Series of the Month: Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series

Ninteenth Century Series titles

We are launching a new blog series each month which will highlight one of our book series and feature a short Q&A with its editor. The first spotlight is on Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series, a collection that fosters connections between areas including history, science, religion and literary theory. The general editor of this series is Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Professor of English Literature at University of Oxford. He recently spoke to us about the series, proposals and writers who deserve more recognition.

What are the aims of this series, and who is the desired audience?

Nineteenth Century LiteratureRobert Douglas-Fairhurst: The main aim of this series is to find new ways of exploring and thinking about nineteenth-century literature and culture. That’s a challenging task, and in practice it means that we try to introduce our readers to unexpected cross-sections in the period, surveys of unjustly neglected genres, and original insights into more familiar authors and topics. We don’t have an exclusively academic audience in mind. Most readers are likely to be teachers, researchers, or students, but we also hope that our books will be written in the sort of accessible style that will appeal to anyone with an interest in widening their intellectual horizons.

What are the qualities you look for in a proposal?

RDF: The proposals that excite me are those that have clearly been written by someone who is similarly excited by the ideas they want to share with a wider readership. Some proposals are too narrow, and others are impossibly broad; the ideal project is one that can be explored thoroughly (if not exhaustively) within the limits of a single book. Beyond expertise in the subject area – we receive excellent advice on this from our team of peer reviewers – the other key feature I always look for is the writer’s style. Can they communicate effectively? Is their critical prose a pleasure to read rather than a chore? Would anyone other than the writer’s immediate family and friends actually want to read their book?

What are your current research interests / current projects?

RDF: I’ve just written a book on the creation and cultural aftermath of Alice in Wonderland, The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland, published by Harvill Secker in the UK and Harvard University Press in the USA. It was featured on Start the Week and BBC Breakfast, and was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Simon Russell Beale; it was also the main source for a 60-minute BBC2 documentary on ‘The Secret Life of Lewis Carroll’ on which I worked as the historical advisor. Inevitably that has involved quite a lot of publicity work – most recently I contributed an essay to the programme for Damon Albarn’s new musical wonder.land – and when that has finished my next project is a critical edition of A Tale of Two Cities for Norton. After that, who knows.

What topic would you like to see the series cover?

RDF: I think the series already covers an excellent mixture of topics, from Jane Austen to sensation fiction and science. However, I am always on the lookout for further high-quality monographs on individual authors, and book proposals that focus on the detailed workings of writing itself – genre, form, style – would be especially welcome.

Who is a nineteenth-century writer deserving of more academic recognition?

RDF: Good question. One of the big movements in the past 30 or 40 years has been to recover a number of authors who had sunk into obscurity. Much of that work – such as Christopher Ricks’s edition of James Henry’s idiosyncratic Victorian poetry – has been just and admirable. The only question that occasionally lingers over it is whether all the writers necessarily deserved to be brought back to life. I suppose my hope is that in the future some of energy that has hitherto been devoted to expanding the canon might also be given to widening our understanding of authors who by contrast have suffered through sheer familiarity. Many are far stranger than we tend to think.

We welcome submissions of proposals for challenging and original works that meet the criteria of Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series. Should you wish to send in a proposal for a new series or one of the following types of works — Monographs (mid-length and full-length), Edited Collections, Handbooks, Reference, Upper-Level Textbooks, Academic Non-Fiction — please contact us at: proposal@anthempress.com

New Australian Studies Titles Roundup!

After the success of this month’s Global Digital Humanities conference held in Sydney, Australia, we want to highlight some of our most recent releases in the Australian Studies field. New Anthem series include Anthem Studies in Australian Literature and Anthem Studies in Australian Politics, Economics and Society. Some of the most innovative research in Australian studies is being done by scholars in fields including literature, history, new media and digital cultures, and cultural studies and indigenous studies.

