Progress and Process in Teaching the New Literatures in English. Essays in Honour of Dieter Riemenschneider


The essays in this collection celebrate the signal achievement of Dieter Riemenschneider in helping found and consolidate the study of postcolonial anglophone literatures in Germany and Europe. As well as poems, a short story, drawings of the Indian scene (the first, and abiding, focus of this scholar’s work), and ‘letters’ of reminiscence (one quite grave), there are revealing contributions of a literary-historical nature on the establishment of anglophone (especially African) literatures as an academic discipline within Germany, the UK, and Northern Europe generally, as well as a group of searching reflections on such topics of postcolonial import as globalization and the applicability of models to the literature of the indigene in Canada and Australia. The largest section is devoted to individual topics, each treatment implicitly keyed to approaches to the teaching of New Literatures texts. Writers covered include Anita Desai (landscape and memory), Salman Rushdie (painting in The Moor’s Last Sigh), Charlotte Brontë (imperial discourse in Jane Eyre), Derek Walcott ( Omeros and cultural cohabitation), and Witi Ihimaera (his rewriting of Katherine Mansfield). Topics dealt with include music and radio in West Africa, the African literary ‘hit parade’, the New Zealand prose poem, Canadian and Australian war fiction, the Middle Passage in the American and Caribbean novel, Paul Theroux’s uneasy relations with V.S. Naipaul, and the colonial discourse of illness and recuperation. The volume closes with Dieter Riemenschneider’s very first and most recent critical essays, the one a classic on Mulk Raj Anand, the other a challenging and doubtless controversial thesis on postcolonial minority writing. A select bibliography of Riemenschneider’s work (books, edited publications, journal articles and book contributions, reviews and broadcasts) rounds off this substantial collection.

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Introduction GORDON COLLIER AND FRANK SCHULZE-ENGLER: The Crab of Progress: Exceptionalism and Normalization in an Academic Discipline Teaching Sideways Establishing the Study of the New Literatures in English PETER O. STUMMER: From Common Stealth to Most Colonial: Some Crypto-Critical Ruminating Reminiscences ECKHARD BREITINGER: Rites of Passage: From Anglicist Traditionalism to New English Literature Horizons FLORA VEIT-WILD: The Arduous Success Story of a ‘Non-Discipline’: Teaching African Literature at German Universities BERNTH LINDFORS: Counting and Accounting for Differences: Scoring African Literatures LOUIS JAMES: Dancing to my Father: Alterity and Identity in Cross-Cultural Experience KIRSTEN HOLST PETERSEN: African Literature: A European Pursuit. What’s in a Field? Theoretical Vistas on the New Literatures KATJA SARKOWSKY: Beyond Margins and Centres: First Nations Literature and the Challenge to Postcolonial Theory CAROLE FERRIER: “A whole other story vibrating within it”: Some Approaches to the ‘New Literatures’ SHIRLEY GEOK-LIN LIM: New Literatures in English and Postcolonial Writers in the Age of Globalization Speculations and Applications DEVINDRA KOHLI: The Embrace of Recognition: Landscape, Memory and Identity in Anita Desai HENA MAES-JELINEK: A Note on Painting in The Moor's Last Sigh WOLFGANG BENDER: African Music Airwaves: From Colonial to Neocolonial Shores; Radio and Music in Africa MARK STEIN: Discourses of Empire: Complicity and Disjunction in Jane Eyre VICTOR J. RAMRAJ: Postcolonialist to Postmodernist: Paul Theroux's Promotion of V.S. Naipaul in Sir Vidia's Shadow GÜNTER LENZ: Middle Passages: Histories, Re-Memories, and Black Diasporas in Novels by Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson, and Caryl Phillips GORDON COLLIER: Stormy Weather in Walcott's Omeros and the In-Gathering of Cultural Traditions HELEN TIFFIN: Colonies, Consumption and Climate GEOFFREY V. DAVIS: “The country we might have been”: The Experience of War in Canadian and Australian Literature JANET WILSON: Teaching the New Zealand Novel: Prose-Poetry and the Ideology of the “Third Way” LISELOTTE GLAGE: Rewriting or Writing Back? Witi Ihimaera's Dear Miss Mansfield Life and Letters VINEY KIRPAL: Dear Dieter ANNA RUTHERFORD: Dear Dieter DOREEN CAMPBELL: Five Stars for Mr Tompkins SYD HARREX: Dieter at the Wheel JAN KEMP: Professor Dietrich on the Dachstein GERHARD STILZ: Sketches of the Indian Scene Centred on the Edge DIETER RIEMENSCHNEIDER: The Function of Labour in M. R. Anand’s Novels DIETER RIEMENSCHNEIDER: Intercultural Communication: Minority Writing in the Post-Colonial World; The Caribbean-Canadian Connection DIETER RIEMENSCHNEIDER: A Select Bibliography