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Britain’s miseries and inequalities after the 1815 Peace provoked popular unrest and upper-class anxiety on an uprecedented scale, but not a revolutionary situation. The centre held firm. Repressive laws, imprisonments, and executions counted as much as popular deference and loyalism in preserving order. These inflictions were backed by an efficient spy system and the multiplication of military barracks across London and the rest of the country. As one military commander wrote, ‘Fools! We have the physical force, not they.’ Plebeian radicals were akin to peasants armed with pitchforks, and were as innocent as peasants about the disciplinary forces that faced them.
This chapter traces the emergence of the field of memory studies and assesses the historians’ contribution to this field. In particular the influential work of Pierre Nora is discussed here. Memory history, it argues, has moved from underpinning national historical master narratives to promoting transnational cosmopolitan forms of memory that in turn have produced greater self-reflexivity about the relationship between historical writing and collective identity formation and helped to de-essentialise collective identities. The chapter introduces and analyses a range of different memory debates that all, in their different ways, have helped to de-essentialise the construction of collective identities: memory debates surrounding communism, the Holocaust, Brexit, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa are all discussed in this respect. The chapter also introduces the concept of ‘agonistic memory’ and discusses how it may help to repoliticise memory and contribute to greater self-reflexivity about the construction of memory and the shaping of collective identities.
This chapter explores how punitive mobility expanded the reach of convicts’ political beliefs, including the ideologies for which they had been punished. The first section of the chapter employs examples from the Dutch and English East India companies, and the Danish-Norwegian empire, from the seventeenth century onwards, the chapter traces the spread of resistance to imperial governance in the early-modern period by people subjected to punitive mobility, including through religious practice. The second section centres on the history of penal transportation and servitude in Ireland, revealing its global dimensions, and foregrounding its relationship to convict unrest in Britain’s hulks and penal colonies. Finally, the chapter suggests that there were important continuities between insurgency, politics, and religion in the Spanish Empire and its successor nation states, including in Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, and Mexico. Overall, the chapter also reveals some of the ways in which penal colonies became sites of cosmopolitanism and cultural transformation. If convicts carried political ideologies to their punitive destinations, their mobility also facilitated cultural and religious dissemination, adaptation and transformation. Thus, punitive mobility was a vector for community formation, nationalism, and resistance to the changing geopolitical formations created by empires.
Crystal Parikh’s chapter on dissolution takes up narrative fragmentation to thematize outward-moving fictions of “interruption, isolation, suspense, and precarity.” Starting with Valeria Luiselli’s interviews with migrant asylum-seekers, Parikh argues that a defining feature of contemporary literature is its formal techniques of “dissolution and the fragment as vital aesthetic and stylistic forms to convey the splintering effect that global modernity in the twenty-first century induces.” From Luiselli to George Saunders’s short stories and novels by Celeste Ng and Jesmyn Ward, among others, Parikh argues that nineteenth- and twentieth-century narrative techniques have been remixed by contemporary authors who draw on realism and experimentalism to tell stories of ongoing and unresolved dislocation and vulnerability.
In 2006, three decades after the partition of Cyprus in 1974, and the subsequent concentration from its dispersed locations across the island to the buffer zone in 1975, the role and responsibilities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) continued largely unchanged. Interposed between two former warring factions – the Turkish military in the north and the Cypriot National Guard in the south – continuous rotations of Unficyp soldiers have monitored the ceasefire lines, and successive contingents of United Nations civilian police (Uncivpol) have patrolled the buffer zone. Together they have performed humanitarian roles and overseen the security of the minority Greek Cypriot population in the north and Turkish Cypriot population in the south.