Dr. Boria Sax, who as many of you know teaches a wide range of literature in our program, is beyond the virtual classroom a renowned scholar on the topic of animals in literature, as well as of hermetic literature. He publishes frequently on these topics. Two of his more recent publications are Imaginary Animals: the Monstrous, the Wondrous, and the Human (ISBN: 1780231733) and City of Ravens: The Extraordinary History of London, the Tower, and its Ravens (ISBN: 9781590207772).
The publisher of Imaginary Animals writes: This book shows how, despite their liminal role, grifﬁns, dog-men, mermaids, dragons, unicorns, yetis and many other imaginary creatures are socially constructed through the same complex play of sensuality and imagination as ‘real’ ones. It traces the history of imaginary animals from Palaeolithic art to the Harry Potter stories and robotic pets. These ﬁgures help us psychologically by giving form to our amorphous fears as ‘monsters’, as well as embodying our hopes as ‘wonders’. Nevertheless, their greatest service may be to continually challenge our imaginations, directing us beyond the limitations of our conventional beliefs and expectations.
And the publisher of City of Ravens writes: Boria Sax shows how our attitudes to the raven and to the natural world have changed enormously over the centuries. By describing the distinct place of this special bird in Western culture, he shows how blurred the lines between myth and history can be. This is a unique and brilliantly readable story of the entwined lives of people and animals.
Dr. David Kilpatrick, who in addition to having taught in the MA program since its inception is currently the Chair of the Dept. of Literature and Language in which our MA program is housed, is a diverse scholar of literature and philosophy. He is also a published poet, and his most recent publication is an epic poetic effort informed by the 2014 World Cup as much as by his life-long love for the beautiful game: Obrigado: A Futbal Epic (ISBN: 0996205802).
Dr. Kilpatrick provides the following: “Written as a response to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, each match becomes a poem and each poem from each match becomes one epic poem, a narrative of heroes and villains emerging as the tournament unfolds as and through poetry. Obrigado is for lovers of poetry and lovers of the Beautiful Game. ” Or as it reads on the back cover: “64 games, 32 teams, 30 days, 65 poems, 1 epic.”
Obrigado also comes in the form of an audio CD which Dr. Kilpatrick recorded himself.
Also worth looking into is Dr. Kilpatrick’s Writing with Blood: the Sacrificial Dramatist as Tragic Man (ISBN 8792633099). The publisher writes: tragic writing emerges as a representation of a sacrificial crisis that calls into question the human relation to the divine. The process of dramatization that exposes this crisis places the subject and language at risk. Writing with Blood explores the birth and death of the tragic subject in antiquity and the modernist reanimation of the sacrificial in Nietzsche, Bataille and Mishima.