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Literary Theory & Cultural Studies RSS



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Imagination: A Very Short Introduction


Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei

26 October 2023

Very Short Introductions

Examining philosophical, evolutionary, and literary perspectives, this book explores imagination as a cognitive power and an essential dimension of human flourishing. It demonstrates how imagination plays multiple roles in human cognition and shapes humanity in profound ways, making possible our experience of a meaningful world.

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Hannah Arendt: A Very Short Introduction


Dana Villa

26 January 2023

Very Short Introductions

An exploration of the life and political essays of 20th century philosopher, Hannah Arendt. Dana Villa analyses Arendt's pathbreaking studies on totalitarianism, power, evil, and political theory.

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The Idea of the Book and the Creation of Literature


Stephen Orgel

29 November 2022

Oxford Textual Perspectives

In this new addition to the Oxford Textual Perspectives series, Stephen Orgel considers the idea of the book not simply as a container for written work, but as an essential element in its creation.

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A Bite of the Apple: A Life with Books, Writers and Virago


Lennie Goodings

11 August 2022

In this insightful memoir Lennie Goodings takes the reader behind the scenes at Virago, the feminist press that she has led for twenty years. Moving from Virago's early days of independence, through its various commercial incarnations, the author reflects on idealistic publishing and how it feels to be a beacon for change.

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How Romantics and Victorians Organized Information: Commonplace Books, Scrapbooks, and Albums


Jillian M. Hess

04 August 2022

Oxford Textual Perspectives

This volume studies an important manuscript form of nineteenth-century England: the commonplace book and its descendent, the scrapbook. It explores the tradition of managing information in nineteenth-century England and excavates notes and drafts of the most important works in Romantic and Victorian literature.

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Jacob's Room

Second Edition


Virginia Woolf, Urmila Seshagiri

09 June 2022

Oxford World's Classics

Jacob's Room is Virginia Woolf's first truly experimental novel. It is a portrait of a young man, who is both representative and victim of the social values which led Edwardian society into war.

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Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture


John Levi Barnard

01 June 2022

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The Digital Humanities and Literary Studies


Martin Paul Eve

10 February 2022

The Literary Agenda

A short introduction and overview of developing intersections between digital methods and literary studies that offers the best starting place for those who wish to learn more about the possibilities, but also the limitations, of the digital humanities in the literary space.

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What is American Literature?


Ilan Stavans

10 February 2022

An engaging, thought-provoking, and polemical volume on what makes American literature what it is today.

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James Joyce: A Very Short Introduction


Colin MacCabe

28 October 2021

Very Short Introductions

James Joyce was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. This book explores his novels and short stories, and analyses the literary traditions and social factors influencing his distinctive complex style. Interweaving Joyce's life and history with his books, it also shows how Joyce celebrated his own experiences in Dublin.

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On Essays: Montaigne to the Present


Thomas Karshan, Kathryn Murphy

01 September 2021

Sets out in a new and authoritative way the history of the essay; explains how the essay has come to mean what it does, surveys the widely various incarnations of the form, offers new accounts of major essayists in English, and traces a wide range of significant themes.

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Horror: A Very Short Introduction


Darryl Jones

24 June 2021

Very Short Introductions

Fear is one of the most primal emotions, and one of the hardest to reason with and dispel. So why do we scare ourselves? Delving into the darkest corners of horror literature, films, and plays, Darryl Jones explores its monsters and its psychological chills, discussing why horror stories disturb us, and how they reflect society's taboos.

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Major Cultural Essays


George Bernard Shaw, David Kornhaber

24 June 2021

Oxford World's Classics

George Bernard Shaw's Major Cultural Essays introduces readers to the wealth and diversity of Shaw's cultural writings from across the breadth of his professional life, beginning around 1890 and ending in 1950.

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Major Political Writings


George Bernard Shaw, Elizabeth Carolyn Miller

04 February 2021

Oxford World's Classics

A new collection of Shaw's major political writings which reflect on his long career and influential role as a public intellectual. These essays reveal significant shifts in his positions and beliefs from the Victorian era to the aftermath of World War II.

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Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition


Robert J. C. Young

22 October 2020

Very Short Introductions

Since the 1960s, many people around the world have challenged the idea that western perspectives are the only ones that count. This book examines the history of that challenge, outlining the ideas behind it, and showing the ways in which the histories and the cultures of the world can be rethought in new, different and productive directions.

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George Bernard Shaw: A Very Short Introduction


Christopher Wixson

24 September 2020

Very Short Introductions

Christopher Wixson introduces George Bernard Shaw, the greatest playwright in English after Shakespeare. Taking a chronological approach through his works, he provides an overview of Shaw's sensibility as a writer, and studies the creative evolution of core themes and styles throughout his long career.

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Émile Zola: A Very Short Introduction


Brian Nelson

23 July 2020

Very Short Introductions

Émile Zola occupies a distinctive place in the great tradition of French realist fiction. Brian Nelson introduces this quintessential novelist of modernity, and explores his fascination with change, and the way he opened the novel up to new areas of representation: the realities of working-class life, class relations, and sexuality and the body.

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Genetics and the Literary Imagination


Clare Hanson

13 May 2020

Oxford Textual Perspectives

Studying works by Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, A.S. Byatt, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jackie Kay, this book explores the impact on literature of the gene-centric model of human nature that entered mainstream culture in the wake of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

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Leo Tolstoy: A Very Short Introduction


Liza Knapp

24 May 2019

Very Short Introductions

Leo Tolstoy is one of the greatest novelists ever to have lived, whose books have stood the test of time to remain widely recognised as literary masterpieces today. This Very Short Introduction explores his celebrated novels and nonfiction writings to reveal the core themes and thought at the heart of Tolstoy's work.

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C. S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction


James Como

24 January 2019

Very Short Introductions

The writings of C.S. Lewis have a universal appeal. His Chronicles of Narnia are by far the best known, but he was also a prolific literary scholar, essayist, broadcaster, novelist, poet, and Christian apologist. Following the chronology of Lewis's life, James Como draws out the core themes of his writings, showing how his ideas evolved.

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