The Afterlife of Enclosure: British Realism, Character, and the Commons (Stanford University Press, 2021)
Carolyn Lesjak

The enclosure of the commons, space once available for communal use, was not a singular event but an act of "slow violence" that transformed lands, labor, and basic concepts of public life leading into the nineteenth century. The Afterlife of Enclosure examines three canonical British writers—Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy—as narrators of this history, the long duration and diffuse effects of which required new literary forms to capture the lived experience of enclosure and its aftermath.

Carolyn Lesjak is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

A History of The Theories of Rain (Talonbooks, 2021)
Stephen Collis

A History of The Theories of Rain explores the strange effect our current sense of impending doom has on our relation to time, approaching the unfolding climate catastrophe conceptually through its dissolution of the categories of "man-made" and "natural" disasters. How do we go on with our daily lives while a disastrous future impinges upon every moment?

Collis provides no easy answers and offers no simple hope. What his book does instead is probe our current state of anxiety with care, humour, and an unflinching gazing into the darkness we have gathered around ourselves. All the while – in song, in lyrical outbursts, and in philosophical and speculative excursions – it asks what form a resistance to the tenor of these out-of-joint times might take. In doing so, it explores the links between the climate’s "tipping points" and the borders which constrain those who are fleeing the disaster – including the plants, animals, and peoples forcibly displaced by a radically altered world ecology.

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Death and the Pearl Maiden: Plague, Poetry, England (Ohio State UP, 2019)
David Coley

Death and the Pearl Maiden: Plague, Poetry, England asks why one of the singular historical traumas of the later Middle Ages appears to be evoked so fleetingly in fourteenth-century Middle English poetry, a body of work as daring and socially engaged as any in English literary history. By focusing on under-recognized pestilential discourses in Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight—the four poems uniquely preserved in British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x —this study resists the idea that the Black Death had only a slight impact on medieval English literature, and it strives to account for the understated shape of England’s literary response to the plague and our contemporary understandings of it.

David Coley is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten (Talonbooks, 2018)
Stephen Collis

Almost Islands is a powerfully introspective memoir of the author’s friendship with legendary Canadian poet Phyllis Webb – now in her nineties and long enveloped in silence – and his regular trips to see her. It is an extended meditation on literary ambition and failure, poetry and politics, choice and chance, location, colonization, and climate change – the struggle that is writing, and the end of writing.

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Does the Internet Have an Unconscious?: Slavoj Žižek and Digital Culture (Bloomsbury, 2018)
Clint Burnham

Does the Internet Have an Unconscious? is both an introduction to the work of Slavoj Žižek and an investigation into how his work can be used to think about the digital present.

Clint Burnham uniquely combines the German idealism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxist materialism found in Žižek's thought to understand how the Internet, social and new media, and digital cultural forms work in our lives and how their failure to work structures our pathologies and fantasies. He suggests that our failure to properly understand the digital is due to our lack of recognition of its political, aesthetic, and psycho-sexual elements.

Mixing autobiographical passages with critical analysis, Burnham situates a Žižekian theory of digital culture in the lived human body.

Clint Burnham is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter (McClelland & Stewart, 2018)
David Chariandy

When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his three-year-old daughter to ask "what happened?" David Chariandy began wondering how to discuss with his children the politics of race. A decade later, in a newly heated era of both struggle and divisions, he writes a letter to his now thirteen-year-old daughter. David is the son of Black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad, and he draws upon his personal and ancestral past, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration, as well as the experiences of growing up a visible minority within the land of one's birth. In sharing with his daughter his own story, he hopes to help cultivate within her a sense of identity and responsibility that balances the painful truths of the past and present with hopeful possibilities for the future.

David Chariandy is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Brother (McClelland & Stewart, 2017)
David Chariandy

Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry -- teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves. Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael's dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.

David Chariandy is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Mirror of Information in Early Modern England: John Wilkins and the Universal Character (Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2017)
James Dougal Fleming

This book examines the seventeenth-century project for a "real" or "universal" character: a scientific and objective code. Focusing on the Essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (1668) of the polymath John Wilkins, Fleming provides a detailed explanation of how a real character actually was supposed to work. He argues that the period movement should not be understood as a curious episode in the history of language, but as an illuminating avatar of information technology. A non-oral code, supposedly amounting to a script of things, the character was to support scientific discourse through a universal database, in alignment with cosmic truths. In all these ways, J.D. Fleming argues, the world of the character bears phenomenological comparison to the world of modern digital information—what has been called the infosphere. 

