The New Territory
Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century

Edited By Marc C. Conner
and Lucas E. Morel

352 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 3 b&w photographs, introduction, bibliography, index

9781496806796 Printed casebinding $65.00S

Printed casebinding, $65.00

A critical advancement and recognition of the enduring power of a great American writer

Contributions by Herman Beavers, Robert Butler, John Callahan, Marc C. Conner, Bryan Crable, Steven D. Ealy, Lena Hill, Lucas E. Morel, Timothy Parrish, Ross Posnock, Patrice Rankine, Grant Shreve, Eric Sundquist, and Steven C. Tracy

Ralph Ellison once said, "We're only a partially achieved nation." In The New Territory, scholars show how clearly Ellison foresaw and articulated both the challenges and the possibilities of America in the twenty-first century. Indeed, Ellison in these new essays appears more and more to be a cultural prophet of twenty-first century America. As literary scholar Ross Posnock states, "If in our global, transnational age the renewed promise of cosmopolitan democracy has emerged as an animating ideal of popular political, and academic culture, this is a way of saying that we are only now beginning to catch up with Ralph Waldo Ellison."

In this collection, the editors offer fourteen original essays that seek to examine and re-examine Ellison's life and work in the context of its meanings for our own age, the early twenty-first century, the age of Obama, a period that is seemingly post-racial and yet all too acutely racial.

Following a careful introduction that situates Ellison's writings in the context of new approaches and interest in his work, the book offers new essays examining Ellison's 1952 masterpiece, Invisible Man. It then turns to his vast, unfinished second novel, Three Days Before the Shooting... , with detailed readings of that powerful and elusive narrative. These essays are the first sustained treatments of that posthumous work. The New Territory concludes with five chapters that discuss Ellison's political, cultural, and historical significance, probing how he speaks to the contemporary moment and beyond.

Marc C. Conner, Lexington, Virginia, is the Ballengee Professor of English and Associate Provost at Washington and Lee University. He is the editor of The Aesthetics of Toni Morrison; Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher (both published by University Press of Mississippi); and The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered. With John Callahan, he is the coeditor of The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and a founding member of the Ralph Ellison Society. Lucas E. Morel, Lexington, Virginia, is the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Politics and Head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University. He is the editor of Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to "Invisible Man" and Lincoln for the Ages: The Challenge of His Political Thought and Practice and author of Lincoln's Sacred Effort: Defining Religion's Role in American Self-Government.

352 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 3 b&w photographs, introduction, bibliography, index