Faculty Books

David K. Anderson 

Title: Martyrs and Players In Early Modern England: Tragedy, Religion and Violence On Stage

Publisher: Ashgate

Year: 2014

Martyrs and Players argues that the tragedy of Shakespeare and his contemporaries can be better understood within the context Reformation-era religious culture. Specifically, the book asserts that the tragedians were reflecting a crisis of conscience within their society over acts of religious violence and coercion. Reading plays like King Lear, Doctor Faustus and Samson Agonistes alongside religious writers (foremost among them the martyrologist John Foxe), the book explores how Protestant England negotiated the ethical confrontation between collective power and the individual victim.

Rilla Askew

Title: Kind of Kin

Using anti-immigration laws in Oklahoma and Alabama as inspiration, Kind of Kin is a story of self-serving lawmakers and complicated lawbreakers, Christian principle and political scapegoating. When a church-going, community-loved, family man is caught hiding a barn-full of undocumented immigrant workers near a small town in southeastern Oklahoma, he is arrested and sent to jail. This shocking development sends ripples through the town—dividing neighbors, causing riffs amongst his family, and spurring controversy across the state. Longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Prize and a finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and the Oklahoma Book Award, Kind of Kin is a funny and poignant novel that explores what happens when upstanding people are pushed too far—and how an ad-hoc family, and ultimately, an entire town, will unite to protect their own.

Title: Harpsong
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Year: 2007 

Harlan Singer, a harmonica-playing troubadour, shows up in the Thompson family’s yard one morning. He steals their hearts with his music, and their daughter with his charm. Soon he and his fourteen-year-old bride, Sharon, are on the road, two young hobos hitchhiking and hopping freights across the Great Plains at the height of the Great Depression. In this moving, redemptive tale inspired by Oklahoma folk heroes, Rilla Askew continues her exploration of the American story. Harpsong is a novel of love and loss, of adventure and renewal, and of a wayfaring orphan’s search for home—all set to the sounds of Harlan’s haunting music. The book received seven literary awards, including the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas.

 Title: Fire in Beulah
Publisher: Viking/Penguin
Year: 2001

Askew's acclaimed novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, Fire in Beulah, is set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush. The book centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter's high-strung white wife, and her enigmatic black maid, Graceful. Their juxtaposing stories—and those of others close to them—unfold against a volatile backdrop of oil-boom opulence, fear, hatred, lynchings that climax in the 1921 race war, when whites burned the city's prosperous black community to the ground and hundreds died, forever shaping the course of Oklahoma’s—and, indeed, America’s—history. Winner of the American Book Award and the Myers Books Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, Fire in Beulah was selected for Oklahoma’s one-book/one-state reading program, Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma, in 2007.

Title: The Mercy Seat
Publisher: Viking/Penguin
Year: 1997

Set in the harsh and beautiful Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, Askew’s first novel is an unblinking vision of the settling of the American West, told first by a ten-year-old girl, Matt Lodi, and echoed in the voices of the white townspeople who migrate into Indian Territory. The Mercy Seat follows young Mattie as she struggles to hold her disintegrating family together with a mix of spite, loyalty, and fierce will. When she is struck down by fever, a Choctaw healer brought in to pull the girl back from the territory of the dead recognizes in her a powerful gift of visions. But Matt turns away even from this imperative call in her desperation to restore her family to their home back East. As bitter conflict mounts between her father and his brother, so does the war between her visions and her will - and in the final, unavoidable clash, Mattie grips both mercy and destruction in her hands. A finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and winner of the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, The Mercy Seat established Rilla Askew early on in her career as a noted chronicler of the American story.

Joyce Coleman

Editor: Joyce Coleman with Kathryn A. Smith (Art History, New York University) and Mark Cruse (French, Arizona State University)
Title: The Social Life of Illumination: Manuscripts, Images, and Communities in the Late Middle Ages
Publisher: Brepols
Year: 2013

The Medieval Review (Oct. 31, 2014): "This edited collection of essays provides a vivid and up-to-date examination of the 'social life' of late medieval French and English illuminated manuscripts. ... The editors should be commended on their production of an unusually coherent and strong field of essays that may be relevant to scholars interested in medieval literature, art history, drama, family and political history, the history of music, religion and piety, and the role of women."
H-France Review 14 (2014): "Each insightful essay contextualizes the visual within a literary and historical interpretation and provides a thoughtful yet clear assessment, accompanied by adequate illustrations to support arguments. ... The Social Life of Illumination offers well-argued and well-written essays ... [that] connect and interweave aspects of social history and iconography into political currents and events happening on both sides of the Channel."

