College Literature

College Literature
33.2, Spring 2006
General Issue with Special Focus Section: Conjoining Literature and Linguistics

CONTENTS

    Allison, Raphael C.
  • Muriel Rukeyser Goes to War: Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Politics of Ekphrasis
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rukeyser, Muriel, 1913- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Rukeyser, Muriel, 1913- -- Political and social views.
    • Ekphrasis.
    • Politics and literature -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Muriel Rukeyser is often regarded as a poet of the 1930s literary left. As this essay argues however, Rukeyser underwent a transformation during the 1940s from a proletarian into a pragmatist committed to pluralist values necessary for confronting totalitarianism abroad. Ultimately, this commitment to pluralism and multiple perspectives led to her use of ekphrasis (poetry descriptive of visual art), which is itself a "pluralist" form that incorporates both language and visual imagery. Part of this wartime transformation was derived from her readings of John Dewey, William James, and the nineteenth-century chemist Willard Gibbs. Another part of this shift grew out of her work developing warposters at the Office of War Information, President Roosevelt's World War II propaganda agency. Both Gibbs's theories of multiple perspectives and the war-poster itself suggested a formal pluralism opposed to fascist unity. This new perspective is most evident in her major war poem "Ajanta" (1944).
    Scott, Jonathan.
  • Advanced, Repressed, and Popular: Langston Hughes During the Cold War
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967. First book of rhythms.
    • Politics and literature -- United States.
    Abstract:
      This essay brings to light an important area of Langston Hughes's work as a writer and an intellectual that has been neglected by critics and scholars. In the discipline of American studies, Hughes is known primarily as a "folk poet," yet in his life he produced an enormous body of work that cannot be contained by this limited categorization, in particular the writing he published during the height of the cold war. The general conception of Hughes is that he went into political hiding after 1953, following his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and, for the rest of his career, steered clear of socialist projects such as the politicization of literature. But a reflection on his writing of the 1950s compels a different conclusion. Specifically, The First Book of Rhythms, published in 1954, based on a writing workshop for young people Hughes conducted in Chicago, is the focus of this paper. It embodies the main themes and strategies that unified Hughes's prolific literary output during the cold war.
    Fagan, Monica.
  • Choirs and Split Voices: Female Identity Construction in Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Moore, Lorrie. Who will run the frog hospital?
    • Female friendship in literature.
    • Self in literature.
    • Teenage girls in literature.
    Abstract:
      Moore's novel is, in many ways, a story about growing up. The fiercely intimate friendship Moore depicts between two girls, Berie and Sils, and the effects of that friendship on Berie and Sils as adults push us to ask ourselves: is this the way all girls mature into women, or is this just the path that these particular fictional girls follow? As it happens, Moore's portrayal of female maturation closely mirrors the path Adrienne Rich and Carol Gilligan argue many, if not all, girls follow. The novel's clever narrative structure, in which a discontented middle-aged woman remembers longingly the emotionally intimate friendship of her girlhood, reveals that, at least with Berie, women who experience such intimate friendships in adolescence may feel as though the rupture of such friendships results in a rupture of their sense of self. Moore's novel encourages us to re-examine the notion of sisterhood and how female friendships affect the lives of girls and women.
    Stivale, Charles J.
  • Tenure and its Denial: Facing the Winter Years and Beyond
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    Subject Headings:
    • College teachers -- Tenure -- United States.
    • College teachers -- Dismissal of -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The details that one recalls at the time of dramatic and, indeed, traumatic events in one's life remain indelibly marked and may create difficulties in pursuing the regular course of work and private pursuits. The author reflects on the events the denial of tenure, how he faced this crisis, and how his preparation in research and teaching provided him a basis upon which to overcome the "winter years" of this difficult period and move on with his career.

