A Close Reading of Gwendolyn Brooks’s Sonnet Sequence “Gay Chaps at the Bar:” Allusions, Conscious Discrepancies, and Spiritual Alchemy
Jon Woodson
Gwendolyn Brooks’s sonnet sequence, “Gay Chaps at the Bar” is written in compliance with the esoteric literary ideas of the followers of A. R. Orage. Thus each sonnet contains a verifiable intentional mistake, a series of literary allusions, and an esoteric idea. These mistakes have been previously undetected. Most of the allusions have been overlooked by critics. The sonnets are also writt...
Page 109-130
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A Politics of Engagement: On Stuart Hall, Cultural Studies and Intellectual Practice
Glenn Jordan
This paper discusses eleven key features of Stuart Hall’s life and work: (1) his view that being an intellectual is a serious, often difficult vocation; (2) his commitment to studying the “here and now” —the present conjuncture; (3) his refusal to think of “the cultural” as separate from structures, relation, and practices of power; (4) his dedication to public engagement, including inno...
Page 131-136
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Daniel Aaron: An Eminent Americanist
Zhang Longxi
Daniel Aaron is a real legend, a great scholar, an excellent chronicler of twentieth century America, and in hi The Americanist, we find an excellent autobiography that depicts the changes and vicissitudes of American literature, life, and politics of the twentieth century from a wise, intelligent, and highly personal perspective
Page 137-143
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Interview with Ishmael Reed
Yanyu Zeng
I had thought that there should be a strange bond between writers and their researchers. As a reader and researcher, he or she is trying to getting to the writer’s mind, which might require his whole life. But he will probably never achieve what he starts with if the writer is writing all his life. The more he reads the more complicated world of the writer he will find. That’s also what makes...
Page 144-154
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Theme Park Metatexts: An Aesthetics of Inclusion and Exclusion
Florian Freitag
This article uses the examples of guide maps, so-called autothemed rides, and apps to examine the aesthetics of theme park metatexts, that is, medial representations of theme parks or parts thereof that are produced by the parks themselves and that serve as a medial interface between the park landscape and its visitors. Such theme park metatexts have frequently been employed as sources in theme park research, but have only very rarely been figured as objects of research themselves. Based on Lukas’s description of theme parks’ representational strategies as a “politics of inclusion / exclusion,” the essay argues that theme park metatexts stress certain aspects of the park while deemphasizing others, and thus have a major impact on the way visitors anticipate, experience, and remember the park. This applies to more “traditional” forms of metatexts such as printed guide maps, which are handed out for free to theme park visitors,
Page 1-10
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Culture, Agency, and Realism: Three Roles Things Play in Fictional Narratives
Weisheng Tang
There has been an obvious “turn” to things or nonhumans in contemporary narrative studies, that is, a turn to “things” that have been largely neglected in the past, including animals, plants, minerals, ecosystem, landscapes, places, etc. Basically, things can play three roles in fictional narratives: things that, as cultural signifiers, reflect (or influence) human culture, things that, as ...
Page 11-22
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Identity Formation and Cosmopolitan Vision in Asian-American Literature
Anfeng Sheng, Seon-Kee Kim
Asian-American literature is often identified as foreign by Asians and considered inauthentic American literature by the American mainstream. However, this minority group literature is unique in its characteristics so that it cannot be easily judged by either Asian or American norms. In order to better understand Asian-American literature, it is necessary to study how the members of Asian immig...
Page 23-29
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“He Did Not Call Himself an Artist”: Revisiting Ronald Johnson’s Outsider Aesthetic
Norman Finkelstein
Ronald Johnson’s relationship to outsider art has long been recognized as crucial to our understanding of his poetry. In interviews and other statements, the poet often affirms his connections with the self-taught makers of fantastic, visionary sculptural environments. The works of such figures as Simon Rodia, le Facteur Cheval, Raymond Isidore, and James Hampton serve as formal and thematic m...
Page 30-38
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Aye, Two: Langston Hughes’s Sandburgian-Whitmanian Affirmation
Steven Tracy
Langston Hughes’s work must be seen in context and continuity not only with African American writers like Paul Laurence Dunbar, W. E. B. Du Bois, and James Weldon Johnson, but with acknowledged white forebears such as Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. A look at poems by Whitman and Sandburg reveal a writer who modeled some of his work on the writings of the earlier poets, revealing his own aesth...
Page 39-48
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The Questing, Passive Gaze: Ezra Pound’s “Yeux Glauques,” John Ruskin, and the Pre-Raphaelite Moment
Mark Scroggins
“Yeux Glauques,” the sixth poem of Ezra Pound’s 1920 Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, has been read as an indictment of Victorian viewers’ and readers’ rejection of Pre-Raphaelite art and poetry, a rejection proleptic of Georgian readers’ rejection of Pound’s own innovations. This is largely accurate. But the poem’s citation (in its first stanza) of John Ruskin’s “Of Kings’ Treasuries” can be...
Page 49-56
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