rethinking race and identity in contemporary british fiction routledge studies in contemporary literature

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Rethinking Race And Identity In Contemporary British Fiction

Author : Sara Upstone
ISBN : 9781317914808
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 49. 31 MB
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This book takes a post-racial approach to the representation of race in contemporary British fiction, re-imagining studies of race and British literature away from concerns with specific racial groups towards a more sophisticated analysis of the contribution of a broad, post-racial British writing. Examining the work of writers from a wide range of diverse racial backgrounds, the book illustrates how contemporary British fiction, rather than merely reflecting social norms, is making a radical contribution towards the possible future of a positively multi-ethnic and post-racial Britain. This is developed by a strategic use of the realist form, which becomes a utopian device as it provides readers with a reality beyond current circumstances, yet one which is rooted within an identifiable world. Speaking to the specific contexts of British cultural politics, and directly connecting with contemporary debates surrounding race and identity in Britain, the author engages with a wide range of both mainstream and neglected authors, including Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Julian Barnes, John Lanchester, Alan Hollinghurst, Martin Amis, Jon McGregor, Andrea Levy, Bernardine Evaristo, Hanif Kureishi, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hari Kunzru, Nadeem Aslam, Meera Syal, Jackie Kay, Maggie Gee, and Neil Gaiman. This cutting-edge volume explores how contemporary fiction is at the centre of re-thinking how we engage with the question of race in twenty-first-century Britain.

Maximalism In Contemporary American Literature

Author : Nick Levey
ISBN : 9781317205029
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 24. 12 MB
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This book begins a new and foundational discussion of maximalism by investigating how the treatment of detail in contemporary literature impels readers to navigate, tolerate, and enrich the cultural landscape of postindustrial America. It studies the maximalist novels of David Foster Wallace, Nicholson Baker, Thomas Pynchon, and others, considering how overly-detailed writing serves the institutional, emotional, and intellectual needs of contemporary readers and writers. The book argues that maximalist novels not only exceed perceived limits of style, subject matter, and scope, but strive to remake the usefulness of books in contemporary culture, refreshing the act of reading. Levey shows that while these novels are preoccupied with detail and description, they are relatively unconcerned with the traditional goals of representation. Instead, they use detail to communicate particular values and fantasies of intelligence, enthusiasm, and ability attached to the management of complex and excessive information. Whether reinvigorating the banal and trivial in mainstream culture, or soothing anxieties of human insufficiency in the age of automation and the internet, these texts model significant abilities, rather than just objects of significance, and encourage readers to develop habits of reading that complement the demands of an increasingly detailed culture. Drawing upon a diverse range of theoretical schools and cultural texts, including Thing Theory, Marxism, New Formalism, playlists, blogs, and archival manuscripts, the book proposes a new understanding of maximalist writing and a new way of approaching the usefulness of literary objects in contemporary culture.

The Cultural Politics Of Chick Lit

Author : Heike Missler
ISBN : 9781317235316
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 31. 49 MB
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Chick lit is the marketing label attributed to a surge of books published in the wake of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary (1996) and Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City (1997). Branded by their pink or pastel-coloured book covers, chick-lit novels have been a highly successful and ubiquitous product of women's popular culture since the late 1990s. This study traces the evolution of chick lit not only as a genre of popular fiction, but as a cultural phenomenon. It complicates the genealogy of the texts by situating them firmly in the context of age-old debates about female literary creation, and by highlighting the dynamics of the popular-fiction market. Offering a convincing dissection of the formula which lies at the heart of chick lit, as well as in-depth analyses of a number of chick-lit titles ranging from classic to more recent and edgier texts, this book yields new insights into a relatively young field of academic study. Its close readings provide astute assessments of chick lit's notoriously skewed representational politics, especially with regard to sexuality and ethnicity, which feed into current discussions about postfeminism. Moreover, the study makes a unique contribution to the scholarly debate of chick lit by including an analysis of the (online) fan communities the genre has fostered. The Cultural Politics of Chick Lit weaves a sound methodological network, drawing on reader-response criticism; feminist, gender, and queer theory; affect studies; and whiteness studies. This book is an accessible and engaging study for anyone interested in postfeminism and popular culture.

A Poetics Of Trauma After 9 11

Author : Katharina Donn
ISBN : 9781317308614
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 40. 3 MB
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The 9/11 attacks brought large-scale violence into the 21st century with force and have come to epitomize the entanglement of intimate vulnerability and virtual spectacle that is typical of the globalized present. This book works at the intersection of trauma studies, affect theory, and literary studies to offer radically new interpretive frames for interrogating the challenges inherent in representing the initial moments of the terrorist encounter. Beyond the paradigm of traumatic unspeakability, post-9/11 texts expose the materiality of the human body in its universal vulnerability. The intersubjective empathy this engenders is politically subversive, as it undermines the discourse of historical singularity and exceptionalism by establishing a global network of reference and dialogue. Innovative theoretical interconnections between clinical pathology, concepts of cultural trauma, and political aesthetics lay the foundations for exploring formally and geographically diverse texts. Close readings of works by Jonathan Safran Foer, Art Spiegelman, Don DeLillo, and William Gibson map the relationship between representations of 9/11 and complex aspects of trauma theory. This detailed approach makes a case for revisiting trauma theory and bringing its Freudian origins into the digitized present. It showcases trauma as a physical and psychological wound as well as an experience that is simultaneously pre-discursive and inhibited by the virtuality of the present-day real. Exploring how contemporary trauma studies can take into account the digitization and virtuality of present-day realities, this book is a key intervention in establishing a contemporary ethics of witnessing terror.

