Faculty Bookshelf


Tina Chang
W.W. Norton & Company

In this timely, assured collection, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.

Of Gods and Strangers

Of Gods and Strangers
Tina Chang
Four Way Books

A meditation on history and the imagination that bears witness to acts of genocide and to natural disasters in Ethiopia, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, Of Gods & Strangers interweaves lyrical, arresting accounts of our contemporary world with stories of "Empress Dowager" Tzu Hsi, last empress of China (1861-1908). An urgent reminder that poetry can offer us a social consciousness--"in my locked mouth an urge"--Of Gods & Strangers deftly traces the human dimensions of the "great modern machine," looking to recover "a future shining from the void."

Language for a New Century

Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
Tina Chang

W.W. Norton & Company

A landmark anthology, providing the most ambitious, far-reaching collection of contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern poetry available. Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. In an age of violence and terrorism—often predicated by cultural ignorance—this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanness and devotion to the transformative power of art.

Half-Lit Houses

Half-Lit Houses
Tina Chang
Four Way Books

This collection of poetry documents a young girl’s very beginnings, the loss of her father, the father’s presence as a mythical figure in the speaker’s life. The collection is also punctuated by a movement backward in history, specifically to Hunan, China in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. By moving backward, the speaker begins to imagine her life as a continuance of a long ancestry of loss and acceptance. 

Jaimee Colbert Wild Things

Wild Things
Jaimee Wriston Colbert
BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Jaimee Wriston Colbert has written a book of deeply affecting elegies to the scattered remnants of wilderness, the some few wild things we still live among: blackbird, brown trout, reef shark, teenage girl. By turns luminous and razor-sharp, in landscapes as diverse as a shimmering beach in Oahu and a crumbling mill town in upstate New York, these characters find comfort, not only in the "peace of wild things" but also in their scrap and bite, their tenacious urge toward survival in an absurdly hostile world. —Pam Houston, Contents May Have Shifted and Cowboys Are My Weakness

Jaimee Colbert Shark Girls

Shark Girls
Jaimee Wriston Colbert
Livingston Press

"Colbert has created an edgy and lush gothic tale laced with outlaw eroticism and barbed absurdities, and propelled by a powerful undertow racing beneath every alarming scene, bitterly funny moment, and strange twist of fate. From women battered and haunted to "throwaway kids," rock-and-roll burnouts, and quixotic quests, Colbert summons a world as volatile as Hawaii itself, with its cycles of volcanic destruction and slow repair." Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

 Marilynn Desmond Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath

Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath: The Ethics of Erotic Violence
Marilynn Desmond
Cornell University Press

Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath examines how Ovid's Ars amatoria shaped the erotic discourses of the medieval West. The Ars amatoria circulated in medieval France and England as an authoritative treatise on desire; consequently, the sexualities of the medieval West are haunted by the imperial Roman constructions of desire that emerge from Ovid's text. The Ars amatoria ironically proposes the erotic potential of violence, and this aspect of the Ars proved to be enormously influential. Ovid's discourse on erotic violence provides a script for Heloise's epistolary expression of desire for Abelard. The Roman de la Rose extends the directives of the Ars with a rhetorical flourish and poetic excess that tests the limits of Ovidian irony. Marilynn Desmond draws on feminist and queer theory, which places Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath at the cutting edge of debates in gender and sexuality.

 Marilynn Desmond and Pamila Sheingorn Myth, Montage, and Visuality

Myth, Montage, and Visuality in Late Medieval Manuscript Culture: Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea.
Marilynn Desmond and Pamela Sheingorn
University of Michigan Press

The material properties of late medieval manuscripts testify to the power of visual images to shape both the reading experience and the reader. Early fifteenth-century Paris saw a proliferation of luxury manuscripts whose luminous illustrations situate the reader as spectator, and Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea exemplifies the power of visual representation to shape the medieval reading experience. In Myth, Montage, and Visuality in Late Medieval Manuscript Culture Marilynn Desmond and Pamela Sheingorn analyze the ways in which Othea manuscripts display classical myths for late medieval humanist, chivalric, and Christian readers. Desmond and Sheingorn's innovative study draws extensively on film theory and its notions of spectatorship to explore the ethical implications of viewing illustrated manuscripts for the medieval reader. Focusing particularly on the twin manuscripts of the Othea in the Duke's manuscript and the Queen's manuscript, the authors suggest that premodern and postmodern cultures share a predilection for the cinematic arrangement of knowledge in a montage format in which meaning derives from unexpected juxtapositions.

