Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World


Poverty and precarity are among the most pressing social issues of today and have become a significant thematic focus and analytical tool in the humanities in the last two decades. This volume brings together an international group of scholars who investigate conceptualisations of poverty and precarity from the perspective of literary and cultural studies as well as linguistics. Analysing literature, visual arts and news media from across the postcolonial world, they aim at exploring the frameworks of representation that impact affective and ethical responses to disenfranchised groups and precarious subjects. Case studies focus on intersections between precarity and race, class, and gender, institutional frameworks of publishing, environmental precarity, and the framing of refugees and migrants as precarious subjects.

Contributors: Clelia Clini, Geoffrey V. Davis, Dorothee Klein, Sue Kossew, Maryam Mirza, Anna Lienen, Julia Hoydis, Susan Nalugwa Kiguli, Sule Emmanuel Egya, Malcolm Sen, Jan Rupp, J.U. Jacobs, Julian Wacker, Andreas Musolff, Janet M. Wilson
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Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp is Professor of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Bonn University (Germany). Her main areas of research are Postcolonial Studies and eighteenth-century British literature and culture.

Marion Gymnich is Professor of English Literature and Culture at Bonn University (Germany). Her research interests include British literature (19th century - present), gender studies and narratology. She is Deputy Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence ‘Beyond Slavery and Freedom’.

Klaus P. Schneider is Professor of Applied English Linguistics at the University of Bonn. His current research focuses on pragmatic variation, pragmatic competence, metapragmatics, and language use conventions in and across native, second and foreign language varieties of English.
Notes on Contributors

Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World An Introduction
  Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp and Marion Gymnich

Media, Performance, Genres

1 Poverty, (Neo)orientalism and the Cinematic Re-presentation of ‘Dark India’
  Clelia Clini

2 “Performing with What Little They Have”
Street Theatre in the Slums of Ahmedabad
  Geoffrey V. Davis

3 Overcoming the ‘Crisis of Nonrelation’ through Formal Innovation
Aboriginal Short Story Cycles
  Dorothee Klein

Intersectional Approaches

4 Precarious Lives in Tony Birch’s Common People (2017)
  Sue Kossew

5 Diasporic Female Precarity and Agency in Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways
  Maryam Mirza

6 Narrating the ‘Black Male Underclass’
The Ethics and Aesthetics of Coming into Representation
  Anna Lienen

7 Breaking the Cycle of Heathcliff
Precarious Subjects from Emily Brontë to Caryl Phillips
  Julia Hoydis

(Publication) Politics and Precarity

8 Voices of Ugandan Women Writers
Positioning FEMERITE Since 2006
  Susan Nalugwa Kiguli

9 Poverty, Precarity and the Ethics of Representing Africa
  Sule Emmanuel Egya

Environmental Precarity

10 Sovereignty at the Margins
The Oceanic Future of the Subaltern
  Malcolm Sen

11 Plantation and Planet
Environmental Precarity in Anglophone Caribbean World Writing
  Jan Rupp

Representing Refugees and Immigrants

12 Narrative Zones of Refuge in The Lost Boy by Aher Arop Bol and A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg
  J.U. Jacobs

13 “Bringing the Wisdom of Wall Street to Limbe”
Precarity and (American) Dream Narratives in Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers
  Julian Wacker

14 The Scenario of (Im-)Migrants as Scroungers and/or Parasites in British Media Discourses
  Andreas Musolff

15 Narrating Precarious Lives Refugee Tales, African Titanics, and the Year of the Runaways
  Janet M. Wilson


All interested in poverty and precarity studies in literary and cultural studies as well as linguistics, specifically in representations impacting affective and ethical responses to disenfranchised groups and precarious subjects.
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