Title: Public Reading and the Reading Public in Late Medieval England and France 
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 1996; paperback edition 2005

This book assembles and analyzes in depth, for the first time, an overwhelming mass of evidence about the reading practices of late-medieval literate elites. Coleman establishes that, contrary to assumptions that were and are still prevalent among scholars, these audiences preferred to share in a public reading of books rather than to read them privately. Coleman's book offers the first sustained critique of Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy (1982), which has encouraged medievalists to underestimate the nature and role of late medieval public reading.
Times Literary Supplement, July 25, 1997: 'This is ground-breaking work, conducted with impressive wit and incision, and it yields a great deal of intellectual fruit. ... It ought to be a turning-point in our approach to literacy and in our construction of the history of reading."

Daniel Cottom

Title: International Bohemia: Scenes of Nineteenth-Century Life
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Year: 2013

This book is concerned with how the vagabond word bohemia migrated across various national borderlines over the course of the nineteenth century and, in doing so, was developed, transformed, contested, or rejected. It focuses on how individuals and groups sought to take possession of this word and to make it serve as the basis for the elaboration of identities, passions, cultural forms, politics, and histories that they wanted to bring to life. It begins with the invention of the modern sense of this word in Paris during the 1830s and 1840s and then traces some of its most important twists and turns, through the rest of this era and into the early years of the twentieth century, in the United States, England, Italy, and, to a lesser extent, Spain and Germany.

Title: Unhuman Culture
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Year: 2006

“For better or worse, ours is now an unhuman culture”: such is the argument of this book, which analyzes, among other things, the aesthetics of misanthropy, Gothic literature, Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War, the iconoclasm of the suffragist Mary Richardson, the Futurist movement, the Kent State Massacre, and Orlan’s “body art.”

Title: Why Education Is Useless
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Year: 2003

With chapters devoted to “Humanity,” “Love,” “Beauty,” “Identity,” “Survival,” and “Utility,” this work proceeds from the assumption that hostility to education is an extremely complex phenomenon, both historically and in contemporary American life. With references ranging from Montaigne to George W. Bush, from Sappho to Timothy McVeigh, it confronts the conception of utility articulated in the nineteenth century by John Stuart Mill and opposes the hostile conceptions of inutility popularized in recent decades by such ideologues as Allan Bloom, Harold Bloom, and John Ellis. Maintaining that education is not a stand-alone value, it argues that education must indeed be useless, in a sense, if it is to be worthy of its name.

Title: Cannibals and Philosophers
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Year: 2001

This book argues that the artifact known as the Enlightenment was defined from the beginning through an obsession with guts and disgust as much as through the mind and reason. Indeed, it contends that we falsify history when we fail to recognize the visceral turn that binds together the former and the latter termss. This argument is developed through chapters that focus on eighteenth-century physiological theories, the art of Jean-Siméon Chardin, the automatons made by Jacques de Vaucanson, the city of Bath, the voyages of Captain James Cook, and Thomas de Quincey’s conception of the act of kissing.

Daniela Garofalo

Title: Women, Love, and Commodity Culture in British Romanticism
Publisher: Ashgate; Routledge Kindle Edition 
Year: 2012

Offering a new understanding of canonical Romanticism, Daniela Garofalo suggests that representations of erotic love in the period have been largely misunderstood. Commonly understood as a means for transcending political and economic realities, love, for several canonical Romantic writers, offers, instead, a contestation of those realities. Garofalo argues that Romantic writers show that the desire for transcendence through love mimics the desire for commodity consumption and depends on the same dynamic of delayed fulfillment that was advocated by thinkers such as Adam Smith. As writers such as William Blake, Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, John Keats, and Emily Bronte engaged with the period's concern with political economy and the nature of desire, they challenged stereotypical representations of women either as self-denying consumers or as intemperate participants in the market economy. Instead, their works show the importance of women for understanding modern economics, with women's desire conceived as a force that not only undermines the political economy's emphasis on productivity, growth, and perpetual consumption, but also holds forth the possibility of alternatives to a system of capitalist exchange.

