Category Archives: Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography: Temporality in Postcolonial States

By: Chelsea Wall

I wanted to use this opportunity to gather some sources regarding the reconciliation (or lack thereof) of the dueling temporalities inherent in postcolonial spaces between the encroachment of modernity and its negative effects on postcolonial communities and the lure of reconnecting with a tradition and culture present before the colonial encounter.

Amor, Monicia, Okwui Enwezor, Gao Minglu, Oscar Ho, Kobena Mercer, and Init Rogoff. “Liminalities: Discussions on the Global and the Local.” Art Journal (57.4) 29-49. Web. 30 Oct. 2014.

This article is a series of essays that discuss various issues of artists working in Latin America, Africa, and China. I am particularly interested in Okwui Enwezor’s essay, “Between Localism and Worldliness,” which examines the affect of diaspora and migration on the identity of African artists and intellectuals attempting to negotiate the temporalities of the Western world and cyberspace with maintaining a connection with the home space. He uses internal migration patterns to illustrate how new temporalities within one’s own home country and culture can render citizens alienated and distant from its social procedures and concludes that the liminality of diaspora can be “seen as potential subversions of nationality – ways of sustaining connections with more than one place while practicing nonabsolutist forms of citizenship.”

Dasgupta, Rana. Capital: The Eruption of Delhi. New York: Penguin Press HC, 2014. Print.

Dasgupta’s novelistic portrait of Delhi as a booming metropolis puts into perspective the myriad of ways in which multiple temporalities can operate and conflict within one city. Between interviews with the corrupt mega-rich of the business sector and tours of the internal squalor of the city of itself, it becomes evident that more than half of the city, living in slums and sleeping on the medians of the streets, is operating on a temporality which capitalism has yet to infiltrate with which the ultra-rich are unable or unwilling to acknowledge or engage with.

Harvey, David. Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Harvey, whom I didn’t know was actually a faculty member here, analyzes the contradictions of capital and their wider social implications in fostering a world divided by social injustices. He divides the contradictions into “foundational,” “moving,” and “dangerous” with foundational crises being inherently built into the system of capitalism and unavoidable in any of its incarnations, moving crises being constantly changing, some of which build over time and become a form of slow violence in themselves, and dangerous crises (one of which includes capitalism’s relationship to nature and another being universal alienation) being those that pose a danger to the system of capitalism. I felt this source could provide beneficial background and another angle through which I could approach temporality in postcolonial spaces.

McLeod, John. “‘Wheel and Come Again: Transnational Aesthetics Beyond the Postcolonial.” Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies 7.2 (2001): 85-99.

McLeod draws attention to the problematic methodologies of postcolonialism and its tendency to become an overarching concept that lacks a grasp of the nuances of locality and an insensitivity to forms of colonialism that differ over time and space and which limit it in reading the complexities and politics of culture in former colonies. He offers transnationalism as a solution due to its insistence on the relationship between new forms of identity and economic networks of cultural production and suggests that the liminal positioning of transnational communities provide a space in which radical critique and social change can take place.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. Print.

Nixon’s book Slow Violence gives an outline of some of the dueling temporalities faced by the advent of capitalism and toxic industry outsourcing to the underdeveloped world. He argues that we, in the Western world, conceive of violence as a singular, spectacular event and neglect to conceptualize the lingering, more insidious effects of violence that wreak havoc on native communities with economic ties to the land. His theory of slow violence is helpful in framing the nature of the temporalities at work in the postcolonial state. Furthermore, I am interested in his conception of “writer-activists” as liminal states in that they provide a strong linkage to underdeveloped countries while operating within the Western world, thereby balancing the two temporalities and attempting to unite them.

Varma, Rashmi. “UnCivil Lines: Engendering Citizenship in the Postcolonial City.” NWSA Journal 10.2 (1998): 32-55.

Varma takes a feminist approach to the problem of creating identity in the postcolonial state, arguing that decolonization projects were intimately tied to conceptions of masculinity that problematized the urban woman, noting that representations of the alienated postcolonial intellectual torn between dueling temporalities have been male in origin, with the voice of the middle-class urban India woman being conspicuously silenced.

Burton, Stacy. “Bakhtin, Temporality, and Modern Narrative: Writing ‘the Whole Triumphant Murderous Unstoppable Chute.” Comparative Literature 48.1 (1996): 39-64. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

This article engages with the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Frederic Jameson to identify the ways in which our unconscious grappling with space and time intimately affect narrative form, noting that it is often the struggle with “multiple, interrelated senses of time” that animates or drives a narrative (46). Though she focuses primarily on a Bakhtinian reading of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, which is not typically considered a postcolonial novel, her rendering of the way that the characters negotiate temporal disjunctions and become limited in their efforts to narrate history, especially her treatment of Benjy as a character who is “extratemporal” are still salient to the exploration of dueling temporalities within modernity, as well as within narrative forms themselves. She ends with a nod towards postcolonial literature, suggesting that a Bakhtinian notion of “chronotopes” becomes vastly helpful in critiquing the ideology of imperialism in postcolonialism.

Sorensen, Eli Park. “Naturalism and Temporality in Ousmane Sembene’s Xala.” Research in African Literatures 41.2 (2010): 222-243. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

In this piece, Sorensen explores the temporal flow of the novel Xala, a tale of the obstacles placed in the path towards Senegal’s emergence as an independent national identity. The novel draws on Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth in order to exemplify that a nation in the hands of a colonized bourgeoisie made of “mimic men” that simply occupy the channels left empty by the colonizing power is destined for neocolonial exploitation. He explores the multiple ways in which this bourgeoisie, embodied in the figure of El Hadji, must actively forge a present in which the deeds and environment of the past is forgotten or deliberately ignored, rendering them actors in an imaginary and wholly impotent world. Furthermore, El Hadji is cursed with a gala, a curse that renders him literally impotent, and therefore must travel to villages on the margins of his bourgeoise community, villages that exist upon a temporality that he has turned his back on and repressed to exist in the postcolonial world, and is unable to reconcile himself to. Through the notion of the xala, which operates across the disjunctive temporal spaces, the two worlds are able to be united, though it is in a negative sense. This piece serves to illustrate the dangers of refusing to negotiate the dueling temporalities of the modern postcolonial state.

Roy, Arundhati. Capitalism: A Ghost Story. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2014. Print.

This collection of essays by writer-activist Roy outlines the rampant chaos wrought by the underclass and natural resources of India by modern techno-capitalism. She investigates how capitalism has reinforced the caste system as well as gender, race, religious, and ethnic conflicts in addition to creating the demand to clear vast swaths of lands of people and resources to make way for zones of business activity. She also implicates NGOs and international foundations in making economic might politically and culturally legitimate. This is another source that outlines the ways in which global capitalism makes the divide between temporalities in postcolonial spaces ever more sharp and detrimental to the masses.

Bhambra, Gurminder K. Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2007. Print.

Bhambra uses a postcolonial approach to deconstruct and reconstruct our understanding of modernity, cautioning that the way in which we understand the past has implications for social theories developed today. She acknowledges that implicit in postcolonial theory is the continued privileging of the Western world and seeks to remedy the assumptions of linearity in modernity theory by constructing a comparison of “multiple modernities.” Understanding these multiple modernities and the way they interact is fundamental to understanding the development of multiple temporalities within the same geographical space.

Annotated Bibliography: Approaches to Trance and Altered Consciousness

By: Kate Eickmeyer

The following are some articles I looked at over the weekend while considering whether to develop one of my old papers into an abstract for the upcoming GC ESA conference on trance. These sources vary in topic as a result of considering a few different papers; they are loosely connected in terms of trance, altered consciousness, and the spiritual/”oceanic” vs. the psychoanalytic/rational as states of trance. I’ve essentially treated this as a list for my own reference for future projects, so apologies for some utilitarian shorthand and the wide scope.

Bloom, Harold, Ed. Romanticism and Consciousness: Essays in Criticism. New York: Norton, 1970. Perhaps a bit of an old saw, but always good to revisit, this text is a classic collection of essays on consciousness amongst the romantics and has insights into any angle on the subject. Geoffrey Hartman’s essay, “Romanticism and ‘Anti-Self-Consciousness,’” is an especially useful discussion of subjective states of consciousness and their alteration in the context of the sublime. Hartman’s essay and others in the book are relevant to development of an existing paper on trance states in Wordsworth’s The Prelude (one of the candidates for an abstract).

Deleuze, Gilles. “Bartleby, Or, The Formula.” Essays Critical and Clinical. Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 1997. 68-90. This is Gilles Deleuze’s evidently famous essay on “Bartleby,” although I overlooked it when I wrote a seminar paper on Sartre and corporate professional culture with reference to “Bartleby” several years ago. Deleuze’s reading of Bartleby’s apparent madness as a haze of private, individual logic (or, I would say, trance) and his characterization of Bartleby and Ahab as beings of “Primary Nature” are interesting, although I question some of his conclusions. Clearly worth another look.

Epstein, Mark. “On the Seashore of Endless Worlds: Transitional Experience and the Sense of Identity.” The Middle Way 88.1 (2013) 7-23. Epstein is a psychotherapist and something of a popular writer on Buddhism. I’ve come across some interesting contemporary articles on Buddhism and this one deals directly with Freud’s “oceanic,” so it brings perspective to bear on a paper I wrote on Freud’s “oceanic feeling” and the altered states of consciousness produced by the liminal moments of death and dying in King Lear and Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. Epstein offers a lucid comparison of Freudian and Buddhist conceptions of the ego and states of consciousness and then turns his discussion to British psychotherapist D.W. Winnicott’s work on object relations. While perhaps not the most traditional academic work, Epstein’s piece is full of interesting ideas about liminal states of consciousness (a.k.a. trance) and ways to approach Freud and Buddhism in a critical way. The article also might be food for thought concerning a paper I’m incubating on the intersections of Buddhism and Romance in Enlightenment utopian fiction.

Harper, Margaret Mills. “Nemo: George Yeats and her Automatic Script.” New Literary History 33.2 (2002): 291-314. Having done work on the concept of “irreducibility” in Yeats, no exploration of literature and trance would be complete without some attention to George and W.B. Yeats and automatic writing. While Harper’s article alone doesn’t resolve the question of whether the scholarly earth has been scorched already on this subject, it does contain some good analysis of George’s experiments with automatic writing and the requisite state of altered consciousness. Harper’s article also includes some interesting coverage of George’s relationship to W.B. and the Order of the Golden Dawn.

