Conscripts Of Modernity

Author : David Scott
ISBN : 0822334445
Genre : History
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Conscripts of Modernity points the way toward a rethinking of the present postcolonial moment. David Scott argues that if scholars of modernity and postcolonialism want to alter understandings of the stalled and disillusioned present--and thereby offer new prospects for the future--they must reconceive the relation of the past to the present. He asserts that anticolonial stories have typically assumed a distinctive narrative form: that of romance. Usually narratives of overcoming and vindication, of salvation and redemption, these stories largely depend on a certain utopian horizon toward which the emancipationist history is imagined to be moving. Scott suggests that as a mode of narrating the colonial past in relation to the postcolonial present and future, tragedy provides a more useful narrative framework than romance does. In tragedy, the future does not appear as part of a seamless forward movement, but instead as a slow and sometimes reversible series of ups and downs. Scott explores the political and epistemological implications of the narrative relation between the past and future through a reconsideration of C. L. R. James's masterpiece of anticolonial history, The Black Jacobins, first published in 1938. In that book, the story of Toussaint Louverture and the making of the Haitian Revolution is told as one of romantic vindication. As Scott points out, part of what makes The Black Jacobins a work of enormous historical and political interest is the fact that in the second edition, published in the United States in 1963, James inserted new material suggesting that that story might usefully be told as tragedy. Scott uses this shift in James's story to compare the relative yields of romance and tragedy in telling the story of the passage from the colonial past to the postcolonial future.
Category: History

The Postcolonial Enlightenment

Author : Daniel Carey
ISBN : 9780191551864
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 46.29 MB
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Over the last thirty years, postcolonial critiques of European imperial practices have transformed our understanding of colonial ideology, resistance, and cultural contact. The Enlightenment has played a complex but often unacknowledged role in this discussion, alternately reviled and venerated as the harbinger of colonial dominion and avatar of liberation, as target and shield, as shadow and light. This volume brings together two arenas - eighteenth-century studies and postcolonial theory - in order to interrogate the role and reputation of Enlightenment in the context of early European colonial ambitions and postcolonial interrogations of Western imperial aspirations. With essays by leading scholars in the field, Postcolonial Enlightenment address issues central not only to literature and philosophy but also to natural history, religion, law, and the emerging sciences of man. The contributors situate a range of writers - from Hobbes and Herder, Behn and Burke, to Defoe and Diderot - in relation both to eighteenth-century colonial practices and to key concepts within current postcolonial theory concerning race, globalization, human rights, sovereignty, and national and personal identity. By enlarging the temporal and geographic framework through which we read, the essays in this volume open up alternate genealogies for categories, events and ideas central to the emergence of global modernity.
Category: Literary Criticism

Tense Future

Author : Paul K. Saint-Amour
ISBN : 9780190266295
Genre : Literary Criticism
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We know that trauma can leave syndromes in its wake. But can the anticipation of violence be a form of violence as well? Tense Future argues that it can-that twentieth-century war technologies and practices, particularly the aerial bombing of population centers, introduced non-combatants to a coercive and traumatizing expectation. During wartime, civilians braced for the next raid; during peacetime they braced for the next war. The pre-traumatic stress they experienced permeates the century's public debates and cultural works. In a series of groundbreaking readings, Saint-Amour illustrates how air war prophets theorized the wounding power of anticipation, how archive theory changed course in war's shadow, and how speculative fiction conjured visions of a civilizational collapse that would end literacy itself. And in this book's central chapters, he shows us how Ford Madox Ford, Robert Musil, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and other interwar modernist writers faced the memory of one war and the prospect of another, some by pitting their fictions' encyclopedic scale and formal turbulence against total war, others by conceding war's inevitability while refusing to long for a politically regressive peace. Total war: a conflict that exempts no one, disregarding any difference between soldier and civilian. Tense Future forever alters our understanding of the concept of total war by tracing its emergence during the First World War, its incubation in air power theory between the wars, and above all its profound partiality. For total war, during most of the twentieth century, meant conflict between imperial nation states; it did not include the violence those states routinely visited on colonial subjects during peacetime. Tacking back and forth between metropole and colony, between world war and police action, Saint-Amour describes the interwar refashioning of a world system of violence-production, one that remains largely intact in our own moment of perpetual interwar.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Politics Of Postsecular Religion

Author : Ananda Abeysekara
ISBN : 9780231512671
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 73.2 MB
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Ananda Abeysekara contends that democracy, along with its cherished secular norms, is founded on the idea of a promise deferred to the future. Rooted in democracy's messianic promise is the belief that religious& mdash;political identity-such as Buddhist, Hindu, Sinhalese, Christian, Muslim, or Tamil& mdash;can be critiqued, neutralized, improved, and changed, even while remaining inseparable from the genocide of the past. This facile belief, he argues, is precisely what distracts us from challenging the violence inherent in postcolonial political sovereignty. At the same time, we cannot simply dismiss the democratic concept, since it permeates so deeply through our modernist, capitalist, and humanist selves. In The Politics of Postsecular Religion, Abeysekara invites us to reconsider our ethical-political legacies, to look at them not as problems, but as aporias, in the Derridean sense-that is, as contradictions or impasses incapable of resolution. Disciplinary theorizing in religion and politics, he argues, is unable to identify the aporias of our postcolonial modernity. The aporetic legacies, which are like specters that cannot be wished away, demand a new kind of thinking. It is this thinking that Abeysekara calls mourning and un-inheriting. Un-inheriting is a way of meditating on history that both avoids the simple binary of remembering and forgetting and provides an original perspective on heritage, memory, and time. Abeysekara situates aporias in the settings and cultures of the United States, France, England, Sri Lanka, India, and Tibet. In presenting concrete examples of religion in public life, he questions the task of refashioning the aporetic premises of liberalism and secularism. Through close readings of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Butler, and Agamben, as well as Foucault, Asad, Chakrabarty, Balibar, and Zizek, he offers readers a way to think about the futures of postsecular politics that is both dynamic and creative.
Category: Philosophy

