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- ItemThe 25th Year(2023) Bronson Boddie, Sebastian; Weiner, Joshua; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)THE 25TH YEAR is a collection that seeks to understand what it means to bear witness. Cataloging their environment is how the speaker reconciles their fraught reality, making sense of the disorder of living. This disorder is reflected in the form of the work, as most of the poems are in free verse, with occasional variation. The poems in this collection explore themes of memory, community, and ordinary human kindness – and meditate on how powerful the practice of witness can be. In the tradition of Baldwin, Baudelaire, and the flâneur, the speaker observes what can often be missed, in order to connect to their community and themselves.
- ItemAbsent Without Leave(2012) Yetman, Shanna; Norman, Howard; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)How do you deal with the biology you are born with; the parents you are given; the religion that is handed to you; and the ideologies you inherit? Absent Without Leave is a short story collection that explores the anxiety that erupts when life's natural order fails. The characters in these stories all grapple with someone or something missing in their lives: parents who have chosen work over children, mothers who can't mother, children that never were, and religious beliefs that no longer ring true. There is Olivia Turnbull, a mother, who wonders if her biology has failed her because she cannot bond with her child; Tilda Bond, a ten-year old, who roams the food bank warehouse as her father works to feed the hungry; and Micah Gallivan, a Mormon, who searches for a way to tell his father that he is not going on his mission.
- ItemAccidental Ghosts(2012) Katzel, Amy; Collier, Michael; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Accidental Ghosts is a collection of narrative lyrics that examine the cyclical and often paradoxical relationships between children, parents, and grandparents. Many of the poems bear witness to parents as caretakers, to the mirrored identities among relatives, and to preserving a family's historical memory. In order to take claim of family stories, Accidental Ghosts also persists in defying what goes unsaid between generations.
- ItemAccidents of Water(2012) Walsh, Cherie Thompson; Plumly, Stanley; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This collection, consisting of poems that take their imagery and dramatic situations from motherhood, childhood, Christian mythology, and art, enacts a belief in the power of naming, storytelling, and the making of meaningful objects. Most of the poems treat the issue of loss, personal or collective. Some poems accept loss, for example, through an honoring of what has gone. Others operate more radically, seeking to remake their stories in order to allow for a transformation of their elements.
- ItemAFRICAN LITERATURE AS WORLDLITERATURE: ALTERNATIVE GENEALOGIES AND SELF-REFERENTIALISM(2014) Hodapp, James Michael; Ray, Sangeeta; Nunes, Zita; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Since the 1989 publication of The Empire Writes Back by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin, discourse on seminal African literary texts has focused on their ability to "write back" to the European canon. Using this common trope, a seminal African text is understood as a response to demeaning representations of Africans in the European literary canon. However, writing back privileges European literature by treating it as the source, or "parent texts," of African literature. Within the last five years, critics like Evan Mwangi and Ode Ogede have begun to question whether African literature needs to be defined largely in reference to Western works. They have argued that the writing back paradigm forces African literature into an inequitable and asymmetrical relation to European texts. My dissertation, "African Literature as World Literature: Alternative Genealogies and Self-Referentialism," extends this project to offer theoretical and methodological alternatives by bridging African literary studies with postcolonial theory and the current world literature debate to create previously obscured cultural, political and literary genealogies of African novels. I argue that complex intertextual genealogies generated from specific knowledge provide African source material for more complete readings of African novels. This project critiques the temporally and geographically myopic approaches of Mwangi and Ogede to reposition African literature in a globalized context by not only dismantling the theoretical assumptions of a center/margin paradigm but also positioning African literature as a sovereign entity in world literature.
