Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
The medieval period - broadly conceived from the Fall of Rome to the Reformation, in a European context - has produced some of the most dazzling and transformative feats of travel and exploration: the Papal embassies that took over one year of overland travel to reach Mongolia, Ibn Battuta’s thirty years of voyaging to Africa and East Asia, or Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World, to name a few spectacular instances. Medieval travel writing, in particular, has contributed many of the most widely studied narratives in literary history, including John Mandeville’s Travels, Boccaccio’s Decameron, Marco Polo’s voyage account, or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Global Medieval Travel Writing: A Literary History, edited by Sebastian Sobecki and contracted by Cambridge University Press, will be published in 2023. This will be the first pan-European, Middle Eastern, and global guide through the bewildering maze of early travel narratives. Each chapter will be written by a leading specialist in their geographical area. At the same time, the geographical scope of this collection, with chapters on travel writing produced by Persian, Arabic, and Chinese writers, will challenge Western periodisation and the term ‘medieval’. Using the dates 1200 and 1550 CE as boundaries for a global period of intercultural and intercontinental contact, the volume (despite its combined European and Middle Eastern centre) will not attempt to interpret ‘medieval’ beyond marking a chronological spectrum.
Individual chapters will pay particular attention to questions of gender, manuscript transmission, and language choice and multilingualism.
The Case of Geoffrey Chaucer and Cecily Chaumpaigne: New Evidence
(special issue) 57:4 (2022), co-edited with Euan Roger
This special issue of The Chaucer Review
momentous discovery by Euan Roger and Sebastian Sobecki of new documents
from the Court of King's Bench that establish the nature of the
Chaucer-Chaumpaigne court case. As editors, we are pleased that The Chaucer Review
is the venue for making public newly uncovered documents housed at The
National Archives in Kew. In addition, three appendices supplied by
Roger and Sobecki provide important updates to Chaucer's extant
life-records: (1) a full chronology of the known Chaucer-Chaumpaigne
record; (2) transcriptions and translations of all the pertinent
documents; and (3) a calendar of the nine Chaucer life-records
discovered since the publication of Martin M. Crow and Clair C. Olsen's Chaucer Life-Records
(Oxford, 1966). This historic issue also holds a first-ever survey of
the life-records of Cecily Chaumpaigne, compiled and assessed by Andrew
Prescott, as well as three critical responses, authored by Sarah
Baechle, Carissa M. Harris, and Samantha Katz Seal, which consider
scholarly perspectives that may arise in light of these new facts and
findings. An afterword composed by Roger and Prescott delineates the
strong potential for finding yet more life-records on major medieval
authors-records likely to still lie dormant in the archives. With this
issue, The Chaucer Review
hews close to its tradition as a
forum for both new evidence and courageous opinion on the life and
writings of Geoffrey Chaucer.
This is the first edition of A Mirroure of Myserie (1557), a poem
by the Catholic propagandist Miles Hogarde and probably presented to
Queen Mary. Cast as a dream vision, this combative dialogue draws on
William Langland’s widely circulating medieval poem The Vision of Piers Plowman and offers a critical assessment of sixteenth-century morality in England.
The Mirroure of Myserie has been edited from Huntington Library
MS 121 and is accompanied by a short introduction. This accessible
edition preserves Hogarde’s original spelling but adds modern
punctuation and glosses of all unfamiliar words and concepts.
No medieval text was designed to be read hundreds of years later by an audience unfamiliar with its language, situation, and author. By ascribing to these texts intentional anonymity, we romanticise them and misjudge the social character of their authors. Instead, most medieval poems and manuscripts presuppose familiarity with their authorial or scribal maker. Last Words: The Public Self and the Social Author in Late Medieval England attempts to recover this familiarity and understand the literary motivation behind some of most important fifteenth-century texts and authors.
Last Words captures the public selves of such social authors when they attempt to extract themselves from the context of a lived life. Driven by archival research and literary inquiry, this book reveals where John Gower kept the Trentham manuscript in his final years, how John Lydgate wished to be remembered, and why Thomas Hoccleve wrote his best-known work, the Series. It includes documentary breakthroughs and archival discoveries, and introduces a new life record for Hoccleve, identifies the author of a significant political poem, and reveals the handwriting of John Gower and George Ashby.
Through its investments in archival study, book history, and literary criticism, Last Words charts the extent to which medieval English literature was shaped by the social selves of their authors.
Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology
is a comprehensive volume that consists of three sections: concise introductory essays written by leading specialists; an anthology of important and less well-known texts, grouped by destination; and a selection of supporting bibliographies organized by type of voyage. This anthology presents some texts for the first time in a modern edition. The first section consists of six companion essays on 'Places, Real and Imagined', 'Maps and the Organization of Space', 'Encounters', 'Codes and Languages', 'Trade and Exchange', and 'Politics and Diplomacy'.
The organizing principle for the anthology is one of expansive geography. Starting with local English narratives, the section moves to France, en-route destinations, the Holy Land, and the Far East. In total, the anthology contains twenty-six texts or extracts, including new editions of Floris & Blancheflour, The Stacions of Rome, The Libelle of Englyshe Polycye
, and Chaucers 'Squire's Tale', in addition to less familiar texts, such as Osbern Bokenham's Mappula Angliae, John Kay's Siege of Rhodes
, and Richard Torkington's Diaries of Englysshe Travell
The supporting bibliographies, in turn, take a functional approach to travel, and support the texts by elucidating contexts for travel and travellers in five areas: 'commercial voyages', 'diplomatic and military travel', 'maps, rutters, and charts', 'practical needs, languages, and currencies', and 'religious voyages'.
Despite an unprecedented level of interest in the interaction between law and literature over the past two decades, readers have had no accessible introduction to this rich engagement in medieval and early Tudor England. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Law and Literature addresses this need by combining an authoritative guide through the bewildering maze of medieval law with concise examples illustrating how the law infiltrated literary texts during this period. Foundational chapters written by leading specialists in legal history prepare readers to be guided by noted literary scholars through unexpected conversations with the law found in numerous medieval texts, including major works by Chaucer, Langland, Gower, and Malory. Part I contains detailed introductions to legal concepts, practices and institutions in medieval England, and Part II covers medieval texts and authors whose verse and prose can be understood as engaging with the law.
vols. 41-45. (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2019-2023), co-edited with Michelle Karnes
Studies in the Age of Chaucer, the yearbook of the New Chaucer Society, publishes articles on the writing of Chaucer and his contemporaries, their antecedents and successors, and their intellectual and social contexts. More generally, articles explore the culture and writing of later medieval Britain (1200-1500). SAC also includes an annotated bibliography and reviews of Chaucer-related publications.
co-edited with John Scattergood (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2018)
John Skelton is a central literary figure and the leading poet during the first thirty years of Tudor rule. Nevertheless, he remains challenging and even contradictory for modern audiences.
This book aims to provide an authoritative guide to this complex poet and his works, setting him in his historical, religious, and social contexts. Beginning with an exploration of his life and career, it goes on to cover all the major aspects of his poetry, from the literary traditions in which he wrote and the form of his compositions to the manuscript contexts and later reception.
Postmedieval (special issue) 7:4 (2016), co-edited with Matthew Boyd Goldie
publishes theoretically driven scholarship on premodernity and its ongoing reverberations. Contributions are characterized by conceptual adventure, stylistic experiment, political urgency, or surprising encounter. The editors are committed to expanding the fields of knowledge and geography represented in the journal, by showcasing scholarship that reaches across disciplines, language traditions, locales, modes of inquiry, and levels of access. Our aim is to facilitate collaborative, ethical, and experimental engagements with the medieval – with its archives and art, its thought and practices, its traces and its enduring possibilities.
(Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015)
In Unwritten Verities: The Making of England's Vernacular Legal Culture, 1463-1549, Sebastian Sobecki argues that the commitment by English common law to an unwritten tradition, along with its association with Lancastrian political ideas of consensual government, generated a vernacular legal culture on the eve of the Reformation that challenged the centralizing ambitions of Tudor monarchs, the scriptural literalism of ardent Protestants, and the Latinity of English humanists.
Sobecki identifies the widespread dissemination of legal books and William Caxton's printing of the Statutes of Henry VII as crucial events in the creation of a vernacular legal culture. He reveals the impact of medieval concepts of language, governance, and unwritten authority on such sixteenth-century humanists, reformers, playwrights, and legal writers as John Rastell, Thomas Elyot, Christopher St. German, Edmund Dudley, John Heywood, and Thomas Starkey. Unwritten Verities argues that three significant developments contributed to the emergence of a vernacular legal culture in fifteenth-century England: medieval literary theories of translation, a Lancastrian legacy of conciliar government, and an adherence to unwritten tradition. This vernacular legal culture, in turn, challenged the textual practices of English humanism and the early Reformation in the following century. Ultimately, the spread of vernacular law books found a response in the popular rebellions of 1549, at the helm of which often stood petitioners trained in legal writing.
