College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet
http://www.usask.ca/ Home

Research in the Department of English

Recently Published Books in the Department of English: Archive


 A Richer Dust: Family, Memory and the Second World War

Robert Calder
Viking Penguin, 2004

From Viking Penguin: When Captain Ken Calder returned home to Canada after five years of fighting in WWII, the last thing he expected to find was another man living with his wife. Three weeks later, the Saskatchewan soldier mailed a suicide note to his closest wartime buddy and took his own life. Fifty years later, Calder's two nephews finally got to read that note.

In A Richer Dust, author Robert Calder uses his uncle's wartime journal and letters, as well as newspaper accounts and military memoirs to vividly recreate the horrendous battlefield conditions in Italy and Holland. Amid bombs and artillery fire, amid seas of mud and endless rain, soldiers kept alive a vision of home and hearth to keep them going. In Ken Calder's case, as in many other instances, that vision proved to be an illusion. A Richer Dust explores the profound effect that the suicide had on Captain Calder's parents, the brother whose alcoholism led to his being institutionalized, and the two boys who grew up idealizing their soldier uncle. It is a powerful exploration of a case of unrecognized post-traumatic stress and a profoundly moving account of war and its aftermath.


 Beware the British Serpent: The Role of Writers in British Propaganda in the United States, 1939-1945

Robert Calder
Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004

From McGill-Queen's: During World War II, the United States was the target of what Gore Vidal has called "the largest, most intricate and finally most successful conspiracy directed at it in the twentieth century" - Great Britain's "vast conspiracy to manoeuvre an essentially isolationist country into the war." In Beware the British Serpent Robert Calder examines British writers' involvement in this propaganda campaign, including lecturing and touring in the United States, broadcasting on American radio, writing screenplays for films such as Mrs. Miniver and This Above All, and writing articles and books for publication in America.

Using newly uncovered archival material, Calder offers provocative new insights into the war work of more than forty prominent British authors, focusing particularly on Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, H.G. Wells, Vera Brittain, and J.B. Priestley. He provides a comprehensive analysis of the suspicions beneath the wartime Anglo-American alliance and describes the tensions that arose between the British Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office over the nature and direction of the propaganda campaign in the United States.Calder demonstrates that Britain's well-organized propaganda campaign in the United States to persuade it to enter World War I had left isolationist and Anglophobic Americans highly suspicious of anything that hinted of propaganda. Any effort to influence public opinion had therefore to be carefully and subtly undertaken, and the British Government soon realised that well-known authors - employed officially or semi-officially - were ideal for the task. Respected for their pens, they were especially suited to reminding Americans of their strongest links with Britain - a common language and a shared cultural heritage of Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Hardy, Thackeray, and others. As well, their profession had often led them to tour, speak, write, and live in America, and, because they could live on their royalties and speaking fees, they were not on the payroll of the British government and thus could not be identified as paid foreign agents.


 'Full of all knowledg': George Herbert's Country Parson and Early Modern Social Discourse

Ron Cooley
University of Toronto Press, 2004

George Herbert is best known as a seventeenth-century sacred poet, often associated with such writers as John Milton and John Donne, but it is Herbert's portrait of an idealized rural clergyman in The Country Parson which perhaps best shows Herbert's engagement in a wide range of complex social debates. In Full of all knowledg, Ronald Cooley examines the 1632 pastoral manual through four distinct lenses, each representing the perspective of a particular historical sub-specialty: church history, the history of the 'learned professions' (law and medicine), local and agricultural history, and the history of the patriarchal nuclear family.

Cooley argues that in Herbert's portrait of the clergyman who is 'full of all knowledge,' and who counsels parishioners on matters of faith, law, health, agriculture, and family obligation, Herbert engages with contemporary cultural and social ideals, and offers today's scholar a unique opportunity for synthetic literary-historical study. Through his investigation of The Country Parson and a selection of Herbert's later poems, Cooley shows how traditionalist rhetoric and appeals to customary wisdom facilitated innovative practices in agricultural, professional, social, and domestic affairs, and he provides new illumination of the mental and material world of the seventeenth century cleric and poet. In positioning George Herbert as a spokesman for a legal-rational social order, and in placing The Country Parson in its cultural milieu, Cooley reveals a new dimension to Herbert's work and provides a valuable tool for future study of Herbert and seventeenth-century culture and history.


 Deformity: An Essay, by William Hay

Kathleen James Cavan, Editor
No 92. ELS Monograph Series, 2004


 The Yard of Wit: Male Creativity and Sexuality, 1650-1750

Raymond Stephanson
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004

From U Penn Press: Literary composition is more than an intellectual affair. Poetry has long been said to spring from the heart, while aspiring writers are frequently encouraged to write "from the gut." Still another formulation likens the poetic imagination to the pregnant womb, in spite of the fact that most poets historically have been male. Offering a rather different set of arguments about the forces that shape creativity, Raymond Stephanson examines how male writers of the Enlightenment imagined the origins, nature, and structures of their own creative impulses as residing in their virility. For Stephanson, the links between male writing, the social contexts of masculinity, and the male body—particularly the genitalia—played a significant role in the self-fashioning of several generations of male authors.

Positioning sexuality as a volatile mechanism in the development of creative energy, The Yard of Wit explains why male writers associated their authorial work—both the internal site of creativity and its status in public—with their genitalia and reproductive and erotic acts, and how these gestures functioned in the new marketplace of letters. Using the figure and writings of Alexander Pope as a touchstone, Stephanson offers an inspired reading of an important historical convergence, a double commodification of male creativity and of masculinity as the sexualized male body.


 The Future of the Page

Peter Stoicheff, Editor (with Andrew Taylor, University of Ottawa)
University of Toronto Press, 2004

From U of T Press: The most basic unit of the physical book is the page. It has determined the historical evolution of the book, the types of information communicated, and how the audience accesses that information.

Unique and rewarding in both its scope and approach, The Future of the Page is a collection of essays that presents the best of recent critical theory on the history and future of the page and its enormous influence on Western thought and culture. Spanning the centuries between the earliest record of the page and current computerized conceptions of page-like entities, the essays examine the size of the page, its relative dimensions, materials, design, and display of information.

The page is broadly defined, allowing the volume to explore topics ranging from medieval manuscripts to non-European alternatives to the page, Algonquin symbolic literacy, and hypertext. This thought-provoking collection will appeal to literary scholars, book historians, graphic designers, and those interested in the impact of evolving print technologies on intellectual and cultural life.

Menu

Department of English Research

Recent Awards

Research Links

Research Chairs

 

Department of English

Department of English
319 Arts Building
University of Saskatchewan
9 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A5
Canada

Phone: 306.966.1268
Email: english.department@usask.ca