- ItemAfrican-American Modernism in the Novels of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen(1992) McManus, Mary Hairston; Joyce, Joyce Ann; English; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Because early critical evaluations of the literary works of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen were superficial, their reading audience generally regarded both writers as sentimentalists and authors in the genteel tradition. A close analytical study of Plum Bun, The Chinaberry Tree, Quicksand, and Passing reveals the presence of a feminist sensibility not widely discerned. The themes which these two writers employ are typically mainstream modernist, whereas their strategies are African-American. Both Fauset and Larsen depict the mulatta as alienated, restless, and confused in her quest for autonomy and self-expression. Because the mulatta image is acceptable to a wide reading audience, it becomes an ideal narrative strategy for deflecting attention from issues of female sexuality, female subjectivity, and female spaces. Fauset and Larsen bring their writing into the modern era by conjoining the historical, African-American technique of masking with thematic strands which adhere to the modernist ideology. Such a literary plan requires a redefining of modernism to include race and gender. When the execution of that plan results in an empowering of oppressed groups and a heightened consciousness of the female presence in literature and in society, we have African-American modernism. Fauset and Larsen expand upon a sensibility which their literary predecessor Frances Harper suggested in her novel. These two writers of the Harlem Renaissance anticipate by approximately fifteen years the handling of feminist issues by such writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy West, and Ann Petry. Fauset's and Larsen's novels, along with those of Hurston, West, and Petry, demonstrate the evolution of sexuality from a masked female issue for reasons of morality and respectability to the greater openness seen in later works. The mulatta's significance as a masking strategy diminishes as these writers exercise a female subjectivity. Fauset's reliance upon a female subjectivity results in greater use of material consumption while Larsen explores unconventional female spaces. Both writers display African- American modernist tendencies through experimenting with greater sexual expression, individuality, and displacement of the woman from a male-centered perspective. Fauset and Larsen use the mulatta in their novels to explore new and broader arenas for female expression. Likewise, a re-configuration of modernism to include empowerment of race and gender insures both Fauset and Larsen a less marginalized position in the literary world.
- ItemAfropolitan Hackers: Redefining Anglophone African Literature(2022) Faradji, Sara; Ray, Sangeeta; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In the twenty-first century, we are witnessing a resounding boom in the production and reception of Anglophone African literature. Novelists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, Lauren Beukes, and Dinaw Mengestu have achieved critical acclaim in Africa, the U.S., Europe, and beyond. My dissertation examines how these writers are reshaping our understandings of African literature and criticism. I explore how “African Boom” writers resemble computer hackers that break existing conventions and actively rebuild those systems for the better. They adeptly learn the “code” of Anglophone literature, but then they “break into” the literary canon, steal the master’s tropes, and modify the literature to be even more effective and resonant among academic and popular audiences. My dissertation specifically engages with the writing of authors who I call Afropolitan hackers. These writers distinctively reflect Afro-cosmopolitan sensibilities in both their fictional and critical works. As they receive high praise from reputable academic and popular literary critics, Afropolitan hackers make bold, dynamic changes to the very literary canon they studied and disrupted. In order to demonstrate how African Boom writers are Afropolitan hackers, I consider how they challenge past and present concerns in postcolonial literature. Specifically, I examine how some of them are “hacking” three classic literary tropes: the flâneur, the griot, and the scammer. By simultaneously debunking and extending traditional theoretical expectations of the African narrative, select Africa-based and migrant Afropolitan authors challenge the notion that their writing must epitomize a single story if they seek to appeal to a global audience.
- ItemAfter hours(2014) Hess, Zach; Mitchell, Emily; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)"After hours" follows Thea, a Cleveland suburbanite, as she contends with childhood trauma from her estranged alcoholic father. Thea thought she left this all behind as she has made a life with her wife Maxine. But when she learns her father has had a stroke and is in a coma, she and Maxine return to her childhood home in rural Wisconsin. Twelve years have passed since Thea has seen Jerry, a dairy farmer who runs a family farm with the help of his AA sponsor - and best friend - Dale Booker. Booker and Maxine help Thea navigate through doubt as her narrative weaves through painful childhood memories and unforeseen twists of fate. As discovery intersects with memory, Thea is forced to reconcile with difficult news about the farm and her father's past. "After hours" explores whether reconciliation is possible, and if so, how it takes shape between a once-inseparable father and daughter.
- ItemALL THE WAYS MY MOTHERS SEE ME(2019) Hill, Kiyanna; Arnold, Elizabeth; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)“All the Ways My Mothers See Me” is a collection of poems, meditating on the self-exploration of my intersectionality as a black woman and how these selves have been raised. These poems are an intimate investigation of what it means to be mothered, whether through female relationships and interactions or how the places I’ve lived have influenced my poems and myself. Divided into three sections, the poems emerge from the self interrogating memories with their biological mother and adoptive mother, along with the influence of cities such as Petersburg, Virginia and Charlottesville, VA. Though these themes seem disparate, the poems that focus on previously mentioned cities, study major historical people or events showcasing how I’ve been affected and also nurtured by these cities, people, and events. This collection is a culmination of varied approaches of what it means to be mothered and how these processes continuously affects the self.
