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Grant number: FA-51987-05

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FA-51987-05

Trysh Travis
Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX 75205)

Contemporary U.S. Literature and the Self-Help Movement

The 12-Step recovery movement that began with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 is rarely linked to literary culture. I argue, however, that recovery philosophy has migrated out of the church basements where AA began and into the cultural mainstream, shaping not only the publishing industry and book sales and distribution practices, but the world of fiction as well. Its influence is apparent in texts ranging from the popular psychological realism of Oprah’s Book Club to avant-garde postmodernism. "The Persistence of Sentiment" explores the history, philosophy, and aesthetics of recovery, as well as the texts, readers, and literary institutions through which it has been constituted.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 8/31/2006