Rhea Estelle Lathan Highlights Lesser-Known Perspectives in Freedom Writing: African American Civil Rights Literacy Activism, 1955-1967
Throughout her academic career, Rhea Estelle Lathan has been a strong advocate for African American literacy, and her scholarly studies on the subject jelled in the fall of 2015. That's when Lathan's book Freedom Writing: African American Civil Rights Literacy Activism, 1955-1967 became available through the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), an achievement that beat the organization's steep odds for publication. NCTE's acceptance rate for manuscript submissions is about 5 percent, Lathan says, and just two books a year are published in its Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series. In addition, NCTE featured Freedom Writing on its website from December 2015 through summer 2016.
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Andrew Epstein’s New Book Examines Everyday Life and the ‘Crisis of Attention’
Daily routines, mundane activities, ordinary objects and experiences - those themes do not usually come to mind when a person thinks about literature or poetry. However, as Andrew Epstein demonstrates in his new book, Attention Equals Life: The Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture (Oxford UP, 2016), modern writers have been intensely interested in rendering and documenting the daily life. Epstein argues that over the past several decades poets have become particularly fascinated with the everyday as subject matter and as a central philosophical and political problem for literature.
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Jamie Fumo's New Book Draws Attention to Book of Duchess, Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Underappreciated Poem'
For her most recent book, Making Chaucer's Book of the Duchess: Textuality and Reception (U of Wales P, 2015), Jamie Fumo read and studied more than 300 articles and book chapters published on the English poet's first major narrative poem. The process initially intimidated the medieval scholar, but that sense of feeling overwhelmed eventually developed into excitement as Fumo realized she was working "to become the steward of a single Chaucerian poem."
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Diane Roberts's Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America Reveals Her 'Conflicted' Emotions about the Sport She 'Hates to Love'
Since the fall 2015 release of her book, Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America (HarperCollins), Diane Roberts has been on the usual publicity tour. National Public Radio hosts, book fair organizers, and various publications have interviewed her, as did Misha Rai for Southeast Review, the English department's literary journal. Mark Hinson of the Tallahassee Democrat talked with Roberts for an article that carried the headline "Are FSU football fans ready for the arrival of 'Tribal'?"
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Tarez Samra Graban Argues for a New Perspective on Rewriting Feminist Rhetorical Histories
In her new book, Women's Irony: Rewriting Feminist Rhetorical Histories (Southern Illinois UP, 2015), Tarez Samra Graban examines some conventional characterizations of irony but she also argues for a redefinition of the concept, especially in how histories get written of women's rhetorical performances.
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Anne Coldiron's Printers without Borders Explores Transformation of English Literary Culture in the Renaissance
Hundreds of years from now, historians and digital scholars will be studying the modern-day technology and media revolution, examining its impact on societies and cultures. For a deeper understanding of those changes and their roots, researchers in the future would be wise to read Anne Coldiron's most recent book, Printers without Borders: Translation and Textuality in the Renaissance (Cambridge UP, 2015).
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Kathleen Yancey, Liane Robertson, and Kara Taczak's Writing across Contexts Wins CCCC Award and Grant for Research
Professor Kathleen Yancey's recent publication Writing across Contexts: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing (Utah State UP), which she co-authored with former Florida State rhetoric and composition doctoral students Liane Robertson and Kara Taczak, has been in circulation since only about the middle of 2014. The scope of the trio's research findings is already starting to expand, however, and the book recently won the 2015 CCCC Research Impact Award and a grant from the CCCC Research Initiative to fund further research. → read more
Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Patricia Henley Use Real-life Incident to Weave Mystery Tale in Where Wicked Starts
Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Patricia Henley, co-authors of Where Wicked Starts (Lacewing, 2014), both grew up loving girl-sleuth books. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Harriet the Spy were some of the characters in the stories that inspired Stuckey-French and Henley to write their new book. The story centers on step-sisters Nick and Luna as they attempt to uncover what's really happening in an unsettling relationship between a girl and an older man in their new town, Coquina Bay. → read more
Visiting Post-doctoral Scholar Aiying Liu's Translations Introduce Samuel Beckett's Texts to a New World of Readers
China's appetite for things Western has grown enormously over the past decade. Many economists attribute the spike in French wine prices to the burgeoning Chinese market, for instance, and China has developed a profound interest in Western literature and philosophy as well. → read more
Barbara Hamby Relies on Scrutiny of the Mundane for "Snazzily Beatific" Poems in On the Street of Divine Love
Florida State University Distinguished Research Scholar Barbara Hamby recently released her collection of new and selected poems, On the Street of Divine Love (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014). In addition to selected past works, On the Street of Divine Love includes fifteen new poems full of humor and introspective revelations. Hamby's impressively rhythmic command of imagery and language leads readers on a journey into the American female consciousness in the new century. → read more
Robin Goodman's Gender Work Connects Past and Present Scholarship On Women's Roles in the Workplace
In her role as a senator for the United Faculty of Florida at Florida State and bargaining team member for the faculty union, Robin Goodman puts to use her extensive knowledge and understanding of labor issues to help give her fellow faculty members another voice with university administrators. → read more
David Kirby's The Biscuit Joint is a "Celebration of Creativity of All Kinds"
The reviews for David Kirby's recent collection of poems, The Biscuit Joint (Louisiana State University Press, 2013), praise his mastery of language and his expertise at livening up everyday occurrences. Kirby's most significant words come before even the first line of poetry is read, however, in his dedication to Jeanne Leiby. → read more