Obeyeskere, Gananath. The Awakened Ones: Phenomenology of Visionary Experience. New York: Columbia UP, 2012. Vast and fascinating survey of eastern and western approaches to consciousness with many insights into trance, including dreaming, visions, memory, and liminality associated with death and dying. Obeyeskere’s breadth is wide enough to cover a lot of bases, including all of those relevant to my projects: Yeats and Madame Blavatsky, Blake and the Romantic Poets, Freud, Jung, Nietzche and post-Enlightenment European interpretations of Buddhism. All the classic trance-related phenomenology under the sun, or so it seems.

Sapienza, Claudio. “Il sentimento oceanico e il Sé Cosmico nella creazione artistica contemporanea.” PsicoArt: Rivista on line di Arte e Psicologia 3.3 (2013): 1-25. Sapienza’s article discusses Freud’s “oceanic feeling” in the context of contemporary art. Invoking Schiller and a number of other metaphysical thinkers, Sapienza investigates the direct engagement of nature to produce an aesthetic of the “oceanic” in the works of Graham Metson, Ana Mendieta, Giuseppe Penone and James Turrell, among others. Sapienza covers traditional works concerning nature and the universal in the gallery context as well as earthworks and land art such as Stonehenge, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. The aesthetics of the “oceanic feeling” is another interesting angle on trance, and this article will also be useful for another nascent project on place-based art forms.

Simmons, Janette. “The Oceanic Feeling and a Sea Change: Historical Challenges to Reductionist Attitudes to Religion and Spirit From Within Psychoanalysis.” Psychoanalytic Psychology 23.1 (2006): 128-142. Simmons discusses Freud’s “oceanic” and everything the title so thoroughly describes. Her views on the historical relationship between spirituality and psychoanalysis also have implications for affect theory and audience reception to the legacies of the romantics and the enlightenment. Again, we have the intersection of subjective, first-person experience of consciousness, psychoanalysis, and spiritualism.

Smith, Dominic. “Beyond Bartleby and Bad Fatih: Thinking Critically with Sartre and Deleuze.” Deleuze Studies 7.1 (2013) 83-105. Smith provides an excellent history of the critical disputes over “Bartleby” and brings Deleuze’s article into conversation with Sartre’s ideas of bad faith and good faith from Being and Nothingness. Smith posits Bartleby’s behavior as bad faith and then suggests moving past that idea into Deleuze’s emphasis on the political implications of Bartleby’s actions. I have a number of concerns about Smith’s readings of both Sartre and Deleuze and would take a different approach to the subject, but this article makes for a good and recent reference point for the state of scholarship on “Bartleby.” Without getting into too much detail, I’d argue that Bartleby is in good faith (and awake), and the narrator is in bad faith (and in a trance), to again put it in terms of the ESA conference.

Vasquez Rocca, Adolfo. “Sartre: Teoría fenomenológica de las emociones. Existencialismo y conciencia posicional del mundo Nómadas.” Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas 36.4 (2013). Vasquez Rocca’s article about phenomenology, emotions, existentialism and the world’s postcolonial consciousness suggests political angles on altered consciousness.

Vidler, Anthony. “Bodies in space/subjects in the city: psychopathologies of modern urbanism.” Differences: A Jounal of Feminist Cultural Studies 5.3 (Fall 1993): 31. Vidler gives us another approach to Freud in terms of modern spaces, and a discussion linking the “oceanic” and existentialism in terms of the subject’s engagement with urban environments. Virginia Woolf is Vidler’s main literary reference point and his slant is feminist; trance states in Woolf’s work are indeed interesting.

Child Writers and Child Readers Up Close and Far Away: Distant and Close Readings of Late 19th Century Children’s Periodicals

By: Elissa Myers

Annotated Bibliography – Child Writers and Child Readers Up Close and Far Away: Distant and Close Readings of Children’s Periodicals of the Late 19th Century

I would like to investigate how children were empowered (or not) by the periodical literature they read in late-Victorian and early-Edwardian periodicals written for a child audience. I will pursue this question by ascertaining the extent to which children themselves contributed to these periodicals (through letter-box columns, letters to the editor, etc.), and by looking for other kinds of evidence (perhaps in periodicals, diaries, or juvenilia) suggesting that children used the works or conventions of authors published periodicals in imaginative ways (perhaps in their own writings, or home theatricals), rather than merely internalizing the sometimes didactic messages of these publications.

Though what I have said of the project so far seems to suggest close reading as a methodology, I think for the periodical part of this project, distant reading might allow me to make some generalizations about children’s periodicals that I could then use to extract a representative sample of journals to deal with. I think this would be particularly useful as periodical studies tend to be pretty anecdotal, because up until very recently there has been no useful way of making any generalizations about such a large, heterogeneous corpus, or of assuming one’s sample to be representative. Alternately, if I do choose to examine periodicals that stray from the norm, at least such a distant reading could provide me with the knowledge of whether or not these periodicals are normative, precluding an argument that takes several isolated examples to be true across the board.

Brake, Laurel. “Half Full and Half Empty” Journal of Victorian Culture 17.2 (June 2012): 222-229. EbscoHost. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Brake’s article details the hazards of working with digitized periodicals. Particularly interesting to me is the fact that only some periodicals have been digitized and that one’s experience of the periodicals is also affected by which periodicals are packaged together. Brake demonstrates that it is dangerous to make generalizations from these databases because they by no means necessarily represent meaningful samples of what was read by the Victorian public and often obscure the relationships between publications.

Brazeau, Alicia. “I must have my gossip with the young folks’: Letter Writing and Literacy in The Boys’ and Girls’ Magazine and Fireside Companion. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 38.2 (2013): 159-176. Project Muse. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Brazeau examines the “chats” taking the form of letters between editors and young readers and attempts to problematize assumptions about the lack of child agency in the nineteenth century in the vein of Marah Gubar. My project seeks to be part of this burgeoning tradition of problematization.

Gubar, Marah. Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.

Complicating the familiar narrative of nineteenth-century children’s books in which child agency is always stifled by adults who eroticize their supposed innocence, Gubar argues instead that children are in some sense co-creators of certain types of literature such as children’s theatre. Again, this book provides a theoretical framework for the type of analysis I want to do.

Gubar, Marah. “Risky Business: Talking about Children in Children’s Literature Criticism.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 38.4 (2013): 450-457. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Adapted from a talk Gubar gave at the Children’s Literature Association conference in 2013, this essay posits that scholars have overcorrected their assumptions about childhood in the wake of the publication of Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan, or the Impossibility of Childhood and Perry Nodelman’s The Hidden Adult. These books suggested that child agency has been stifled by adults’ desire to eroticize and romanticize children’s innocence, as well as adults’ tendency to make generalizations and assumptions about what children think or feel as a “group”—an idea that is to some extent true. However, Gubar believes the current alternative, which seems to be not discussing actual children in children’s literature studies at all– also marginalizes children. Gubar suggests that we as scholars begin to seriously and thoughtfully venture into the area of theorizing children’s experiences of and contributions to children’s literature. This article provides a more overt, manifesto-like statement of the theory underlying Gubar’s book.

Hobbs, Andrew. “Five Million Poems, or the Local Press as Poetry Publisher, 1800-1900.” Victorian Periodicals Review 45.4 (Winter 2012): 488-492. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Hobbs aims to foreground the local newspaper as a venue for poetry by examining the British Library’s digitized database of more one hundred local newspapers. This is one of the few examples of distant reading of periodicals I have found, which I will use to guide my own methodology of distant reading.

Houston, Natalie, Lindsy Lawrence, and April Patrick. “Teaching and Learning with the Victorian Periodical Poetry Index.” Victorian Periodicals Review 45.2 (Summer 2012): 224-227. Project Muse. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

The authors of this essay delineate the methodology and theory behind their production of the Periodical Poetry Index, as well as some of the possible uses of it. This project might provide me with a model for my own, as it strives to encourage by its project design distant reading with contextualized, sequential reading of entire periodical issues.

Hughes, Linda. “Media by Bakhtin/Bakhtin Mediated.” Victorian Periodicals Review 44.3 (2011): 293-297. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

In reaction to Dallas Liddle’s The Dynamics of Genre, Hughes establishes the need to read the journalistic, poetic, and fictional pieces in Victorian periodicals not only as exemplars of their respective genres, but also in the context of the periodicals in which they appear. Because Linda Hughes is such an important scholar in the field of periodical studies, I tend to read her hesitancy about distant reading as exemplary of a larger debate raging right now as to whether or not to read periodicals distantly.

Hughes, Linda. “SIDEWAYS!: Navigating the Material(ity) of Print Culture.” Victorian Periodicals Review 47.1 (Spring 2014): 1-30. Project Muse. Web.

In her article, Hughes argues that “the task of conceptualizing Victorian print culture and devising methods to navigate its massive materiality has become more pressing because of the digitization of Victorian periodicals. However, Hughes advocates for a “sideways” reading of Victorian periodicals that incorporates different genres, interactions between text and illustrations, and sequential reading rather than what she refers to as “data mining,” though I think she actually means distant reading. She discusses how periodical texts were frequently in dialogue with each other, uses metaphors of city and web simultaneously. These convey meaning of materiality and intertextuality at the same time. Hughes’s caution guides my own use of both close and distant readings of periodicals.

Lejeune, Philippe. Le Moi des Demoiselles: Enquête sur le journal de jeune fille. Paris: Editions de Seuil, 1993. Print.

This book delves deeply into the diary of a young French girl writing in the nineteenth century. The author’s investigation of the young woman’s diary is also framed by her own research journey, making it especially useful for learning about the methods by which one does such research.

Liddle, Dallas. “Reflections on 20,000 Victorian Newspapers: ‘Distant Reading’ the Times using The Times Digital Archive. Journal of Victorian Culture 17.2 (2012): 230-7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Liddle applies Moretti’s technique of distant reading to Victorian newspapers by using some of Gale Cengage’s metadata about these titles, including the file sizes of pdfs, which yield information about the visual density of the pages. He also uses word counts of individual leader articles to demonstrate how these articles became longer as the century went on. Liddle’s use of distant readings that incorporate visual elements might provide me with a solution as to how to deal with the problem of illustrations in my work.  

Manson, Michel and Annie Renonciat. “La culture matérielle de l’enfance: nouveaux territoires et problématiques.” Strenae: Recherches sur les libres et objets culturels de l’enfance 4 (2012): paragraphs 1-23. OpenEdition. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.

This article provides a useful overview of recent research into children’s material culture—including descriptions of the methodology and theoretical underpinnings as well as the challenges of this kind of work. This will be useful in providing a starting point from which I can glean more sources with which to theorize my own argument, which to a large degree, rests on an understanding of what it means to examine how children are either empowered or not by their contributions to material objects (periodicals), as well as their use of the narratives found within periodicals in their everyday play.

