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Abstract

The writing of history was seminal to Milton’s conception of himself as a humanist and is a key to our understanding of his literary career. Yet, Milton’s Brief History of Moscovia and The History of Britain occupy a unique position in the way in which they are poised between the humanist notion of history as counsel and history as an assertion of “republican” values. However, situating Milton in a climate of republicanism has othen been problematic and challenging. Like writers of humanist historical narratives, Milton’s primary aim was to guide the English people in their current political crisis by making the past an analogue of the present. I wish to contend that he approaches his intention generically: by a manipulative use of the genres of history and chorography, Milton is able to straddle the earlier notion of history with the later notions of “republicanism” that permeated the political climate of England in the aftermath of the Civil War. In an inversion of Shklovsky’s notion of “form shaping content”, Milton’s reliance on genre as a vehicle for articulating his political and ideological stance, ultimately results in content shaping form.

Abstract

Crescent (2003) is an example of the kind of Arab-American literature that has emerged noticeably in the early years of the 21st century. It signifies a hypothesis that culinary practice is an essential cultural component for diasporic figures to define their identities, especially in a multi-cultural society. These figures embrace such component to strategically define themselves and assert their belonging and affiliation to their original homelands. This paper, as such, examines the extent to which Arab-American characters in the novel, namely Sirine and Han, consider culinary practice as a key tool to understanding their identity, locate themselves in a multi-cultural society, and re-discover their true belonging. The study of this novel shows that culinary practices, as indicated in the narratives, deconstruct Arab-American identity through various dimensions, including memory, nostalgia, hybridity, and essentialism. In addition to employing critical and analytical approaches to the novel, this paper relies on a socio-cultural conceptual framework based on perspectives of prominent critics and theorists such as Homi Bhabha, Brinda Mehta, Dallen Timothy, and Stuart Hall, to name a few.

Abstract

The intent of this paper is to examine the use, by nineteenth-century American authors, of the temperance novel, a popular literary sub-genre in antebellum America, as a literary means for presenting the widespread controversy in the nation as regards the achievements of temperance societies. Moreover, my goal is to show that the popularity of temperance novels, in spite of their didactic and moralistic nature, displays the public’s readiness to consume temperance literature, thus reciprocating the attempt of writers to promote social ideals and heal social ills. Finally, since Rebekah Hyneman, a convert to Judaism, is the only Jewish-American writer who wrote a temperance novel, and is one among a small number of female writers who used this genre, it is interesting to examine if and how her double “Otherness” (being a Jew and a female novelist) distinguishes her from her literary Christian male and/or female counterparts. Hyneman’s novel Leaves of the Upas Tree: A Story for Every Household (1854–55) serves as a case in point of a temperance novel that demonstrates how a dysfunctional American family operates as a microcosm and how temperance and other charitable societies fail to cope with individuals’ tribulations. More importantly, the novel aims to attest that a familial defective unit, affected by excessive drinking, breeds a ruthless societal macrocosm, lacking compassion, empathy, and social and communal support. The merciless, xenophobic and anti-Semitic community depicted in the novel serves as a prism through which the author presents much more acute plagues afflicting America.

Abstract

This paper seeks to represent rhetorical presence in “Madame de Sevigne”, an essay by Virginia Woolf that reviews Sevigne’s collection of letters. In general, Woolf’s essays that appraise an author and her/his work are organised into several sections that correspond to the traditional rhetorical levels of inventio, dispositio and elocutio. The synergy of arguments and figures that are found at each of these levels are first-order effects which can create rhetorical presence, defined as a strategy that relies on the selection of certain elements and how they are presented to the audience. Presence of this kind involves a second-order effect which transmits the persuasive and expressive value of the essay if several conditions pertaining to the values of the audience and Woolf’s expertise in writing are attained. “Madame de Sevigne” is persuasive in that it tries to increase readers’ admiration towards the letter writer and thus affects the readers in a positive way. This admiration is achieved by means of Woolf’s specific use of language, which amplifies Sevigne’s figure and grants expressive prominence to the text.

