New Books: Liminality, Hybridity, and American Women’s Literature Thresholds in Women’s Writing (2015 SSAWW Conference)

Editors:  Kristin J. Jacobson, Kristin Allukian,  Rickie-Anne Legleitner, and Leslie Allison

Liminality, Hyrbridity, & American Women’s Literature: Thresholds in Women’s Writing

Palgrave Macmillan, 2018



This book is available in print and digital formats:

This collection grows out of the 2015 SSAWW Conference and is dedicated to the Society for the Study of American Women Writers and conference organizers, Rita Bode, Dick Ellis, Beth Lueck, Miranda Green-Barteet, Leslie Allison, and Rickie-Ann Legleitner.

This book highlights the multiplicity of American women’s writing related to liminality and hybridity from its beginnings to the contemporary moment. Often informed by notions of crossing, intersectionality, transition, and transformation, these concepts as they appear in American women’s writing contest as well as perpetuate exclusionary practices involving class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sex, among other variables. The collection’s introduction, three unit introductions, fourteen individual essays, and afterward facilitate a process of encounters, engagements, and conversations within, between, among, and across the rich polyphony that constitutes the creative acts of American women writers. The contributors offer fresh perspectives on canonical writers as well as introduce readers to new authors. As a whole, the collection demonstrates American women’s writing is “threshold writing,” or writing that occupies a liminal, hybrid space that both delimits borders and offers enticing openings.


New Books: Iola Leroy, edited by Koritha Mitchell

Edited by: Koritha Mitchell

Novel by Frances E. W. Harper

Iola Leroy; or Shadows Uplifted

Broadview Press, 2018

This book is available in print and digital formats:

Frances Harper’s fourth novel follows the life of the beautiful, light-skinned Iola Leroy to tell the story of black families in slavery, during the Civil War, and after Emancipation. Iola Leroy adopts and adapts three genres that commanded significant audiences in the nineteenth century: the sentimental romance, the slave narrative, and plantation fiction. Written by the foremost black woman activist of the nineteenth century, the novel sheds light on the movements for abolition, public education, and voting rights through a compelling narrative.

This edition engages the latest research on Harper’s life and work and offers ways to teach these major moments in United States history by centering the experiences of African Americans. The appendices provide primary documents that help readers do what they are seldom encouraged to do: consider the experiences and perspectives of people who are not white. The Introduction traces Harper’s biography and the changing critical perspectives on the novel. (Description from Broadview Press)

New Books: Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements by Abigail G. H. Manzella

Abigail G. H. Manzella

Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements

The Ohio State University Press, 2018.

The book is available in hardback, paper, and digital editions:

Migrating Fictions analyzes the role of race, gender, and citizenship in the major internal displacements of the twentieth century in history and in narrative. Surveying the particular tactics employed by the United States during the Great Migration, the Dust Bowl, the Japanese American incarceration, and the migrant labor of the Southwest, Abigail G. H. Manzella reveals how the country’s past is imbued with governmentally (en)forced movements that diminished access to full citizenship rights for the laboring class, people of color, and women.

This work is the first book-length study to examine all of these movements together along with their literature, including Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Sanora Babb’s Whose Names Are Unknown, Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine, Helena María Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, and Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. Manzella shows how the United States’ history of spatial colonization within its own borders extends beyond isolated incidents into a pattern based on ideology about nation-building, citizenship, and labor. This book seeks to theorize a Thirdspace, an alternate location for social justice that acknowledges the precarity of the internally displaced person.

New Books: Learning Legacies: Archive to Action through Women’s Cross-Cultural Teaching by Sarah Robbins

Robbins, Sarah Ruffing. Learning Legacies: Archive to Action through Women’s Cross-Cultural Teaching.

University of Michigan Press, 2017.

The book is available in hardback, paper, and digital editions:

Learning Legacies spotlights women writer-educators of the past whose stories can inspire community building today. One chapter highlights work by African American teachers and students from Spelman College. Another revisits settlement house collaborative learning in urban Chicago. Robbins also honors Native women educators’ nurturing models. Overall, Learning Legacies  shows readers women’s leadership in American education and in writing about that vital work.​

New Books: Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay: An Annotated Edition. Edited by Timothy F. Jackson, with an Introduction by Holly Peppe

millaySelected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay: An Annotated Edition
Edited by Timothy F. Jackson, with an Introduction by Holly Peppe

Yale University Press, 2016.

In this authoritative volume, Timothy F. Jackson has compiled and annotated a new selection that represents the full range of her published work alongside previously unpublished manuscript excerpts, poems, prose, and correspondence. The poems, appearing as they were printed in their first editions, are complemented by Jackson’s extensive, illuminating notes, which draw on archival sources and help situate her work in its historical and literary context. Two introductory essays—one by Jackson and the other by Millay’s literary executor, Holly Peppe—also help critically frame the poet’s work.

New Books: Native Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence by Stephanie J. Fitzgerald

nativeNative Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence.
Stephanie J. Fitzgerald

Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015

Winner of the 2015 Woodcraft Circle Honor and Award for Best Academic Book and just recently, the Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies (awarded by the Native American Literature Symposium).

New Books: Emotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy by Melanie V. Dawson

emotionalEmotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy

Melanie V. Dawson
University of Michigan Press, 2015
Focusing on representational approaches to emotion during the years of American literary realism’s dominance and in the works of such authors as Edith Wharton, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, W. D. Howells, Charles Chesnutt, and others, Emotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy contends that emotional representations were central to the self-conscious construction of high realism (in the mid-1880s) and to the interrogation of its boundaries. Based on realist-era authors’ rejection of “sentimentalism” and its reduction of emotional diversity (a tendency to stress what Karen Sanchez-Eppler has described as sentimental fiction’s investment in “overcoming difference”), Melanie Dawson argues that realist-era investments in emotional detail were designed to confront differences of class, gender, race, and circumstance directly. She explores the ways in which representational practices that approximate scientific methods often led away from scientific theories and rejected rigid attempts at creating emotional taxonomies. She argues that ultimately realist-era authors demonstrated a new investment in individuated emotional histories and experiences that sought to honor all affective experiences on their own terms.