1,994 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Literature about their New Books
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New Books in Literary Studies New Books Network

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 21 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Literature about their New Books
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    Cathy Yue Wang, "Snake Sisters and Ghost Daughters: Feminist Adaptations of Traditional Tales in Chinese Fantasy" (Wayne State UP, 2023)

    Cathy Yue Wang, "Snake Sisters and Ghost Daughters: Feminist Adaptations of Traditional Tales in Chinese Fantasy" (Wayne State UP, 2023)

    Contemporary Chinese film and literature often draw on time-honored fantastical texts and tales which were founded in the milieu of patriarchy, parental authority, heteronormativity, nationalism, and anthropocentrism. Cathy Yue Wang's Snake Sisters and Ghost Daughters: Feminist Adaptations of Traditional Tales in Chinese Fantasy (Wayne State University Press, 2023) examines the processes by which modern authors and filmmakers reshape these traditional tales to develop new narratives that interrogate the ingrained patriarchal paradigm. Through a rigorous analysis, Wang delineates changes in both content and narrative that allow contemporary interpretations to reimagine the gender politics and contexts of the tales retold. With a broad transmedia approach and a nuanced understanding of intertextuality, this work contributes to the ongoing negotiation in academic and popular discourse between past and present, traditional and contemporary, and text and reality in a globalized and postmodern world. Snake Sisters and Ghost Daughters offers an engaging interdisciplinary investigation of issues at the heart of these traditional tales such as gender and status hierarchy, marriage and family life, and in-group/out-group distinction. Beyond the content of these individual stories, Wang ties these narratives together across time using cognitive literary criticism, especially affective narratology, to shed new light on the adaptation of literary and cultural texts and their sociopolitical contexts.
    Dr. Cathy Yue Wang is a lecturer in Department of Chinese Language and Literature, School of Humanities, Shanghai Normal University in China. She received her PhD from Macquarie University in Australia. She is particularly interested in applying feminist and queer perspectives into examinations of adaptation and retelling, children and young adult literature, as well as boys’ love subculture and fandom in the East Asian context. She is the author of Snake Sisters and Ghost Daughters: Feminist Adaptations of Traditional Tales in Chinese Fantasy (Wayne State University Press, 2023) and editor of Catching Chen Qing Ling: The Untamed and Adaptation, Production, and Reception in Transcultural Contexts (Peter Lang, forthcoming).
    Linshan Jiang is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also obtained a Ph.D. emphasis in Translation Studies. Her research interests include modern and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture in mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan; trauma and memory studies; gender and sexuality studies; queer studies; as well as comparative literature and translation studies.
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    • 36 min
    D. J. Taylor, "Who Is Big Brother?: A Reader's Guide to George Orwell" (Yale UP, 2024)

    D. J. Taylor, "Who Is Big Brother?: A Reader's Guide to George Orwell" (Yale UP, 2024)

    An intellectual who hated intellectuals, a socialist who didn't trust the state--our foremost political essayist and author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four was a man of stark, puzzling contradictions. Knowing Orwell's life and reading Orwell's works produces just as many questions as it answers.
    Celebrated Orwell biographer D. J. Taylor guides fans and new readers alike through the many twists and turns of Orwell's books, life and thought. As a writer he intended his works to be transparent and instantly accessible, yet they are also full of secrets and surprises, tantalising private histories, and psychological quirks. From his conflicted relationship with religion to his competing anti-imperialism and fascination with empire, Who Is Big Brother?: A Reader's Guide to George Orwell (Yale UP, 2024) delves into the complex development of this essential yet enigmatic voice.
    Taylor leads us through Orwell's principal writings and complex life--crafting an illuminating guide to one of the most enduringly relevant writers in the English language.
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    • 29 min
    Astrid Møller-Olsen, "Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction" (Cambria, 2022)

    Astrid Møller-Olsen, "Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction" (Cambria, 2022)

    Through an original framework of literary sensory studies, Sensing the Sinophone: Urban Memoryscapes in Contemporary Fiction (Cambria, 2022) provides a comparative analysis of how six contemporary works of Sinophone fiction reimagine the links between the self and the city, the past and the present, as well as the physical and the imaginary. It explores the connection between elusive memories and material cityscapes through the matrix of the senses. Joining recent efforts to imagine world literature beyond the international, this monograph engages in a triangular comparison of fiction from Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei – three Sinophone cities, each with its own strong urban identity that comes with unique cultural and linguistic hybridities.
    Sensing the Sinophone combines narratological tools for studying time in fiction with critical concepts of spatiality in order to establish an analytical focus on narrative voice and reliability (including the inaccuracy of memory), structural non-linearity (such as mental time travel), and the construction of fictional parallel cities as loci for plot development. In this study, the conventional sensorium and its role in recollection is explored and amplified to include whole-body sensations, habitual synesthesia, and the emotional aspects of sensations that produce a sense of place or self.
    Astrid Møller-Olsen is an international research fellow with Lund University (Sweden), University of Stavanger (Norway), and University of Oxford (United Kingdom); her position is funded by the Swedish Research Council. Dr. Møller-Olsen holds an MA in comparative literature and a PhD in Chinese studies. Her research has been published in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, SFRA Review, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature, and International Journal of Heritage Studies. She hosts the podcast Sinophone Unrealities and the literary blog xiaoshuo.blog.
    Tong He is a Lecturer in English at Central China Normal University.
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    • 42 min
    Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, "A Nose and Three Eyes" (Hoopoe, 2024)

    Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, "A Nose and Three Eyes" (Hoopoe, 2024)

    Written by iconic Egyptian novelist Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, this classic of love, desire, and family breakdown smashed through taboos when first published in Arabic and continues to captivate audiences today
    It is 1950s Cairo and 16-year-old Amina is engaged to a much older man. Despite all the excitement of the wedding preparations, Amina is not looking forward to her nuptials. And it is not because of the age gap or because of the fact that she does not love, or even really know, her fiancé. No, it is because she is involved with another man.
    This other man is Dr Hashim Abdel-Latif, and while he is Amina’s first love, she is certainly not his. Also many years her senior, Hashim is well-known in polite circles for his adventures with women. A Nose and Three Eyes tells the story of Amina’s love affair with Hashim, and that of two other young women: Nagwa and Rahhab.
    A Nose and Three Eyes is a story of female desire and sexual awakening, of love and infatuation, and of exploitation and despair. It quietly critiques the strictures put upon women by conservative social norms and expectations, while a subtle undercurrent of political censure was carefully aimed at the then Nasser regime. As such, it was both deeply controversial and wildly popular when first published in the 1960s. Still a household name, this novel, and its author, have stood the test of time and remain relevant and highly readable today.
    Ihsan Abdel Kouddous (Author, 1919–1990) is one of the most prolific and popular writers of Arabic fiction of the twentieth century. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Abdel Kouddous graduated from law school in 1942 but left his law practice to pursue a long and successful career in journalism. He was an editor at the daily Al-Akhbar and the weekly Rose al-Yusuf, and was editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram. The author of dozens of books, his controversial writings and political views landed him in jail more than once. A Nose and Three Eyes is his second book to be translated into English, and his first was I Do Not Sleep.
    Hanan al-Shaykh (Foreword by) was born and raised in Beirut. She is the author of The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues, and Only in London, which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in London.
    Jonathan Smolin (Translated by) is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies at Dartmouth College in the US. He is the translator of several works of Arabic fiction, including Whitefly by Abdelilah Hamdouchi, A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me by Youssef Fadel, and I Do Not Sleep and A Nose and Three Eyes by Ihsan Abdel Kouddous and the author of The Politics of Melodrama: The Cultural and Political Lives of Ihsan Abdel Kouddous and Gamal Abdel Nasser (forthcoming Stanford University Press). He lives in Hanover, NH.
    Tugrul Mende holds an M.A in Arabic Studies. He is based in Berlin as a project coordinator and independent researcher.
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    • 39 min
    Adam Kabat, "The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan" (Columbia UP, 2023)

    Adam Kabat, "The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan" (Columbia UP, 2023)

    Adam Kabat’s The River Imp and the Stinky Jewel and Other Tales: Monster Comics from Edo Japan (Columbia UP, 2023) is an in-depth introduction to the rich and ribald world of kibyōshi, a short-lived (1778-1807) subgenre of books combining text and illustration on the same page, much like comic books and manga today. This book presents a selection of five kibyōshi in which monsters play central roles. Each of these short books is reproduced in its entirety, accompanied by Kabat’s translations and commentary. Kabat’s selection of tales communicates the entertainment value and thematic variety of these stories, as well as their deep web of interconnections with contemporary culture and the urban economy. The book will be of interest not only to scholars of premodern history and literature, but also to a larger audience including the growing ranks of manga and anime fans.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Paul Williams, "The US Graphic Novel" (Edinburgh UP, 2022)

    Paul Williams, "The US Graphic Novel" (Edinburgh UP, 2022)

    This book analyses the way that changes in the comics industry, book trade and webcomics distribution have shaped the publication of long-form comics. The US Graphic Novel (Edinburgh UP, 2022) pays particular attention to how the concept of the graphic novel developed through the twentieth century. Art historians, journalists, and reviewers debated whether it was possible for a comic to be a novel – debates that accelerated after the term ’graphic novel’ was coined by the comics fan Richard Kyle in 1964. This study underlines the proximity of the graphic novel to other media, showing that this cultural form is not only the meeting place between periodical comics and books, but that graphic novels are in dialogue with films, posters and computer screens.
    Dr. Paul Williams is an Associate Professor of Twentieth-Century literature and culture at the University of Exeter in the UK. His research is centrally concerned with comics and graphic novels. His monograph Dreaming the Graphic Novel broke new ground by explaining how graphic novels were published, circulated, and discussed in North America between the mid-1960s and 1980. Dr. Williams has also co-curated the exhibition The Great British Graphic Novel at the Cartoon Museum in London, which was visited by over 10,000 people.
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

5onalee ,

who gets a voice?

so some of the podcast episodes present right-wing "scholarship" of dubious merit. that's fine. people can listen and make their own judgments.

for all authors, interviewers should allow time for them to present their perspectives, but there should also be thorough and respectful challenging, including sources, methodology, potential gaps, and questioning about contrary perspectives. this is not always done, to the detriment of the audience and the authors.

where the podcast fails is where so much of American discourse fails. it highly privileges academic work from the western and particularly the anglo world.

you might need international language speakers and translators, but you should do that! this diversity of perspective from the rest of the 8 billion ppl on the planet is somehow completely ignored by the right wing campaign for "diversity of viewpoints."

unless of course, the point of this endeavor is only to increase book sales a bit, and you assume there won't be many takers for non-English works. i would argue that these works have much more chance of being translated if they're actually given a chance to be presented.

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