"T. J. Jackson Lears's No Place of Grace is a landmark book in the fields of American Studies and history, known for its rigorous research and original, near-literary style. A study of responses to the culture of corporate capitalism at the turn of the twentieth century, No Place of Grace charts the development of modern consumer society through the embrace of antimodernism, the effort among many middle and upper class Americans to recapture feelings of authenticity, vigor, depth, and connection. Rather than offer true resistance to the increasing corporate bureaucratization of the time, however, antimodernism helped accommodate Americans to the new order-it was therapeutic rather than oppositional, a forerunner to today's self-help culture. And yet antimodernism contributed a new dynamic as well, "an eloquent edge of protest," as Lears puts it, which is evident even today in anticonsumerism, sustainable living, and other practices. This edition, with a lively and discerning foreword by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, celebrates the book's 40th anniversary"--
T. J. Jackson Lears draws on a wealth of primary sources — sermons, diaries, letters — as well as novels, poems, and essays to explore the origins of turn-of-the-century American antimodernism. He examines the retreat to the exotic, the pursuit of intense physical or spiritual experiences, and the search for cultural self-sufficiency through the Arts and Crafts movement. Lears argues that their antimodern impulse, more pervasive than historians have supposed, was not "simple escapism," but reveals some enduring and recurring tensions in American culture. "It's an understatement to call No Place of Grace a brilliant book. . . . It's the first clear sign I've seen that my generation, after marching through the '60s and jogging through the '70s might be pausing to examine what we've learned, and to teach it."—Walter Kendrick, Village Voice "One can justly make the claim that No Place of Grace restores and reinterprets a crucial part of American history. Lears's method is impeccable."—Ann Douglas, The Nation
T. J. Jackson Lears draws on a wealth of primary sources -- sermons, diaries, letters -- as well as novels, poems, and essays to explore the origins of turn-of-the-century American antimodernism. He examines the retreat to the exotic, the pursuit of intense physical or spiritual experiences, and the search for cultural self-sufficiency through the Arts and Crafts movement. Lears argues that their antimodern impulse, more pervasive than historians have supposed, was not "simple escapism," but reveals some enduring and recurring tensions in American culture. "It's an understatement to call No Place of Grace a brilliant book. . . . It's the first clear sign I've seen that my generation, after marching through the '60s and jogging through the '70s might be pausing to examine what we've learned, and to teach it."--Walter Kendrick, Village Voice "One can justly make the claim that No Place of Grace restores and reinterprets a crucial part of American history. Lears's method is impeccable."--Ann Douglas, The Nation
Late in the nineteenth century, many Americans were troubled by the theories of Charles Darwin, which contradicted both traditional Christian teachings and the idea of human supremacy over nature, and by an influx of foreign immigrants, who challenged the supremacy of the old Anglo-Saxon elite. In response, many people drew comfort from the theories of philosopher Herbert Spencer, who held that human society inevitably develops towards higher and more spiritual forms. In this illuminating study, Kathleen Pyne explores how Spencer's theories influenced a generation of American artists. She shows how the painters of the 1880s and 1890s, particularly John La Farge, James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Dewing and the Boston school, and the impressionist painters of the Ten, developed an art dedicated to social refinement and spiritual ideals and to defending the Anglo-Saxon elite of which they were members. This linking of visual culture to the problematic conditions of American life radically reinterprets the most important trends in late nineteenth-century American painting.
This book surveys the theological and cultural appropriations of the Protestant concept of vocation in order to argue for a vocation that has political traction in modern workplaces. It uniquely brings together insights from recent works in political theology and consumer culture studies along with analyses of self-help literature to accomplish this task.
The Arthurian legend closes with a promise: On a distant day, when his country calls, the king will return. His lost realm will be regained, and his shattered dream of an ideal world will, at last, be realized. This collection of original essays explores the issue of return in the modern Arthurian legend. With an Introduction by noted scholar Raymond H. Thompson and 13 essays by authors from the fields of literature, art history, film history, and folklore, this collection reveals the flexibility of the legend. Just as the modern legend takes the form current to its generation, the myth of return generates a new legend with each telling. As these authors show, return can come in the form of a noble king or a Caribbean immigrant, with the mystery of an art theft or a dying boy's dream.
