Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Publications from Eurospan

A selection of new American Studies titles from Eurospan Bookstore including:

America's Corporate Art: The Studio Authorship of Hollywood Motion PicturesJerome Christensen

Reissued classic: The American Scholar Reader
Edited by Hiram Haydn
With a new introduction by Irving Louis Horowitz

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Theory Mad Beyond Redemption": The Post-Kantian Poe

Deadline for Abstracts: April 30, 2012

A call for papers for a special issue of The Edgar Allan Poe Review, forthcoming in Fall 2012, and guest-edited by Sean Moreland, Devin Zane Shaw, and Jonathan Murphy.,

The editors invite original essays that address the influence of German Idealist and Romantic thought upon Edgar Allan Poe. While it has become a critical commonplace that Poe both makes use of and mocks many elements of German Idealism, there has been scant discussion of the specificities of Poe's complex, and often vexed, treatments of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. Poe studies enjoyed a brief revival of the "French Poe" following the psychoanalytic and deconstructive interventions of Lacan and Derrida, but the anti-theoretical backlash of the past two decades has tended to extradite the author back to his country of origin, restoring his "American Face" at the cost of recognizing the transatlantic influences that indelibly shaped his writing. This collection will focus on Poe's indebtedness to, as well as his critical distance from, German Idealist and Romantic writers, but its intent is not to delineate, as Hansen and Pollin (1995) have done, the "German Face" of Poe, so much as it is to reintroduce the theoretical aspect of Poe's artistry back into the critical conversation.

We especially welcome papers that consider the relationship between Poe's reception of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy (including Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schiller, and the Schlegels) and that of his American literary contemporaries (including Emerson, Fuller, Hawthorne, and Melville); articles that examine the role of Coleridge and Carlyle, Cousin and de Stael in disseminating German idealism upon American shores; and essays that interrogate more recent peregrinations of German philosophy in Continental theory, especially as they pertain to a reconsideration of Poe's literary legacy.

We require a 250 word abstract and a brief bio by no later than April 30, 2012, and the finished paper (Chicago-style, no more than 9000 words including endnotes) by July 15, 2012. Abstracts, papers,and questions should be directed to: .


Reproduced with permission from the European Association of American Studies.

Mad Narrators

Call for Papers

International Conference « Les narrateurs fous /Mad narrators ».
University of Bordeaux 3, 18- 20 October 2012.

The aim of this conference is to examine the phenomenon of mad narrators in fiction. While several conferences have been held recently which have focussed on mad characters: mad scientists, gender and madness, madness and confinement, etc., this conference takes as its theme the idea of the mad narrator. Narratorial madness is part of the wider concept of narrative unreliability, defined by Wayne Booth. Narratorial madness arouses suspicion, creating instability and a discrepancy between the literary voice of the narrator and that of the "underlying author". It thus seems important to investigate what it is that sets madness apart from other types of unreliability, such as a child's viewpoint, intellectual impairment, illiteracy, dysnarration, manipulation or falsehood. The conference will therefore set out to explore the narrative manifestations of insanity and to determine what the "effects of madness" are. It will look at the question of whether there is such a thing as a stylistics of madness, which would imply that there are recurrent markers and codified ways of expressing insanity.

In order to delineate as accurately as possible the notion of narratorial madness, it is important to distinguish between an unambiguous, immediately visible kind of madness, and another kind of madness, a madness that is only hinted at as a possibility within the text. The first kind is expressed in a variety of ways and its symptoms lend themselves to a critical and clinical depiction of those mad narrators who destabilize the link between reality and representation. Obvious examples can be found in Beckett's narratives, which almost always bear the mark of madness, but they are also present in novels such as The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs or One Flew over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. In this context, the link between the narrator's madness and literary genre can also be explored; the Fantastic and the Gothic seem to be two particularly popular "literary asylums". Such texts form a contrast with those where madness is only suspected, occurring as a possibility within the text, worming its way in and creating an intimate crack within a seemingly sane discourse: The Island of Dr Moreau, for example, presents the reader with a witness-narrator, Prendick, who is supposed to be telling the objective story of a mad scientist, but it seems probable that the character's madness is there as a screen to hide another more surreptitious and dissident instance of madness - that of the narrator himself. Numerous texts can thus be read in two ways, with either a "trusting" or a "suspicious" approach: in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Edgar Allan Poe's « The Tell-Tale Heart » or Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, the veiled hint of an unrestrained madness, that cannot be readily assessed or contained, compels the reader to account for his own interpretations and for what he projects onto the text. Over the years, the critical reactions to these works have been varied, and often conflicting, and a diachronic study of these divergent readings would be fruitful.

