The National Endowment for the Humanities announced its annual research fellowships on Dec. 14, 2015, and Professor Trysh Travis of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research was on the list. She has received an NEH research fellowship for calendar year 2017 for a new book project, Reading Matters: Books, Bookmen, and the Creation of Mid-Century American Liberalism, 1930-1980.

At its most basic, Reading Matters is an institutional history examining the publishing industry’s efforts to modernize its rather Victorian business practices and align them with the new media and policy landscape taking shape at mid-century. Against this backdrop, the book explores the professional identity of the publishers who liked to call themselves “bookmen” and charts their struggles for cultural authority in an increasingly technocratic world. One way in which they bid for that authority was to cast themselves as stewards of democracy, using books and reading to safeguard the nation against the sinister illiberalisms of the period – fascism, communism, and “the mass mind.” The book also will explore the way publishers and publishing contributed to the distinctive liberal culture (and institutions) of the post-war United States.

Trysh Travis talks with three students in a classroom
Trysh Travis talks with students

Professor Travis is a literary and cultural historian of the 20th-century U.S., studying the gendered history of the book with a focus on reading communities and the publishing industry. Her first book, The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in fall 2009. Her writings on radical feminist publishing, contemporary spirituality, and popular culture have appeared in journals like Book History, American Quarterly, and Men and Masculinities, as well as in publications like The Chronicle of Higher Education and Bitch magazine.​​​​​​​

book cover for Early Medieval Chinese Texts

Early Medieval Chinese Texts

Cynthia L Chennault
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

A guide to primary sources that date from China’s early medieval period (late third through sixth centuries) and to later anthologies or reference works concerning them. Ninety-three essays, arranged alphabetically by title, discuss authorship, contents, history of editions, traditional commentaries and assessments, modern scholarship, and translations.

Available for purchase

 

 

book cover for China

Animation in China: History, Aesthetics, Media

Sean Macdonald
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

By the turn of the 21st century, animation production has grown to thousands of hours a year in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Despite this, and unlike American blockbuster productions and the diverse genres of Japanese anime, much animation from the PRC remains relatively unknown.

This book is an historical and theoretical study of animation in the PRC. Although the Wan Brothers produced the first feature length animated film in 1941, the industry as we know it today truly began in the 1950s at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio (SAFS), which remained the sole animation studio until the 1980s. Considering animation in China as a convergence of the institutions of education, fine arts, literature, popular culture, and film, the book takes comparative approaches that link SAFS animation to contemporary cultural production including American and Japanese animation, Pop Art, and mass media theory. Through readings of classic films such as Princess Iron Fan, Uproar in Heaven, Princess Peacock, and Nezha Conquers the Dragon King, this study represents a revisionist history of animation in the PRC as a form of “postmodernism with Chinese characteristics.”

As a theoretical exploration of animation in the People’s Republic of China, this bookwill appeal greatly to students and scholars of animation, film studies, Chinese studies, cultural studies, political and cultural theory.

Available for purchase
More Information

 

 

book cover for The Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus. Studies on a Thessalian Country Shrine

The Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus. Studies on a Thessalian Country Shrine

Robert S. Wagman
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers (Brill Studies in Greek an Roman Epigraphy 6)
Department of Classics

Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus is the first book-length study of one of Greece’s most cited nymph sanctuaries. The volume includes a revised catalog, extensive new commentaries on the cave’s famous inscriptions, and a first-time investigation of the site’s topographical and archaeological layout.

Also known as Alogopati or Karapla cave, the Pharsalian shrine holds a special place among ancient nymph caves as the only such site to feature an inscribed poetic chronicle of the shrine’s foundation and its founder, the mysterious nymph worshipper Pantalces. Based on years of fieldwork and archival research, Cave of the Nymphs challenges some commonly held views about the origin of this rock-cut ‘tale’ and offers a fresh perspective for understanding the Pharsalian cave in its proper historical context.

Available for purchase