Happy 'pub' days: Corse; Finn, Eschrich; van Gelderen
Three ASU English faculty members and an alum announce recent and forthcoming book publications. Their output ranges from Italian detective fiction in translation, to space travel sci-fi, to a linguistic history of English.
Quo Vadis, Baby? by Grazia Verasani (Italica Press, 2017)
At first glance, Private Detective Giorgia Cantini is not a pretty sight as she sits at a bar, downing her fourth cocktail of the night, feeling moody and obnoxious. Brutally honest, she smokes too much, exercises too little, eats on the run, and — the cardinal sin for Italian women — is a messy housekeeper. Yet, despite all that, people trust her and are attracted to her as a confidant. Her stream of unhappy clients comes from the conventional middle-class and upper-middle-class confines of Bolognese families. While the Cantini Detective Agency mostly investigates the tangled affairs of unhappily married couples, Verasani exposes the hierarchies and prejudices of Italian “family culture” that often lead to tragic acts of violence against those who stray from domestic and sexual norms.
Corse is an Associate Professor in the ASU Department of English. He has written extensively about the literary culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, including such writers as John Dryden, Aphra Behn, Anne Conway, Alexander Pope, and Tobias Smollett. He has also translated works from Latin and Italian, most recently the selected poetry of Ferruccio Benzoni.
Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures (ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, 2017)
Why should we go to space? To learn more about the universe and our place in it? To extract resources and conduct commerce? To demonstrate national primacy and technological prowess? To live and thrive in radically different kinds of human communities? Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities takes on the challenge of imagining new stories at the intersection of public and private—narratives that use the economic and social history of exploration, as well as current technical and scientific research, to inform scenarios for the future of the “new space” era.
Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities provides fresh insights into human activity in Low Earth Orbit, journeys to Mars, capturing and mining asteroids, and exploring strange and uncharted exoplanets. Its stories and essays imagine human expansion into space as a kind of domestication—not in the sense of taming nature but in the sense of creating a space for dwelling, a venue for human life and curiosity to unfurl in all their weirdness and complexity.
Finn is an assistant professor at ASU with a joint appointment in the Department of English and the School of Arts, Media + Engineering. He also directs the Center for Science and the Imagination. Finn’s research and teaching explore digital narratives, creative collaboration, and the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences. He is the author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press, 2017) and co-editor of Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds (MIT Press, 2017).
Eschrich is editor and program manager for ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination. He is an ASU alum with an MA in Gender Studies (2011) and BA in Film and Media Studies (2008). He is the co-editor of Overview: Stories in the Stratosphere (2017) and Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction (2016).
Analyzing Syntax through Texts: Old, Middle, and Early Modern English (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)
To describe a language, it is necessary to get as close to the sources as possible -- this textbook takes manuscript images, explains the various scripts used, and provides a word-by-word account of the Old, Middle, and Early Modern English texts. It invites you to explore early English syntax by looking at the linguistic characteristics of well- known texts throughout the early history of English, and encourages you to evaluate how that piece of the language fits in to the broader picture of how English is developing. You will be introduced to the real writing of the period as you look at the original manuscript version of selected excerpts.
For each text, issues such as the word order, the presence of auxiliaries, articles, and pronouns, the types of pronouns, and the nature of complex sentences are explored. With an emphasis on the original manuscript, this book equips you with the tools to analyse linguistic characteristics of a variety of texts and periods in the early history of English. It is designed for those who have already been introduced to the history of English and who are now going on to look more closely at the syntax and morphology using actual manuscripts.
Syntax: An Introduction to Minimalism (John Benjamins, 2017)
Van Gelderen also published a book covering generative linguistics, syntax, and theoretical linguistics. From the publisher:
Using a concise and clear style, this book highlights insights from current syntactic theory and minimalism. Chapter 1 starts with the general idea behind generative grammar and should be read from a big picture perspective. Because the book expects no prior syntactic background, its next two chapters are on lexical and grammatical categories and on basic phrase structure rules. After these introductory chapters, the book covers the clausal spine, the VP, TP, and CP in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, respectively. For the VP, it emphasizes lexical aspect, theta-roles, and the VP-shell; for the TP and CP, it uses a cartographic approach and juxtaposes that to free adjunction. Chapter 7 covers the DP and Chapter 8 discusses the importance of features. Chapter 9 returns to some of the issues raised in Chapter 1 and summarizes the approach. It includes keywords, frequent summaries, exercises, and suggested answers to the exercises. Cartoons and frequent corpus examples enliven the text.
Van Gelderen is Regents’ Professor of English at ASU. She is a syntactician interested in language change and is the author of eight books and eighty or so articles/chapters in journals such as Linguistic Analysis, Studia Linguistica, Word, and Linguistic Inquiry. She is also the co-editor of two book series and has herself edited or co-edited eight books/special issues.