Literary Criticism

Rewriting Womanhood | ,

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In Rewriting Womanhood, Nancy LaGreca explores the subversive refigurings of womanhood in three novels by women writers: La hija del bandido (1887) by Refugio Barragán de Toscano (Mexico; 1846–1916), Blanca Sol (1888) by Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera (Peru; 1845–1909), and Luz y sombra (1903) by Ana Roqué (Puerto Rico; 1853–1933). While these women were both acclaimed and critiqued in their day, they have been largely overlooked by contemporary mainstream criticism. Detailed enough for experts yet accessible to undergraduates, graduate students, and the general reader, Rewriting Womanhood provides ample historical context for understanding the key women’s issues of nineteenth-century Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico; clear definitions of the psychoanalytic theories used to unearth the rewriting of the female self; and in-depth literary analyses of the feminine agency that Barragán, Cabello, and Roqué highlight in their fiction. Rewriting Womanhood reaffirms the value of three women novelists who wished to broaden the ruling-class definition of woman as mother and wife to include woman as individual for a modern era. As such, it is an important contribution to women’s studies, nineteenth-century Hispanic studies, and sexuality and gender studies..

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Women Rewriting Boundaries | Precious McKenzie Stearns

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Women Rewriting Boundaries expands the work of gender and literary scholars by offering fresh insights on how to read travel writing by women. It analyzes the connections between class, gender, physicality, and sexuality as found in nineteenth-century literature. The authors discuss the myriad ways in which women writers reinforced and challenged Victorian social norms. Inspired by a special topics panel, “Women Writing Boundaries,” presented at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association’s annual convention, this edited collection will be a thought-provoking resource for college- level humanities and gender studies students and their instructors..

Biography & Autobiography

Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women | Christina Laffin

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Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women explores the world of thirteenth-century Japan through the life of a prolific noblewoman known as Nun Abutsu (1225–1283). Abutsu crossed gender and genre barriers by writing the first career guide for Japanese noblewomen, the first female-authored poetry treatise, and the first poetic travelogue by a woman—all despite the increasingly limited social mobility for women during the Kamakura era (1185–1336). Capitalizing on her literary talent and political prowess, Abutsu rose from middling origins and single-motherhood to a prestigious marriage and membership in an esteemed literary lineage. Abutsu’s life is well documented in her own letters, diaries, and commentaries, as well as in critiques written by rivals, records of poetry events, and legal documents. Drawing on these and other literary and historiographical sources, including The Tale of Genji, author Christina Laffin demonstrates how medieval women responded to institutional changes that transformed their lives as court attendants, wives, and nuns. Despite increased professionalization of the arts, competition over sources of patronage, and rivaling claims to literary expertise, Abutsu proved her poetic capabilities through her work and often used patriarchal ideals of femininity to lay claim to political and literary authority. Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women effectively challenges notions that literary salons in Japan were a phenomenon limited to the Heian period (794–1185) and that literary writing and scholarship were the domain of men during the Kamakura era. Its analysis of literary works within the context of women’s history makes clear the important role that medieval women and their cultural contributions continued to play in Japanese history..

Social Science

A New Type of Womanhood | Natasha Kirsten Kraus

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In A New Type of Womanhood, Natasha Kirsten Kraus retells the history of the 1850s woman’s rights movement. She traces how the movement changed society’s very conception of “womanhood” in its successful bid for economic rights and rights of contract for married women. Kraus demonstrates that this discursive change was a necessary condition of possibility for U.S. women to be popularly conceived as civil subjects within a Western democracy, and she shows that many rights, including suffrage, followed from the basic right to form legal contracts. She analyzes this new conception of women as legitimate economic actors in relation to antebellum economic and demographic changes as well as changes in the legal structure and social meanings of contract. Enabling Kraus’s retelling of the 1850s woman’s rights movement is her theory of “structural aporias,” which takes the institutional structures of any particular society as fully imbricated with the force of language. Kraus reads the antebellum relations of womanhood, contract, property, the economy, and the nation as a fruitful site for analysis of the interconnected power of language, culture, and the law. She combines poststructural theory, particularly deconstructive approaches to discourse analysis; the political economic history of the antebellum era; and the interpretation of archival documents, including woman’s rights speeches, petitions, pamphlets, and convention proceedings, as well as state legislative debates, reports, and constitutional convention proceedings. Arguing that her method provides critical insight not only into social movements and cultural changes of the past but also of the present and future, Kraus concludes A New Type of Womanhood by considering the implications of her theory for contemporary feminist and queer politics..

