The search for a shared practice of storytelling around which a popular study of cognitive narratology might form need look no further than our nightly experience of dreams. Dreams and memories are inseparable, complicating and building upon one another, reminding us that knowledge of ourselves based on our memories relies upon fictionalized narratives we create for ourselves. Psychologists refer to confabulation, the creation of false or distorted memories about oneself and the world we inhabit, albeit without any conscious intention to deceive. This process and narrative, inherent in the dreamlife of all people, is at odds with the daily menu of cultural myths and politicized fictions fed to the Western world through print and social media, and for which there is constant divisiveness and disagreement.

Cognitive Narratology and the Shared Identity of Myth uses insights gained from the scientific study of dreaming to explain how the shared experience of dreamlife can work in service to the common good. Primary texts and literary works, chosen for their influence on contemporary thinking, provide a rationale and historical background: From Artemidorus (a professional diviner) and Aristotle; to the Church fathers – Tertullian, St. Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Sinesius of Cyrene; to The Wanderer (Old English poem) and Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess; to Coleridge’s writings and R. L. Stevenson’s “A Chapter on Dreams”; and to twentieth-century dream theory, and dream use in film. The purpose is to enable readers through subjective self-analysis to recognize what they share with their fellow dreamers; shared identity in formation of a shared act of dreaming creation is a universal across centuries and throughout Western culture, albeit currently misrepresented and rarely acted upon.

The Nightly Act of Dreaming: Cognitive Narratology and the Shared Identity of Myth

This volume examines the interplay between affect theory and rhetorical persuasion in mass communication. The essays collected here draw connections between affect theory, rhetorical studies, mass communication theory, cultural studies, political science, sociology, and a host of other disciplines. Contributions from a wide range of scholars feature theoretical overviews and critical perspectives on the movement commonly referred to as "the affective turn" as well as case studies. Critical investigations of the rhetorical strategies behind the 2016 United States presidential election, public health and antiterrorism mass media campaigns, television commercials, and the digital spread of fake news, among other issues, will prove to be both timely and of enduring value. This book will be of use to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and active researchers in communication, rhetoric, political science, social psychology, sociology, and cultural studies.

Affect, Emotion, and Rhetorical Persuasion in Mass Communication

In grieving poetry and eloquent prose Lalita Pandit Hogan explores the mind of Hindu Kashmiri exile. Her lines have the specificity of a place and time exactly registered. Her issues and questions throb with vital reference to present global issues and challenges. In A COUNTRY WITHOUT BORDERS, Hogan shares the look and feel of Kashmir before the cut of partition, the stop of borders: her grandmother’s sun worship in the morning, domestic life in a solid four story house in Kulgam, area bridges and tunnels freely traversed. An expatriate Hindu Kashmiri patriotism speaks in Hogan’s text, but the poetic intelligence is that of Anglo-American transnationality, ironic, alienated. I’m constantly thinking of William Faulkner as I read this book. Hogan is also a Wisconsin writer. She knows her way into Wisconsin Gothic. “It is midnight / In Spring Green, Wisconsin.” Every now and then in this marvelous narrative of a Hindu Kashmiri American life, Hogan reminds us she is a citizen of southwestern Wisconsin. Her river is no longer the Indus. It is the Mississippi.

A Country Without Borders

In Matt Cashion's new novel, Our 13th Divorce, chaos will surely ensue when Judith Owen allows her first husband, a jobless jokester of a salesman, to move into her coastal Georgia backyard “condo” thirty years after she divorced him. Married six times each, they argue over what advice to give their only child, Harold, 32, who is approaching his first marriage. Then Judith’s next-door parents (married miserably for fifty years) host a Christmas party packed with a cast of eccentric characters (including seven ex-in-laws), four yard dogs, eight wild children, and Harold’s fiancée, a New York City-raised therapist and her Chihuahua . . .

Our 13th Divorce

Dr. Haixia Lan's Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric and Truth: The Form and the Way argues that different cultures can coexist better today if we focus not only on what separates them but also on what connects them. To do so, Dr, Lan discusses how both Aristotle and Confucius see rhetoric as a mode of thinking that is indispensable to the human understanding of the truths of things or dao-the-way, or, how both see the human understanding of the truths of things or dao-the-way as necessarily communal, open-ended, and discursive. Based on this similarity, Dr. Lan aims to develop a more nuanced understanding of differences to help foster better cross-cultural communication. In making the argument, she critically examines two stereotyped views: that Aristotle’s concept of essence or truth is too static to be relevant to the rhetorical focus on the realm of human affairs and that Confucius’ concept of dao-the-way is too decentered to be compatible with the inferential/discursive thinking. In addition, Dr. Lan relies primarily on the interpretations of the Analects by two 20th-century Chinese Confucians to supplement the over-reliance on renderings of the Analects in recent comparative rhetorical scholarship. The book shows that we need an in-depth understanding of both the other and the self to comprehend the relation between the two.

Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric and Truth

Although modernism has traditionally been considered an art of cities, Ecocriticism in the Modernist Imagination claims a significant role for modernist texts in shaping environmental consciousness. Analyzing both canonical and lesser-known works of three key figures - E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and W. H. Auden - Dr. Kelly Sultzbach suggests how the signal techniques of modernism encourage readers to become more responsive to the animate world and non-human minds. Understanding the way these writers represent nature's agency becomes central to interpreting the power dynamics of empire and gender, as well as experiments with language and creativity. The book acknowledges the longer pastoral tradition in literature, but also introduces readers to the newly expanding field of ecocriticism, including philosophies of embodiment and matter, queer ecocriticism, and animal studies. What emerges is a picture of green modernism that reifies our burgeoning awareness of what it means to be human within a larger living community.


Humanist modernity is seen in the contemporary as a regime that, by separating the human from the non-human and insisting on language as correlation not only fails to engage the emerging forms of social relations in which the boundaries of human and machine are fading but is also indifferent to the difference between the “other”’s life and other lives. Human, All Too (Post)Human: The Humanities after Humanism, co-edited by Dr. Kimberly DeFazio and Dr. Rob Wilkie, argues that the Nietzschean tendencies that provide the philosophical boundaries of post-humanism and its theoretical offshoots, such as accelerationism, new materialism, and actor-network theory, do not undo humanism but reform it, constructing a parallel discourse that saves humanism from itself. Grounded in materialist analysis of social life, Human, All Too (Post)Human argues that humanism and post-humanism are cultural discourses that normalize different stages of capitalism—analog and digital capitalism. The question, the writers argue, is not humanism or posthumanism—namely cultural representations—but the material relations of production that are centered on wage labor.


What is the role of disgust or revulsion in early modern English literature? How did early modern English subjects experience revulsion and how did writers represent it in poetry, plays, and prose? What does it mean when literature instructs, delights, and disgusts? This collection of essays, co-edited by Dr. Natalie K. Eschenbaum, looks at the treatment of disgust in texts by Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Herrick, and others to demonstrate how disgust, perhaps more than other affects, gives us a more complex understanding of early modern culture. Dealing with descriptions of coagulated eye drainage, stinky leeks, and blood-filled fleas, among other sensational things, the essays focus on three kinds of disgusting encounters: sexual, cultural, and textual. Early modern English writers used disgust to explore sexual mores, describe encounters with foreign cultures, and manipulate their readers' responses. The essays in this collection show how writers deployed disgust to draw, and sometimes to upset, the boundaries that had previously defined acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, people, and literatures. Together they present the compelling argument that a critical understanding of early modern cultural perspectives requires careful attention to disgust.

Disgust in Early modern English Literature

Funny, heartbreaking, and real—these twelve stories by Matt Cashion showcase a dynamic range of voices belonging to characters who can’t stop confessing. They are obsessive storytellers, disturbed professors, depressed auctioneers, gambling clergy. A fourteen-year-old boy gets baptized and speaks in tongues to win the love of a girl who ushers him into adulthood; a troubled insomniac searches the woods behind his mother’s house for the “awful pretty” singing that begins each midnight; a school-system employee plans a year-end party at the site of a child’s drowning; a burned-out health-care administrator retires from New England to coastal Georgia and stumbles upon a life-changing moment inside Walmart. These big-hearted people—tethered to the places that shape them—survive their daily sorrows and absurdities with well-timed laughter; they slouch toward forgiveness, and they point their ears toward the Holy Ghost’s last words.

Last Words of the Holy Ghost

In telling the story of his own accidental “coming of age,” Dr. Bradley Butterfield tells the stories of a whole cast of lovable, if fallible, characters from his childhood and of the Denver he grew up in from the dawn of disco to the Reagan era. Idiot Boys is a relentlessly funny, heartbreakingly sad, and ultimately philosophical look at the particular idiocy of boys and the universal stupidity of man. Each chapter, or “Exhibit,” represents a rough archetype of idiot boy behavior and a stage in young Butterfield’s quixotic quest to figure himself out and become the hero of his own movie. Butterfield’s narration meanders between every phase of his youth, from pre-school to his first semester in college, but there turns out to be a method in this seeming madness as it builds to a gut-wrenching climax involving repressed memories surrounding his mother’s death and the inevitable dissolution of those childhood friendships he thought would last forever.

