Bergmann, Ina, and Stefan Hippler (eds.).
Cultures of Solitude: Loneliness – Limitation – Liberation.
Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2017.
This collection of essays comprises cultural analyses of practices of eremitism and reclusiveness in the USA, which are inseparably linked to the American ideals of individualism and freedom. Covering a time frame from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, the essays study cultural products such as novels, poems, plays, songs, paintings, television shows, films, and social media, which represent the costs and benefits of deliberate withdrawal and involuntary isolation from society. Thus, this book offers valuable contributions to contemporary cultural discourses on privacy, surveillance, new technology, pathology, anti-consumerism, simplification, and environmentalism. Solitaries can be read as trailblazers for an alternative future or as symptoms of a pathological society.
For more information see:
Leigh Raiford (UC Berkeley) and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (eds.)
Migrating the Black Body. The African Diaspora and Visual Culture
University of Washington Press 2017
Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media-from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels-has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self. How is the travel of black bodies reflected in reciprocal black images? How is blackness forged and remade through diasporic visual encounters and reimagined through revisitations with the past? And how do visual technologies structure the way we see African subjects and subjectivity? This volume brings together an international group of scholars and artists who explore these questions in visual culture for the historical and contemporary African diaspora. Examining subjects as wide-ranging as the appearance of blackamoors in Russian and Swedish imperialist paintings, the appropriation of African and African American liberation images for Chinese Communist Party propaganda, and the role of YouTube videos in establishing connections between Ghana and its international diaspora, these essays investigate routes of migration, both voluntary and forced, stretching across space, place, and time.
For more information see:
Catrin Gersdorf, Juliane Braun (eds.)
America After Nature. Democracy, Culture, Environment
Heidelberg: Winter Verlag 2016
In ‘Democratic Vistas’, a text that responds to the United States’s devastating experiences of the Civil War, Walt Whitman reminds his readers that the nation should continue to find its political ideals and cultural purposes in “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” His concept of nature was anchored in the ideas of eighteenth-century natural rights philosophy, but also in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of nature “in the common sense” as a totality of essences unaltered by human labor and industry.
Whitman’s contention that nature provides the concepts and ideas at the core of America’s political, cultural, and social structure, and the current critical contention that nature's massive restructuring will not remain without consequences for modern culture(s), offer the conceptual and historical frame for the essays collected in this volume. They all investigate the social, political, ethical and aesthetic questions and controversies that are raised in the study of America in a so-called postnatural world.
For more information see: https://www.winter-verlag.de/en/detail/978-3-8253-6605-6/Gersdorf_Braun_Eds_America_After_Nature/
Achilles, Jochen, and Ina Bergmann (eds.).
Liminality and the Short Story: Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Writing.
New York: Routledge, 2015.
Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature.
This book is a study of the short story, one of the widest taught genres in English literature, from an innovative methodological perspective. Both liminality and the short story are well-researched phenomena, but the combination of both is not frequent. This book discusses the relevance of the concept of liminality for the short story genre and for short story cycles, emphasizing theoretical perspectives, methodological relevance and applicability.