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February 15, 2013

ULM's Giles publishes book chapter

Dr. Jana M. Giles, assistant professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recently published a book chapter in a collection titled "The Sublime Today," edited by Gillian Pierce of Boston University, and published by Cambridge Scholars Press in the United Kingdom.

The chapter examines how J.M. Coetzee's 1999 Booker Prize winning novel "Disgrace" reconceives the aesthetic of the sublime in the context of post-apartheid South Africa. Traditionally, aesthetics, which is the branch of philosophy concerned with our responses to art, beauty, and physical experience, was considered to be politically, sexually, and racially neutral. Coetzee challenges this tradition through his depiction of the downfall of the protagonist, David Lurie, an English professor.

Upon publication, "Disgrace" provoked controversial reactions in South Africa and across the globe for its depiction of race relations, yet is considered one of the best recent novels in English. Coetzee received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. In 2008, a film version appeared, starring John Malkovich as David Lurie.

Giles presented a version of the chapter at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Convention in Boulder, Colo. in October, 2012.

Giles earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College, her M.A. in English (Concentration in Creative Writing) from the University of New Mexico, and her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, United Kingdom. She has been an assistant professor of English at ULM since 2009.

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