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Heroic poetry was central to the construction of Anglo-Saxon values, beliefs, and community identity and its subject matter is often analyzed as a window into Anglo-Saxon life. However, these poems are works of art as well as vehicles for ideology. Aesthetics of Nostalgia reads Anglo-Saxon historical verse in terms of how its aesthetic form interacted with the culture and politics of the period. Examining the distinctive poetic techniques found in vernacular historic poetry, Renée R. Trilling argues that the literary construction of heroic poetry promoted specific kinds of historical understanding in early medieval England, distinct from linear and teleological perceptions of the past. The Aesthetics of Nostalgia surveys Anglo-Saxon literary culture from the age of Bede to the decades following the Norman Conquest in order to explore its cultural impact through both its content and its form.
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Colleen Lye traces the American stereotype of Asians as a "model minority" or a "yellow peril"--two aspects of what she calls "Asiatic racial form"-- to emergent responses to globalization beginning in California in the late nineteenth century, when industrialization proceeded in tandem with the nation's neocolonial expansion beyond its continental frontier. From Progressive efforts to regulate corporate monopoly to New Deal contentions with the crisis of the Great Depression, a particular racial mode of social redress explains why turn-of-the-century radicals and reformers united around Asian exclusion and why Japanese American internment during World War II was a liberal initiative. In Lye's reconstructed archive of Asian American racialization, literary naturalism and its conventions of representing capitalist abstraction provide key historiographical evidence. Arguing for the profound influence of literature on policymaking, America's Asia examines the relationship between Jack London and leading Progressive George Kennan on U.S.-Japan relations, Frank Norris and AFL leader Samuel Gompers on cheap immigrant labor, Pearl S. Buck and journalist Edgar Snow on the Popular Front in China, and John Steinbeck and left intellectual Carey McWilliams on Japanese American internment. Lye's materialist approach to the construction of race succeeds in locating racialization as part of a wider ideological pattern and in distinguishing between its different, and sometimes opposing, historical effects.
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How well do we really know Pearl S. Buck? Many think of Buck solely as the Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good Earth, the novel that explained China to Americans in the 1930s. But Buck was more than a novelist and interpreter of China. As the essays in Beyond The Good Earth show, she possessed other passions and projects, some of which are just now coming into focus. Who knew, for example, that Buck imagined and helped define multiculturalism long before it became a widely known concept? Or that she founded an adoption agency to locate homes for biracial children from Asia? Indeed, few are aware that she advocated successfully for a genocide convention after World War II and was ahead of her time in envisioning a place for human rights in American foreign policy. Buck's literature, often dismissed as simple portrayals of Chinese life, carried a surprising degree of innovation as she experimented with the styles and strategies of Modernist artists. In Beyond The Good Earth, scholars and writers from the United States and China explore these and other often overlooked topics from the life of Pearl S. Buck, positioning her career in the context of recent scholarship on transnational humanitarian activism, women's rights, and civil rights activism
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The Cambridge Companion to Narrative provides a unique and valuable overview of current approaches to narrative study. An international team of experts explores ideas of storytelling and methods of narrative analysis as they have emerged across diverse traditions of inquiry and in connection with a variety of media, from film and television, to storytelling in the 'real-life' contexts of face-to-face interaction, to literary fiction. Each chapter presents a survey of scholarly approaches to topics such as character, dialogue, genre or language, shows how those approaches can be brought to bear on a relatively well-known illustrative example, and indicates directions for further research. Featuring a chapter reviewing definitions of narrative, a glossary of key terms and a comprehensive index, this is an essential resource for both students and scholars in many fields, including language and literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, jurisprudence, communication and media studies, and the social sciences.
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