Idiot Boys 

Sade’s Sensibilities tells a new story of one of the most enduring and controversial figures in European literature. Blending ideas about subjectivity, identity and natural philosophy with politics and pornography, D.A.F. de Sade has fascinated writers and readers for two hundred years, and his materialist account of the human condition has been widely influential in post-structuralism, nihilism, and feminism. This new collection of essays, co-edited by Dr. Kate Parker, considers Sade’s Enlightenment legacy, both within and beyond the narratives of radicalism and aberration that have historically marked the study of his oeuvre. From different points of view, these essays argue that Sade engaged with and influenced traditional Enlightenment paradigms—particularly those related to sensibility, subjectivity, and philosophy—as much as he resisted them. They thus recover a Sade more relevant, even foundational to our twenty-first century understanding of modernity, selfhood, and community. In Sade’s Sensibilities Sade is no longer a solitary, peripheral radical, but an Enlightenment philosopher in his own right.

Sade's Sensibilities

Eighteenth-Century Poetry and the Rise of the Novel Reconsidered, co-edited by Dr. Kate Parker, begins with the brute fact that poetry jostled up alongside novels in the bookstalls of eighteenth-century England. Indeed, by exploring unexpected collisions and collusions between poetry and novels, this volume of exciting, new essays offers a reconsideration of the literary and cultural history of the period. The novel poached from and featured poetry, and the "modern" subjects and objects privileged by "rise of the novel" scholarship are only one part of a world full of animate things and people with indistinct boundaries. Contributors: Margaret Doody, David Fairer, Sophie Gee, Heather Keenleyside, Shelley King, Christina Lupton, Kate Parker, Natalie Phillips, Aran Ruth, Wolfram Schmidgen, Joshua Swidzinski, and Courtney Weiss Smith.

Eighteenth-Century Poetry and the Rise of the Novel Reconsidered

Through an analysis of a wide range of literary and cultural texts--from Wordsworth's The Prelude and Dickens's Hard Times, to Lost in Translation Crash and Ikea--Dr. Kimberly DeFazio's The City of the Senses argues that the city is essentially a material place where people live, work, and participate in social practices within historical limits set not by sensory experience or cultural meanings but material social conditions.

The City of the Senses

Dr. William Stobb has won acclaim for wide-ranging poetry that features tender realism, jazzy dissonance, luminous descriptions, and, in the words of Donald Revell, a "strange and elegantly accomplished serenity of tensions attenuated to their uttermost." The poems in his second collection Absentia, see the big picture-the sweep of history, the ongoing evolution of consciousness, evidence of geological time in the landscape. Humbled by scales beyond comprehension, Stobb is nonetheless seduced and stricken by the present in its many manifestations. Whether dealing with family, friends, or nature, the poems in Absentia, with their rich emotional palette and vivid, precise language, respond and transform, calling us to attend to the wide skies above and inside us.


In The Digital Condition, Dr. Rob Wilkie advances a groundbreaking analysis of digital culture which argues that the digital geist - which has its genealogy in such concepts as the body without organs, spectrality, and difference - has obscured the implications of class difference with the phantom of a digital divide. Engaging the writings of Hardt and Negri, Poster, Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida, Haraway, Latour, and Castells, the literature and cinema of cyberpunk, and digital commodities like the iPod, Wilkie initiates a new direction within the field of digital cultural studies by foregrounding the continuing importance of class in shaping the contemporary.

The Digital Condition

Dr. Ryan Friesen's book explores the varieties of scepticism and belief exhibited by a selection of philosophers and playwrights from the 16th and 17th centuries, including Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Giordano Bruno, John Dee, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Middleton. It explicates how each author defines the supernatural, whether they assume magic to operate in the world, and how they use occult principles to explain what can be known and what is ethical. Each chapter in this volume evaluates whether a chosen early modern author is endorsing magic as efficacious or divinely sanctioned, or criticizing it for being fraudulent or unholy. This book also sets out to determine what historical sources provided given authors with knowledge of the occult and speculates on how aware an audience would have been of academic, classical, or popular contexts surrounding the text at hand.

Supernatural Fiction in Early Modern Drama and Culture

Erasing Public Memory, co-edited by Dr. Joseph Young, is an inquiry into the canon of Western civilization that exposes the ubiquity and contiguity of racialized rationalism and how it constitutes standardized notions of beauty, memory, and public culture. Such an analysis is cosmically instructive, even though the editors and contributors may find themselves at the cusp of a crucible, an intellectual practice that might grant interrogations of racially inflected paradigms not all equal in import. The axis of race in the Western canon, uninflected and theorized, the goal of Erasing Public Memory is a move toward the de-reification of race as a priori ground of Western knowledge.

