Faculty Bookshelf

English Faculty Publications

Listed by Publication Date

Michael Denning
January 2011
The Cultural Front charts the extraordinary upsurge of cultural activity and theory in America that began during the Great Depression and embraced Disney animators and proletarian novelists alike, alongside Orson Welles, Duke Ellington, John Dos Passos, C. L. R James and Billie Holiday. Spawned by...
J.D. McClatchy
December 2010
A landmark event in the world of music, Mozart’s seven major librettos have finally been translated in verse with a sparkling poetic quality that matches the magnificence of the originals. Beginning this epic endeavor with his translation of The Magic Flute, first introduced at the...
Elizabeth Alexander
September 2010
Starred Review. Alexander is now widely known as the poet who read her “Praise Song for the Day” at President Obama’s inauguration, but as this first retrospective volume attests, that poem was preceded by a substantial and varied body of work composed over the past 20 years. Alexander...
Cynthia Zarin
September 2010
These electric poems are set in a Nabokovian landscape of memory in which real places, people, and things—the exploration of the Hudson River, Edwardian London, sunflowers, Chekhov, Harlem, decks of cards, the death of Solzhenitsyn, morpho butterflies—collide with the speaker’s own protean tale of...
Jonathan Kramnick
August 2010
How do minds cause events in the world? How does wanting to write a letter cause a person’s hands to move across the page, or believing something to be true cause a person to make a promise? In Actions and Objects, Jonathan Kramnick examines the literature and philosophy of action during the...
Amy Hungerford
July 2010
How can intense religious beliefs coexist with pluralism in America today? Examining the role of the religious imagination in contemporary religious practice and in some of the best-known works of American literature from the past fifty years, Postmodern Belief shows how belief for its own sake...
Robert Stepto
May 2010
In this series of interlocking essays, which had their start as lectures inspired by the presidency of Barack Obama, Robert Burns Stepto sets canonical works of African American literature in conversation with Obama’s Dreams from My Father. The elegant readings that result shed surprising...
Dormia book cover
Jake Halpern
May 2010
Introducing Alfonso Perplexon, hero of the epic fantasy tale Dormia! Alfonso Perplexon is an unusual sleeper. He climbs trees, raises falcons, even shoots deadly accurate arrows, all in his sleep. No one can figure out why. Then one evening a man arrives at Alfonso’s door, claiming to be Alfonso’s...
Claude Rawson
May 2010
Jonathan Swift was the most influential political commentator of his time, in both England and Ireland. His writings are a major source for historians of the eighteenth century, as well as including some of the greatest works of satire in verse and prose. This volume presents wide-ranging new...
John Crowley
May 2010
In the early years of the 1940s, as the nation’s young men ship off to combat, a city springs up, seemingly overnight in the fields of Oklahoma: the Van Damme airplane factory, a gargantuan complex dedicated to the construction of the necessary machinery of warfare. Laborers—mostly women—...
Michael Warner, Editor
March 2010
“What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age?” This apparently simple question opens into the massive, provocative, and complex A Secular Age, where Charles Taylor positions secularism as a defining feature of the modern world, not the mere absence of religion, and casts light on the...
Pericles Lewis
February 2010
The modernist period witnessed attempts to explain religious experience in non-religious terms. Such novelists as Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Franz Kafka found methods to describe through fiction the sorts of experiences that had traditionally been the domain...
Brian Walsh
December 2009
The Elizabethan history play was one of the most prevalent dramatic genres of the 1590s, and so was a major contribution to Elizabethan historical culture. The genre has been well served by critical studies that emphasize politics and ideology; however, there has been less interest in the way...
Ardis Butterfield
December 2009
The Familiar Enemy re-examines the linguistic, literary, and cultural identities of England and France within the context of the Hundred Years War. During this war, two profoundly intertwined peoples developed complex strategies for expressing their aggressively intimate relationship. This special...
Annabel Patterson
November 2009
Milton’s Words approaches John Milton in both an old and a new way, focusing on his genius with words: keywords - the keys to a text or a theory; words of sexual avoidance and distress; words of abuse; words of privilege because ‘Scripture’; big learned words; and cunning little words, easily...
Marie Borroff
November 2009
This long-awaited Norton Critical Edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight includes Marie Borroff’s celebrated, newly revised verse translation with supporting materials not to be found in any other single volume. The text is accompanied by a detailed introduction, an essay on the metrical form,...
