DepositLiterary Modernity between Arabic and Persian Prose: Jurji Zaydan’s Riwayat in Persian Translation

Our understanding of nineteenth-century literary practice is often mediated by the national literature model of study that continues to govern discussions of modern literature. Put differently, contemporary evaluations of literary texts of the nineteenth century are often arrived at by using the national literature models that remain ascendant. This results in particular from the interplay of two concepts, ‘nationalism’ and ‘novelism’, and the role that these ideological agendas play in establishing the frameworks for literary study that predominate in today’s academy. Novelism is defined by Clifford Siskin as ‘the habitual subordination of writing to the novel’ —it is the prevalent tendency to approach prose writing in general using a framework of value derived from criticism of the novel.1 Rather than evaluating texts of the period in question by using criteria that can be validly ascribed to the sites of their production, we often tend to employ instead criteria derived from the novel as a currently-ascendant form of writing. Together with the tendency to read literature as defined exclusively by the trajectories offered in national-literature frameworks, this dual agenda has come to represent the most widespread tendency in literary historical scholarship, that of the nationalist-novelist paradigm, which presumes national literatures to be its subject matter, and which evaluates (non-European) prose writing largely through the critical tools developed for assessing the European novel.

DepositMisunderstanding the Relation between Literary Modernism and Gender, Identity, and Other Contemporary Concerns: Some Notes on Zadie Smith

The essays I am posting on Humanities Commons are also on Librarything and Goodreads. These aren’t reviews. They are thoughts about the state of literary fiction, intended principally for writers and critics involved in seeing where literature might be able to go. Each one uses a book as an example of some current problem in writing.

DepositModernism in a Global Context (introduction)

Exploring the transnational dimension of literary modernism and its increasing centrality to our understanding of 20th-century literary culture, Modernism in a Global Context surveys the key issues and debates central to the ‘global turn’ in contemporary Modernist Studies. Topics covered include: – Transnational literary exchange – Imperialism and Modernism – Cosmopolitanism and postcolonial literatures – Global literary institutions – from the Little Magazine to the Nobel Prize – Mass media – photography, cinema, and radio broadcasting in the modernist age See more at:



(forthcoming) The Parodic Devil in British Post-Enlightenment Culture: Inscribing Pandemonium. New York: Routledge, 2021.

Rethinking G.K. Chesterton and Literary Modernism: Parody, Performance, and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge, 2017.

Essay collection:

(forthcoming) Aphoristic Modernity: 1890 to the Present. Ed. Kostas Boyiopoulos and Michael Shallcross. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Journal articles:

(forthcoming) ‘Demonising Decadence: Parodic Diabolism in Max Beerbohm, G.K. Chesterton, and Joseph Conrad’. Volupté, 2, 2019.

‘Parody and Identity in Chesterton’. Essays in Criticism, 66.4, 2016 (pp.444-65).

‘The Bentley Diaries: A New Insight into E.C. Bentley’s Influ…

I’m an independent researcher, based in York, UK. My work explores the tensions between popular and ‘high’ culture that shaped the literary landscape of twentieth-century Britain, with a particular focus on the disruptive role of parody and satire in this contest of values. My first book, Rethinking G.K. Chesterton and Literary Modernism: Parody, Performance, and Popular Culture, was published by Routledge in 2017. I am currently working on my second monograph, also under contract with Routledge: The Parodic Devil in British Post-Enlightenment Culture: Inscribing Pandemonium.

Deposit“Finding Bazorkin: A Journey from Anthropology to Literature,” Anthropology and Humanism (2016)

This essay chronicles a journey through the Caucasus toward the end of the second Russo-Chechen war which resulted in an encounter with a little known work of historical fiction by the Ingush author Idris Bazorkin (1910-1991). In introducing Bazorkin to the Anglophone reader, I examine the intertextual linkages between his fiction and indigenous Ingush traditions and thereby reveal the thematic and generic range of Ingush literary modernity. By yoking together literary and ethnographic approaches that are often severed from each other, Bazorkin suggests an alternative conception of the relationship between literature and anthropology. Through its writing method as well as its critical analysis, this essay introduces Bazorkin’s anthropology of literature.

MemberJesse Miller

I am a Clinical Assistant Professor of Writing in the University at Buffalo School of Management where I am a Faculty Fellow with the UB Experiential Learning Network, as well as a faculty member in the Bard College Language and Thinking program. My teaching and research explore topics related to literary modernism, cultural approaches to health, illness, and disability, experiential learning in professional writing pedagogy, and the role of writing and the arts in precipitating social change. My current book project “The Birth of the Literary Clinic: Modernism, Bibliotherapy, and the Aesthetics of Health, 1916-1944” excavates a link between the work of American modernist writers such as Kenneth Burke, Djuna Barnes, and Jean Toomer, and early twentieth-century efforts to promote the practice of therapeutic reading. I have studied the contemporary application of his research on the history of reading for mental health as a 2015-2016 Humanities New York Public Humanities Fellow. I am also interested in contemporary small press literary culture and am Managing Reviews Editor for Full Stop Magazine (, a web publication aimed at engaging with contemporary literature and publishing with a focus on debuts, small press publications, and works in translation.