Literary Criticism

Women's Somatic Training in Early Modern Spanish Theater | Elizabeth Marie Cruz Petersen

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Drawing from early modern plays and treatises on the precepts and practices of the acting process, this study shows how the early modern Spanish actress subscribed to various somatic practices in an effort to prepare for a role. It provides today's reader not only another perspective to the performance aspect of early modern plays, but also a better understanding of how the woman of the theater succeeded in a highly scrutinized profession. Elizabeth Marie Cruz Petersen examines examples of comedias from playwrights such as Lope de Vega, Luis Vélez de Guevara, Tirso de Molina, and Ana Caro, historical documents, and treatises to demonstrate that the women of the stage transformed their bodies and their social and cultural environment in order to succeed in early modern Spanish theater. Women's Somatic Training in Early Modern Spanish Theater is the first full-length, in-depth study of women actors in seventeenth-century Spain. Unique in the field of comedia studies, it approaches the topic from a performance perspective, using somaesthetics as a tool to explain how an artist's lived experiences and emotions unite in the interpretation of art, reconfiguring her "self" via the transformation of habit..

Religion

The Making of Biblical Womanhood | Beth Allison Barr

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"A powerful work of skillful research and personal insight."--Publishers Weekly Biblical womanhood--the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers--pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments. This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history--ancient, medieval, and modern--to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward. Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ..

Business & Economics

From Angel to Office Worker | Susie S. Porter

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In late nineteenth-century Mexico a woman’s presence in the home was a marker of middle-class identity. However, as economic conditions declined during the Mexican Revolution and jobs traditionally held by women disappeared, a growing number of women began to look for work outside the domestic sphere. As these “angels of the home” began to take office jobs, middle-class identity became more porous. To understand how office workers shaped middle-class identities in Mexico, From Angel to Office Worker examines the material conditions of women’s work and analyzes how women themselves reconfigured public debates over their employment. At the heart of the women’s movement was a labor movement led by secretaries and office workers whose demands included respect for seniority, equal pay for equal work, and resources to support working mothers, both married and unmarried. Office workers also developed a critique of gender inequality and sexual exploitation both within and outside the workplace. From Angel to Office Worker is a major contribution to modern Mexican history as historians begin to ask new questions about the relationships between labor, politics, and the cultural and public spheres..

Literary Criticism

A Companion to Modern Chinese Literature | Yingjin Zhang

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This wide-ranging Companion provides a vital overview of modern Chinese literature in different geopolitical areas, from the 1840s to now. It reviews major accomplishments of Chinese literary scholarship published in Chinese and English and brings attention to previously neglected, important areas. Offers the most thorough and concise coverage of modern Chinese literature to date, drawing attention to previously neglected areas such as late Qing, Sinophone, and ethnic minority literature Several chapters explore literature in relation to Sinophone geopolitics, regional culture, urban culture, visual culture, print media, and new media The introduction and two chapters furnish overviews of the institutional development of modern Chinese literature in Chinese and English scholarship since the mid-twentieth century Contributions from leading literary scholars in mainland China and Hong Kong add their voices to international scholarship.

Education

Teaching Gender through Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Texts and Cultures | Leila Gómez,Asunción Horno-Delgado,Mary K. Long,Núria Silleras-Fernández

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Teaching Gender through Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Texts and Cultures provides a dynamic exploration of the subject of teaching gender and feminism through the fundamental corpus encompassing Latin American, Iberian and Latino authors and cultures from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. The four editors have created a collaborative forum for both experienced and new voices to share multiple theoretical and practical approaches to the topic. The volume is the first to bring so many areas of study and perspectives together and will serve as a tool for reassessing what it means to teach gender in our fields while providing theoretical and concrete examples of pedagogical strategies, case studies relating to in-class experiences, and suggestions for approaching gender issues that readers can experiment with in their own classrooms. The book will engage students and educators around the topic of gender within the fields of Latin American, Latino and Iberian studies, Gender and Women’s studies, Cultural Studies, English, Education, Comparative Literature, Ethnic studies and Language and Culture for Specific Purposes within Higher Education programs. “Teaching Gender through Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Texts and Cultures makes a compelling case for the central role of feminist inquiry in higher education today ... Startlingly honest and deeply informed, the essays lead us through classroom experiences in a wide variety of institutional and disciplinary settings. Read together, these essays articulate a vision for twenty-first century feminist pedagogies that embrace a rich diversity of theory, methodology, and modality.” – Lisa Vollendorf, Professor of Spanish and Dean of Humanities and the Arts, San José State University. Author of The Lives of Women: A New History of Inquisitional Spain “What is it like to teach feminism and gender through Latin American, Iberian, and Latino texts? This rich collection of texts ... provides a series of insightful and exhaustive answers to this question ... An essential book for teachers of Latin American, Iberian and Latino/a texts, this volume will also spark new debates among scholars in Gender Studies.” – Mónica Szurmuk, Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina. Author of Mujeres en viaje and co-editor of the Cambridge History of Latin American Women’s Literature.