J.D. Fleming is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Fredric Jameson and The Wolf of Wall Street (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)
Clint Burnham

Is Martin Scorcese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street an indictment of the lunacies, excess, and malfeasance of finance capital, a fun movie about sex, drugs, and penny stocks, or both of these at once? In his new book, Clint Burnham brings the Marxist theory of Fredric Jameson to a reading of the film, suggesting that dialectics can help us think about the contradictions of Hollywood entertainment. Beginning with a survey of Jameson’s influential writings on film, postmodernism, and Utopia, Burnham shows that issues of class, representation, and the “political unconscious” are always, for Jameson, closely related to how film seeks to divert our dissent. Thus, if The Godfather was a mob film that was really about capitalism, The Wolf of Wall Street is a finance film that is really a gangster movie. In the second half of the book, Burnham embarks on a survey of Scorcese’s career, connecting The Wolf of Wall Street to earlier efforts like Mean Streets, Goodfellas, and The Departed. Fredric Jameson and The Wolf of Wall Street asks vital questions about how cinematic narratives shape our understanding of capitalism, masculinity, and labor itself

Clint Burnham is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Billy Budd, Sailor (Broadview Press, 2016)
Editor: Michael Everton

“Is it the intention of law-makers that good men shall be hung ever?” asked Henry David Thoreau. The question has never been academic, but in 1924, when Herman Melville’s Billy Budd was published posthumously, we understood better than ever why. A dense and beautiful account of the human cost of realpolitikBilly Budd, Sailor asks how far we should go to protect the status quo. When does the reaction to a security crisis become reactionary? In the novella, John Claggart, master-at-arms of a British warship, alleges a sailor is talking mutiny. The sailor, Billy, isn’t just innocent of the charge; he’s a true innocent. Yet when confronted by his accuser, Billy reacts impulsively, striking Claggart. The resulting trial shows the horrors that can arise from a civilized society following its own laws.

This Broadview Edition is based on the authoritative Hayford-Sealts copy-text of Billy Budd. The introduction distils the long and complex critical conversation about the work since its publication.

Michael Everton is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Literary Coteries and the Making of Modern Print Culture 1740–1790 (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
Betty A. Schellenberg

Literary Coteries and the Making of Modern Print Culture offers the first study of manuscript-producing coteries as an integral element of eighteenth-century Britain's literary culture. As a corrective to literary histories assuming that the dominance of print meant the demise of a vital scribal culture, the book profiles four interrelated and influential coteries, focusing on each group's deployment of traditional scribal practices, on key individuals who served as bridges between networks, and on the aesthetic and cultural work performed by the group. The book also explores points of intersection between coteries and the print trade, whether in the form of individuals who straddled the two cultures; publishing events in which the two media regimes collaborated or came into conflict; literary conventions adapted from manuscript practice to serve the ends of print; or simply poetry hand-copied from magazines. Together, these instances demonstrate how scribal modes shaped modern literary production. This title is also available as Open Access.

Betty Schellenberg is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

In Due Season (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016)
Afterword by Carole Gerson and Janice Dowson

First published in 1947, In Due Season broke new ground with its fictional representation of women and of Indigenous people. Set during the dustbowl 1930s, this tersely narrated prize-winning novel follows Lina Ashley, a determined solo female homesteader who takes her family from drought-ridden southern Alberta to a new life in the Peace River region. Here her daughter Poppy grows up in a community characterized by harmonious interactions between the local Métis and newly arrived European settlers. Still, there is tension between mother and daughter when Poppy becomes involved with a Métis lover. This novel expands the patriarchal canon of Canadian prairie fiction by depicting the agency of a successful female settler and, as noted by Dorothy Livesay, was “one of the first, if not the first Canadian novel wherein the plight of the Native Indian and the Métis is honestly and painfully recorded.” The afterword by Carole Gerson and Janice Dowson provides substantial information about author Christine van der Mark and situates her under-acknowledged book within the contexts of Canadian social, literary, and publishing history.

