Jennifer Mitchell Ordinary Masochisms: Agency and Desire in Victorian and Modernist Fiction
Professor Jennifer Mitchel '04 has published a book Ordinary Masochisms: Agency and Desire in Victorian and Modernist Fiction. University Press of Florida, October, 2020.
Click here to see the table of contents and sample excerpts from the book.
From the University Press of Florida:
“Offers a series of provocative readings of ‘everyday masochisms’ across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rather than defining this as a ‘perversion,’ Mitchell reveals the sheer mundanity of masochism, expressed in courtship rituals, marriage, religious worship, school, and the workplace. In doing so, Mitchell uncovers the paradoxically painful pleasures of the reading experience itself.”—Sarah Parker, author of The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity, 1889–1930
Ordinary Masochisms reveals how literary works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries frequently challenged the prevailing view of masochism as a deviant behavior, an opinion supported by many sexologists and psychoanalysts in the 1800s. In these texts, Jennifer Mitchell highlights everyday examples of characters deriving pleasure from pain in encounters and emotions such as flirtations, courtships, betrothals, lesbian desires, religious zeal, marital relationships, and affairs.
Mitchell begins by examining the archetypal tale of Samson and Delilah together with Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from whom masochism gets its name. Through close readings, Mitchell then argues that Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, George Moore’s A Drama in Muslin, D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow, and Jean Rhys’s Quartet all experiment with masochistic relationships that are more complex than they seem. Mitchell shows that, far from being victimized, the characters in these works achieve self-definition and empowerment by pursuing and performing pain and that masochism is a generative response rather than a destructive force beyond their control.
Including readings of Octave Mirbeau’s The Torture Garden and Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers, Mitchell traces shifts in public consciousness regarding sex and gender and discusses why masochism continues to be categorized as a perversion today. The literary world, she asserts, has repeatedly questioned this notion as well as masochism’s associations with passivity and femininity, using the behavior to defy heteronormative and heteropatriarchal gender dynamics.
Jim and Carol McCord: Two Lenses — Four Europes
During their many travels to countries in Europe, Jim and Carol McCord have seen and responded to the world around them through two different lenses—Jim through the lens of emotive wordsmithing and Carol through the lens of striking visual imagery. In this beautiful collection of poems and photographs from their travels in England, France, Greece, and Spain, the two lenses come together in one seamless offering of artistic expression. Visit the authors' website.
Shena McAuliffe: The Good Echo
The English honor society – Sigma Tau Delta – is hosting a reception to celebrate the publication of Professor Shena McAuliffe’s new novel The Good Echo (Black Lawrence Press, Dec. 2018). The party will be held on Tuesday, Feb 26th at 5.30pm in the Breazzano Great Room.
Join us for the celebration, refreshments, and a book signing!
Free and open to the public.
Jennifer Mitchell: The Female Fantastic: Gendering the Supernatural in the 1890s and 1920s
Assistant Professor Jennifer Mitchell has co-edited a book of scholarly essays, The Female Fantastic: Gendering the Supernatural in the 1890s and 1920s (Routledge, 2019). To this volume, Prof. Mitchell also contributed her own chapter on “Fantastic Transformations: Queer Desires and ‘Uncanny Time’ in Work by Radclyffe Hall and Virginia Woolf.”
Hugh Jenkins: Teaching the Beatles
Teaching the Beatles is designed to provide ideas for instructors who teach the music of the Beatles. Experienced contributors describe varied approaches to effectively convey the group’s characteristics and lasting importance. Some of these include: treating the Beatles’ lyrics as poetry; their influence on the world of art, film, fashion and spirituality; the group’s impact on post-war Britain; political aspects of the Fab Four; Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting and musical innovations; the band’s use of recording technology; business aspects of the Beatles’ career; and insights into teaching the Beatles in an online format.
Jillmarie Murphy: Attachment, Place, and Otherness in Nineteenth Century American Literature: New Materialist Representations
This interdisciplinary study examines the role interpersonal and place attachment bonds play in crafting a national identity in American literature. Although there have been numerous ecocritical studies of and psychoanalytic approaches to American literature, this study seeks to integrate the language of empirical science and the physical realities of place, while also investigating non-human agency and that which exists beyond the material realm. Murphy considers how writers in the early American Republic constructed modernity by restructuring representations of interpersonal and place attachments, which are subsequently reimagined, reconfigured, and sometimes even rejected by writers in the long nineteenth century. Within each narrative American perceptions of otherness are pathologized as a result of insecure human-to-human and human-to-place attachments, resulting in a restructuring of antiquated notions of difference. Throughout, Murphy argues that in order to understand fully the contextually varied framework of human bonding, it is important to emphasize America's “attachment” to various constructions of otherness. Historically, people of color, women, ethnic groups, and lower class citizens have been relegated—socially, politically, and culturally—to a place of subordination. Refugees escaping the French and Haitian Revolutions to American cities encouraged writers to transform social, cultural, and political attachments in ways that the American Revolution did not. The United States has always been part of an extended global network that provides fertile ground from which to imagine a future American identity; this book thus gestures toward future readers, educators, and scholars who seek to explore new fields and new approaches to understand the underlying human motivations that continually inspire the American imagination.
