American Fictionary

American Fictionary

In the midst of the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s, Dubravka Ugresic--winner of the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature--was invited to Middletown, Connecticut as a guest lecturer. A world away from the brutal sieges of Sarajevo and the nationalist rhetoric of MiloÅ¡eviÄ++, she instead has to cope with everyday life in America, where she's assaulted by "strong personalities," the cult of the body, endless amounts of jogging and exercise, bagels, and an obsessionwith public confession. Organized as a fictional dictionary, these early essays of Ugresic's (revised and amended for this edition) allow us to see American culture through the eyes of a woman whose country is being destroyed by war, and forces us to see through the comforting veil of Western consumerism.

Kazaaam! Splat! Ploof!

The American Impact on European Popular Culture Since 1945

Kazaaam! Splat! Ploof!

Explores American influences not only on European television, fashions, fast food, and rock music, but also on youth organizations, literature, UFO culture, and religious faith.

Politics in Fantasy Media

Essays on Ideology and Gender in Fiction, Film, Television and Games

Politics in Fantasy Media

Fantasy is often condemned as escapist, unsophisticated and superficial. This collection of new essays puts such easy dismissals to the test by examining the ways in which Fantasy narratives present diverse, politically relevant discourses—gender, race, religion or consumerism—and thereby serve as indicators of their real-world contexts. Through their depiction of other worlds allegedly disconnected from our own, these texts are able to actualize political attitudes. Instead of categorizing Fantasy either as conservative or progressive, the essays suggest that its generic peculiarity allows the emergence of productive forms of oscillation between these extremes. Covered are J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire sequence, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, the vampire TV series True Blood, and the dystopian computer game Fallout 3.

A History of Central European Women's Writing

A History of Central European Women's Writing

A History of Central European Women's Writing offers a unique survey of literature from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. It introduces a little known area of European literature from a unique point of view, illustrating the development of women's writing in the region from the middle ages to the present day. If offers a broad historical survey, placing individual writers in their social and political context and showing how processes shaping their lives are reflected in their works.

Religion in African-American Culture

Religion in African-American Culture

This volume focuses on the multi-faceted significance of religion in African-American literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The series of essays addresses religion as part of the self-empowerment of African-American women as itinerant preachers, the curious intermingling of Catholicism and Voodoo in Louisiana Creole culture, the representation of Obeah women, and the tradition of the folk sermon in James Weldon Johnson. The Harlem Renaissance provides the backdrop for the discussion of Afro-Modernism and religion in Claude McKay's and Jean Toomer's works, for the analysis of African-American folk plays by Richard Bruce and Georgia Douglas Johnson, and a comparison of Nella Larsen's and Ralph Ellison's critical views of religion as well as an illustration of the connections between spiritual search and the blues in Ellison's works. Discussions of the contemporary scene include the poetry of Robert Hayden, twentieth-century African-American intellectuals' views on religion and history and the acceptance of the Nation of Islam as an American religion.

Europe and America

Cultures in Translation

Europe and America

This volume grew out of the conference "Europe and America: cultures in translation," held in Tutzing, Bavaria, October 2005.