Jed Rasula, Acrobatic Modernism from the Avant-Garde to Prehistory
At the very moment the pandemic swept over us, I heard from Oxford University Press that copies of my latest book had arrived. Acrobatic Modernism from the Avant-Garde to Prehistory is the second of two volumes on modernism. Its predecessor (both started out as a single manuscript around 2004, split into two by 2012) was History of a Shiver: The Sublime Impudence of Modernism (Oxford U.P. 2016), recipient of the Matei Calinescu Prize from the Modern Language Association in 2017. Acrobatic Modernism is a big book, over four hundred pages, covering various aspects of modern art, literature and music from 1910 to 1945. It includes the fruits of long research on the early spread of jazz around the world in the wake of the First World War, another chapter on the modernist credo made famous by poet Ezra Pound, “Make It New,” and several chapters on the quest for a “new mythology” animating many artists as the world descended into a second World War, during which many European exiles (mostly Surrealists) and younger American artists (later known as Abstract Expressionists) developed a keen interest in the latest revelations of prehistoric art like Lascaux, discovered in 1940. Prehistory and the twentieth-century avant-garde formed a mythopoetic model of temporal regeneration against the backdrop of global war.--Jed Rasula
Ed Pavlic, Let It Be Broken
In December, Indie Book Magazine Shelf Unbound featured Dr. Ed Pavlić's Let It Be Broken (Four Way Books, 2020) as one of this year's Top Notable Indies. From the article: "Pavlić's lyric lines are equal parts introspection and inter-spection, a term he coins for the shared rumination that encourages a collective 'deep think' about the arbitrary boundaries that perpetuate racial and geographic segregation and the power of words to transcend those differences." Let It Be Broken has also garnered praise from Publishers Weekly ("This suite of poems is an impressive, revolutionary exploration of America’s violent history"), Library Journal ("Pavlić fiercely confronts a culture defined by racism when race itself is just a construct"), and Kenyon Review ("During this American and global era of renewed awakening and self-reckoning around racial justice, Pavlic’s message resonates").
-- Paul Cunningham
Nicholas Allen, Ireland, Literature and the Coast: Seatangled
In a virtual event held Thursday, December 3rd, the University of Georgia celebrated the publication of Dr. Nicholas Allen’s latest book Ireland, Literature and the Coast: Seatangled (Oxford, 2020). According to Oxford Press, this is the first volume of its kind to situate two centuries of Irish literature and art in coastal contexts. Ireland, Literature and the Coast: Seatangled establishes a realignment of Irish literary study away from land and towards the coast and the sea. It presents new archival material, including books from Erskine Childers's sea library and the scrapbooks of Jack Yeats, to open readings of Irish literature and art to other coastal and maritime cultures and contexts. The publisher notes, “It sets a diverse range of writing and visual art in a fluid panorama of liquid associations that connect Irish literature to an archipelago of other times and places… In doing so, it creates a literary and visual narrative of Irish coastal cultures across a seaboard that extends to a planetary configuration of imagined islands.”
The book launch itself featured a welcome from humanities publisher & senior commissioning editor at the Oxford University Press. Leading conversations about the text were Dr. Nicholas Allen himself, as well Eve Patten, professor of English and Trinity Long Room Hub director at Trinity College Dublin, and John Kerrigan, professor of English at the University of Cambridge. The celebration moved to questions and conversations prompted by participants and closed with the actual book launch itself. --Nele Langhoff
Miriam Jacobson and Julie Park, Editors, Organic Supplements: Bodies and Things of the Natural World, 1580-1790
Organic Supplements is a cross-disciplinary collection of essays that examine the interlaced relationships between natural things and human beings in early modern and eighteenth-century Europe. From the hair of a famous dead poet to botanical ornaments and meat pies, the subjects of this collection are dynamic, organic artifacts. The contributors examine how the material qualities of things as living organisms—or origins from living organisms—enabled a range of critical actions and experiences to take place for the people who wore, used, consumed or perceived them. Challenging traditional historical frameworks that treat the Renaissance and eighteenth century as discontinuous with each other, this collection brings the two periods together to show how they shared a conceptual history of the organic supplement, a material thing fashioned from or representative of the natural world, that mediated and redefined human relationships to the natural world.