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Editor: Katrine Wong
Eastern and Western Synergies and Imaginations: Texts and Histories is a product of east-west studies crossed with adaptation studies: it goes beyond evaluation of cultural interactions and discussion of forms and manners of adaptation. This volume brings together critical discourses from various cultural locales which have developed from and thrived on the notion of “East meets West” or “West meets East”. The 10 chapters trace and investigate cross-, trans- or multi-cultural interpretations of fictional and non-fictional narratives that feature people and events in cities and regions which thrive, or have thrived, as East-West hubs, thereby expounding multiple layers of relationship between source texts and new texts. An allegorical play, The Three Ladies of Macao, premièred in December 2016, is now published as appendix in this volume.
Author: Deb Anderson

Abstract

Local news media play a key role in fostering citizen participation in public life and offer communities forms of supportive action during crisis, which lie at the heart of compassion. Through the lens of emotion, we can see that ‘the story’ of local disaster reporting is one of being local, where the journalist’s position between involved actor and interpretive observer is anchored in compassion for the local. In turn, a focus on compassion illuminates the power of oral history as a means to contextualise the experience of disaster – in this case, how cyclones are made culturally meaningful – and expand media research on climate-related disaster.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society

Abstract

Thomas Dixon makes the important point that modern anger is nothing like the seemingly parallel phenomena (ira, mênis and so on) of the past. He proposes to show how different it is by employing what he calls an anatomical-genealogical approach – tracing components of the present idea of anger to their antecedents. He criticises my own work on anger as ahistorical because I use the singular term rather than the plurals that the subject demands. I find his critique unconvincing and his approach problematic. I suggest that we explore past notions of anger (and other emotions as well) in their own lived contexts rather than by separate components.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society
Author: Diana G. Barnes

Abstract

This essay argues that animal-human compassion, defined as human fellow-feeling with (and not for) animals, is most urgently articulated at points of crisis in human history, such as the terrible bushfires and drought of the Australian summer of 2019–20. Literary history, particularly of pastoral literature, reveals animal-human compassion as a long-contested structure of feeling. The pastoral template established in classical literature, and refined in early modern literature, sets conventions for proper human-animal emotional relations. These ideals are radically destabilised in Andrew Marvell’s ‘dark pastoral’ civil war poetry. This troubled legacy flows through Australian settler-colonial writing about animals, particularly the kangaroo; Barron Field, Charles Harpur and Ethel Pedley strive to intervene in the patriotic myth-making associated with colonial settlement and Federation.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society
Author: Eugenia Vanina

Abstract

When in 1664 the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb appointed a Rajput general, Mirza Raja Jai Singh Kachwaha, as commander-in-chief of a punitive army sent against the Maratha warlord Shivaji, contemporary authors recorded it dispassionately as a trivial occurrence. Emotional perception of the event had changed drastically by the early twentieth century, when the proponents of Hindu nationalism began to view Jai Singh with disgust and anger as a ‘traitor to the Hindu nation’. Analysis of ‘Letter of Maharaja Shivaji to Mirza Raja Jai Singh’ (‘Mahārāj Śivājī kā patr Mirzā Rājā Jai Siṅgh ke nām’), by the Hindi classic poet Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, discloses the communicative means employed by the author to ‘reboot’ the emotional attitudes of his readers and to rope them into the emotional community of Hindu nationalists.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society

Abstract

The concept of compassion, defined as suffering with, has a long history often entangled in that of the cognate term pity. It has proven to be a changeable concept that is not only responsive to but integral to historical change itself. This is because it is a sociable emotion, but, in the sense that it expresses a desire to alleviate the suffering of another, the emotion also expresses the desire to effect change. For this reason it is a particularly timely lens through which to consider the emotional effect of climate change upon local communities, and the new emotional regime taking shape in the Anthropocene – and the dawning of the Pyrocene – beginning with Armidale, New South Wales through the drought and fire of Australia’s Black Summer of 2019–20, but extending beyond.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society

Abstract

Compassion is key to Australian women’s garden stories and return-to-the-home environmentalism. These stories highlight the gendered power implications of women’s work. Questions about who is suffering and who is caring are paramount. Women’s garden narratives are hopeful: they capture the interconnection between the local and global and the ethics of care promoted by ecofeminists. Yet when women gardeners embrace a care ethic which sees their own domestic workload skyrocket in order to alleviate environmental suffering, their compassion stories risk becoming what Lauren Berlant terms ‘collective norms of obligation’. Through aural storytelling in Pip permaculture magazine podcasts, women gardeners consider how the responsibility of ordinary, caring garden work fits within their already numerous, significant, and everyday caring responsibilities. Their collaboration reveals innovative solutions to this conundrum. Their compassionate garden work becomes a domestic practice of time, effort, and joy.

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society