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Myth and Mythologizing in Postmodern Canadian Historical Fiction
This study brings together three major areas of interest - history, postmodern fiction, and myth. Whereas neither history and postmodern fiction nor history and myth are strangers to one another, postmodernism and myth are odd bedfellows. For many critics, postmodern thought with its resistance to metanarratives stands in direct and deliberate contrast to myth with its apparent tendency to explain the world by means of neat, complete narratives.
There is a strain of postmodern Canadian historical fiction in which myth actually forms a complement not only to postmodernism's suspicion of master-narratives but also to its privileging of those marginal and at times ignored areas of history. The fourteen works of Canadian fiction considered demonstrate a doubled impulse which at first glance seems contradictory. On the one hand, they go about demythologizing - in the Barthesian sense - various elements of historical discourse, exposing its authority as not simply a natural given but as a construct. This includes the fact that the view of history portrayed in the fiction has been either underrepresented or suppressed by official historiography. On the other hand, the history is then re-mythologized, in that it becomes part of a pre-existing myth, its mythic elements are foregrounded, myth and magic are woven into the narrative, or it is portrayed as extraordinary in some way. The result is an empowering of these histories for the future; they are made larger than life and unforgettable.
Relocating the Body in Contemporary Performing Art
In ice hockey, the term body check refers to a specific move to gain control. It is a blow from body to body, a dynamic clash of physical strength, which will determine the course of the game. In this book, too, the body is checked and there is physical confrontation. Not in the hockey ring, but on stage.
This book deals with the body in contemporary (performing) arts. The focus is on exploring theoretical avenues and developing new concepts to grasp corporeal images more accurately. This theoretical research is confronted with the voice of artists whose work explicitly deals with the body. In-depth interviews with a.o. Meg Stuart, Wim Vandekeybus, Romeo Castellucci, Jerôme Bel reveal a very broad range of views on the (re)presentation of the body in today’s performing arts. The combination of these two voices –the theoretician’s and the artist’s -shows that research by artists and cultural scientists is perfectly complementary.
Wilson Harris and the Caribbean
This volume celebrates Wilson Harris’s eightieth birthday and more than fifty years of creative writing. The most original and profound writer of the Caribbean, he has revolutionized the art of fiction and its language. He has himself contributed to this volume, and several Caribbean writers of a younger generation – Cyril Dabydeen, Fred D’Aguiar, Andrew Jefferson-Miles, Mark McWatt, Caryl Phillips, Lawrence Scott – pay tribute here to his genius.
The essays are by critics from the Caribbean, Britain, the United States and continental Europe who have long admired and explored his work. They cover the various genres of Harris’s writing, his poetry, fiction and criticism, and deal with major aspects of his work, bringing out its relevance to the contemporary context of violence in the world, its modernity, and its contribution to the renewal of the humanities.
Volume Editors: and
Edited by David Bevan

