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The Alter-Imperial Paradigm

Empire Studies & the Book of Revelation

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Shane J. Wood

Many assume the book of Revelation is merely an “anti-imperial” attack on the Roman Empire. Yet, Shane J. Wood argues this conclusion over-exaggerates Rome’s significance and, thus, misses Revelation’s true target—the construction of the alter-empire through the destruction of the preeminent adversary: Satan. Applying insights from Postcolonial criticism and 'Examinations of Dominance,' this monograph challenges trajectories of New Testament Empire Studies by developing an Alter-Imperial paradigm that appreciates the complexities between the sovereign(s) and subject(s) of a society—beyond simply rebellion or acquiescence. Shane J. Wood analyses Roman propaganda, Jewish interaction with the Flavians, and Domitianic persecution to interpret Satan's release (Rev 20:1-10) as the climax of God's triumphal procession. Thus, Rome provides the imagery; Eden provides the target.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities

Method, Theory, Meaning: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Munich, 4–7 August, 2013)

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Edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Alison Schofield and Samuel I. Thomas

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities explores the use of methods, theories, and approaches from the humanities in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The volume contains ten essays on topics ranging from New Philology and socio-linguistics to post-colonial thinking and theories of myth.

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Edited by Pamela A. Patton

Envisioning Others offers a multidisciplinary view of the relationship between race and visual culture in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world, from the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal to colonial Peru and Colombia, post-Independence Mexico, and the pre-Emancipation United States. Contributed by specialists in Latin American and Iberian art history, literature, history, and cultural studies, its ten chapters take a transnational view of what ‘race’ meant, and how visual culture supported and shaped this meaning, within the Ibero-American sphere from the late Middle Ages to the modern era. Case studies and regionally-focused essays are balanced by historiographical and theoretical offerings for a fresh perspective that challenges the reader to discern broad intersections of race, color, and the visual throughout the Iberian world.
Contributors are Beatriz Balanta, Charlene Villaseñor Black, Larissa Brewer-García, Ananda Cohen Suarez, Elisa Foster, Grace Harpster, Ilona Katzew, Matilde Mateo, Mey-Yen Moriuchi, and Erin Kathleen Rowe.

The African Palimpsest

Indigenization of Language in the West African Europhone Novel. Second Enlarged Edition

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Chantal Zabus

Uniting a sense of the political dimensions of language appropriation with a serious, yet accessible linguistic terminology, The African Palimpsest examines the strategies of ‘indigenization’ whereby West African writers have made their literary English or French distinctively ‘African’. Through the apt metaphor of the palimpsest – a surface that has been written on, written over, partially erased and written over again – the book examines such well-known West African writers as Achebe, Armah, Ekwensi, Kourouma, Okara, Saro–Wiwa, Soyinka and Tutuola as well as lesser-known writers from francophone and anglophone Africa. Providing a great variety of case-studies in Nigerian Pidgin, Akan, Igbo, Maninka, Yoruba, Wolof and other African languages, the book also clarifies the vital interface between Europhone African writing and the new outlets for African artistic expression in (auto-)translation, broadcast television, radio and film.

A Breath of Fresh Eyre

Intertextual and Intermedial Reworkings of Jane Eyre

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Edited by Margarete Rubik and Elke Mettinger

Ever since its publication in 1847 Jane Eyre – one of the most popular English novels of all time – has fascinated scholars and a wide reading public alike and has proved a source of inspiration to successive generations of creative writers and artists. There is hardly any other hypotext that has been re-worked in so many adaptations for stage and screen, has inspired so many painters and musicians, and has been so often imitated, re-written, parodied or extended by prequels and sequels. New versions in turn refer to and revise older rewritings or take up suggestions from Brontë scholarship, creating a dense intertextual web.
The essays collected in this volume do justice to the variety of media involved in the Jane Eyre reworkings, by covering narrative, visual and stage adaptations, including an adaptor’s perspective. Contributions review a diverse range of works, from postcolonial revision to postmodern fantasy, from imaginary after-lives to science fiction, from plays and Hollywood movies to opera, from lithographs and illustrated editions to comics and graphic novels.
The volume thus offers a comprehensive collection of reworkings that also takes into account recent novels, plays and works of art that were published after Patsy Stoneman’s seminal 1996 study on Brontë Transformations.

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Edited by Lieven D'Hulst, Jean-Marc Moura, Liesbeth De Bleeker and Nadia Lie

Contemporary research on Caribbean literature displays a rich variety of themes, literary and cultural categories, forms, genres, languages. Still, the concept of a unified Caribbean literary space remains questionable, depending upon whether one strictly limits it to the islands, enlarges it to adopt a Latin-American perspective, or even grants it inter-American dimensions. This book is an ambitious tentative to bring together specialists from various disciplines: neither just French, Spanish, English, or Comparative studies specialists, nor strictly “Caribbean literature” specialists, but also theoreticians, cultural studies scholars, historians of cultural translation and of intercultural transfers. The contributions tackle two major questions: what is the best possible division of labor between comparative literature, cultural anthropology and models of national or regional literary histories? how should one make use of “transversal” concepts such as: memory, space, linguistic awareness, intercultural translation, orature or hybridization? Case studies and concrete projects for integrated research alternate with theoretical and historiographical contributions. This volume is of utmost interest to students of Caribbean studies in general, but also to anyone interested in Caribbean literatures in Spanish, English and French, as well as to students in comparative literature, cultural studies and transfer research.

