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Loren Glass, ed. After the Program Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Writing in the University

Loren Glass, ed. After the Program Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Writing in the University. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2016. vii, 277p. ISBN 9781609384395. US$ 35.00 (paperback).

I remember being riveted by Mark McGurl’s The Program Era: Post-War Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (Harvard UP, 2009). It offered a grand unified field theory of post-1945 American fiction – a sophisticated, materialist account of how the conditions of literary production shaped American prose. McGurl argued that “the rise of the creative writing program stands as the most important event in postwar American literary history” (ix), making us rethink the relationship between higher education and the literary marketplace.

After the Program Era, as Glass describes it in the introduction, “explores the consequences and implications, as well as the lacunae and liabilities, of McGurl’s foundational intervention” (1).

Donal Harris. On Company Time: American Modernism in the Big Magazines

Donal Harris. On Company Time: American Modernism in the Big Magazines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. 275p., ill. ISBN 9780231177726. US$ 60 (hardcover).

On Company Time: American Modernism in the Big Magazines provides a valuable addition to the history of American literary modernism by highlighting the ways it “evolve[d] within rather than against the mass print culture of its moment” (8). Using a “literary-historical interpretation” that seeks to transcend traditional periodical genres, Harris convincingly demonstrates the interrelationship between a subset of commercial periodicals he identifies as distinct for their focus on textual and visual style above content (which he labels “big magazines”) and stylistic innovations and cultural understandings of American modernism in the first half of the twentieth century.

Tom F. Wright. Lecturing the Atlantic: Speech, Print, and an Anglo-American Commons, 1830-1870

Tom F. Wright. Lecturing the Atlantic: Speech, Print, and an Anglo-American Commons, 1830-1870. Oxford University Press, 2017. 264p., ill. ISBN 9780190496791. US$ 74.00 (hardcover).

At a time when public figures, the media, and the public are locked in an ongoing daily battle to define the truth, it feels wise to draw our attention to the relationship among public figures, the media, and the public in a period other than our own. In his new book, Lecturing the Atlantic: Speech, Print, and an Anglo-American Commons, 1830-1870, Tom F. Wright does just that.

Agatha Beins. Liberation in Print: Feminist Periodicals and Social Movement Identity

Agatha Beins. Liberation in Print: Feminist Periodicals and Social Movement Identity. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017. 240p., ill. ISBN 9780820349510. US$ 84.95 (hardcover). ISBN 9780820349534. US$ 32.95 (paperback).

In the opening pages of Liberation in Print, Agatha Beins observes that during the early years of women’s liberation, “networks formed idiosyncratically, and information travelled unpredictably” (2). As Beins notes, this meant “periodicals were especially important mechanisms for creating and sustaining communication amongst feminists throughout the United States” (2).

Lori Merish. Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States

Lori Merish. Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017. 328p. ISBN 9780822363224. US$ 26.95.

Lori Merish’s Archives of Labor: Working Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States is an ambitious work that recovers texts by and about women, labor, and working-class experience. Merish examines texts that consider a diversity of women, including “Lowell mill women, African American ‘free laborers,’ Mexicana mission workers, urban seamstresses, and prostitutes” (10). This book both performs the work of recovering texts left out of literary history and analyzing the subject positions of the diverse women represented in them.

Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis. Censored: A Literary History of Subversion & Control

Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis. Censored: A Literary History of Subversion and Control. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017. 431p., ill. ISBN 9780773551275. US$ 34.95.

Fellion and Inglis, scholars based in Edinburgh, take on the rather large task of providing an English-language literary history of censorship beginning in the fourteenth century and ending in the twentieth. Geographically, their primary focus is the UK and the US. The authors not only cross the Atlantic, but also cross genres, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays, comics, and graphic novels. The sheer quantity of topics and time periods is daunting, but Censored succeeds in its mission.

Megan J. Elias. Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture. Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald. United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook.

 

Megan J. Elias. Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. 296p. ISBN 9780812249170. US$ 34.95.

Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald. United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2017. 351p., ill. ISBN 9781625343222. US$ 32.95.

Cookbooks have always been vital sources for food studies scholars, because they presumably document what foods people have eaten and how they have prepared them. In these two engrossing studies, researchers move beyond recipes to investigate how cookbooks function as crucial national texts in the United States and as fruitful topics of print culture research.

Theo Rosendorf. The Typographic Desk Reference

Theo Rosendorf. The Typographic Desk Reference2nd ed. Forward by Erik Spiekermann. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2016. 350p. ISBN 9781584563119. $45.00 (hardcover); $25.00 (paperback).

This extensive desk reference is divided into six parts: Terms; Glyphs; Anatomy & Form; Classification & Specimens; Further Reading; and Index. Originally published in 2009, the new edition is greatly expanded to include updated terminology for type specimens, more glyphs, and an extensive index, itself a sixth of the physical book.

Charles V. Reed. Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects and the Making of a British World, 1860-1911

Charles V. Reed. Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects and the Making of a British World, 1860-1911. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016. 221p. ISBN 9780719097010. £70.00 (hardcover).

If you enjoyed Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet or saw the PBS TV version called Jewel in the Crown, this book gives you the opportunity to learn more about what life in British India, South Africa, and New Zealand was really like for colonial subjects in the years prior – to be specific, from 1860 to 1911.

Timothy R. Jackson, ed. Frozen in Time: The Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Timothy R. Jackson, ed. Frozen in Time: The Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 2016. 262p., ill. ISBN 9781843516750. €50.00 (hardcover).

Frozen in Time is the first book-length study devoted to the Fagel Collection, shining light on the history and the political interests of the Fagel family as well as the materials that their members collected through time and which informed their governing decisions over the Netherlands from 1672 through the French Revolution. Historians of early modern Europe, of the book, of libraries, and of reading practices will find many topics of interest and new areas of study to explore as they read about the varied and extensive contents of the Fagel family collections.