No Country

Author : Sonali Perera
ISBN : 9780231525442
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 82.82 MB
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Sonali Perera expands the discourse on working-class fiction by considering a range of international, noncanonical texts, identifying textual, political, and historical linkages overlooked by Eurocentric scholarship. Her readings connect the literary radicalism of the 1930s to the feminist recovery projects of the 1970s, and the anticolonial and postcolonial fiction of the 1960s to today's counterglobalist struggles, building a new portrait of the twentieth century's global economy and the experiences of the working class within it. Perera considers novels by the Indiananticolonial writer Mulk Raj Anand; the American proletarian writer Tillie Olsen; Sri Lankan Tamil/Black British writer and political journalist Ambalavaner Sivanandan; Indian writer and bonded-labor activist Mahasweta Devi; South African--born Botswanan Bessie Head; and the fiction and poetry published under the collective signature Dabindu, a group of free-trade-zone garment factory workers and feminist activists in contemporary Sri Lanka. Upsetting the North-South divide, Perera creates a new geneaology of working-class writing as world literature and transforms the ideological underpinnings casting literature as cultural practice.
Category: Literary Criticism

Slavery And The Culture Of Taste

Author : Simon Gikandi
ISBN : 9781400840113
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 58.85 MB
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It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time. Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure. Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.
Category: Literary Criticism

Classroom Calypso

Author : Winthrop R. Holder
ISBN : 0820451371
Genre : Education
File Size : 64.67 MB
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What happens when teachers -relinquish the authority of truth providers-? Ninth grader Sasha Pringle, one of the student voices in "Classroom Calypso, " asserts that such a self-effacing posture empowers students by -releasing the writer within, - thereby fostering a critical, creative, and reflective disposition. Winthrop R. Holder re-represents students not as marginalized beings merely absorbing information but as subjects taking center stage and inscribing themselves into history. On their literary pilgrimage seeking self-knowledge, students, employing tale-telling, recast their classroom as a symposium - a place where popular culture orchestrates the discourse. This is an invaluable book for educators, parents, and anyone interested in understanding and facilitating the voices of urban youth."
Category: Education

Enduring Injustice

Author : Jeff Spinner-Halev
ISBN : 9781107379374
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 37.8 MB
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Governments today often apologize for past injustices and scholars increasingly debate the issue, with many calling for apologies and reparations. Others suggest that what matters is victims of injustice today, not injustices in the past. Spinner-Halev argues that the problem facing some peoples is not only the injustice of the past, but that they still suffer from injustice today. They experience what he calls enduring injustices, and it is likely that these will persist without action to address them. The history of these injustices matters, not as a way to assign responsibility or because we need to remember more, but in order to understand the nature of the injustice and to help us think of possible ways to overcome it. Suggesting that enduring injustices fall outside the framework of liberal theory, Spinner-Halev spells out the implications of his arguments for conceptions of liberal justice and progress, reparations, apologies, state legitimacy, and post-nationalism.
Category: Political Science

This Shipwreck Of Fragments

Author : Li-Chun Hsiao
ISBN : 9781443815482
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 22.2 MB
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In the light of, and in response to, the popular perception of the Caribbean as an epitome of cultural hybridity and improvisation, this book seeks to further examine Caribbean cultural identities along the lines of race, class, nationalism, and history. Drawing on a variety of genres of literature and popular music, the present volume includes not only essays that stress the shaping and reshaping of Afro-Caribbean cultural identities and the significance of hybridization, but also those that think against the grain and pursue questions which have not received enough critical attention. This latter task can be seen in the attempt to probe the phenomenon that the Caribbean's image as a tropical getaway in metropolitan popular imaginations tends to eclipse its troubled pasts, traumatic memories, and current (and recurrent) problems which elude the rhetoric of cultural hybridity, presupposing instead a certain non-conflictual diversity or racial equality in the relatively innocuous realm of "culture." Although nuanced among themselves on certain issues, the individual chapters together highlight a body of work which is distinct from the bulk of Anglo-American academic productions on the Caribbean, as the majority of the textual and cultural materials treated here come from either the Hispanic or Francophone Caribbean.
Category: Literary Criticism

Natural Law

Author : Anver M. Emon
ISBN : 9780191016721
Genre : Religion
File Size : 43.55 MB
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This book is an examination of natural law doctrine, rooted in the classical writings of our respective three traditions: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic. Each of the authors provides an extensive essay reflecting on natural law doctrine in his tradition. Each of the authors also provides a thoughtful response to the essays of the other two authors. Readers will gain a sense for how natural law (or cognate terms) resonated with classical thinkers such as Maimonides, Origen, Augustine, al-Ghazali and numerous others. Readers will also be instructed in how the authors think that these sources can be mined for constructive reflection on natural law today. A key theme in each essay is how the particularity of the respective religious tradition is squared with the evident universality of natural law claims. The authors also explore how natural law doctrine functions in particular traditions for reflection upon the religious other.
Category: Religion