 Lois Einhorn Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, The Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend
Lois Einhorn

Although much has been written about Abraham Lincoln, there has been little rhetorical analysis of how this public man communicated with his listeners. Yet by studying his rhetoric closely, we can gain real insights into Lincoln as an orator, debater, jester, lawyer, statesman, leader, and president. This critical appraisal of his public speaking is linked to transcripts of some major speeches and to a chronology, bibliography, and an index. This useful one-volume reference is intended for students, scholars, and experts in communications and rhetoric, political science, and American studies and history. Lois J. Einhorn presents a rhetorical analysis of Abraham Lincoln's speaking, defining his view toward public speaking, characteristics of his rhetoric, his use of humor, and the development of his various addresses while president.

 glad you're here

I’m So Glad You’re Here: A Memoir
Pamela Gay
She Writes Press

“Gay is a perceptive and compassionate narrator who manages to explore the gaps in everyone’s stories, including her own. She uses poetry, journal entries, and literary epigraphs to create an engaging metanarrative that explores how writing was vital to her process of overcoming trauma.”  ~KIRKUS REVIEWS   

“ In this psychological travelogue, Pamela Gay fractures the surface of memory to peer into the depth of a family in all its complex dysfunction: shock treatment, alcoholism, feuding siblings, hissing turkey dinners, home burial, and yes, recipes—a surprising semiotic assemblage masterfully crafted at the crossroads of tragedy and comedy.” ~Mindy Lewis, author of Life Inside: A Memoir.    

I’m So Glad You’re Here was featured in PARADE magazine as one of the best memoirs in 2020.  Interviews and other relevant writing are available on her website: pamela-gay.com

 Maria Gillan Paterson Light and Shadow

Paterson Light and Shadow
Maria Gillan
Serving House Books

Paterson Light and Shadow tells the stories in poetry and photography of Paterson, New Jersey, from one of the most gifted poets, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, and fine art photographer Mark Hillringhouse, who together have spent a lifetime living, growing up and working in and around one of America's most important historic industrial cities. In her signature style, Gillan combines sublime moments with gritty detail when she writes about growing up as a working class Italian immigrant as in the lines from the poem In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950 "The rough feel of a washcloth / and Lifebuoy soap against my face, / the stiff, starched feel of my blouse, / the streets of Paterson, old and cracked, / the houses leaning together / like crooked teeth..."

 Maria Gillan What Blooms in Winter

What Blooms in Winter
Maria Gillan
NYQ Books

In What Blooms in Winter, Maria Mazziotti Gillan finds cause to celebrate the clarity and comfort of people and times past. This book is a praise song for all that is human and that survives despite grief and loss. It is one woman's story of an immigrant girl growing up in the 1950s in Paterson, NJ, and seeing over a distance of so many years all that she was given to carry into her life as a woman--wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, widow, and arts and eco-activist. All these experiences and people have formed her into the indomitable woman she is. Laced with humor and optimism, this book leads us to believe that flowers that bloom in winter out of hard ground have their own audacious beauty.

 Praseeda Gopinath Scarecrows of Chivalry

Scarecrows of Chivalry: English Masculinities After Empire
Praseeda Gopinath
University of Virginia Press

Exploring the fate of the ideal of the English gentleman once the empire he was meant to embody declined, Praseeda Gopinath argues that the stylization of English masculinity became the central theme, focus, and conceit for many literary texts that represented the "condition of Britain" in the 1930s and the immediate postwar era. From the early writings of George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh to works by poets and novelists such as Philip Larkin, Ian Fleming, Barbara Pym, and A. S. Byatt, the author shows how Englishmen trafficking in the images of self-restraint, governance, decency, and detachment in the absence of a structuring imperial ethos became what the poet Larkin called "scarecrows of chivalry." Gopinath's study of this masculine ideal under duress reveals the ways in which issues of race, class, and sexuality constructed a gendered narrative of the nation.