Religion

Satanic Feminism | Per Faxneld

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According to the Bible, Eve was the first to heed Satan's advice to eat the forbidden fruit and thus responsible for all of humanity's subsequent miseries. The notion of woman as the Devil's accomplice is prominent throughout Christian history and has been used to legitimize the subordination of wives and daughters. In the nineteenth century, rebellious females performed counter-readings of this misogynist tradition. Lucifer was reconceptualized as a feminist liberator of womankind, and Eve became a heroine. In these reimaginings, Satan is an ally in the struggle against a tyrannical patriarchy supported by God the Father and his male priests. Per Faxneld shows how this Satanic feminism was expressed in a wide variety of nineteenth-century literary texts, autobiographies, pamphlets, newspaper articles, paintings, sculptures, and even artifacts of consumer culture like jewelry. He details how colorful figures like the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, gender-bending Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky, author Aino Kallas, actress Sarah Bernhardt, anti-clerical witch enthusiast Matilda Joslyn Gage, decadent marchioness Luisa Casati, and the Luciferian lesbian poetess Renée Vivien embraced these reimaginings. By exploring the connections between esotericism, literature, art and the political realm, Satanic Feminism sheds new light on neglected aspects of the intellectual history of feminism, Satanism, and revisionary mythmaking..

Literary Criticism

Picturing Childhood | Mark Heimermann,Brittany Tullis

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Comics and childhood have had a richly intertwined history for nearly a century. From Richard Outcault's Yellow Kid, Winsor McCay's Little Nemo, and Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie to Hergé's Tintin (Belgium), José Escobar's Zipi and Zape (Spain), and Wilhelm Busch's Max and Moritz (Germany), iconic child characters have given both kids and adults not only hours of entertainment but also an important vehicle for exploring children's lives and the sometimes challenging realities that surround them. Bringing together comic studies and childhood studies, this pioneering collection of essays provides the first wide-ranging account of how children and childhood, as well as the larger cultural forces behind their representations, have been depicted in comics from the 1930s to the present. The authors address issues such as how comics reflect a spectrum of cultural values concerning children, sometimes even resisting dominant cultural constructions of childhood; how sensitive social issues, such as racial discrimination or the construction and enforcement of gender roles, can be explored in comics through the use of child characters; and the ways in which comics use children as metaphors for other issues or concerns. Specific topics discussed in the book include diversity and inclusiveness in Little Audrey comics of the 1950s and 1960s, the fetishization of adolescent girls in Japanese manga, the use of children to build national unity in Finnish wartime comics, and how the animal/child hybrids in Sweet Tooth act as a metaphor for commodification..

Performing Arts

Au Naturel | J. P. Spicer-Escalante,Lara Anderson

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Literary naturalism, within the Hispanic context, has traditionally been read as a graphic realist school or movement linked predominantly to late nineteenth century literary production. The essays in Au Naturel: (Re)Reading Hispanic Naturalism—written by scholars from different generations, nationalities and ideological backgrounds—propose a major revisionist contribution to the study of Hispanic naturalism. Based on a theoretical proposal that re-semanticizes naturalismo as a diachronic counter-metanarrative phenomenon that transcends the chronological and geographic limitations imposed by traditional criticism on naturalism, the collection provides new readings of traditional naturalist fare as well as re-readings of works that have not been read, within the bounds of conventional criticism, as naturalist. Re-read within the proposed theoretical framework, its essays demonstrate the countless ways in which Hispanic naturalist texts–literary and more recently, filmic—continue to frankly engage the societal problematics that has impeded true social, political, economic and cultural progress from taking place in the Hispanic world from the turbulent fin-de-siècle period of the nineteenth century through the present day, globalized context. Au Naturel: (Re)Reading Hispanic Naturalism is thus also an open invitation to the scholarly community to re-consider other socio-critical works within the Hispanic naturalist context that observe and reflection upon social issues that continue to plague Hispanic society today..