Informed by new developments in medieval literature and early modern social history, Unwritten Verities sheds new light on law printing, John Fortescue's constitutional thought, ideas of the commonwealth, and the role of French in medieval and Tudor England.
(Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2011)
Essays examining the way in which the sea has shaped medieval and later ideas of what it is to be English.
Local and imperial, insular and expansive, both English yet British: geographically and culturally, the sea continues to shape changing models of Englishness. This volume traces the many literary origins of insular identity from local communities to the entire archipelago, laying open the continuities and disruptions in the sea's relationship with English identity in a British context. Ranging from the beginnings of insular literature to Victorian medievalisms, the subjects treated include King Arthur's struggle with muddy banks, the afterlife of Edgar's forged charters, Old English homilies and narratives of migration, Welsh and English ideas about Chester, Anglo-Norman views of the sea in the Vie de St Edmund and Waldef
, post-Conquest cartography, The Book of Margery Kempe
, the works of the Irish Stopford Brooke, and the making of an Anglo-British identity in Victorian Britain.
(Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2018)
A fresh and invigorating survey of the sea as it appears in medieval English literature, from romance to chronicle, hagiography to autobiography.
As the first cultural history of the sea in medieval English literature, this book traces premodern myths of insularity from their Old English beginnings to Shakespeare's Tempest
. Beginning with a discussion of biblical, classical and pre-Conquest treatments of the sea, it investigates how such works as the Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan
, the Tristan romances, the chronicles of Matthew Paris, King Horn, Patience, The Book of Margery Kempe
and The Libelle of Englyshe Polycye
shape insular ideologies of Englishness. Whether it is Britain's privileged place in the geography of salvation or the political fiction of the idyllic island fortress, medieval English writers' myths of the sea betray their anxieties about their own insular identity; their texts call on maritime motifs to define England geographically and culturally against the presence of the sea. New insights from a range of fields, including jurisprudence, theology, the history of cartography and anthropology, are used to provide fresh readings of a wide range of both insular and continental writings.
The Etruscans in the Modern
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022.
The Etruscans in the Modern Imagination
chronicles the unexpected return of the Etruscans to intellectual and
cultural history, beginning with eighteenth-century scholars, collectors, and archaeologists. Their
resurrection occurred in philosophy,
literature, music, history, mythology, and the plastic arts. From Josiah
Wedgwood to Anne Carson (with many stops between), the book reads the traces of
Etruscan civilization for what they tell us about cultural knowledge in
different times and places, for the way that ideas about the Etruscans can
reflect a particular cultural moment, and for the creative alchemy whereby
artists turn to the past for the raw materials of contemporary creation.
A Truffaut Notebook
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015
The book consists of over eighty short
entries and essays, as well as photographs, lists, dreams, and quizzes and
offers a novel introduction to the life and work of one of the fathers of the
French New Wave. It examines topics such as Truffaut's mentors, his place in
the film tradition, the autobiographical dimension of his films, his influence,
and the formal and thematic coherence of his body of work. The film critic
Jerry White described it as ‘a genuine advance in terms of critical practice.'
Sam Solecki, ed.
Yours, Al: The Collected Letters of Al Purdy
Harbour Publishing, 2004
Published four years after the poet’s death, Yours, Al can be read as an unexpurgated companion to his 1997 autobiography, Reaching for the Beaufort Sea, and his collected poems, Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Like any body of interesting correspondence, they offer a perspective on the life and times of an individual from a viewpoint unavailable to anyone else. If, to quote the title of one of Purdy’s last books, No One Else Is Lawrence!, it is also true that no one else is quite like Purdy. And we read letters, whether Lawrence’s or Purdy’s, to encounter those very qualities that make him unique, or in Mary Wordsworth’s more figurative phrase, "to see the breathing of the inmost heart upon paper." What we discover are the various, sometimes contradictory aspects of a great writer’s self caught in the voices and personae of letters written to various people at different times and on different occasions. We get a more complex, almost cubist self-portrait in various styles and in nearly countless typefaces than we find in an autobiography (or biography). In Purdy’s case, the "picture" is the result of thousands of individual texts produced over a period of half a century and it illustrates Proust’s suggestion that "On ne se réalise que successivement," a notion that finds some incidental confirmation in Purdy’s uncertainty for many years in his letters and his books about his name: was he Alfred Wellington Purdy, Alfred W. Purdy, A.W. Purdy, Alfred Purdy or Al? In this fascinating collection we find Purdy in dialogue with individuals as different as Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Northrop Frye, Jack McClelland and Pierre Trudeau.