However madness can also stem from an intradiegetic narrator: and in this case it would be interesting to examine how and why madness can undermine the premises of the master narrative, by analysing the nature and the range of the discrepancies which are created when the mad narrator is confined within the dominant apparatus, but voices a minority counter-narrative; examples are Mr. Dick in David Coperfield or Euchrid in And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave. Finally, it is worth considering whether madness can take over the narrating voice in third-person narratives and if so, what the resulting textual effects are, and the range of the epistemological disruptions which this generates.

Papers dealing with films are also welcome. The prototype of the figure of the "mad narrator" is to be found in The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (Wiene, 1919), where the narrator's insanity invades and distorts the profilmic space-a later example is The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976). Following the conceptual framework established by François Jost and André Gaudreault, discussions might tackle the difference between showing and telling in film, as well as the different levels of narration, from embedded narrators to the "mega-narrator" or "grand imagier" whose presence is often perceptible only through formal deviations from the norm of "conventional" story-telling; such deviations can sometimes be interpreted as symptoms of insanity, undermining the continuity of the narration and, as a result, the stability of the represented world. Speakers may also like to consider whether the expression of narrative madness is exclusively linked to the use of specific stylistic devices (ocularisation, voice-overs, flashbacks), by looking at such films as The Curse of Frankenstein (Terence Fisher, 1957), Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964), or Sisters (Brian De Palma, 1973). Certain genres (the thriller, the horror movie) are, perhaps, more likely to contain mad narrators and, consequently, to develop formal experimentation as a means of representing insanity. Guy Maddin's films (Brand Upon the Brain, 2006) seem to support such a view, but other examples can be found in Victor Ferenz's analyses of films like Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000), Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) or American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000).

Papers will deal with English-language literature, comparative literature and English-language films.
300-word abstracts, in French or in English, should be sent, together with a brief CV, to by March 31st 2012.

The scientific committee is composed of Romain Girard, Nathalie Jaëck, Clara Mallier, and Arnaud Schmitt.


Reproduced with permission from the European Association of American Studies.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

American Secrets: The Politics and Poetics of Secrecy in the Literature and Culture of the United States.

Edited by José Liste-Noya and Eduardo Barros-Grela

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

Predicated upon the principles of political freedom, cultural openness, religious tolerance, individual self-reliance, and ethnic diversity, the United States of America has been tempted recurrently by the lures of the secret. American Secrets explores this political, historical, and cultural phenomenon from many, often surprisingly, overlapping angles in these analyses of the literary and cultural uses and abuses of secrecy within a democratic culture. Through analyses of diverse literary works and cultural manifestations-from Mark Twain's anti-imperialist prophecies to 9/11 conspiracy theories, from the traumas of the Vietnam war to the homophobia of the American military establishment, from the unresolved dilemmas of nuclear politics to the secret ecologies shunted aside by the exploitation of the environment, from the questionings of national identity on the ethnic and (trans)sexual margins to the confessional modes of poetry and the poetics of the unspeakable and unrepresentable-these essays reveal the politics within the poetics and, indissociably, the poetics fueling the politics of secrecy in its ambivalent deployment.