Mitchell, Sally. The New Girl: Girls’ Culture in England, 1880-1915. New York: Columbia UP, 1991. Print.

Sally Mitchell argues that the concept of girlhood as distinct from womanhood developed in the period from 1880-1915. I am considering using this time period for my own analysis. Her use of many different kinds of literature, including advice manuals and magazines, to make her argument might also provide me with a model of incorporating several different genres.

Moruzi, Kristine. Constructing Girlhood through the Periodical Press, 1850-1915. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012. Print.

Moruzi’s book provides a look at attitudes about girlhood promulgated in several widely-read Victorian periodicals written for girls. I am particularly interested in her examination of girls’ contributions to these periodicals in such venues as essay competitions.

Mussell, James. The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.
This book will help me get a sense of what periodicals scholars have already done towards incorporating digital methods into their scholarship, enabling me to create a proposal for a project that engages with current scholarly conversations.

Nicholson, Bob. “Counting Culture; or How to Read Victorian Newspapers from a Distance.” Journal of Victorian Culture 17.2 (2012): 238-246. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Nicholson argues that applying the methods of distant reading, particularly those of “culturomics” to British newspapers would give us valuable insight not only because it would allow us to see how a large, difficult-to-theorize body of work changed over time, but also because the day-by-day nature of newspaper reporting could render such a view could provide uniquely precise views of the evolution of Victorian culture. Nicholson generates searches for different keywords in selected time brackets, and then maps their correlation/proximity to other keywords. Nicholson’s methodology could be useful for my own work with periodicals because many of the problems of readability and missing data with which Nicholson deals also frequently occur in periodical research.

Phillips, Michelle. “‘Along the Paragraphic Wires’: Child-Adult Mediation in St. Nicholas Magazine.” Children’s Literature 37 (2009): 84-113. Project Muse. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Examines children’s letters from St. Nicholas’s “letter-box” column in order to illustrate the fluidity of child-adult boundaries in the magazine.

Rodgers, Beth. “Competing Girlhoods: Competition, Community, and Reader Contribution in the Girl’s Own Paper and the Girl’s Realm.” Victorian Periodicals Review 45.3 (Fall 2012): 277-300. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

Rodgers’ article delineates how the two magazines listed in the article’s title aimed to reconcile competing ideas of girlhood through an emphasis on community.

Sanchez-Eppler, Karen. Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005. Print.

Sanchez-Eppler argues that children contributed to the making of social meaning in nineteenth-century America by examining many different kinds of historical sources such as drawings and diaries by children and manuals about childcare. I am interested in how one might examine these sources in tandem with a distant (and perhaps a close, as well) reading of Victorian periodicals in order to reevaluate children’s voices and agency.

Smith, Victoria Ford. “Toy Presses and Treasure Maps: Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osborne as Collaborators.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 35.1 (2010): 26-54. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.

This article theorizes Stevenson and his stepson Osborne as collaborators on Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, through examining their unique use of toy printing presses. This article once again uses an interesting mix of methods to demonstrate children’s co-creation of the literature they read—a model I wish to emulate.

St. Nicholas and Mary Mapes Dodge: The Legacy of a Children’s Magazine Editor, 1873-1905. Ed. Susan R. Gannon, Suzanne Rahn, and Ruth Anne Thompson. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. Print.

This is the only full-length study of one of the most important and most collaborative children’s magazines. St. Nicholas included a letter-box as well as other features such as writing competitions.

Annotated Bibliography: Sontag’s aphorisms, public and private

By: Iris Cushing

I am using this annotated bibliography assignment as a way to gather materials for a paper I’m working on for our Postwar Women Writers and Intellectuals course. The paper looks at two texts of Susan Sontag’s: her iconic collection of essays, Against Interpretation, published in 1966 (and consisting of writing she’d been making for the previous seven years); and Reborn: Journals and Notebooks 1947-1963, edited by her son David Rieff. I’d like to take a look at what Sontag was writing privately in the years she was writing Against Interpretation,  and how the formation of her signature aphoristic style emerged in her journals and in her responses to the literature and art she was exposed to at that time. Specifically, I would like to trace the influence of French cinema, theory and philosophy on the development of Sontag’s unique style of writing and thinking. I am approaching this bibliography as an opportunity to gather a wide swath of materials, the study of which will certainly lead to a narrower scope in terms of the what information I’ll use. ~Iris

Berman, Jeffrey. Dying in Character: Memoirs on the End of Life. Amherst: University of Massachussets Press, 2013. Print.

Jeffrey Berman is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at the University of Albany, and has authored numerous books around the themes of grief and loss as they relate to literary figures. Chapter 5 of this book is titled  “I Have Never Been Tempted to Write about my own life”: Susan Sontag, David Rieff, and Swimming in A Sea of Death. The title referred to here is Sontag’s son’s memoir about his mother’s 2004 death from cancer. The chapter deals with Sontag’s extreme (and well-known) reticence about exposing any details of her private life, which Reiff had to face in his decision to publish Reborn and the subsequent volume of Sontag’s journals, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh. Since Reiff was small child being raised by Sontag at the time she was writing Against Interpretation, his perspectives on his mother’s life will be useful to me. I am interested in Berman’s analysis of Reiff and Sontag’s relationship in the context of other literary life writing by critics and theorists, such as Roland Barthes and Edward Said.

Ching, Barbara, and Wagner-Lawlor, Jennifer A, eds. Scandal of Susan Sontag. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 29 October 2014.

Barbara Ching, a contemporary culture scholar and associate professor of English at the Univerisity of Memphis, co-edited this book of essays on Sontag with Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, an associate professor of women’s studies and English at Penn State University. This book, published at exactly the same time as Sontag’s journals (October 2009), compiles critical essays by scholars on Sontag’s life, writings and greater influences. Both Terry Castle’s essay on “Notes on Camp” and Jay Prosser’s essay on Against Interpretation and the Illness books (Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors) address questions of Sontag as a public intellectual in the early 1960s; I am interested in comparing those analyses of Sontag with what emerges in her private writing. Wayne Koestenbaum’s essay in the book takes up her aphoristic writing style and its evolution over the course of her writing career.

Kaplan, Alice Yeager. Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis. Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2012. Print.

In this book, Alice Yeager Kaplan, the John M. Musser Professor of French and chair of the Department of French at Yale University, takes up three iconic American women’s experiences living in Paris in the Sixties. As far as Sontag is concerned, this book covers the time spent in Paris, as she was doing graduate work in Philosophy at Oxford,  that she writes about in Reborn; Paris was, naturally, the site of much of Sontag’s discovery of the French theory, literature and cinema that she writes about in Against Interpretation. I am especially interested in Kaplan’s analysis of the perspective that Paris offered Sontag on New York (and America in general).

Lopate, Phillip. Notes on Sontag. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Print.

This book, by well-known critic, essayist, writer (and fellow public intellectual) Phillip Lopate, uses both Lopate’s personal encounters with Sontag and an in-depth biographical study to examine Sontag’s ongoing influence on cultural criticism since the 1960s. I am interested in Lopate’s analysis of Sontag’s “taste for aphorism” in her writing, as well as his anecdotes about meeting her in the time she was writing Against Interpretation (and keeping the journals published as Reborn). I am also interested in comparing Lopate’s thoughts on Sontag as a person with those of Sigrid Nunez and David Rieff.

Muriel, ou le Temps d’un retour. Dir. Alan Resnais. Perf. Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kerien, Nita Klein. Argos Films/Arte France Développement, 1963. Film.

This film, directed by French New Wave/Left Bank director Alan Resnais, is one of the numerous films that Sontag–a notorious Francophile–wrote about in Against Interpretation. It was Resnais’ third film, after Hiroshima, Mon Amour and L’Année dernière à Marienbad; Sontag cites it as Resnais’ most difficult and complex in terms of its attempt to combine what his previous films had done independently:  “deal with substantive issues” (the Algerian war among them) as well as “attempt to project a purely abstract drama.” This film in its original language will be useful to my project, as it is something that Sontag watched and wrote about in her journal when it was released in 1963. The ambivalence she expresses about it publicly is characteristic of her rhetorical style.

Nunez, Sigrid. Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. New York : Atlas & Co. : Distributed to the trade by W.W. Norton, 2011. Print.

This memoir by novelist and professor Sigrid Nunez documents the years she lived with Susan Sontag and her son, David Rieff, whom Nunez was dating. I am interested in Nunez’s take on Sontag as a friend and mentor, as well as how Sontag negotiated the line between public and private writing and thought in the years following the publication of Against Interpretation.

Reiff, David. Swimming in A Sea of Death: A Son’s Memoir. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008. Print.

David Rieff, Susan Sontag’s only child, is a political policy analyst, Senior Fellow at the New School for Social Research’s World Policy Institute, and a Fellow at NYU’s New York Institute for the Humanities.

Sontag held on to her life until its very end; her tenacity in the face of intense physical suffering (as a result of the blood cancer which led to her death) resonates with her lifelong interest in the various phenomenologies of pain, illness, atrocity, and human rights. I am interested in Rieff’s memoir about her life (and death) primarily because of its portrayal of her encounters with the moral and ethical questions that would guide her thinking and writing at the time she was making Against Interpretation. I am also interested in Rieff’s contentious decision to publish Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh after Sontag’s death, considering how notoriously private of a person she was.

Rush, Fred. Review of Notes on Sontag by Phillip Lopate and Reborn: Journals and Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Vol. 68 No. 2 Spring 2010. Print.

This article by Fred Rush, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, reviews both Lopate’s memoir about Sontag and Sontag’s journals themselves. It provides a useful comparison between writing about Sontag as a near-mythic public figure and a private, complicated person.

Solway, David. Random Walks: Essays in Elective Criticism. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997. Print.

David Solway is a poet, essayist and professor of English at John Abbot College. In this book’s chapter on Sontag, “Never on Sontag,”  Solway takes up the titular essay in Against Interpretation and examines the rhetorical relationship between the essay’s discrete sections, arriving at the conclusion that the essay’s “intended ideological payload” is “erotics replacing hermaneutics.” I think Solway’s take on Sontag’s use of aphoristic language could contribute meaningfully to my examination of Sontag’s use of aphorism in her “public” published prose.

Sontag, Susan. As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. Print.

This is the second edition of Sontag’s journals, tracing the years that include the publication of Against Interpretation and follow the publication of her first novel, The Benefactor. This book is Sontag’s notation of day-to-day life as her lifelong dream of becoming a full-time writer–a dream articulated in great detail in Reborn–was being realized.

Vivre sa vie : film en douze tableaux. Dir. Jean-Luc Godard. Perf. Anna Karina and Sady Rebbot. Panthéon Distribution, 1962. Film.

