New faculty book publications in Literary Studies examine the role of literature, film, and new media in making sense of urgent legal, economic, religious, and political issues, both past and present.

From Anustup Basu, Hindutva as Political Monotheism (Duke, 2020) 

Basu offers a genealogical study of right-wing Hindu nationalism, demonstrating how a modernization project subsumed a vast array of polytheistic, pantheistic, and henotheistic cults featuring millions of gods into a singular edifice of faith called Hinduism. The ‘Hindu nation’ calls for the transformation of that religiosity into a jealous ‘political monotheism’.  


From Irvin Hunt, Dreaming the Present: Time, Aesthetics, and the Black Cooperative Movement (UNC Press, 2022) 

What happens when progress is no longer the point? What happens to a movement? In Dreaming the Present, Hunt upends our assumptions about what a movement is, while charting a century of black mutual aid. He argues black co-ops—farms, shops, hospitals, and more—were extraordinary departures from progressive time.  


From Justine S. Murison, Faith in Exposure: Privacy and Secularism in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Penn, 2023) 

From fears over religious infidelity and disputes over what constitutes a modern marriage to conspiracy theories about abolitionists, Faith in Exposure demonstrates how nineteenth-century controversies—played out in both the political arena and popular novels—helped privacy emerge as a sensibility and a right in modern, secular America.