Language Arts & Disciplines

Faulkner and the Native Keystone | Biljana Oklopcic

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The last fifty years have witnessed a never-ending flow of criticism of William Faulkner and his fiction. While this book touches on the prevailing critical theory, it concentrates on a number of fresh observations on themes and motifs that place William Faulkner’s fiction in general, regional, global and universal contexts of American and Western literature. Paying special attention to themes and motifs of racism, sexism, women's education, myths and stereotypes – to mention just a few — the book analyzes Faulkner’s ability to write and to be read within and beyond his “native keystone” – his South. Coming from a non US-Americanist perspective, this contribution to the scholarly literature on William Faulkner discusses his best-known novels, contends that regionalism, internationalism and universalism are the context of his fiction and argues for feminist, post-colonial, and psychoanalytical approaches to it. The book is intended for scholars in the field of American literature, American Studies and Southern Studies as it covers the South’s complex history, its peculiar cultural institutions and the daunting body of international critical studies that has flourished around the novels during the last five decades. Graduate students will also find this book useful as it analyzes and interprets the novels and short stories of one of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century in an easily understandable way, offering new and fresh readings on (1) race and gender stereotypes present in American and European culture and literature, (2) conventions of family/genealogical fiction/drama and (3) universal life situations and feelings..

Literary Criticism

Argentine Intimacies | Joseph M. Pierce

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Revisits a foundational moment in Argentine history to demonstrate how the crisis of modernity opened up new possibilities for imagining kinship otherwise. As Argentina rose to political and economic prominence at the turn of the twentieth century, debates about the family, as an ideological structure and set of lived relationships, took center stage in efforts to shape the modern nation. In Argentine Intimacies, Joseph M. Pierce draws on queer studies, Latin American studies, and literary and cultural studies to consider the significance of one family in particular during this period of intense social change: Carlos, Julia, Delfina, and Alejandro Bunge. One of Argentina’s foremost intellectual and elite families, the Bunges have had a profound impact on Argentina’s national culture and on Latin American understandings of education, race, gender, and sexual norms. They also left behind a vast archive of fiction, essays, scientific treatises, economic programs, and pedagogical texts, as well as diaries, memoirs, and photography. Argentine Intimacies explores the breadth of their writing to reflect on the intersections of intimacy, desire, and nationalism, and to expand our conception of queer kinship. Approaching kinship as an interface of relational dispositions, Pierce reveals the queerness at the heart of the modern family. Queerness emerges not as an alternative to traditional values so much as a defining feature of the state project of modernization. Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University, State University of New York..

History

Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature | Isabel Jaen,Julien Jacques Simon

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Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature is the first anthology exploring human cognition and literature in the context of early modern Spanish culture. It includes the leading voices in the field, along with the main themes and directions that this important area of study has been producing. The book begins with an overview of the cognitive literary studies research that has been taking place within early modern Spanish studies over the last fifteen years. Next, it traces the creation of self in the context of the novel, focusing on Cervantes's Don Quixote in relation to the notions of embodiment and autopoiesis as well as the faculties of memory and imagination as understood in early modernity. It continues to explore the concept of embodiment, showing its relevance to delve into the mechanics of the interaction between actors and audience both in the jongleuresque and the comedia traditions. It then centers on cognitive theories of perception, the psychology of immersion in fictional worlds, and early modern and modern-day notions of intentionality to discuss the role of perceiving and understanding others in performance, Don Quixote, and courtly conduct manuals. The last section focuses on the affective dimension of audience-performer interactions in the theatrical space of the Spanish corrales and how emotion and empathy can inform new approaches to presenting Las Casas's work in the literature classroom. The volume closes with an afterword offering strategies to design a course on mind and literature in early modernity..

History

Exemplary Ambivalence in Late Nineteenth-Century Spanish America | Elisabeth L. Austin

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Exemplary Ambivalence fills a critical gap within studies of 19th-century Spanish America as it explores the inconsistencies of exemplary texts and emphasizes the forms, sources, and implications of creole ideological and narrative multiplicity. This interdisciplinary study examines creole writing subjectivities and ethnic fictions within the construction of national, aesthetic, and gendered cultural identities, highlighting the dynamic relationship between exemplary discourse and readers as active interpretive agents..

Literary Criticism

The Moral Electricity of Print | Ronald Briggs

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Best Nineteenth-Century Book Award Winner, 2018, Latin American Studies Association Nineteenth-Century Section Moral electricity—a term coined by American transcendentalists in the 1850s to describe the force of nature that was literacy and education in shaping a greater society. This concept wasn't strictly an American idea, of course, and Ronald Briggs introduces us to one of the greatest examples of this power: the literary scene in Lima, Peru, in the nineteenth century. As Briggs notes in the introduction to The Moral Electricity of Print, "the ideological glue that holds the American hemisphere together is a hope for the New World as a grand educational project combined with an anxiety about the baleful influence of a politically and morally decadent Old World that dominated literary output through its powerful publishing interests." The very nature of living as a writer and participating in the literary salons of Lima was, by definition, a revolutionary act that gave voice to the formerly colonized and now liberated people. In the actions of this literary community, as men and women worked toward the same educational goals, we see the birth of a truly independent Latin American literature..

Social Science

Woman, Body, Desire in Post-Colonial India | Jyoti Puri

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First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company..

Music

Discordant Notes | Samuel Llano

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Scholarship on urban culture and the senses has traditionally focused on the study of literature and the visual arts. Recent decades have seen a surge of interest on the effects of sound the urban space and its population. These studies analyse how sound generates identities that are often fragmentary and mutually conflicting. They also explore the ways in which sound triggers campaigns against the negative effects of noise on the nerves and health of the population. Little research has been carried out about the impact of sound and music in areas of broader social and political concern such as social aid, hygiene and social control. Based on a detailed study of Madrid from the 1850s to the 1930s, Discordant Notes argues that sound and music have played a key role in structuring the transition to modernity by helping to negotiate social attitudes and legal responses to problems such as poverty, insalubrity, and crime. Attempts to control the social groups that own unwanted musical practices such as organ grinding and flamenco performances in taverns raised awareness about public hygiene, alcoholism and crime, and triggered legal reform in these areas. In addition to scapegoating, marginalising and persecuting these musical practices, the authorities and the media used workhouse bands as instruments of social control to spread "aural hygiene" across the city..

Business & Economics

Women Who Work | Ivanka Trump

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Ivanka is donating the unpaid portion of her advance and all future royalties received from Women Who Work to the Ivanka M. Trump Charitable Fund, a donor advised fund that will make grants to organizations that empower and educate women and girls.* "This is a chatty step-by-step guide to living a happy life and getting ahead in a career." —USA Today "The advice is spot-on for everyone, not just women." —Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and author of Delivering Happiness I believe that when it comes to women and work, there isn’t one right answer. The only person who can create a life you’ll love is you. Our grandmothers fought for the right to work. Our mothers fought for the choice to be in an office or to stay at home. Our generation is the first to fully embrace and celebrate the fact that our lives are multidimensional. Thanks to the women who came before us and paved the way, we can create the lives we want to lead—which look different for each of us. I’ve been fortunate to be able to build my career around my passions, from real estate to fashion. But my professional titles only begin to describe who I am and what I value. I have been an executive and an entrepreneur, but also—and just as importantly—a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. To me, “work” encompasses my efforts to succeed in all of these areas. After appearing on The Apprentice years ago and receiving a flood of letters from young women asking for guidance, I realized the need for more female leaders to speak out publicly in order to change the way society thinks and talks about “women who work.” So I created a forum to do just that. This book evolves the conversation that started on IvankaTrump.com, where so many incredible women (and men!) have shared their experiences, advice, ambitions, and passions. Women who work lead meetings and train for marathons. We learn how to cook and how to code. We inspire our employees and our children. We innovate at our current jobs and start new businesses. Women Who Work will equip you with the best skills I’ve learned from some of the amazing people I’ve met, on subjects such as identifying opportunities, shifting careers smoothly, negotiating, leading teams, starting companies, managing work and family, and helping change the system to make it better for women—now and in the future. I hope it will inspire you to redefine success and architect a life that honors your individual passions and priorities, in a way only you can. * The Ivanka M. Trump Charitable Fund (the “Fund”) is a donor advised fund that supports the economic empowerment of women and girls. Ivanka Trump is the grant advisor to the Fund and sole member of IT WWW Pub, LLC (the “LLC”), which receives royalties from the publication of Women Who Work. The LLC will contribute a minimum $425,000 to the Fund, which is the unpaid portion of the advance, net of expenses. In addition, the LLC will contribute all future royalties it receives that are in excess of the advance to the Fund during the period from May 1, 2017 to May 1, 2022..