This film, a lesser-known work by French New Wave Director Jean-Luc Godard, was another that Sontag wrote about in Against Interpretation, calling it “one of the most extraordinary, beautiful, and original works of art that I know of.” This was another film that made a significant impact on her in the time span covered in Reborn. In Against Interpretation, she makes use of a series of numbered propositions to create her critique of Godard’s film, something she does at other points in the book (such as in “Notes on Camp”) and in other forms in her journals. Like Resnais’ Muriel, seeing this film in its original language will give me a sense of the experience Sontag was having at the time she was formulating her style and identity as a writer.

Annotated Bibliography: Theory, Austen/Gillray and Wordsworth/Coleridge Criticism

By: Catherine Sara Engh

I’ve annotated sources for two different papers that I’m working on. One is on representations of the frivolous woman of fashion, a social type pictured in James Gillray’s satirical prints and a minor character in Jane Austen’s early novels. The other paper is on trance, negative emotions and acts of first-person narration in Coleridge’s and Wordsworth’s lyric poetry. I’ve listed theoretical sources first, Austen/Gillray sources second and Coleridge/Wordsworth sources last.

Ngai, Sianne. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2005. Print.

Sianne Ngai treats twentieth century art as a privileged location for the exploration of negative feelings. The negative feelings that Ngai identifies–envy, irritation, anxiety, animatedness–emerge where agency is suspended. These feelings are either objectless or ambivalent about their object. Unlike the “vehement passions” of canonical literature–anger, fear, elation–ugly feelings are weak. They do not occur suddenly, but persist over time. Central to Ngai’s argument is her definition of literary ‘tone’ as neither the subjective emotions a text calls up in the reader nor an emotion inside a text that the reader can analyze at a remove, but some combination of both. Ugly feelings manifest where there exists some confusion about the subjective or objective status of a state of being, a confusion that is the basis for that condition of not knowing how one is feeling. Ngai’s project is more theoretical than historical–she does not write a history of ugly feelings. Rather, she lays the groundwork for an approach to literary criticism that may motivate further historical research. Ugly Feelings is a useful source for those interested in bringing the problems of negative feeling to bear on their work.


Brison, Susan. Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2002. Print.

Susan Brison’s book is a first hand account of her experience of rape and its aftermath–the judicial process, the responses of her friends and family, her growing involvement in the activist community and her decision to have a child. Her first-hand account of her “working through” is accompanied by her research in the fields of cultural analysis, feminist criticism, philosophy and neurology. Brison posits that traumatic experience is tantamount to a radical loss of a self. Because Brison sees the self as intersubjective, the telling of one’s story to an audience of sympathetic listeners is essential to the trauma victim’s reconstruction of a self. Telling one’s story helps one regain a sense of control over one’s life. Brison’s first person account practices this essential component of her argument. She understands the self as narrative but also as embodied–because trauma is lodged in the body, it cannot be easily overcome by the mind. Brison situates her book inside a tradition of autobiographical accounts of rape and in relation to the fields of trauma studies, feminist criticism and philosophy. Her book is original for its integration of autobiography with extensive and diverse research. A must-read for feminists interested in issues of gender and embodiment.


Woloch, Alex. The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel. Princeton UP, 2003. Print.

Alex Woloch intervenes in a debate between literary critics over the interpretation of character. Placed at the intersection of story and discourse, his concepts of character-space and character-system integrate conflicting accounts of character given by structuralists and humanists. With chapters focusing on the novels of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Henri de Balzac, Woloch argues that the nineteenth century realist novel is often aware of the disjunction between a minor characters’ implied being and the manifestation of this being in the fictional universe. Woloch claims that the realist novel situates a well-developed central consciousness in an extensive social world inhabited by minor characters and, in doing so, tells us of a social system in which theories of democracy and human rights were maturing as inequality persisted. Woloch’s authority is grounded in the numerous 18th century realist novels he reads–he moves fluidly from Middlemarch to Madame Bovary to In Search of Lost Time–and in the work of relevant theorists–Luckas, Marx, Barthes, Watt, Forster. This book will be of special interest to those interested in narratology and/or realist aesthetics and the 19th century novel.


Donald, Diana. The Age of Caricature: Satirical Prints in the Age of George III. New Haven: Yale UP, 1996. Print.

Diana Donald’s book gathers British satirical prints produced and sold during the reign of George the III, or, as she says, in the “golden age of caricature.” She argues that the mixed aristocratic, middle-class and working class audience for the prints and the juxtaposition of educated allusion with impolite subject matter in the prints themselves make it difficult to situate the caricature prints of Gillray, Cruikshank, Rowlandson and others as either ‘high’ or ‘low’ art. Donald traces the formal origins of the style developed by caricaturists during this period and her close readings of the prints are materially grounded in the production and distribution processes. This book gathers a vast range of caricatures that are otherwise hard to access and organizes the images in respective chapters on social and political satire. Donald was the first scholar to write a book on this material and her text is a must-see for anyone interested in graphic satire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Harding, D.W. Regulated Hatred and Other Essays on Jane Austen. Ed. Monica Lawlor. London: Athlone, 1998. Print.

“Regulated Hatred” is the title of a lecture on Jane Austen that the psychologist and literary critic D.W. Harding gave in 1935. “Regulated Hatred” changed the course of Austen criticism by replacing the Victorian’s “gentle Jane”–an authoress who, above all, valued civility–with an Austen who sharply, even mercilessly, criticized the conventions of her society. The collection of essays included here were written over the course of sixty years; some published in Harding’s lifetime, some not. The scope of the book is limited by Harding’s biographical/psychological approach but his observations on the formal qualities of Austen’s novels remain relevant. This book will be valuable to anyone interested in the history of Austen criticism or the formal attributes of her work.


Beer, John. “Coleridge, the Wordsworths, and the State of Trance.” The Wordsworth Circle 8.8 (1977): 121-38. Print.

Beer’s basic claim in this essay is that there was a system behind William Wordsworth’s and S.T. Coleridge’s usage of the term “trance.” Beer focuses, for the most part, on the early poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge–the Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude and Coleridge’s conversation poems. But he also incorporates material from the journals of Dorothy and the notebooks and letters of Coleridge. Drawing on the etymology of the word “trance,” Beer proposes that, in Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s poetics, the word may refer to the noun “entrance”–a passage of some kind–and to the verb “entrance”–a transport of feeling. Also important is the affiliation of trance with death, a signification that will later be picked up by Keats. Through close readings, Beer argues that as Wordsworth and Coleridge became disenchanted in personal relationships, the social and sexual implications of the term were de-emphasized and trance was associated with childhood and the psychological extremes of calm and agitation. The absence of contemporary “theory”–much of which hadn’t been written in 1977–and the emphasis on close readings of verse and prose make for an essay remarkably different in approach to what is now published in the same journal.


Berkeley, Richard. Coleridge and the Crisis of Reason. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Print.

Richard Berkeley critiques Thomas McFarland’s analysis of Coleridge’s encounters with German philosophy in Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition (1969). McFarland sees Coleridge’s interpretive dilemma as one between two ways of doing philosophy–philosophical inquiry as originating with the phrase ‘I am’ (rationalism, Jacobi) or ‘it is,’ (pantheism, Spinoza). Berkeley sees this as too simple an approach to the problem, one that distorts the philosophy of Spinoza and Jacobi and the controversy over pantheism that Coleridge would have been familiar with. In Berkeley’s view, the pantheism controversy orbited around the status of reason in Spinoza’s philosophy. Coleridge was not wrestling with two ways of doing philosophy, as McFarland claims, but with conflicting ways of interpreting Spinoza. In Chapter one, Silence and the Pantheistic Sublime in Coleridge’s Early Poetry Berkeley argues that Coleridge’s early conversation poems–“the Eolian Harp,” “On Leaving a Place of Retirement”–articulate a tension between reason and faith that was at the heart of the pantheism controversy. Berkley shifts the conversation about Coleridge and pantheism from one about influences to one about anxieties over the status of reason. This book intervenes in a very specific area of Coleridge studies and will be of interest to anyone working on Coleridge or Spinoza.


Larkin, Peter. “‘Frost at Midnight’–Some Coleridgean Intertwinings” The Journal of the Friends of Coleridge 26. (2005): 22-36. Web. <>.

Larkin generates a phenomenological reading of Coleridge’s 1798 conversation poem ‘Frost at Midnight.’ Drawing on the work of Avatal Ronnell, Larkin compares a good reading of a beautiful poem to a greeting–rather than overwhelming a poem with our learning, we should allow our experience of the poem to enable us to ask new questions, to bring what we know into conversation with the poem. What emerges is not a finalized and definitive explication, but a precarious questioning process. The structure of Larkin’s essay enacts this ‘greeting.’ He reads ‘Frost at Midnight’ and then considers the affinities between Coleridge’s thought and the claims of phenomenology. He applies the work of Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible to ‘Frost at Midnight,’ finding phenomenological reversals–or intertwinings–between a perceiving subject and its object in ‘Frost at Midnight.’ Central to his reading is the idea that the subject–Coleridge–perceives in objects the forms of transcendence but that something of the object world remains hidden and inaccessible. Larkin’s authority derives from his knowledge of philosophical concepts and contexts–the influences and precedents to Coleridge’s and Merleau-Ponty’s thought. He speaks fluently about Coleridge’s concept of the primary and secondary imagination and Merleau-Ponty’s notion of ‘the flesh.’ Much Coleridge criticism that I have come across–books like Berkeley’s Coleridge and the Crisis of Reason and Ramonda Modiano’s Coleridge and the Concept of Nature–limit the extrinsic material they bring to bear on Coleridge’s writing to work written in or before Coleridge’s time. Larkin’s application of more contemporary claims of phenomenology to Coleridge’s work is refreshing.


Fulford, Tim. Landscape, Liberty and Authority. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. Print.

In Landscape, Liberty and Authority, Tim Fulford takes a new historicist approach to the poetry and prose of Thompson, Cowper, Gilpin, Coleridge and Wordsworth. Landscape, Liberty and Authority is concerned with ‘discourses on landscape’–literary representations of nature but also writing that uses the motifs of landscape description to make critical and political arguments. The poets and writers Fulford discusses ground their authority in the landscape, which emerges as a site where power struggles, particularly over the status of gentlemanly taste, erupt. Fulford maintains that Coleridge and Wordsworth were the first to explicitly attack the aesthetic and political values of the gentleman. However, these romantic poets, like Thompson and Cowper before them, maintained a vexed relationship to a readership that still espoused many of the values they were criticizing. Fulford brings an extensive knowledge of political contexts–party politics, the politics of enclosure and the French Revolution–to bear on his readings. He is great at working through ideological nuances, uncovering influences and explaining how these writer’s social/political stances differed from those of writers who came before them.


