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What is a Very Short Introduction?
The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press provides brief, authoritative introductory surveys of topics across subject fields. They represent an excellent starting point in researching an unfamiliar subject area. The titles cited below in call number order are especially relevant to the study of English language and literature.
Very Short Introductions
Call Number: Leisure Reading B841.4.B452002
This Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have led postructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture.
Call Number: Leisure Reading B2430.D484 G54 2011
Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida, arguing that his challenging ideas make a significant contribution to philosophy.
Critical Theory by
Call Number: Leisure Reading HM480 .B76 2011
This Very Short Introduction sheds light on the cluster of concepts and themes that set critical theory apart from its more traditional philosophical competitors. Bronner explains and discusses concepts such as method and agency, alienation and reification, the culture industry and repressive tolerance, non-identity and utopia.
The Avant-Garde by
Call Number: Leisure Reading N6490 .C63 2013 c.3360
In this Very Short Introduction, art historian David Cottington illuminates the concept of the avant-garde, exploring its wider context through the development of western modernity, capitalist culture, and the global impact of both. Cottington looks at the relation between "the avant-garde"--that is, the social entity (the "club")--and "avant-garde" qualities in a work of art (or design, or architecture, or any other cultural product), and he sheds light on the meaning of "avant-gardism."
Call Number: Leisure Reading N6494.M64 B87 2010
n this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butter looks at the many innovations created by Modernist thinkers and artists, showing how powerful ideas and formal experiment have produced the music, painting, and literature which has informed all aspects of 20th and 21st century life.
Call Number: Leisure Reading NX456.5.P66 B88 2002
In this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butler challenges and explores the key ideas of postmodernists, and their engagement with theory, literature, the visual arts, film, architecture, and music.
Call Number: Leisure Reading P107 .A52 2012
Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, Anderson provides the basic facts about the world's major families of spoken languages and their distribution around the globe. He explores the basis for linguistic classification and raises questions about how we identify a language.
Rhetoric: a Very Short Introduction by
Call Number: Leisure Reading P301 .T68 2013
In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defense of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, the wartime speeches of Winston Churchill, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric.
Very Short Introductions
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN751 .F47 2010
The only short introduction to Romanticism that incorporates not only the English but the Continental movements, and not only literature but music, art, religion, and philosophy.-publisher description.
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN1892 .P66 2005
This lively and engaging work presents an entirely unique approach which shows the relevance of tragedy to today's world, and extends beyond drama and literature into visual art and everyday experience. Addressing questions about belief, blame, mourning, revenge, pain, and irony, noted scholar Adrian Poole demonstrates the age-old significance of our attempts to make sense of terrible suffering.
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN1922 .B48 2013
This Very Short Introduction considers comedy as a literary genre and as a range of non-literary phenomena, experiences, and events. Taking in scenes from Aristophanes to The Office, from the Roman Saturnalia to Groundhog Day, Matthew Bevis explores comedy throughout the ages and examines its ability to push the boundaries of comic theory.
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN1994 .W66 2012
In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Wood provides a brief history and examination of the nature of the medium of film, its role and impact on society, and its future in the digital age.
Science Fiction by
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN3433.5 .S43 2011
David Seed explores this often unconventional genre in relation to themes such as science and technology, space, aliens, utopias, gender, and its relation to time past, present, and future.
The Gothic by
Call Number: Leisure Reading PN3435 .G76 2012
This Very Short Introduction captures the history of the Gothic from ancient times to the present. It covers the sack of Rome by the barbarian tribes, mediaeval architecture, popular culture in the sixteenth century (including ballads and Revenge Tragedy), political theories of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the rise of the Gothic novel, the Victorian Gothic Revival, and the influence of Gothic culture on film, music, and fashion.
English Literature by
Call Number: Leisure Reading PR83 .B373 2010
English Literature: A Very Short Introduction discusses why literature matters, how narrative works, and what is distinctly English about English literature. Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature.
The Beats by
Call Number: Leisure Reading PS228.B6 S747 2013
This book offers a concise overview of the social, cultural, and aesthetic sensibilities of the Beat Generation, explaining how their drastic visions and radical styles challenged postwar America's dominant values in ways that can still be felt in literature, cinema, music, theatre, and the visual arts.
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