New monographs: Monumental Space and The Ethics of Community

By | January 18, 2012

Continuum is proud to announce the publication of two truly impressive monographs by a pair of exciting, up-and-coming literary scholars. First up is Monumental Space in the Post-Imperial Novel: An Interdisciplinary Study by Rita Sakr (Visiting Lecturer at University College Dublin, Ireland), who with this book establishes a two-way interpretive methodology between theory, history, and cultural geography and the novel that serves as the groundwork for innovative interdisciplinary readings of monumental space.

Monumental SpaceThere has been a proliferation in recent scholarship of studies of monuments and their histories and of theoretical positions that shed light on aspects of their meanings. However, just as monuments mark their territory by attempting to ensure the existence of boundaries, so these discourses set a boundary between their authority as platforms on which the interpretation of monumental space occurs and, in this respect, the different authority of the novel. This study crosses this boundary by means of dynamic interdisciplinary movements between selected novels by James Joyce, Yukio Mishima, Rashid al-Daif, and Orhan Pamuk, on the one hand, and various theoretical perspectives, history, and cultural geography, on the other.  Through the specific choice of literary texts that represent monumental space in atypical post-imperial geopolitical contexts, Monumental Space and the Post-Imperial Novel brings into question many postcolonial paradigms.

Praise for Monumental Space and the Post-Imperial Novel:

"This is an incisive and sophisticated intervention into the thrumming theoretical space around monuments and their relations to memory, history, power and art. Sakr confidently  builds a compelling set of arguments about how literature shapes the ways we experience and think about monuments.   From a unique transnational perspective, she generates an original interdisciplinary method, brilliantly bringing together literature and theory. A stunning debut." — Finn Fordham, Reader in 20th Century Literature, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

"In this magisterial and compelling study, Rita Sakr reveals the degree to which the questioning of the status of memorials is a modern obsession. Her richly nuanced readings, which deftly intermarry historical, philosophical, and cultural geographical insights, startlingly demonstrate that the counter-memorial and the deconstructed monument are more attuned with modern tastes and values than any heroicizing tributes." – Anne Fogarty, Professor of James Joyce Studies, College of Arts & Celtic Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland

And that's not all. We've also just published The Ethics of Community: Nancy, Derrida, Morrison, and Menendez by Ana M. Luszczynska (Assistant Professor of English at Florida International University, USA), who here initiates a conversation between continental philosophy and cultural/literary studies that is long overdue.

Ethics of CommunityIllustrating that there is a fundamental ethics in deconstructionist approaches to community that can be provocatively traced in the context of cultural considerations central to African-American and U.S. Latino literature, this is a book about bridging gaps. Luszczynska nimbly traverses the complex terrain of preeminent French philosophers Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy, offering a valuable introduction to the ethical components of their philosophical projects. Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Ana Menendez’s In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd serve as case studies through which Nancian community and Derridean bearing witness are elaborated. As Luszczynska demonstrates, Morrison’s foregrounding of the distinct cultural sensibilities of her black and white characters and Menendez’s preoccupation with geographical displacement and exile, themselves activate a deconstructive ethics. In this groundbreaking study, distinct cultural understandings and contexts provide a novel way of thinking through intricacies of Nancy and Derrida’s thought while revealing the potential of the novel to re-imagine ways of being in the concrete world.


Praise for The Ethics of Community:

"The Ethics of Community reaches far beyond a mere critique of traditional paradigms of reading or the conceptualisation of a radically new critical approach. Luszczynska’s remarkable scholarly vision initiates a synergetic dialogue between literature and philosophy that is ground-breaking and truly original." — Berthold Schoene, Professor of English and Director of the Centre of Research in English, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

"Spirited and insightful, The Ethics of Community explores the importance of community in the writings of Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy and shows how major works of African American and Latino literature complement (and sometimes contest) these thinkers' views. A unique contribution to the dialogue between literature and philosophy." — Gustavo Pérez Firmat, David Feinson Professor of Humanities, Columbia University, USA

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