Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory

METDivided into four descriptive sections—“Theory and the Ethics of Literary Text,” “Confronting the Difficult: The Ethics of Race and Power,” “Making Darkness Visible: The Ethical Implications of Narrative as Witness,” and “Ways of Seeing: The Diversity of Applied Ethical Criticism”—this unprecedented collection of essays traces the interpretive, pedagogic, and theoretical concerns inherent in the study of literature, ethics, and modes of criticism. Wayne C. Booth’s “Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple,” J. Hillis Miller’s “How to Be ‘in Tune with the Right’ in The Golden Bowl,” Susan Gubar’s “Poets of Testimony,” and Martha C. Nussbaum’s “Exactly and Responsibly: A Defense of Ethical Criticism” are among the fifteen essays included. Bringing together ethical criticism’s most important theorists, Mapping the Ethical Turn is a cohesive introduction to a reading paradigm that continues to influence the ways in which we think and feel about the stories that mark our lives.

“Fifteen papers, collected by Davis and Womack, explore the connections between literary criticism and ethical thinking in the context of the demise of modern humanism. Theoretical, interpretative, and pedagogical issues are addressed in sections that explore issues of race and power as revealed and read into texts, the implications of narrative as witness, and the possibilities of ethical criticism. Among the authors examined in the essays are Toni Morrison, J.M. Coetzee, Jacqueline Osherow, Margaret Atwood, and Henry James.”—Reference and Research Book News

“This collection demonstrates that in the poststructuralist era, contemplation of the connections between ethical thought and literary study has not been abandoned.”—American Literature