Carole Gerson is a professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Woman Priest (University of Alberta Press, 2016)
Translation and Introduction by Sheila Delany

“My God! Pardon me if I have dared to make sacred things serve a profane love; but it is you who have put passion into our hearts; they are not crimes—I feel this in the purity of my intentions.” —Agatha, writing to Zoé

In pre-revolutionary Paris, a young woman falls for a handsome young priest. To be near him, she dresses as a man, enters his seminary, and is invited to become a fully ordained Catholic priest—a career forbidden to women then as now. Sylvain Maréchal’s epistolary novella offers a biting rebuke to religious institutions and a hypocritical society; its views on love, marriage, class, and virtue remain relevant today. The book ends in La Nouvelle France, which became part of British-run Canada during Maréchal’s lifetime. With thorough notes and introduction by Sheila Delany, this first translation of Maréchal’s novella, La femme abbé, brings a little-known but revelatory text to the attention of readers interested in French history and literature, history of the novel, women’s studies, and religious studies.

Sheila Delany is a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University.

Shakespeare and Consciousness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
Edited by: Paul Budra, Clifford Werier  

This book examines how early modern and recently emerging theories of consciousness and cognitive science help us to re-imagine our engagements with Shakespeare in text and performance. Papers investigate the connections between states of mind, emotion, and sensation that constitute consciousness and the conditions of reception in our past and present encounters with Shakespeare’s works. Acknowledging previous work on inwardness, self, self-consciousness, embodied self, emotions, character, and the mind-body problem, contributors consider consciousness from multiple new perspectives―as a phenomenological process, a materially determined product, a neurologically mediated reaction, or an internally synthesized identity―approaching Shakespeare’s plays and associated cultural practices in surprising and innovative ways.

Paul Budra is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Shakespeare Early and Late: A Textbook (SFU Publications, 2016)
Paul Budra

"Shakespeare Early and Late provides a more nuanced introduction to Shakespeare's plays and their historical contexts than the prefatory material found in most critical editions targeting an undergraduate audience. The idea of dividing the plays into "Early and Late" sections and the compression of so much information in such a lucid package felt both established and new. Its depth of insight will appeal to both new students and experienced readers."

- Professor Clifford Werier, Department of English, Mount Royal University

Paul Budra is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (ARP Books, 2015)
Edited by Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill and Sophie McCall

The Land We Are is a stunning collection of writing and art that interrogates the current era of reconciliation in Canada. Using visual, poetic, and theoretical language, the contributors approach reconciliation as a problematic narrative about Indigenous-settler relations, but also as a site where conversations about a just future must occur. The result of a four-year collaboration between artists and scholars engaged in resurgence and decolonization, The Land We Are is a moving dialogue that blurs the boundaries between activism, research, and the arts.

Sophie McCall is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Historical Affects and the Early Modern Theater (Routledge, 2015)
Edited by Ronda Arab, Michelle Dowd and Adam Zucker

This collection of original essays honors the groundbreaking scholarship of Jean E. Howard by exploring cultural and economic constructions of affect in the early modern theater. While historicist and materialist inquiry has dominated early modern theater studies in recent years, the historically specific dimensions of affect and emotion remain underexplored. This volume brings together these lines of inquiry for the first time, exploring the critical turn to affect in literary studies from a historicist perspective to demonstrate how the early modern theater showcased the productive interconnections between historical contingencies and affective attachments. Considering well-known plays such as Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday together with understudied texts such as court entertainments, and examining topics ranging from dramatic celebrity to women’s political agency to the parental emotion of grief, this volume provides a fresh and at times provocative assessment of the "historical affects"—financial, emotional, and socio-political—that transformed Renaissance theater. Instead of treating history and affect as mutually exclusive theoretical or philosophical contexts, the essays in this volume ask readers to consider how drama emplaces the most personal, unspeakable passions in matrices defined in part by financial exchange, by erotic desire, by gender, by the material body, and by theatricality itself. As it encourages this conversation to take place, the collection provides scholars and students alike with a series of new perspectives, not only on the plays, emotions, and histories discussed in its pages, but also on broader shifts and pressures animating literary studies today.

Ronda Arab is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015)
Paul Delany

Rupert Brooke (b. 1887) died on April 23, 1915, two days before the start of the Battle of Gallipoli, and three weeks after his poem "The Soldier" was read from the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral on Easter Sunday. Thus began the myth of a man whose poetry crystallizes the sentiments that drove so many to enlist and assured those who remained in England that their beloved sons had been absolved of their sins and made perfect by going to war.

In Fatal Glamour, Paul Delany details the person behind the myth to show that Brooke was a conflicted, but magnetic figure. Strikingly beautiful and able to fascinate almost everyone who saw him - from Winston Churchill to Henry James - Brooke was sexually ambivalent and emotionally erratic. He had a series of turbulent affairs with women, but also a hidden gay life. He was attracted by the Fabian Society’s socialist idealism and Neo-Pagan innocence, but could be by turns nasty, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic. Brooke’s emotional troubles were acutely personal and also acutely typical of Edwardian young men formed by the public school system. Delany finds a thread of consistency in the character of someone who was so well able to move others, but so unable to know or to accept himself.