Lee Patterson
October 2009
This volume brings together Lee Patterson’s essays published in various venues over the past twenty-seven years. As he observes in his preface, ‘The one persistent recognition that emerged from writing these otherwise quite disparate essays is that whatever the text…and whoever the...
Stefanie Markovits
October 2009
The Crimean War (1854-1856) was the first to be fought in the era of modern communications, and it had a profound influence on British literary culture, bringing about significant shifts in perceptions of heroism and national identity. Stefanie Markovits explores how mid-Victorian writers and...
Joseph Roach, Editor
September 2009
The new field of theatre studies changed rapidly in the post-World War II, post-Sputnik expansion of higher education, driven by the expressive urgencies of the baby boom and the ferment of the revolutionary 1960s. Internationally focused, communicatively multilingual, and culturally provocative,...
Louise Glück
September 2009
A Village Life, Louise Glück’s eleventh collection of poems, begins in the topography of a village, a Mediterranean world of no definite moment or place: All the roads in the village unite at the fountain. Avenue of Liberty, Avenue of the Acacia Trees— The fountain rises at the center of the...
Caleb Smith
September 2009
How did a nation so famously associated with freedom become internationally identified with imprisonment? After the scandals of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and in the midst of a dramatically escalating prison population, the question is particularly urgent. In this timely, provocative study,...
Caryl Phillips
September 2009
Keith—born in the 1960s to immigrant West Indian parents, raised primarily by his white stepmother—is in his forties, a social worker heading a Race Equality unit in London whose life has come undone: separated from his wife of twenty years (her family “let her go” for marrying a black man); kept...
Ruth Yeazell, Editor
August 2009
Maggie Verver, a young American heiress, and her widowed father Adam, a billionaire collector of objects d’art, lead a life of wealth and refinement in London.  They are both getting married: Maggie to Prince Amerigo, an impoverished Italian aristocrat, and Adam to the beautiful but penniless...
Carl Zimmer
July 2009
A Best Book of the YearSeed Magazine • Granta Magazine • The Plain-Dealer In this fascinating and utterly engaging book, Carl Zimmer traces E. coli’s pivotal role in the history of biology, from the discovery of DNA to the latest advances in biotechnology. He reveals the many surprising and...
Linda Peterson
July 2009
Becoming a Woman of Letters examines the various ways women writers negotiated the market realities of authorship, including the myths and models that women constructed to elevate their place in the profession.  Some, like Harriet Martineau, adopted the practices of her male counterparts and...
Marc Robinson
May 2009
In this new study, Marc Robinson explores more than two hundred years of plays, styles, and stagings of American theater. Mapping the changing cultural landscape from the late eighteenth century to the start of the twenty-first, he explores how theater has—and has not—changed and offers close...
Shane Vogel
April 2009
Harlem’s nightclubs in the 1920s and ’30s were a crucible for testing society’s racial and sexual limits. Normally tacit divisions were there made spectacularly public in the vibrant, but often fraught, relationship between performer and audience. The cabaret scene, Shane Vogel contends, also...
Donald Margulies
April 2009
“A deft literate narrative folded into a vaudevillian romp.”—Los Angeles Times Donald Margulies aims to invigorate the imagination of theatergoers with a story about the nature of storytelling. Based on a Victorian hoaxer’s tale of being a castaway in the South Pacific—complete with buried treasure...
Claude Rawson, Editor
February 2009
This Norton Critical Edition is the only one-volume edition that presents the full range of Swift’s writing, including not only the major literary prose works—Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal, and A Tale of the Tub—but also substantial poetic and political writings. The texts are...
Amity Gaige
February 2009
When Charlie Shade and Alice Bussard find each other, neither is prepared for the powerful, aching feeling of love that unites them. After falling for the cheerful and empathetic young man, Alice asks God: “Please, leave us alone. Leave us just like this.” But as their relationship evolves, and...
Fred Strebeigh
February 2009
The dramatic, untold story of how women battled blatant inequities in America’s legal system. As late as 1967, men outnumbered women twenty to one in American law schools. With the loss of deferments from Vietnam, law schools admitted women to avoid plummeting enrollments. As women entered,...
Elizabeth Alexander
January 2009
Praise Song for the Day was commissioned for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. These inspiring words by award-winning poet Elizabeth Alexander celebrate all that has made America what it is today and challenge us—as individuals, as communities, as a nation—to continue working toward the...
