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'Kinship Across the Black Atlantic provides an outstanding analysis of new models and modes of family-making proposed by a range of key contemporary diasporic writers. Drawing upon a wealth of critical discussions of kinship drawn from anthropology, philosophy, feminism, queer studies, and more besides, Gigi Adair pursues a series of dazzling, detailed readings of the literary re-imagining of family-making across the black Atlantic. Ever alert to the pitfalls as well as the possibilities of fictionalising kinship anew, her vibrant analysis valuably uncovers the progressive modes of kinship that diasporic writing daringly and urgently proposes, often by reaching beyond the colonial-crafted constraints of heteronormativity, genealogy and biocentric myths of 'blood'.' John McLeod, Professor of Postcolonial and Diaspora Literatures, University of Leeds This book considers the meaning of kinship across black Atlantic diasporas in the Caribbean, Western Europe and North America via readings of six contemporary novels. It draws upon and combines insights from postcolonial studies, queer theory and black Atlantic diaspora studies in novel ways to examine the ways in which contemporary writers engage with the legacy of anthropological discourses of kinship, interrogate the connections between kinship and historiography, and imagine new forms of diasporic relationality and subjectivity. The novels considered here offer sustained meditations on the meaning of kinship and its role in diasporic cultures and communities; they represent diasporic kinship in the context and crosscurrents of both historical and contemporary forces, such as slavery, colonialism, migration, political struggles and artistic creation. They show how displacement and migration require and generate new forms and understandings of kinship, and how kinship may be used as an instrument of both political oppression and resistance. Finally, they demonstrate the importance of literature in imagining possibilities for alternative forms of relationality and in finding a language to express the meaning of those relations. This book thus suggests that an analysis of discourses and practices of kinship is essential to understanding diasporic modernity at the turn of the twenty-first century.
This book examines the representation of community in contemporary Anglophone Caribbean short stories, focusing on the most recent wave of Caribbean short story writers following the genre's revival in the mid 1980s. The first extended study of Caribbean short stories, it presents the phenomenon of interconnected stories as a significant feature of late twentieth and early twenty-first century Anglophone Caribbean literary cultures. It contends that the short story collection and cycle, literary forms regarded by genre theorists as necessarily concerned with representations of community, are particularly appropriate and enabling as a vehicle through which to conceptualise Caribbean communities. The book covers short story collections and cycles by Olive Senior, Earl Lovelace, Kwame Dawes, Alecia Mckenzie, Lawrence Scott, Mark Mcwatt, Robert Antoni and Dionne Brand. It argues that the form of interconnected stories is a crucial part of these writers' imagining of communities which may be fractured, plural and fraught with tensions, but which nevertheless hold together. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of community, bringing literary representations of community into dialogue with models of community developed in the field of Caribbean anthropology. The works analysed are set in Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana, and in several cases the setting extends to the Caribbean diaspora in Europe and North America. Looking in turn at rural, urban, national and global communities, the book draws attention to changing conceptions of community around the turn of the millennium.The book is the first monograph on Caribbean short stories. It is the first book-length study to directly address the subject of community in Anglophone Caribbean literature. The book covers the work of eight critically acclaimed Caribbean writers. Due to the centrality of short story writing to the development of a Caribbean literary tradition, the book offers readers an accessible introduction to the broader field of Caribbean literature and culture. With its interdisciplinary approach, the book will appeal to Caribbeanists working in social science disciplines as well as those working in literary and cultural studies.
Informed by critical race theory and based on a wide range of sources, including official sources, memoirs, and anthropological studies, this book examines multiple forms of racial discrimination in Jamaica and how they were talked about and experienced from the end of the First World War until the demise of democratic socialism in the 1980s. It also pays attention to practices devoid of racial content but which equally helped to sustain a society stratified by race and colour, such as voting qualifications. Case studies on the labour market, education, the family and legal system, among other areas, demonstrate the extent to which race and colour shaped social relations in the island in the decades preceding and following independence and argue that racial discrimination was a public secret - everybody knew it took place but few dared to openly discuss or criticise it. The book ends with an examination of race and colour in contemporary Jamaica to show that race and colour have lost little of their power since independence and offers some suggestions to overcome the silence on race to facilitate equality of opportunity for all.
