Encountering Buddhism in Twentieth-Century British and American Literature/ Book Collection 31st January 2011

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Middlesex University UK

This book collection, Encountering Buddhism in Twentieth-Century British and American Literature, will be a coherent, critical examination of British and USA literature's engagement with Buddhism in the twentieth century. It will show readers how twentieth-century literature has been influenced by Buddhism, and was a major factor in bringing about Buddhism's increasing spread and influence in the West.

Focussing on Britain and the USA, Buddhism's influence on a range of key literary texts will be examined in the context of those societies' evolving modernity. (Texts may also include writers in translation from mainland Europe, and non-literary writers, who influenced literary authors.) Writers discussed may include T. S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse, Virginia Woolf, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, J. D. Salingar, Iris Murdoch, Maxine Hong Kingston, etc. Suggestions of other writers would be welcomed. This book will bring together a series of context-rich interpretations that demonstrate the importance of literature in this ongoing cultural change in Britain and the United States.

The book covers the period from 1900 to the present day, and is divided into three chronological sections representing the historical phases of Buddhism's reception in the West: 1900-1939, 1939-1970, 1970 to the present. Chapters are informed by current theoretical perspectives from philosophy, psychoanalysis, postcolonial studies, and religious studies. What emerges is that Buddhism influenced literature, and that literature fashioned the Buddhism that flowed into western societies.

Please send a 500 word abstract by 31st January 2011.We are likely to ask for the completed chapters by 31 December 2011.

The editors are Dr Lawrence Normand (English Literature, Middlesex University, UK) whose publications are on Renaissance and twentieth-century literature, including Harticles on James Hilton's Lost Horizon (Buddhist Studies Review), and W. H. Auden and Orientalism (Modern Philology, forthcoming); and Dr Alison Winch (English Literature, Middlesex University) who researches on eighteenth-century travel writing, sexuality, and postfeminism, and whose articles have been published in a number of books and journals including, Critical Survey and Feminist Media Studies.