Genres of Modernity maps the conjunctures of critical theory and literary production in contemporary India. The volume situates a sample of representative novels in the discursive environment of the ongoing critical debate on modernity in India, and offers for the first time a rigorous attempt to hold together the stimulating impulses of postcolonial theory, subaltern studies and the boom of Indian fiction in English. In opposition to the entrenched narrative of modernity as a single, universally valid formation originating in the West, the theoretical and literary texts under discussion engage in a shared project of refiguring the present as a site of heterogeneous genres of modernity. The book traces these figurative efforts with particular attention to the treatment of two privileged metonymies of modernity: the issues of time and home in Indian fiction. Combining close readings of literary texts from Salman Rushdie to Kiran Nagarkar with a wide range of philosophical, sociological and historiographic reflections, Genres of Modernity is of interest not only for students of postcolonial literatures but for academics in the fields of Cultural Studies at large.
Contemporary Indian Novels in English
Black and Asian British Film since the 1990s
Barbara Korte and Claudia Sternberg
This book looks at a sector of black and Asian British film and television as it presented itself in the 1990s and early 2000s. For this period, a ‘mainstreaming’ of black and Asian British film has been observed in criticism and theory and articulated by an increasing number of practitioners themselves, referring to changing modes of production, distribution and reception and implying a more popular and commercial orientation of certain media products. This idea is a leitmotif for the authors’ readings of recent films and examples of television drama, including such diverse products as Young Soul Rebels and Babymother, East Is East and Bend It Like Beckham, The Buddha of Suburbia and White Teeth. These analyses are supplemented with a look at earlier landmark productions (like Pressure) as well as relevant social, institutional and aesthetic frameworks. The book closes with a selection of statements by black and Asian media practitioners who operate from within Britain’s cultural industries: Mike Phillips, Horace Ové, Julian Henriques, Parminder Vir and Gurinder Chadha.
Western Literature and the Lure of the East
Edited by C.C. Barfoot and Theo D'haen
A great deal of stimulating and valuable discussion (as well as some indignation and hot air) has been stimulated by Edward Said, whose provocative study of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient appeared twenty years ago. This present book will, we believe, be recognized as a worthy addition to the many attempts that have since been made to sift the intrinsic and ingrained attitudes of West to East. The fifteen articles in Oriental Prospects: Western Literature and the Lure of the East cover literature from the Renaissance through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the modern period, some in pragmatic accounts of responses to and uses of experiences of the Orient and its cultural attitudes and artefacts, others contending more theoretically with issues that Edward Said has raised. Despite all the misunderstanding, prejudice and propaganda in the scholarly and literary depiction of the Orient still today as in the past, what emerges from this wide-range of articles is that no species of literary text or academic study can appear without risking the accusation of escapist exoticism or cultural and economic exploitation; and thus regrettably masking the essential and vital significance of the political and the real and imaginative trading between East and West.