Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Selected Publications

Munir Muztaba Ali

How Folk and Fairy Tales Aid Children's Growth and Maturity:An Analysis of Their Need Fulfillment Imagery

This work investigates folk tales and their significance to childhood development. The author examines how the folk tale addresses basic needs of children, their depiction of life, and what their resolutions reveal about the problems children encounter as they mature.

K. Coleman

Webs of Masculinity: Power, Money, and Sex(uality)

Using the trickster and bad-man figure as archetypes of black masculinity, Webs of Masculinity analyzes the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright's Black Boy, Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land, and Nathan McCall'sMakes Me Wanna Holler to explore the physical, social, and economic movement of black males. Using the films, Boyz' N the Hood and Menace II SocietyWebs explores the importance of performance in black male self-representation, with a particular emphasis on hip-hop culture. Hip-hop culture sometimes encourages a masculinity, especially among young black males, that often collides with mainstream social institutions. Through literature and film, Webs, in clear and concise language, unravels the origin and complexity of black male performance and explores the paradox of this performance as both a tool of survival and destruction to the national narrative and image of black males. Finally, Webs reads James Earl Hardy's B-Boy Bluesto position sexuality as a problematic design for the maintenance of masculinity.

Janice Crosby

Cauldron of Changes: Feminist Spirituality in Fantastic Fiction

This book examines the spiritual dimensions found in the literature of the fantastic (science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism) by linking such novels to actual currents within the feminist spirituality movement. Fusing popular culture studies, women's studies, and close textual analysis, the author moves beyond earlier studies that fail to address the genre's use of goddess worship, psychic phenomena, and reverence for the earth. She reveals how such attributes betoken a spiritual awakening with profound implications for contemporary feminism. Special emphasis is given to both the struggle to provide an alternative to men-centered experience and to the need to articulate ways in which feminists can achieve personal and social power. The authors studied represent a variety of American voices, and include both firmly established and newer writers such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Kim Chernin, Alice Walker, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia Kennealy, Gael Baudino, Octavia Butler, Lynn Abbey, Joan Vinge, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Ntozake Shange, and Starhawk.

Rabiul Hasan

Madonna of the Rain

Madonna of the Rain is a poetry collection for all seasons.  Hasan's insights stretch the classic Italian ma donna (my lady) imagery to refreshing new fronts. The title poem itself- like the eye of a hurricane- is imbedded deeply within the contents of this book. Readers will sense Madonna's healing mystique extending from the Mississippi Delta where "magnolias die for the rainclouds" to an Epiphany when Madonna transforms into a prayerful figure who "holds her water-filled breasts toward the invisible sun." Between pages, ma donna exposes all maladies that beset the lives and loves of vulnerable mortals. Eventually, the day will come when we must face our fate and ask- as Hasan does in his concluding poem - "Who calls me from the lonely, dark place?" I predict calm after the storm for all who read the radar screen of this poet's forecast.

--David Ross
Editor, RWG Press

Cynthia Demarcus Manson

The Fairy-Tale Literature of Charles Dickens, Christina Rossetti, and George MacDonald: Antidotes to the Victorian Spiritual Crisis

Despite growing scholarly recognition of subversive social and political content in Victorian fairy tales, their significance in relation to the oft-cited Victorian "spiritual crisis" remains largely unexplored. This interdisciplinary study addresses the critical gap by examining three literary revisions of Sleeping Beauty from the early 1860s as pointed efforts to enter the intensified religious debate following the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of the Species.

David Porter

Anglo-Saxon Conversations: The Colloquies of Aelfric Bata

by Scott Gwara (Editor), David W. Porter (Translator)

The monk Aelfric Bata is the only identifiable graduate of the school of Aelfric 'Grammaticus', the tenth-century Anglo-Saxon homilist whose Grammar, Glossary and Colloquy formed part of an educational plan for English boys. Bata's Colloquies, Latin conversations set in a monastic school, open a door into the world of Anglo-Saxon monasticism, revealing the details of daily activities: rising and dressing, studying the day's lesson, eating, bathing and tonsuring. Oblates ask a master's help in reading, bargain for a manuscript-copying job, obtain help in sharpening a pen. One colloquy depicts a flyting between master and student, who exchange graphic scatological insults. Combining the spare diction of his teacher Aelfric with the ornate glossematic vocabulary of Aldhelm, Aelfric Bata creates a cloistered world where comedy, invective, sermon and poetic recitation mix. The Colloquies are presented with an English translation, glosses and full notes. Dr. Scott Gwara (editor) teaches in the Department of English at the University of South Carolina.

David Porter

Excerptiones de Prisciano: The Source for Ælfric's Latin-Old English Grammar (Anglo-Saxon Texts)

When the famous Anglo-Saxon scholar Ælfric wrote the first grammar in a European vernacular, he used as his direct source the Excerptiones de Prisciano, The Excerpts from Priscian. Edited here for the first time, the Excerptiones brings together excerpts from major curriculum authors of the medieval schools, including, among others, Priscian, Donatus, and Isidore. This tenth-century text, probably of English origin, and probably compiled by Ælfric himself, is an ambitious compendium of grammatical lore. Assembling extracts from all the major works of Priscian's huge corpus of writings, it rearranges them after the order of Donatus' introductory texts - a master teacher's strategy for communicating to his students the most broad-sweeping and difficult linguistic knowledge. Included in appendices are such practical subjects as numbers and weights, and finally The Thirty Divisions of the Grammatical Art, a brief handbook of usage. Comparing favourably with Latin texts of modern time, The Excerpts from Priscian is, with the exception of Ælfric's own Grammar, probably the most sophisticated Latin-learning text of the Anglo-Saxon age.