Category Archives: Contemporary Literature

Critical Memory Studies: New Approaches

By | June 28, 2023

Guest post by Brett Ashley Kaplan Julie Mehretu’s multilayered, palimpsestic paintings insert memories of violence into politicized landscapes. There’s a work of unpacking that goes into experiencing these canvases as they swirl in and out of grids, colors competing with graffiti-esque spray paint, images conjured that fail to concretize. When confronted with her stunning canvases… Read More »

Doing Animal Studies with Androids, Aliens, and Ghosts

By | May 30, 2023

Androids, aliens, and ghosts: No longer solely the territory of science fiction, the Gothic, and horror, these creatures increasingly cross literary genres as humans renegotiate and rework our conceptualizations of humanity, animality, and life itself in response to ongoing challenges posed by technology, environmental crises, and alterity. Doing Animal Studies with Androids, Aliens, and Ghosts borrows from the strangeness, creativity, and freshness of these emerging and imaginary creatures in contemporary novels, comic book series, and children’s books to reconceptualize often intractable views of nonhuman animals. Because these liminal figures confront anthropocentrism, or human-centeredness, in ways that necessarily push against all forms of species dominance, the android, the alien, and the ghost are literary devices that help us to see nonhuman animals afresh and to fruitfully reimagine the terms of our relationships with them.

Biofiction’s Antidotes to Post-Truth Contagions

By | September 14, 2022

Biofictions have become increasingly popular with writers and readers in the past three decades or so. The book Derivative Lives points to the prolific market of biofictional works in Spain and beyond to ask: How do we know who to believe, what to trust, what is true?

Escapism in contemporary American fiction

By | August 24, 2022

We’re celebrating the publication of Escape, Escapism, Escapology: American Novels of the Early Twenty-First Century, in which John Limon traces the central theme of 21st-century United States fiction: the desire to escape at a time of inescapable globalization. This is an extract from the first chapter, Notes from Neverland.

Embracing Ecological Uncertainty through Fiction

By | May 19, 2022

Guest post by Marco Caracciolo The future has always been uncertain, but the ecological crisis presents us with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty in thinking about the future. Scientists who model the effects of global warming typically distinguish between pessimistic and optimistic scenarios. The gap between them is significant: concretely, it could mean the difference… Read More »

The war against animals: Dominic O’Key on Creaturely Forms in Contemporary Literature

By | March 9, 2022

Creaturely Forms in Contemporary Literature, by Dominic O’Key, is out now Thank you for joining us today, Dominic. Tell us, how would you describe your book in just one sentence?   Reading literature can help us think and rethink our relationships with animals; here’s how. Could you unpack this a bit and explain the main topics… Read More »

‘I always suspected that he was more influenced by Jungian psychology than he likes to let on’: Jonathan Dil on Haruki Murakami

By | February 28, 2022

Haruki Murakami and the Search for Self-Therapy, by Jonathan Dil, is out now How would you describe your book in one sentence? This books looks at how Haruki Murakami started writing fiction as a means of self-therapy and how he transformed this therapeutic impulse into a literary career of global acclaim. What drew to you… Read More »

Opening a Window on a Literary Giant: On Writing Wole Soyinka: Literature, Activism, and African Transformation

By | February 7, 2022

This post was originally published at the LSE Review of Books and is reproduced here with permission. As Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka publishes his first novel in 48 years, Bola Dauda and Toyin Falola offer a window on the literary giant, reflecting on their new book, Wole Soyinka: Literature, Activism, and African Transformation.  There are twice as many works on… Read More »

Response to Matthew Gannon: “Adorno as a Reader: Writing the Mediation of Literature and Philosophy”

By | January 20, 2022

This week, in a series of blog takeovers, we’re looking at Modernism, Theory, and Responsible Reading with posts from the collection’s contributors. In this guest post by Fabio Akcelrud Durão, he responds to Matthew Gannon’s chapter on Writing the Mediation of Literature and Philosophy.

“Not a Story To Pass On By: Sapphire’s The Kid”

By | December 2, 2021

This week, in a series of blog takeovers, we’re looking at #MeToo and Literary Studies with posts from the collection’s contributors. Guest post by Robin E. Field Precious Jones was introduced to readers 25 years ago, when Sapphire’s debut novel Push was released in June 1996. Almost immediately Precious became as beloved a figure as her inspiration,… Read More »