Title: Manly Leaders in Nineteenth-Century British Literature
Publisher: SUNY
Year: 2009

From the 1790s to the 1840s, the fear that Britain had become too effeminate to protect itself against the anarchic forces unleashed by the French Revolution produced in many British writers of the period a desire to portray strong leaders who could control the democratic and commercial forces of modernization. While it is commonplace in Romantic studies to emphasize that Romantic writers are interested in the solitary genius or hero who separates himself from the community to pursue his own creative visions, Daniela Garofalo argues instead that Romantic and early Victorian writers are interested in charismatic males--military heroes, tyrants, kings, and captains of industry--who organize modern political and economic communities, sometimes by example, and sometimes by direct engagement. Reading works by William Godwin, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, William Hazlitt, Thomas Carlyle, and Charlotte Brontë, Garofalo shows how these leaders, endowed with an inherent virility rather than simply inherited rank, legitimize hierarchy anew for an age suffering from a crisis of authority.

Kenneth Hodges

Authors: Dorsey Armstrong and Kenneth Hodges
Title: Mapping Malory: Regional Identities and National Geographies in Le Morte Darthur
Publisher: Palgrave
Year: 2014

This book explores how geography shapes the politics of Arthur and the Round Table, as knights from the diverse kingdoms of Britain compete for respect and strive to balance regional and British identities. Reviewers say: "By tracking the complex ways that questions of space and geography inform Le Morte Darthur, Dorsey Armstrong and Kenneth Hodges have generated a striking reassessment of Malory's great work. Gracefully written, amply researched, and persuasively argued, Mapping Malory: Regional Identities and National Geographies in Le Morte Darthur should be on the reading list of anyone seeking a fuller understanding of Arthurian literature." - Kathy Lavezzo, Associate Professor of English, The University of Iowa, USA. "Through exemplary collaboration, Dorsey Armstrong and Kenneth Hodges become the first critics effectively to describe Malorian geography, an archipelagic space mapped between ambitious Arthurian centralizing and complexly hybrid localisms. Original, sophisticated, refreshing, and highly recommended." - David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and author of Premodern Places: Calais to Surinam, Chaucer to Aphra Behn.

Title: Forging Chivalric Communities in Malory's Morte Darthur
Publisher: Palgrave
Year: 2005

Forging Chivalric Communities in Malory's Morte Darthur shows that Malory treats chivalry not as a static institution but as a dynamic, continually evolving ideal. Le Morte Darthur is structured to trace how communities and individuals adapt or create chivalric codes for their own purposes; in turn, codes of chivalry shape groups and their customs. Knights' loyalties are torn not just between lords and lovers but also between the different codes of chivalry and between different communities. Women, too, choose among the different roles they are asked to play as queens, counsellors, and even quasi-knights. https://www.amazon.com/Forging-Chivalric-Communities-Arthurian-Cultures/dp/1403967601/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470231466&sr=1-1&keywords=kenneth+hodges+forging+chivalric

Honoree Jeffers

Title: The Glory Gets
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Year: 2015

“This book is a miracle. The wisdom and the courage in these poems cuts straight into me. Jeffers is wrestling with what I thought I’d learned to put over there and call History, and she brings it back over here where I stand. It is alive. It watches me. How much of what we are and what we run from is caught―held, trapped, but also illuminated―by that gaze? These poems make clear how much we turn our backs to, trying to forget. This poet sings it beautifully and brutally back into being.”

--Tracy K. Smith

Title: Red Clay Suite
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Year: 2007

“Honorée Jeffers leads with her ear and follows with her rigorous intellect, then adds an emotional depth and fearlessness that make her poems uniquely powerful. This brilliant third book is a thinking woman’s blues that continues to challenge, delight, and terrify.”

—Elizabeth Alexander

Title: Outlandish Blues
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Year: 2003

“Outlandish Blues is a book as wide-open-armed and as terrifying as the blues themselves. What violence and grief, and sweetness too! These poems will bring you to your knees with their tough, wild beauty.”

—Maggie Anderson

Title: The Gospel of Barbecue
Publisher: The Kent State University Press
Year: 2000

“Honoree Jeffers is an exciting and original new poet, and the Gospel of Barbecue is her aptly titled debut work. These poems are sweet and sassy, hot and biting, flavored in an exciting blend of precise language and sharp and surprising imagery that delights. They leave a taste in your mouth, these poems; they are true to themselves and to the world. They are gospel, indeed, and this young poet will be heard more and more spreading the true word. Good news!”

