2016 (Vol. 49, no. 2) Voice of Reason: Studies of John Henry Newman
Contributing Editor Paul H. Schmidt
“Saturated Perception: The Intersection of the Perceptual and the Ratiocinative in Newman’s Account of Conscience”
Frederick D. Aquino
“Cor ad cor loquitur: Emotion and the Communion of Believers in Newman’s Writings”
“Character and Probability: the Literary Foundations of John Henry Newman’s Epistemology”
“T. S. Eliot’s ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’ and The Idea of a University”
“‘Ars est celare artem’: Rereading the Parochial and Plain Sermons”
2017 (Vol. 50, no. 1)
21st-Century American Crises: Reflections, Representations, Transformations Part 1
Contributing Editor Ana Fernández-Caparrós
2017 (Vol. 50, no. 2)
21st-Century American Crises: Reflections, Representations, Transformations Part 2
Contributing Editor Anna M. Brígido-Corachán
The articles collected in the following special issues explore and assess the notion and experience of crisis as a defining feature of twenty-first-century American culture. While the turn of the new millennium was received with general optimism, the first two decades of the 21st century proved to be much more tumultuous than expected for US society. If the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 shattered to pieces both the real and the symbolical sense of national security, the ensuing international military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and natural catastrophes such as hurricane Katrina, notoriously heightened the sense of historical downfall. The situation was further aggravated by the current financial crisis, which may be the worst the world has seen since the Great Depression. Yet there is a pervasive notion that the United States is facing much more than an economic crisis, as the twenty-first century has unleashed the need to reevaluate moral, civic, and communal values defining the social and cultural imaginaries of Western civilization.
The representation of loss, change, and recent historical trauma associated with this most
recent set of interrelated American crises is the starting point in most of the essays presented.
However, they also take into account the etymology of the Greek word krisis, whose origin is
to be found in krinein, meaning “to separate, decide, judge”, which indicates that a time of
crisis forces individuals and whole societies to embrace self-assessment and a process of
critique, and reconsider thus old standards of thought. Downfalls might prompt new
beginnings, new conditions of experience, new living scenarios, new ways of thinking and
whole new modes of re-imagining identities, of reconfiguring social and political relationships.
Thus, crucially, this issue tackles mobilizations, reflections, and reconfigurations in recent
American literature and art, in other words, the role of twenty-first-century crises as catalysts for
change and transformation in a variety of fields: socioeconomic, artistic, urban,
environmental, cultural, human. If Richard Drew’s iconic image of “The Falling Man” became
a symbol of the fall of the nation in the early twenty-first century, bringing to an end what had
been termed “the American Century,” this volume specifically considers our potential for
overcoming disaster and how the need to re-imagine, re-shape, re-invent new modes of being,
experiencing and working has been staged in the United States in recent times.
The issue of how this rapid succession of crises has been represented is not limited to the
literary and performative arts. The first section of this volume introduces a series of essays that
have been contributed by specialists in American history, theatre and cultural studies that
strategically complement the articles collected in the second section, which more specifically
address literary and cinematic responses to the new scenarios and how these redefine the
American narrative imagination in the new millennium.