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Friday, February 24, 2012

Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion

Choice, in its review of Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion, declared, "Hart (UNC Greensboro) has made a major contribution to the theoretical literature of black religion."

As Professor William D. Hart, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, describes, "In this text, I explore the Standard Narrative of Black Religion and under the term"Afro-Eccentricity," critical revisions and alternatives" (2). The publisher's website notes that "Hart explores four distinctive contributions to the discourse of Black Religion against the counterpoint of the Standard Narrative of Black Religion as the 'Black Church.' Three overlapping versions of the Standard Narrative - Souls, Church, and Ancestor - dominate scholarly and popular accounts of Black Religion."

Hart focuses on four figures, Charles H. Long, William R. Jones, Cornel West, and Theophus Smith, who, the publisher's site continues, "variously revise, circumvent, or otherwise break free of the confines of the Standard Narrative, thus providing a richer and less church-bound account of Black Religion. Though affirming their Afro-Eccentricity, Hart does not hesitate in raising questions about their work through narrative and discourse analysis."

While as of this writing (February 29, 2012), the print version of Afro-Eceentricity was checked out, the book is also available in electronic format from the University Libraries

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three books from Professor James Fisher

Head of the Theatre Department Professor James Fisher has recently published three books on the history of American theater. Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater, is part of the Historical Dictionaries of Literature and Art series by Scarecrow Press. In the words of one review: "This two-volume set highlights the prominent people, movements, events, and organizations that shaped American theater from 1930 to 2010. Fisher offers a well-executed introductory essay that references
the cultural changes that influenced the theatrical experiences of the period. Supplementing the essay is a chronology featuring detailed impacts of events on theater year by year. . . . This is an excellent resource for theater practitioners and for scholarly researchers" (Choice).

Professor Fisher also recently edited a collection of essays, To Have or Have Not: Essays on Commerce and Capitalism in Modernist Theatre. As he writes in the book's introduction, "This eclectic collection spans dramatic works written during and about the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism, Karl Marx’s theories, Wall Street, immigration, the Gilded and Jazz Ages, the two world wars, the Great Depression, the post-World War II economic 'boom,' and the recent (2007-2011) economic crisis and contemporary cultural issues” (1). Professor Fisher contributed one of the book's essays, "'Money is Our God Here': The Comedy of Capital in Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Money and Philip Barry's Holiday." UNCG's Professor Christine Woodworth also wrote one chapter, "Back-Alleys to Basements: Narratives of Class and (Il)legal Abortion on the American Stage." The University Libraries' collection includes this book in both print and electronic formats.

For more information about Professor Fisher's recent publications, please see our blog post from one year ago!