Covers of books and journals by Kathleen Hicks, Christine Holbo, Claudia Sadowski-Smith, and Bryan Smith.

Happy ‘pub’ days: Hicks, Holbo, Sadowski-Smith, Smith


Kristen LaRue-Sandler

Four Department of English faculty members are celebrating the publication of important original research. Their output includes a volume dedicated solely to the works of author John Steinbeck; a monograph re-thinking the meaning of the nineteenth-century American novel; a journal special issue on fiction by U.S. immigrants from former Soviet bloc countries; and another journal focused exclusively on technology and language learning.


Steinbeck Review 16:1 (Spring 2019)

Kathleen Hicks continues as associate editor of this literary journal whose most recent issue underscores “Steinbeck's relevance to past, present, and future generations.” According to Penn State University Press, the journal’s publisher:

Steinbeck Review is an authorized publication on the life and works of American novelist John Steinbeck (1902–1968). It publishes scholarly articles; notes; book and performance reviews; creative writing; original artwork; and short intercalary pieces offering fresh perspectives, including notes on contemporary references to Steinbeck, discussions of the contexts of his work, and an occasional poem. Steinbeck Review has a threefold mission of broadening the scope of Steinbeck criticism, promoting the work of new and established scholars, and serving as a resource for Steinbeck teachers at all levels.

Hicks is director of online programs in the Department of English at ASU.


Legal Realisms: The American Novel under Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Christine Holbo’s monograph on post-American Civil War literature treats the novel in a new light. From the publisher:

United States historians have long regarded the U.S. Civil War and its Reconstruction as a second American revolution. Literary scholars, however, have yet to show how fully these years revolutionized the American imagination. Emblematic of this moment was the post-war search for a "Great American Novel"—a novel fully adequate to the breadth and diversity of the United States in the era of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the passage of the Reconstruction Amendments declared the ideal of equality before the law a reality, persistent and increasing inequality challenged idealists and realists alike. The controversy over what full representation should mean sparked debates about the value of cultural difference and aesthetic dissonance, and it led to a thoroughgoing reconstruction of the meaning of "realism" for readers, writers, politics, and law. The dilemmas of incomplete emancipation, which would damage and define American life from the late nineteenth century onwards, would also force novelists to reconsider the definition and possibilities of the novel as a genre of social representation.

Legal Realisms examines these transformations in the face of uneven developments in the racial, ethnic, gender and class structure of American society. Offering provocative new readings of Mark Twain, Henry James, William Dean Howells, Helen Hunt Jackson, Albion Tourgée and others, Christine Holbo explores the transformation of the novel's distinctive modes of social knowledge in relation to developments in art, philosophy, law, politics, and moral theory. As Legal Realisms follows the novel through the worlds of California Native American removal and the Reconstruction-era South, of the Mississippi valley and the urban Northeast, this study shows how violence, prejudice, and exclusion haunted the celebratory literatures of national equality, but it demonstrates as well the way novelists' representation of the difficulty of achieving equality before the law helped Americans articulate the need for a more robust concept of social justice.

Holbo is associate professor of English in literature at ASU.


Twentieth-Century Literature 65:1-2 (March 2019)

Published by Duke University Press, this journal issue, guest-edited by Claudia Sadowski-Smith and Ioana Luca, is themed “Postsocialist Literatures in the United States.” From the editors’ introduction:

This special issue calls attention to an emergent body of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century cultural productions by first- and 1.5-generation US immigrants from nations in the former Eastern Bloc, a Cold War geography dominated by the former Soviet Union. Authors like Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Vera Brosgol, Dagmara Dominczyk, Boris Fishman, Elena Gorokhova, Olga Grushin, Aleksandar Hemon, Nadia Kalman, Sana Krasikov, Ellen Litman, Oksana Marafioti, Téa Obreht, Miroslav Penkov, Ismet Prcic, Domnica Rădulescu, Natasha Radojčić, Gary Shteyngart, Saviana Stănescu, Anya Ulinich, and Lara Vapnyar were born in various Eastern Bloc nations and came to the United States as part of a large-scale movement in the context of dramatic late twentieth-century transformations in these countries. While much of their creative work has been nominated for, or obtained, literary awards and become the object of worldwide translation, it has received far less critical attention from US-based literary scholars.

Sadowski-Smith is professor of English in literature at ASU.


CALICO Journal 36:2 (2019)

Bryan Smith and Ana Oskoz are the regular editors of this journal published by Equinox, whose most recent issue opened with an introduction considering the needs of graduate students and the future of the field. From the publisher:

CALICO Journal is the official publication of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) and is devoted to the dissemination of information concerning the application of technology to language teaching and language learning. The journal is published online-only, is fully refereed and publishes research articles and studies and software and book reviews. Three issues appear annually and normally one of them is a thematic issue on current discourses and developments in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. CALICO's international editorial board and large group of authors and reviewers reflect its global readership.

Smith is associate professor of English in writing, rhetorics and literacies at ASU.

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