9781783083978Patrick White Beyond the Grave
(15 August 2015)
Edited by Ian Henderson and Anouk Lang

Patrick White (1912–1990) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 and remains one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. This book represents new work by an outstanding list of White scholars from around the globe. This collection of diverse and original essays is notable for its acknowledgement of White’s homosexuality in relation to the development of his literary style, in its consideration of the way his writing ‘works’ on/with readers, and for its contextualizing of his life and oeuvre in relation to London and to London life.

9781783084036Christos Tsiolkas and the Fiction of Critique: Politics, Obscenity, Celebrity
by Andrew McCann

Christos Tsiolkas is one of the most recognizable and internationally successful literary novelists working in Australia today. He is also one of the country’s most politically engaged writers. These terms – recognition, commercial success, political engagement – suggest a relationship to forms of public discourse that belies the extremely confronting nature of much of Tsiolkas’s fiction and his deliberate attempt to cultivate a literary persona oriented to notions of blasphemy, obscenity and what could broadly be called a pornographic sensibility. ‘Christos Tsiolkas and the Fiction of Critique’ traces these contradictions against Tsiolkas’s acute sense of the waning of working-class identity, and reads his work as a sustained examination of the ways in which literature might express an opposition to capitalist modernity.

9781783084012Performing Non-Citizenship: Asylum Seekers in Australian Theatre, Film and Activism
by Emma Cox

This exacting study examines the theatre, film and activism engaged with the representation or participation of asylum seekers and refugees in the twenty-first century. Cox shows how this work has been informed by and indeed contributed to the consolidation of ‘irregular’ noncitizenship as a cornerstone idea in contemporary Australian political and social life, to the extent that it has become impossible to imagine what Australia means without it.

9781783082315_1_1Inside Australia Culture
by Baden Offord, Erika Kerruish, Rob Garbutt, Adele Wessell and Kirsten Pavlovic

‘Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values’ offers a critical intervention into the continuing effects of colonization in Australia and the structures it brought, which still inform and dominate its public culture. Through a careful analysis of three disparate but significant moments in Australian history, the authors investigate the way the British Enlightenment continues to dominate contemporary Australian thinking and values. Employing the lens of Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy, the authors argue for an Australian public culture that is profoundly conscious of its assumptions, history and limitations.

Christos Tsoilkas and ‘Writing for the World’

9781783084036_cov.inddChristos Tsiolkas is one of the most recognizable and internationally successful literary novelists working in Australia today. He is also one of the country’s most politically engaged writers. We recently published Christos and the Fiction of Critique: Politics, Obscenity, Celebrity which offering highly innovative readings and a critical analysis of the writer’s literary success. In the preface to the monograph, author Andrew McCann discusses the difficulty of getting international audiences interested in Australian literature.

According to Tom Shone, Christos Tsiolkas was “plucked from semi-obscurity and set on the literary rock-star track by his fourth novel, The Slap.” This fairly innocuous comment appeared near the opening of a Sunday Times article that Shone had based on an interview with Tsiolkas, conducted in New York in 2010. The setting is important. Shone and Tsiolkas are on the roof deck of the “quirky” and “boutique” Roger Smith Hotel on Lexington Avenue. Tsiolkas is apparently awed by the Manhattan skyline. He is also fiddling with his cell phone and juggling other commitments in a way befitting for someone in the middle of an American book tour.

[…]

The idea of plucking Tsiolkas from “semiobscurity” might have made sense to a British or North American readership, but to anyone who had paid even fleeting attention to the Australian literary scene over the preceding fifteen years, during which time Tsiolkas’s fiction had become a staple of critical discussion, it was likely to be jarring. Nevertheless, the comment did highlight one of the most salient aspects of Tsiolkas’s career: even after the enormous Australian interest generated by his 2005 novel Dead Europe, he had a very limited international profile. In the divide between the local and the global—between the apparently insular Australian market and the market per se—The Slap seemed to appear ex nihilo, and Tsiolkas himself was somehow disembodied and decontextualized in a way that would have been unthinkable to anyone familiar with the political vehemence and visceral extremism of his earlier work.

Scholars are professionally rewarded for working in established, and well trafficked, areas of predominantly British and American literature where relatively large academic constituencies facilitate citation and circulation.