 Thomas Glave Among the Bloodpeople

Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh
Thomas Glave
Akashic Books

Thomas Glave has been admired for his unique style and exploration of taboo, politically volatile topics. The award-winning author's new collection, Among the Bloodpeople, contains all the power and daring of his earlier writing but ventures even further into the political, the personal, and the secret. Each essay in the volume reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. Whether confronting Jamaica's prime minister on antigay bigotry, contemplating the risks and seductions of "outlawed" sex, exploring a world of octopuses and men performing somersaults in the Caribbean Sea, or challenging repressive tactics employed at the University of Cambridge, Glave expresses the observations of a global citizen with the voice of a poet.

 Thomas Glave The Torturer's Wife

The Torturer's Wife
Thomas Glave
City Light Books

Nominated for the 2010 Stonewall Book Award, the oldest book award given for outstanding achievement in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Literature. A woman is haunted by the atrocities committed by her husband and makes a heart-wrenching decision about atonement; secret fears and unspoken desires reveal the profound ambivalence at the heart of an interracial couple's relationship; a Jamaican man mourns his friend's death at the hands of anti-gay vigilantes; and two extraordinary young men escape the horrors of slavery when they leave their bodies behind on the Middle Passage.

 Leslie Heywood Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors

Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors
Leslie Heywood
Red Hen Press

The murder-suicide of the author's grandparents serves as a backdrop for an examination of trauma and recovery through several generations, and the affective neurology of emotions that we share with everyone else, even animals. Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors explores how we respond to violence, grief, and loss, and the ways animals are emotionally akin to us in those responses. Driven by the ways those primary emotions get tangled with memory, the ways the body informs the mind, we end up feeling and repeating behaviors linked to original struggles long after they have passed. Fighting against what threatened to cage us, the fight itself becomes the cage, affecting our lives and relationships in the most visceral ways. Yet it is the simplest things that promote recovery and survival: a calming animal touch.

 Leslie Heywood and Shari Dworkin Bodymakers

Bodymakers: A Cultural Anatomy of Women's Body Building
Leslie Heywood and Shari L. Dworkin
University of Minnesota Press

The sculpted speed of Marion Jones. The grit and agility of Mia Hamm. The slam-dunk style of Lisa Leslie. The skill and finesse of these sports figures are widely admired, no longer causing the puzzlement and discomfort directed toward earlier generations of athletic women. Built to Win explores this relatively recent phenomenon--the confident, empowered female athletes found everywhere in American popular culture.

 Olivia Holmes Dante's Two Beloveds

Dante's Two Beloveds: Ethics and Erotics in the "'Divine Comedy'"
Olivia Holmes
Yale University Press

Re-examining key passages in Dante's oeuvre in the light of the crucial issue of moral choice, this book provides a new thematic framework for interpreting the Divine Comedy. Olivia Holmes shows how Dante articulated the relationship between the human and the divine as an erotic choice between two attractive women—Beatrice and the "other woman." Investigating the traditions and archetypes that contributed to the formation of Dante's two beloveds, Holmes shows how Dante brilliantly overlaid and combined these paradigms in his poem. In doing so he re-imagined the two women as not merely oppositional condensations of apparently conflicting cultural traditions but also complementary versions of the same. This visionary insight sheds new light on Dante's corpus and on the essential paradox at the poem's heart: the unabashed eroticism of Dante's turn away from the earthly in favor of the divine.

 Olivia Holmes Assembling the Lyric Self

Assembling the Lyric Self: Authorship from Troubadour Song to Italian Poetry Book
Olivia Holmes
University of Minnesota Press

During the 13th century Western Europe witnessed an explosion in vernacular literacy, resulting in a large body of manuscript anthologies of secular and popular troubadour lyrics. Shortly afterwards, these multi-authored compilations were succeeded by books of poems by single authors, notably by Petrarch during the 14th century. This detailed yet readable thesis draws on an extensive range of archival sources to examine the reasons for this transition in Provencal and Italian literature, combining general analyses of manuscripts and authors with specific studies of, for example, Guittone d' Arezzo, Dante's Vita Nova , Nicolo de Rossi and Petrarch's Canzoniere.

