Some books recommended by the University of Wisconsin Press for Holiday Gifts
Holiday Books Wish List
Ulysses in Black
Ralph Ellison, Classicism, and African American Literature
by Patrice D. Rankine
“A powerful and pioneering study that creatively links the rich traditions of classical antiquity to contemporary black thought. I highly recommend it.” — Cornel
West, Princeton University
"Ulysses in Black demonstrates that, similar to their white counterparts, African American authors including Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Countee Cullen
have been students of classical languages, literature, and mythologies by such writers as Homer, Euripides, and Seneca. Ultimately, this unique study of Black
classicism becomes an exploration of America s broader cultural integrity, one that is inclusive and historic.
As reader friendly as a tightly reasoned, well-referenced scholarly text can be, this book argues persuasively for a wider integration of classic European texts with
African American literature. . . . Rankine makes an important contribution to the fields of African American literary scholarship and American cultural studies.
[Ulysses in Black] should be read and reread.
“Rankine’s study does not simply introduce the influence of the classics on the writing of African-American authors; he asks us to reconceive American cultural
identity through the work of African-American authors such as Ellison. It is a worthy effort and an excellent read.” — Lesliee Antonette, Multicultural Review
Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews
By Nathaniel Mackey
Highlighting Nathaniel Mackey's multifaceted work, this book embraces topics ranging from Walt Whitman's interest in phrenology to the marginalization of
African American experiential writing; from Kamau Brathwaite's "calibanistic" language practices to Federico García Lorca's flamenco aesthetic of duende and
its continuing repercussions; from H.D.'s desert measure and coastal way of knowing to the altered spatial disposition of Miles Davis's trumpet sound; from Robert
Duncan's Vietnam War poetry to the emancipatory potential of collaborative practices; from serial poetics to diasporic syncretism; from the lyric poem's present-
day predicaments to gnosticism. Offering illuminating commentary on these and other artists including Amiri Baraka, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Wilson Harris,
Jack Spicer, John Coltrane, Jay Wright, and Bob Kaufman, Paracritical Hinge also sheds light on Mackey's own work as a poet, fiction writer, and editor.
Nathaniel Mackey is professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of several books, including Discrepant Engagement:
Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing.
Spirit, Structure, and Flesh
Gendered Experiences in African Instituted Churches among the Yoruba of Nigeria
by Deidre Helen Crumbley
Crumbley s sophisticated treatment of Aladura spirituality is a welcome addition to the growing literature on African Christianity. — Akintunde Akinade, High
Although popularized in Africa by Western missionaries, the Christian faith as practiced by Africans has acquired unique traits over time. Some of the most
radical reinterpretations of Christianity are offered by those churches known as AICs (variously, African Initiated, African Instituted, or African Independent
Churches) new denominations founded by Africans skeptical of dogma offered by mainstream churches with roots in European empires. As these churches
spread throughout the African Diaspora, they have brought with them distinct practices relating to gender. Such practices range from the expectation that
women avoid holy objects and sites during menstruation to the maintenance of church structures in which both men and women may be ordained and assigned
the same duties and responsibilities.
How does having a female body affect one’s experience of indigenized Christianity in Africa? Spirit, Structure, and Flesh addresses this question by exploring
the ways ritual, symbol, and dogma circumscribe, constrain, and liberate women in AICs. Through detailed description of worship and doctrine, as well as
careful analyses of church history and organizational processes, Deidre Helen Crumbley explores gendered experiences of faith and power in three Nigerian
indigenous AICs, demonstrating the roles of women in the day-to-day life of these churches.
Deidre Helen Crumbley is associate professor of Africana studies at North Carolina State University, where she teaches courses on African civilization, religions,
The Flight of the Condor
Stories of Violence and War from Colombia
Translated and compiled by Jennifer Gabrielle Edwards Foreword by Hugo Chaparro Valderrama
The Americas, Ilan Stavans and Irene Vilar, Series Editors
"The dead in Colombia refuse to rest quietly."
After decades of violence of all kinds, what remains are the stories. History is revised and debated, its protagonists bear witness, and its writers ensure that all the
suffering has not been in vain. These stories from Colombia contain pain and love, and sometimes even humor, allowing us to see an utterly vibrant and
pulsating country amidst so much death and loss. We encounter townspeople overcome by fear, a man begging unsuccessfully for his life, an execution delayed
for Christmas, the sounds and smells of burning coffee plantations, and other glimpses of daily life.
This anthology reflects some of Colombia's finest literary talent, and most of these stories appear here for the first time in English translation. They reveal the
contradictions and complexities of the human condition, yet they also offer hope for the future. In their bold revelations of the depths of despair, these writers
provide gripping portrayals of humanity's tenacious resistance to those very depths.
"From the war, what keeps coming back to me, most vividly, is the day we buried our weapons. And the worst of it is that our weapons are still there, waiting for us
at the foot of the fig tree. I'd like to find the boys who have the same itch now that I had. I'd like to take them over there, to the Meta River, where so many years
ago we buried the treasure. Ten rifles, an FA assault rifle, and a Thompson machine gun are a good start. I'd like to say to them, 'There you have it; go after it,
boys, go after it. It's your party now.'"
— excerpt from "The Day We Buried Our Weapons" by Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza