#MLA17 – Scholars Making a Difference

The following individuals are scholars who are making a difference with their outstanding scholarly and community contributions. Check out their books at the Cambria booth (#509) in the #MLA17 book exhibit hall.

Top row (left to right): Paul Manfredi (Pacific Lutheran University), Mabel Moraña (Washington University in St. Louis), Christopher Lupke (University of Alberta), E. K. Tan (Stony Brook University), and Alison Groppe (University of Oregon).

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Bottom row (left to right): Susan Lever (University of Sydney), Christian Rubio (Bentley University), Wendy Larson (University of Oregon), John Clum (Duke University), and Mark Bender (The Ohio State University).

Scholars Making a Difference

Paul Manfredi

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Paul Manfredi is Chair of Chinese Studies Program at Pacific Lutheran University and the author of Modern Poetry in China: A Visual-Verbal Dynamic, which has been praised by the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art for being “a very well-written, researched, illustrated and convincingly argued book that will no doubt be read widely among those with a specialist interest in Chinese literature and traditional culture. It is a text that challenges rigid distinctions between the verbal and the visual, not simply through theoretical appeals but also thoroughly grounded historical analysis.” The book includes color images and is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania). *Dr. Manfredi will be at the #MLA17, presiding over the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

Mabel Moraña

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Mabel Moraña is the William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Latin American Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize Winner. Her forthcoming book The Monster as War Machine is part of the Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa (University of Pennsylvania).

Christopher Lupke

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Christopher Lupke is Professor and Chair of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta and the author of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion, which Modern Chinese Literature and Culture notes that “Lupke succeeds brilliantly” because “Lupke not only demonstrates his astute familiarity with Hou Hsiao-hsien scholarship, which he critically engages with throughout the study, but also reveals his intense familiarity with lesser known yet highly insightful details about Hou’s relationship with his collaborators Zhu Tianwen and Wu Nianzhen” and also  because “Lupke further expands the scope of the study by reading Hou’s work in relation to the films of the venerated Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro.” *Dr. Lupke will be at the #MLA17, presenting at the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

E. K. Tan

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E. K. Tan is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University and is the author of the highly acclaimed Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World, which renowned Sinologists David Der-wei Wang and Shu-mei Shih have lauded as “magnificent work” and “conceptually innovative and flawlessly written,” respectively.  The book review by Modern Chinese Literature and Culture notes that Tan’s book is “well-written and researched” and “makes important contributions to Sinophone studies, Chinese studies, and Southeast Asian Studies, as well as to scholarship on diaspora, comparative literature, and world literature.” *Dr. Tan will be at the #MLA17, presenting at the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

Alison Groppe

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Alison Groppe is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at the University of Oregon and the author of Sinophone Malaysian Literature: Not Made in China, which has earned rave reviews in top academic journals. Southeast Asian Studies commends it for “its comprehensive coverage, focused treatment, and lucid exposition”; and the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies praises Groppe’s book because it “provides us with the much-needed basis for further explorations of the literary and cultural landscape of Southeast Asia. This insightful, detailed, and knowledgeable study will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese literature and culture, diasporic literature, and Southeast Asian studies.”

Susan Lever

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Susan Lever (University of Sydney) is general editor of the Cambria Australian Literature series and the author of David Foster: The Satirist of Australia, which was shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Walter McRae Russell Award. Lever’s book is praised by JASAL for being “remarkable in many ways … Lever’s analysis is entertainingly accessible and navigates a path through the extremes of contemporary literary theory to explain Foster’s complex philosophical ideas and stylistic idiosyncrasies.” In addition to her own publications, Dr. Lever has also helped many authors develop their own works under the Cambria Australian Literature series. Many of these books, such as by Shirley Hazzard: : Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist by Brigitta Olubas and Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia by Anne Brewster, have earned outstanding reviews.

Christian Rubio

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Christian Rubio is Associate Professor of Spanish at Bentley University and the author of Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde: The Impact of Philosophy on National Culture. Dr. Salvador A. Oropesa, Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Languages at Clemson University, has praised this new book highly because of how “Rubio argues convincingly that Krausism had a practical effect on everyday life and in literature” and points out that “previous critical work on Krausism has focused on its impact on realism. The novelty of Rubio’s study is that it extends its influence to postrealism movements like modernism (in the Anglo sense of the term), the avant-garde, and women’s right’s literature.” As such, he recommends the book as “a must read for those interested in the influence of Krausism and Kantian philosophy in Spanish culture during the early twentieth century.”

Wendy Larson

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Wendy Larson is professor emerita at the University of Oregon and the author of Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture. Jerome Silbergeld of Princeton University eloquently explains why Larson’s book is so important: “Complex and controversial, the director, cinematographer, and actor Zhang Yimou has defined Chinese film more than anyone else since the ‘opening up’ of China in the early 1980s. But do his films best define the real China or define the difficulty of defining ‘China’ and Chinese culture? Globalization is upon us, contending against nationalism and nationalists, and among other things modernizing Chinese cinema but also Hollywoodizing and de-Sinicizing it. Throughout his career, Zhang Yimou has both de-Sinicized and re-nationalized his Chinese cinema. Larson’s learned and entertaining engagement with Zhang’s evolving cinematic representations of Chinese culture looks at him and his films not only as agents of both hybridizing global forces and patriotic Chinese agendas but also as the product of both. Larson’s book engages readers in an insightful reflection on the significance, the potential, and the limitations of film as cultural production in a constantly changing China.”

John Clum

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John Clum is professor emeritus at Duke University and the general editor of the Cambria Studies in Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series. Dr. Clum’s publications include Terrence McNally and Fifty Years of American Gay Drama; The Works of Arthur Laurents: Politics, Love, and Betrayal; Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing Up Gay; and Gay Drama Now: An Anthology. His books have been praised for their astute examinations of important cultural works and their impact. For example, on his book on Arthur Laurents, Dr. Brenda Murphy, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut, praised it because “in this authoritative and engaging book, John Clum draws on an unparalleled fund of knowledge about the musical theatre and the history of LGBT theatre in America to chronicle Laurents’s importance as a gay playwright writing about gay issues during the twentieth century. He elegantly demonstrates the ways in which Laurents’s writings parallel the momentous changes in the social, cultural, and political status of LGBT people.” Dr. Clum has also helped many authors develop their own works and is extremely active in the theatre scene.

Mark Bender

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Mark Bender is Professor of Chinese literature and folklore at The Ohio State University and the author of The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry. Joni Adamson (Arizona State University) notes that the book “introduces poets whose first language is Chinese, Burmese, Khasi, Nuosu, or Mongolian. But here, their poems can be read in English, which Bender brilliantly wields as a ‘language of interaction.’ In the spirit of myth, these poets introduce us to entangled worlds, from the microscopic to the planetary. They reveal a cosmos of intimate relations between animals, plants, landscapes and waters, and urge us to be cautious about environmental changes taking place at scales that are endangering all life on the planet. This is the first and most authoritative book I have seen on the folk cultures, poetic worlds, and geographies of the Eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, and Southwest China.  It is a sparkling ‘cosmography’ that will immediately become required reading in Chinese and Sinophone literary and cultural studies.”

Check out these #MLA17 events!

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