Ann, Bermingham. “The Picturesque Decade.” Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition 1740-1860. Berkeley: U of California, 1986. Print.

Ann Bermingham conducts an Althusserian reading of English landscape paintings from 1740-1860, focusing on the landscapes of Gainsborough, John Constable, the picturesque painters and the Pre-Raphaelites. Bermingham stages Landscape and Ideology as an intervention in a field of art history that, in 1986, typically situated landscape painting in a familiar history of stylistic development. Traditional approaches problematically assume historical neutrality. In contrast, Bermingham believes that there exists a relationship between landscape paintings and the dominant social and economic values of a time when the growth of industrial capitalism was changing the socio-economic order in the English countryside. In chapter two, “The Picturesque Decade,” Bermingham discusses the social anxieties of Knight and Price–gentlemen whose system of landscape gardening privileged rusticity and an appearance of wildness. She elaborates the paradox of a situation in which the very men who were enclosing the land were building gardens that nostalgically returned to a time before the land was enclosed. Since Landscape and Ideology was published, ideological approaches to landscape have become more common–Fulford’s book is a good example of a similar approach applied to representations of landscape in poetry.

 Sources in French

Gould, A. (1975). The English Political Print, From Hogarth to Cruikshank. Revue de L’Art (France), (30), 39-50, 98-101. Retrieved from

Focusing on stylistic development, this article traces a history of the British political print and engraving, starting with Hogarth and ending with Rowlandson and Cruikshank. Gould argues that Gillray paved the way for the political cartoon, placing him at odds with Diana Donald. While Donald emphasizes Gillray’s importance, she situates him at the latter end of the heyday (1760-1820) of political caricatures in England. For Donald, Gillray was a particularly well-educated and skilled innovator of the form, but one who was nonetheless influenced by cartoonists who came before him. Gould, as is now common, starts his discussion of political prints with Hogarth. This article came before Diana Donald’s book and demonstrates that scholarly work was being done in France on this medium before the 90s.


Emma Eldelin, “Exploring the Myth of the Proper Writer: Jenny Diski, Montaigne and Coleridge”, TRANS- [En ligne], 15 (2013). Web. <>

This essay explores the relationship between the British author Jenny Diski’s On Trying to Keep Still (2006) and two epigraphs that frame this book. One is from Coleridge’s poem ‘This Lime Tree Bower my Prison’ and one is from Montaigne’s Essays. Eldelin is interested in how the epigraphs integrate Diski’s book in a literary tradition, comment on the text and mark her genre. She sees both epigraphs as enunciations related to the plight of the solitary writer and explores what it means to bring the voices of old texts to bear on a contemporary piece of writing. This article is unique in its focus on epigraphs and in its movement across periods and genres. Research-wise, I suspect this essay would not be considered rigorous enough to be published in a journal like Studies in Romanticism or The Wordsworth Circle.

Annotated Bibliography: Scholarly communications and the future of sharing, thinking, writing

By: Erin Glass

Below are a list of sources that are helping me think through Social Paper (SP), a software platform I’m working on with the Digital Fellows.  Essentially, we aim to build a free, open source socialized writing environment that will enable students to easily share, manage, track and “socialize” the entirety of their writing across their graduate school career.  There are several key aspects that differentiate SP from current methods and tools. 1) Instead of distributing and producing writing across multiple “siloed” channels (class blogs, seminar papers, etc) which inhibit a coherent perspective (as well as efficient control) of one’s developing body of work, all student writing will “live” on the student’s online workspace. For every piece of writing, the student will determine whether it is associated with a class, topic, working group, so that relevant peers may be notified of their work. 2) For every piece of writing, the student will have full control of the level of publicity. Students may choose to share the work only with a select group, such as a class, a few trusted peers, a professor, or alternately, may choose to have their work completely public.  3) Like Google Docs, the tool will allow for peer commenting and discussion in the margins, but unlike Google Docs and other free commercial tools, students can rest easy that their content will not be mined for corporate use.  4) The activity generated on SP — from the submission of writing to the commenting on peers papers — will be surfaced (according to the student’s privacy settings) through personalized activity streams with the hope of raising awareness in the student community of the work being produced by their peers.

This theoretical motivations driving the development of this tool draw on two bodies of research: 1) the social production of knowledge  2) a critique of technocapitalism as it relates to the tools, methods, culture of practice, and law used to carry out scholarly communication (though I will emphasize that we should extend our thinking of scholarly communication to include the transmission of knowledge among students, not just professional academics).

Bowers, C. A. The False Promises of the Digital Revolution. How Computers Transform Education, Work, and International Development in Ways That Undermine an Ecologically Sustainable Future. New York: Peter Lang, 2014. Print.

Bowers writes on education, ecojustice and the commons. His work is important to me as it offers a critical perspective on the development of digital technologies and their social consequence.  In this work he argues that while digital technologies have rapidly improved our ability to generate and communicate knowledge, they have also contributed to the “individually-centered form of consciousness” which is “unable to grasp the short- and long-term consequences” of the environmental degradation taking place. Bowers demonstrates the “myths, misconceptions, and silences” inherited in language that have contributed to a hubristic, placeless rhetoric of technological progress that woefully, if not willfully, misunderstands the true challenges at hand.  Though this work is not about scholarly communications in itself, it is important in its dramatic reframing of the stakes of education and, in a post-McLuhanian manner, provides useful analysis for understanding the impact of digital technologies on the production, possibility, and meaningfulness of human thought.

Dewey, Anne Day, and Libbie Rifkin. Among Friends: Engendering the Social Site of Poetry. Print.

This collection of essays examines the social production of postwar American poetry, primarily through the theorization of “friendship” as a fertile, though not always unconflicted, site of creativity.  The topics presented here range from letter correspondences, small literary magazines, collaborative poetry writing, literary communities and radical collectivities working in the digital age. I’m interested in this work, as well as Dewey’s work on the construction of public voice in Black Mountain Poetry, for its tracing the various modes of friendship, community and intellectual exchange that contribute to creative productivity.

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U, 2014. Print.

Drucker writes about the history of graphic design and digital humanities. In this work, Drucker provides a “visual epistemology,” or principles for analyzing graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to help us understand how interfaces mediate the user’s interaction and knowledge production. Drucker’s historical analysis of the “screen,” is critical for exposing the non-neutrality of GUIs today.  Combining Drucker’s visual epistemology with Bower’s critique of the “individually-centered” form of consciousness reinforced by digital technologies, how might we imagine new GUIs that would better emphasize the social role of knowledge production?

Elbow, Peter. Writing without Teachers. New York: Oxford UP, 1973. Print.

Elbow is known for his work in composition studies, particularly his theorization of the writing process  as outlined in this now classic work.  Here he observes that writing for peer review can significantly enhance a student’s growth — not to mention their excitement — in writing.  Elbow’s emphasis on the benefit of a social environment to share one’s writing and feedback is one of the key motivations of building Social Paper.

Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. New York: New York UP, 2011. Print.

Now the Director of Scholarly Communications at the Modern Language Association, Fitzpatrick writes about the challenges and opportunities facing the publishing scholar in the changing landscape of academic publishing. Drafts of this work were first presented online through CommentPress, a free and open source software component which enables users to comment on paragraphs of long form texts, making the work both a theoretical and performative exploration in new models for peer review in academic publishing.  Though this work focuses on peer review, and other issues of scholarly publication, as related to professional academic, the tools, practices, and critiques are applicable to questions concerning communication among students.

Illich, Ivan. Tools for Conviviality. 1975. Print.

Ivan Illich offers an anarchist’s critique of education and the tools and practices used to carry it out. In Deschooling Society, he writes, “The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.” Though I have not yet read Tools for Conviviality, I’m hoping it explores this theme in greater depth, as a means of thinking through how we can better shape our platforms of knowledge transmission to cultivate “learning, sharing, and caring.”

Lovink, Geert, and Miriam Rasch. Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2013. Print.

Though I have yet to read this reader (freely available on the web through Network Cultures)  I’m excited by the prospect of a series of contemporary essays that directly attempt to theorize and critique the social media phenomenon.  The essays here discuss a wide range of topics related to social media — such as privacy, labor, rhetoric, affect, and political movements — which are critical to think through when formally integrating a social media structure into the production of graduate student writing.

Stallman, Richard. Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. Boston, MA: Free Software Foundation, 2002. Print.

Richard Stallman is a computer programmer and free software activist. Stallman is a fierce supporter of privacy rights and Free Software. Stallman coined the term, and started the Free Software Movement, as a means to fight the restrictions built into proprietary software which domesticate and manipulate the user for corporate gain. Though Stallman is a controversial figure, he is useful in thinking about how subtle restrictions in software can give corporations and political entities vast power over the civic body, not only through surveillance but though the user’s learned passivity. In these essays, Stallman defines Free Software and argues why it is worth fighting (and programming) for.

Taylor, Astra. The People’s Platform: And Other Digital Delusions. New York: Metropolitan, 2014. Print.

Taylor here critiques the premise that “the digital transformation” is a “great cultural leveler, putting tools of creation and dissemination in everyone’s hands and wresting control from long-established institutions and actors.”  Taylor’s work seeks to show that the business imperatives underlying our technology has a dramatic effect on how we interact online and who, in the end, actually benefits from those interactions.  I’m interested in this work to see how Free and Open Source software might resolve some of these concerns, or whether they will pose equally problematic issues.

Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything: (and Why We Should Worry). Berkeley: U of California, 2011. Print.

Vaidhyanathan’s work on Google is important to me, because, despite my critical concerns for Google, their series of produces — Gmails, Google search, and Google Drive — are hands down the most important tools that I use as a student, a worker and curious, interested citizen. In the development of Social Paper — which is messy, frustrating, and full of compromises —  there have been times that I’ve wondered whether my critique of Google was rather alarmist, and that it was a waste of energy to try to create something that they will probably offer, and much more sophisticatedly, within a few years. Vaidhyanathan, and other writers discussed in this annotation, have been exceedingly helpful in these moments, by reaffirming the need to question the motives of the companies that are gaining an unprecedented amount of control in the most minute aspects of our professional and private lives.

Annotated Bibliography: from early modern to Saartjie Baartman

By: LeiLani Dowell

I am working on a paper that explores the trajectory of the anatomization, racialization and mystification of female bodies during the early modern period to the sensational display and reception of Saartjie Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who was exhibited as the “Hottentot Venus” throughout 19th-century Europe.

Allen, Regulus. “‘The Sable Venus’ and Desire for the Undesirable.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 51.3 (2011): 667-685. Print.

