out of the ordinary? This volume focuses on that which has been regarded as ordinary, self-evident and formulaic in literary and cultural phenomena such as diasporic cuisine, pet adoption narratives, Prairie writing, romance between stepsiblings, the program of a political party, and everyday shopping in poetry. The book argues that by engaging with that which is perceived as ordinary we also gain understanding of how otherness becomes defined and constituted. The volume seeks new ways to access that which might lie in-between or beyond the opposition between exploitation and emancipation, and contests the hegemonic logic of revealing oppression and rebuilding liberation in contemporary critical theory to create new ways of knowing which grow out of the ordinary.
How do contemporary African American authors relate trauma, memory, and the recovery of the past with the processes of cultural and identity formation in African American communities?
Patricia San José analyses a variety of novels by authors like Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, and David Bradley and explores these works as valuable instruments for the disclosure, giving voice, and public recognition of African American collective and historical trauma.
Uncommon Wealths in Postcolonial Fiction engages urgently with wealth, testing current assumptions of inequality in order to push beyond reductive contemporary readings of the gaping abyss between rich and poor. Shifting away from longstanding debates in postcolonial criticism focused on poverty and abjection, the book marshals fresh perspectives on material, spiritual, and cultural prosperity as found in the literatures of formerly colonized spaces.
The chapters ‘follow the money’ to illuminate postcolonial fiction’s awareness of the ambiguities of ‘wealth’, acquired under colonial capitalism and transmuted in contemporary neoliberalism. They weigh idealistic projections of individual and collective wellbeing against the stark realities of capital accumulation and excessive consumption. They remain alert to the polysemy suggested by “Uncommon Wealths,” both registering the imperial economic urge to ensure common wealth and referencing the unconventional or non-Western, the unusual, even fictitious and contrasting privately coveted and exclusively owned wealth with visions of a shared good.
Arranged into four sections centred on aesthetics, injustice, indigeneity, and cultural location, the individual chapters show how writers of postcolonial fiction, including Aravind Adiga, Amit Chau-dhuri, Anita Desai, Patricia Grace, Mohsin Hamid, Stanley Gazemba, Tomson Highway, Lebogang Matseke, Zakes Mda, Michael Ondaatje, Kim Scott, and Alexis Wright, employ prosperity and affluence as a lens through which to re-examine issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and family, the cultural value of heritage, land, and social cohesion, and such conflicting imperatives as economic growth, individual fulfilment, social and environmental responsibility, and just distribution.
Francesco Cattani, Sheila Collingwood–Whittick, Paola Della Valle, Sneja Gunew, Melissa Kennedy, Neil Lazarus, John McLeod, Eva–Maria Müller, Helga Ramsey–Kurz, Geoff Rodoreda, Sandhya Shetty, Cheryl Stobie, Helen Tiffin, Alex Nelungo Wanjala, David Waterman
The White Spaces of Kenyan Settler Writing provides an overview of Kenyan literature by white writers in the half-century before Independence in 1964. Such literature has been over-shadowed by that of black writers to the point of critical ostracism. It deserves attention for its own sake, as the expression of a community that hoped for permanence but suffered both disappointment and dispossession. It deserves attention for its articulation of an increasingly desperate colonial and Imperial situation at a time when both were being attacked and abandoned in Africa, as in other colonies elsewhere, and when a counter-discourse was being constructed by writers in Britain as well as in Africa. Kenya was likely the best-known twentieth-century colony, for it attracted publicity for its iconic safaris and its Happy Valley scandals. Yet behind such scenes were settlers who had taken over lands from the native peoples and who were trying to make a future for themselves, based on the labour, willing or forced, of those people. This situation can be seen as a microcosm of one colonial exercise, and can illuminate the historical tensions of such times. The bibliography is an attempt to collect the literary resources of white Kenya in this historically significant period.
Displacement, Memory, and Travel in Contemporary Migrant Writing examines contemporary cultural representations of transforming identities in the era of increasing global mobility. It pays particular attention to the ways in which cultural encounters are experienced affectively and discursively in migrant literature. Divided into three parts that deal with refugee writing and displacement, migration and memory, and new European identities, the volume develops current methodologies and shows how postcolonial studies can be applied to the study of cultural encounters. Writers studied include Simão Kikamba, Ishmael Beah, Madhur Jaffrey, Diana Abu-Jaber, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Caryl Phillips, Jamal Mahjoub, and Monica Ali, and several refugee writers.
Through chapters dedicated to specific writers and texts,
Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in the Great War is a collection of essays examining literary responses to the Great War, particularly the confrontation of two distinct languages.
One of these reflects nineteenth-century ideals of war as a noble sacrifice; the other portrays the hopeless, brutal reality of the trenches.
The ultimate aim of this volume is to convey and reinforce the notion that no explicit literary language can ever be regarded as
the definitive language of the Great War, nor can it ever hope to represent this conflict in its entirety. The collection also uncovers how memory constantly develops, triggering distinct and even contradictory responses from those involved in the complex process of remembering.
Contributors: Donna Coates, Brian Dillon, Monique Dumontet, Dorothea Flothow, Elizabeth Galway, Laurie Kaplan, Sara Martín Alegre, Silvia Mergenthal, Andrew Monnickendam, David Owen, Andrew Palmer, Bill Phillips, Cristina Pividori, Esther Pujolrás-Noguer, Richard Smith