I am dwelling on Shone’s article because it was at the moment I read it that I decided I wanted to write a monograph about Christos Tsiolkas. I had already experienced the difficulty of getting literary and academic communities outside of Australia interested in Australian writers. When I began working in the United States about a decade ago, some of my American colleagues had never heard of Peter Carey. And some had never heard of Patrick White. Confronting this merely reminds one that Australia is still, culturally speaking, a relatively small part of a global, Anglophone formation. From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, its literature tends to be either opaque or invisible. The dynamics of the field of literary studies have not helped. Scholars are professionally rewarded for working in established, and well trafficked, areas of predominantly British and American literature where relatively large academic constituencies facilitate citation and circulation.

At the same time notions of cultural capital in the American liberal arts still orient to traditionally defined periods and the canonical texts that constitute them. Yet as Tsiolkas worked his way along the east coast of the United States, he seemed to be gaining a level of exposure that produced both visibility and a certain kind of legibility. People had heard him interviewed on National Public Radio. He seemed to be topical, and topicality, of course, is one of the things that a critic looks for as a way of justifying a project. But related to this was the feeling that his celebrity was raising some genuinely pressing questions about the fate of radical writing in the era of global capitalism. “I had no idea [The Slap] was going to take me to Lexington Avenue,” Tsiolkas tells Shone. theslap_704“Trying to stand back, I’m interested in why it has proved so popular. I wonder what it says about contemporary writing—can you be popular without being populist?” [1] The composure of the self-questioning in this comment is quite different from the way in which Tsiolkas was speaking about global circulation earlier in his career.

“Writing for the world is exciting, tempting, but I think it is an imperialist dream. There are people who can’t read, people who don’t much want to read, there are people who read in different ways to me.”

A passage from the 1996 Jump Cuts, a series of dialogues with Sasha Soldatow that forms a sort of joint autobiography, seems to question exactly the sort of success Tsiolkas was now experiencing: “Writing for the world is exciting, tempting, but I think it is an imperialist dream. There are people who can’t read, people who don’t much want to read, there are people who read in different ways to me.” [2] The comment echoes one he made at the Melbourne Writers Festival in 1995. Partly reflecting on the distance between his work and the milieu of his Greek-speaking parents, he said,

I do not believe there is a writing that speaks to everyone. I write in English, and my parents cannot read my work. And even if they could, my work is dependent on the cultural practices of queer, of experimental writing, of a popular culture and music which makes little attempt to speak to them. [3]

Of course, coming up with an international bestseller is not “writing for the world,” or producing “writing that speaks to everyone,” but one still cannot help sensing a certain tension between the Sunday Times’s vision of Tsiolkas gazing over the New York skyline, realizing his arrival at the heart of global capitalism, and this earlier distance from a globalizing ambition that seems sufficiently implicit in the act of writing that one might want to disavow it. If there is a tension here—and perhaps there is only the semblance of a tension—it is one that occurs outside the ambit of authorial control or agency.

[1] Shone, “Novel of the Year? Get Ready for The Slap,” 11.

[2] Sasha Soldatow and Christos Tsiolkas, Jump Cuts: An Autobiography (Milsons Point, NSW:Random House, 1996), 282.

[3] Quoted in Ian Syson, “Smells Like Market Spirit: Grunge, Literature, Australia,” Overland 142 (Autumn 1996): 22.

New Book Spotlight: “A Guide to Trade Credit Insurance”

We recently published A Guide to Trade Credit Insurance as part of our Finance and Banking publishing programme. This release comes on the heels of a forthcoming series on alternative asset investing and a major book project on business modelling.

A Guide to Trade Credit Insurance is a compact volume presents an approachable but detailed guide written by industry experts from an international perspective. Topics they address include the credit process from the initial application sage to the expiration phase of the policy. The book offers practical information on the history of trade, the need for protection against trade credit risks, and a short term credit focus.