—Lucille Clifton

Catherine John

Title: Clear Word and Third Sight: Folk Groundings and Diasporic Consciousness in African Caribbean Writing
Publisher: Duke Press, 2003
University Press of the West Indies
Year: 2004

Clear Word and Third Sight coins the term "Diaspora Consciousness" to talk about the collective ways of knowing, that fall outside the realms of the rational which are the particular legacy of the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans in the Americas. By examining the extent to which this consciousness is represented in the oral traditions that Black Caribbean writers have captured in their writing and literature, the text argues for the existence of "an alternative philosophical world sense" that functions as a cultural link among African diasporic populations in various locales.

Rita Keresztesi

Title: The Western in the Global South (co-edited with MaryEllen Higgins and Dayna Oscherwitz)Publisher: Routledge 
Year: 2015

The Western in the Global South investigates the Western film genre's impact, migrations, and reconfigurations in the Global South. Contributors explore how cosmopolitan directors have engaged with, appropriated, and subverted the tropes and conventions of Hollywood and Italian Westerns, and how Global South Westerns and Post-Westerns in particular address the inequities brought about by postcolonial patriarchy, globalization and neoliberalism. The book offers a wide range of historical engagements with the genre, from African, Caribbean, South and Southeast Asian, Central and South American, and transnational directors. The contributors employ interdisciplinary cultural studies approaches to cinema, integrating aesthetic considerations with historical, political, and gender studies readings of the international appropriations and U.S. re-appropriations of the Western genre.

Title: Strangers at Home: American Ethnic Modernism between the World Wars 
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Year: 2005 (hardcover), 2009 (paperback)

Strangers at Home reframes the way we conceive of the modernist literature that appeared in the period between the two world wars. This work shows that a body of texts written by ethnic writers during this period poses a challenge to conventional notions of America and American modernism. By engaging with modernist literary studies from the perspectives of minority discourse, postcolonial studies, and postmodern theory, the book questions the validity of modernism's claim to the neutrality of culture. She argues that literary modernism grew out of a prejudiced, racially biased, and often xenophobic historical context that necessitated a politically conservative and narrow definition of modernism in America. With the changing racial, ethnic, and cultural makeup of the nation during the interwar era, literary modernism also changed its form and content. Contesting traditional notions of literary modernism, the book examines American modernism from an ethnic perspective in the works of Harlem Renaissance, immigrant, and Native American writers. 

 Vincent B. Leitch

Title: Literary Criticism in the Twenty-First Century: Theory Renaissance 

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Year: 2014

A detailed mapping and analysis of the theory renaissance underway in the twenty-first century.

Title: American Literary Criticism Since the 1930s, 2nd Edition
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010

 A panorama of intersecting microhistories covering 20 schools and movements of American literary criticism and theory from the Great Depression to the Great Recession.

Title: Living with Theory
Publisher: Blackwell Manifesto Series
Year: 2008

A defense of contemporary theory and cultural critique, this book assesses the engagement of today's leading theorists with globalization and postmodernity, multiculturalism and culture wars as well as the rise of neoliberalism and the corporate university.

Title:Theory Matters
Year: 2003

This book explores how the field of contemporary theory is increasingly disaggregated or disorganized, a condition not of debility but of responsiveness to the cultural and socioeconomic conditions of contemporary society. 

Roxanne Mountford

Title: The Gendered Pulpit: Preaching in American Protestant Spaces. Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Series
Publisher: Southern Illinois UP
Year: 2003.

Title: Women's Ways of Making It in Rhetoric and Composition co-authored with Michelle Ballif and Diane Davis
Publisher: Routledge

Joshua B. Nelson

Title: Progressive Traditions: Identity in Cherokee Literature and Culture 
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Year: 2014