Allen, an assistant professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, analyses the poem “The Sable Venus: An Ode” and the illustration that accompanied it, arguing that both pieces reveal anxieties about white male desire for black women in the early modern period. The author discusses the creation of the “Black Venus,” meant to highlight the supposed superior beauty of white women while simultaneously eroticizing and commodifying the black female body.

Burton, Jonathan. “Western Encounters with Sex and Bodies in Non-European Cultures, 1550-1750.” Routledge History of Sex and the Body: 1500 to the Present. Ed. Sara Toulalan and Kate Fisher, 2013. 495-510. Print.

Burton examines the ways in which the formation of sexuality in early modern England was a cross-cultural affair, informed by colonial expeditions to non-European countries. In doing so, Burton challenges the standard notion of “backwards” sexuality in non-European countries and bodies.

Grogan, Claire. “Identifying Foreign Bodies: New Philosophers and Hottentots in Elizabeth Hamilton’s Memoirs of Modern Philosophers.” Eighteenth Century Fiction 188.3 (2006): 305–327. Print.

Grogan, author of “Politics and Genre in the Works of Elizabeth Hamilton, 1756–1816,” discusses Hamilton’s alignment of “dangerous revolutionary ideas and personages” with the Hottentots of Africa in an attempt to promote nationalist and patriotic sentiment in England.

Hall, Kim F. Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England. 1 edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995. Print.

Hall, an assistant professor of English at Georgetown University, explores the connections between race and gender in early modern English literature and how the depictions of the two were used to form a prototypical white male identity. Hall particularly examines the nation-building impulses of imperialism, slavery and sexual politics as driving forces in identity formation in England.

Hendricks, Margo, and Patricia Parker, eds. Women, Race, and Writing in the Early Modern Period. 1st edition. London ; New York: Routledge, 1993. Print.

This anthology includes a number of essays specifically focusing on the reception and deployment of black female bodies in the early modern period, including “The Getting of a Lawful Race: Racial discourse in early modern England and the unrepresentable black woman” by Lynda E. Boose, and “I Rather Would Wish to be a Black Moor: Beauty, race, and rank in Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania”.

Hudson, Nicholas. “The ‘Hottentot Venus,’ Sexuality, and the Changing Aesthetics of Race, 1650-1850.” Mosaic (Winnipeg) 41.1 (2008): 19. Print.

Hudson, the author of several works on early modern England, explores the use of the “Venus” trope in the emergence of “race” and “aesthetics” as sciences during the period. Hearkening back to the Roman goddess, the concept of Venus is used to paradoxically highlight the “perfect” beauty of white female bodies while simultaneously sounding a warning about the desirability of black female bodies.

Lloyd, Sheila. “Sara Baartman and the ‘Inclusive Exclusions’ of Neoliberalism.” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 11.2 (2013): 212–237. Print.

By analyzing current feminist texts on the Hottentot Venus, Lloyd makes the argument that Baartman’s story resonates with current audiences because of the parallels modern-day globalization and the commodification of women’s racialized bodies and the imperialist impulses that created a space for Baartman to become a continental sensation in the 19th century.

MacDonald, Joyce Green. Women and Race in Early Modern Texts. Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.

MacDonald, an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky, discusses the implementation of race, gender and identity in early modern texts, specifically focusing on how women’s bodies were used in discourses of race and colonialism. For MacDonald, this often occurs via the erasure and displacement of black women’s bodies in the texts.

Miranda, Carlos A., and Suzette A. Spencer. “Omnipresent Negation: Hottentot Venus and Africa Rising.” Callaloo 32.3 (2009): 910–933. Project MUSE. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.

The authors examine the history and scholarly inquiries into the Hottentot Venus up to the current period. While the article focuses mainly on the omnipresent nature of the Hottentot Venus in today’s world – reproduced through hyper-attention to black women’s anatomy – the in-depth historical background of Baartman’s experience is helpful to an understanding of the deployment of anatomization and sensationalization in the early modern period.

Tuhkanen, Mikko. “Breeding (and) Reading: Lesbian Knowledge, Eugenic Discipline, and The Children’s Hour.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 48.4 (2002): 1001–1040. Project MUSE. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.

Tuhkanen examines Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour as a 20th-century text that highlights the “interimplication of racial and sexual categories and suggests the uncontainability of both by movements of social hygiene.” In doing so, she discusses early modern anatomization texts that cite the genitalia of “lesbians” and black women as abnormal.

Annotated Bibliography: Surrealism, Unica Zurn, and Feminist Psychoanalysis

By: Christina Quintana

These sources pertain to my research for a project in my Modernist Singularities course. I am interested, generally, in the role of female artists in the Surrealist movement, but will pay special attention to German artist/writer Unica Zürn. Because Zürn suffered from schizophrenia and frequently discussed her mental illness in her work, I am also exploring some feminist psychoanalytic theory in order to better address the intersection of her creativity and her schizophrenia (and the ways in which this experience was uniquely gendered).

Alexander, Sally. “Feminist History and Psychoanalysis.” History Workshop 32.1 (1991): 128-133.

Alexander begins by noting the reluctance on the part of feminists to incorporate and utilize psychoanalytic techniques, due mainly to the overt misogyny of prominent psychoanalytic figures such as Freud and Lacan. However, Alexander argues that the goals of feminism and psychoanalysis are the same—to uncover a repressed, subjective history through language and symbolism—and that bringing the two theories together can only benefit feminists. Alexander then provides an outline of the overlap of feminism and psychoanalysis at the beginning of the 20th century: both movements gained recognition at the turn of the century, addressed the question of femininity, and urged others to consider the female as a political subject. She concludes that a “psychoanalytic notion of sexual difference” (132) is crucial for understanding historical works and events.

Caws, Mary Ann. “Singing in Another Key: Surrealism through a Feminist Eye.” Diacritics 14.2 (1984): 60-70.

Arguing that the “most haunting nightmare” (63) of Surrealism is that of irrelevance, Caws seeks to keep Surrealist criticism relevant by locating its intersection with feminist theory. She finds such an overlap in the character of Melusine, the mermaid of Andre Breton’s Arcane 17. Melusine, Caws argues, represents the liminality (and, therefore, the freedom) that Surrealists so adored: neither human nor fish, but also neither wholly female or male, Melusine is able to freely inhabit both categories. Yet Caws notes that Melusine, in addition to representing the achievement of Surrealist ideals, also characterizes the contradictory, liminal status of women in society. Turning to Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas, Caws draws a parallel between Melusine’s androgynous/hybrid physicality and Woolf’s narrator’s positioning between private and public life (particularly as she stands on a bridge and contemplates the institutions denied to her). Both characters express their liminality in discursive ways: Melusine through song, and Woolf through her quasi-fictional prose.

Diez, Noemi Martinez. “Fragmentos de la vida y obra de Unica Zürn.” Arteterapia 2.1 (2007): 203-213.

Diez takes a fairly straightforward autobiographical look at Unica Zurn’s life and work, seeking out the connections between her mental illness and her art. Beginning with her childhood in Berlin, Diez chronicles Zurn’s troubled home life, artistic experiments with painting and anagrams, relationships with Hans Bellmer and Henri Michaux, and her lifelong struggle with mental illness. Ocassionally using Jungian theory to support her claims, Diez argues that the fragmentation of Zurn’s drawings, along with her love of anagrams, reflect her fragmented sense of self.

Export, Valie. “The Real and Its Double: The Body.” Discourse 11.1 (Fall-Winter 1988-89): 3-27.

In this article, Export addresses the issue of the female body through a Freudian lens. She argues that, within a patriarchal society, women are made to acknowledge, feel, and be their body more acutely than their male counterparts, and this emphasis on embodiment often results in a sense of anxiety or disgust over the body. Referencing passages from Unica Zürn’s autobiographical novel Dark Spring, Export stresses the “crisis of female adolescence” (6) in which the unsexed young girl undergoes puberty and becomes painfully aware of her body. Paradoxically, Export argues, while the female body is more present than the male body, it is also defined by lack: her physical characteristics are the negation of man’s, the “emptiness and absence of the penis” (10). From here, Export explains that the problem of the female body is that of a double bind: woman both is and is not her body; it defines her being and yet it is nonexistent. Such a configuring of embodiment naturally results in a conflicted sense of self, Export claims, and impedes women’s development of their subjectivity, which results in what she calls the “enigma woman” (14). Export concludes by highlighting the work of several female multi-genre artists, including Laurie Anderson, Miriam Cahn, Eva Kmentova, and Helen Almeida, whose work addresses the limitations and paradoxical nature of the female body.

Markus, Ruth. “Surrealism’s Praying Mantis and Castrating Woman.” Woman’s Art Journal 21.1 (2000): 33-39.

In this article, Markus analyzes the symbolism of the praying mantis in Surrealist art. Noting that the insect was an obsession of Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, and Andre Masson (among many other Surrealists), Markus argues that the praying mantis—because of the female’s distinguishing habit of devouring the male post-coitus—represented a commingling of eroticism and death and thus corresponded to some Surrealist sentiments. More injuriously, however, the praying mantis also represented the castrating woman, the devouring mother, and even the vagina dentata. Looking at work by Dali, Giacometti, and Ernst, Markus claims that the imagery of the praying mantis and/or vagina dentata represents a deep ambivalence or fear towards the female body and the female archetype.

Marshall, Jennifer Cizik. “The Semiotics of Schizophrenia: Unica Zürn’s Artistry and Illness.” Modern Language Studies 30.2 (2000): 21-31.

Marshall begins her article by pointing out that the majority of art and literary scholars who write on Unica Zurn are reluctant to include discussions of her mental illness; Marshall argues that this is due to an erroneous belief that incorporating Zurn’s schizophrenia into a reading of her work would undermine her talent and substitute her “mental creativity” for a “biological anomaly” (22). Marshall insists, however, that imposing a psychobiographical structure onto Zurn’s work would not undercut it but instead provide a unique perspective into the mind of an artist shaped by mental illness. Using the DSM as her guide, Marshall analyzes Zurn’s autobiographical work “The Man in Jasmine: Impressions from a Mental Illness” for the determining signs of schizophrenia. Although she notes many parallels between Zurn’s writing and typical symptoms of schizophrenia (such as fragmented sense of self, bizarre delusions, and occasional hallucinations), Marshall ultimately argues that Zurn appears to suffer from bipolar disorder. She concludes by stating that, regardless of her diagnosis, Zurn turned to her writing and art as a way to alleviate her profound mental distress.

Nicki, Andrea. “The Abused Mind: Feminist Theory, Psychiatric Disability, and Trauma.” Hypatia 16.4 (2001): 80-104.