Series discontinued.
Nature and Its Discontents in the USA of Yesterday and Today
Volume Editor:
With the publication in English in 1930 of Civilization and its Discontents and its thesis that instinct – and, ultimately: nature – had been and must be forever subordinated in order that civilization might thrive and endure, Freud contributed what some contemporaries saw to the central debate of his era – a debate which had long preoccupied both official American pundits and the American populace at large. At the beginning of the new Millennium, evidence abounds that an American debate still rages over the meaning of “nature,” the rightful weight of instinct, and the status of civilization. The Millennium itself has appeared in popular and official discourses as an appropriate marker of an age in which nature is close to the edge of radical extinction and has also become more and more unreliable as a paradigm for representation and debate. At the same time, the contemporary tailoring of nature to postmodern needs and expectations inevitably reveals the conceptual difficulty of any possible, simple opposition between nature and culture as if they were clearly distinguishable domains. If nature, then, can clearly be seen as a discursive concept, it may also be a timeless concept insofar that it has been shaped, created, and used at all times. Every epoch, age and era had “its own nature,” with myth, history and ideology as its dominant shaping forces. From the Frontier to Cyberia, nature has been suffering the “agony of the real,” resurfacing in discursive strategies and demonstrating a powerful impact on American society, culture and self-definition. The essays in this collection “speak critically of the natural” and examine the American debate in the many guises it has assumed over the last century within the context of major critical approaches, psychoanalytical concepts, and postmodern theorizing.
Australian viewings of live performance
Volume Editor:
Body Show/s: Australian Viewings of Live Performance asks: in what ways do physical bodies in live performance present vital and compelling expressions of ideas?
This collection contains critical analyses of cultural spectacle and social identity by eighteen major Australian scholars and practitioners. It discusses and describes bodies in contemporary performance, theatre, visual art and dance; in circus and ethnographic shows; in performance training, butoh and wrestling; at gay and lesbian dance parties; and in relation to digital images. It explores historical and theoretical issues of gender and postcoloniality, technology, and the location of bodies in architectural, social and virtual spaces.
Artistes and groups discussed include Sydney Front, Open City, The Performance Space, Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre, Chrissie Parrott, the Bell Shakespeare Company, Tess De Quincey, Yumi Umiumare, Gilgul Theatre, Lyndal Jones, Stelarc, Death Defying Theatre, colonial circus, ethnographic displays, the horse as performer, and wrestling legends Gorgeous George and Ravishing Ricky Rude.
Writing Ethnicity in Canada
Volume Editors: and
Studies of literary reflections on ethnicity are essential to the ever-renewed definition of Canadian literature. The essays in this collection explore the diverse ways of negotiating identity and the articulation of space in Canada, taking ethnicity as a driving force with ideological and cultural implications that lend public and literary discourse an urgent dynamism. While theorizing ethnicity is a valuable critical enterprise, these essays centre on the concrete realization of the problematics of ethnicity in creative writing, covering a wide range of Canada's mosaic. The creative inscription of ethnicity stimulates the evolution and expansion of Canada's literary heritage, the complexity of this cultural experience being the focus of the present collection. Fourteen essays, including a personal account by the Ukrainian-Canadian Janice Kulyk Keefer on the merging of private and public history, and two interviews - with the Chinese-Canadian writer Wayson Choy and the critic Linda Hutcheon - analyze the manifestations of the pluralism that has always characterized Canadian writers' consciousness of themselves, their engagement with the notion of the ‘multicultural' and its significance in contemporary society and, in particular, its effect on creativity.
Volume Editors: and
This volume is designed to bridge a gap in the current theoretical debate about the nature, scope and relevance of postmodern perspectives in the humanist and social sciences in Eastern and Western Europe. While the debate has been reasonably comprehensive and certainly abrasive in Western European and Anglophone countries, it has signally failed to incorporate the viewpoints of Eastern European scholars and intellectuals. Even the current appropriation of Mikhail Bakhtin as a prophet of the postmodern is, paradoxically, a monologic engagement with his thought rather than a dialogic encounter of cultures. Doubtless different historical experiences, ideology and social aspirations go some way to account for the weariness of Eastern Europe with postmodern challenge and its glad embrace by Western scholars. The volume comprises some fifteen essays by leading historians, literary theorists and social scientists from Western and Eastern Europe and America. It has a threefold aim: firstly, to illuminate the distinctiveness of current Western and Eastern European theorizing about history and society; secondly, to reveal points of tension and disagreement, and, finally, to open up a space for a meeting of seemingly incompatible worlds.
Author:
This collection is concerned with the problems and pleasures of writing literary biography in the context of South African writing. Stephen Gray's introduction outlines the choice faced by the researcher: between writing revisionist history (à la Strachey) and the personal bias the portraitist must take into account when conducting the retrieval especially of lost and enigmatic figures (à la Symons). Concentrating on the unattached irregulars of the arts in South Africa - often the arts of their times - Gray stresses the value of the free-lance figure in the formation of an evolving colonial and post-colonial literature.
Subjects included are: Charles Maclean, alias John Ross, who recorded his experiences of the Zulu King Shaka in Natal's first captivity narrative; Douglas Blackburn, rated as the successor of Swift for his satires of the Anglo-Boer War conflict; Beatrice Hastings, polymath journalist whose lovers included Katherine Mansfield and Amedeo Modigliani; Stephen Black, founder of indigenous South African drama in English; Edward Wolfe, the Bloomsbury painter who began as a child-actor in the mining town of Johannesburg; Bessie Head, who became the Botswana-based wise-woman of African literature before her untimely death in 1986, yet never knew her own origins; Etienne Leroux, the Free State rancher who, in Afrikaans, wrote much-banned postmodernist novels; Mary Renault whose bestselling novels set in Ancient Greece peculiarly represented the shutdown of democracy in apartheid South Africa; Sipho Sepamla, stalwart of the Soweto Poetry school which came to prominence after the 1976 Soweto uprising; and Richard Rive, novelist, cultural commentator and liberation icon, murdered in his prime. The portrait gallery of the figures who have shaped and defined the role of literature in South Africa is both revealing and provocative, showing the route taken by some lesser-known talents in their struggle to establish the rights of authors in an often indifferent or repressive state.
American Postmodern Fiction in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands
Volume Editors: and
Postmodern Studies deals with (any aspect of) postmodernism, or of postmodernity and the postmodern in relation to literature.

Publications in this series can be either of a theoretical or a more practical/analytic nature. They may refer to any one, or to several, literary works, genres, or literatures. They may also refer to the other arts, provided the main focus remain literary. In evaluating contributions, the editors of Postmodern Studies will follow no particular methodological or ideological bias.

All manuscripts accepted in the series first undergo a process of peer review.

Due to rapid developments in literary studies we close the series for new publications.