 Joseph Keith Unbecoming Americans

Unbecoming Americans: Writing Race and Nations from the Shadows of Citizenship, 1945-1960
Joseph Keith
Rutgers University Press

During the Cold War, Ellis Island no longer served as the largest port of entry for immigrants, but as a prison for holding aliens the state wished to deport. The government criminalized those it considered un-assimilable (from left-wing intellectuals and black radicals to racialized migrant laborers) through the denial, annulment, and curtailment of citizenship and its rights. The island, ceasing to represent the iconic ideal of immigrant America, came to symbolize its very limits. Unbecoming Americans sets out to recover the shadow narratives of un-American writers forged out of the racial and political limits of citizenship. In this collection of Afro-Caribbean, Filipino, and African American writers—C.L.R. James, Carlos Bulosan, Claudia Jones, and Richard Wright—Joseph Keith examines how they used their exclusion from the nation, a condition he terms "alienage," as a standpoint from which to imagine alternative global solidarities and to interrogate the contradictions of the United States as a country, a republic, and an empire at the dawn of the "American Century."

 Monika Mehta Censorship and Sexuality in Bombay Cinema

Censorship and Sexuality in Bombay Cinema
Monika Mehta
University of Texas, Austin Press

India produces an impressive number of films each year in a variety of languages. Here, Monika Mehta breaks new ground by analyzing Hindi films and exploring the censorship of gender and heterosexuality in Bombay cinema. She studies how film censorship on various levels makes the female body and female sexuality pivotal in constructing national identity, not just through the films themselves but also through the heated debates that occur in newspapers and other periodicals. The standard claim is that the state dictates censorship and various prohibitions, but Mehta explores how relationships among the state, the film industry, and the public illuminate censorship's role in identity formation, while also examining how desire, profits, and corruption are generated through the act of censoring. Committed to extending a feminist critique of mass culture in the global south, Mehta situates the story of censorship in a broad social context and traces the intriguing ways in which the heated debates on sexuality in Bombay cinema actually produce the very forms of sexuality they claim to regulate.

 Robert Micklus The Comic Genius of Dr. Alexander Hamilton
The Comic Genius of Dr. Alexander Hamilton
Robert Micklus
University of Tennessee Press
 Robert Micklus The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club Vols. I-III

The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club, Volumes I-III
Robert Micklus (editor), Alexander Hamilton
The University of North Carolina Press

Written in the 1750s by Scottish physician Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding members of the Tuesday Club of Annapolis, this book is a mock-heroic narrative of ten years in the life of an eighteenth-century social club, as well as a political satire of the proprietor struggles in colonial Maryland and a humorous treatment of the outcry against luxury. This edition contains drawings, music scores, and a full textual apparatus.

 Bernd Magnus, Stanley Stewart, and Jean-Pierre Mileur Nietzsche's Case

Nietzsche's Case: Philosophy as/and Literature
Bernd Magnus, Stanley Stewart, Jean-Pierre Mileur, eds.

This book is the most advanced postmodern interpretation of Nietzsche to date and model of collaborative research and writing. It represents a new interpretation of the eternal return, and places Nierzsche in the context of canonical works in English literature and of the Bible.

 Jean-Pierre Mileur The Critical Romance

The Critical Romance: The Critic as Reader, Writer, Hero
Jean-Pierre Mileur
University of Wisconsin Press

Jean-Pierre Mileur asserts that "the literary tradition, the great tradition of the Romantics, is now being carried on by criticism," and that modern criticism "is a late Romantic literary genre, a distinctive form of the romance." By collapsing the boundaries between the literary and the literary-critical traditions, Mileur embarks on a thought-provoking analysis of literary criticism. Criticism becomes a modern version of the age-old quest romance, and the critic becomes a romantic hero—a brooding figure fraught with self-doubt who strives, like Browning's Childe Roland, despite knowledge of certain failure.