Andrew Burkett: Romantic Mediations: Media Theory and British Romanticism
Dr. Burkett’s monograph, Romantic Mediations: Media Theory and British Romanticism, will be published by State University of New York Press on 1 December 2016. It will be available for pre-order on 1 September 2016. Further information about his book is available in the flyer below.
Jennifer Mitchell: HBO’s Girls and the Awkward Politics of Gender, Race, and Privilege
Professor Jennifer Mitchell and her colleagues Elwood Watson and Marc Edward Shaw have published a new book (Lexington Books). It is titled HBO’s Girls and the Awkward Politics of Gender, Race, and Privilege. The book is a collection of essays that examines the HBO program Girls. Since its premiere in 2012, the series has garnered the attention of individuals from various walks of life. The show has been described in many terms: insightful, out-of-touch, brash, sexist, racist, perverse, complex, edgy, daring, provocative—just to name a few. Overall, there is no doubt that Girls has firmly etched itself in the fabric of early twenty-first-century popular culture.
The essays in this book examine the show from various angles including: white privilege; body image; gender; culture; race; sexuality; parental and generational attitudes; third wave feminism; male emasculation and immaturity; hipster, indie, and urban music as it relates to Generation Y and Generation X. By examining these perspectives, this book uncovers many of the most pressing issues that have surfaced in the show, while considering the broader societal implications therein.
Text Source: rowman.com
Andrew Burkett: Multi-Media Romanticisms
Andrew Burkett, Assistant Professor of English, and his colleague James Brooke-Smith have just been notified that their co-edited book, entitled Multi-Media Romanticisms, will be published by Romantic Circles Praxis series.
This book is a collection of five essays, with a co-authored introduction. It is expected to be published by early next year.
Peter Heinegg: Dim and Dimmer
Our amazingly prolific Professor Peter Heinegg has published a new book, Dim and Dimmer: Prospects for a New Enlightenment (R&L Publishers, 2014). The book explores the crucial moral and philosophical questions of the modern world: can human traditional beliefs, many of which have led humanity to the brink of environmental and cultural collapse, be amended or replaced by a New Enlightenment? Can the dawn of modern, secular, ethical and global thinking help humanity survive? And, if so, will these changes come before it is too late?
Jordan Smith: Clare’s Empire
Although the British poet John Clare’s life may seem remote, his experience of radical inequality and its psychological effects, the loss of a common stake in the landscape he loved and wrote about, and the difficulties of making his way as a writer will seem very timely.
Professor Smith’s book is the first to be published by The Hydroelectric Press. The poetry collection is now available in e-book format through Kindle, iTunes, as well as through the websites of independent booksellers including, regionally, The Northshire Bookstore Saratoga, The Open Door in Schenectady, The Book House in Albany, and Market Block Books in Troy.
Jillmarie Murphy: Hawthorne in His Own Time
Hawthorne in His Own Time is better than a biography: it provides canny first-hand accounts of an author often considered unknowable, along with key literary assessments of the era, allowing readers to sift through the evidence and form their own judgments. Students, scholars, and lovers of the Great Romancer’s work will all find much of value in this collection of gems.” —Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism.
At his death, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was universally acknowledged in America and England as “the Great Romancer.” Novels such as The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables and stories published in such collections as Twice-Told Tales continue to capture the minds and imaginations of readers and critics to this day. Harder to capture, however, were the character and personality of the man himself. So few of the essays that appeared in the two years after his death offered new insights into his life, art, and reputation that Hawthorne seemed fated to premature obscurity or, at least, permanent misrepresentation. This first collection of personal reminiscences by those who knew Hawthorne intimately or knew about him through reliable secondary sources rescues him from these confusions and provides the real human history behind the successful writer.
Remembrances from Elizabeth Peabody, Sophia Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Rebecca Harding Davis, and twenty others printed in Hawthorne in His Own Time follow him from his childhood in Salem, through his years of initial literary obscurity, his days in the Boston and Salem Custom Houses, his service as U.S. Consul to Liverpool and Manchester and his life in the Anglo-American communities at Rome and Florence, to his late years as the “Great Romancer.”
In their enlightening introduction, editors Ronald Bosco and Jillmarie Murphy assess the postmortem building of Hawthorne’s reputation as well as his relationship to the prominent Transcendentalists, spiritualists, Swedenborgians, and other personalities of his time. By clarifying the sentimental associations between Hawthorne’s writings and his actual personality and moving away from the critical review to the personal narrative, these artful and perceptive reminiscences tell the private and public story of a remarkable life.
Peter Heinegg: Abraham’s Ashes: The Absurdity of Monotheism
Peter Heinegg has recently published Abraham’s Ashes: The Absurdity of Monotheism, released in February 2013 by the University Press of America. He calls this book “an apt introduction to the bizarre, contradictory, and oppressive fantasy known as monotheism.” He is the translator of nearly fifty books and is a regular book reviewer as well. With Airy Nothings: Religion and the Flight from Time due for release in March 2014, Professor Heinegg will add another text to his list of monographs, which include within the past five years: Crazy Culture: The Sins of Civilization (2011); Bitter Scrolls: Sexist Poison in the Canon (2010); God: An Obituary (2009); and That Does It: Desperate Reflections on American Culture(2008), all published by the University Press of America.
