In these closely argued essays, taking examples from writing and film, Arun Prabha Mukherjee considers the place of the third world person - both as artistic creator and as a subject of artistic eneavour - in the West. Works of non-mainstream, immigrant artists, she urges, shoul be understood on their own terms. In particular, established Western aethetics, especially the idea of the Universal and its applications, even within the domains of the postcolonial and feminist criticism, are demonstrated as instances of domination and disregard third world experiences and particularities. On the other hand, key canonical texts in the West, blind to these details of the third world lives they portray, are shown to be distortional and even offensive. This important work includes detailed and original considerations of the works of David Lean, Michael Ondaatje, MG Vassanji, Earle Birney, Rohinton Mistry, Neil Bissoondath, Dionne Brand, and numerous others.
The Oppositional Aesthetics of Chartist Fiction
Redressing a gap in Chartism studies, Rob Breton focuses on the fiction that emerged from the movement, placing it in the context of the Victorian novel and reading it against the works aimed at the middle-class. Breton examines works by well-known writers such as Ernest Jones and Thomas Cooper alongside those of obscure or anonymous writers, rejecting the charge that Chartist fiction fails aesthetically, politically, and culturally. Rather, Breton suggests, it constitutes a type of anti-fiction in which the expectations of narrative are revealed as irreconcilable to the real world. Taking up a range of genres, including the historical romance and social-problem story, Breton theorizes the emergence of the fiction against Marxist conceptualizations of cultural hegemony. In situating Chartist fiction in periodical print culture and specific historical moments, this book shows the ways in which it serves as a critique of mainstream Victorian fiction.
England s Secular Scripture
By outlining Protestantism and Englishness in early-modern literature to the present-day, this study reveals how other religious identities can be alienated in British society.
Critical Collaborations: Indigeneity, Diaspora, and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies is the third volume of essays produced as part of the TransCanada conferences project. The essays gathered in Critical Collaborations constitute a call for collaboration and kinship across disciplinary, political, institutional, and community borders. They are tied together through a simultaneous call for resistance—to Eurocentrism, corporatization, rationalism, and the fantasy of total systems of knowledge—and a call for critical collaborations. These collaborations seek to forge connections without perceived identity—linking concepts and communities without violating the differences that constitute them, seeking epistemic kinships while maintaining a willingness to not-know. In this way, they form a critical conversation between seemingly distinct areas and demonstrate fundamental allegiances between diasporic and indigenous scholarship, transnational and local knowledges, legal and eco-critical methodologies. Links are forged between Indigenous knowledge and ecological and social justice, creative critical reading, and ambidextrous epistemologies, unmaking the nation through translocalism and unsettling histories of colonial complicity through a poetics of relation. Together, these essays reveal how the critical methodologies brought to bear on literary studies can both challenge and exceed disciplinary structures, presenting new forms of strategic transdisciplinarity that expand the possibilities of Canadian literary studies while also emphasizing humility, complicity, and the limits of knowledge.
Through the Kaleidoscope
Explores the experience of the modern in Latin America, including modernity in popular culture, the avant-garde, politics, and religion.
In Poetic Culture, Christopher Beach questions the cultural significance of poetry, both as a canonical system and as a contemporary practice. By analyzing issues such as poetry's loss of audience, the "anthology wars" of the 1950s and early 1960s, the academic and institutional orientation of current poetry, the poetry slam scene, and the efforts to use television as a medium for presenting poetry to a wider audience, Beach presents a sociocultural framework that is fundamental to an understanding of the poetic medium. While calling for new critical methods that allow us to examine poetry beyond the limits of the accepted contemporary canon, and beyond the terms in which canonical poetry is generally discussed and evaluated, Beach also makes a compelling case for poetry and its continued vitality both as an aesthetic form and as a site for the creation of community and value.
Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism
Despite the prominence of feminist theory in literary, film, and visual arts critique, feminist theories of aesthetics remain rare, obscuring a crucial chapter in women’s history. Ewa Plonowska Ziarek redresses this oversight through a full articulation of feminist aesthetics, focusing on the struggle for freedom in women’s literary and political modernism and the devastating impact of racist violence and sexism. Her study is one of the first to combine an in-depth engagement with philosophical aesthetics, especially the work of Theodor W. Adorno, with women’s literary modernism, particularly the writing of Virginia Woolf and Nella Larsen, along with feminist theories on the politics of race and gender. Ziarek examines the contradiction between women’s transformative literary and political practices and the oppressive realities of racist violence and sexism. She situates these tensions within the entrenched opposition between revolt and melancholia in studies of modernity and within the friction between material injuries and experimental aesthetic forms. Her political and aesthetic investigations concern the exclusion and destruction of women in politics and literary production and the transformation of this oppression into the inaugural possibilities of writing and action. Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism profoundly reorients common interpretations of Woolf and Larsen, as well as the history of suffrage militancy. By bringing seemingly apolitical, gender-neutral debates about modernism’s experimental forms together with an analysis of violence and destroyed materialities, Ziarek challenges both the anti-aesthetic subordination of modern literature to its political uses and the appreciation of art’s emancipatory potential at the expense of feminist and anti-racist political struggles.
Rethinking Third Cinema
This important anthology addresses established notions about Third Cinema theory, and the cinema practice of developing and postcolonial nations. The 'Third Cinema' movement called for a politicised film-making practice in Africa, Asia and Latin America, one which would take on board issues of race, class, religion, and national integrity. The films which resulted from the movement, from directors such as Ousmane Sembene, Satyajit Ray and Nelson Pereira dos Santos, are among the most culturally signficant, politically sophisticated and frequently studied films of the 1960s and 1970s. However, despite the contemporary popularity and critical attention enjoyed by films from Asia and Latin America in particular, Third Cinema and Third Cinema theory appears to have lost its momentum. Rethinking Third Cinema seeks to bring Third Cinema and Third Cinema theory back into the critical spotlight. The contributors address the most difficult and challenging questions Third Cinema poses, suggesting new methodologies and redirections of existing ones. Crucially, they also re-examine the entire phenomenon of film-making in a fast-vanishing 'Third World', with case studies of the cinemas of India, Iran and Hong Kong, among others.
Reading Migration and Culture
This book uses the uniquely positioned culture of East African Asians to reflect upon the most vexing issues in postcolonial literary studies today. By examining the local histories and discourses that underpin East African Asian literature, it opens up and reflects upon issues of alienation, modernity, migration, diaspora, memory and nationalism.
From Stranger than Paradise (1984) to Synecdoche, New York (2008), America's independent films often seem to defy classification. Their strategies of storytelling and representation vary widely, and they range from raw, no-budget productions to the more polished releases of Hollywood's "specialty" divisions. Understanding American indies involves more than just considering films. Filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors, festivals, critics, and audiences play a role in the art's identity, which is always understood in relation to the Hollywood mainstream. By locating the American indie in the historical context of the Sundance-Miramax era (the mid-1980s to the end of the 2000s), Michael Z. Newman considers indie cinema as an alternative American film culture. His work isolates patterns of character and realism, formal play, and oppositionality in these films and the function of festivals, art houses, and critical media in promoting them. He accounts for the power of audiences to distinguish indie films from mainstream Hollywood and to seek socially emblematic characters and playful form in their narratives. Analyzing films such as Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996), Lost in Translation (2003), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Juno (2007), along with the work of Nicole Holofcener, Jim Jarmusch, John Sayles, Steven Soderbergh, and the Coen brothers, Newman investigates the conventions that cast indies as culturally legitimate works of art and sustain these films' appeal. In doing so, he not only binds these diverse works together within a cluster of distinct viewing strategies but also invites readers to reevaluate the difference of independent cinema, as well as its relationship to class and taste culture.