Robert Olen Butler's Star of Istanbul is "Zestful and Thrilling"
Robert Olen Butler has a permanent place on the top list of skillful and accomplished fiction writers. Reviewers for years have praised his ability to create characters that are genuine and realistic despite having qualities and lives that are radically different from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. → read more
Shacochis Receives Rave Reviews for The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, during an "All Things Considered" segment, Bob Shacochis talked about one particular difficulty he had while writing his newest novel, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul. → read more
"Scholastically Impeccable and Immensely Readable": Dennis Moore's Fresh, New Edition of Letters from an American Farmer
The recently released Letters from an American Farmer and Other Essays (Harvard UP, 2013) provides more depth and insight to French-born writer J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur and his reflections on early America, thanks to Dennis Moore's twenty-plus years of research. This updated reader's edition fits squarely in what Moore calls "a wonderful renaissance of scholarly interest in early America's history as well as its culture." → read more
Jim O'Rourke Recovers a 'Fresh and Subversive' Shakespeare in New Book
The title of Jim O'Rourke's new book, Retheorizing Shakespeare Through Presentist Readings, created a bit of a stir in July 2011 when a right wing radio talk show host (who calls himself a "defender of Judeo-Christian values") cited it as an example of "the foolishness of the University." → read more
Ned Stuckey-French's The American Essay in the American Century is a "Smart, Artful Discussion" of a Neglected Art Form
In his new book, The American Essay in the American Century (U of Missouri P, 2011), Ned Stuckey-French offers not only a cultural history of the personal essay but also a defense of that oft-neglected art form. → read more
Barry Faulk Explores Music-Literature Continuum in British Rock Modernism, 1967-1977
In the summer of 1967, The Beatles released "All You Need is Love," a song with a simple message of peace and unity. A little less than 10 years later, in the spring of 1977, the Sex Pistols thrashed the airwaves with their most-acclaimed single, "God Save the Queen," with lyrics that include the repeated ending, "No future / no future for you / No future for me." → read more
Maxine Montgomery, Gloria Naylor, and 'Writerly’ Reenactments of Home
Maxine Montgomery first met author and educator Gloria Naylor during her editorial work on Conversations With Gloria Naylor (UP Mississippi, 2004), a collection of fourteen personal and professional interviews that Naylor gave to various sources. The interviews range from 1983, which was soon after the publication of Naylor's first novel, The Women of Brewster Place, to 2000, following the publication of Naylor's The Men of Brewster Place. The two became friends, with Montgomery visiting Naylor at her home in Brooklyn in 2003 and Naylor visiting Florida State University at Montgomery's request in 2005. → read more
Michael Neal's New Book Addresses Writing Assessment and Technology in 21st-Century Teaching
Digital technologies and new media literacy are opening up creative ways for writers at all levels to compose and distribute their work. When classroom assignments result in digital projects that combine writing, visuals, and audio texts, educators might struggle with how to assess these new texts fairly and accurately. → read more
Jerrilyn McGregory Returns to Wiregrass Country to Explore Sacred Music, African-American History, and Culture
In her new book, Downhome Gospel:African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country (University Press of Mississippi, 2010), Jerrilyn McGregory returns to a Southern region and a Southern culture that she explored in her first book, Wiregrass Country (1997). Wiregrass country—which encompasses parts of southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle—is a little-known region, with a history that "challenges long-standing assumptions about African-American life, history, and culture," McGregory writes in the introduction to her most recent publication. "Its inhabitants owe much of their love of sacred music to a dynamic historical past." → read more
Bruce Boehrer's Book Studies Relationship Between Nonhuman Animals and Notions of Literary Character
In the introduction to his recent publication, Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings in Early Modern Literature (U of Pennsylvania P, 2010), Bruce Boehrer recounts the story of George Orwell sending his manuscript of Animal Farm to Dial Press in New York City for consideration to be published. Dial turned down Orwell because, according to a letter the English author later sent to his agent, and which Boehrer cites, "it was impossible to sell animal stories in the USA." Acknowledging that a mistake had been made, the publishing house soon after made an offer on the book, to which Orwell commented on in the letter, "I rather gather they had at first taken it for a bona fide animal story." → read more
Deborah Coxwell-Teague's Book Helps Students Analyze and Critique Diverse Forms of Texts
For Deborah Coxwell-Teague an answer to the question "What is a text?" can be found in the title of her new book: Everything's a Text. Following four years of research, writing, and collaborating with Dan Melzer—who was a doctoral student in the department nearly 10 years ago—Coxwell-Teague's goal with the book is to help students "learn how to read, analyze, respond to, and write about the texts that bombard them each day." → read more
Stan Gontarski's Beckett Book Project Brings High Praise
Stan Gontarski's most recent book project, A Companion To Samuel Beckett (Wiley/Blackwell, March 2010), joins his extensive library of works focused on Irish author Samuel Beckett, and it immediately generated excitement and praise among scholars and readers. → read more
Meegan Kennedy's Revising the Clinic Focuses on Victorian Novelists and Physicians
Meegan Kennedy was still taking in the news that she had been awarded tenure and a promotion to associate professor—delivered in a letter that she had just finished reading—when she sat and talked in her office about her other recent significant career accomplishment, the Jan. 2010 publication of her first book, Revising the Clinic: Vision and Representation in Victorian Medical Narrative and the Novel (Ohio State UP). "It's a wonderful feeling to see my argument in print, and to know that my research can now be useful to other scholars instead of just sitting in notes in my files," she says. Combining her study of the novel and of medical narratives; relying on hundreds of primary sources; building on current scholarship on the Victorian novel and medicine, Kennedy focuses on the similar ways Victorian novelists and physicians debate methods of "seeing and stating"—on how to observe the world and how to record those observations.
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