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Bill Brydon

"Justice is on our side"? Animal's People, generic hybridity, and eco-crime - 0 views

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    "This essay examines how a recent fictionalisation of post-disaster life in Bhopal, Indra Sinha's novel Animal's People (2007), opens up perspectives on eco-crime, disaster, and systemic injustice on the level of genre. It begins by showing how the novel evokes private eye, noir, and spy genres in ways that present similarly hybrid forms of detective agency and legal subjectivity as a means of responding to the disaster's criminal dimensions. It then shows how this hybridity relates to the way Sinha plays off crime fiction's genealogical relationship with revenge tragedy both to disrupt the disaster's common real-world designation as 'tragedy' and to implicate readers in modes of active witnessing that probe legal-democratic failure. The essay concludes by discussing how these formal techniques shed light on the potential for interdisciplinary exchange between postcolonial ecocriticism and green criminology in relation to transnational crimes such as Bhopal."
Bill Brydon

Postcolonial Remains - 1 views

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    "In a reconsideration of the role of the postcolonial in the twenty-first century, the article focuses on contemporary issues that have involved what can be characterized as the politics of invisibility and of unreadability: indigenous struggles and their relation to settler colonialism, illegal migrants, and political Islam. It is argued that while none of these fall within the template of the classic paradigm of anticolonial struggles, they all involve postcolonial remains from the colonial past as well as prompting political insights that show the extent to which postcolonial perspectives continue to offer the basis of transformative critique."
Bill Brydon

Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change - 0 views

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    "This article begins by describing how the figure of the human has been thought in anticolonial and postcolonial writing-as that of the rights-bearing citizen and as the "subject under erasure" of deconstructive thinking, respectively. The essay then goes on to show how the science of climate change foregrounds the idea of human beings' collective geological agency in determining the climate of the planet, a move that makes the other two figures not redundant but inadequate to the task of imagining the human in the age of the Anthropocene. The article ends by arguing the necessity of our having to think of the human on multiple and incommensurable scales simultaneously, keeping all the three figures of the human in disjunctive association with one another."
Bill Brydon

Metaphor as argument: A stylistic genre-based approach - 0 views

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    One of the most intriguing questions in both stylistic and rhetorical analyses relates to determining textual effect on readers, aesthetic or otherwise. Whether the power of the text is directly associated with the role of the text producer and his or her intentions, the linguistic, paralinguistic, extralinguistic and situational context of the text, the background and socio-cognitive expectations of the reader, or a combination of some or all of these factors (or other factors) is a question that is still the subject of stylistic and rhetorical analysis today. This article is a further step in this direction. It attempts to investigate one dimension of textual effect, namely uniformity in reader reaction to an argumentative poem entitled Dinner with the Cannibal, by focusing on the roles that genre and metaphor play in ideologically positioning readers. It argues, on the one hand, that literature is the dominant genre in this hybrid literary-argumentative poem, channelling the readers' initial interpretations almost exclusively in the interest of more traditional literary interpretative approaches. On the other hand, and more importantly, it focuses on the role that metaphor, as a cognitive link between text producer and reader, plays in the construction of an extremely controlled, uniform interpretation of the argumentative dimension to the poem. The overall effect of the way genre and metaphor function in this argumentative poem, it is concluded, is highly ideological.
Bill Brydon

Shu-mei Shih Is the Post- in Postsocialism the Post- in Posthumanism? Social Text - 0 views

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    "This essay brings into dialectical consideration the relationship between postsocialism and posthumanism in China through the life story of Marxist humanism from the global 1960s to the present across Eastern Europe, France, and the United States. It especially foregrounds the American counterpart to the irruption of Marxist humanism in Eastern Europe and the humanist controversy in France during the 1950s in the now marginalized work of Raya Dunayeskaya, which brought Marxist humanism, feminism, and antiracism into a powerful interarticulation. The essay argues that postsocialism is not a discreet formation affecting only previously or actually socialist countries and that, when seen through the lens of Marxist humanism, to which American ethnic studies can be considered heir, the condition today in China and globally is resoundingly not posthumanist."
Bill Brydon

Janet Frame in east-west encounters: A Buddhist exploration - Journal of Postcolonial W... - 0 views