A revealing biography of a singular personality, Fatal Glamour also uses Brooke’s life to shed light on why the First World War began and how it unfolded.

Paul Delany is a professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University.

Correspondence Primarily on Sir Charles Grandison (1750-1754) (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Edited by Betty A. Schellenberg

Part of The Cambridge Edition of the Correspondence of Samuel Richardson.

Samuel Richardson (1689–1761) was a highly regarded printer and influential novelist when he produced his final work of fiction, The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753). Like his other novels, it was written in epistolary form, reflecting his lifelong interest in letter writing and the letter as a genre. Covering the period 1750–1754, many of these fully annotated letters are published from manuscript for the first time, or have been restored to their complete original form. Recording Richardson's relationships with leading cultural figures including Samuel Johnson, Colley Cibber and Elizabeth Carter, the volume reveals his support for other authors while struggling to complete his own 'story of a Good Man'. This publishing saga also incorporates Richardson's responses to the Irish piracy of his novel, and his exchanges with anonymous fans, including those who attacked the novel's tolerance for Catholicism and those who pleaded for a sequel.

Betty Schellenberg is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Broadview Reader in Book History (Broadview Press, 2014)
Edited by Michelle Levy and Tom Mole

Book History has emerged as one of the most exciting new interdisciplinary fields of study in the humanities.  By focusing on the production, circulation and reception of the book in all its forms, it has transformed the study of history, literature and culture.  The Broadview Book History Reader is the most complete and up-to-date introduction available to this area of study. 

The reader reprints 33 key essays in the field, grouped conceptually and provided with headnotes, explanatory footnotes, an introduction, a chronology, and a glossary of terms.

Michelle Levy is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University. 

Tom Mole is Reader in English Literature and Director of the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh.

Virginia Woolf and the Common(wealth) Reader (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Edited by Mary Ann Gillies and Helen Wussow

Virginia Woolf and the Common(wealth) Reader presents twenty-eight essays and four poetic invocations delivered at the 23rd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, hosted by Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia (June 6-9, 2013). The theme of the conference, the concept of "common(wealth)," addresses geographical, political, and imaginary spaces in which different readers and readings vie for primacy of place. The essays in this collection, including keynote addresses by Rosemary Ashton, Paul Delany, Christine Froula, Mary Ann Gillies, Sonita Sarker, and Jane Stafford, reflect upon "common(wealth)" as a constructed entity, one that necessarily embodies tensions between the communal and individual, traditional culture and emergent forms, indigenous people and colonial powers, and literary insiders and outsiders.

Mary Ann Gillies is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2014)
Edited by Peter Dickinson, Anne Higgins, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Diana Solomon, and Sean Zwagerman

Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice presents the most current international scholarship on the complexity and subversive potential of womens comedic speech, literature, and performance. Earlier comedy theorists such as Freud and Bergson did not envision women as either the agents or audiences of comedy, only as its targets. Only more recently have scholarly studies of comedy begun to recognize and historicize womens contributions toand political uses ofcomedy. The essays collected here demonstrate the breadth of current scholarship on gender and comedy, spanning centuries of literature and a diversity of methodologies.

Through a reconsideration of literary, theatrical, and mass media texts from the Classical period to the present, Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice responds to the historical marginalization and/or trivialization of both women and comedy. The essays collected in this volume assert the importance of recognizing the role of women and comedy in order to understand these texts, their historical contexts, and their possibilities and limits as models for social engagement. In the spirit of comedy itself, these analyses allow for opportunities to challenge and reevaluate the theoretical approaches themselves.

Peter Dickinson is a professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts and Director of SFU's Institute for Performance Studies.

Anne Higgins is a retired associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Diana Solomon is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Paul Matthew St. Pierre is a retired professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Sean Zwagerman is an associate professor of English and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

A Publisher’s Paradise: Expatriate Literary Culture in Paris, 1890-1960 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013)
Colette Colligan

From 1890 to 1960, some of Anglo-America’s most heated cultural contests over books, sex, and censorship were staged not at home, but abroad in the City of Light. Paris, with its extraordinary liberties of expression, became a special place for interrogating the margins of sexual culture and literary censorship, and a wide variety of English language “dirty books” circulated through loose expatriate publishing and distribution networks. Colette Colligan explores the political and literary dynamics that gave rise to this expatriate cultural flourishing, which included everything from Victorian pornography to the most daring and controversial modernist classics.

