Shakespeare’s Roman plays, republicanism and identity in Samson Agonistes
Milton and the idea of oratory. Milton and the Politics of Public Speech (Farnham, 2015) looks at Milton’s polemical prose alongside that of many of his contemporaries, and then examines how the imagery of classical citizenship (and more specifically imagery of groups explicitly excluded from citizenship of the Greek polis and Roman res publica ) plays out in his later poetry, above all in his Hebreo-Greek drama. Milton famously equates ‘poetry, and all good oratory’ in his note on the verse of Paradise Lost and one of the original features of my book is the
. This chapter will extend that discussion by exploring how university commentators have tried to systematise reading. Specifically, I am going to talk about close reading, a practice that intersects with numerous academic formations but that has also shaped how literature is taught in schools. As the title of this chapter suggests, I am preoccupied by reading’s role in forming civic identity, and it is in education that reading and citizenship come together most visibly.
All theories of reading participate in the cultural imaginary of reading, by which I mean
A Session at the 2019 Modern Language Association Convention
Robert Jackson, Sharon P. Holland, and Shawn Salvant
“Interventions” was the organizing term for the presentations of
three Baldwin scholars at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago
in January of 2019. Baldwin’s travels and activities in spaces not
traditionally associated with him, including the U.S. South and West, represent
interventions of a quite literal type, while his aesthetic and critical
encounters with these and other cultures, including twenty-first-century
contexts of racial, and racist, affect—as in the case of Raoul
Peck’s 2016 film I Am Not Your Negro—provide
opportunities to reconsider his work as it contributes to new thinking about
race, space, property, citizenship, and aesthetics.
This book explores how the contemporary American novel has revived a long literary and political tradition of imagining male friendship as interlinked with the promises and paradoxes of democracy in the United States. In the last decades of the twentieth century, not only novelists but philosophers, critical theorists, and sociologists rediscovered the concept of friendship as a means of scrutinising bonds of national identity. This book reveals how friendship, long exiled from serious political philosophy, returned as a crucial term in late twentieth-century communitarian debates about citizenship, while, at the same time, becoming integral to continental philosophy’s exploration of the roots of democracy, and, in a different guise, to histories of sexuality. Moving innovatively between these disciplines, this important study brings into dialogue the work of authors rarely discussed together – including Philip Roth, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Dinaw Mengestu, and Teju Cole – and advances a compelling new account of the political and intellectual fabric of the contemporary American novel.
in previous chapters – but of the connection between the themes of political community, citizenship, and male friendship that the novel will explore (33).
Because Marny’s academic specialism is ‘American colonial history’, Robert is keen to have his old friend on board to ‘take the long view’ and to interpret their project in Detroit within a broader historical context (53). In Chapter 1 , I explored how Roth’s American Trilogy also took the ‘long view’ of American democracy, connecting the politics of the 1990s to a series of earlier periods in US history
is ready to share its wealth (dinner) with Nigeria as represented
by Ben. Doyle’s idealistic portrayal of the Nigerian immigrant is resonant of the
zealousness of a new convert: the identity migrant whose self-assigned duty is
to champion his new kinship with the Other. Though this is a positive effort, its
delivery feels superficial.
The story ‘57% Irish’ also addresses intercultural relationships but this time
in the public sphere. Here Doyle uses his writing as a socio-political tool to satirise the amended 2004 Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act. Although
hierarchies’. 23 In addition, by
tracing its protagonist’s resistance to the forms of gendered subordination inherent
in the family and in current frameworks of legal citizenship, ‘ Becoming Abigail represents the struggle for agency of those who are rendered
human cargo’. 24
In Susan Hall’s view Abani’s
representation of the sex trade aligns with human rights or sex work or liberal feminist
positions associated with policy debates on trafficking. However, she thinks it necessary to
expand the parameters of the discussion
. Cruel Optimism . Duke Rutgers University Press , 2011 .
—— The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship . Duke University Press , 1997 .
Brown , Kimberly Juanita
. The Repeating Body: Slavery's Visual Resonance in the Contemporary . Duke University Press , 2015 .
Churchwell , Sarah
. “ A Man of Sorrows .” The Guardian , 4
During a wide-ranging interview with Thomas Schaub, Robinson specifically notes the ways in which the work of Melville, Dickinson, and Thoreau influenced her development as a novelist. These writers were profoundly linked to an emerging democratic culture in America; almost exactly one hundred years before the setting of the Gilead
trilogy, debates with fundamental consequences for the United States were taking place with a particular urgency. Slavery, civil rights, the responsibilities of engaged citizenship, democracy, and nationhood were all
inherent in the family and in current frameworks of legal
citizenship, ‘ Becoming Abigail represents the struggle for agency of those who
are rendered human cargo’. 22
In Susan Hall’s view, Abani’s representation of the sex trade
aligns with human rights, sex work, or liberal feminist positions associated with policy
debates on trafficking, which are tied to two related political concerns: border politics and
sexuality, particularly the regulation of women’s sexuality. Although she emphasises
the neo-colonial agenda of