Andrea Nicki refutes the popular notion that mental illness is wholly an issue of biochemistry and genetics; although she does not deny that such physical factors play a role in the development of mental illness, she argues that difficulties in social adaptation also contribute significantly. For this reason, she insists upon analyzing mental illness within the bounds of culture and society, since cultural and social factors heavily influence the development and experience of psychiatric disability, particularly within certain disadvantaged groups such as women and minorities. Nicki outlines how external, non-biological factors or events such as trauma, sexist and racist norms, marginalization, traditional notions of “normalcy” and “insanity,” social injustice, the Cartesian mind-body dualism, and mainstream moral values all contribute to mental illness. She proposes a feminist theory of psychiatric disability that addresses the oppression of the (mental ill) mind by society, and works to undo the stigmatization and emotional distress of those who suffer from mental illness.

Orenstein, Gloria Feman. “Art History and the Case for the Women of Surrealism.” The Journal of General Education 27.1 (1975): 31-54

In her article, Orenstein seeks to recover the lost or elided history of women artists in the Surrealist movement. Orenstein notes that the norm in the art world has usually been that of the white, upper-class male, and that female artists are traditionally portrayed as mere “human-interest” stories, rather than as serious artists worthy of rigorous criticism and analysis. She explains that within the Surrealist movement, the ideal woman was represented by the figure of the Femme-Enfant, the Woman-Child. This figure emphasizes women’s fragility, innocence, purity, and position as Object, while simultaneously deemphasizing or excluding the subjectivity and art works of mature women. Seeking to defy the myth of the Woman-Child, Orenstein then briefly covers the lives and works of several Surrealist women artists, including Leonora Carrington, Meret Oppenheim, Remedios Varo, Dorothea Tanning, Marie Wilson, Unica Zurn, and Jane Graverol. Orenstein concludes by urging female artists, art critics, and scholars to document the forgotten or ignored lives of women artists.

Rey, Carlos. “Causalidad Psíquica en un Caso de Locura: A propósito de Unica Zürn.” Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría 30.107 (2010): 437-445.

Rey charts Unica Zurn’s personal and artistic development from childhood to her death in 1970, providing overviews of some of the more important moments in Zurn’s life (such as her initial meeting with Hans Bellmer and her admittance into a mental institution). Rey focuses on Zurn’s literary work, notably Dark Spring and The Man of Jasmine, in an attempt to account for the causation of her mental illness. He concludes that it was her difficult and traumatic upbringing, more than any other factor, that contributed to both her insanity and her creative work.

Suleiman, Susan Rubin. “A Double Margin: Reflections on Women Writers and the Avant Garde in France.” Yale French Studies 75.1 (1988): 148-172.

Suleiman analyzes the popular trope of the “margin” as it relates to both women and the avant-garde movement: in conceiving of culture as a “place” that can be mapped or printed on a page, both women and the avant-garde movement exist away from the center, on the edge or in the margins of mainstream society. Suleiman notes that an important distinction between the two is that the avant-garde willingly chooses to exist in the margins (in order to better critique or attack societal norms), whereas women have been forced into a marginal position and can suffer negative consequences if she attempts to move towards the center. In this way, female avant-garde artists are “doubly intolerable” or “doubly marginalized” (152), defying not one but two categorizations. Looking in particular at the lives and works of Simone Breton and Mick Soupault (wives of Surrealist artists Andre Breton and Philippe Soupault), Suleiman argues that this “double margin” can provide the female subject with a kind of centrality in her own eyes; by identifying herself and her work with the subversive power associated with the margin, Suleiman claims, the female avant-garde artist can self-affirm and –legitimize her work and life.

Annotated Bibliography—#gamergate, sexism, gaming literacies

By: Seth Graves

The following annotated bibliography represents my research to-date on gender performance and discrimination in video games and online spaces. I am working on a paper that discuss the teaching of “#gamergate” in the composition classroom.

Alexander, Jonathan. “Gaming, Student Literacies, and the Composition Classroom: Some Possibilities for Transformation.” College Composition and Communication 61.1 (2009): 35–63. Print.

Alexander provides case study interviews with two students to discuss how gaming can result in the development of “high level literacy skills,” including “literacy reflectivity, trans-literacy connections, collaborative writing, multicultural literacy awareness, and critical literacy development” (37). He extends the work by authors on gaming literacy, such as the influential James Paul Gee, as well as compositionist scholars on the role of gaming in education, to discuss the role of the student in their own perceptions of the value of gaming and development. Students in the interviews discuss the textual and intertextual interactions of their gaming habits. Alexander suggests compositionists “should seriously consider using complex computer games as primary ‘texts’ in composition courses as a way to engage with students a more provocative and productive examination of contemporary literacy practices” (37). This text directly speaks to my goals to view important roles of game studies in the composition classroom.

Bogost, Ian. “The Rhetoric of Video Games.” In The Ecology of Games: Connecting Yough, Games and Learning, ed. Katie Salen, 117–140. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008.

Here Bogost, a heavily cited scholar on video games and gaming literacies, discuss the rhetorical power of games and their ability to “make claims about the world.” When games do make rhetorical arguments about the world, society, or other strata, they do so “not with oral speech, nor in writing, nor even with images. Rather…with processes” (125). Therein, video games present a potentially powerful, procedural rhetoric that allows players to now only use the powers of imagination and fantasy, but also to consider real-world conflicts and the commentaries that ludic video game realities can make on these conflicts. This, like some other works in my bibliography here, speaks to the rhetorical power of video game and justifies their investigation in academic scholarship.

En, Boka, Michael En, and David Griffiths. “Gay Stuff and Guy Stuff: The Construction of Sexual Identities in Sidebars on Reddit.” Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network 6.1 (2013): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

En, En, and Griffiths discuss here how sexual identities are constructed, “seen—and thereby made” on the online community reddit. The article discusses normative and non-normative behaviors represented in the reddit sidebar. Ultimately, the authors suggest that though the sidebar creates an open, normative-busting space, the space is then re-normativized by the social pressures of reddit users, whose isolating behaviors exercise pressured power over “redditors.” This article speaks directly to #gamergate issues and gender constructions, and constitutes one of the closest pieces of scholarship to direct discussion of #gamergate available in academic publication (I have yet to find an peer-reviewed piece on #gamergate).

Gee, James Paul. “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.” Comput. Entertain. 1.1 (2003): 20–20. ACM Digital Library. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Gee argues that “good games” promote strong learning principles, a claim supported by laboratory science. Thinking about games invites making active connections to other “games, media, text, and the world” (1). Good games present worlds in which players seek, reason with, and apply information. Whereas the education system often operates “at the lowest common denominator,” video games can present opportunities to work out of the preexisting competencies of the player. Games can also provide tiered motivation to perpetuate the learning process. Gee highlights the distinct educational role of gaming.

Greenfield, Patricia Marks. El Niño y los medios de comunicación: Los efectos de la televisión, video-juegos y ordenadores. Ediciones Morata (1985).

This book exists as part of a mid-80s “Bruner Series.” Here Greenfield argues for constructive uses of new media in the classroom and home settings. The text is particularly critical of those who overly warn against new media instead of seeing value in the integration of visual and digital technology in educational development and cultural literacy.

Kirkland, Ewan. “Masculinity in Video Games: The Gendered Gameplay of Silent Hill.” Camera Obscura 24.2 71 (2009): 161–183. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Kirkland discusses the 2001 video game Silent Hill 2, developed by Konami, to discuss gender representations in the “survival horror” video game genre. Kirkland argues that the game presents particularly “complex questions concerning player agency, the structuring of gameplay, and the gendering of the role that video-game players are invited to perform,” including a seminal moment of the game where the playable protagonist/avatar, James, must kill his wife without player or protagonist choice (162). Kirkland writes, “attentive players will have come increasingly to suspect that the protagonist, who appears so devoted to his dead wife, constitutes the video-game equivalent of an unreliable narrator” (162). The player can choose between turning the game off, and making meaningless the many hours played to reach the end, or executing the game’s intended finality. Kirkland suggests that gamer perception contributes to whether this violence is seen as a nihilistic, self-conscious commentary or as a more objectifying, misogynist final act. Ultimately the game is representative of the complex questions of how gender is performed in video game genres.

Leonard, David J. “Not a Hater, Just Keepin’ It Real The Importance of Race- and Gender-Based Game Studies.” Games and Culture 1.1 (2006): 83–88. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Leonard discusses race and gender erasure in video games and video game studies, and the values of discussing race and gender tropes in video games (and limited presentations of race and gender) in scholarship and in the classroom. He suggests that oversimplified notions of the roles of videogames can leave individuals to write off analysis of underlying tropes or “serious inquiry into their racial [and gender-based] content and context” (84). As of the time of publication of this article, 2005, according to the work of Children Now, only 17% of player-controlled video game characters are female, even less than the number of nonhuman playable characters (19%). Games, he argues, can reinforce White male privilege and fantasy through play.

Sanford, Kathy, and Leanna Madill. “Resistance through Video Game Play: It’s a Boy Thing.” Canadian Journal of Education / Revue canadienne de l’éducation 29.1 (2006): 287–306. JSTOR. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Sanford and Madill discuss how video games present a space where boys can perform sexism without parental or institutional oversight. Left unchecked, this can lead male gamers to see other forms of literacy, such as understanding of the importance or role of literature, as overly feminine; video games can therein validate sexist masculinities and performances of resistance and silence opportunities for thoughtful “worldview” critique.

Schleiner, Anne-Marie. “Does Lara Croft Wear Fake Polygons? Gender and Gender-Role Subversion in Computer Adventure Games.” Leonardo 34.3 (2001): 221–226. MIT Press Journals. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Schleiner comments on the role of videogame culture among youth in “reorganizing their worldviews” (221). She discusses the absence of videogame discussion in scholarship through the mid-1990s, as scholars either wrote off the meda form, the pedagogical use of it, or the value of it in society and academic scholarship in particular. Schleiner briefly outlines “Before Tomb Raider” as a period, before she then enters into discussion of the popular video game series Tomb Raider and its protagonist, Lara Croft, whom the author refers to as a “female frankenstein” that presents a mechanized, objectified, unrealistic female body. Tomb Raider becomes a game “where boys and men are permitted to develop unrealistic ideals of female body type, or to dispense with relating to human women whatsoever, replacing them with easily controlled virtual female bots” (223). However, alternatively, male players also “perform” the avatar role of Croft, constructing her multiplicitously as (in addition to objectified female) drag queen, femme fatale, role model, and “vehicle for the queer female gaze” in her inhabitants of the “monstrous” (Here she cites individual works by Butler and Halberstam on “the dangerous woman” and binary-busting “monster-genders”.).

