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Other Renaissances: A New Approach to World Literature


Other Renaissances is a collection of twelve essays discussing renaissances beyond the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian and then pan-European Renaissance. With a prologue by Giuseppe Mazzotta about the Italian Renaissance as a "world-making" epistemology, and an afterward by Sander Gilman to summarize the cogent points of the essays, the collection proposes an approach to reframing the Renaissance in which the European Renaissance becomes an imaginative idea, rather than a particular moment in time. Essays cover the Chinese, Harlem, Bengali, Tamil, Maori, Irish, Mexican, Arab, Hebrew, and Cold War Renaissance of the US in the 1950s.


“In vivid case studies of the ways that cultural movements around the globe have appropriated the idea of a ‘renaissance,’ Other Renaissances explores the reach of the term far beyond its European time and place of origin, as the concept has been mobilized, contested and transformed by a wide range of peoples confronting issues of modernization and post-colonial cultural life. From Ireland to India and from Harlem to New Zealand, the world’s multiple renaissances resonate together in fascinating ways in this pathbreaking contribution to comparative study on a genuinely global basis.”--David Damrosch, Columbia University
Other Renaissances is rigorous test of the versatility and global mobility of a decidedly European concept and its possibilities outside its historical context. Reaching across cultural chronologies and geographical borders, the contributors to this volume deftly pursue the serviceability of ‘Renaissance’ as theoretical construct, as critical lens, and as epistemic instrument beyond the European time and place of its genesis. A challenging comparative exploration in transnational and transcultural understanding.”--Djelal Kadir, The Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of Comparative Literature, Pennsylvania State University

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Tags: Renaissance, Other, Italian, essays, Renaissances