A Publisher’s Paradise is a compelling exploration of the little-known history of foreign pornography in Paris and the central role it played in turning the city into a modernist outpost for literary and sexual vanguardism, a reputation that still lingers today in our cultural myths of midnight in Paris.

Colette Colligan is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Vestiges (Talonbooks, 2013)
Jeff Derksen

Based on the experience of city life, The Vestiges moves across the uneven geography of the present, linking historical moments when quarters of cities were squatted, when social change boiled and the future was up for grabs. In the context of our precarious present, the poem “The Vestiges,” around which the book is built, “sets out to explore / what happens / to humans when they are reduced / to things by other humans.” In asking this question, “The Vestiges” is a long poem engaged with modernist poems that move from the particularities of everyday life to enduring and unanswered political and cultural questions. Covering a wide terrain of research, the other serial poems in the book mine various texts, from the Craigslist “auto parts” section to Jane Jacobs, from Marx to Marcuse, and from historical accounts of cities to contemporary real-estate promotions, in order to build up an eclectic atlas of this unstable moment. In terms of contemporary poetics, The Vestiges enters into dialogue with modernism, conceptual writing, and post-conceptual art 

Sean Zwagerman is an associate professor of English and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

The Red Album (Book*hug Press, 2013)
Stephen Collis

In the tradition of Borges, Nabakov, and Bolaño, The Red Album is a work of fiction that questions historical authenticity and authority. Divided into two parts, the book begins with an edited and footnoted narrative of dubious origins. In the second part, a section of "documents" (including essays, memoirs, a short play and a filmography) shed light on the first narrative. Familiar characters are revealed to be writers, and the writer and editors of the initial narrative are revealed to be characters. As the ghosts of social revolutions of the past are lifted from the soil in Catalonia, and a new revolution unfolds in South America, the number of mysteriously missing author/characters grows almost as fast as new author/ characters emerge and complicate and scatter the threads of the story.

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Prologues and Epilogues of Restoration Theater; Gender and Comedy, Performance and Print (University of Delaware Press, 2013)
Diana Solomon

Often perceived as merely formulaic or historical documents, dramatic prologues and epilogues - players' comic, poetic bids for the audience's good opinion - became essential parts of Restoration theater, appearing in over 90 percent of performed and printed plays between 1660 and 1714. Their popularity coincided with the rise of the English actress, and Prologues and Epilogues of Restoration Theater unites these elements in the first book-length study on the subject. It finds that these paratexts provided the first sanctioned space for actesses in Britain to voice ideas in public, communicate directly with other women, and perform comedy - arguably the most powerful type of speech, and one that enabled interrogation of misogynist social practices. This book provides a taxonomy of prologues and epilogues with a corresponding appendix, and demonstrates through case studies of Anne Bracegirdle and Anne Oldfield how the study of prologues and epiliogues enriches Restoration theater scholarship. 

Diana Solomon is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies (University of Georgia Press, 2013)
Jon Smith

The new southern studies has had an uneasy relationship with both American studies and the old southern studies. In Finding Purple America, Jon Smith, one of the founders of the new movement, locates the source of that unease in the fundamentally antimodern fantasies of both older fields.

The old southern studies tends to view modernity as a threat to a mystic southern essence—a dangerous outside force taking the form of everything from a "bulldozer revolution" to a "national project of forgetting." Since the rise of the New Americanists, American studies has also imagined itself to be in a permanent crisis mode, seeking to affiliate the field and the national essence with youth countercultures that sixties leftists once imagined to be "the future." Such fantasies, Smith argues, have resulted in an old southern studies that cannot understand places like Birmingham or Atlanta (or cities at all) and an American studies that cannot understand red states.

Most Americans live in neither a comforting, premodern Mayberry nor an exciting, postmodern Los Angeles but rather in what postcolonialists call "alternative modernities" and "hybrid cultures" whose relationships to past and future, to stability and change, are complex and ambivalent. Looking at how "the South" has played in global metropolitan pop culture since the nineties and at how southern popular and high culture alike have, in fact, repeatedly embraced urban modernity, Smith masterfully weaves together postcolonial theory, cultural studies, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and, surprisingly, marketing theory to open up the inconveniently in-between purple spaces and places that Americanist and southernist fantasies about "who we are"have so long sought to foreclose.

