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By Kristen LaRue-Sandler — November 28, 2023

Covers of books by Aviva Dove-Viebahn, Mark Hannah, Simon Ortiz and Elly van Gelderen.

Four faculty members in the ASU Department of English announce new books recently launched or forthcoming this winter. Works include a monograph, a primer, a poetry collection, and conference papers. Topics cover gender in film and television, legal rhetoric, love and culture, and language change.

‘There She Goes Again: Gender, Power, and Knowledge in Contemporary Film and Television Franchises’ (Rutgers University Press, 2023)

Aviva Dove-Viebahn’s monograph on “super” women is set for a December launch. From the publisher:

  • "‘There She Goes Again’ interrogates the representation of ostensibly powerful women in transmedia franchises, examining how presumed feminine traits—love, empathy, altruism, diplomacy—are alternately lauded and repudiated as possibilities for effecting long-lasting social change. By questioning how these franchises reimagine their protagonists over time, the book reflects on the role that gendered exceptionalism plays in social and political action, as well as what forms of knowledge and power are presumed distinctly feminine. The franchises explored in this book illustrate the ambivalent (post)feminist representation of women protagonists as uniquely gifted in ways both gendered and seemingly ungendered, and yet inherently bound to expressions of their femininity. At heart, ‘There She Goes Again’ asks under what terms and in what contexts women protagonists are imagined, envisioned, embodied, and replicated in media. Especially now, in a period of gradually increasing representation, women protagonists demonstrate the importance of considering how we should define—and whether we need—feminine forms of knowledge and power."

Dove-Viebahn is an assistant professor in the ASU Department of English’s film and media studies program.

‘Law and Rhetoric: A Primer’ (Carolina Academic Press, 2023)

Mark Hannah collaborated with Delia B. Conti, Linda L. Berger, Michael J. Cedrone, Melissa E. Love Koenig, and Julie A. Oseidon on this legal writing reference book. From the publisher:

  • “Benefitting a wide audience, this text introduces rhetorical theory as applied to the law. Aristotle's definition of rhetoric—discovering all the available means of persuasion—encapsulates the benefits of rhetoric to lawyers. We know stories are persuasive, and narrative theory explains why. Law is built on metaphor and analogy. Argument structures are themselves persuasive. Rhetorical sensitivity and the features of the rhetorical situation offer frameworks useful in mediation and in working with clients. Questions of character, form, and structure address the larger questions of justice beyond individual cases and specific statutes.

    Students and practicing attorneys will gain insight from this text's rhetorically grounded advice on persuasive techniques drawn from classical rhetoric and contemporary rhetorical theories relating to argumentation, metaphor, analogy, and storytelling. Just as this brief volume brings together teachers and scholars from law and rhetoric, each chapter connects the relevant rhetorical theories and applies them to current legal problems.”

Hannah is an associate professor of English at ASU, where he directs the program in writing, rhetorics and literacies.

‘Light As Light: Poems’ (University of Arizona Press, 2023)

Simon Ortiz’s long-awaited, newest book of poetry is to be released in December. From the publisher:

  • "‘Light As Light’ is acclaimed poet Simon J. Ortiz’s first collection in twenty years. The poems in this volume celebrate the wonders and joy of love in the present while also looking back with both humorous and serious reflections on youth and the stories, scenes, people, and places that shape a person’s life. ‘Light As Light’ brims with giddy, wistful long-distance love poems that offer a dialogue between the speaker and his beloved. Written in Ortiz’s signature conversational style, this volume claims poetry for everyday life as the poems find the speaker on a morning run, burnt out from academic responsibilities, missing his beloved, reflecting on sobriety, walking the dog, and pondering the act of poem making. The collection also includes prayer poems written for the speaker’s son; poems that retell traditional Acoma stories and history; and poems that engage environmental, political, and social justice issues—making for a well-rounded collection that blends the playful and the profound.

    The poems in ‘Light As Light’ travel far across both space and memory, landing everywhere from the New Mexico of the speaker’s childhood, to California, Tucson, and present-day Beijing, and many airports, highways, and way stations in between. The central concern uniting this collection is language itself: the weight and significance of English and Keres, as well as the nature and power of poetry as a way of life. No collection of Indigenous literature is complete without the work of Simon Ortiz, and this book is a powerful journey through the poet’s life—both a love letter to the future, and a sentimental, authentic celebration of the past."

Ortiz is Regents Professor Emeritus of English and American Indian Studies at ASU.

‘Internal and External Causes of Language Change: The Naxos Papers’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023)

With Nikolaos Lavidas, Alexander Bergs and Ioanna Sitaridou, Elly van Gelderen edited this collection of studies arising from Naxos summer school sessions. From the publisher:

  • “This volume collects ten studies that propose modern methodologies of analyzing and explaining language change in the case of various morpho-phonological and morpho-syntactic characteristics. The studies were first presented in the fourth, fifth and sixth workshops at the “Language Variation and Change in Ancient and Medieval Europe” summer schools, organized on the island of Naxos, Cyclades, Greece and online between 2019 and 2021. The book is divided into two parts that both focus on modern tools and methodologies of analyzing and accounting for language change. The first part focuses on common directions of change in Indo-European languages and beyond, and the second part emphasizes explanations that reveal the role of language contact. The volume promotes a dialogue between approaches to language change having their starting point in structural and typological aspects of the history of languages on the one hand, and approaches concentrating on external factors on the other. Through this dialogue, the volume enriches knowledge on the contrast or complementarity of internally- and externally-motivated causes of language change.”

Van Gelderen is Regents Professor Emeritus in the Department of English’s linguistics and applied linguistics / TESOL program.