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    "Through a close scrutiny of Janet Frame's life and work, it is my intention in this essay to suggest that Buddhism proved an irresistible magnet for the author's inquisitive spirit and that it played an important part in the shaping of her poetics. In effect, we shall see under what circumstances Frame's encounter with the east took place and the extent to which notions such as the empirical mind or knowledge, the Great Death of the ego and the non-duality of the world permeate her oeuvre. The underlying concern in the second part of the essay will be to buttress the claim that Frame constantly seeks ways through which the infinite and the Other can be approached, but not corrupted, by the perceiving self, and that she found in the Buddhist epistemology a pathway towards such alterity. Thus, against the grain of mainstream criticism which maintains that one cannot explore "beyond", a Buddhist navigation of Frame's texts leads one to the surprising notion that the unharnessed world (or the infinite) which human beings are unable to embrace is, so to speak, right under their nose, so that, between "this" world of limited perceptions and "that" world of the beyond, the boundary is as thick or as thin as the walls of a self-made conceptual prison."
Bill Brydon

"Now let me share this with you": Exploring Poetry as a Method for Postcolonial Geograp... - 0 views

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    "In this article we attempt to "seize back the creative initiative" to uncover whether poetry might be a useful postcolonial research method. In exploring the possibilities and limitations of poetry as a means of re-representing and interpreting data collected through in-depth qualitative interviews, our conclusions are ambivalent: we are attracted to poetry but troubled by it too. For instance, poetry does hold promise through its ability to imaginatively project thoughts and ideas, opening up space so new perspectives can emerge. However, as academics we are always complicit in the knowledge creation process (albeit to varying degrees), and so the representative qualities of poetry are never unproblematic or straightforward. Thus although poetry does have potential as a method for postcolonial geography research, we are making a cautious and careful appeal for its use. We use the case of ecotourism research conducted in Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana to explore these ideas."
Bill Brydon

Bloodlust: a postcolonial sociology of childbirth - Social Identities - - 0 views

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    "This paper examines intersections between ethnocentric and androcentric desire. To that end it employs a broadly postcolonial analysis of the medicalisation of birth and of women. The paper explores an ambivalence characterised by a simultaneous lust for and loathing of the other through engaging with postcolonial discourse analysis, and it ties those impulses to an imperative of control and to an administration of the other's affairs. That imperative and those impulses represent a point at which the logic of patriarchy and the logic of colonialism converge, and that point is one around which the social production of material disadvantage and negative outcomes can be explored. In the service of modern paradigms of progress and development, both colonial discourses and medical discourses underpin material relationships with the other. Whether that other is racialised or gendered, the manifest result of those relationships is the production of outcomes which are sub-optimal and pernicious in effect, and which result in a material insufficiency in the discursively produced other. The process of colonising childbirth reproduces the material effects of colonial subjectivity within a highly ambivalent and deeply imperialistic encounter. An exploration of that process demonstrates a link between power, paternalism and poor outcomes which highlights a space for self-determination in the optimisation of health and wellbeing amongst members of population groups which are vulnerable to the representations and interests of administrative power."
Bill Brydon

Re-framing the colonial Caribbean: Joscelyn Gardner's White Skin, Black Kin: A Creole C... - 0 views

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    "The article discusses the role that the visual arts and museums-through the way their framing and selection choices shape viewers' perception-play in the construction and deconstruction of post/colonial Caribbean identities. The locus of the analysis is a multimedia installation titled White Skin, Black Kin: A Creole Conversation Piece, which was mounted at the Barbados Museum by Barbadian Canadian visual artist Joscelyn Gardner in 2004. The artist's aim in the installation was to expose the telling gaps, silences, and omissions in regard to black and white kinship and inter-racial relations in artistic productions of the colonial period. One such production was the sub-genre of portraiture known as the conversation piece, which was fashionable among an emerging middle class that included colonial landowners and merchants eager to use that visual medium to simultaneously document the wealth their colonial connections brought them and disavow their use and abuse of black bodies to create that wealth. In challenging the conventions of the conversation piece, Gardner recovers unspoken and suppressed stories from the colonial Caribbean past in order to re-present black and white Creole females identities; and in her use of the installation to 'intervene' into items displayed in permanent exhibits, she demonstrates how the Museum can become a site of active contestation of received knowledge."
Bill Brydon

Stigma and suffering: white anti-racist identities in northern Australia - Postcolonial... - 0 views

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    "White anti-racists are an influential social group within settler-colonial societies that often escape critical attention. This article explores one aspect of white anti-racist subjectivities as experienced by those who work in Indigenous health in northern Australia. Although not usually discussed openly between colleagues, frustration, betrayal, and suffering physical discomfort without complaint are common experiences for whites working in remote Indigenous communities. To explain this suffering, I first develop the novel concept of white stigma. I argue that in progressive spaces where there is a concerted attempt to invert colonial power relations-what I call 'progressive spaces'-whiteness and the privilege it represents is something to be avoided, diminished, and counteracted. When white anti-racists are interpellated as white, this is generally experienced as a stigma. Recognizing whiteness as a stigmatized identity that white anti-racists continuously attempt to rehabilitate and make liveable makes the suffering of white anti-racists intelligible. Drawing on ethnographic research with white anti-racists, I show how suffering works to manage white stigma. This exploration of stigma, suffering and love furthers our understanding of white anti-racists' identities, and through this, liberal governance in settler societies."
Bill Brydon

