solvent, makes possible industrial cooling and transportation, and is necessary for all kinds of agriculture. Antoine Frerot, CEO of Veolia Water, takes us on a tour of the world's waters, of our water. Lack of clean water kills 2.2 million people every year, and nearly 1 billion people do not have reliable access to clean drinking water. Using examples that transform theory into close-to-home reality, Frerot issues a serious challenge while showing us how to ensure that all the fast-growing cities of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have enough water. He considers how climate change will cause water shortages and explains what we can do now to prevent them. We have the political, economic, and scientific means to ensure the future of water on earth: we need only the will to take action.