Carthage ou la flamme du brasier

Mémoire et échos chez Virgile, Senghor, Mellah, Ghachem, Augustin, Ammi, Broch et Glissant

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Bernadette Cailler

Carthage ou la flamme du brasier part d’une suite poétique d’Edouard Glissant, intitulée « Carthage », incluse dans Le sel noir (1960). Creuset des plus fructueux, ce texte a rapidement suscité chez Bernadette Cailler le désir d’explorer d’autres incarnations textuelles contemporaines de ce regard porté sur l’ancienne Carthage. Dans ce cheminement, deux grands noms du passé, à savoir Virgile et Augustin, se sont également très tôt intégrés à la recherche. En effet, le lecteur découvrira que, d’une manière ou d’une autre, Virgile apparaît dans tous les textes étudiés ici. Quant à Augustin, ses textes imprègnent de leurs traces deux des œuvres examinées dans cet ouvrage. Ce va-et-vient entre temps et espaces a donc pris forme de l’étude même de quelques auteurs du 20e siècle et de celui qui vient de commencer. A ce regard porté sur l’œuvre glissantienne et les anciens s’ajoutent une lecture de textes par Léopold Sédar Senghor, Fawzi Mellah, Moncef Ghachem, Kebir Mustapha Ammi, ainsi qu’une méditation de certains aspects de La mort de Virgile par Hermann Broch. Développant son étude, Bernadette Cailler est amenée à examiner diverses relations textuelles à l’épique, plus généralement aux « textes fondateurs » et, ce faisant, à réfléchir aussi à la dialectique pouvant exister entre agression, sacrifice et massacre.

Chasing Tales

Travel Writing, Journalism and the History of British Ideas about Afghanistan

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Corinne Fowler

Chasing Tales is the first exclusive study of journalism, travel writing and the history of British ideas about Afghanistan. It offers a timely investigation of the notional Afghanistan(s) that have prevailed in the popular British imagination. Casting its net deep into the nineteenth century, the study investigates the country’s mythologisation by scrutinising travel narratives, literary fiction and British news media coverage of the recent conflict in Afghanistan. This highly topical book explores the legacy of nineteenth-century paranoias and prejudices to contemporary travellers and journalists and seeks to explain why Afghans continue to be depicted as medieval, murderous, warlike and unruly. Its title, Chasing Tales, conveys the circulation, and indeed the circularity, of ideas commonly found in British travel writing and journalism. The ‘tales’ component stresses the pivotal role played by fictionalised sources, especially the writing of Rudyard Kipling, in perpetuating traumatic nineteenth-century memories of Afghan-British encounter. The subject matter is compelling and its foci of interest profoundly relevant both to current political debates and to scholarly enquiry about the ethics of travel.

Essays in Migratory Aesthetics

Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-making

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Edited by Sam Durrant and Catherine M. Lord

This volume addresses the impact of human movement on the aesthetic practices that make up the fabric of culture. The essays explore the ways in which cultural activities—ranging from the habitual gestures of the body to the production of specific artworks—register the impact of migration, from the forced transportation of slaves to the New World and of Jews to the death camps to the economic migration of peoples between the West and its erstwhile colonies; from the internal and external exile of Palestinians to the free movement of cosmopolitan intellectuals. Rather than focusing exclusively on art produced by those identified as migrant subjects, this collection opens up the question of how aesthetics itself migrates, transforming not only its own practices and traditions, but also the very nature of our being in the world, as subjects producing, as well as produced by, the cultures in which we live. The transformative potential of cultures on the move is both affirmed and critiqued throughout the collection, as part of an exploration of the ways in which globalisation implicates us ever more tightly in the unequal relations of production that characterise late modernity. This collection brings academic scholars from a variety of disciplines into conversation with practising visual and verbal artists; indeed, many of the essays break down the distinction between artist and academic, suggesting a dynamic interchange between critical reflection and creativity.

Five Emus to the King of Siam

Environment and Empire

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Edited by Helen Tiffin

Western exploitation of other peoples is inseparable from attitudes and practices relating to other species and the extra-human environment generally. Colonial depredations turn on such terms as ‘human’, ‘savage’, ‘civilised’, ‘natural’, ‘progressive’, and on the legitimacies governing apprehension and control of space and landscape. Environmental impacts were reinforced, in patterns of unequal ‘exchange’, by the transport of animals, plants and peoples throughout the European empires, instigating widespread ecosystem change under unequal power regimes (a harbinger of today’s ‘globalization’).
This book considers these imperial ‘exchanges’ and charts some contemporary legacies of those inequitable imports and exports, transportations and transmutations. Sheep farming in Australia, transforming the land as it dispossessed the native inhabitants, became a symbol of (new, white) nationhood. The transportation of plants (and animals) into and across the Pacific, even where benign or nostalgic, had widespread environmental effects, despite the hopes of the acclimatisation societies involved, and, by extension, of missionary societies “planting the seeds of Christianity.” In the Caribbean, plantation slavery pushed back the “jungle” (itself an imported word) and erased the indigenous occupants – one example of the righteous, biblically justified cultivation of the wilderness. In Australia, artistic depictions of landscape, often driven by romantic and ‘gothic’ aesthetics, encoded contradictory settler mindsets, and literary representations of colonial Kenya mask the erasure of ecosystems. Chapters on the early twentieth century (in Canada, Kenya, and Queensland) indicate increased awareness of the value of species-preservation, conservation, and disease control. The tension between traditional and ‘Euroscientific’ attitudes towards conservation is revealed in attitudes towards control of the Ganges, while the urge to resource exploitation has produced critical disequilibrium in Papua New Guinea. Broader concerns centering on ecotourism and ecocriticism are treated in further essays summarising how the dominant West has alienated ‘nature’ from human beings through commodification in the service of capitalist ‘progress’.