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The Politics of Bearing After-Witness to Nineteenth-Century Suffering
This collection constitutes the first volume in Rodopi’s Neo-Victorian Series, which explores the prevalent but often problematic re-vision of the long nineteenth century in contemporary culture. Here is presented for the first time an extended analysis of the conjunction of neo-Victorian fiction and trauma discourse, highlighting the significant interventions in collective memory staged by the belated aesthetic working-through of historical catastrophes, as well as their lingering traces in the present. The neo-Victorian’s privileging of marginalised voices and its contestation of master-narratives of historical progress construct a patchwork of competing but equally legitimate versions of the past, highlighting on-going crises of existential extremity, truth and meaning, nationhood and subjectivity. This volume will be of interest to both researchers and students of the growing field of neo-Victorian studies, as well as scholars in memory studies, trauma theory, ethics, and heritage studies. It interrogates the ideological processes of commemoration and forgetting and queries how the suffering of cultural and temporal others should best be represented, so as to resist the temptations of exploitative appropriation and voyeuristic spectacle. Such precarious negotiations foreground a central paradox: the ethical imperative to bear after-witness to history’s silenced victims in the face of the potential unrepresentability of extreme suffering.
Studying postcolonial literatures in English can (and indeed should) make a human rights activist of the reader – there is, after all, any amount of evidence to show the injustices and inhumanity thrown up by processes of decolonization and the struggle with past legacies and present corruptions. Yet the human-rights aspect of postcolonial literary studies has been somewhat marginalized by scholars preoccupied with more fashionable questions of theory.
The present collection seeks to redress this neglect, whereby the definition of human rights adopted is intentionally broad. The volume reflects the human rights situation in many countries from Mauritius to New Zealand, from the Cameroon to Canada. It includes a focus on the Malawian writer Jack Mapanje.
The contributors’ concerns embrace topics as varied as denotified tribes in India, female genital mutilation in Africa, native residential schools in Canada, political violence in Northern Ireland, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the discourse of the Treaty of Waitangi. The editors hope that the very variety of responses to the invitation to reflect on questions of “Literature and Human Rights” will both stimulate further discussion and prompt action.
Contributors are: Edward O. Ako, Hilarious N. Ambe, Ken Arvidson, Jogamaya Bayer, Maggie Ann Bowers, Chandra Chatterjee, Lindsey Collen, G.N. Devy, James Gibbs, J.U. Jacobs, Karen King–Aribisala, Sindiwe Magona, Lee Maracle, Stuart Marlow, Don Mattera, Wumi Raji. Lesego Rampolokeng, Dieter Riemenschneider, Ahmed Saleh, Jamie S. Scott, Mark Shackleton, Johannes A. Smit, Peter O. Stummer, Robert Sullivan, Rajiva Wijesinha, Chantal Zabus
British Perceptions of Norway in the Nineteenth Century
In the nineteenth century, the ancient ‘filial tie’ between Britain and Norway was rediscovered by a booming tourist industry which took thousands across the North Sea to see the wonders of the fjords, the fjelds, and the beauties of the North Cape. This illustrated volume, for the first time, collects together vivid – and predominantly first-hand – impressions of the country recorded by nearly two hundred British travellers and other commentators, including Thomas Malthus, Charlotte Brontë, Lord Tennyson, and William Gladstone. In a rich selection of travel writing, fiction, poetry, journalism, political speeches, and art, Norway emerges as a refreshingly natural utopia, happily free from her imperial neighbour’s increasing problems with the side-effects of industrialisation.
This is a fascinating examination of the people, institutions, customs, language and environment of Norway seen through the eyes of the British. Using the tools of literary and historical scholarship, Fjågesund and Symes set these perceptions in their nineteenth-century context, throwing light on such issues as progress, art and aesthetics, democracy, religion, nationhood, race, class, and gender, all of which occupied Europe at the time. The Northern Utopia will be of particular interest to students of British and Scandinavian cultural history, literature and travel writing. It will also enthral all those who love Norway.
Author: Luke Strongman
This book is about the Booker Prize – the London-based literary award made annually to “the best novel written in English” by a writer from one of those countries belonging to, or formerly part of, the British Commonwealth. The approach to the Prize is thematically historical and spans the award period to 1999. The novels that have won or shared the Prize in this period are examined within a theoretical framework mapping the literary terrain of the fiction. Individual chapters explore themes that occur within the larger narrative formed by this body of novels - collectively invoked cultures, social trends and movements spanning the stages of imperial heyday and decline as perceived over the past three decades. Individually and collectively, the novels mirror, often in terms of more than a single static image, British imperial culture after empire, contesting and reinterpreting perceptions of the historical moment of the British Empire and its legacy in contemporary culture.
The body of Booker novels narrates the demise of empire and the emergence of different cultural formations in its aftermath. The novels are grouped for discussion according to the way in which they deal with aspects of the transition from empire to a post-imperial culture - from early imperial expansion, through colonization, retrenchment, decolonization and postcolonial pessimism, to the emergence of tribal nationalisms and post-imperial nation-states. The focus throughout is primarily literary and contingently cultural.
Critical essays on 15 Canadian films
Editor: Eugene P. Walz
Long recognized for outstanding National Film Board documentaries and innovative animated movies, Canada has recently emerged from the considerable shadow of the Hollywood elephant with a series of feature films that have captured the attention of audiences around the world.
