New and Forthcoming
“John Cech has written an extremely valuable and critically important book which is both thoughtful and timely. Given the place of Sendak in children’s literature, Cech’s book will become a standard work of criticism in the field.”Learn More »
“Bill Conlogue, in Here and There, offers a nuanced, multilayered act of attention to the realities of land use and land thought in northeastern Pennsylvania. His intertwining of history, literature, and lived experience in a very particular place joins a new chorus of counterstatements to the twenty-first-century mantra of global sameness.”Learn More »
This new edition of Ayn Rand adds two chapters that provide in-depth analysis of the most complete transcripts to date documenting Rand’s education at Petrograd State University. It includes a new preface that places the book in the context of Sciabarra’s own research and the recent expansion of interest in Rand’s beliefs. And finally, this edition adds a postscript that answers a recent critic of Sciabarra’s historical work on Rand. Shoshana Milgram, Rand’s biographer, has tried to cast doubt on Rand’s own recollections of having studied with the famous Russian philosopher N. O. Lossky. Sciabarra shows that Milgram’s analysis fails to cast doubt on Rand’s recollections—or on Sciabarra’s historical thesis.
“From the eighteenth century's preserved monsters to the twenty-first century's images of zoo polar bear Knut, the authors of Animals on Display foreground representations: not as transparent or objective acts but as visible and palpable forces working at micro and macro levels to shape cultural understandings and relationships to animals.”Learn More »
“Thomas Rzeznik's remarkable exploration of religion and wealth in Gilded Age and Progressive Era America combines unprecedented breadth and sophistication with a Philadelphia focus that speaks for America while still retaining the Quaker city's unique flavor. Smoothly written and deftly researched, Church and Estate is one of the few books to describe Protestants, Catholics, Jews, wealth, and religion together, and it brings fresh life to controversial facets of American religion that often still echo discordantly today.”Learn More »
“Laurinda Dixon brilliantly illuminates melancholy, the dark mental condition, which was both feared and sought by artists and writers in early modern Europe. Her comprehensive history insightfully explores social attitudes about creativity and madness in art, literature, and medicine.”Learn More »
“Peter Iver Kaufman examines in impressive detail the religious soil in which Shakespeare's plays flourish. By offering an expert survey of an immensely complex terrain, this book will serve those who want to scrutinize the religious discourses embedded in the plays. This book is significant, then, for Shakespearean scholars, for scholars of early modern English non-Shakespearean drama, and for historians of the English Reformation.”Learn More »
“Magic in the Cloister offers a fascinating picture of learned monks reading and even putting into practice magical texts that were kept in the library of their monastery. St Augustine's, Canterbury, offered not only a haven for prayer but also a laboratory for occult activity.”Learn More »
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Studies in American Jewish Literature is dedicated to publishing work analyzing the place, representation, and circulation of Jews and Jewishness in American literatures, and to serving as a venue for theorizing, as broadly and intensely as possible, the ways in which it makes sense to talk about identity in literature. We understand this commitment to aesthetic inquiry as uncontained by any particular methodological, ideological, categorical, or national project, and we remain open to new work that seeks to interrogate the relationships between writing, reading, genres, histories, technologies, and thinking. We hope to publish special issues at least semi-regularly.
Founded in 1966, Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities is one of the oldest and most distinctive interdisciplinary centers in the nation. Over the past fifty years, major American universities have created dozens of advanced research institutes in the humanities and/or centers for the fine and performing arts, but because the arts and humanities are almost always housed in different colleges with different administrative structures, most universities have kept their arts and humanities centers separate. Penn State, by contrast, is one of a handful of universities whose interdisciplinary institute was designed from the outset to bring together innovative work in the arts and humanities-under one roof, across two colleges.
As a result, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities spans disciplines that range from philosophy to music, from history to dance, from comparative literature to landscape architecture. The structural division between the arts and humanities at most American universities is significant-and would baffle and vex almost any artist or scholar from eras that predate the rise of the research university. Plato and Aristotle would not understand why philosophy is so distant from music on the university's organizational chart, nor would William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson understand why the English department and the School of Theatre have so little cross-programming and intellectual exchange. The IAH is committed to challenging this curious and counterproductive division of labor by involving artists and humanists in every kind of discussion and debate about what it means-and what it has meant-to be human.