Subjects in Difference: Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, and Postcolonial Theory - 0 views

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    "This essay aims to rethink historical difference in light of Walter Benjamin's formulation of mimesis and Frantz Fanon's phenomenology of difference. Divided into three parts, the essay engages Dipesh Chakrabarty's account of historical difference, considers how an understanding of mimesis might safeguard against some of the philosophical pitfalls within Chakrabarty's formulation, and revisits Fanon for an explication of a theory of mimesis and difference that may be the grounds for a renewed understanding of historical difference. The essay makes a case for the relevance of Frankfurt School dialectics for postcolonial problematics."
Bill Brydon

Reading Ruins against the Grain: Istanbul, Derbent, Postcoloniality - Culture, Theory a... - 0 views

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    "The ruins of church-mosques, museums, and ancient cities inform material culture as allegories inform spiritual life, invoking forms of transcendence amidst the desacralised conditions of post-imperial modernities. Drawing on the work done by Benjamin, Jameson, and Koselleck to advance our understanding of the functioning of ruins in varying temporal contexts, this ethnography of ruins in the world after colonialism engages with the paradoxes generated by monuments in diverse urban spaces. Concentrating on the ethnographic sites of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul's Museum of Islamic Art, and the ancient city of Derbent in contemporary Daghestan, attention is drawn to the variability of the ruin as a site of political mobilisation across space and time and particularly in the service of a postcolonial agenda."
Bill Brydon

The Empire Writes Back…Back: Postcolonial Studies in an Age of Autogenic War ... - 0 views

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    "This essay attempts to disclose a uniquely volatile nexus that implicates - and perhaps, reinvigorates - a postcolonial analytics of insurgency. This nexus includes three strands of inquiry: the first is the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), which really is - albeit in a qualified sense - revolutionary. War is doing new things with time and space through culture, media, and data technology, and in the process is mutating not only what it means to be a part of this or that national group but is also changing what it means to be human. The second strand of inquiry focuses on the legacy of postcolonial studies, particularly the notion of 'writing back' which, I contend, is an apposite starting point for writing critically about the RMA. Apposite though it is, there are limits to postcolonial studies in the contemporary war context. This is so because while the divisions of individual difference are shifting, the coherence of the nation state itself is undergoing radical change. Moving outward in scope to a planetary scale, the human being per se is no longer a primary category by and for which war is happening today. Thus the third strand of inquiry is focused on the residual anthropomorphic tendencies within postcolonial studies that too narrowly limit discussions of violence and collective belonging. The concept of the human being per se remains reliant on early models of technology and media (namely, writing and literature, usually novels). Therefore, in the context of an ever-expanding global war machine, 'writing back' is a concept that requires fine-tuning and revision."
Bill Brydon

Carib as a Colonial Category: Comparing Ethnohistoric and Archaeological Evidence from ... - 0 views

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    "Documents and maps describe settlement locations and objects possessed by the Carib, or Kalinago, in the Commonwealth of Dominica during the post-Columbian period. Archaeological testing at multiple sites in northern Dominica reveals that historical Carib settlements functioned as trading sites, observation posts, or refuges, but such testing has not recovered material culture described in the documents. Part of the explanation for the lack of correspondence between ethnohistory and archaeology is the inadequacy of the Carib ethnonym, which has been manipulated by the political and economic interests of European colonizers since 1492. Beginning with the first voyages of Columbus, the Carib were portrayed as warlike cannibals who raided the "peaceful" natives of the Greater Antilles. Carib-French contacts in the seventeenth century recorded origin myths and linguistic evidence that fit with the initial Spanish impressions of native Caribbean peoples. Archaeological findings reveal some of the heterogeneity that has been obscured by the Carib category recorded in the ethnohistoric sources."
Bill Brydon

Reading between the "posts": Systemic violence and the trope of hybridity in the postco... - 1 views