According to a dichotomy commonly found in studies of American Indians, some noble Native people defiantly defend their pristine indigenous traditions in honor of their ancestors, while others in weakness or greed surrender their culture and identities to white American economies and institutions. This traditionalist-versus-assimilationist divide is, Joshua B. Nelson argues, a false one. Exploring a range of linked cultural practices and beliefs through the works of Cherokee thinkers and writers from the nineteenth century to today, Nelson finds ample evidence that tradition can survive through times of radical change: Cherokees do their cultural work both in progressively traditional and traditionally progressive ways. Studying individuals previously deemed either “traditional” or “assimilationist,” Nelson presents a more nuanced interpretation. Among the works he examines are the political rhetoric of Elias Boudinot, a forefather of American Indian literature, and of John Ross, the principal chief during the Removal years; the understudied memoirs of Catharine Brown, a nineteenth-century Cherokee convert to Christianity; the novel Kholvn, by contemporary traditionalist Sequoyah Guess, a writer of peculiarly Cherokee science fiction; his conclusion turns a critical eye on the controversial disenrollment of the Cherokee Freedmen. Across several genres—including autobiography, fiction, speeches, laws, and letters—Progressive Traditions identifies an “indigenous anarchism,” a pluralist, community-centered political philosophy that looks to practices that preceded and surpass the nation-state as ways of helping Cherokee people prosper. This critique of the common call for expansion of tribal nations’ sovereignty over their citizens represents a profound shift in American Indian critical theory and challenges contemporary indigenous people to rethink power among nations, communities, and individuals.

Su Fang Ng

Title: Literature and the Politics of Family in Seventeenth-Century England
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2007

A common literary language linked royal absolutism to radical religion and republicanism in seventeenth-century England. Authors from both sides of the Civil Wars, including Milton, Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, and the Quakers, adapted the analogy between family and state to support radically different visions of political community. They used family metaphors to debate the limits of political authority, rethink gender roles, and imagine community in a period of social and political upheaval. While critical attention has focused on how the common analogy linking father and king, family and state, bolstered royal and paternal claims to authority and obedience, its meaning was in fact intensely contested. In this wide-ranging study, Su Fang Ng analyses the language and metaphors used to describe the relationship between politics and the family in both literary and political writings and offers a fresh perspective on how seventeenth-century literature reflected as well as influenced political thought.

Ronald Schleifer

Title: Pain and Suffering
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2014

Pain is felt by everyone, yet understanding its nature is fragmented across myriad modes of thought. In this compact, yet thorough integrative account uniting medical science, psychology, and the humanities, Schleifer offers a deep and complex understand along with possible strategies of dealing with pain in its most overwhelming forms. This book is a volume in "The Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture."

Author: Ronald Schleifer, Ph.D., and Jerry Vannatta, MD
Title: The Chief Concern of Medicine: The Integration of the Medical Humanities and Narrative Knowledge into Medical Practices
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Year: 2013

Unlike any existing studies of the medical humanities, The Chief Concern of Medicine brings to the examination of medical practices a thorough exposition of the nature of narrative. The book build on the work of linguistics, semiotics, narratology, and discourse theory and examines many literary works and narrative vignettes. Theoughout, the book presents usable expositions of the ways storytelling can allow physicians to be more attentive to the stories patients tell.

Title: Modernism and Popular Music
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2011

Traditionally, ideals about twentieth-century “modernism” – whether focused on literature, music, or the visual arts – have made a distinction between “high” art and the “popular” arts of best-selling fiction, jazz, and commercial art of one sort or another. In Modernism and Popular Music, Schleifer show instead how the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Thomas “Fats” Waller, and Billie Holiday can be considered as artistic expressions equal to those of the traditional high modernist practices in music and literature.

Title: Intangible Materialism: The Body, Scientific Knowledge, and the Power of Language
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Year: 2009

Taking as his point of departure Norbert Wiener’s statement that information is basic to understanding materialism in our era, Schleifer shows how discoveries of modern physics have altered conceptions of matter and energy and the ways in which both information theory and the study of literature can enrich these conceptions. Schleifer's project attempt to bridge the division between the humanities and the sciences and to create a nonreductive materialism for the information age.

Alan Velie

Title: Native American Perspectives on Literature and History
Publisher: The University of Oklahoma Press
Year: 1995.

A collection of essays on Native American topics.

Title: Native American Studies, coauthored with Clara Sue Kidwell
Publisher: University of Edinburgh Press
Year: 2005

Monograph about the academic discipline of NAS, coauthored with director of NAS at OU. Currently being revised.

Title: Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature, edited with Jennifer McClinton
Publisher: Facts on File
Year: 2007.

Title: The Native American Renaissance: Volume I, Literary Imagination and Achievement
Publisher: OU Press
Year: 2013

First of a series of volumes on the NAR, a multidisciplinary phenomenon starting in the 50s and 60s, encompassing literature, visual arts, politics, religion, and economic development.