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Current and Forthcoming Volumes

'Classicism and Romanticism in Italian Literature: Leopardi's Discourse on Romantic Poetry'; Fabio Camilletti (Dept of Italian): March 2013

The ‘Discourse of an Italian on Romantic Poetry’ is a literary manifesto written in 1818 by the twenty-year old philologist, philosopher and poet Giacomo Leopardi, which remained however unpublished since the early twentieth-century. Inspired by the quarrel between Classicists and Romantics that was engulfing post-Napoleonic Italy, Leopardi’s ‘Discourse’ articulates an original and thought-provoking reflection on the possibility itself of making literature in modern times, rejecting both the Classicist’s precepts of sterile imitation and the Romantics’ yearning for absolute newness in terms of themes and formal choices. Fabio Camilletti’s Classicism and Romanticism in Italian Literature takes Leopardi’s ‘Discourse’ as a starting point for reflecting on the Classicist-Romantic quarrel as a field of tension in post-revolutionary Italy, and for reconfiguring a critical analysis of Leopardi’s though in a quintessentially comparative perspective. Enriched by the first complete translation of the ‘Discourse’ by Gabrielle Sims (New York University), the book aims to be a reference work for all scholars interested in Romantic literature as a trans-national phenomenon.


Rome, Postmodern Narratives of a Cityscape; Dom Holdaway and Filippo Trentin (Dept of Italian) May 2013

Until the mid-twentieth century the Western imagination seemed intent on viewing Rome purely in terms of its Classical past or as a stop on the Grand Tour. This collection of essays looks at Rome from a postmodern perspective, including analysis of the city's 'unmappability', its unity, and its iconic status in literature and film.


Gender and Space in Rural Britain 1840 - 1920;Gemma Goodman and Charlotte Mathieson (Dept of English) March 2014

The essays in this collection focus on the ways rural life was represented during the long nineteenth century. Issues of national vs regional identity, class, gender and sexuality are discussed. Contributors bring expertise from the fields of history, geography and literary studies to present an interdisciplinary study of the interplay between rural space and gender during a time of increasing industrialization and social change.


Picturing Women's Health; Fran Scott, Kate Scarth and Ji Chung (Dept of English) June 2014

Women’s lives changed considerably over the course of the long nineteenth century. As new roles and behaviours became available to them, the ways in which they were represented also increased. The essays in this collection examine women in diverse roles; mother, socialite, prostitute, celebrity, medical practitioner and patient. The wide range of commentators allows a diverse picture of women’s health in this period. Findings are discussed within the historical, medical, sociological, literary and art historical contexts of the period to make a truly interdisciplinary study.


Knowing Nature in Early Modern Europe; David Beck (Dept of History) February 2015

Today we are used to clear divisions between science and the arts. But early modern thinkers had no such distinctions, with ‘knowledge’ being a truly interdisciplinary pursuit. Each chapter of this collection presents a case study from a different area of knowledge, including the acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, Shakespeare's use of science and magic in The Tempest, and the use of scripture to refute Descartes' claims in A Discourse on Method (1637). The book comes out of an ongoing project, Scientiae, examining the nexus of Renaissance Europe and the history and philosophy of science.


New Jazz Conceptions; Roger Fagge (Dept of History), Nicolas Pillai (Birmingham City University) December 2016

This volume builds on recent studies by considering the production, reception, adaptation, and survival of jazz. It captures the vibrancy of British-based jazz studies in the early 21st century, highlighting the developing methodologies and growing interdisciplinary nature of the field. In particular, the collection breaks down barriers between jazz historians, theorists, and practitioners, questioning popular American-centered narratives of jazz, and casting fresh light on the cultural processes and economic circumstances that make the music. Essays explore the role of the musician and administrator, the critical and historical reception of jazz, the saliency of its recorded legacy, its situation within debates on trade and labour, its pedagogic and educative role, its interaction with broadcast media, and its persistent survival as a digital artefact. This book promotes a critical and democratic engagement with jazz, and sets a ‘new’ new jazz studies in motion.


Food, Drink and the Written Word in Britain, 1820–1954; Christopher Yiannitsaros (Dept of English and Comparative Literary Studies) November 2016

This volume explores the intersection between culinary history and literature across a period of profound social and cultural change. Split into three parts, essays focus on the food scandals of the early Victorian era, the decadence and greed of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, and the effects of austerity caused by two world wars.


Sing Aloud Harmonious Spheres: Renaissance Conceptions of Cosmic Harmony; Jacomien Prins, Maude Vanhaelen (CSR) September 2017

This is the first volume to explore the reception of the Pythagorean doctrine of cosmic harmony within a variety of contexts, ranging chronologically from Plato to 18th-century England. This original collection of essays engages with contemporary debates concerning the relationship between music, philosophy, and science, and challenges the view that Renaissance discussions on cosmic harmony are either mere repetitions of ancient music theory or pre-figurations of the ‘Scientific Revolution’. Utilizing this interdisciplinary approach, Renaissance Conceptions of Cosmic Harmony offers a new perspective on the reception of an important classical theme in various cultural, sequential and geographical contexts, underlying the continuities and changes between Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This project will be of particular interest within these emerging disciplines as they continue to explore the ideological significance of the various ways in which we appropriate the past.