 Alexandra Schultheis Moore Vulnerability and Security in Human Rights Literature and Visual Culture

Vulnerability and Security in Human Rights Literature and Visual Culture
Alexandra Schultheis Moore

This book responds to the failures of human rights—the way its institutions and norms reproduce geopolitical imbalances and social exclusions—through an analysis of how literary and visual culture can make visible human rights claims that are foreclosed in official discourses. Moore draws on theories of vulnerability, precarity, and dispossession to argue for the necessity of recognizing the embodied and material contexts of human rights subjects. At the same time, she demonstrates how these theories run the risk of reproducing the structural imbalances that lie at the core of critiques of human rights. Pairing conventional human rights genres—legal instruments, human rights reports, reportage, and humanitarian campaigns—with literary and visual culture, Moore develops a transnational feminist reading praxis of five sites of rights and their violation over the past fifty years: UN human rights instruments and child soldiers in Nigerian literature; human rights reporting and novels that address state-sponsored ethnocide in Zimbabwe; the international humanitarian campaigns and disaster capitalism in fiction of Bhopal, India; the work of Médecins Sans Frontières in the Sahel, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burma as represented in various media campaigns and in photo/graphic narratives; and, finally, the human rights campaigns, fiction, and film that have brought Indonesia's history of anti-leftist violence into contemporary public debate.

 Sophia McClennen and Alexandra Schultheis Moore The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights
Sophia A. McClennen and Alexandra Schultheis Moore, eds.

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights provides a comprehensive, transnational, and interdisciplinary map to this emerging field, offering a broad overview of human rights and literature while providing innovative readings on key topics. The first of its kind, this volume covers essential issues and themes, necessarily crossing disciplines between the social sciences and humanities.

 Birgit Brander Rasmussen Queequeg's Coffin

Queequeg's Coffin: Indigenous Literacies and Early American Literature
Birgit Brander Rasmussen
Duke University Press

The encounter between European and native peoples in the Americas is often portrayed as a conflict between literate civilization and illiterate savagery. That perception ignores the many indigenous forms of writing that were not alphabet-based, such as Mayan pictoglyphs, Iroquois wampum, Ojibwe birch-bark scrolls, and Incan quipus. Queequeg's Coffin offers a new definition of writing that comprehends the dazzling diversity of literature in the Americas before and after European arrivals. This groundbreaking study recovers previously overlooked moments of textual reciprocity in the colonial sphere, from a 1645 French-Haudenosaunee Peace Council to Herman Melville's youthful encounters with Polynesian hieroglyphics. • By recovering the literatures and textual practices that were indigenous to the Americas, Birgit Brander Rasmussen reimagines the colonial conflict as one organized by alternative but equally rich forms of literacy. From central Mexico to the northeastern shores of North America, in the Andes and across the American continents, indigenous peoples and European newcomers engaged each other in dialogues about ways of writing and recording knowledge.

 Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Irene Nexica, Matt Wray, and Eric Klinenberg The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness

The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness
Birgit Brander Rasmussen, Irene J. Nexica, Matt Wray, Eric Klinenberg, eds.
Duke University Press

Bringing together new articles and essays from the controversial Berkeley conference of the same name, The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness presents a fascinating range of inquiry into the nature of whiteness. Representing academics, independent scholars, community organizers, and antiracist activists, the contributors are all leaders in the "second wave" of whiteness studies who collectively aim to combat the historical legacies of white supremacy and to inform those who seek to understand the changing nature of white identity, both in the United States and abroad. With essays devoted to theories of racial domination, comparative global racisms, and transnational white identity, the geographical reach of the volume is significant and broad. Dalton Conley writes on "How I Learned to Be White." Allan Bérubé discusses the intersection of gay identity and whiteness, and Mab Segrest describes the spiritual price white people pay for living in a system of white supremacy.

 Liz Rosenberg Beauty and Attention

Beauty and Attention: A Novel
Liz Rosenberg
Lake Union Publishing

For misfit Libby Archer, social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the mid-1950s don't work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents, and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her uncle's Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the stifling McCarthy era at home. Across the Atlantic, Libby finds common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she hopes to become.

 Liz Rosenberg The Laws of Gravity

The Laws of Gravity
Liz Rosenberg
Lake Union Publishing

Two families, bound by blood. One decision holds the key to survival. Nicole, red-haired and beautiful, discovers that her life is in danger. She turns to her cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. His decision brings them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of mandatory retirement, finds himself embroiled in a legal battle unlike any other.

