Taking a 'performance studies' perspective on Shakespearean theatre, W. B. Worthen argues in Shakespeare Performance Studies that the theatrical event represents less an inquiry into the presumed meanings of the text than an effort to frame performance as a vehicle of cultural critique.
In Virtual Modernism, Katherine Biers offers a fresh view of the emergence of American literary modernism from the eruption of popular culture in the early twentieth century. Employing dynamic readings of the works of Stephen Crane, Henry James, James Weldon Johnson, Djuna Barnes, and Gertrude Stein, she argues that American modernist writers developed a “poetics of the virtual” in response to the rise of mass communications technologies before World War I.
Secular criticism is a term invented by Edward Said to denote not a theory but a practice that counters the tendency of much modern thinking to reach for a transcendentalist comfort zone, the very space philosophy wrested away from religion in the name of modernity.
Literary scholars often avoid the category of the aesthetic in discussions of ethics, believing that purely aesthetic judgments can vitiate analyses of a literary work’s sociopolitical heft and meaning. In Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages, Eleanor Johnson reveals that aesthetics—the formal aspects of literary language that make it sense-perceptible—are indeed inextricable from ethics in the writing of medieval literature.
Edmund Spenser’s Poetry is now available in a revised and updated Norton Critical Edition.
This revised and enlarged Fourth Edition expands and improves on the strengths of the previous three editions. All selections are based on early and established texts, fully glossed, and carefully annotated. An Editor's Note follows each section.