Kovach, Elizabeth; Nünning, Ansgar; Polland, Imke (eds.)
Literature and Crises
Conceptual Explorations and Literary Negotiations
This volume on the interfaces of the concepts ‘literature’ and ‘crises’ presents analyses of how literary works articulate, negotiate, and challenge states and notions of crisis. It offers theorizations and exemplary analyses of both historical and contemporary relationships between literature and crises – including economic, environmental, political, social, cultural, and humanitarian crises as well as crises of identity, norms, values, and literary expression itself. A driving thesis is that literary and other cultural negotiations of crises can open up alternative ways of thinking and doing, supplying us with narratives and aesthetic experiences that do not simply reflect but also reframe our conceptions and enactments of crisis.
By presenting case studies of works ranging from the 17th-century history play to social-media life writing of the 21st century, the volume conveys a sense of how literature offers diverse and nuanced perspectives on various cultures in/of crisis that often challenge those promulgated by, for instance, the mainstream media. Literary discourse can provide frameworks in which both past and current ‘ages of crises’ must not only be conceived of as periods of fear, danger, and anxiety but also as moments that contain the productive potential to disrupt and transform hegemonic discourses and assumptions.
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ISBN 978-3-86821-741-4, 298 S., 6 Abb., kt., € 36,50 (2017)