Katie Trumpener
January 2009
While poetry has been the genre most closely associated with the Romantic period, the novel of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has attracted many more readers and students in recent years. Its canon has been widened to include less well known authors alongside Jane Austen, Walter...
Susan Choi
January 2009
Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents.  Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee’s detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national...
Feisal Mohamed
December 2008
In the Anteroom of Divinity focuses on the persistence of Pseudo-Dionysian angelology in England’s early modern period. Beginning with a discussion of John Colet’s commentary on Dionysisus’ twin hierarchies, Feisal G. Mohamed explores the significance of the Dionysian tradition to the...
Wai Chee Dimock
November 2008
What we call American literature is quite often a shorthand, a simplified name for an extended tangle of relations.” This is the argument of Through Other Continents, Wai Chee Dimock’s sustained effort to read American literature as a subset of world literature. Inspired by an unorthodox...
Annabel Patterson
October 2008
Charles II’s first and most important parliament sat for eighteen years without a general election, earning itself the sobriquet “Long.” In 1661 this parliament began in eager compliance with the new king. Gradually disillusioned by Charles’s maneuvers, however, its members came to demand more...
Alexander Welsh
July 2008
What is honor? Has its meaning changed since ancient times? Is it an outmoded notion? Does it still have the power to direct our behavior? In this provocative book Alexander Welsh considers the history and meaning of honor and dismisses the idea that we live in a post-honor culture. He notes...
Elizabeth Alexander
June 2008
Poetry. “When Alexander and Stefanon scrutinize the variegated surfaces of Romare Bearden’s art, the intensity of their gazes gives way to speech. In the blues of ‘Reclining Nude,’ Stefanon’s speaker discovers ‘I could hear / her holding / her breath.’ Alexander finds images that...
Jonathan Kramnick
June 2008
Jonathan Brody Kramnick’s book examines the formation of the English canon over the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century. Kramnick details how the idea of literary tradition emerged out of a prolonged engagement with the institutions of cultural modernity, from the public sphere and...
Derek Green
June 2008
In this wide-ranging collection of stories, Derek Green takes readers on a tour of the world as America’s military-industrial complex reels into a new century. Written with grace, masterful precision and brutal honesty, New World Order shows us characters stripped of the familiar and forced to face...
Paul Fry
June 2008
In this original book, distinguished literary scholar and critic Paul H. Fry sharply revises accepted views of Wordsworth’s motives and messages as a poet. Where others have oriented Wordsworth toward ideas of transcendence, nature worship, or—more recently—political repression, Fry redirects...
Anne Fadiman
May 2008
In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay–a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has...
Richard Deming
January 2008
In Listening on All Sides, Richard Deming finds an intersection of literature and philosophy in the poetics of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathanial Hawthorne, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams that offers aesthetic models for the construction of community. Building on the work...
Richard Deming
January 2008
Poetry. In LET’S NOT CALL IT CONSEQUENCE, Richard Deming’s first full-length collection of poems, the poet brings together abstraction and precise images to explore the intensities and reversals of lyric thinking, that “infinitely stuttering thing.” These poems searchingly engage the...
Ruth Bernard Yeazell
November 2007
In this beautifully illustrated and elegantly written book, Ruth Yeazell explores the nineteenth century’s fascination with Dutch painting, as well as its doubts about an art that had long challenged traditional values. After showing how persistent tensions between high theory and low...
Edward Ball
November 2007
The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer’s investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family’s origins. Edward Ball turns his gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome—that of his slave-holding ancestors. In 2000, Ball bought a house in Charleston,...
Alastair Minnis
November 2007
Can an outrageously immoral man or a scandalous woman teach morality or lead people to virtue? Does personal fallibility devalue one’s words and deeds? Is it possible to separate the private from the public, to segregate individual failing from official function? Chaucer addressed these...
Jessica Brantley
October 2007
Just as twenty-first-century technologies like blogs and wikis have transformed the once private act of reading into a public enterprise, devotional reading experiences in the Middle Ages were dependent upon an oscillation between the solitary and the communal. In Reading in the Wilderness,...
Caryl Phillips
October 2007
A powerful and affecting new book from Caryl Phillips: a brilliant hybrid of reportage, fiction, and historical fact that tells the stories of three black men whose lives speak resoundingly to the place and role of the foreigner in English society. Francis Barber, “given” to the great...