Ragas of Longing: The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje
University of Toronto Press, 2003
Ragas of Longing offers the first book-length study of Michael Ondaatje’s poetry and its place within his overall body of work. Relating the poetry to various poetic traditions from classical Sanskrit and Tamil to postmodern, the book presents a chronologically arranged critical reading of Ondaatje’s six volumes. Among the study’s concerns are the relationship between the poet’s life and work, his poetic debts and development, his theory of poetry and his central themes. It also includes close readings of Ondaatje’s monographs on Leonard Cohen and Edwin Muir, the Scots poet and critic. The book suggests that Ondaatje’s poetry can be seen as constituting a relatively cohesive personal canon that has evolved with each book building on its predecessors while simultaneously preparing the ground for its successor. The author argues that Ondaatje’s writing has a narrative unity and trajectory determined by crucial events in his life, especially the breakup of his family and his subsequent exile from his father and Ceylon. The result is a body of work whose vision is post-Christian, postmodern, and, despite an often humorous tone, fundamentally tragic.
Prague Blues: The Fiction of Josef Škvorecký
ECW Press, 1988
Prague Blues is the first book-length study of the fiction of the Czech-Canadian writer Josef Skvorecky (b. 1924) who has been described by George Steiner in The New Yorker as ‘one of the major literary figures of our time’ and who won the Neustadt Prize in 1980 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. This critical overview of Skvorecky’s career suggests that the novelist is a central figure not only in the literature of Central Europe but in the writing of the West, and that his novels, from the now classic The Cowards (1958) to The Miracle Game (1972) and the award-winning The Engineer of Human Souls (1977) constitute an irreplaceable fictional chronicle of the past half-century of European society and history. Solecki suggests that Skvorecky is essentially a comic and anti-political writer who, because of the irony of historical circumstances, developed almost against his will into an important political novelist. He argues that at the heart of the novelist’s comic and often satiric fiction is a fundamentally religious vision that offers a defence of the individual and of certain average human values against the dogmas of totalitarian ideologies. In this he writes in the tradition that includes Czeslaw Milosz and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. In addition to interpretations of the major novels and stories, Prague Blues contains a biographical chronicle of Skvorecky’s career.
Written by a team of leading international scholars, The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War
illuminates the ways Shakespeare's works provide a rich and imaginative
resource for thinking about the topic of war. Contributors explore the
multiplicity of conflicting perspectives his dramas offer: war depicted
from chivalric, masculine, nationalistic, and imperial perspectives; war
depicted as a source of great excitement and as a theater of honor; war
depicted from realistic or skeptical perspectives that expose the
butchery, suffering, illness, famine, degradation, and havoc it causes.
The essays in this volume examine the representations and rhetoric of
war throughout Shakespeare's plays, as well as the modern history of the
war plays on stage, in film, and in propaganda. This book offers fresh
perspectives on Shakespeare's multifaceted representations of the
complexities of early modern warfare, while at the same time
illuminating why his perspectives on war and its consequences continue
to matter now and in the future.
Early Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England
University of Toronto Press, 2008
Despite John Milton’s intense political engagement and stirring defenses
of the English Revolution, relatively little has been written on
Milton’s patriotism, his concept of the nation and its relation to early
modern nationalism. This book sets out to redress the balance. Informed
by a range critical methods, its fifteen essays examine the complex
expressions of nationhood and national identity in Milton’s writings in
order to illuminate some of the crucial literary, ethnic, and civic
dimensions of nationalism in general. The book’s argument falls into
five sections: the representation of England as the peculiar locus of a
“free people,” the nation and its church, ethnicity and international
relations, nationalism and its discontents, and the nationalization of
Milton. “This stunning volume immensely expands our understanding of
Milton and early modern nationalism. It will be de rigueur reading for
all those interested in the nation and nationalism from the early modern
period to the twenty-first century” (Rachel Trubowitz [New Hampshire]).