This is the first anthology to focus on Canada's feature films - those acknowledged as its very best.
With essays by senior academics and leading scholars from across the country as well as some fresh new voices, Canada's Best Features offers penetrating analyses of fifteen award-winning films. Internationally acclaimed directors David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Denys Arcand, and Claude Jutra are represented here. Noteworthy films include Mon oncle Antoine, often cited as Canada's number one film of all time, such Cannes Festival favourites as Le déclin de l'empire américain and Exotica, and cult films Careful by Guy Maddin and Masala by Srinivas Krishna.
The essays offer the latest word on these films and filmmakers, done from a variety of perspectives. Some of the films have never been examined in-depth before. Complete filmographies and bibliographies accompany each essay. A contextualizing introduction by Professor Gene Walz provides the necessary overview. An annotated bibliography of books on the Canadian film industry completes this impressive package.
Volume Editors: Ulrich Broich and Susan Bassnett
At the turn of the twenty-first century Britain is in a state of change. It is being transformed by the ongoing process of devolution as well as by its increasing multi-ethnicity. At the same time the relationship with the European Union remains controversial. This book charts these transformations in the context of the changes Britain experienced a century ago, at the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on British politics, culture and literature the articles examine a range of topics, including models of utopian and apocalyptic thought, the contemporary celebrity cult, the state of literary theory in Britain and the recent “boom” in lyrical poetry and the “drama of blood and sperm”.
Processional Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Series:  Ludus, Volume: 5
Procession, arguably the most ubiquitous and versatile public performance mode until the seventeenth century, has received little scholarly or theoretical attention. Yet, this form of social behaviour has been so thoroughly naturalised in our accounts of western European history that it merited little comment as a cultural performance choice over many centuries until recently, when a generation of cultural historians using explanatory models from anthropology called attention to the processional mode as a privileged vehicle for articulation in its society. Their analyses, however, tended to focus on the issue of whether processions produced social harmony or reinforced social distinctions, potentially leading to conflict. While such questions are not ignored in this collection of essays, its primary purpose is to reflect upon salient theatrical aspects of processions that may help us understand how in the performance of “moving subjects” they accomplished their often transformative cultural work.
From Tottel's Miscellany (1557) to the last twentieth-century Oxford Book of English Verse (1999), anthologies have been a prime institution for the preservation and mediation of poetry. The importance of anthologies for creating and re-creating the canon of English poetry, for introducing ‘new' programmes of poetry, as a record of changing poetic fashions, audience tastes and reading practices, or as a profitable literary commodity has often been asserted. Despite its impact, however, the poetry anthology in itself has attracted surprisingly little critical interest in Britain or elsewhere in the English-speaking world. This volume is the first publication to explore the largely unmapped field of poetry anthologies in Britain. Essays written from a wide range of perspectives in literary and cultural studies, and the point of view of poets, editors, publishers and cultural institutions, aim to do justice to the typological, functional and historical variety with which this form of publication has manifested itself - from early modern print culture to the postmodern age of the world wide web.
Travelling – Migration – Dislocation
Editor: Liselotte Glage
This fifth volume of ASNEL Papers covers a wide range of theoretical and thematic approaches to the topics of travelling, migration, and dislocation. All migrants are travellers, but not all travellers are migrants. Migration and the figure of the migrant have become key concepts in recent post-colonial studies. However, migration is not such a new or exceptional phenomenon. From the eighteenth century onward there have been migrations from Europe to what are now called 'post-colonial' countries, and this prepared the ground for movement back to the old but also to the new centres of Europe and elsewhere. Travel and travel experience, on the other hand, have been part of the cultural codes not only of the West and not only of imperialism. The essays in this volume look at both kinds of movement, at their intersections, and at their (dis)locating effects. They cover a wide range of topics, from early seventeenth-century travel reports, through nineteenth-century women's travel writing, to such contemporary writers as Michael Ondaatje and Janette Turner Hospital.
Diaspora Writing of the Indian Subcontinent
In the wake of the steady expansion and more recent explosion of Anglo-Indian and Indo-Anglian writing, and following the success of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, the literature of the Indian diaspora has become the object of close attention. As a body of literature, it simultaneously represents an important multicultural perspective within individual ‘national' literatures (such as those of Canada or Australia) as well as a more global perspective taking in the phenomena of transculturalism and diaspora. However, while readers may share an interest in the writing of the Indian diaspora, they do not always interpret the notion of ‘Indian diaspora' in the same way. Indeed, there has been much debate in recent years about the appropriateness of terms such as diaspora and exile. Should these terms be reserved for the specifically historical nature of problems encountered in the process of acquiring new nationality and citizenship, or can they be extended to the writing of literature itself or used to describe ‘economic' migration arising out of privilege?
As a response to these debates, Shifting Continents/Colliding Cultures explores the aftermath of British colonialism on the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, including the resulting diaspora. The essays also examine zones of intersection between theories of postcolonial writing and models of diaspora and the nation. Particular lines of investigation include: how South-Asian identity is negotiated in Western spaces, and its reverse, how Western identity is negotiated in South-Asian space; reading identity by privileging history; the role of diasporic women in the (Western) nation; how diaspora affects the literary canon; and how diaspora is used in the production of alternative identities in films such as Gurinder Chadha's Bhaji on the Beach.