Center for the Humanities Faculty Book-Length Publications (selected works)
Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship
by Lucy E. Salyer
Harvard University Press (October 2018)
In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. "Under the Starry Flag" recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were known, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guaranteed the right to renounce one’s citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves.
The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, "Under the Starry Flag" raises important questions about citizenship and immigration.
Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media
by Scott E. Weintraub
New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies Routledge (June 4, 2018)
"Latin American Technopoetics: Scientific Explorations in New Media" analyzes the ways in which poetry and multimedia installations by six prominent poets and artists engage, and in turn are engaged by, scientific discourses. In its innovative readings of contemporary digital media works, "Latin American Technopoetics" is the first book to investigate the powerful dialogue between recent techno-cultural phenomena, literature, and various scientific fields. This cutting-edge analysis of poetic and artistic experimentation — robots that compose and recite poetry, algorithms that create visualizations of poetic language or of the connections between everyday language and scientific terminology, arrays of multi-dimensional poetic spaces, and telematic and transgenic art — makes a strong case for the increasing viability of a scientific poetics currently gaining prominence in Latin American literary and media studies, digital humanities, and science and technology studies.
American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824–62
by Brigitte Bailey
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures Edinburgh University Press (April 2018)
"American Travel Literature" analyses U.S. tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response, and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices, and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity.
Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, the book historicises aesthetic practices by tracing nineteenth-century U.S. representations of Italy. It draws connections between tourist writing and visual culture as means of understanding the depth of Americans’ turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.
Rethinking Shakespeare Source Study: Audiences, Authors, and Digital Technologies
edited by Dennis Austin Britton and Melissa Walter
(Routledge Studies in Shakespeare) Routledge (April 3, 2018)
This book asks new questions about how and why Shakespeare engages with source material, and about what should be counted as sources in Shakespeare studies. The essays demonstrate that source study remains an indispensable mode of inquiry for understanding Shakespeare, his authorship and audiences, and early modern gender, racial, and class relations, as well as for considering how new technologies have and will continue to redefine our understanding of the materials Shakespeare used to compose his plays. Although source study has been used in the past to construct a conservative view of Shakespeare and his genius, the volume argues that a rethought Shakespearean source study provides opportunities to examine models and practices of cultural exchange and memory, and to value specific cultures and difference. Informed by contemporary approaches to literature and culture, the essays revise conceptions of sources and intertextuality to include terms like "haunting," "sustainability," "microscopic sources," "contamination," "fragmentary circulation" and "cultural conservation." They maintain an awareness of the heterogeneity of cultures along lines of class, religious affiliation, and race, seeking to enhance the opportunity to register diverse ideas and frameworks imported from foreign material and distant sources. The volume not only examines print culture, but also material culture, theatrical paradigms, generic assumptions, and oral narratives. It considers how digital technologies alter how we find sources and see connections among texts. This book asserts that how critics assess and acknowledge Shakespeare’s sources remains interpretively and politically significant; source study and its legacy continues to shape the image of Shakespeare and his authorship. The collection will be valuable to those interested in the relationships between Shakespeare’s work and other texts, those seeking to understand how the legacy of source study has shaped Shakespeare as a cultural phenomenon, and those studying source study, early modern authorship, implications of digital tools in early modern studies, and early modern literary culture.
Pope Francis as a Global Actor: Where Politics and Theology Meet
edited by Alynna J. Lyon, Christine A. Gustafson and Paul Christopher Manuel
(Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy) Palgrave Macmillan (March 9, 2018)
Pope Francis confuses many observers because his papacy does not fit neatly into any pre-established classificatory schemes. To gain a deeper appreciation of Francis’s complicated papacy, this volume proposes that an interdisciplinary approach, fusing concepts derived from moral theology and the social sciences, may properly situate Pope Francis as a global political entrepreneur. The chapters in this volume ask what difference it makes that he is the first pope from Latin America, how and why different countries in the world respond to him, how his understanding of scripture informs his ideas on economic, social, and environmental policy, and where politics meets theology under Francis. In the end, this volume seeks to provide a more robust understanding of the enigmatic papacy of Francis.