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Emerson for the Twenty-First Century : Global Perspectives on an American Icon, Paperback / softback Book

Emerson for the Twenty-First Century : Global Perspectives on an American Icon Paperback / softback

Edited by Barry Tharaud


While previous collections of Emerson essays have tended to be a sort of 'stock-taking' or 'retrospective' look at Emerson scholarship, the present collection follows a more 'prospective' trajectory for Emerson studies based on the recent increase in global perspectives in nearly all fields of humanistic studies.

The present collection is divided into four main sections: "Emerson, Europe, and Beyond;" "Emerson and Science;" "Emerson Thinking;" "and "Emerson and Activism." The first category emphasizes the global perspective in Emerson's literary and cultural relations, followed closely by two other "transnational" categories - Emerson's relations in the international arenas of science and philosophy - and concluding with the final category, which addresses the end purpose of Emerson's project: fully realized human beings whose actions, directly and indirectly, help to create a society in which individuals are free to develop their capacities fully. Transnational and global perspectives are becoming more recognized and more commonplace in the academy and the world at large.

Evidence for such developing perspectives is not hard to find: national and international conferences, new books, and the increasing university courses and programs in World Literature, all reflect a move toward viewing Emerson and literature in general from broader, more inclusive perspectives.

The first four categories that follow - "Emerson, Europe, and Beyond" - gives us seven perspectives on Emerson's international influence, ranging from Stephen L.

Tanner's gem-like essay on English Traits, to Steve Adisasmito-Smith's trail-blazing Hindu scholarship, to Jan Stievermann's explication of Emerson's vision of "an American World Literature."In the "Emerson and Science" section, four essays range from Michael P.

Branch's examination of Emerson's early lectures on natural science, to Branka Arsic's explorations of science from a broad Emersonian view, to David M.

Robinson's and Laura Walls' very specific essays on Emerson's encounters with the cutting-edge science of his mature period.

In "Emerson Thinking," five scholars examine Emerson's broad thought, which gives evidence of philosophical influence from all times and places through suck topics as human subjectivity and its expression, while George J.

Stack and Mary DiMaria examine Emerson's philosophical similarities to and disparities from the French foundational thinkers of the Postmodern theory revolution in literary studies.

Finally, in the "Emerson and Activism" section, David S.

Reynolds, Len Gougeon, and T. Gregory Garvey examine Emersonian and Transcendental influences on the abolition movement, and Eduardo Cadava expands activism to include more recent "economic oppression and colonialist and racist exclusions," which ultimately can be seen as part of a worldwide post-colonial literary movement and an awareness of the dark side of globalism.

All of these essays to a greater or lesser degree are concerned with influences of literature and thought that are cycled through the individual, the culture, and the global community.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 622 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literature: history & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781611494648



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