Bookbeat: May 1997

PostNegritude Visual and Literary Culture PostNegritude Visual and Literary Culture

by Mark Reid, Department of English
(State University of New York Press, 1997)
Available through Amazon

In the 1960s and 1970s, the civil rights movement and other national and cultural movements fractured dominant paradigms of American identity and demanded a reformulation of American values and norms. This book borrows the moral, ethical, and political purposes of these movements to show how film, literature, photography, and television news broadcasts construct essentialist myths about race, gender, sexuality, and nation.

- Publisher


Internationally, Eurocentric patriarchy and racism affect the economic and social livelihood of black people. Together, patriarchal and racist practices support new forms of colonialism in the African diaspora. For instance, in contemporary America, Eurocentric processes produce such racist acts as the beating of Rodney King and the mainstream media's depiction of black communities as solely a narrative of drive-by shootings, drugs and car-jackings. On a sociopsychic level, these processes generate such racist images as the Republican Party use of Willy Horton during the 1988 United States presidential campaign.

The Twentieth-Century Novel: An IntroductionThe Twentieth-Century Novel: An Introduction

by R. B. Kershner, Department of English
(Bedford Books, 1997)
Available through Amazon

Designed to supplement undergraduate and introductory graduate level study of the modern novel, The Twentieth-Century Novel offers a brief yet complete survey of the history, theory, and issues of the form. Through carefully chosen examples and concise explanation, Kershner introduces students to the basic terminology, explores traditional conceptions of the novel, and traces the form's development through modernism and postmodernism to the present day.

- Publisher


Writing in 1981, the critic Wayne Booth suggested that the two recent developments in criticism that had forced him to rethink his position, in a "somewhat surprised surrender to voices previously alien to me," were the work of Bakhtin and feminist criticism. Most critics would simply name feminism, which is not so much an interpretive school like others as it is a revision of the grounds of interpretation themselves. Perhaps Booth's admission here can stand for the belated and reluctant admission by the predominantly white, male academy that at least one major factor in the evaluation of literature had been programmatically ignored.

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