Jon Smith is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Reading Duncan Reading: Robert Duncan and the Poetics of Derivation (University of Iowa Press, 2012)
Edited by Stephen Collis and Graham Lyons

In Reading Duncan Reading, thirteen scholars and poets examine, first, what and how the American poet Robert Duncan read and, perforce, what and how he wrote. Harold Bloom wrote of the searing anxiety of influence writers experience as they grapple with the burden of being original, but for Duncan this was another matter altogether. Indeed, according to Stephen Collis, “No other poet has so openly expressed his admiration for and gratitude toward his predecessors.”

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Graham Lyons is a Simon Fraser University alumnus.

From Text to Txting: New Media in the Classroom (Indiana University Press, 2012)
Edited by Paul Budra and Clint Burnham

Literary scholars face a new and often baffling reality in the classroom: students spend more time looking at glowing screens than reading printed text. The social lives of these students take place in cyberspace instead of the student pub. Their favourite narratives exist in video games, not books. How do teachers who grew up in a different world engage these students without watering down pedagogy? Clint Burnham and Paul Budra have assembled a group of specialists in visual poetry, graphic novels, digital humanities, role-playing games, television studies, and, yes, even the middle-brow novel, to address this question. Contributors give a brief description of their subject, investigate how it confronts traditional notions of the literary, and ask what contemporary literary theory can illuminate about their text before explaining how their subject can be taught in the 21st-century classroom.

Paul Budra and Clint Burnham are professors of English at Simon Fraser University.

Dispatches from the Occupation: A History of Change (Talonbooks, 2012)
Stephen Collis

Somewhere at the core of almost every intellectual discipline is an attempt to explain change – why and how things change, and how we negotiate these transformations. These are among the most ancient of philosophical questions. In this collection of essays, award-winning poet Stephen Collis investigates how the Occupy movement grapples with these questions as it once again takes up the cause of social, economic and political change.

Stephen Collis is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

First Person Plural: Aboriginal Storytelling and the Ethics of Collaborative Authorship (UBC Press, 2012)
Sophie McCall

Discussing a wide range of told-to narratives, including ethnography, recorded (auto)biography, testimonial life narrative, documentary, myth, legend, and song, Sophie McCall explores the multifaceted implications of the choices that editors, translators, narrators, and filmmakers make as they channel these narratives into new forms. Focused on the 1990s, when debates over voice and representation were particularly explosive, this comprehensive study examines collaboratively produced texts in conjunction with key political events that have shaped the struggle for Aboriginal rights in Canada. Emphasizing the scope rather than the limits of the told-to narrative, McCall considers how Aboriginal voices have been represented in a range of forums such as public inquiries, commissioners’ reports, and land claims court cases.

A captivating inquiry, First Person Plural offers a vital, interdisciplinary discussion of how told-to narratives contribute to larger debates about Indigenous voice and literary and political sovereignty.

Sophie McCall is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Wheel of Language (Syracuse University Press, 2012)
David Coley

In The Wheel of Language, David Coley explores representations of speech in English poetry of the later Middle Ages, proposing that the spoken word, both within Ricardian and Lancastrian poetry and within late medieval English culture, was understood as an efficacious, powerful medium. Representing speech in the poetic text was always a political act, one that enabled authors to criticize and comment upon the social, economic, religious, and institutional changes occurring in England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Coley examines the work of Chaucer, Gower, Hoccleve, and the anonymous author of Saint Erkenwald to show how writers manipulated cultural understandings of speech to engage with the crises that defined the later Middle Ages. Ultimately, The Wheel of Language uses the spoken word within the written text to map the complicated and shifting relationships among language, literature, politics, and power.

David Coley is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada (Wilfrid Laurier Canada, 2012)
Edited by Christine Kim, Sophie McCall and Melina Baum Singer

Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada considers how the terms of critical debate in literary and cultural studies in Canada have shifted with respect to race, nation, and difference. In asking how Indigenous and diasporic interventions have remapped these debates, the contributors argue that a new “cultural grammar” is at work and attempt to sketch out some of the ways it operates. The essays reference pivotal moments in Canadian literary and cultural history and speak to ongoing debates about Canadian nationalism, postcolonalism, migrancy, and transnationalism. Topics covered include the Asian race riots in Vancouver in 1907, the cultural memory of internment and dispersal of Japanese Canadians in the 1940s, the politics of migrant labour and the “domestic labour scheme” in the 1960s, and the trial of Robert Pickton in Vancouver in 2007. The contributors are particularly interested in how diaspora and indigeneity continue to contribute to this critical reconfiguration and in how conversations about diaspora and indigeneity in the Canadian context have themselves been transformed. is an attempt to address both the interconnections and the schisms between these multiply fractured critical terms as well as the larger conceptual shifts that have occurred in response to national and postnational arguments.

