Bibliographies

We invite visiting authors and scholars to submit a "Bibliography," with or without annotation, of books in some way related to their own book or work. Check each post for details on related events!

September 30th, 2017

These harrowing poems focus on how human connection can both transcend devastation as well as complicate our individual sense of existence. We witness the devastating impact of loss on a group of sisters, while also following the isolated self's ongoing navigation of an ever-changing world. Through it all, the sisters in Imaginary Royalty live and breathe as one: "None of us is her own grown self now. Re-conjoined, four sisters. The magnetic pull is awful, gravity unbearable, and, oh our bodies are staved. It is the center we seize around, the sister in whom the hole has opened. The cold blows through us all" (from "A Soul So Watched"). Miranda Field reads from and discusses Imaginary Royalty...

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September 28th, 2017

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.
 
Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps...

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September 27th, 2017

Ever since the International Monetary Fund’s first bailout of Greece’s sinking economy in 2010, the phrase “Greek debt” has meant one thing to the country’s creditors. But for millions who claim to prize culture over capital, it means something quite different: the symbolic debt that Western civilization owes to Greece for furnishing its principles of democracy, philosophy, mathematics, and fine art. Where did this other idea of Greek debt come from, Johanna Hanink asks, and why does it remain so compelling today? The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity investigates our abiding desire to view Greece through the lens of the ancient past. Though classical Athens was in reality a slave-owning imperial power, the city-state of Socrates and Pericles is still widely seen as a utopia...

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September 25th, 2017

Offering an incisive rejoinder to traditional histories of modernism and postmodernism, this original book examines the 1960s performance work of three New York artists who adapted modernist approaches to form for the medium of the human body. Finding parallels between the tactility of a drip of paint and a body’s reflexive movements, Elise Archias argues convincingly that Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934), Carolee Schneemann (b. 1939), and Vito Acconci (b. 1940) forged a dialogue between modernist aesthetics and their own artistic community’s embrace of all things ordinary through work that explored the abstraction born of the body’s materiality. Rainer’s task-like dances, Schneemann’s sensuous appropriations of popular entertainment, and Acconci’s behaviorist-inflected tests highlight the body’s...

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September 25th, 2017

Korea continues to grapple with the shared memory of its Japanese and US occupations. The poems in Ordinary Misfortunes incorporate actual testimony about cruelty against vulnerable bodies—including the wianbu, euphemistically known as “comfort women”—as the poet seeks to find places where brutality is overcome through true human connections. Emily Yoon will read from and discuss ...

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September 23rd, 2017

IBlack Chicago’s First Century, Christopher Robert Reed provides the first comprehensive study of an African American population in a nineteenth-century northern city beyond the eastern seaboard. Reed’s study covers the first one hundred years of African American settlement and achievements in the Windy City, encompassing a range of activities and events that span the antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction periods. The author takes us from a time when black Chicago provided both workers and soldiers for the Union cause to the ensuing decades that saw the rise and development of a stratified class...

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September 21st, 2017

In The Nightlife, Elise Paschen explores the nocturnal world and what happens in that interval between "dorveille" and daybreak. She reveals, through dream lyrics and fractured narratives, the inevitability of unrecognized desire and the drama between the life lived and the life imagined. Elise will discuss The Nightlife on Thursday 9/28, 6pm at the Co-op.


My selected bibliography includes a list of books whose lines I used as epigraphs in The Nightlife:

Selected Poems, by W.H. Auden,...

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September 19th, 2017

Liesl Olson is the author of Modernism and the Ordinary (Oxford U P, 2009) and Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis...

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September 19th, 2017

Economists often act as if their methods explain all human behavior. But in Cents and Sensibility, an eminent literary critic and a leading economist make the case that the humanities, especially the study of literature, offer economists ways to make their models more realistic, their predictions more accurate, and their policies more effective and just. Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro trace the connection between Adam Smith's great classic, The Wealth of Nations, and his less celebrated book on The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and contend that a few decades later Jane Austen invented her groundbreaking method of novelistic narration in order to give life to the empathy that Smith believed essential to humanity. Morson and Schapiro argue that Smith's heirs include Austen, Anton Chekhov, and Leo...

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September 17th, 2017

Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. This book is about those encounters—in particular thousands of Chinese characters versus the typewriter and its QWERTY keyboard. Thomas Mullaney describes a fascinating series of experiments, prototypes, failures, and successes in the century-long quest for a workable Chinese typewriter. 

The earliest Chinese typewriters, Mullaney tells us, were figments of popular imagination, sensational accounts of twelve-foot...

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