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New Publication on Captivity Narratives

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    Sean Scanlan

    *Apologies for cross-promotion*

    Dear Commons Members,

    NANO: New American Notes Online is an interdisciplinary humanities journal with a digital humanities slant. We are proud to announce the publication of Special Issue 14: Captivity Narratives Then and Now. We think this special issue is very timely and may be of use for anyone interested in gender, inequality, and popular culture issues.


    City Tech’s Interdisciplinary Peer-Reviewed Journal NANO: New American Notes Online Examines Captivity Narratives Then and Now

    How should we understand captivity and the narratives, politics, culture, and art surrounding it? The new issue of NANO: New American Notes Online, an open access City Tech humanities journal, revisits this and related questions by exploring old and new stories of captivity.

    Special Issue 14: “Captivity Narratives Then and Now: Gender, Race, and the Captive in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Literature and Culture,” is the result of a collaboration among guest editor Megan Behrent (New York City College of Technology, CUNY), the article authors, and NANO’s editors (Sean Scanlan, founder and editor and Lucas Kwong, assistant editor).

    Guest editor Megan Behrent describes the direction of this special issue:

    This special issue of NANO is dedicated to exposing the historical cultural and political logic of the genre, and highlighting the potential for new narratives to challenge past politics, break free from conventions of the past, and offer a vision that transcends national boundaries, fixed gender binaries, and exclusionary racial discourses. Understanding the historic journey of captivity narratives from Puritan America and Mary Rowlandson to Patty Hearst and Kimmy Schmidt is one part of transforming the logic of that narrative, from a narrative that served to justify colonial aims and genocide, to one that could remind us of the captives in our midst, whether they be women trapped against their will in rooms with powerful media executives, children in cages at the border, or the millions currently behind bars in the U.S. carceral system. These are stories that must be told.


    Table of Contents:

    • Editor’s Introduction for NANO Special Issue 14: Captivity Narratives Then and Now: Gender, Race, and the Captive in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Literature and Culture, By Megan Behrent (New York City College of Technology, CUNY)



    • An Interview with Nancy Armstrong, Coauthor of The Imaginary Puritan: Literature, Intellectual Labor, and the Origins of Personal Life, By Megan Behrent (New York City College of Technology, CUNY)



    • Personal Trials and Social Fears: Examining Reflexivity in Captivity Narratives By Leslie Irvine (University of Colorado Boulder) and Wisam H. Alshaibi (UCLA)



    • Very Familiar Things: Captivity and Female Fierceness in Stranger Things, By Elena Furlanetto (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)



    • Flashback to the Bunker: Reframing Echoes of Captivity in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, By Charity Fox (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg)



    • Book Review: Narrative as Performance: American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin, Reviewed by Visola Wurzer



    On the Horizon:

    Guest Editors Matt Miller (Yeshiva University) and Matthew Lau (Queensborough Community College) are beginning production for Issue 15: Special Issue on Twin Peaks: Season Three



    This topic was also posted in: A Living Laboratory: Redesigning General Education for a 21st-Century College of Technology, Digital Humanities Initiative.
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