Dr. Brodey’s book Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility (Routledge, 2008; paperback 2012) draws on fictional narratives, landscape architecture, discussions of ‘natural’ language, guides to rhetoric, philosophical writings, and other aspects of the culture of sensibility in England, France, and Germany, to offer a new synthesis of its literary and material culture: Ruined by Design reveals a widespread discomfort with authorship and authority in general, which led to innovative new structures in the fledging novel, as well as in landscape gardens and their architecture. Ruined by Design won the 2009 SAMLA Studies Book Award.
Her Rediscovering Natsume Sôseki (Global Press, 2000) includes the first English translation of Sôseki’s Mankan Tokoro Dokoro (Travels through Manchuria and Korea), co-translated from Japanese with Sammy Tsunematsu. Other publications include articles and book essays on Jane Austen, Laurence Sterne, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and Natsume Sôseki.
Her current research is on connections between Meiji Japan and post-Enlightenment Europe, particularly involving changes in the understanding of the novel as a genre and the connection between Natsume Sôseki and Jane Austen. She also is working on a book-length manuscript entitled Cowboys and Samurai: Authority, Nation-Making, and Individualism, as well as a separate project on the cultural currency of Jane Austen in Asia.
Rediscovering Natsume Soseki: with the first English translation of Travels in Manchuria and Korea, Celebrating the centenary of Sōseki’s arrival in England 1900-1902
“First publication in English of Soseki’s travels through Manchuria on the then recently-acquired South Manchurian Railway. 6-week travelogue including boat from Osaka to Dairen, railway up the Liaodong Peninsular to Fushun. Many descriptions of Manchuria.”
Ruined by Design:
Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility
2009 Winner of the SAMLA Studies Award
“By examining the motif of ruination in a variety of late-eighteenth-century domains, this book portrays the moral aesthetic of the culture of sensibility in Europe, particularly its negotiation of the demands of tradition and pragmatism alongside utopian longings for authenticity, natural goodness, self-governance, mutual transparency, and instantaneous kinship. This book argues that the rhetoric of ruins lends a distinctive shape to the architecture and literature of the time and requires the novel to adjust notions of authorship and narrative to accommodate the prevailing aesthetic. Just as architects of eighteenth-century follies pretend to have discovered “authentic” ruins, novelists within the culture of sensibility also build purposely fragmented texts and disguise their authorship, invoking highly artificial means of simulating nature. The cultural pursuit of human ruin, however, leads to hypocritical and sadistic extremes that put an end to the characteristic ambivalence of sensibility and its unusual structures.”
My Individualism and the Philosophical Foundation of Literature
“In these rare personal essays, Soseki defines the role of art in light of the isolation of the modern world. Each essay includes personal anecdotes that act as allegories about the fate of Japan. In her introduction, Soseki expert Dr. Inger Sigrun Brodey sensitively explores the crises in Soseki’s own life that led to his powerful sense of dislocation and to his particular style of writing, and then masterfully unravels the complexities of the two essays.”
Nature, Woman, and the Art of Politics
“This impressive collection of previously unpublished essays examines the relationship
between competing conceptions of “nature” and “woman.” By looking historically and comprehensively at the problems and questions associated with human thinking about nature and woman, the contributors strive to gain the proper vantage point from which to assess modern virtues and vices. Also taking note of important religious and literary contributions to thought on nature and woman, these essays present a broad range of claims from classical Greece to the present intended to stimulate modern thinking. Nature, Woman, and the Art of Politics will prove indispensable to scholars of philosophy, political science and women’s studies.”
A Companion to European Romanticism
“This companion describes the way in which the Romantic Movement swept across Europe in the early nineteenth century, transforming literature, music, painting, religion, philosophy, politics and personal relationships. It is the first book of its kind to focus on the whole of European Romanticism, moving between the national literatures of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain on the one hand, and common themes, subjects, forms, and sources on the other. Subjects addressed range from orientalism, capitalism, and nature, to the revival of the lyric and the influence of the French Revolution. The volume also includes cross-disciplinary contributions on literature and music, literature and painting, and the general system of Romantic arts. There are over 30 essays in all, written by leading Romanticism scholars from America, Australia, Britain, France, Italy, and Switzerland.”
The Philosophy of War Films
“LaRocca offers a synoptic anthology of essays that brings to our attention how war films can provoke contemplation and meditation because of the ways that such films inevitably focus on the mortality and vulnerability of human beings. The essays, written by an outstanding array of international scholars, work out various ways in which the genre can compel our thinking to become philosophical. This collection of essays constitute a significant contribution to not only the philosophy of the war film, but also to philosophy of film itself.” — Daniel Flory, Montana State University
“Inger S.B. Brodey’s ‘The Power of Memory’ is … enjoyable as prose as well as its fascinating comparison of post-World War II films by John Ford and Akira Kurosawa. The similarities between cowboys and ronin as nostalgic symbols of a pre-industrial commercialized world are remarkable.” — David Luhrssen
Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Mansfield Park
This volume is the third in the MLA Approaches series to deal with Austen’s work. It provides information about editions, film adaptations, and digital resources, and then nineteen essays discuss various aspects of Mansfield Park, including the slave trade, the theme of reading, elements of tragedy, gift theory, landscape design, moral improvement in the spirit of Samuel Johnson and of the Reformation, sibling relations, card playing, and interpretations of Fanny Price, the heroine, not as passive but as having some control.
A Few Recent Articles & Essays
“Power of Memory and Memory of Power: War and Graves in Westerns and Jidaigeki” in The Philosophy of War Films. Ed. David LaRocca. University Press of Kentucky, 2014. 287-310.
Brodey, B.B., Goodman, S.H., Wirth, R.J., Baldasaro, R.E., Brooks-DeWeese, A., Wilson, M.E., Houts, C.R., Brodey, I.S., & Doyle, N. M. “Development of the Perinatal Depression Inventory (PDI) Using Item Response Theory: A Comparison of the BDI-II, EPDS, PDI, PHQ-9.” Archive of Women’s Mental Health. 2015 Aug 14.
“Avenues, Parks, Wilderness, and Ha-has: The Use and Abuse of Landscape in Mansfield Park” in Approaches to Teaching Mansfield Park. Eds. Marcia McClintock Folsom and John Wiltshire. New York: Modern Language Association, 2014. 175-189.
“Ema: The New Face of Jane Austen in Japan,” Southern Japan Review (2011): 7-32.
“Cactus Roses and Camellias: Flowers, Action, and Masculinity in Sanjurô and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” [Japanese title: サボテンの花と椿：三十郎」及び「リバティ・バランスを撃った男」に見る花とアクションそして男らしさについて], U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal 36 (2009), 3-27.