- ItemAlmost Invisible(2006-05-07) Lee, Kateema; Collier, Michael; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)As the title implies, my poems attempt to convey the speaker's sense of invisibility. Whether musing on landscapes, seasons, or childhood memories, the speaker is most often a reflexive observer. In the poems where the speaker is an active participant there still is a sense of distance and detachment. The varying syntax and colloquial diction give the poems a quiet conversational, sometimes flat tone. Poetic devices such as alliteration, interspersed rhyme and meter reinforce the steady timbre. It is my hope that the flatness of the diction, accompanied by the seemingly aloof speaker, will unearth and emphasize the darker surprising elements embedded in the lines. I think I'm inadvertently weaving together a poetic narrative about watching and not being watched.
- ItemAlternate Reality Games as Platforms for Practicing 21st-Century Literacies(International Journal of Learning and Media, 2013) Bonsignore, Elizabeth; Hansen, Derek; Kraus, Kari; Ruppel, Marc
- ItemAlternative Worlds of Female Desire: Women Reimagining the Nation in Caribbean Fiction(2021) Allan, Keisha Simone; Collins, Merle MC; Avilez, GerShun GA; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This project examines how the nation is reimagined through the lens of women who critique social and political inequities in their societies. I explore how literary artists provide feminist interventions in discourses on the nation by scripting women characters and women’s bodies as the medium for constructing the nation. I illustrate how these authors open up a dialogue about how to envision revolutionary womanhood anew-historically and linguistically-using the female body as a central axis of power.The creation of alternative worlds in the works of Caribbean women writers of the twentieth century is of particular thematic importance. In Julia Álvarez’s In the Name of Salomé, Marie-Vieux Chauvet’s Amour, Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber and Zoé Valdés’ La nada cotidiana, the homeland is depicted as shaped by male desire-national and individual. These authors create alternative worlds in their fictions to provide their female characters with avenues to escape, protest against and interrogate social and patriarchal repression. For these selected Caribbean female authors, language is crucial to the interrogation of the nature of the nation. In In the Name of Salomé, Julia Álvarez subverts masculinist connotations of the nation by reimagining a matria (motherland), using the language of motherhood to reconceptualize the nation. In Midnight Robber, Hopkinson creates a hybrid language, placing Standard English and Caribbean Creoles in dialogue with each other to create an alternative socio-normative reality where Creole languages and Standard English are equally valued. These authors illustrate how the divergent colonial, linguistic and cultural configurations of the Anglophone, Francophone and Hispanophone Caribbean impact the reimagining of the nation. This study seeks to explore how the reimagining of the nation by the female characters in Amour, In the Name of Salomé, La nada cotidiana and Midnight Robber redefines notions of revolutionary womanhood. I will examine the symbiotic relationship between literature and revolutionary imagination in the works of Caribbean female authors. This project aims to illustrate how the feminist reimagining of the nation allows Caribbean female authors to utilize their fictional narrative spaces to inscribe transgressive narratives in an attempt to define real-life sites of resistance for social and political transformation.
