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Author

Gavin Jones

Other affiliations: University of Oxford
Bio: Gavin Jones is an academic researcher from Stanford University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Literary criticism & Culture of poverty. The author has an hindex of 8, co-authored 11 publications receiving 217 citations. Previous affiliations of Gavin Jones include University of Oxford.

Papers
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Book
19 Oct 1999
TL;DR: The authors explores the aesthetic politics of this neglected "cult of the vernacular" in little-known regionalists such as George Washington Cable, in the canonical work of Mark Twain, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Stephen Crane, and in the ethnic writing of Abraham Cahan and Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Abstract: Late-nineteenth-century America was crazy about dialect: vernacular varieties of American English entertained mass audiences in "local color" stories, in realist novels, and in poems and plays. But dialect was also at the heart of anxious debates about the moral degeneration of urban life, the ethnic impact of foreign immigration, the black presence in white society, and the female influence on masculine authority. Celebrations of the rustic raciness in American vernacular were undercut by fears that dialect was a force of cultural dissolution with the power to contaminate the dominant language. In this volume, Gavin Jones explores the aesthetic politics of this neglected "cult of the vernacular" in little-known regionalists such as George Washington Cable, in the canonical work of Mark Twain, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Stephen Crane, and in the ethnic writing of Abraham Cahan and Paul Laurence Dunbar. He reveals the origins of a trend that deepened in subsequent literature: the use of minority dialect to formulate a political response to racial oppression, and to enrich diverse depictions of a multicultural nation.

108 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: According to the official figures of the Census Bureau, 32.9 million people in the US were living in poverty in 2001, an increase of 1.3 million on the previous year as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: According to the official figures of the Census Bureau, 32.9 million people in the US were living in poverty in 2001, an increase of 1.3 million on the previous year. This means that almost 12% of the population was subsisting below income thresholds deemed minimal according to family size and composition-just over $14,000 per year for a family of three. Such official measures of poverty draw criticism for their outdated and inflexible ways of evaluating need, yet few social analysts would deny that significant numbers of people in the US lack sufficient material resources for a theoretically "adequate" or "normal" standard of living.' The problems associated with poverty--illness, illiteracy, and homelessness, for example-become more alarming still in the context of tremendous and widening economic inequality, what Paul Krugman has described as a tectonic shift in wealth and income distribution over the last three decades, away from the middle and lower classes toward the wealthiest fraction. "This association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our times," wrote the American social reformer Henry George in 1879, "the central fact from which spring industrial, social, and political difficulties that perplex the world" (10). For George, these difficulties seemed especially pronounced in an American context, where political institutions of theoretical equality were based on a state of glaring social inequality. Recognition of unacceptably low living standards among US persons has always unsettled beliefs in the nation's "special conditions" of class mobility, its absence of social stratification. Yet two centuries of legislative, moral, and social debates over the persistence of material need have registered the enduring power of ideological assumptions about the fluidity of American social structure, and opportunities for individuals within it, against which the detection of poverty could become a subversive act, spinning observers into fear, disbelief, and existential shock, into explanations based on "race" or "culture," into desires to yank welfare from the spreaders of moral failure.

21 citations

Book
Gavin Jones1
20 Jan 2014
TL;DR: The authors explores encounters with failure by nineteenth-century writers, ranging from Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville to Mark Twain and Sarah Orne Jewett, whose celebrated works more often struck readers as profoundly messy, flawed and even perverse.
Abstract: If America worships success, then why has the nation's literature dwelled obsessively on failure? This book explores encounters with failure by nineteenth-century writers - ranging from Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville to Mark Twain and Sarah Orne Jewett - whose celebrated works more often struck readers as profoundly messy, flawed and even perverse. Reading textual inconsistency against the backdrop of a turbulent nineteenth century, Gavin Jones describes how the difficulties these writers faced in their faltering search for new styles, coherent characters and satisfactory endings uncovered experiences of blunder and inadequacy hidden in the culture at large. Through Jones's treatment, these American writers emerge as the great theorists of failure who discovered ways to translate their own social insecurities into complex portrayals of a modern self, founded in moral fallibility, precarious knowledge and negative feelings.