Claire Bracken: Edited Collection Anne Enright (Visions and Revisions: Irish Writers in Their Time)
This is the first study of Man Booker prize winner Anne Enright, in which leading scholars examine her work in relation to style; her situation in a postmodern and experimental tradition in Irish and non-Irish writing; and her engagement with culture and social change, tradition and modernity, memory, gender, and sexuality. The book also includes an extensive interview with Anne Enright and a comprehensive bibliography.
Bernhard Kuhn: Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism
Set against the backdrop of a rapidly fissuring disciplinary landscape where poetry and science are increasingly viewed as irreconcilable and unrelated, Bernhard Kuhn’s study uncovers a previously ignored, fundamental connection between autobiography and the natural sciences. Examining the autobiographies and scientific writings of Rousseau, Goethe, and Thoreau as representative of their ages, Kuhn challenges the now entrenched thesis of the “two cultures.” Rather, these three writers are exemplary in that their autobiographical and scientific writings may be read not as separate or even antithetical but as mutually constitutive projects that challenge the newly emerging boundaries between scientific and humanistic thought during the Romantic period.
Reading each writer’s life stories and nature works side by side-as they were written-Kuhn reveals the scientific character of autobiographical writing while demonstrating the autobiographical nature of natural science. He considers all three writers in the context of scientific developments in their own times as well as ours, showing how each one marks a distinctive stage in the growing estrangement of the arts and sciences, from the self-assured epistemic unity of Rousseau’s time, to the splintering of disciplines into competing ways of knowing under the pressures of specialization and professionalization during the late Romantic age of Thoreau. His book thus traces an unfolding drama, in which these writers and their contemporaries, each situated in an intellectual landscape more fragmented than the last, seek to keep together what modern culture is determined to break apart. [Bernhard Kuhn’s book description from Ashgate Press.]
Jordan Smith: The Light in the Film
Drawing on characters from Tosca to Lew Welch to Henry Purcell and on landscapes from Mexico to Hell to Saratoga Springs, Jordan Smith’s sixth collection of poems is a wide-ranging consideration of the world viewed in the light of loss and restitution. As in the work of Charles Ives, celebrated in one poem, these lyrics look for likenesses found in the combination of the unlikely, and they discover, in the do-it-yourself culture of America a determined, eccentric resistance to time’s erosions.
Jill Murphy: Monstrous Kinships
Monstrous Kinships: Realism and Attachment Theory in the Novels of Mary Shelley, Herman Melville, Thomas Hardy, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, and Vladimir Nabokov investigates the connection between realist fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the psychoanalytic approach of John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory arises from the guiding principles of realism and the veratist’s devotion to long-term, direct observation of subject matter. Additionally, because Attachment Theory originated in the field of child psychoanalysis, this book highlights the detrimental effects of parental obsession and abandonment, industrialism, poverty, alcoholism, religious addiction, and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse on child characters. The subject of Monstrous Kinships is timely, as literary critics and theorists as well as creative writers continue to expand their range of inquiry to include the child as primary subject in various treatments of post-colonial and transnational culture.
Claire Bracken: Edited Collection, Viewpoints: Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts
Over the last twenty years, Ireland has undergone significant transformation and, as a consequence, notions of Irish identity and nationality have been in constant flux. For this reason, it is a timely moment to consider visual representations, both past and present, of Irish cultural life, and contribute to conversations about questions such as: What kind of iconic currencies does Ireland have? How should we see them? Are there specific ideological frameworks operating when we imagine Ireland? Can we imagine Irishness differently?
Viewpoints explores the ways in which visual texts engage with questions of Irish culture, and the manner in which those texts are received, circulated, and consumed. By way of recourse to a range of theoretical positions that include feminism, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, philosophy, and queer theory, the collection presents multiple and variegated perspectives on Irish texts, culture, society, and life. With essays on theories of visualization and early Irish photography, adaptation and memory in the diasporic image, identities in Irish photographic art, the advertising of therapeutic wellness sites, as well as essays which read and focus on Irish film and television differently, this book brings new critical readings to how we see Irish culture.
Brenda Wineapple: Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-187
NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2013; A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2013; A BOOK PAGE BEST BOOK OF 2013.
“A splendid new history of the Civil War period….Wineapple brings alive the vibrant, imperfect people behind the issues….A masterly, deeply moving record of a crucial period in American history.”
– Professor David Reynolds, New York Times Book Review
Varied, original and engaging from cover to cover…a magnificent read.”
– Professor Daniel Walker Howe, The Wall Street Journal
“A complex, densely peopled and relentlessly gripping political, cultural, and military history of America from the build-up to the Civil War to the crumbling of Reconstruction in its aftermath…Magnificent.”
–Geoff Dyer, The Guardian‘s Best Books of 2013