Category Archives: Reference

Dickens, Sexuality and Gender – “superb, thoughtfully compiled and thoroughly absorbing”

Dickens, Sexuality and GenderThis superb, thoughtfully compiled and thoroughly absorbing collection considers the multiple ways in which gender and sexuality are represented, and overlap and interrelate, in Dickens’s fiction. For me, the volume is a much-welcome antidote to this year of Dickensian hagiography, reminding me, in contradistinction to the barrage of anodyne celebratory verbiage, of the extraordinary richness, complexity, expansiveness and effervescence of both Dickens – the man and his work – and Dickensian studies. The popular representation of Dickens as a sort of literary Father Christmas, dispensing universal warmth and wisdom and purveying snug domestic truths and cosy norms, was prominent during the bicentenary and it was certainly something Dickens himself cultivated and encouraged during his lifetime. However, this popular approbation of Dickens sometimes neglects or underplays his tremendous vitality, mutability and contradictoriness. There is often something radical, excessive and transgressive contained within Dickens – even during his most normative moments and pronouncements – and many of the pieces collected here convincingly, artfully and playfully explore this.

Reviewed by Ben Winyard, in Cercles

Read the full review

Dickens, Sexuality and Gender is edited by Lillian Nayder, Bates College, USA, and is part of Ashgate’s 6-volume reference series A Library of Essays on Charles Dickens

Ashgate Companions and Handbooks – over 30 titles now published

Ashgate’s Companions and Handbooks collection has become a major presence in the library market. Companions are increasingly seen as ‘core’ titles in library subject collections where they earn their shelf space by their authoritative content, up-to-date information, accessibility and relevance. To date there are over 30 Companion titles in print with new titles added each month.

Some highlights of our new titles for 2012 include: The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous, The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Imperial Histories, The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult, The Handbook of Operator Fatigue and A Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. We are always looking for new ideas for Companions and Handbooks so if you would like to submit a proposal, please email Dymphna Evans, Publisher.

Ashgate’s renowned multi-volume reprint reference series programme continues alongside our Companions and Handbooks programme, and you can find more information on these series via our website.

Our new Companions and Handbooks 2012 catalogue is now available, and can be downloaded from our website.

New books – Human Factors, Law, Reference Series

Human Factors

Writing Human Factors Research Papers: A Guidebook   Don Harris, HFI Solutions Ltd, UK, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and Leicester University, UK


Legisprudence: Practical Reason in Legislation    Luc J. Wintgens, University of Brussels, Belgium

Most Deserving of Death? An Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Death Penalty Jurisprudence    Kenneth Williams, South Texas College of Law, USA

The Neurobiology of Criminal Behavior: Gene-Brain-Culture Interaction    Anthony Walsh and Jonathan D. Bolen, both at Boise State University, USA

Reference Series

Social Learning Theories of Crime    Edited by Christine S. Sellers, University of South Florida, USA, L. Thomas Winfree, Jr, New Mexico State University, USA and Ronald L. Akers, University of Florida, USA

Procedural Justice    Edited by Larry May, Vanderbilt University, USA and Paul Morrow, Vanderbilt University, USA

The International Law of Peace and Security: 4-Volume Set    Edited by Nigel D. White, University of Nottingham, UK

The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous – now available!

‘This volume awakens the monster as an academic topic.  Combining John Block Friedman’s historical-literary approach with Jeffrey J. Cohen’s theoretical concerns, Asa Simon Mittman and Peter Dendle have marshaled chapters that comprise a seminal work for everyone interested in the monstrous.  Wide-ranging chapters work through various historical and geographic views of monstrosity, from the African Mami Wata to Pokemon.  Theoretical chapters consider contemporary views of what a monster is and why we care about them as we do.  Taken together, the essays in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous reveal that monsters appear in every culture and haunt each of us in different ways, or as Mittman says, the monstrous calls into question our (their, anyone’s) epistemological worldview, highlights its fragmentary and inadequate nature, and thereby asks us … to acknowledge the failures of our systems of categorization.’ David Sprunger, Concordia College, Minnesota, USA

‘An impressively broad and thoughtful collection of the ways in which many cultures, ancient and modern, have used monsters to think about what it means to be human. Lavishly illustrated and ambitious in scope, this book enlarges the reader’s imagination.’ Professor Lorraine Daston, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany

This companion provides a comprehensive guide to the study of monsters and the monstrous from historical, regional and thematic perspectives.  The collection reflects the truly multi-disciplinary nature of monster studies, bringing in scholars from literature, art history, religious studies, history, classics, and cultural and media studies. The volume includes a Foreword by John Block Friedman and a Postscript by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.