"Cotkin provides a gracefully written and consistently intelligent defense of James and pragmatism that deserves a wide audience among intellectual historians and their students."--Robert C. Bannister, American Historical Review.
Acute Melancholia and Other Essays deploys spirited and progressive approaches to the study of Christian mysticism and the philosophy of religion. Ideal for novices and experienced scholars alike, the volume makes a forceful case for thinking about religion as both belief and practice, in which traditions marked by change are passed down through generations, laying the groundwork for their own critique. Through a provocative integration of medieval sources and texts by Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Talal Asad, and Dipesh Chakrabarty, this book redefines what it means to engage critically with history and those embedded within it.
This ambitious and vivid study in six volumes explores the journey of a single, electrifying story, from its first incarnation in a medieval French poem through its prolific rebirth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Juggler of Notre Dame tells how an entertainer abandons the world to join a monastery, but is suspected of blasphemy after dancing his devotion before a statue of the Madonna in the crypt; he is saved when the statue, delighted by his skill, miraculously comes to life. Jan Ziolkowski tracks the poem from its medieval roots to its rediscovery in late nineteenth-century Paris, before its translation into English in Britain and the United States. The visual influence of the tale on Gothic revivalism and vice versa in America is carefully documented with lavish and inventive illustrations, and Ziolkowski concludes with an examination of the explosion of interest in The Juggler of Notre Dame in the twentieth century and its place in mass culture today. Volume 2: Medieval Meets Medievalism deals with the influence of the tale in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Europe and America, and the development of literary medievalism at this time. The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity is a rich case study for the reception of the Middle Ages in modernity. Spanning centuries and continents, the medieval period is understood through the lens of its (post)modern reception in Europe and America. Profound connections between the verbal and the visual are illustrated by a rich trove of images, including book illustrations, stained glass, postage stamps, architecture, and Christmas cards. Presented with great clarity and simplicity, Ziolkowski's work is accessible to the general reader, while its many new discoveries will be valuable to academics in such fields and disciplines as medieval studies, medievalism, philology, literary history, art history, folklore, performance studies, and reception studies.
In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States, ideas of genius did more than define artistic and intellectual originality. They also provided a means for conceptualizing women's participation in a democracy that marginalized them. Widely distributed across print media but reaching their fullest development in literary fiction, tropes of female genius figured types of subjectivity and forms of collective experience that were capable of overcoming the existing constraints on political life. The connections between genius, gender, and citizenship were important not only to contests over such practical goals as women's suffrage but also to those over national membership, cultural identity, and means of political transformation more generally. In The Genius of Democracy Victoria Olwell uncovers the political uses of genius, challenging our dominant narratives of gendered citizenship. She shows how American fiction catalyzed political models of female genius, especially in the work of Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Mary Hunter Austin, Jessie Fauset, and Gertrude Stein. From an American Romanticism that saw genius as the ability to mediate individual desire and collective purpose to later scientific paradigms that understood it as a pathological individual deviation that nevertheless produced cultural progress, ideas of genius provided a rich language for contests over women's citizenship. Feminist narratives of female genius projected desires for a modern public life open to new participants and new kinds of collaboration, even as philosophical and scientific ideas of intelligence and creativity could often disclose troubling and more regressive dimensions. Elucidating how ideas of genius facilitated debates about political agency, gendered identity, the nature of consciousness, intellectual property, race, and national culture, Olwell reveals oppositional ways of imagining women's citizenship, ways that were critical of the conceptual limits of American democracy as usual.
Dante's Convivio, written 1304-07, is the first major prose document in the Italian language. This new translation is based on the recent Italian critical edition of Maria Simonelli and includes as well the text of the three Italian canzoni. Using approaches from cultural and social history, traces the psychological, social, intellectual, and moral development of the 19th century American novelist, and examines the middle-class values and behavior that shaped him, and which he portrayed with such discomfort in his mature work. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR