Always searching for new areas to explore and advance, Josephine Donovan has written and edited influential works in areas as varied as Feminist Theory, Animal Rights, and what she calls local-color American literature. It is the development of her work in this last area that is the impetus for her soon to be published European Local-Color Literature: an exploration of the rise of local literature in Europe in the nineteenth century, and its ties to similar developments in North America. Professor Donovan argues that we should view 19th century local-color literature in Ireland, Scotland, Germany and France as a movement and that, collectively, these writings constitute a form of resistance to the "institutions and ideologies of modernity."
Donovan's book has already received high praise from her fellow scholars:
"…breaks important new ground in the writing of modern literary history." – Sylvia Mayer, Chair of American Studies, University of Bayreuth
"…this stunningly original book argues that the European local literature embodies Foucault's concept of marginal 'subjugated knowledges.' … Filling in the gaps, this study constitutes a radical reinterpretation of the development of Western literature." – Deborah D. Rogers, Professor of English, University of Maine
"…brings into focus and situates literary works of which we should all be more aware." – Mary N. Layoun, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Reinvesting the local, Donovan's book provocatively suggests that the challenges of nineteenth-century Europe are today's challenges." – Cecile Roudeau, Associate Professor, Universite Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle
"Yet again, Donovan has expanded and enriched our understanding of local-color writing and its significance." – Ann Romines, Professor of English, The George Washington University