An Open Access edition of this book is available on the Liverpool University Press website andthrough Knowledge Unlatched. Situated at the intersection of postcolonial studies, affect studies, and narratology, Affective Disorders explores the significance of emotion in a range of colonial and postcolonial narratives. Through close readings of Naguib Mahfouz, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, and Upamanyu Chatterjee, among others, Bede Scott argues that literary representations of emotion need not be interpreted solely at the level of character, individual psychology, or the contingencies of plotting, but could also be related to broader sociopolitical forces. We thus find episodes of anger that serve as a collective response to the 'modernity' of wartime Cairo, feelings of jealousy that are inspired by the slave economy of imperial Brazil, and an overwhelming sense of boredom that emerges, in the late eighties, out of the bureaucratic procedures of the Indian Administrative Service. Affective Disorders also explores in some detail the formal consequences of these feelings – the way in which affective states such as anger or jealousy can often destabilize narratives, provoking crises of representation, generic ambivalence, and discursive rupture. By emphasizing the social origin of these emotions, and by analysing their influence on literary discourse, this study provides a deeper understanding of the relationship between various sociopolitical forces and the affective and aesthetic 'disorders' to which they give rise.
How can literature and culture from the postcolonial world help us to understand the relationship between law and violence associated with a state of emergency? And what light can legal narratives of emergency shed on postcolonial writing? States of Emergency: Colonialism, Literature and Law examines how violent anti-colonial struggles and the legal, military and political techniques employed by colonial governments to contain them have been imagined in literature and law. Through a series of case studies, the book considers how colonial states of exception have been defined and represented in the contexts of Ireland, India, South Africa, Algeria, Kenya, and Israel-Palestine, and concludes with an assessment of the continuities between these colonial states of emergency and the wars on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. By doing so, the book considers how techniques of sovereignty, law and violence are reconfigured in the colonial present.
Colonialism created exclusive economic and segregatory social spaces for the exploitation and management of natural and human resources, in the form of plantations, ports, mining towns, hill stations, civil lines and new urban centres for Europeans. Contagion and Enclaves studies the social history of medicine within two intersecting enclaves in colonial India; the hill station of Darjeeling which incorporated the sanitarian and racial norms of the British Raj; and in the adjacent tea plantations of North Bengal, which produced tea for the global market. This book studies the demographic and environmental transformation of the region: the racialization of urban spaces and its contestations, establishment of hill sanatoria, expansion of tea cultivation, labour emigration and the paternalistic modes of healthcare in the plantation. It examines how the threat of epidemics and riots informed the conflictual relationship between the plantations with the adjacent agricultural villages and district towns. It reveals how Tropical Medicine was practised in its field; researches in malaria, hookworm, dysentery, cholera and leprosy were informed by investigations here, and the exigencies of the colonial state, private entrepreneurship, and municipal governance subverted their implementation. Contagion and Enclaves establishes the vital link between medicine, the political economy and the social history of colonialism. It demonstrates that while enclaves were essential and distinctive sites of articulation of colonial power and economy, they were not isolated sites. The book shows that the critical aspect of the enclaves was in their interconnectedness; with other enclaves, with the global economy and international medical research.