- ItemAmerica, Viet Nam, and the Poetics of Guilt(2004-05-03) Hill, Matthew Blake; Wyatt, David M.; English Language and LiteratureThe "war poem" has, since Homer, served as a means for non-combatants to access the experience of warfare; evolving over time, the genre reflects and revises cultural attitudes toward war. Since the Great War, the war poem has become a tool of political protest, a declamation of war's destructiveness and a plea for understanding on behalf of the soldiers forced or duped into fighting it. As a "literature of trauma," this poetry is often seen as therapeutic exercise through which veterans can transcend the "nightmare" of war through cathartic expression. The American poetry written on Viet Nam challenges this interpretive model. Previous war poetry casts the soldier as war's ultimate victim. From Sassoon's Christ-like trench soldiers to Jarrell's eviscerated ball-turret gunner, it is what happens to the soldier, not what the soldier does that is the primary poetic focus. The violence the soldier does is a marginal concern in these poems, subordinated to a larger metaphysics of war's suffering. In Viet Nam war poetry, however, this sublimation seems impossible: the poems are overwhelmingly concerned not with the overall victimizing experience of "war," but rather with the soldier's acute sense of personal moral transgression. Many Viet Nam veteran poets resist the catharsis of an uncomplicated victimhood; instead of transcending the war experience, they dwell in it, asserting their place in the horror of war as both a victim and as an active agent of its suffering. This dissertation argues that American veteran poetry on Viet Nam is governed by a "poetics of guilt," an obsessive poetic need to articulate a sense of personal responsibility for the atrocity of modern war. The five poets discussed hereinMichael Casey, Basil T. Paquet, John Balaban, Bruce Weigl, and Yusef Komunyakaaexplore and formalize this sense of intensely personal, private guilt, creating war lyrics that, while advancing the traditional anti-war political agenda of modern war verse, resist the cathartic "renewal" or "transcendence" that in some way relieves the individual of responsibility for perpetuating war. The Introduction is an overall history of individual culpability in modern war poetry. Subsequent chapters deal with the moral isolation of American GIs, the use of images of "merging" as a response to suffering, "survival guilt" and the elegy, the attraction to violence, and the mechanics of repressing empathy.
- ItemAmerican Bards: James M. Whitfield, Eliza R. Snow, John Rollin Ridge, and Walt Whitman(2004-07-26) Whitley, Edward; Levine, Robert S.; Smith, Martha N.; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Despite recent efforts to recover a diverse range of nineteenth-century American poets, the aura that continues to surround Walt Whitman as the quintessential American bard has yet to be sufficiently challenged. This dissertation defamiliarizes the Whitman mystique of the national outsider-<i>cum</i>-national bard-the author as "one of the roughs" who also claims to be a representative American poet-by reinterpreting <i>Leaves of Grass</i> through the careers of three poets on the margins of national culture whose projects for American poetry parallel the central aspects of Whitman's own. During the 1850s, African American separatist James M. Whitfield, Mormon pioneer Eliza R. Snow, and Anglo-Cherokee journalist John Rollin Ridge claimed to speak for the United States as American bards despite the fact that they were only tenuously connected to the nation which they claimed to represent. Two years before Whitman first attempted to poetically contain a contradictory nation in the first (1855) edition of <i>Leaves of Grass</i>, James M. Whitfield recorded the conflicts of a nation riven by the contradictions of slavery in <i>America and Other Poems</i> (1853). Similarly, at the same time that Whitman was announcing himself as the poet of a new American religion, Eliza R. Snow had already been recognized as the poet laureate of a faith that observers such as Leo Tolstoy referred to as "the American religion." While Whitman would be characterized as "the first white aboriginal" by D. H. Lawrence in the early twentieth century, in the 1850s John Rollin Ridge had already constructed a poetic persona that attempted to mediate the United States' nostalgia for an indigenous past with its faith in national progress. By claiming to speak as national representatives to a nation that rejected them, Whitfield, Snow, and Ridge not only provide alternatives to a Whitman-centered approach to antebellum American poetry, they also offer insight into the contested nature of national identity at a time when poets in the United States were anxious to define their nation both politically and artistically.
- ItemAmerican Girls: Nation and Gender in James, Wharton, and Cather(2010) Arai, Keiko; Lindemann, Marilee; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines the representations of the American girl in the works of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather in relation to the popular image of the American Girl at the turn of the century. During a process Alan Trachtenberg has termed "the incorporation of America," the cultural image of the American Girl, among others, functioned in contributing to the standardization and unification of the norms of nation and gender. A close examination of the three writers' representations of the American girl in this dissertation reveals the ways in which their awareness of complexity in the idea of girlhood in turn-of-the-century America leads to their critique and revision of the icon of the American Girl and makes their novels different both from the popular American Girl stories, where girls marry happily in the end, and from the ordinary New Woman novels, whose heroines seek their professions and remain single or in sisterhood. In addition, this dissertation investigates how the idea of "Americanness" is questioned in the three writers' works, showing the ways in which the Jamesian idea of Americanness is presented as "foreignness" in the other writers. Chapter one briefly examines several examples of girls represented in American literature from the Victorian era to the turn of the century, exploring how the idea of girlhood became more complicated and how popular culture nevertheless tried to pigeonhole them into one category, "the marriageable girl," whose image serves to make stable the boundaries in terms of gender, race, and nation. Chapter two investigates how Henry James continues to revise his American girls, which shows his complex and shifting view of American young women and of American democracy. Chapter three explores how Edith Wharton challenges the popular image of the American Girl by playing with the typology and revealing the artificial nature of the American Girl in turn-of-the-century materialistic society. Chapter four examines how Willa Cather's "not-American" girl stories challenge the ordinary American Girl stories and serve to present her idea of multicultural America.
