It is April 1946. Evelyn Sert, twenty years old, a hairdresser from Soho, sails for Palestine, where Jewish refugees and idealists are gathering from across Europe to start a new life in a brand-new country. In the glittering, cosmopolitan, Bauhaus city of Tel Aviv, anything seems possible - the new self, new Jew, new woman are all feasible. Evelyn, adept at disguises, reinvents herself as the bleached-blonde Priscilla Jones. Immersed in a world of passionate idealism, she finds love, and with Johnny, her lover, finds herself at the heart of a very dangerous game.
What is most strikingly new about the transcultural is its sudden ubiquity. Following in the wake of previous concepts in cultural and literary studies such as creolization, hybridity, and syncretism, and signalling a family relationship to terms such as transnationality, translocality, and transmigration, 'transcultural' terminology has unobtrusively but powerfully edged its way into contemporary theoretical and critical discourse. The four sections of this volume denote major areas where 'transcultural' questions and problematics have come to the fore: theories of culture and literature that have sought to account for the complexity of culture in a world increasingly characterized by globalization, transnationalization, and interdependence; realities of individual and collective life-worlds shaped by the ubiquity of phenomena and experiences relating to transnational connections and the blurring of cultural boundaries; fictions in literature and other media that explore these realities, negotiate the fuzzy edges of 'ethnic' or 'national' cultures, and participate in the creation of transnational public spheres as well as transcultural imaginations and memories; and, finally, pedagogy and didactics, where earlier models of teaching 'other' cultures are faced with the challenge of coming to terms with cultural complexity both in what is being taught and in the people it is taught to, and where 'target cultures' have become elusive. The idea of 'locating' culture and literature exclusively in the context of ethnicities or nations is rapidly losing plausibility throughout an 'English-speaking world' that has long since been multi- rather than monolingual. Exploring the prospects and contours of 'Transcultural English Studies' thus reflects a set of common challenges and predicaments that in recent years have increasingly moved centre stage not only in the New Literatures in English, but also in British and American studies.
This volume addresses the construction and artistic representation of traumatic memories in the contemporary Western world from a variety of inter- and trans-disciplinarity critical approaches and perspectives, ranging from the cultural, political, historical, and ideological to the ethical and aesthetic, and distinguishing between individual, collective, and cultural traumas. The chapters introduce complementary concepts from diverse thinkers including Cathy Caruth, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Abraham and Torok, and Joyce Carol Oates; they also draw from fields of study such as Memory Studies, Theory of Affects, Narrative and Genre Theory, and Cultural Studies. Traumatic Memory and the Political, Economic, and Transhistorical Functions of Literature addresses trauma as a culturally embedded phenomenon and deconstructs the idea of trauma as universal, transhistorical, and abstract.
The world has changed faster during the 20th century than ever before. All our previous assumptions about God, our social, economic and political structures, science and technology, and - by extension - ourselves and our culture have been utterly transformed. The 20th century is the century that dared to question everything and its progress is told in this tour de force. Modern Times are explored through the cultural expressions - in art, in literature, in music - of the true conviction that we have lived through an unprecedentedly testing period in human experience. Modern Places are the locations that became the frontiers of modernity - cities like Vienna, Moscow, Paris and Berlin, new worlds in the Americas, and a preview of a possible future in Moscow.
These essays on war, resistance and counter resistance represent an original approach to understanding how political constraints on human behavior, and the resistance movements to which these restrictions give rise, produce counter-resistant forces which represent new constraints, which in turn often generate new and innovative behaviors which sometimes create new crystallizations of cultural expression and occasionally influence institutions and traditions. This new anthology offers a unique analysis of the important role political constraints play in the production of creative thinking and the development of systematic projects aimed at human liberation. In the preface, Francis Feeley clearly states the purpose of this book, which is to demonstrate how resistance movements have often given birth to counter-resistance measures employed mostly by state agencies aimed at stifling the self-realization of certain groups and promoting the self-realization of other organized interests. The following essays are a composite of writings by political activists, poets, and academic scholars. The introduction offers a brief description of major resistance movements in the United States. This historical overview presents a context for the appearance of the 20th- century resistance movements described in the following chapters. We are alerted from the start that one of the unifying themes of these essays is the dialectical relationship between social movements and political institutions, "producing democracy within American institutions"; another theme will be how these social contradictions which generate the growth of democracy have proven time and again to operate beyond the control of capitalist interests both in France and within the United States, thereby giving rise to many species of democratic expression... Gilles Vachon's description of his childhood impressions of Paris under the German occupation offers new insights into micro-resistance at the level of alternative perceptions and subliminal communications. George Brown's contribution to the thesis of this book, although first published in 1978, is his self-conscious description of one man entering into a dialectical relationship with prison reforms, which pushed him into a deeper understanding of the injustices that he had suffered as a child and young adult growing up Black in the United States. In the third chapter of this book Francis Feeley uncovers the economic interests behind the production of political repression. His analysis of the Homeland Security Act, and the growth of surveillance and security industry that it gave rise to, supports the main thesis of this book, namely that the contradictions which generate democracy exist beyond the control, and very often beyond the apprehension, of the society in which they are created. Patrick Litsangou's essay in chapter 4 contributes to our understanding of the dialectical relationship between the mainstream media and the alternative media, in the period of the U.S. military invasion of Iraq. He illustrates in this essay how the demise of mainstream medias independence gave rise to the extraordinary success of the alternative media, as large numbers of people living within the United States vigorously struggled to stay informed, in order to understand the palpable contradictions in their lives. In the fifth chapter, Peterson Nnajiofor recounts the histories of resistance and counter resistance around the aggressive activities of US petroleum companies in the Niger Delta, where class warfare has produced strategies and counter tactics that have been evolving for decades in the relationships between the inhabitants of the region and the transnational corporations which control their political economy to the almost unimaginable detriment of the environment. The last chapter of this book is an excerpt from Professor Anthony Wilden's classic work, "Man and Woman, War and Peace, the Strategists Companion" (New York, 1987). Despite having been published more than two decades ago, this theoretical study stands as a contemporary statement on the epistemology of strategic thought. The indirect approach, described here by Wilden complements Professor Feeley's thesis that the forces of resistance and the forces of counter resistance are intimately related; that from this interrelationship new cultural expressions are created, some of which have long-term effects on the society in which they occur. The formation of a revolutionary counterculture is but one example of the effects of this power interface. As professor Wilden notes, no confrontation occurs without some structural modification taking place. The forces of order are never the same after they successfully repress the forces of change, and guerrilla warfare tactics are constantly evolving, adapting to new conditions. Professor Feeley concludes this anthology by attempting to synthesize the main ideas presented in the seven essays in this book. The main thread running through these chapters is the idea that cultural order cannot be reduced to the natural order. This idea is clearly expressed in each of the essays found in this book, and the conclusion convincingly states the view that social science, like all other cultural expressions, exists beyond "being," in the realm of "becoming."
by Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Sunderland)
Rereading Orphanhood: Texts, Inheritance, Kin explores the ways in which the figure of the literary orphan can be used to illuminate our understanding of the culture and mores of the long nineteenth century, especially those relating to family and kinship.