From the Editor of the Book Series

Our big news is that we’re awaiting the arrival of two superb new volumes, both slated to come out in February 2019.

Odysseys of Recognition:  Performing Intersubjectivity in Homer, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Kleist
By Ellwood Wiggins (University of Washington, Seattle)


Literary recognition is a technical term for a climactic plot device. Odysseys of Recognition claims that interpersonal recognition is constituted by performance, and brings performance theory into dialogue with poetics, politics, and philosophy. By observing Odysseus figures from Homer to Kleist, Ellwood Wiggins offers an alternative to conventional intellectual histories that situate the invention of the interior self in modernity. Through strategic readings of Aristotle, this elegantly written, innovative study recovers an understanding of interpersonal recognition that has become strange and counterintuitive. Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey offers a model for agency in ethical knowledge that has a lot to teach us today. Early modern and eighteenth-century characters, meanwhile, discover themselves not deep within an impenetrable self, but in the interpersonal space between people in the world. Recognition, Wiggins contends, is the moment in which epistemology and ethics coincide: in which what we know becomes manifest in what we do.


Pretexts for Writing:  German Romantic Prefaces, Literature, and Philosophy
By Seán M. Williams (University of Sheffield, UK)


Around 1800, print culture became a particularly rich source for metaphors about thinking as well as writing, nowhere more so than in the German tradition of Dichter und Denker. Goethe, Jean Paul, and Hegel (among many others) used the preface in order to reflect on the problems of writing itself, and its interpretation. If Sterne teaches us that a material book enables mind games as much as it gives expression to them, the Germans made these games more theoretical still. Weaving in authors from Antiquity to Agamben, Williams shows how European–and, above all, German–Romanticism was a watershed in the history of the preface. The playful, paradoxical strategies that Romantic writers invented are later played out in continental philosophy, and in post-Structuralist literature. The preface is a prompt for playful thinking with texts, as much as it is conventionally the prosaic product of such an exercise.

As always, we’re eager to hear about your proposals, whether a single-authored monograph or a collection of essays. With Bucknell’s new publishing partnership with Rutgers, the series is now more attractive than ever.  Cover prices have come way down:  both of our forthcoming volumes are priced at $34.95 for the paperback edition.  So if you’re at the GSA please come by the cash bar to chat.  We hope to have books and flyers on display.

Karin Schutjer
University of Oklahoma

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