- ItemAmerican Hospitality: The Politics of Conditionality in Twentieth-Century U.S. Fiction(2020) Gleich, Lewis S; Mallios, Peter L; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)American Hospitality rereads the canon of American literature by focusing attention on the centrality of hospitality to the twentieth-century American literary imagination. It argues that twentieth-century U.S. authors employ scenes of hospitality (scenes of welcoming and withholding, of invitation and rejection, of accommodation and imposition) and figures of hospitality (hosts and guests, strangers and trespassers, homes and thresholds, gifts and reciprocations) for three specific purposes: first, to reproduce dominant American discourses of hospitality; second, to critique these same discourses; and third, to model an alternative ethics of hospitality. Faced with the closing of the western frontier, rapid increases in immigration, the growing need to provide assistance to large segments of the population, an escalating call to secure and police the national borders, and the widespread demand to make public accommodations in all parts of the country more hospitable to racialized others, U.S. authors during the twentieth century utilized discourses of hospitality to reflect on the effects that sweeping historical changes were having on the nation’s ability to remain hospitable to peoples both inside and outside its borders. In examining discourses of hospitality in twentieth-century U.S. fiction, American Hospitality makes three principal contributions to scholarship. First, it opens the canon of American literature to reconstruction by tracing the central importance of scenes of hospitality across a wide range of twentieth-century American texts and genres, from highly canonical texts like Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! to less canonical texts like Zitkala-Ša’s Old Indian Legends and Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris’s The Crown of Columbus. Second, it expands on existing work on the subject of American exceptionalism by showing how American exceptionalist narratives rely heavily on scenes and figures of hospitality to justify and disavow acts of exclusion, dispossession, exploitation, and violence. Third, it lays the foundation for theorizing an alternative ethics of American hospitality. Modeled by the texts featured in American Hospitality, this alternative ethics, which I term affirmative hospitality, has four core principles: recognition of the conditional nature of all hospitality exchanges, affirmation of the singularity of the individual, accommodation, and deliberation.
- ItemAmericans in the Golden State: The Rhetoric of Identity in Four California Social Protest Novels(2006-04-19) Warford, Elisa Leigh; Fahnestock, Jeanne; Wyatt, David; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies of four California social protest novels of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries: Helen Hunt Jackson's <em>Ramona</em> (1884), María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's <em>The Squatter and the Don</em> (1885), Frank Norris's <em>The Octopus</em> (1901), and John Steinbeck's <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> (1939). I argue that among these four texts, those that succeeded rhetorically--Ruiz de Burton's and Steinbeck's--did so by making it possible for their mostly white, middle-class audiences to identify with their characters along class, race, and other demographic lines. The rhetorical theories of Kenneth Burke help explain the complex ways these novels invite audience identification with some characters while creating distance with others. I also examine the roles of sentiment and naturalism in each text's rhetorical success or failure. Although these novels were all written or read as social protest fiction, there exists no full-length analysis of the rhetorical strategies these writers employ. In their arguments over California land ownership and the land's potential wealth, the novels reveal much about how American identity was constructed during this period. Chapter One argues that in <em>The Squatter and the Don</em>, Ruiz de Burton encourages identification by blurring racial lines and emphasizing her characters' social class, presenting the Alamar family as entrepreneurial Americans who can pass for white and who blend easily with upper-crust New York society. Chapter Two focuses on the ways Jackson creates Native American characters in <em>Ramona</em> who possess some traits of "American" identity such as whiteness, domesticity, and work skills. Jackson's characters, however, remain too exotic for the reader to identify with them, and thus her novel has been read as romance rather than protest. Chapter Three argues that <em>The Octopus</em> is too deterministic to succeed as social protest against the railroad monopoly, but that Norris is arguing instead for a global expansion of U.S. capitalism. Chapter Four demonstrates how <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> aligns the migrants with America's white middle class. Steinbeck enables identification by emphasizing the Okies' Anglo heritage and their willingness to work; like Ruiz de Burton, he also employs an effective balance between sentiment and naturalism.