13 citations

Book ChapterDOI
Gavin Jones1
16 Feb 2009

12 citations


Cited by
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BookDOI
01 Jan 2010
TL;DR: Escobar et al. as discussed by the authors discuss the role of gender, race, and gender identity in the development of a concept of "colonization of being" in Latin American modernity.
Abstract: 1. Introduction: Coloniality of Power and De-Colonial Thinking Walter D. Mignolo I The Emergence of An-Other-Paradigm 2. Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality Anibal Quijano 3. Worlds and Knowledges Otherwise: The Latin American Modernity/Coloniality Research Program Arturo Escobar 4. The Epistemic Decolonial Turn: Beyond Political-Economy Paradigms Ramon Grosfoguel 5. Shifting the Geopolitics of Critical Knowledge: Decolonial Thought and Cultural Studies 'Others' in the Andes Catherine Walsh II (De)Colonization of Knowledges and of Beings 6. On the Coloniality of Being: Contributions to the Development of a Concept Nelson Maldonado-Torres 7. Decolonization and the Question of Subjectivity: Gender, Race, and Binary Thinking Freya Schiwy III The Colonial Nation-States and the Imperial Racial Matrix 8. The Nation: An Imagined Community? Javier Sanjines 9. Decolonial Moves: Trans-locating African Diaspora Spaces Agustin Lao-Montes 10. Unsettling Race, Coloniality, and Caste: Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera, Martinez's 'Parrot in the Oven', and Roy's 'The God of Small Things' Jose David Saldivar IV (De)Coloniality at Large 11. The Eastern Margins of Empire: Coloniality in 19th Century Romania Manuela Boatca 12. (In)edible Nature: New World Food and Coloniality Zilkia Janer 13. The Imperial-Colonial Chronotype: Istanbul-Baku-Khurramabad Madina Tlostanova V On Empires and Colonial/Imperial Differences 14. The Missing Chapter of Empire: Postmodern Reorganization of Coloniality and Post-Fordist Capitalism Santiago Castro-Gomez 15. Delinking: The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of De-Coloniality Walter D. Mignolo 16. The Coloniality of Gender Maria Lugones 17. Afterword Arturo Escobar

242 citations

01 Jan 1972
TL;DR: Twain was more than a match for the expanding America of riverboats, gold rushes, and the vast westward movement, which provided the material for his novels and which served to inspire this beloved and uniquely American autobiography as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: "Mark Twain's autobiography is a classic of American letters, to be ranked with the autobiographies of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Adams.... It has the marks of greatness in it--style, scope, imagination, laughter, tragedy."--From the Introduction by Charles NeiderMark Twain was a figure larger than fife: massive in talent, eruptive in temperament, unpredictable in his actions. He crafted stories of heroism, adventure, tragedy, and comedy that reflected the changing America of the time, and he tells his own story--which includes sixteen pages of photos--with the same flair he brought to his fiction. Writing this autobiography on his deathbed, Twain vowed to he "free and frank and unembarrassed" in the recounting of his life and his experiences.Twain was more than a match for the expanding America of riverboats, gold rushes, and the vast westward movement, which provided the material for his novels and which served to inspire this beloved and uniquely American autobiography.

108 citations

BookDOI
01 Mar 2011
TL;DR: The History of the American Novel as mentioned in this paper traces the American novel from its emergence in the late eighteenth century to its diverse incarnations in the multi-ethnic, multi-media culture of the present day.
Abstract: This ambitious literary history traces the American novel from its emergence in the late eighteenth century to its diverse incarnations in the multi-ethnic, multi-media culture of the present day In a set of original essays by renowned scholars from all over the world, the volume extends important critical debates and frames new ones Offering new views of American classics, it also breaks new ground to show the role of popular genres - such as science fiction and mystery novels - in the creation of the literary tradition One of the original features of this book is the dialogue between the essays, highlighting cross-currents between authors and their works as well as across historical periods While offering a narrative of the development of the genre, the History reflects the multiple methodologies that have informed readings of the American novel and will change the way scholars and readers think about American literary history

93 citations