Written in pre-Covid times and much delayed in publication, my contribution on “Post-9/11 Narratives” has appeared in The Encyclopedia of American Fiction, 1980-2020, edited by Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen Burn, and Lesley Larkin. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2022. Chapter 160. 1079-87.
Conte Publishes Book on Post-9/11 Novels
Professor Joseph Conte has just published his third monograph, Transnational Politics in the Post-9/11 Novel. The book argues that the formal inventiveness of writers such as DeLillo, Eggers, Pynchon, Coetzee, Pamuk, and Hamid reflect the radical reorientation of global politics after 9/11.
Transnational Politics in the Post-9/11 Novel
My chapter, “Cosmopolitanism and Remigration in Laila Halaby’s Once in a Promised Land and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” has been published in Shifting Twenty-First-Century Discourses, Borders, and Identities, edited by Oana Celia Gheorghiu. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020. 3-22.
Transnational Politics in the Post-9/11 Novel suggests that literature after September 11, 2001 reflects the shift from bilateral nation-state politics to the multilateralism of transnational politics. While much of the criticism regarding novels of 9/11 tends to approach these works through theories of personal and collective trauma, this book argues for the evolution of a post-9/11 novel that pursues a transversal approach to global conflicts that are unlikely to be resolved without diverse peoples willing to set aside sectarian interests. These novels embrace not only American writers such as Don DeLillo, Dave Eggers, Ken Kalfus, Thomas Pynchon, and Amy Waldman but also the countervailing perspectives of global novelists such as J. M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Mohsin Hamid, and Laila Halaby. These are not novels about terror(ism), nor do they seek comfort in the respectful cloak of national mourning. Rather, they are instances of the novel in terror, which recognizes that everything having been changed after 9/11, only the formally inventive presentation will suffice to acknowledge the event’s unpresentability and its shock to the political order.
New York and London: Routledge, 2020
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429280733
xv, 278 pp.
Trump Fiction: Essays on Donald Trump in Literature, Film, and Television
Edited by Stephen Hock
Joseph M. Conte, Clinton J. Craig, Caitlin R. Duffy, Shannon Finck, Susan Gilmore, Laura Gray-Rosendale, Ashleigh Hardin, Stephen Hock, Meredith James, Peter Kragh Jensen, Bruce Krajewski, Tim Lanzendörfer, William Magrino, David Markus, Jaclyn Partyka, Steven Rosendale, and William G. Welty
“A masterful example of contemporary cultural studies, Trump Fiction assembles an array of insightful scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields to offer timely analyses of the social, cultural, and political phenomenon of Trumpism. By examining Trump’s presence in a dizzying array of cultural artifacts from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, the collection offers an invaluable historicization of the present. It also lays crucial groundwork for emerging conversations about the defining cultural forms of the present by exploring contemporary cultural responses to Trump’s candidacy and presidency. Filled with smart observations and juicy tidbits, these essays promise to engage, inform, and ultimately reshape the way we understand where we’ve been and where we’re going.”
— Mitchum Huehls, University of California, Los Angeles
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Trump Fiction: Essays on Donald Trump in Literature, Film, and Television examines depictions of Donald Trump and his fictional avatars in literature, film, and television, including works that took up the subject of Trump before his successful presidential campaign (in terms that often uncannily prefigure his presidency) as well as those that have appeared since he took office. Covering a range of texts and approaches, the essays in this collection analyze the place Trump has assumed in literary and popular culture. By investigating how authors including Bret Easton Ellis, Amy Waldman, Thomas Pynchon, Howard Jacobson, Mark Doten, Olivia Laing, and Salman Rushdie, along with films and television programs like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sesame Street, Sex and the City, Two Weeks Notice, Our Cartoon President, and Pose have approached and shaped the discourse surrounding Trump, the contributors collectively demonstrate the ways these cultural artifacts serve as sites through which the culture both resists and abets Trump and his rise to power.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Stephen Hock is associate professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan University.
Hardback: ISBN 978-1-4985-9804-0 November 2019 Regular price: $95.00/£65.00 After discount: $66.50/£45.50 ebook: ISBN 978-1-4985-9805-7 November 2019 Regular price: $90.00/£60.00 After discount: $63.00/£44.10 *eBooks can only be ordered online.
My chapter, “The Deep Web of Conspiracies: Under the Shadow of Trump Tower in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge,” appears in Trump Fiction: Essays on Donald Trump in Literature, Film, and Television, edited by Stephen Hock (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019), 97-111.
Chapter 18 in American Literature in Transition: 1990-2000, edited by Stephen J. Burn. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 279-94.
The night of January 17, 1991, when laser-guided smart bombs and Tomahawk cruise missiles rained down on Baghdad at the start of the first Persian Gulf War, marked a transitionary moment from analogue to digital media. The legacy forms of broadcast TV, print fiction, and 2-D cinematic projection would be gradually replatformed by the new media of cable TV, ebooks, game boxes, and virtual reality.
Howard Rheingold’s Virtual Reality (1991) touted the “ten-year rule,” according to which computer enthusiasts by the millions—in 2001—would be interacting directly with virtual worlds through their desktop VR engines. But films of the 1990s, such as Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days (1995) and David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ (1999), and novels such as Pat Cadigan’s Synners (1991), Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (1992), and Richard Powers’s Plowing the Dark (2000), uniformly present VR as the usher to a postmillennial apocalypse. Their dystopias are a means by which the legacy media of print fiction and the cinema “remediate” both the false promises and the disturbing threats of an artificial reality that would supplant them. Some say that with the technological improvements introduced by Oculus Rift or Google Glass, VR’s moment in media history has finally arrived in the 21st century; some say that for VR and its funny goggles, its future has already passed.
Virtual reality; dystopia; remediation; Avant-Pop; Pat Cadigan; Mark Lehner; Richard Powers; Howard Rheingold; Neal Stephenson
I’m very pleased to announce the e-book republication of Unending Design: The Forms of Postmodern Poetry by Cornell University Press in February 2016.
Drawing on the work of contemporary American poets from Ashbery to Zukofsky, Joseph M. Conte elaborates an innovative typology of postmodern poetic forms. In Conte’s view, looking at recent poetry in terms of the complementary methods of seriality and proceduralism offers a rewarding alternative to the familiar analytic dichotomy of “open” and “closed” forms.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Defining a Postmodern Poetics
Seriality and Proceduralism: A Typology of Postmodern Poetry
The Infinite Serial Form
The Unbound and the Uneven: Robert Duncan’s Passages
Against the Calendar: Paul Blackburn’s Journals
One Thing Finding Its Place with Another: Robert Creeley’s Pieces
The Finite Serial Form
The Dark House: Jack Spicer’s Book of Language
The Subway’s Iron Circuit: George Oppen’s Discrete Series
Sounding and Resounding Anew: Louis Zukotsky and Lorine Niedecker
A Predetermined Form
Renovated Form: The Sestinas of John Ashbery and Louis Zukofsky
Canonic Form in Weldon Kees, Robert Creeley, and Louis Zukofsky
A Generative Device
Constant and Variant: Semantic Recurrence in Harry Mathews, William Bronk, and Robert Creeley
Arbitrary Constraints and Aleatory Operations: Harry Mathews and John Cage
A Polemical Conclusion: The Language Poetries and the New Formalism
Unending Design is available across major e-book platforms:
My long-delayed essay on “The Intratextual Obscurity of Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A'” has been published by YaRD/The Linguistic Society of St. Petersburg (2010). A copy of the paper can be found under Journal Articles.