 Jennifer Lynn Stoever The Sonic Color Line

The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening
Jennifer Lynn Stoever
NYU Press

The unheard history of how race and racism are constructed from sound and maintained through the listening ear. Race is a visual phenomenon, the ability to see "difference." At least that is what conventional wisdom has lead us to believe. Yet, The Sonic Color Line argues that American ideologies of white supremacy are just as dependent on what we hear—voices, musical taste, volume—as they are on skin color or hair texture. Reinforcing compelling new ideas about the relationship between race and sound with meticulous historical research, Jennifer Lynn Stoever helps us to better understand how sound and listening not only register the racial politics of our world, but actively produce them.

 Susan Strehle and Mary Pannicia Carden Doubled Plots

Doubled Plots: Romance and History
Susan Strehle and Mary Pannicia Carden, eds.
University Press of Mississippi

In art, myth, and popular culture, romance is connected with the realm of emotions, private thought, and sentimentality. History, its counterpart, is the seemingly objective compendium of public fact. In theory, the two genres are diametrically opposed, offering widely divergent views of human experience. In this collection of essays, however, the writers challenge these basic assumptions and consider the two as parallel and as reflections of each other. Looking closely at specific narratives, they argue that romance and history share expectations and purposes and create the metaphors that can either hold cultures and institutions together or drive them apart.

 Susan Strehle Transnational Women's Fiction

Transnational Women's Fiction: Unsettling Home and Homeland
Susan Strehle
Palgrave Macmillan

This study argues that the private homes in transnational women's fiction reflect public legacies of colonialism. Published in Australia, Canada, India, Nigeria, Puerto Rico and the United States between 1995 and 2005, the novels use fictional houses to criticize and unsettle home and homeland, depicting their linked oppressions and exclusions.

 Elizabeth Tucker and Ellen McHale New York State Folklife Reader

New York State Folklife Reader: Diverse Voices
Elizabeth Tucker and Ellen McHale, eds.
University Press of Mississippi

New York and its folklore scholars hold an important place in the history of the discipline. In New York dialogue between folklore researchers in the academy and those working in the public arena has been highly productive. In this volume, the works of New York's academic and public folklorists are presented together.
Unlike some folklore anthologies, New York State Folklife Reader does not follow an organizational plan based on regions or genres. Because the New York Folklore Society has always tried to "give folklore back to the people," the editors decided to divide the edited volume into sections about life processes that all New York state residents share.

Elizabeth Tucker Haunted Halls 

Haunted Halls: Ghostlore of American College Campuses
Elizabeth Tucker
University Press of Mississippi

Why do so many American college students tell stories about encounters with ghosts? In Haunted Halls, the first book-length interpretive study of college ghostlore, Elizabeth Tucker takes the reader back to school to get acquainted with a wide range of college spirits. Some of the best-known ghosts that she discusses are Emory University's Dooley, who can disband classes by shooting professors with his water pistol; Mansfield University's Sara, who threw herself down a flight of stairs after being rejected by her boyfriend; and Huntingdon College's Red Lady, who slit her wrists while dressed in a red robe. Gettysburg College students have collided with ghosts of soldiers, while students at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College have reported frightening glimpses of the Faceless Nun. Tucker presents campus ghostlore from the mid-1960s to 2006, with special attention to stories told by twenty-first-century students through e-mail and instant messages. Her approach combines social, psychological, and cultural analysis, with close attention to students' own explanations of the significance of spectral phenomena.

 Alvin Vos and Maurice Hatch Letters of Roger Ascham

Letters of Roger Ascham
Alvin Vos, ed.
Translated by Alvin Vos and Maurice Hatch
Peter Lang Publishing

Letters of Roger Ascham makes available for the first time in English some sixty letters from England's most representative midsixteenth-century humanist. The volume includes letters to nearly thirty eminent men and women, including John Cheke, William Cecil, Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Catherine Parr, and Protector Somerset, to name but a few; also included are all the letters extant from Ascham to the Strasbourg schoolmaster Johann Sturm. Each of these letters has been newly translated from the Latin, and fully annotated and introduced. Vos has organized his selections into seven parts or chapters, corresponding to the major periods in Ascham's life and work; a biographical register provides a sketch of the life of each recipient. In his introduction to the volume Vos elaborates on the way that these unrivalled letters, first published in Latin in 1576, chronicle the story of an educator shuttling between otium and negotium, forced by the realities of the patronage system to play the role of courtier as well.