“Compelling and discriminating” (Nigel Smith [Princeton]).
and Viviana Comensoli, eds. and contributors
Discontinuities: New Essays on Renaissance Literature and Criticism
University of Toronto Press, 1998
Over the past two decades there has been a generally recognized paradigm
shift in the study of English Renaissance literature. Scholarly
attention has moved from the individual to the social as the agent of
literary production and the principal site of discussion. Genius is now
far less likely to be invoked than discourse, culture, or ideology. The
intellectual shift, routinely associated with new historicism, feminism,
and cultural materialism, has been neither uncontested nor simple and
uniform. The essays in this volume set out to identify, examine, and
respond to these discontinuities, and in so doing attest to the
extraordinary vitality of contemporary Renaissance studies. “This
powerful collection of essays points to the limitations of historicism
in a robust call for new theorizing of English Renaissance literary
studies. Discontinuities offers a most compelling and subtle analysis of
current modes of criticism in Renaissance studies” (Sharon Achinstein
[Oxford]). “Exceptionally honest and provocative” (Comparative Drama
Imagination and the Presence of Shakespeare in ‘Paradise Lost’
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985
English literary history has long held that Milton renounced
Shakespeare, and for some literary critics this meant the renunciation
of the creative imagination. This work of criticism is the first
extensive study to explore the influence of Shakespeare on Milton’s
poetry and understanding of imagination. Stevens uncovers an unusual
range of Shakespearean echoes in Paradise Lost and other works to
substantiate his argument that Shakespeare functioned in Milton’s
intellectual and psychic life as a symbol or type of the imagination and
its potential for doing many things but most importantly for creating
religious belief. “What is most valuable about this book, and most
original, is the quite extraordinary way other texts, and especially the
plays of Shakespeare, are used as the main instrument of exegesis”
(Annabel Patterson [Yale]). “Stevens is a superb teacher of the way in
which poetry should be read – must be read” (Joseph Wittreich [Graduate
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin.
Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.
As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us.
HarperCollins and John Murray, 2006
The true story of a remarkable place and time and of a group of legendary artists, intellectuals, scientists, musicians, writers, philosophers, and political leaders who found shelter and sanity in a world turned murderous. France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler’s Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Péret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced confidence could mean arrest, deportation, and death. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a chateau outside Marseilles where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive. Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes -- feisty graduate student Marian Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque, Danny Bénédite as well as his British wife Theo -- cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly-installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The chateau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games. Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the chateau’s luscious façade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, these diverse individuals, intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified, were able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. Villa Air-Bel is a powerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Filled with suspense, drama and intrigue Villa Air-Bel is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction that delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history.
Black Moss Press, November 2011.
Deep under the ground lived a little mole named Molito. His fur was brown, the colour of burnt toast. His eyes were as yellow as the sun.
is a story about friendship. One day in the underground park, Molito meets an ant named Carlota who tells him about the mysterious place she lives in, called the upperworld. Molito sets out on his journey to discover what that world is.
is written by Rosemary Sullivan and Juan Opitz, and illustrated by Rosemary’s sister Colleen Sullivan. The Chilean Canadian musician Nano Valverde has composed music to accompany the story narrated by Rosemary Sullivan. A CD of music and story will be included in the sleeve of the book.
Music composed and performed by Nano Valverde. Zampoña and kena played by Claudia Saldivia. Narration by Rosemary Sullivan. Produced, recorded and mastered by Juan Opitz, The HeadRoom Productions, Canada. (from Black Moss Press)
Indigenous Women's Writing and the Cultural Study of Law
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2017
In Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law, Cheryl Suzack explores Indigenous women’s writing in the post-civil rights period through close-reading analysis of major texts by Leslie Marmon Silko, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, Louise Erdrich, and Winona LaDuke.
Working within a transnational framework that compares multiple tribal national contexts and U.S.-Canadian settler colonialism, Suzack sheds light on how these Indigenous writers use storytelling to engage in social justice activism by contesting discriminatory tribal membership codes, critiquing the dispossession of Indigenous women from their children, challenging dehumanizing blood quantum codes, and protesting colonial forms of land dispossession. Each chapter in this volume aligns a court case with a literary text to show how literature contributes to self-determination struggles. Situated at the intersections of critical race, Indigenous feminist, and social justice theories, Indigenous Women’s Writing and the Cultural Study of Law
crafts an Indigenous-feminist literary model in order to demonstrate how Indigenous women respond to the narrow vision of law by recuperating other relationships–to themselves, the land, the community, and the settler-nation.
Cheryl Suzack, Shari Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, and Jean Barman, eds. and contributors
Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
University of British Columbia Press, 2010
*Awarded the 2012 Canadian Women's Studies Association (CWSA/ACEF) Outstanding Scholarship Prize*
Can the specific concerns of Indigenous women be addressed within current mainstream feminist and post-colonial discussions? Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
proposes that a dynamic new line of inquiry -- Indigenous feminism -- is necessary to truly engage with the crucial issues of cultural identity, nationalism, and decolonization particular to Indigenous contexts.