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    "The late-20th-century convergence of post-structural, postmodern and postcolonial theories has engendered a critical discourse network that privileges hybridity. These accounts contend that it (re)inscribes the agency of minority subjects, destabilizing hegemonic discourses, but, paradoxically, hybridity has become a stabilizing trope for - as well as the dominant way to read - the postcolonial novel. This essay discusses three postcolonial novels that "disidentify" with this master narrative of postcolonialism: Maryse Condé's Heremakhonon, Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters and Shani Mootoo's Cereus Blooms at Night. When reread as performances enacted between the "posts", these novels suggest that hybridity can expose the systemic violence of colonial rationality."
Bill Brydon

Emerging writing from four African countries: genres and Englishes, beyond the postcolo... - 1 views

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    "This article presents recent empirical research into emerging literature in English from four African countries. Employing ethnographic research methods to interrogate the current state of emerging writing in English from Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, the research recognises the creative writing medium of 'short stories' to capture contemporary concerns of Africans living in the nations noted above. The short stories in this research project are newly sourced and are treated as data per se from which we are able to question the idea of emerging writing in English in these countries being 'beyond the postcolonial'. In essence, the article presents data which suggest a shift from the classic postcolonial text to new, contemporary texts highlighting fresh departures in theme, genre and use of Englishes. The article demonstrates how the emerging writing captures and represents a sense of the zeitgeist of Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya respectively. This article presents distinctive scholarly arguments for the use of interdisciplinary enquiry (ethnographic methods to interrogate the field of literary studies) as well as presenting substantial new empirical data to support the notion that writing in English from former postcolonial countries is less indicative of the classic postcolonial text."
Bill Brydon

Violence, Postcolonial Fiction, and the Limits of Sympathy - 0 views

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    "In this article, I consider the implications for fiction of Slavoj Žižek's argument that the violence of individual subjects is informed by "symbolic violence" (1-2), that is, the distortions concomitant on language's constitutive, rather than merely referential, relation to the world. Given that the medium of the novel is language, Žižek's contention raises serious questions about this genre's capacity to address violence. I argue that this problem is most apparent in those forms of realism that, in seeking to render language transparent, compromise their ability to recognize the violence of the symbolic order. While my argument in this connection has implications for fiction-writing in general, I confine my discussion to postcolonial fiction that focuses on the racialization of the human body, that is, its reduction to a sign in a discursive system."
Bill Brydon

Biography - Diasporic Disclosures: Social Networking, Neda, and the 2009 Iranian Presid... - 0 views

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    "This article explores the ways in which social media was used by diasporic Iranians in the aftermath of the June 2009 Iranian presidential elections. With particular attention to global reactions to the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, the author considers how social networking sites such as Facebook create an "intimate public sphere," simultaneously facilitating and defanging collective activism through expressions of compassion for others."
Bill Brydon

The Limits of Derivative Nationalism: Marxism, Postcolonial Theory, and the Question of... - 0 views

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    "'Indian' postcolonial writings continue to have a significant impact on contemporary scholarly approaches to nationalism in the subcontinent, and have helped displace the hold of earlier left/liberal approaches to nationalism. While the impact of these recent postcolonial trends on Indian historiography more broadly has been the subject of considerable scholarly discussions and debates, less attention has been devoted to their specific impact on scholarly approaches to nationalism. Through a close and critical reading of the changing historical approaches to 'minority' Tamil nationalism in the subcontinent as well as through comparison of such postcolonial perspectives with that of 'anticolonial' national liberation theorists such as Frantz Fanon, this essay seeks to offer a historical perspective on the strengths and limitations of the currently ascendant 'Indian' postcolonial perspectives on nationalism."
Bill Brydon

Chris Abani's Graceland and Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation: Nonstandard English,... - 0 views

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    "This article explores the use of nonstandard English forms and intertextuality in two recent works by Nigerian writers in English living abroad. To date, Chris Abani's Graceland and Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation have attracted little critical commentary, far less any academic survey of their language, yet each book is in its own way representative of conflicting treatments of nonstandard varieties of Nigerian English by writers in the diaspora. Beasts of No Nation owes a considerable debt to the linguistic and stylistic experiments Ken Saro-Wiwa made in his novel Sozaboy and Iweala has drawn heavily on this work in his use of a first person narrator and his assignment of a limited, if forcefully expressive, language to his hero. According to Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy is written in a mixture of Nigerian Pidgin (NP), Standard English (SE) and other forms. Graceland, however, makes selective use of nonstandard forms for reasons closer to those of earlier writers and makes this clear through its author's insertion of intertextual elements. After providing an overview of the background to and characteristic features of NP and Nigerian English this article surveys their use in Nigerian literature and concludes by examining the language of Graceland and Beasts of No Nation through a linguistic comparison of shared episodes and a consideration of thematic similarities in order to place these two novels in a continuum of Nigerian writing in English through their use of language."
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