9781783084821

Anthem Press Prize at the 2015 Global Digital Humanities Conference

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From 29 June-3 July 2015, the University of Western Sydney will host the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations’ (ADHO) annual conference. This year in Sydney marks the first occasion the 26-year-old conference will not take place in Europe or North America. Times Higher Education has named the University of Western Sydney one of the best universities under the age of 50, and the university is home to Australia’s inaugural chair in Digital Humanities.

Keynote speakers at Global Digital Humanities 2015 are Genevieve Bell, vice president and fellow at Intel, Jeffrey T. Schnapps, cultural historian and faculty at Harvard University, and Tim Sherratt, a digital historian and cultural data hacker who manages Trove at the National Library of Australia.

At the conference, the Anthem Press Prize will be awarded to the best poster as judged by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations Award Committee. The prize will be announced during the closing ceremonies. We will also be displaying featured titles.

The Anthem Scholarship in the Digital Age series investigates the global impact of technology and computing on knowledge and society. Tracing transformations in communication, learning and research, the groundbreaking titles in this series demonstrate the far-reaching effects of the digital revolution across disciplines, cultures and languages.

Recent titles in Anthem’s digital age series include Belinda Barnet’s Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext, Katherine Bode’s Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field, and Michael Bhaskar’s The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network.

‘Green Growth, Smart Growth’: Q&A with Ralf Fücks

9781783084739_hi-resRalf Fücks’ Green Growth, Smart Growth, with a foreword by Anthony Giddens, is released today in English. Green Growth, Smart Growth draws on the German policy experience of tackling climate change and outlines a positive way forward using science, technology and democracy. Fücks is the current president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and he has written widely on environment policy and political economy. In this brief Q&A, Fücks shares his thoughts on achieving ‘green growth’.

In the introduction to Green Growth, Smart Growth, you talk about how ‘the growth debate is experiencing a renaissance’. What do you think is mainly responsible for this renaissance?

There’s a mix of different motives and considerations at play. First, there is a sense of alarm that the current growth model is driving us into environmental disaster. The basic belief—that economic growth will lead to rising living standards and well being of the broad majority of people—is eroding. In fact, in most western societies, a small minority at the top of the social ladder monopolize the benefits of growth. Last but not least, young academics feel disaffected by the commandments of ‘turbocapitalism’: ever increasing performance demands, high speed, total flexibility, etc.

4069341120_7eddee80dd_bWhat are the main obstacles to achieving ‘green growth, smart growth’?

Basically, the concept of ‘green growth’ is cast into question by powerful players in politics and business, and, ironically, by the environmental community. For them, sustainability and growth are mutually exclusive. Therefore, they either go for growth regardless of the environmental consequences, or they oppose economic growth in the sake of the planet. So we have to convince all three of them—policy makers, business people and green activists—that you don’t have to choose between economic prosperity and a healthy environment. In addition to that, there are of course powerful vested interests involved, especially ‘Big Coal’ and ‘Big Oil’, who see their business model at risk. Like every revolution, the green industrial revolution is about structural change, and the profiteers from the status quo are trying to defend their special interests.

In the book, you list the key elements of the approaching Green revolution which include ‘a revolution in efficiency’, ‘zero waste, zero emissions’, ‘agricultural greening’ and ‘sustainable mobility’. What can the average person do in order to support these efforts?

Of course every one of us should and can be an agent for change. We can change our eating habits, replace our private cars with public transport, biking and car2go, and watch out for environment-friendly products. But I won’t shift all the responsibility to the private individual. Policy and technical innovation matter even more.

Did your position as Green Party politician influence how you wrote Green Growth, Smart Growth?

The main experience that influenced the way I think is the global perspective I gained from joining the Heinrich Böll Foundation—a green think tank and international policy network—almost twenty years ago. We’re active in around about 60 countries around the globe and we work not only with partners from civil society, think tanks, environmental activists, but also with protagonists from politics and the business community. From the sum of these experiences, I perhaps got a sharper sense of global challenges we’re facing as well as grasped the possibilities for a solution. I’m worried, but I’m not pessimistic. ‘Yes we can!’—this is the message I want to convey with my book.

Green Growth, Smart Growth is out now. 

Visit the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s site for additional thoughts from Ralf Fücks.