Steven Fielding

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] To understand contemporary politics we must understand how it is represented in fiction. This is the main argument in A State of Play: British Politics on Screen, Stage and Page, from Anthony Trollope to The Thick of It (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014) a new book by Steven FieldingProfessor of Politics at the University of Nottingham. The book explores how British politics has been represented in fiction from the late Victorian era through to the present. The book identifies a fascinating set of core themes, including how the political class has been defended and attacked, how the idea of populism has developed over time, along with the changing role of women in British political fiction. A State of Play does not over-claim, stressing that although an understanding of fiction is essential to understanding politics, we still don’t know the exact relationship between people’s political participation and political fiction. However, it does make a convincing case that any understanding of the British political system will be insufficient without understanding how it has been imagined and depicted. Indeed, as later chapters show, the mode of depiction itself has become an important territory for explaining British political culture. The book contains a huge range of examples, from the more well known television series, such as Yes, Minister and The Thick of It, through to obscure and perhaps forgotten books such as The Mistress of Downing StreetOverall it will be of interest to academics and the public alike.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Joshua S. MostowCourtly Visions: The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation

December 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] In pre-modern Japan, Ise monogatari (also known as the Ise Stories or Tales of Ise) was considered to be one of the three most important works of literature in the Japanese language. Joshua S. Mostow’s new book focuses on the reception and appropriation of these stories from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries.  Paying special attention [...]

Read the full article →

Beth DriscollThe New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty-First Century

December 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] It is a cliche to suggest we are what we read, but it is also an important insight. In The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty First Century (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014), Beth Driscoll, from University of Melbourne, extends and critiques the work of Pierre Bourdieu to account for modern literary tastes [...]

Read the full article →

Melek OrtabasiThe Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio

December 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Melek Ortabasi’s new book explores the work of Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), a writer, folk scholar, “eccentric, dominating crackpot,” “brilliant, versatile iconoclast” and much more. The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014) expands how we understand and evaluate his work by [...]

Read the full article →

Wai-yee LiWomen and Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature

November 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Wai-yee Li’s new book explores writing around the Ming-Qing transition in seventeenth-century China, paying careful attention to the relationships of history and literature in writing by women, about women, and/or in a feminine voice. In a series of chapters that showcase exceptionally thoughtful, virtuosic readings of a wide range [...]

Read the full article →

Harleen SinghThe Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India

November 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in South Asian Studies] The Rani of Jhansi was and is many things to many people. In her beautifully written book The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Harleen Singh explores four representations of the famous warrior queen who led her troops into battle against the British. Analysing her various [...]

Read the full article →

Bridget ConorScreenwriting: Creative Labor and Professional Practice

November 18, 2014

[Cross-Posted from New Books in Media and Communications]  Bridget Conor’s new book, Screenwriting: Creative Labor and Professional Practice (Routledge, 2014), looks closely at the creative practice and profession of screenwriting for film and television in the US and UK.  Situated within the critical media production studies paradigm, Screenwriting analyzes the history, current industrial practices, identities, and cultural milieu that surround this [...]

Read the full article →

Lawrence LipkingWhat Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution

November 5, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Astronomy] Lawrence Lipking’s new book, What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2014) examines the role of imagination and creativity in the seventeenth century developments that have come to be known as the Scientific Revolution.  Whereas some accounts suggest that this period involved the rejection of imaginative thinking, Lipking traces it through [...]

Read the full article →

Shengqing WuModern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900-1937

September 25, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Shengqing Wu’s gorgeous new book begins by exploring the image of the treasure pagoda to introduce readers to an aesthetics of ornamental lyricism in Chinese poetry at the turn of the twentieth-century. Modern Archaics: Continuity and Innovation in the Chinese Lyric Tradition, 1900-1937 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014) then continues [...]

Read the full article →

Nabil MatarHenry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism­

September 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Islamic Studies] In Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism­ (Columbia University Press, 2013), Nabil Matar masterfully edits an important piece of scholarship from seventeenth-century England by scholar and physician, Henry Stubbe (1632-76). Matar also gives a substantial introduction to his annotated edition of Stubbe’s text by situating the author [...]

Read the full article →