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Abstract

This chapter examines the self-consciousness about ‘special’ liturgical and ceremonial practices in one of the most emblematic female communities of medieval Europe, the Royal Abbey of Las Huelgas in Burgos. The recently re-discovered monastic ceremonial of Las Huelgas offers us invaluable insights into the self-regulation of the conventual liturgy held at the royal abbey. Written in the vernacular Castilian, this ceremonial was compiled by the nuns themselves around 1400 with a view to ensuring the continuity of the community’s special customs. The manuscript thus showcases the community’s effort to preserve its autonomy by keeping control of their own liturgical practice, and uncovers the extent to which the nuns assumed active roles in the performance of conventual liturgy. The female voice of this ceremonial is especially evident in the use of feminine pronouns and verb-endings. The text prescribes Mass celebrations held by the abbess and her convent, as well as the nun’s performance of three-part polyphony.

Open Access
In: Female-Voice Song and Women’s Musical Agency in the Middle Ages

Abstract

‘Mixed’ is an ethnicity category used in the British census, with official subcategories including “White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian, Other Mixed”. The fact that this far from homogenous category has been identified as the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK has prompted much discussion recently, but the intricacies of the social status and histories of mixed heritage British citizens have long been the subject of academic and journalistic research, as the successful BBC series ‘Mixed Britannia’ (2011) proved. In literary terms, renown writers like Zadie Smith, Monica Ali or Jackie Kay have written stories about growing up in mixed families in varying contexts, and have dealt with the nuanced and unique experiences that are part of being British while not always entering, in other people’s minds, the imaginary of Britishness. This chapter will deal with writers from the crucial turn-of the-century generation but also with more contemporary stories, born from a Britain where dual and multiple heritage has seemingly been acknowledged and embraced, but where new forms of tension come to the fore. It will explore the manner in which the short stories, and the genre itself, enter into dialogue with mixed heritages.

Open Access
In: Postcolonial Youth in Contemporary British Fiction

Abstract

Youth and the postcolonial are united in that both inhabit a liminal locus where new ways of being in the world are rehearsed and struggle for recognition against the impositions of dominant power structures. Departing from this premise, the present volume focuses on the experience of postcolonial youngsters in contemporary Britain as rendered in fiction, thus envisioning the postcolonial as a site of fruitful and potentially transformative friction between different identitary variables or sociocultural interpellations. In so doing, this volume provides varied evidence of the ability of literature—and of the short story genre, in particular—to represent and swiftly respond to a rapidly changing world as well as to the new socio-cultural realities and conflicts affecting our current global order and the generations to come.

Open Access
In: Postcolonial Youth in Contemporary British Fiction

Abstract

Young Adult writing remains a relatively unexplored field, especially when it comes to ethnic minority authors and Muslims in Britain. Fortunately, an emerging group of British–Asian young adult women writers is successfully challenging these mainstream assumptions, about race at least. My analysis of ya texts employs the standard English Literature methodology of close reading, which examines works for their minute connotations, larger significance and writerly techniques, as well as placing them in a broader field of (con)texts (Federico 2016). I have selected two short stories from the woefully small amount of ya writing published by Muslim-heritage authors in Britain. These stories—Sufiya Ahmed’s ‘Tears and Tantrums’ and Nazneen Ahmed’s ‘Ghazal’, both of them to be published in the anthology A Match Made in Heaven, which I am co-editing with Nafhesa Ali and Richard Phillips for publication by HopeRoad in 2020offer, I will argue, contrasting markers along a scale of negativity/positivity towards British adolescents’ South Asian Muslim heritage.

Open Access
In: Postcolonial Youth in Contemporary British Fiction
Author:
In this ground-breaking study, Sabine Binder analyses the complex ways in which female crime fictional victims, detectives and perpetrators in South African crime fiction resonate with widespread and persistent real crimes against women in post-apartheid South Africa. Drawing on a wide range of crime novels written over the last decade, Binder emphasises the genre’s feminist potential and critically maps its political work at the intersection of gender and race. Her study challenges the perception of crime fiction as a trivial genre and shows how, in South Africa at least, it provides a vibrant platform for social, cultural and ethical debates, exposing violence, misogyny and racism and shedding light on the problematics of law and justice for women faced with crime.
Open Access
In: Women and Crime in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction
In: Women and Crime in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction
In: Women and Crime in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction
In: Women and Crime in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction
In: Women and Crime in Post-Transitional South African Crime Fiction