Beyond the Rhetoric of Pain; Stella Bruzzi and Berenike Jung (Film and TV Studies) January 2019

Beyond the Rhetoric of Pain presents a fresh, interdisciplinary approach to the current research on pain from a variety of scholarly angles within Literature, Film and Media, Game Studies, Art History, Hispanic Studies, Memory Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, and Law. Through the combination of these perspectives, this volume goes beyond the existing structures within and across these disciplines framing new concepts of pain in attitude, practice, language, and ethics of response to pain.

Comprised of fourteen unique essays, Beyond the Rhetoric of Pain maintains a common thread of analysis using a historical and cultural lens to explore the rhetoric of pain. Considering various methodologies, this volume questions the ethical, social and political demands pain makes upon those who feel, watch or speak it. Arranged to move from historical cases and relevance of pain in history towards the contemporary movement, topics include pain as a social figure, rhetorical tool, artistic metaphor, and political representation in jurisprudence.


Mood, Interdisciplinary Perspectives, New Theories; Birgit Breidenbach and Thomas Docherty (English) April 2019

Mood is a phenomenon whose study is inherently interdisciplinary. While it has remained resistant to theorisation, it nonetheless has a substantial influence on art, politics and society. Since its practical omnipresence in every-day life renders it one of the most significant aspects of affect studies, it has garnered an increasing amount of critical attention in a number of disciplines across the humanities, sciences and social sciences in the past two decades. Mood: Aesthetics, Psychology, Philosophy provides a comprehensive theoretical and empirical exploration of the phenomenon of mood from an interdisciplinary angle. Building on cutting-edge research in this emerging field and bringing together established and new voices, it bridges the existing disciplinary gap in the study of mood and further consolidates this phenomenon as a crucial concept in disciplinary and interdisciplinary study. By combining perspectives and concepts from the literary studies, philosophy, musicology, the social sciences, artistic practice and psychology, the volume does the complexity and richness of mood-related phenomena justice and benefits from the latent connections and synergies in different disciplinary approaches to the study of mood.


Prohibitions and Psychoactive Substances in History, Culture and Theory; Susannah Wilson (French) May 2019

This volume is a new contribution to the dynamic scholarly discussion of the control and regulation of psychoactive substances in culture and society. Offering new critical reflections on the reasons prohibitions have historically arisen, the book analyses "prohibitions" as ambivalent and tenuous interactions between the users of psychoactive substances and regulators of their use. This original collection of essays engages with contemporary debates concerning addiction, intoxication and drug regulation, and will be of interest to scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences interested in narratives of prohibition and their social and cultural meanings.


Archaeology of the Unconscious Italian Perspectives, 1st Edition: Alessandra Aloisi and Fabio Camilletti (Italian) June 2019

In reconstructing the birth and development of the notion of ‘unconscious’, historians of ideas have heavily relied on the Freudian concept of Unbewussten, retroactively projecting the psychoanalytic unconscious over a constellation of diverse cultural experiences taking place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between France and Germany. Archaeology of the Unconscious aims to challenge this perspective by adopting an unusual and thought-provoking viewpoint as the one offered by the Italian case from the 1770s to the immediate aftermath of WWI, when Italo Svevo’s La coscienza di Zeno provides Italy with the first example of a ‘psychoanalytic novel’. Italy’s vibrant culture of the long nineteenth century, characterised by the sedimentation, circulation, intersection, and synergy of different cultural, philosophical, and literary traditions, proves itself to be a privileged object of inquiry for an archaeological study of the unconscious; a study whose object is not the alleged ‘origin’ of a pre-made theoretical construct, but rather the stratifications by which that specific construct was assembled. In line with Michel Foucault’s Archéologie du savoir (1969), this volume will analyze the formation and the circulation, across different authors and texts, of a network of ideas and discourses on interconnected themes, including dreams, memory, recollection, desire, imagination, fantasy, madness, creativity, inspiration, magnetism, and somnambulism. Alongside questioning pre-given narratives of the ‘history of the unconscious’, this book will employ the Italian ‘difference’ as a powerful perspective from whence to address the undeveloped potentialities of the pre-Freudian unconscious, beyond uniquely psychoanalytical viewpoints.


A Quest for Remembrance The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature, 1st Edition: Madeleine Scherer (Warwick) and Rachel Falconer (Lausanne) September 2019

A Quest for Remembrance: The Underworld in Classical and Modern literature brings together a range of arguments exploring connections between the descent into the underworld, also known as katabasis, and various forms of memory. Its chapters investigate the uses of the descent topos both in antiquity and in the reception of classical literature in the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. In the process, the volume explores how the hero’s quest into the underworld engages with the theme of recovering memories from the past. At the same time, we aim to foreground how the narrative format itself is concerned with forms of commemoration ranging from trans-cultural memory, remembering the literary and intellectual canon, to commemorating important historical events that might otherwise be forgotten. Through highlighting this duality this collection aims to introduce the descent narrative as its own literary genre, a ‘memorious genre’ related to but distinct from the quest narrative.