Taylor, T. L. “Multiple Pleasures Women and Online Gaming.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 9.1 (2003): 21–46. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

Using a combination of data, Taylor assesses motives for female participation in online gaming spaces, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing environments (or MMPORGs); research cited in the article suggests that women now make up about 50% of the online gamer community.  Taylor believes demographic statistics helps to denote why women have gravitated toward this type of gaming (Here she makes her goals distinct from scholarship like Schleiner’s on Lara Croft, which she mentions by name.). MMPORGs serve as spaces that, more so than other video game genres, rely on community development, participation in community discourse, dialogue and interpersonal interaction as means to success, and avatar development as a means of performing individuality. Taylor presents games that take on “gender-neutral design goals,” such as Everquest, as well as games that do present misogynies that women are inclined to play as a way to participate “despite the game” (40).

Zafra, Remedios. “Las mujeres en Internet ¿immigrantes, exiliadas, turistas…?” ¿Todas Las Mujeres Podemos Género, Desarrollo, y Multiculturalidad. Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume (2007): 48–60. Web. 1 Nov. 2014.

In this conference paper republished in book chapter form, Remedios Zafra, of the University of Seville, discusses the cyberfeminist movement, women working on the fridge worlds of the internet, the internet as a queer and enabling space to battle sexism—yet the outsider or “entering tourist” role of the woman in the space. The “utopia” view of the internet proved to be a myth as the space asserted itself as a place dominated, read, and written by men.


Annotated Bibliography: American Pragmatism and Aesthetics

By: Austin Bailey

Annotated Bibliography

My current project is for my seminar on American pragmatism and aesthetics with Joan Richardson. Though it’s “just” a seminar paper, I’d like to expand it into an article if I end up liking it.

My essay (which has yet to find a title) looks at Emerson’s essays on social reform within the context of the emerging industrial-capitalist nexus of the 19th century. As industrializiation occurred, the country and international markets went from agrarian based economies to more internationally trade-based, “itinerant” economies. This included an increase in paper currency and speculation as well as a ramping-up of slavery. These changes in the economic structures of society resonated in America, often in the form of deep anxieties about the current state of things and the future. The image and metaphor of the “paper men,” “ghosts,” and other specters of commerce became prevalent. These metaphors signaled a newly emergent form of personhood and economy based on rootlessness and invisibility. My essay argues that Emerson responded to these anxieties by advocating, through his transcendentalism, a more direct series of relations between individuals. While Emerson was obsessed with the idea of empowering the individual, he did not advocate intellectual hermeticism or aesthetic retreats from encroaching capitalist oppression. He instead believed that individuals should face each other. Facing one another has many resonances. I will focus on Stanley Cavell’s idea of condition as “condiction,” that is, our condition of speaking together. If our words are always already delimiting–putting us, as Cavell has suggested, into pre-arrangements and pre-agreements of our person, what Emerson calls “conformity”–they are also all we have. While Emerson advocates a materialist critique on the level of forming more direct relations and, in the Marxist sense, dereification, through an awareness of use value over and against exchange value and market fetish, he also advocates for an endless revisionism within democratic circles of conversation. This requires facing one another and speaking directly to one another–in other words, a kind of “reformist perfectionism.”

David Greenham. “The Skeptical Deduction: Reading Kant and Cavell in Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 1.3 (2007): 253-281. Project MUSE. Web. 3 Nov. 2014. <>.

Greenham has recently published a book on Emerson, Emerson’s Transatlantic Romanticism. It is an exploration of Emerson’s relationship and indebtedness to the British romantics but it brings in interesting cross sections of influence such as Mary Moody Emerson. It also places Emerson’s romanticism in dialogue with Stanley Cavell (currently a philosopher at Harvard and one of Emerson’s most influential contemporary readers) and Immanuel Kant. This article eventuated in one of the book’s chapters. While I didn’t take much interest in the book, I find this article to be extremely useful for my purposes. Greenham does the work no one else wants to do: he actually walks us through Kantian Transcendental Deduction and categories, showing how they relate to Stanley Cavell’s claim that Emerson ups Kant by suggesting that every word in our diction be placed under skeptical deduction. This is a very confusing concept and Greenham illuminates it very well. It will be central for my argument because I will talk about how Emerson goes beyond proto-Marxist structural critique, suggesting that our language be put under intense scrutiny as we face each other in conversation.

Naoko Saito. “Perfectionism and the Love of Humanity: Democracy as a Way of Life after Dewey, Thoreau, and Cavell.” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20.2 (2006) 93-105.

Not entirely sure if I’ll use this article but I loved it. It gave me the idea for thinking about conversation as endemic to Cavell and the transcendentalist aesthetic. This article talks a lot about Dewey. I don’t know if I’m going to bring Dewey into my paper, more than just a quick mention or two, but I may bring Saito’s article in for a guest appearance. I often look at articles for what they can teach me about approach on a structural level. When I was torturing myself over how I was going to talk about Emerson’s material-structural critique as well as his emphasis on individual and communal perfectionism–the two seemed so opposite to one another–I took a cue from this article’s combinatory approach. To sum up, it argues that through Cavell’s reading of Thoreau we can uncover an understanding of democracy as a way of life, which relates to Dewey, who posited democracy a way of life, as an ethics in our everyday conduct.

David Anthony. “Gone Distracted”: “Sleepy Hollow,” Gothic Masculinity, and the Panic of 1819. Early American Literature, vol. 40, number 1, 2005, p.111-144.

This article looks at the emergence of paper currencies, speculation, and the market panic of 1819. It draws connections to a crisis of masculinity represented in Washington Irving’s famous tale, “Sleepy Hollow.” This article is useful in terms of historical background, but it also shows how anxieties about industrial capitalist economy made their way into aesthetic practices. Emerson, a few decades later, dealt with a similar crisis in the panic of 1837, an event that informed his Phi Beta Kappa address, “The American Scholar.”

Capitalism Takes Command: The Social Transformation of Nineteenth Century America. Ed. Michael Zakim and Gary J. Kornblith. University of Chicago Press. 2012.

A collection of essays, this anthology looks at new perspectives on the emergence of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century and how it affected slavery, the family, and American culture and sensibility. It comes on the heels of what historians in the late 90s/early 00s deemed “the second slavery”–slavery’s adaption to industrial market practices. While slavery has traditionally been understood by historians to be a hold-over from agrarian forms of 17th and 18th century capitalism, second slavery as a general historical recovery shows how slavery and industrial capitalism were mutually constitutive. These essays take this conversation further by exploring microhistories ,like that of a businessman and his son during the panic of 1837, showing how the economy went through a kind of bubble burst akin to the 08 bubble burst and tying this bubble bursting to slavery. It will be useful primarily as background and set up.

Emerson, philosophe transcendantaliste ou pragmatiste?” Gérard Deledalle.
Revue française d’études américaines, No. 91, Ralph Waldo Emerson: l’autorité du scepticisme (FÉVRIER 2002), pp. 80-86

I’m not sure if I’ll use this article for anything but it questions whether or not Emerson should
be understood as a transcendentalist or a pragmatist. The article argues that two traditions in
Emerson studies have emerged: the transcendentalist (the author curiously links this to
Wittgenstein) and the pragmatist (through James and Dewey).

“Pragmatismus, Dekonstruktion, ironischer Eklektizismus Richard Rortys Heidegger-Lektüre.” Philipp Burkard Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, Bd. 51, H. 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1997), pp.268-284

This article is really interesting and makes me wish I read German. It examines pragmatism as it
relates to deconstruction through a lecture on Heidegger given by Richard Rorty. I’ve been
somewhat interested in the ways pragmatism can be put into dialogue with post structuralism.

Stanley Cavell. Emerson’s Transcendental Etudes. Stanford University Press. 2003.

This book is a collection of Cavell’s essays and lectures on Emerson. It’s generally a go-to book.
The essay I’ll be looking at is called “Emerson’s Constitutional Amending.” It argues that
Emerson’s essay “Fate” suggests that our “fate” is our diction. We are trapped in the
pre-formed agreements of language. In conversing with one another, then, we must apply
skepticism to our words in order to reaffirm their vitality as our only way of knowing one
another, darkly. I will use this essay to think through Emersonian reformist perfectionism.
Emerson asserts the need to face one another and speak in a way that puts our words under
tremendous scrutiny. As such, we come to know one another despite the socio-economic
forces that alienate ourselves from ourselves and from each other. What I will argue is that
Emerson suggests that this interpolated conversing and facing must happen in addition to
or despite any broader structural critiques. Ultimately, Emerson is not a systematizer but a
suggester. He does not tell us what we must do, only what we must start to do.

Stanley Cavell. The Senses of Walden. The University of Chicago Press. 1992.

This book I am only beginning to read but it’s where Cavell began his work on the
transcendentalists. (The book was originally published in 1972 by Viking Press). I think this book
may be relevant for my argument in the way that it talks about conversation and our use of
language. Also, Thoreau talks a lot about facing one another and staring into another’s eyes.
I may bring Thoreau’s Walden into the conversation, particularly the passage where Thoreau
talks about mutual gazing. How prominent these texts will be in my discussion remains open.
I’m excited to dip into this book. With Stanley Cavell it’s never a bad time. (Many would

The Other Emerson. Ed. Branka Arsic and Carey Wolfe. University of Minnesota Press. 2010.

There is simply no more important collection of essays on Emerson in the last ten years.  The
aim of this collection is to reevaluate Emerson as a philosopher, marking a major
philosophic turn in Emerson studies that is just now, in my view, coming into maturation. I will
probably use or reference an essay in here by Eric Keenaghen called “Reading Emerson, in
Other Times: On a Politics of Solitude and an Ethics of Risk.” Keenaghen talks about “The
American Scholar” as a text that begins by addressing man’s ontological alienation within
market forces. Keenaghen, however, skips over talking about Emerson’s structural critiques
and talks more about citizenship through reading practices. While Keenaghen begins an
important “intervention”—that being a reevaluation of Emerson’s materialist thinking—I believe
he stops short of a necessary exploration of Emerson’s philosophical resistance to market
forces. I’m not sure to what extent this article will play a role in my project.

The Emerson Dilemma: Essays on Emerson and Social Reform. Ed. T. Gregory Garvey. University of Georgia Press. 2001.

These essays on Emerson and social reform are invaluable. T. Gregory Garvey’s introduction
sets the stage nicely, providing a comprehensive look at the salient themes of Emerson cum
social reformer. My argument assumes that Emerson was a social reformer, albeit in his own
way, that is, through lecturing and through political alliances as a public intellectual. This has
been the trend of recent scholarship and the view of Emerson as detached from social reform
has generally fallen by the wayside. This book will be useful more so for set-up and background
material. It will probably make its way into a few footnotes.