- International Scholarship
i Central European Contributions, 2017–2018: Enikő Bollobás, Réka M. Cristian, Dubravka Đurić, Jaroslav Kušnír, and Grażyna Zygadło
In this survey of scholarship published in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia in 2017 and 2018, Réka M. Cristian is responsible for the commentary on Romanian publications, Dubravka Đurić for Serbian scholarship, Jaroslav Kušnír for Czech and Slovakian contributions, and Grażyna Zygadło for Polish publications. Enikő Bollobás prepared the commentary on Hungarian publications and edited the material.
a. General: Literary and Cultural History
In "Istorija cenzure u američkoj književnosti: Kako utihnuti tekst" ("The History of Censorship in American Literature: How to Silence the Text"), pp. 75–83 in Dragan Bošković and Časlav Nikolić, eds., Зборник радова (Collection of Scholarly Papers 2) (Kragujevac, Serbia: FILUM, 2017), Radojka Vukčević discusses censorship in American literature from a historical perspective by giving examples from the 19th century to the present. The comprehensive book Историја америчке књижевности (History of American Literature) (Novi Sad, Serbia, and Podgorica, Montenegro: Akademska knjiga and MSCG, 2018) by the same author traces the history of American literature in all its diversity from precolonial times to the present, emphasizing how poststructuralist theoretical approaches as well as gender and minority studies have changed the canon. Jana Javorčíková's A Compendium of American Literature: An Annotated Companion to American Literature, Literary Theory, and Selected Didactic Aspects of Teaching Literature (Bratislava, Slovakia: Z-F Lingua, 2017) identifies selected works of American literature and literary theory. Josef Jařab's Amerika u nás a v nás (America with and Inside Us) (Prague: Knihovna Ceny Nadace Dagmar a Václava Havlových, 2018) is a selection of Jařab's articles and essays on American literature and culture. [End Page 365]
A number of Polish scholars have shown interest in studying the South in the context of ethnic relations in the region. Rewarded by the American Studies Network Book Prize, Urszula Niewiadomska-Flis's Live and Let Di(n)e: Food and Race in the Texts of the American South (Lublin, Poland: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2017) discusses the culinary culture of American South as reflecting race problems. She positions her study in a field of food studies whose beginnings in the United States date back to the 1980s. Using literary and filmic texts informed by both white and black perspectives (for example, Walker Percy's The Last Gentleman, Driving Miss Daisy, Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Ernest Gaines's "The Sky Is Gray," and Anne Moody's memoir Coming of Age in Mississippi), the author demonstrates how race conflicts and the invisibility of African American domestic labor and their cultural heritage can be traced in culinary practices. Beata Zawadka's Dis/Reputed Region: Transcoding the U.S. South (Szczecin, Poland: Uniwersytet Szczeciński, 2018) examines the mythology of the U.S. South and its cultural potential vis-à-vis the global culture and transculturality. Instead of "constructing the South from the point of view of any—racial, social, gender, national, sexual, etc.—group," Zawadka tracks down the dynamics by which racism, classism, or sexism work in culture by analyzing several classic cultural texts about the South (The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, and Steel Magnolias, and several TV series, including Hart of Dixie, True Detective, American Horror Story, and True Blood). The author concludes that classic Southern literature is constantly transformed and transmediated in search of new ways of self-expression, since "the South keeps struggling, by playing with our imagination, our senses, and our affective reactions, so as not to let us pinpoint it."
Roman Trušník's "Around the South with Jim Grimsley: The Roles of Place in the Author's Southern Fiction," pp. 269–80 in Thomas Ærvold Bjerre et al., eds., Southern Exposure: Essays Presented to Jan Nordby Gretlund (Odense: University of Southern Denmark, 2017), analyzes the way Grimsley depicts various Southern locations to explore other tensions of Southern culture, most notably class differences. In "Jim Grimsley at the Crossroads of Southern Literature: From Literary Fiction Through Fantasy to Science Fiction," pp. 239–50 in Adina...