 Andrew Walkling Masque and Opera in England, 1656-1688

Masque and Opera in England, 1656-1688
Andrew Walkling

Masque and Opera in England, 1656–1688 presents a comprehensive study of the development of court masque and through-composed opera in England from the mid-1650s to the Revolution of 1688–89. In seeking to address the problem of generic categorization within a highly fragmentary corpus for which a limited amount of documentation survives, Walkling argues that our understanding of the distinctions between masque and opera must be premised upon a thorough knowledge of theatrical context and performance circumstances. Using extensive archival and literary evidence, detailed textual readings, rigorous tabular analysis, and meticulous collation of bibliographical and musical sources, this interdisciplinary study offers a host of new insights into a body of work that has long been of interest to musicologists, theatre historians, literary scholars and historians of Restoration court and political culture, but which has hitherto been imperfectly understood.

Joseph Weil A Night in Duluth 

A Night in Duluth
Joseph Weil
NYQ Books

A Night in Duluth is an uncertain and often tongue-in-cheek dream in which the voice of the poet makes due, speaks to what is both lost and found—to the confusion of being in an American oligarchy where poverty is growing as fast as private prisons and every bowl of soup is likely to contain a fly. Weil imagines this Duluth as a sort of dark night of the soul in which hope and cynicism can be erased as easily as grease paint from the face of a performer. There are moments of tenderness and respite, but the surreal presence of the dead informs almost all the poems and the idea of pratfall, and dead pan, the acts of making due in a diminished life and surviving by a kind of comic-tragic shtick is all pervasive. Weil considers this his most difficult and honest book. It is a puppet theater in which most of the audience is comprised of ghosts.

 Joseph Weil The Great Grandmother Light

The Great Grandmother Light: New and Selected Poems
Joseph Weil
NYQ Books

From 1982 until 2002, Joe Weil worked as a tool grinder and union shop steward in a mold making plant in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Many of the poems in The Great Grandmother Light were written on the graveyard shift while on break at the factory. There, Weil read the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Ceasar Vallejo, Gabrielle Mistral, Miguel Hernandez, Robert Creeley, Robert Kelly, and William Carlos Williams, as well as hundreds of contemporary poets. The poems in The Great Grandmother Light chart the history of his journey from tool grinder to university lecturer. Weil claims the common thread of his poems to be his "Catholic worker" sensibility and his reading in the Spanish poets as well as Simone Weil and Flannery O'Connor.

 Lisa Yun The Coolie Speaks

The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves in Cuba
Lisa Yun
Temple University Press

Introducing radical counter-visions of race and slavery, and probing the legal and philosophical questions raised by indenture, The Coolie Speaks offers the first critical reading of a massive testimony case from Cuba in 1874. From this case, Yun traces the emergence of a "coolie narrative" that forms a counterpart to the "slave narrative." The written and oral testimonies of nearly 3,000 Chinese laborers in Cuba, who toiled alongside African slaves, offer a rare glimpse into the nature of bondage and the tortuous transition to freedom. Trapped in one of the last standing systems of slavery in the Americas, the Chinese described their hopes and struggles, and their unrelenting quest for freedom. Yun argues that the testimonies from this case suggest radical critiques of the "contract" institution, the basis for free modern society.

 Alexi Zentner The Lobster Kings

The Lobster Kings
Alexi Zentner
W.W. Norton & Company

From the internationally acclaimed author of Touch, praised as "breathtaking" (People) and "lovely...at once dreamy and riveting" (Washington Post), comes a powerful family saga steeped in the legends of the sea. Set in a lobster fishing village, The Lobster Kings introduces a fiery and unforgettable heroine, Cordelia Kings. The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, this blessing comes with a curse: the loss of every firstborn son. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island's lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody's three daughters, stands to inherit the crown.

 Alexi Zentner Touch

Alexi Zentner
W.W. Norton & Company

On the eve of his mother's death, Stephen comes home to Sawgamet, a logging town where the dangers of working in the cuts are overshadowed by the dark mysteries and magic lurking in the woods. Thirty years after the mythical summer his grandfather returned to town on a quixotic search for his dead wife, Stephen confronts the painful losses in his own life.