- ItemAnd Other Stories(2017) Kun, Tara; Mitchell, Emily; Creative Writing; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)And Other Stories follows four characters as they discover, relinquish, evolve, and deteriorate within the jobs that they occupy. Dominic Ruggers and Koji Itō find themselves in a forced choosing of career as they attempt to find footing in worlds that have constraints beyond their power. Roger Duckney’s story—a reaction to contemporary politics—depicts an unwitting man who finds the best in his otherwise disturbing involuntary post. Meanwhile, Marv Morgan displays his commitment to his wife and profession by spending one of his final living days in selfless duty. All four characters, despite their circumstances, unearth deeper meaning in their pursuits at the conclusion of their spent days.
- Item"And There See Justice Done": The Problem of Law in the African American Literary Tradition(2012) Brown, Christopher Michael; Washington, Mary Helen; English Language and Literature; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation argues that careful attention to African American literature reveals that the different terms through which we understand race and law are in fact incommensurable, and that the clash of their competing logics constitutes a fundamental, and unremarked upon, organizing theme of the black literary tradition. The law's relationship with its racialized subjects - and its troubled and troubling relationship with African Americans in particular - emblematizes this collision of radically different perspectives. The meaning of equality and freedom, for instance, are ideas often understood in radically different terms by the law and by the literature that critiques it. The rupture produced by this divergence is revealed in the competing texts of the two cultures: on the one hand, in legal disputes and legal texts, in laws and in the deliberations out of which they are constructed; and on the other, in the cultural productions of the African American community, and in particular in its rich tradition of letters. Reading a broad range of works across that tradition, from the earliest slave petitions to the contemporary novel, I offer a new way to understand the relationship between the law, the African American experience of the law, and the texts that narrate their fundamental disjuncture. Showing that African American literature actually begins with the law, I first investigate the transition of black writing from legal petitions and pamphlets to more literary forms at the end of the eighteenth century. These first black narratives anticipate the inevitable failure of their more legalistic counterparts to remedy injustice, and instead cast their critiques of the law in metaphor. My project then reads both canonical and less-celebrated texts across the entire tradition of African American letters - from Equiano's 1789 Interesting Narrative to Edward Jones' 2003 The Known World - to show that the formal and figurative elements of much of the tradition of African American writing are in fact premised in the law: unexpected and repeated scenes of madness and incompetence attack the illogic of slavery; literary portrayals of black traitors reveal the fundamental tension between black loyalty to the nation and the nation's betrayal of the race; the passing narrative satirizes white anxiety about the law's inability to police the color line; the figure of blindness belies a twenty-first century critique of the law's own colorblindness. And finally, I develop the larger claim that theorizing the rupture between these legal and literary texts can help us to solidify the coherence of an African American literary tradition that is increasingly understood as fractured, and simultaneously resist the law's compulsion to universalize the particular narratives of its many diverse subjects.
- ItemANNUALS: A Collection of Poems(1978) Mackey, John Joseph; Van Egmond, Peter; English; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)The poems in this collection were written during the past year and are arranged in roughly chronological order. My intention in writing the poems was to construct a truthful recreation of experience which would evoke corresponding feeling. By selecting and ordering details of ordinary occurrences, I hoped to create microcosmic situations. The use of literary, mythological, and biblical allusions aided me in this endeavor. These, like all poems, should be read aloud, for the sound of words was a prime consideration in their making. The beauty of poetry, I believe, lies in the expression itself, the art born of ordinary experience and chiseled by the tool of language. My attempt was to create something pleasurable and universal from the raw material of experience. Having begun writing Shakespearean sonnets as a challenge, I soon found that the strict meter and rhyme scheme were excellent aids in producing a poem from a germinal idea. Hence, more than a few that follow are in this mode.