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Ideology in Postcolonial Texts and Contexts reflects that critiques of ideological formations occur within intersecting social, political, and cultural configurations where each position is in itself ‘ideological’ – and subject to asymmetrical power relations. Postcolonialism has become an object of critique as ideology, but postcolonial studies’ highly diversified engagement with ideology remains a strong focus that exceeds Ideologiekritik. Fourteen contributors from North America, Africa, and Europe focus (I) on the complex relation between postcolonialism, postcolonial theory, and conceptualizations of ideology, (II) on ideological formations that manifest themselves in very specific postcolonial contexts, highlighting the potential continuities between colonial and postcolonial ideology, and (III) on further expanding and complicating the nexus of postcolonial ideology, from veiling as both ideological practice and individual resistance to home as ideological construct; from palimpsestic readings of colonial photography to aesthetics as ideology.
Reimagining Nineteenth-Century Historical Subjects
This volume explores the many paradoxes of neo-Victorian biofiction, a genre that yokes together the real and the imaginary, biography and fiction, and generates oxymoronic combinations like creative facts, fictional truth, or poetic truthfulness. Contemporary biofictions recreating nineteenth-century lives demonstrate the crucial but always ethically ambiguous revision and supplementation of the historical archive. Due to the tension between ethical empathy and consumerist voyeurism, between traumatic testimony and exploitative exposé, the epistemological response is per force one of hermeneutic suspicion and iconoclasm. In the final account, this volume highlights neo-Victorianism’s deconstruction of master-narratives and the consequent democratic rehabilitation of over-looked microhistories.
Author: Grzegorz Moroz
A Generic History of Travel Writing in Anglophone and Polish Literature offers a comprehensive, comparative and generic analysis of developments of travel writing in Anglophone and Polish literature from the Late Medieval Period to the twenty-first century. These developments are depicted in a wider context of travel narratives written in other European languages. Grzegorz Moroz convincingly argues that, for all the similarities and cross-cultural influences, in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century non-fiction Anglophone and Polish travel writing have dynamically evolved different generic horizons of expectations. While the Anglophone travel book developed relatively steadily in that period, the Polish genre of the podróż was first replaced by the listy (kartki) z podróży, and then by the reportaż podróżniczy.
George MacDonald is generally remembered as a benevolent preacher who wrote fairy-tales books for children. Closer reading, however, reveals one of the most startlingly inventive, slyly subversive Scottish writers of the nineteenth century. His writings for children emerged from his own long struggle with faith and doubt in the face of multiple bereavements, chronic illness, and the persistent threat of early death.
Haunted Childhoods in George MacDonald reconsiders death and divine love in MacDonald’s writings for children. It examines his private letters and public sermons, obscure early writings, and most beloved stories. Setting his work alongside texts by James Hogg and Andrew Lang, it argues MacDonald appropriated traditional Scottish-folk narratives to help child readers apprehend his mystically-inclined understanding of mortality.
Governance and Promotion in John Winthrop’s New England (1630-1650)
Author: Agnès Delahaye
Settling the Good Land: Governance and Promotion in John Winthrop’s New England (1620-1650) is the first institutional history of the Massachusetts Bay Company, cornerstone of early modern English colonisation in North America. Agnès Delahaye analyses settlement as a form of colonial innovation, to reveal the political significance of early New England sources, above and beyond religion. John Winthrop was not just a Puritan, but a settler governor who wrote the history of the expansion of his company as a record of successful and enduring policy. Delahaye argues that settlement, as the action and the experience of appropriating the land, is key to understanding the role played by Winthrop’s writings in American historiography, before independence and in our times.
Author: Clive T. Probyn
What was the relationship between Jonathan Swift, author of Gullivers´s Travels and his own experience of contemporary Anglo-Irish travel?
This new investigation shows how his family history, his politics, his writing life and also his mysterious relationship with two women were both predetermined by and enabled by geography. The Irish Sea made Swift into a restless and necessary traveller capable of living in the space between an imperial England and a colonised Ireland but never fully at home in any one place.
Author: Joshua Richards
In T. S. Eliot’s Ascetic Ideal, Joshua Richards charts an intellectual history of T. S. Eliot’s interaction with asceticism. This history is drawn from Eliot’s own education in the topic with the texts he read integrated into detailed textual analysis. Eliot’s early encounters with the ascetic ideal began a lifetime of interplay and reflection upon self-denial, purgation, and self-surrender. In 1909, he began a study of mysticism, likely, in George Santayana’s seminar, and thereafter showed the influence of this education. Yet, his interaction with the ascetic ideal and his background in mysticism was not a simple thing; still, his early cynicism was slowly transformed to an embrace.
Author: Lisa Ebert
Since its publication, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has given rise to an unusual plurality of interpretations, leading to the impression that the novel somehow resists interpretation. The author offers a new reading of the novel that takes this effect into account by investigating its reason: ambiguity is a thematic focal point and structural key element of the novel.
This study is concerned with the ambiguity of Wuthering Heights which arises through a complex interplay of distinct but interdependent ambiguities of perception, narration, and the narrated world. In particular, it shows how specific ambiguous utterances (e.g. a clash of implicatures and presuppositions) are linked with each other and contribute to the global ambiguity of the text. In this way, not only the function of ambiguity for understanding Wuthering Heights is explored but also the function of Wuthering Heights for understanding ambiguity. The book should thus be of interest not only to Brontë scholars and Victorianists but also to literary scholars and linguists in general.
The Poetics and Politics of Hospitality in U.S. Literature and Culture explores hospitality in a range of cultural expressions from a variety of approaches. The authors analyze and discuss forms of hospitality in canonical literature, ethnic literatures, language or movies. These span from the classical to the contemporary and include a focus on language, power, hybridism, and sociology. The common theme in these contributions is that of American identity. By looking at a diversity of representations of American culture, using a multiplicity of approaches, the authors convey the richness of American hospitality as a vital aspect of its culture.
The collection Imperial Middlebrow, edited by Christoph Ehland and Jana Gohrisch, takes middlebrow studies further in two ways. First, it focuses on the role middlebrow writing played in the popularisation and dissemination of imperial ideology. It combines the interest in the wider function of literature for a colonial society with close scrutiny of the ideological and socio-economic contexts of writers and readers. The essays cover the Girl’s Own Paper, fiction about colonial India including its appearance in Scottish writing, the West Indies, the South Pacific, as well as illustrations of Haggard’s South African imperial romances. Second, the volume proposes using the concept of the middlebrow as an analytical tool to read recent Black and Asian British as well as Nigerian fiction.