Secrecy often seems to be a question without an answer or an answer that either seems to beg the question or to be a question itself. These essays address this paradox with their own questioning explorations. In answering such questions, the volume as a whole provides an illuminating overview of the pervasiveness of the secret and its modalities in American culture while also dealing specifically with the poetics of the secret in its various, historically recurrent literary manifestations.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: America the Secret
  • Secret Nation / Nation of Secrets
  • "None but the Dead Are Permitted to Tell the Truth": Mark Twain's Missives to the Future
    Shelley Fisher Fishkin
  • The Ultimate Secrecy: Feminist Readings of Masculine Trauma in Vietnam War Literature
    Carmen Méndez García
  • (Don't) Trust the U.S. Government: Paul Greengrass' United 93 and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
    Esther Pérez Villalba
  • The Desert as a National Sacrifice Zone: The Nuclear Controversy in Nevada Fiction
    David Río
  • Hidden Truths and Open Lies: The Performance of U.S. History and Mythography in Tony Kushner's Angels in America and its Film Adaptation
    Boris Vejdovsky
  • Dirty Laundry on the Line: Staging the Nation in Contemporary U.S. Drama and Performance
    Robert Vorlicky
  • Secret Selves
  • Lolita, the Secret of/in Lolita: "Poerotics" of Secrecy
    Marie C. Bouchet
  • American Secrets on the Road towards the West
    Carmen Induráin Eraso
  • Family Secrets: Carving Identity out of Silence in Borderlands/La Frontera.
    Inmaculada Lara Bonilla
  • The Black Sheep I Am: Anne Sexton, Madness, and the Performance of Confession
    Steve Schessler
  • Dickinson, Doubt, and the Skeptical Argument: Notes for a Defense of the Unspoken
    Paul Scott Derrick
  • Enabling Secrecy: Hermeneutics, the Lyric, and Dickinson's Poem 340
    Jefferey Simons
  • (The) Other('s) Secrets
  • Whispers in the Wind, Visions in the Fog: Nature's Secrets in Linda Hogan's Novels
    Carmen Flys Junquera
  • Blood on the Tire Iron: Battle on Secret Ideological Frontiers in Brokeback Mountain
    Christian Hummelsund Voie
  • Secret Links in Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker: Reflections on Another Composite Novel by an Ethnic Writer
    Aitor Ibarrola-Armendariz
  • AIDS-The Disease With No Name?: Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother (1997)
    María Frías
  • Notes
  • Bibliography

About the Editors:

Eduardo Barros is postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of English at Universidade da Coruña, Spain.

José Liste Noya teaches American literature at the Universidade da Coruña in northwestern Spain.


Reproduced with permission from the European Association of American Studies.

Susan Fenimore Cooper Scholarship 2012

Call for the Susan Fenimore Cooper Scholarship 2012

Instituto Franklin – UAH calls for the first edition of the Susan Fenimore Cooper Scholarship, devoted to pre- or recent post doctorate (max. 8 years) researchers interested in studying any aspect related to Ecocriticism in the US.

Aside from being endowed with
1,600 for room and board, material, etc., Instituto Franklin provides an adequate space in its building to be used during 15 days of July or the first two weeks of September 2012.

The application period ends on March 21st, 2012. A Commission designated by Instituto Franklin - UAH will study the proposals and evaluate them. The name of the recipient will be announced in the Institute’s web page.

For further information please contact Carmen Flys at
carmen.flys [at] or click here.


Reproduced with permission from the European Association of American Studies.

Journal of Transnational American Studies: "Circa 1898: Overseas Empire and Transnational American Studies"

The Editors of the Journal of Transnational American Studies, a peer-reviewed online, open-access journal published by the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center at the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Program in American Studies at Stanford University, are pleased to announce the publication of the journal's latest issue as we move to a biannual publication schedule.

JTAS 3.2 may be accessed without charge at

This issue features our first Special Forum entitled "Circa 1898: Overseas Empire and Transnational American Studies," guest-edited by Hsuan L. Hsu (University of California, Davis, USA). As the newest section of the journal, Special Forums are collections of critical responses to US transnational subjects, guest-edited by American Studies scholars and vetted by the editorial board.

JTAS 3.2 contains contributions from scholars based all around the globe with article topics as varied as Cecil B. DeMille's film The Cheat and Eastern European adoption. Other topics range from an examination of Hannah Arendt's transnationality to an ambitious call for "Deep Maps" in American Studies, from an analysis of the turn-of-the-century publication Colored American Magazine to a transnational reading of John Updike's 2006 novel Terrorist.

