LAS Library

Briefings on recent publications by LAS faculty.

Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime by Mark Canuel

Mark Canuel

Mark Canuel. Photo LAS archives

Image of book cover

Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime by Mark Canuel.

Mark Canuel is a professor in the Department of English. His research and teaching focus on Romantic Literature and Critical Theory. He is the author of two previous books, The Shadow of Death: Literature, Romanticism and the Subject of Punishment and Religion, Toleration, and British Writing, 1790-1830, as well as numerous articles and reviews. Canuel has served on the Executive Committee of the UIC Institute for the Humanities and the Chancellor’s Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Issues. He has also served as Director of Graduate Studies and as Head of the English department.

In Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in May, Canuel challenges recent assertions by contemporary theorists who argue that beauty provides a model for justice because beauty arises from a sense of proportion, symmetry or reciprocity. He calls for a more flexible and inclusive connection between aesthetics and justice founded on the Kantian concept of the sublime, arguing that an emphasis on beauty creates increased conventionality and uniformity.

Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson by Barbara Ransby

Barbara Ransby

Barbara Ransby. Photo by Mary Hanlon

Image of book cover.

Eslanda by Barbara Ransby.

Barbara Ransby is the director of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and a professor of African American studies, gender and women’s studies and history. During the 2011-2012 academic year she served as Interim Vice Provost for Planning and Programs. Ransby is the author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, the award-winning biography of civil rights leader Ella Baker.

In Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, forthcoming from Yale University Press in December 2012, Ransby tells the story of Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson, anti-colonial crusader, author, anthropologist and wife of the world-famous singer and social activist, Paul Robeson.

“It has been a real journey of discovery researching Eslanda Robeson’s amazing life,” said Ransby. “Born in Washington D.C. in 1895, Eslanda had a challenging childhood, attended University of Illinois on scholarship, graduated from Columbia University, and went on to study with Bronislaw Malinowski at the London School of Economics. She traveled without Paul throughout sub-Saharan Africa and wrote a book and dozens of articles about her travels. She went with her famous husband to nearly every corner of the globe, living abroad for over a decade. She was the architect of Paul Robeson’s early career but then established her own independent political and professional identity in the context of a complicated and difficult 44-year marriage. In the book, I look the interrelationship between the personal and the political, the evolution of Black internationalism, the impact of the Cold War on the Robesons and others, and the unique global network of Black, Asian and Caribbean intellectuals, artists and activists who forged what Vijay Prashad calls the ‘Third World Project’ in the 1940s and 50s. The book relies on primary sources and publications from five continents, FBI and British intelligence documents (the Robesons were targets of government harassment and surveillance for many years because of their left-wing views) and from Eslanda Robeson’s extensive personal papers and correspondence.”