Sophie McCall is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Genesis of Books: Studies in the Scribal Culture of Medieval England in Honour of A. N. Doane (Brepols, 2011)
Matthew Hussey

A book about books - how the medieval world in which they were conceived shaped the objects we know today.

This volume is about the book itself, as shaped and made by medieval scribes and as conditioned by the cultural understandings that were present in the world where those scribes lived. Questions relating to the provenance, compilation, script, function, and use — both medieval and modern — of manuscripts are raised and are resolved in a fresh manner. The focal point of the volume is Anglo-Saxon England, approached as a cultural crossroads east and west, with attention given to English manuscripts produced both before and after the Conquest. The book thus contributes to a reassessment of early English culture as complex, emergent, and multi-stranded.

A number of different literary genres and types are explored, ranging from devotional materials (e.g. psalters, sermons, and illustrated gospel books) to texts of a more worldly orientation. A number of plates illustrate the work of particular scribes. While some beautiful codices are showcased, the emphasis falls on plain books written in English, including the Vercelli Book, the Exeter Book, and the Blickling Homilies. Analyses of the history of palaeography and the theory of editing raise the point that whatever we know from old books is conditioned by the tools used to study them.

Matthew Hussey is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Only Poetry That Matters (Arsenal Pulp, 2011)
Clint Burnham

In The Only Poetry That Matters, novelist and poet Clint Burnham offers the first book-length examination of the Kootenay School of Writing, the notorious group of poets who came to international attention in Vancouver during the 1980s. Founded in 1984 after the closure of David Thompson University Centre in Nelson, the KSW offered writing and publishing courses and hosted colloquia, critical talks, and a reading series featuring local, Canadian, and international writers (which continue to this day). Just as significantly, the KSW came to be associated with a number of language poets who worked defiantly outside the confines of traditional Canadian poetry.

Clint Burnham is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Controversy as News Discourse (Springer, 2011)
Peter Cramer

This book presents a constitutive approach to controversy based on a discourse analysis of news texts, focusing on the role of journalists as participants who shape public controversy for readers. Drawing data from the Reuters Corpus, the project identifies formulas that journalists use in reporting controversy and draws conclusions about how these serve professional and textual functions and how they shape public controversy as a natural, historical, and pragmatic event. While the traditions of dialectic and rhetoric have focused on the prescriptive aim of training participants to resolve controversies in philosophical dialogue or public debate settings, this orientation has tended to preempt questions about where controversy is located and how it is shaped. This project contributes to descriptive, ethnographic research about controversy, using discourse analysis to address a problem in argumentation.

Peter Cramer is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Manly Mechanicals on the Early Modern English Stage (Susquehanna University Press, 2011)
Ronda Arab

Manly Mechanicals on the Early Modern English Stage addresses the neglected topic of how the masculinity of working men is represented in London plays of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Arguing that labouring men are not always merely a source of laughter, Ronda Arab examines representations of manual workers who emerge as key figures that excite, please, and sometimes frighten the audience, working men whose manliness matters. From Simon Eyre to Jack Cade to Nick Bottom, the working men examined here are physical characters whose acclaimed masculine qualities are associated with their manual-labouring bodies. Manly Mechanicals illuminates a range of work-oriented masculinities that positioned manliness in terms particular to work or the working man’s experience, masculinities that challenged the hegemony of aristocratic models of manhood or aristocratic men as the greatest exemplars of manliness. The early modern theatre was uniquely suited to foreground this subject: since it was in the business of displaying bodies, it could really drive home its constructions of a bodily-centric masculinity.

Ronda Arab is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Grand Chorus of Complaint: Authors and the Business Ethics of American Publishing (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Michael J. Everton

When Lord Byron toasted Napoleon for executing a bookseller, and when American satirist Fitz-Greene Halleck picketed his New York publisher for trying to starve him, both writers were taking part in a time-honored tradition--calling out publishers as unregenerate capitalists. However apocryphal, both stories speak to what writer Gail Hamilton called "the conflict of the ages," the feud between and writers and publishers over the way the business of print ought to be conducted. The Grand Chorus of Complaint is a study of the terms of that feud in early America. Ranging from the Revolution to the Civil War, Michael Everton explores moral propriety in American literary culture, arguing that debates over the business of authorship and publishing in the first century of the United States were simultaneously debates over the ethics and character of capitalism.

Michael Everton is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Invention of Discovery, 1500-1700 (Routledge, 2011)
Edited by James Dougal Fleming

The early modern period used to be known as the Age of Discovery. More recently, it has been troped as an age of invention. But was the invention/discovery binary itself invented, or discovered? This volume investigates the possibility that it was invented, through a range of early modern knowledge practices, centered on the emergence of modern natural science. From Bacon to Galileo, from stagecraft to math, from martyrology to romance, contributors to this interdisciplinary collection examine the period's generation of discovery as an absolute and ostensibly neutral standard of knowledge-production. They further investigate the hermeneutic implications for the epistemological authority that tends, in modernity, still to be based on that standard. The Invention of Discovery, 1500–1700 is a set of attempts to think back behind discovery, considered as a decisive trope for modern knowledge.

J.D. Fleming is professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Canadian Literary Humorists, Twentieth Century (Gale, 2011)
Edited by Paul Matthew St. Pierre

This award-winning multi-volume series is dedicated to making literature and its creators better understood and more accessible to students and interested readers, while satisfying the standards of librarians, teachers and scholars. Dictionary of Literary Biography provides reliable information in an easily comprehensible format, while placing writers in the larger perspective of literary history.

Dictionary of Literary Biography systematically presents career biographies and criticism of writers from all eras and all genres through volumes dedicated to specific types of literature and time periods.

Paul Matthew St. Pierre is a retired professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Canadian Women in Print, 1750—1918 (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2010)
Carole Gerson

Canadian Women in Print, 1750—1918 is the first historical examination of women’s engagement with multiple aspects of print over some two hundred years, from the settlers who wrote diaries and letters to the New Women who argued for ballots and equal rights. Considering women’s published writing as an intervention in the public sphere of national and material print culture, this book uses approaches from book history to address the working and living conditions of women who wrote in many genres and for many reasons. It received the 2010 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian literary criticism, awarded annually by ACQL/ALCQ (Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures).

Carole Gerson is a professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University.

Epistles on Women and Other Works (Broadview Press, 2011)
by Lucy Aikin, edited by Anne K. Mellor and Michelle Levy

The most important long poem by a woman from the British Romantic era, Aikin's Epistles on Women (1810) is the first text in English to rewrite the entire history of western culture, from the creation story of Genesis through the eighteenth century, from a feminist perspective. Responding to Alexander Pope's misogynistic "Epistle to a Lady," Aikin argues that men's degradation of women has hindered the growth of civilization, and provides historical and literary evidence for her claim that "man cannot degrade woman without degrading himself."

In addition to Epistles on Women, this Broadview Edition also includes a wide selection of poetry, historical writing, fiction, memoir, and literary criticism by Aikin, as well as letters, contemporary reviews, and other feminist historiographies.

Michelle Levy is a professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Anne K. Mellor is a distinguished professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Wit's End: Women's Humor as Rhetorical and Performative Strategy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)
Sean Zwagerman

In Wit’s End, Sean Zwagerman offers an original perspective on women’s use of humor as a performative strategy as seen in works of 20th-century American literature. He argues that women whose direct, explicit performative speech has been traditionally denied, or not taken seriously, have often turned to humor as a means of communicating with men.

Zwagerman seeks to broaden the scope of performativity theory beyond the logical pragmatism of deconstruction and looks to the use of humor in literature as a deliberate stylization of experiences found in real-world social structures, and as a tool for change.

Sean Zwagerman is an associate professor of English and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Troubling Tricksters: Revisioning Critical Conversations (Wilfried Laurier University Press, 2010)
Edited by Deanna Reder and Linda M. Morra

“The term ‘trickster’ has done much to illustrate the distinct nature of Indigenous literatures and narrative traditions. This volume examines the historical use of this term but also points out its limitations through the lens of Indigenous thought and philosophy. I will have all of my students read and study this important book.”

                                                                             —Neal McLeod, Trent University, Indigenous Studies

Deanna Reder is an associate professor in the Departments of Indigenous Studies and English at Simon Fraser University.  

Linda Morra is an associate professor of English at Bishop's University.