Through the lenses of politics, activism, and culture, this wide-ranging collection examines the historical roles of Indigenous women, their intellectual and activist work, and the relevance of contemporary literature, art, and performance for an emerging Indigenous feminist project. The questions at the heart of these essays -- What is at stake in conceptualizing Indigenous feminism? How does feminism relate to Indigenous claims to land and sovereignty? What lessons can we learn from the past? How do Indigenous women engage ongoing violence and social and political marginalization? -- cross disciplinary, national, academic, and activist boundaries to explore in depth the unique political and social positions of Indigenous women.
"A much needed and important addition to the scholarship of the Indigenous renaissance, this collection illuminates the effects of the colonial experience and contemporary politics, culture, and activism on Indigenous women’s lives." (Marie Battiste [University of Saskatchewan])
“Power and purpose drive this crucial, timely, and extraordinarily valuable collection” (Kathryn Shanley [University of Montana]).
Syme, Holger Schott
Theatre and Testimony in Shakespeare's England: A Culture of Mediation
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, December 2011
Holger Syme presents a radically new explanation for the theater's importance in Shakespeare's time. He portrays early modern England as a culture of mediation, dominated by transactions in which one person stood in for another, giving voice to absent speakers or bringing past events to life. No art form related more immediately to this culture than the theater. Arguing against the influential view that the period underwent a crisis of representation, Syme draws upon extensive archival research in the fields of law, demonology, historiography and science to trace a pervasive conviction that testimony and report, delivered by properly authorized figures, provided access to truth. Through detailed close readings of plays by Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare - in particular Volpone
, Richard II
and The Winter's Tale
- and analyses of criminal trial procedures, the book constructs a revisionist account of the nature of representation on the early modern stage.
Excerpts to be found here: http://www.dispositio.net/archives/606
"While Shakespeare critics debate the merits of text versus performance, page versus stage, Holger Schott Syme's powerful new study argues for attending the relationship between the two. Early modern English law and theater both derive their lively oral evocations from written imitations of speech; in tracking this shared dependence on a scripted illusion of voice and presence, Syme offers original and unexpected insights into a broad range of dramatic and legal fictions, from comedies and romances to treason trials."
- Lorna Hutson, University of St Andrews
"Theatre and Testimony
is a masterful survey of how, against prevailing historicist and theoretical arguments on the writing and culture of this period, the Elizabethan and Jacobean world established multiple forms of authority, in particular in the fields of law and theater, through strategies which relied on mediation, circulation, and the multiplication of sources. Syme's analyses are profoundly revisionary, wonderfully original, even contrarian, and supported by a wealth of careful detail and intelligent and subtle readings. It is hard to overstate the extent to which his argument requires a revision of the way literary scholars since 1980 and the rise of New Historicism have seen Tudor and Stuart culture. This may be one of those rare books that makes scholars reconsider what has become received wisdom about early modern performance and its means of authorization."
- William N. West, Northwestern University
Syme, Holger Schott
Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583-1603: Material Practices and Conditions of Playing
Ed. Helen Ostovich, Holger Schott Syme, and Andrew Griffin
Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009
Locating the Queen's Men
presents new and groundbreaking essays on early modern England's most prominent acting company, from their establishment in 1583 into the 1590s. Offering a far more detailed critical engagement with the plays than is available elsewhere, this volume situates the company in the theatrical and economic context of their time.
The essays gathered here focus on four different aspects: playing spaces, repertory, play-types, and performance style, beginning with essays devoted to touring conditions, performances in university towns, London inns and theatres, and the patronage system under Queen Elizabeth. Repertory studies, unique to this volume, consider the elements of the company's distinctive style, and how this style may have influenced, for example, Shakespeare's Henry V
. Contributors explore two distinct genres, the morality and the history play, especially focussing on the use of stock characters and on male/female relationships.
Revising standard accounts of late Elizabeth theatre history, this collection shows that the Queen's Men, often understood as the last rear-guard of the old theatre, were a vital force that enjoyed continued success in the provinces and in London, representative of the abiding appeal of an older, more ostentatiously theatrical form of drama.
‘Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583–1603
is a vital and expansive contribution to repertory studies and serves as a microcosmic representation of current interests in the scholarship of early modern drama.’ Shakespeare
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