AMERICAN UTOPIA AND SOCIAL ENGINEERING IN LITERATURE SOCIAL THOUGHT AND POLITICAL HISTORY ROUTLEDGE TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN LITERATURE

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American Utopia And Social Engineering In Literature Social Thought And Political History

Author : Peter Swirski
ISBN : 9781136723391
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 70.57 MB
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The United States today is afflicted with political alienation, militarized violence, institutionalized poverty, and social agony. Worst of all, perhaps, it is afflicted with chronic and acute ahistoricism. America insist on ignoring the context of its present dilemmas. It insists on forgetting what preceded the headlines of today and on denying continuity with history. It insists, in short, on its exceptionalism. American Utopia and Social Engineering sets out to correct this amnesia. It misses no opportunity to flesh out both the historical premises and the political promises behind the social policies and political events of the period. These interdisciplinary concerns provide, in turn, the framework for the analyses of works of American literature that mirror their times and mores. Novels considered include: B.F. Skinner and Walden Two (1948), easily the most scandalous utopia of the century, if not of all times; Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962), an anatomy of political disfranchisement American-style; Bernard Malamud’s God’s Grace (1982), a neo-Darwinian beast fable about morality in the thermonuclear age; Walker Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome (1986), a diagnostic novel about engineering violence out of America’s streets and minds; and Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (2004), an alternative history of homegrown ‘soft’ fascism. With the help of the five novels and the social models outlined therein, Swirski interrogates key aspects of sociobiology and behavioural psychology, voting and referenda procedures, morality and altruism, multilevel selection and proverbial wisdom, violence and chip-implant technology, and the adaptive role of emotions in our private and public lives.
Category: Literary Criticism

Nature Class And New Deal Literature

Author : Professor of American Studies and Director Postgraduate Centre in the Humanities School of English and American Studies Stephen Fender
ISBN : 9781136632280
Genre : History
File Size : 44.73 MB
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Working through close rhetorical analysis of everything from fiction and journalism to documents and documentaries, this book looks at how popular memory favors the country Depression over the economic crisis in the nation’s cities and factories. Over eighty years after it happened, the Depression still lives on in iconic images of country poor whites – in the novels of John Steinbeck, the photographs of Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein, the documentary films of Pare Lorenz and the thousands of share-croppers’ life histories as taken down by the workers of the Federal Writers’ Project. Like the politicians and bureaucrats who accomplished the New Deal’s radical reforms in banking, social security and labor union law, the artists, novelists and other writers who supported or even worked for the New Deal were idealists, well to the left of center in their politics. Yet when it came to hard times on the American farm, something turned them into unwitting reactionaries. Though they brought these broken lives of the country poor to the notice and sympathy of the public, they also worked unconsciously to undermine their condition. How and why? Fender shows how the answer lies in clues overlooked until now, hidden in their writing -- their journalism and novels, the "life histories" they ghost wrote for their poor white clients, the bureaucratic communications through which they administered these cultural programs, even in the documentary photographs and movies, with their insistent captions and voice-overs. This book is a study of literary examples from in and around the country Depression, and the myths on which they drew.
Category: History

Utopia And Terror In Contemporary American Fiction

Author : Judie Newman
ISBN : 9781136774805
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 66.84 MB
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This book examines the quest for/failure of Utopia across a range of contemporary American/transnational fictions in relation to terror and globalization through authors such as Susan Choi, André Dubus, Dalia Sofer, and John Updike. While recent critical thinkers have reengaged with Utopia, the possibility of terror — whether state or non-state, external or homegrown — shadows Utopian imaginings. Terror and Utopia are linked in fiction through the exploration of the commodification of affect, a phenomenon of a globalized world in which feelings are managed, homogenized across cultures, exaggerated, or expunged according to a dominant model. Narrative approaches to the terrorist offer a means to investigate the ways in which fiction can resist commodification of affect, and maintain a reasoned but imaginative vision of possibilities for human community. Newman explores topics such as the first American bestseller with a Muslim protagonist, the links between writer and terrorist, the work of Iranian-Jewish Americans, and the relation of race and religion to Utopian thought.
Category: Literary Criticism

Occupying Space In American Literature And Culture

Author : Ana M. Manzanas
ISBN : 9781317917960
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 90.38 MB
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Occupying Space in American Literature and Culture inscribes itself within the spatial turn that permeates the ways we look at literary and cultural productions. The volume seeks to clarify the connections between race, space, class, and identity as it concentrates on different occupations and disoccupations, enclosures and boundaries. Space is scaled up and down, from the body, the ground zero of spatiality, to the texturology of Manhattan; from the striated place of the office in Melville’s "Bartleby, the Scrivener" on Wall Street, to the striated spaces of internment camps and reservations; from the lowest of the low, the (human) clutter that lined the streets of Albany, NY, during the Depression, to the new Towers of Babel that punctuate the contemporary architecture of transparencies. As it strings together these spatial narratives, the volume reveals how, beyond the boundaries that characterize each space, every location has loose ends that are impossible to contain.
Category: Literary Criticism

Partial Visions

Author : Angelika Bammer
ISBN : 9781134980109
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 72.41 MB
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Positing that a radical utopianism is one of the most vital impulses of feminist politics, Partial Visions traces the articulation of this impulse in the work of Euro-American, French and German women writers of the 1970s. It argues that this feminist utopianism both continued and reconceptualized a critical dimension of Left politics, yet concludes that feminist utopianism is not just visionary, but myopic - time and culture bound - as well.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Idea Of The Postmodern

Author : Hans Bertens
ISBN : 9781134928651
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 51.97 MB
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At last! Everything you ever wanted to know about postmodernism but were afraid to ask. Hans Bertens' Postmodernism is the first introductory overview of postmodernism to succeed in providing a witty and accessible guide for the bemused student. In clear and straightforward but always elegant prose, Bertens sets out the interdisciplinary aspects, the critical debates and the key theorists of postmodernism. He also explains, in thoughtful and illuminating language, the relationship between postmodernism and poststructuralism, and that between modernism and postmodernism. An enjoyable and indispensible text for today's student.
Category: Literary Criticism

Red Pedagogy

Author : Sandy Grande
ISBN : 9781610489904
Genre : Education
File Size : 90.98 MB
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This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that, with few exceptions, the matters of Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education.
Category: Education

American Exceptionalism

Author : Seymour Martin Lipset
ISBN : 0393316149
Genre : History
File Size : 28.20 MB
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A study of American beliefs and how they shape our society notes how the typical citizen's commitment to such ideals as individualism, populism, and egalitarianism has led to ambivalent social practices.
Category: History

From Lowbrow To Nobrow

Author : Peter Swirski
ISBN : 9780773529922
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 43.64 MB
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'From Lowbrow to Nobrow' vindicates popular fiction as an art form that expresses and reflects the aesthetic and social values of its readers.
Category: Literary Criticism

Queer Theory

Author : Annamarie Jagose
ISBN : 9780814742341
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 38.47 MB
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This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.
Category: Social Science