The journal also contains excerpts from newly published books in transnational American studies (in the Forward section), and select re-publication of significant contributions to the field (in the Reprise section).

JTAS welcomes submissions of articles and proposals for special forums.

Please consult the Call for Papers section of our website for details.

Eric L. Martinsen
Managing Editor
Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS)


Journal of Transnational American Studies Vol 3, No 2 (2011) Table of Contents

Editor's Note

The Shape of Transnational American Studies: Good and Excellent News
Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Special Forum

Circa 1898: Overseas Empire and Transnational American Studies
Hsuan L. Hsu

Staging Unincorporated Power: Richard Harding Davis and the Critique of Imperial News

Nirmal Trivedi

Discontiguous States of America: The Paradox of Unincorporation in Craig Santos Perez's Poetics of Chamorro Guam

Paul Lai

" from achiote"; " from tidelands"; " from The Micronesian Kingfishers"

Craig Santos Perez

Empire's Mastheads: Rewriting the "Correspondents' War" from the Edge of Empire

James Berkey

Racial Geographies, Imperial Transitions: Property Ownership and Race Relations in Cienfuegos, Cuba, 1894-1899

Bonnie Lucero

Obtaining "Sympathetic Understanding": Gender, Empire, and Representation in the Travel Writings of American Officials' Wives,

Cecilia Samonte

A New Factor in American Destiny : Visions of Porfirio Díaz and the Politics of "Logical Paternalism"

Jason Ruiz

Colonial Photography Across Empires and Islands

Mark Rice

"The future holds more than the past has yielded": T. S. Eliot's Invention of Tradition and the St. Louis Exposition of 1904

Paul Stasi

Post-1898 Imaginative Geographies: Puerto Rico Migration in 1950s Film

Cynthia Tolentino

Being Blue in Hawai'i: Politics, Affect, and the Last Queen of Hawai'i

Bruce Harvey

Confirmed: Sonia Sotomayor and Latino Political Incorporation

Frances Negrón-Muntaner


Forward Editor's Note
Greg Robinson

Excerpt from Dead Stars: American and Philippine Literary Perspectives on the American Colonization of the Philippines

Jennifer M. McMahon

Excerpt from Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific

Setsu Shigematsu, Keith L. Camacho

Excerpt from Pluralist Universalism: An Asian Americanist Critique of U.S.

and Chinese Multiculturalisms
Wen Jin

Excerpt from Triangulations: Narrative Strategies for Navigating Latino Identity

David J. Vázquez

Excerpt from Subverting Exclusion: Transpacific Encounters with Race, Caste, and Borders, 1885-1928

Andrea Geiger

The Several Lives of Joan the Spinner

Brendan Shanahan


Cultural Nationalism, Orientalism, Imperial Ambivalence: The Colored American Magazine and Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins
Yu-Fang Cho

Threatening "the Good Order": West Meets East in Cecil B. DeMille's The Cheat and John Updike's Terrorist

Bradley M. Freeman

"All for the sake of Freedom": Hannah Arendt's Democratic Dissent, Trauma, and American Citizenship

Frank Mehring

Neoliberalism, Global "Whiteness," and the Desire for Adoptive Invisibility in US Parental Memoirs of Eastern European Adoption

Claudia Sadowski-Smith

"Deep Maps": A Brief for D igital P alimpsest M apping P rojects (DPMPs, or "Deep Maps")

Shelley Fisher Fishkin

The Propositional Logic of Mapping Transnational American Studies-A Response to "'Deep Maps': A Brief for D igital P alimpsest M apping P rojects"

Karen Elizabeth Bishop


Reprise Editor's Note
Nina Morgan

Locas al Rescate: The Transnational Hauntings of Queer Cubanidad

Lázaro Lima

Performance and Politics in the Public Sphere

Pia Wiegmink

"A garden in the middle of the sea": Henry James's The Aspern Papers and Transnational American Studies

Nicole Waller

The Politics of Transnational Memory in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

Silvia Schultermandl


Reproduced with permission from the European Association of American Studies.