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Research & Innovation

Research in the arts and humanities represents a range of disciplines and distinctive modes of knowledge and methods that result in articles and books, ideas, exhibitions, performances, artifacts and more. This deliberate and dedicated work generates deep insights into the multi-faceted people and cultures of the world, past and present.
Whether individual or collaborative, funded or unfunded, our faculty are leading national networks and conferences, providing research frameworks, engaging students, traversing international archives and making significant contributions to UMD's research enterprise.

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Form Fitted: Postcolonial Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics

Forthcoming.

English

Author/Lead: Sangeeta Ray
Dates:

Form Fitted: Postcolonial Aesthetics, Ethics, Politics.

Forthcoming.

South Asian "Refugee" Fiction and Film: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Suffering

In progress.

English

Author/Lead: Sangeeta Ray
Dates:

South Asian "Refugee" Fiction and Film:  The Poetics and Aesthetics of Suffering.

In progress.

“Medieval Posthumanism"

As the era preceding the articulation of what has come to be known as humanism, the European Middle Ages offer a variety of vantage points from which to trouble present certainties.

English

Author/Lead: Alan Montroso
Dates:
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Palgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism, ed. Stefan Herbrechter et al., forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.

The medieval period does not prefigure posthumanism as much as it reveals, according to the editors of the inaugural issue of the journal postmedieval, the many “ways in which bodies (human and non-human) and the world have always been emerging together out of various dynamic material processes and fields of interpretation”.

Read more about the article here.

Bad Humour: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Forthcoming

English

Author/Lead: Kimberly Coles
Dates:

Bad Humour: Race and Religious Essentialism in Early Modern England specifically appraises how early modern science, or natural philosophy, is applied to the racialization of people who are expelled from the faith as religious outsiders. English colonial activities were largely directed against other Christians. But the violence of the colonial project could not be effected against members of the same faith. These members—Irish Catholics, Spanish Catholics, converted Africans and Amerindians—had to be forcibly evicted. Of course, this is problematic as the doctrine of Christianity, in particular Pauline Christianity, insisted that all who were baptized in the spirit were incorporated in the faith. Early modern medical theory bound together psyche and soma in mutual influence. By the end of the sixteenth century, there is a general acceptance that the soul’s condition, as a consequence of religious belief or its absence, could be manifest in the humoral composition of the physical body. This book charts the process whereby religious error, first resident in the body, becomes marked on the skin.

The Cultural History of Race in the Renaissance and Early Modern Age (1350-1550)

London: Bloomsbury Publishing, Forthcoming October 2021

English

Author/Lead: Kimberly Coles
Dates:

Ed. Kimberly Anne Coles and Dorothy Kim

The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

The absorbing narrative of Frederick Douglass’s heated struggle with President Andrew Johnson reveals a new perspective on Reconstruction’s demise.

English

Author/Lead: Robert S. Levine
Dates:

When Andrew Johnson rose to the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, African Americans were optimistic that Johnson would pursue aggressive federal policies for Black equality. Just a year earlier, Johnson had cast himself as a “Moses” for the Black community. Frederick Douglass, the country’s most influential Black leader, increasingly doubted the president was sincere in supporting Black citizenship. In a dramatic meeting between Johnson and a Black delegation at the White House, the president and Douglass came to verbal blows over the fate of Reconstruction. Their animosity only grew as Johnson sought to undermine Reconstruction and conciliate leaders of the former Confederate states.

Learn more about The Failed Promise.

“A Tale for Two Readers: Joseph Conrad’s ‘The Tale’”

The Conradian

English

Author/Lead: Tung-An Wei
Dates:

Forthcoming.

“Bombs and Bomb Makers: Realism, The Association of Small Bombs and the post-9/11 novel”

From Studies in the Novel

English

Author/Lead: Sangeeta Ray
Dates:

Forthcoming, special issue on Post-9 11 fiction, June 2021. 

"For a Time and Race Unraveling: Shifting Imaginaries and Covert Resistance in Postracial Dystopias”

The Routledge Handbook of Alternative Futurisms

English

Author/Lead: Alexandria "Andy" Nunn
Dates:

Edited by Grace Dillon, Isiah Lavender III & Taryne Taylor, Routledge Books.

This essay explores the complicated visions of alternative postracial futures in N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and Chang-Ra Lee’s On Such a Full Sea; wherein race, as we recognize and represent it in our current trajectory, is dismantled, renamed, and reshaped to suit a different human society. This is not to say that these societies feature no racial distinctions, but rather that the legible signifiers we recognize in real-world constructions of race are ‘re-raced’ (made illegible in light of new signifiers) for the fictional alternative. I compare Lee’s subtle framing of unnamed difference with Jemisin’s explicit reframing of caste order, and argue that both authors invoke experiences of oppression and injustice to gesture to the impossibility of a postracial utopia while still suggesting the potential for new, as-yet unrecognizable racial categories.

“Conference Report: SFRA 2019”

Fantastika, Vol. 4, no. 2

English

Author/Lead: Alexandria "Andy" Nunn
Dates:

The 2019 Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) annual conference was a reorientation of the field’s priorities, interrogating the significance of putting indigeneity and indigenous theory at the centre of SF literary critique. Moreover, the conference insisted that indigeneity never belonged out of the limelight, and perhaps never quite left the hearts and minds of those writers and readers that shaped past and present works. It is this attentiveness to history and eagerness for transformation which gave rise to the conference theme, 'Facing the Future, Facing the Past: Colonialism, Indigeneity, and SF’.