Abstract

This paper investigates three different medial instances of the Overlook Hotel, a space originally hailing from Stephen King’s The Shining. Based on close readings of King’s novel, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation and a level in the action RPG Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines by Troika Games, the following text argues that the Overlook is a serial figure founded on the concept of malignant space in possession of a potent, and often overwhelming, story of violence that despite attempts at its repression cannot be silenced, as in the tradition of the Gothic ghost story. This basic formula is then traced through different media – the novel, film, and video game – where it is seen as gradually shifting its focus from the fictional characters to the recipient, which represents the intersection between the particular affordances of the respective media and the figure of a spatially-bound aggressive storyteller.

Abstract

By drawing on Jean Baudrillard’s cultural theory this paper aims to show how contemporary popular culture tells the stories of scientifically talented women of the past. In the course of my argument, I refer to books and films set in the past and focus on the women-and-science motif. Firstly, the stories of individual female scientists living long ago are analysed (Mileva Einstein, Joan Clarke), then, the collective female protagonists – wives of scientists living together in “togethervilles” (Los Alamos, Atomic City), and women scientists pictured in speculative fiction – are discussed. The cliches used in these texts – lonely forgotten geniuses, female worthies taken advantage of, ostracised women accused of not being feminine enough and devoted wives who help their men and their countries in World Wars I and II or the Cold War – reflect ideologies that Western culture used to believe in. Conversely, the two original presentations of past female scientists that I found both come from speculative fiction concerned with science and heavily influenced by the ideologies of science: science and pacifism, science and a sense of guilt, and science as a weapon in the quest for democracy and freedom.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to look into how Elizabeth Gaskell reflects trauma in her literary works and what she may have been trying to teach her audience through them. As a social and realist writer, she used narrative as a means to denounce the evils of her time, many of which give rise to social traumas. However, this paper will focus on more personal traumas, particularly the trauma of loss, and also how Gaskell handles these traumatic experiences in her writings. With this purpose in mind, it is important to consider Gaskell’s own experience, how she overcame her own traumatic losses and how she used fiction both to reflect her experience and as a form of therapy. At the end of this paper, we will establish how Gaskell uses traumatic losses as turning points throughout her literary works.

Abstract

This paper presents and discusses a computer-assisted study that seeks to investigate the use of discourse markers (“DMs”) in academic writing in English as a Foreign Language (“EFL”) by a group of in-service primary school teachers (“participants”). The aim of the study is to establish whether or not there would be differences in the use of DMs in the corpus of academic writing in EFL in literature and linguistics written by the participants, who concurrently with teaching EFL at a range of primary schools are enrolled in an in-service tertiary course in English. The corpus of the study consists of the participants’ i) reflective essays in English linguistics and children’s literature in English, respectively, and ii) analytic explanatory essays in English linguistics and children’s literature, respectively. The corpus of the participants’ essays was analysed quantitatively in order to identify the frequency of DMs per 1,000 words. The results of the quantitative data analysis indicated that the participants’ use of DMs seemed to be, primarily, determined by i) genre conventions of academic writing in English associated with reflective essays and analytic explanatory essays and ii) the participants’ individual preferences. These findings are further presented and discussed in the paper.

Abstract

The present paper examines the occurrence of collective self expressed by the first person plural “we” in British broadsheet hard news reports. Given that “we” typically embraces “I” and the “non-I”, and is viewed in contradistinction to “others”, it is subjective and dialogic (inter-subjective) in nature (Baumgarten et al.; Benveniste). This study, grounded in Systemic Functional Linguistics and the theory of engagement, examines the coupling, i.e., co-occurrence, of one dialogic signal “we” with other dialogic meanings (entertain, proclaim and disclaim) used for the dialogic negotiation of content and writer-reader engagement (Martin, “Beyond Exchange”; Martin and White). Couplings are interpreted from the point of view of the overall rhetorical strategy they are put to, referred to as syndromes of meaning (Zappavigna et al., “Syndromes”; Zappavigna et al., “The Coupling”). The rhetorical functions of syndromes reflect the basic dialogic meanings of the examined engagement categories such as a tentative suggestion of an opinion (entertain), a strong statement of an opinion (proclaim) and a rejection of a dispreferred opinion (disclaim). Finer variations within the individual rhetorical strategies are related to the difference in the source of dialogic positioning (an individual versus collective voice) and the referential scope of the pronoun (a precisely defined reference versus reference with a more general and diffused scope).

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