Erasing Public Memory

Dr. William Stobb's poems attend calmly to a dynamic world. Nature, family, and friends are among the shifting systems where Stobb finds poems. His fluency in a variety of forms--from the measured tenderness of Jay Meek to the oceanic surrealism of Donald Revell--enacts the tension between order and entropy in the physical world we live in. "Stobb has nerve, talent, and engages this madly accelerating, and often nearly indecipherable, world in what's called real time," writes August Kleinzahler, "and he manages it without sacrificing emotional truth."

Nervous Systems

Winner of the Midwestern Studies Book Award, The Midwestern Pastoral: Place and Landscape in Literature of the American Heartland relates Midwestern pastoral writers to their local geographies and explains their approaches. Dr. William Barrillas treats five important Midwestern pastoralists--Willa Cather, Aldo Leopold, Theodore Roethke, James Wright, and Jim Harrison--in separate chapters. He also discusses Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Thousand Acres, current U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Paul Gruchow, author of Grass Roots, and others. The Midwestern pastoral is a literary tradition of place and rural experience that celebrates an attachment to land that is mystical as well as practical, based on historical and scientific knowledge as well as personal experience. It is exemplified in poetry, fiction, and essays that expresses an informed love of nature and regional landscapes of the Midwest. Drawing on recent studies in cultural geography, environmental history, and mythology, as well as literary criticism, this book will appeal to students and serious readers, as well as scholars in the growing field of literature and the environment.

The Midwestern Pastoral

How are literary genres racialized? How are definitions of history and historicity predicated on notions of racial difference? How have the arts been constructed on racialized aesthetic foundations, and how have they benefitted from institutions of slavery and colonialism?

This anthology, co-edited by Dr. Joseph Young, demonstrates the longstanding, multifarious, and major role that race has played in the formation of knowledge. The authors demonstrate how race theory intersects with other bodies of knowledge by examining discursive records such as travelogues, literature, and historiography; theoretical structures such as common sense, pseudoscientific racism, and Eurocentrism; social structures of class, advancement, and identity; and politico-economic structures of capitalism, colonialism, and law. Editors Joseph Young and Jana Evans Braziel aim to demonstrate the richness that emerges when race is taken into consideration and the misrepresentation of thought that results when it is not.

Race and the Foundations of Knowledge

Matthew Cashion's novel offers an unusual and darkly comic take of a man on the skids, a wildly sardonic ride that teeters on destruction but manages to pull through in a fashion worthy of any grinning anti-hero who alternately fights himself and the surrounding ring-a-ding complacency of others.

How the Sun Shines on Noise

This collection, co-edited by Dr. Lalita Hogan, provides a lucid introduction for those unfamiliar with Tagore's work, while simultaneously presenting important new scholarship and novel interpretation. Rabindranath Tagore is considered the greatest modern writer of India. He is also one of the great social and political figures in modern Indian history. After he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, Tagore's reputation in the West has been based primarily on his mystical poetry. But beyond poetry, Tagore wrote novels of social realism, treating nationalism, religious intolerance, and violence. He wrote analytic works on social reform, education, and science- even engaging in a brief dialogue with Albert Einstein. Without ignoring religion and mysticism, the essays in this collection concentrate on this "other Tagore." They explicate Tagore's writings in relation to its historical and literary context and, at the same time, draw out those aspects of Tagore's work that continue to bear on contemporary society.

Rabindranath Tagore: Universality and Tradition


Points of Contact, co-edited by Dr. Susan Crutchfield, brings together contributions by leading writers, artists, scholars, and critics to provide a remarkably broad and consistently engaging look at the intersection of disability and the arts. The contributions include essays and memoirs by a wide range of disabled and nondisabled writers, including Bell Gale Chevigny, Sandra Gilbert, Joseph Grigely, Georgina Kleege, Victoria Ann Lewis, Carol Poore, Tobin Siebers, and Rosemarie Garland Thomson among others; poetry by Brooke Horvath, Joan Seliger Sidney, William Stafford, and others; fiction by Stephen Dixon, Michael Downs, Georgina Kleege, Dallas Wiebe, and others. The collection covers a broad range of subjects and concerns that lie at the intersection of disability and the arts, including fetal alcohol syndrome, education, and identity; representations of disability in the visual arts and the complicated position of the disabled spectator; the impact of cancer on the patient and the caregiver; the similarities between beauty pageants and freak shows; Alzheimer's disease; prosthetic devices; the mechanized disabled body; disability and performance; and profiles of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Christopher Reeve, Franklin Roosevelt, and sadomasochistic performance artist Bob Flanagan.

Points of Contact: Disability, Art, and Culture