New Books Network

Adrian Wisnicki, “Fieldwork of Empire, 1840-1900: Intercultural Dynamics in the Production of British Expeditionary Literature” (Routledge, 2019)
Adrian Wisnicki talks about the British expeditionary literature of the late 1800s. Reading between the lines of Victorian travel accounts, Wisnicki sees outlines of a bigger story — local peoples, landscapes, and ways of life. Wisnicki is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Faculty Fellow of... Read More
Great Books: Peter Brooks on Freud’s “Civilization and its Discontents”
We want to be happy, we want to get what we want, we want to love and be loved. But life, even when our basic needs are met, often makes us unhappy. You can’t always get what you want, Freud noted in his 1930 short book, Civilization and its Discontents. Our... Read More
Lijun Zhang and Ziying You, “Chinese Folklore Studies Today: Discourse and Practice” (Indiana UP, 2020)
The discipline of folkloristics in the People’s Republic of China is robust and well-funded. With thousands of scholars across the country, it is surprising then that there is relatively little understanding of the research and contributions of Chinese folklorists to the discipline. This despite the fact that Chinese folklorists are... Read More
D. Gilhooley and F. Toich, “Psychoanalysis, Intersubjective Writing, and a Postmaterialist Model of Mind” (Routledge, 2019)
More than anything else, Psychoanalysis, Intersubjective Writing, and a Postmaterialist Model of Mind: I Woke Up Dead (Routledge, 2020) bears witness to what’s possible when the raw pain and heartbreak of life and death are worked with in Psychoanalysis. It tells the moving story of an analyst and his patient’s... Read More
Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis of how critics confront the different types of uncertainty associated with their practice. The... Read More
Great Books: Deborah Plant on Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
“It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.” This line from Zora Neale Hurston’s masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, captures what is at the heart of all great literature: the irrepressible urge to speak, to be heard and understood. I spoke with Professor Deborah Plant, a scholar of... Read More
Great Books: Emily Bernard on Larsen’s “Passing”
Nella Larsen’s gripping 1929 novel Passing recounts the fateful encounter, first on a fancy Chicago hotel rooftop restaurant on a sweltering August afternoon and later in New York City, of two women who grew up together and then lost touch, and who can pass from being black to white, and... Read More