Special Focus Section: Conjoining Literature and Linguistics

    Fabb, Nigel.
    Halle, Morris.
  • Metrical Complexity in Christina Rossetti’s Verse
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894 -- Versification.
    Abstract:
      Bracketed Grid Theory interprets metricality as fundamentally a matter of counting syllables, with rhythm derived from counting. Syllables are grouped into pairs or triplets, which in turn are grouped, thus building a scansion from the line. The article compares the traditional approach to meter with its inventory of feet as building-blocks combined to make a scansion of a line which expresses the rhythms of its performance. It applies this theory to a strict iambic meter and a loose iambic meter, each used by Rossetti, and shows that though the number of syllables in the line varies in the latter it is nevertheless scanned by a counting system. The article shows that in the poem "Up-hill" Rossetti uses a strict meter to mimic the rhythmic effect of a loose meter. The essay formulates a theory of metrical mimicry because it distinguishes between underlying meter and performed rhythm.
    Wanyama, Mzenga.
  • Cohesion in the Novels of Alex La Guma: A Dialogic Analysis
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    Subject Headings:
    • La Guma, Alex -- Literary style.
    • La Guma, Alex -- Technique.
    Abstract:
      This article identifies and analyzies features of style and technique that make for unity and cohesion in Alex La Guma's novels. It shows that La Guma's deliberate cohesive strategies impact and illuminate the course and drift of heteroglossia in his novels. In "Discourse in the Novel," M. M. Bakhtin argues strongly that the novel genre constitutes a world of social languages in which the author's language is but one of several, and that authorial idiosyncrasy as a criterion of stylistic analysis is thus not adequate. However, Bakhtin then reads the prose of certain novelists because they quintessentially illustrate his generic theory of dialogic imagination, thereby seeming to suggest that not all novels and novelists lend themselves equally to dialogic analyses. This essay argues that a relationship of complementarity exists between traditional stylistics and Bakhtin's dialogic imagination, and that authorial idiosyncrasy is a crucial category in both of the theories.
    Tapia, Elena.
  • Beyond a Comparison of Two Distinct Things; or, What Students of Literature Gain from a Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Metaphor
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    Subject Headings:
    • Literature -- Study and teaching (Higher)
    • Metaphor.
    Abstract:
      Referring to data from senior seminars involving textual analysis of novels and short stories, the author discusses the advantages undergraduates enjoy studying literature through a cognitive linguistic approach. Some methodology described contrasts traditional views, which posit objective and preexisting similarities in metaphor, with cognitive linguistic views of nonobjective, non-pre-existing similarities. The latter facilitates close readings of texts, because metaphorical systems—theoretically traceable to embodied and/or cultural experiences—intuitively make sense to students. The author shares pedagogical implications such as students' heightened awareness of language (e.g., detecting bias in metaphor) as well as the linguistic and classroom methodologies used.
    Mason, Oliver, M.A.
    Platt, Rhiannon.
  • Embracing A New Creed: Lexical Patterning and The Encoding Of Ideology
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bush, George W. (George Walker), 1946- -- Language.
    Abstract:
      This article analyzes George Bush's State of the Union Address from January 2002 using methodology provided by recent research in corpus linguistics. It attempts to show how meaning is conveyed in a subtle way through use of lexical patterns, and how a text can be interpreted through comparison with a large corpus. As a result it is able to objectively identify implicit meaning by way of what is and is not explicitly said.

Review Essays

    Rostan, Kimberly.
  • Reading Traumatically and Representing the Real in Collective Suffering
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    Subject Headings:
    • McCulloh, Mark Richard, 1955- Understanding W.G. Sebald.
    • Rothberg, Michael. Traumatic realism: the demands of Holocaust representation.
    • Vickroy, Laurie, 1954- Trauma and survival in contemporary fiction.
    • Eisenstein, Paul. Traumatic encounters: Holocaust representation and the Hegelian subject.
    • Sebald, Winfried Georg, 1944- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Historiography.

Book Reviews

    Simpson, Jennifer.
  • Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Post Civil-Rights Era (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Giroux, Henry A. Take back higher education: race, youth, and the crisis of democracy in the post-Civil Rights Era.
    • Giroux, Susan Searls, 1968-
    • Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives -- United States.
    Okuma, Taryn L.
  • Crossing Borderlands: Composition and Postcolonial Studies (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lunsford, Andrea A., 1942-, ed. Crossing borderlands: composition and postcolonial studies.
    • Ouzgane, Lahoucine, ed.
    • English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching -- United States.
    Pollard, Scott.
  • Rockin' las Américas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin/o America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pacini Hernandez, Deborah, ed. Rockin' las Américas: the global politics of rock in Latin/o America.
    • Fernández l'Hoeste, Héctor D., 1962-, ed.
    • Zolov, Eric, ed.
    • Rock music -- Political aspects -- Latin America.
    Ware, Michele S.
  • The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rukeyser, Muriel, 1913- Collected poems of Muriel Rukeyser.
    • Kaufman, Janet E., 1964-, ed.
    • Herzog, Anne F., 1959-, ed.
    • Levi, Jan Heller, ed.
    • Poetry.

Appendix




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