About the Editors: Asa Simon Mittman is Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico, USA and Peter Dendle is Associate Professor, Department of English, Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto, USA

More information about The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous

Read Jeffery J Cohen’s blog post about the book on In the Middle

New books – Human Factors, Law, Law Reference series

Human Factors

Safety Culture: Building and Sustaining a Cultural Change in Aviation and Healthcare    Manoj S. Patankar, Jeffrey P. Brown, Edward J. Sabin and Thomas G. Bigda-Peyton


Discourse and Practice in International Commercial Arbitration: Issues, Challenges and Prospects    Edited by Vijay K. Bhatia, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Christopher N. Candlin, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and Maurizio Gotti, University of Bergamo, Italy

The Global Financial Crisis: Triggers, Responses and Aftermath    Tony Ciro, Australian Catholic University, Australia

Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe    Edited by Myriam Hunter-Henin, University College London, UK

Law Reference Series

Arms Control Law    Edited by Daniel H. Joyner, University of Alabama, USA

Counter-Terrorism and International Law    Edited by Katja L.H. Samuel, Nottingham University, UK and Nigel D. White, Nottingham University, UK

Post-Conflict Rebuilding and International Law    Edited by Ray Murphy, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland

The Use of Force in International Law    Edited by Tarcisio Gazzini, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Nicholas Tsagourias, University of Glasgow, UK

New books – Law, Reference


Aboriginal Child Welfare, Self-Government and the Rights of Indigenous Children: Protecting the Vulnerable Under International Law    Sonia Harris-Short, University of Birmingham, UK

Complex Copyright: Mapping the Information Ecosystem    Deborah Tussey, Oklahoma City University, USA

Fiduciary Duty and the Atmospheric Trust    Edited by Ken Coghill, Monash University, Australia, Charles Sampford, Griffith University, Australia and Tim Smith, Monash University Australia

The Hidden Order of Corruption: An Institutional Approach   Donatella della Porta, European University Institute, Italy and Alberto Vannucci, University of Pisa, Italy

The Public in Law: Representations of the Political in Legal Discourse    Edited by Claudio Michelon, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Gregor Clunie, University of Glasgow, Scotland, Christopher McCorkindale, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, and Haris Psarras, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Transparency, Power, and Control: Perspectives on Legal Communication    Edited by Vijay K. Bhatia, Christoph A. Hafner and Lindsay Miller, all at City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Anne Wagner, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, France

Reference Series

The Citizen and the Chinese State    Edited by Perry Keller, King’s College London, UK

Copyright Law: Volume II: Application to Creative Industries in the 20th Century    Edited by Benedict Atkinson and Brian Fitzgerald, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Global Minority Rights    Edited by Joshua Castellino, Middlesex University, UK

The Library of Essays on Copyright Law: 3-Volume Set    Edited by Benedict Atkinson and Brian Fitzgerald, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Obligations and Property Rights in China    Edited by Perry Keller, King’s College London, UK

The Library of Essays on Chinese Law: 3-Volume Set    Edited by Perry Keller, King’s College London, UK

New books – Literary Studies, Music

Literary Studies

Playing the Canterbury Tales: The Continuations and Additions   Andrew Higl, Winona State University, USA

Music Studies

Music and Theology in Nineteenth-Century Britain    Edited by Martin Clarke, Durham University, UK

Musical Creativity: Insights from Music Education Research    Edited by Oscar Odena, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Musical Theatre, Realism and Entertainment    Millie Taylor, University of Winchester, UK

Sacred Music as Public Image for Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III: Representing the Counter-Reformation Monarch at the End of the Thirty Years’ War    Andrew H. Weaver, The Catholic University of America, USA

Music Reference

Critical Essays in Music Education    Edited by Marvelene C. Moore, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

Electronica, Dance and Club Music    Edited by Mark J. Butler, Northwestern University, USA

Non-Western Popular Music    Edited by Tony Langlois, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland