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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Augusta Savage’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (The Harp) as a Work of “Objective” Art
Jon Woodson
​Augusta Savage’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is discussed as a composite work showing influences from ancient Egyptian musical instruments, surrealism, August Rodin, and ancient Egyptian funerary and devotional sculpture. The sculpture is a significant departure from the social realist sculpture of the New Deal era. “Objective” artworks like Savage’s sculpture have been overwritten by i...
Page 57-74
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Post-War American Poetry: An Environmental Perspective
James Sherry
This essay describes the connections between the important groups of innovative, avant-garde, and experimental poetry and poetics emerging in the United States since the Vietnam War: language writing, Flarf, conceptualism, identity poetries, and environmental poetry. The method shows an example of how to look at writing through both close reading and from a distance. Understanding the variety o...
Page 75-90
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Hybrid Hierophanies: Where Rastafari Meets Religious Ecology in Kei Miller’s The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion
Karen McCarthy Woolf
Ecocriticism is a comparatively new and vital discipline that responds to the literatures of an increasingly urgent environmental crisis. Yet, while its remit within materialist and secular thought is diversifying to include postcolonial, cultural, and queer theories, alongside geography and other earth sciences, there is less conversation with complementary and syncretic disciplines such as ec...
Page 91-102
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Happy in the Mother Country: Liminality in Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners
Anthony Joseph
​ Liminality theory remains underused in discussions of post World War II Caribbean writing in the UK. This essay re-considers Samuel Selvon’s seminal 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners through the lens of liminality. In this essay, liminality is used as a lens through which the novel’s characters, structure, locations, and language are viewed. The Lonely Londoners emerges as the prototypical l...
Page 103-116
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Before Citizen: Lyric Subjectivity and the Language of Experience in Claudia Rankine’s Nothing in Nature is Private
Kathy Lou Schultz
This essay analyzes Claudia Rankine’s first book, Nothing in Nature is Private, showing that although the book is formally dissimilar to her later work, it includes themes that continue to be foundational to her writing practice. From the title of the first poem, “American Light,” in this first book, to the subtitle of her two most recent books of poetry (“An American Lyric”) Rankine has d...
Page 117-126
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Down in the Dump: The Abject in Alice Notley’s Culture of One
Laura Hinton
Alice Notley’s Culture of One (2011) is a “poet’s novel” about a woman who lives in the dump of a U.S. Southwest desert town. The female character who “inhabits” the dump—and this poet’s novel—is both metonym for and guide into the lost representation of “the abject,” a concept developed by Julia Kristeva as a psychic state of horror and response to that which lies outside culturally...
Page 127-137
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Introduction to Literary Disability Studies in America: An Interview with Michael Bérubé
Wenjun Wang
Michael Bérubé (born 1961) is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches American literature, disability studies, and cultural studies. He is the author of ten books on cultural studies, disability rights, liberal and conservative politics, and debates in higher education. The best known books are Life as Jamie Knows It: An Exceptional Child...
Page 138-144
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Interview with Gish Jen
Hong Fang
American writer Gish Jen is best known as the author of four critically acclaimed novels: Typical American (1991), Mona in the Promised Land (1996), The Love Wife (2004), and World and Town (2010). Although this interview focuses primarily on these novels, Jen is also the author of a work of nonfiction, Tigerwriting: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self (2013), and the short story collectio...
Page 145-154
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