The Politics of Transparency in Modern American Fiction
Title Details

336 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture

Series Vol. Number: 25

Imprint: Camden House

The Politics of Transparency in Modern American Fiction

Fear, Secrecy, and Exposure

Edited by Paula Martín-Salván and Sascha Pöhlmann

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  • Contents
  • Author
Explores modern and contemporary American literature's contribution to and critique of the newly emerging field of transparency studies

In the twenty-first century, transparency has become an ambiguous buzzword both in the public and the private realms (e.g., Wikileaks and the Snowden affair; social media). This volume takes its cue from the emerging field of transparency studies, recent scholarly work in sociology, political theory, and cultural studies that identifies a hegemonic rhetoric of transparency in public and political life. While scholars in this new field routinely gesture toward literature as the realm where secrecy may be productive, they rarely engage with literature directly, and literary studies itself remains notably absent from their debates. This collection of essays seeks to redress that state of affairs by focusing on literary texts written in an American cultural tradition steeped in the interplay between transparency and exposure, fear and secrecy, security and surveillance, and information and disinformation.
The essays draw on authors ranging from Whitman, James, and Ellison to Pynchon, Morrison, and Eggers to argue that American literature complicates theoretical assumptions about transparency made in other disciplines. They question the field's strong theoretical emphasis on present-day technopolitical practices and discourses as the location of hegemonic discourse on transparency, and instead historicize such phenomena and extend them to discursive spheres that have so far been neglected (such as issues of sexuality and race).

Edited by Paula Martín-Salván and Sascha Pöhlmann. Contributors: Tomasz Basiuk, Jesús Blanco Hidalga, Cristina Chevereșan, Michel Feith, Julián Jiménez Heffernan, Tiina Käkelä, Juan L. Pérez-de-Luque, Umberto Rossi, Jelena Šesnić, Toon Staes, Julia Straub, Alice Sundman.
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Politics of Transparency - Paula Martín-Salván
1. Walt Whitman's Poetry of Intimacy - Sascha Pöhlmann
2. The Lives and Times of Henry James and F.O. Matthiessen: The Neoliberal Transparent Society and Its Liberal Enemies - Julián Jiménez Heffernan
3. The Intelligibility of Coming Out as Gay - Tomasz Basiuk
4. Invisibility and Exposure in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952) and George Schuyler's Black No More (1931) - Michel Feith
5. The Transparency of the Scanner, The Opacity of the Simulacra: The Politics of Vision in Philip K. Dick's Oeuvre - Umberto Rossi
6. "Angrier than thou": Secrecy vs. Exposure in Philip Roth's I Married a Communist - Cristina Chevereșan
7. Political Secrets in William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy - Juan L. Pérez-de-Luque
8. Secrecy and Exposure in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Alice Sundman
9. Something Big and Invisible: Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge and the Limits of Transparency - Tiina Käkelä
10. Narrating the Community in Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel: Story, History, System - Toon Staes
11. Literary Imagination at the Digital Frontier: Dave Eggers's Recent Technological Dystopian Novels - Jelena Šesnić
12. "The Joy of Confession": Narratives of Disclosure in Jonathan Franzen's Crossroads - Jesús Blanco Hidalga
13. Celebrity 2.0: Female Influencer Figures in Contemporary American Fiction - Julia Straub
Notes on Contributors
Index

PAULA MARTÍN-SALVÁN is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Córdoba, Spain.

SASCHA PÖHLMANN is Professor of North American Literature and Culture at TU Dortmund University, Germany.

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Title Details

336 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: European Studies in North American Literature and Culture

Series Vol. Number: 25

Imprint: Camden House