Postcolonial Asylum is concerned with asylum as a key emerging postcolonial field. Through an engagement with asylum legislation, legal theory and ethics, David Farrier argues that the exclusionary culture of host nations casts asylum seekers as contemporary incarnations of the infrahuman object of colonial sovereignty. Postcolonial Asylum includes readings of the work of asylum seeker and postcolonial authors and filmmakers, including J.M. Coetzee, Caryl Phillips, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Leila Aboulela, Stephen Frears, Pawel Pawlikowski and Michael Winterbottom. These readings are framed by the work of postcolonial theorists (Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Achille Mbembe), as well as other influential thinkers (Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Rancière, Emmanuel Levinas, Étienne Balibar, Zygmunt Bauman), in order to institute what Spivak calls a step beyond postcolonial studies; one that carries with it the insights and limitations of the discipline as it looks to new ways for postcolonial studies to engage with the world.
Cultured Violence explores contemporary South African culture as a test case for the achievement of democracy by constitutional means in the wake of prolonged and violent conflict. The book addresses key ethical issues, normally addressed from within the discourses of law, the social sciences, and health sciences, through narrative analysis. The book draws from and juxtaposes narratives of profoundly different kinds to make its point: fictional narratives, such as the work of Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee; public testimony, such as that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Jacob Zumas (the former Deputy Presidents) 2006 trial on charges of rape; and personal testimony, drawn from interviews undertaken by the author over the past ten years in South Africa. These narratives are analysed in order to demonstrate the different ways in which they illuminate the cultural state of the nation: ways that elude descriptions of South African subjects undertaken from within discourses that have a historical tendency to ignore cultural dimensions of lived experience and their material particularity. The implications of these lived experiences of culture are underlined by the books focus on the violation of human rights as comprising practices that are simultaneously discursive and material. Cases of such violations, all drawn from the South African context, include humans use of non-human animals as instruments of violence against other humans; the constructed marginalization and vulnerability of women and children; and the practice of stigma in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
This book explores the relation between poststructuralist thought and postcoloniality, and identifies in that interaction the expression of a particular anxiety concerning the form of theoretical writing. Many so-called poststructuralist thinkers, such as Derrida, Cixous, Lyotard, Barthes, Kristeva and Spivak, have turned their attention at some point in their career towards questions either of postcolonialism, or of cultural domination and difference. For all these thinkers, however, a reflection on such questions has generated a sense of unease concerning the assumed neutrality of theoretical discourse, and the inevitable subjective or autobiographical investments of the writing self. The book argues that this anxiety betrays an unprecedented lucidity concerning the particular challenges of writing about ourselves and others at a time of postcolonial upheaval.
In the late 1990's, Postcolonial Studies risked imploding as a credible area of academic enquiry. Repeated anthologization and an overemphasis on the English-language literatures led to sustained critiques of the field and to an active search for alternative approaches to the globalized and transnational formations of the post-colonial world. In the early twenty-first century, however, postcolonial began to reveal a new openness to its comparative dimensions. French-language contributors to postcolonial debate (such as Edouard Glissant and Abdelkebir Khatibi) have recently risen to greater prominence in the English-speaking world, and there have also appeared an increasing number of important critical and theoretical texts on postcolonial issues, written by scholars working principally on French-language material. It is to such a context that this book responds. Acknowledging these shifts, this volume provides an essential tool for students and scholars outside French departments seeking a way into the study of Francophone colonial postcolonial debates. At the same time, it supplies scholars in French with a comprehensive overview of essential ideas and key intellectuals in this area.
As postcolonial studies shifts to a more comparative approach one of the most intriguing developments has been within the Francophone world. A number of genealogical lines of influence are now being drawn connecting the work of the three figures most associated with the emergence of postcolonial theory Homi Bhabha, Edward Said, and Gayatri Spivak to an earlier generation of French (predominantly poststructuralist) theorists. Within this emerging narrative of intellectual influences, the importance of the thought of Jacques Derrida, and the status of deconstruction generally, has been acknowledged, but has not until now been adequately accounted for. In Deconstruction and the Postcolonial, Michael Syrotinski teases out the underlying conceptual tensions and theoretical stakes of what he terms a deconstructive postcolonialism, and argues that postcolonial studies stands to gain ground in terms of its political forcefulness and philosophical rigour by turning back to, and not away from, deconstruction.
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