Identity And Form In Contemporary Literature

Author : Ana María Sánchez-Arce
ISBN : 9781136758003
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 24. 13 MB
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This ambitious and wide-ranging essay collection analyses how identity and form intersect in twentieth- and twenty-first century literature. It revises and deconstructs the binary oppositions identity-form, content-form and body-mind through discussions of the role of the author in the interpretation of literary texts, the ways in which writers bypass or embrace identity politics and the function of identity and the body in form. Essays tackle these issues from a number of positions, including identity categories such as (dis)ability, gender, race and sexuality, as well as questioning these categories themselves. Essayists look at both identity as form and form as identity. Although identity and form are both staples of current research on contemporary literature, they rarely meet in the way this collection allows. Authors studied include Beryl Bainbridge, Samuel Beckett, John Berryman, Brigid Brophy, Angela Carter, J.M. Coetzee, Anne Enright, William Faulkner, Mark Haddon, Ted Hughes, Kazuo Ishiguro, B.S. Johnson, A.L. Kennedy, Toby Litt, Hilary Mantel, Andrea Levy, Robert Lowell, Ian McEwan, Flannery O’Connor, Alice Oswald, Sylvia Plath, Jeremy Reed, Anne Sexton, Edith Sitwell, Wallace Stevens, Jeremy Reed, Jeanette Winterson and Virginia Woolf. The book engages with key theoretical approaches to twentieth- and twenty-first century literature of the last twenty years while at the same time advancing new frameworks that enable readers to reconsider the identity and form conundrum. In both its choice of texts and diverse approaches, it will be of interest to those working on English and American Literatures, gender studies, queer studies, disability studies, postcolonial literature, and literature and philosophy.

Class And The Making Of American Literature

Author : Andrew Lawson
ISBN : 9781136774317
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 28. 31 MB
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This book refocuses current understandings of American Literature from the revolutionary period to the present-day through an analytical accounting of class, reestablishing a foundation for discussions of class in American culture. American Studies scholars have explored the ways in which American society operates through inequality and modes of social control, focusing primarily on issues of status group identities involving race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability. The essays in this volume focus on both the historically changing experience of class and its continuing hold on American life. The collection visits popular as well as canonical literature, recognizing that class is constructed in and mediated by the affective and the sensational. It analyzes class division, class difference, and class identity in American culture, enabling readers to grasp why class matters, as well as the economic, social, and political matter of class. Redefining the field of American literary cultural studies and asking it to rethink its preoccupation with race and gender as primary determinants of identity, contributors explore the disciplining of the laboring body and of the emotions, the political role of the novel in contesting the limits of class power and authority, and the role of the modern consumer culture in both blurring and sharpening class divisions.

Rethinking Power Relations In Indonesia

Author : Michaela Haug
ISBN : 9781317333326
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 64. 48 MB
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Since colonial rule, the island of Java served as Indonesia’s imagined centre and prime example of development, while the Outer Islands were constructed as the state’s marginalised periphery. Recent processes of democratisation and regional autonomy, however, have significantly changed the power relations that once produced the marginality of the Outer Islands. This book explores processes of political, economic and cultural transformations in Indonesia, emphasizing their implications for centre-periphery relations from the perspective of the archipelago’s ‘margins’. Structured along three central themes, the book first provides theoretical contributions to the understanding of marginality in Indonesia. The second part focuses on political transformation processes and their implications for the Outer Islands. The third section investigates the dynamics caused by economic changes on Indonesia’s periphery. Chapters writtten by experts in the field offer examples from various regions, which demonstrate how power relations between centre and periphery are getting challenged, contested and reshaped. The book fills a gap in the literature by analysing the implications of the recent transformation processes for the construction of marginality on Indonesia’s Outer Islands.

Rethinking National Literatures And The Literary Canon In Scandinavia

Author : Ann-Sofie Lönngren
ISBN : 9781443885034
Genre : Scandinavian literature
File Size : 49. 6 MB
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The literary field and canon in the Nordic countries are under constant negotiation and transformation, with various alternative literatures having evolved alongside the majority literatures of these nations in recent decades. These new phenomena, constructed around perspectives regarding language, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and social class, have been categorised as migration, minority and queer literatures. Rethinking National Literatures and the Literary Canon in Scandinavia highlights these literatures and their histories, roles and impacts on both the literary establishment and (post)modern societies in the Nordic region. It also discusses how the constructions of national literary canons today are challenged by the influence of various critical perspectives, including postcolonial theories, and queer, indigenous, ethnic literary and gender studies. On a broader level, the book showcases the position literature has in the building of national identities in Nordic nation-states, and, in the process, demonstrates that the plurality of perspectives in literary studies has the potential to question the fundamentals of the literary canon, canon formations, national self-understanding, and identity. The book is composed of nine articles authored by literary scholars in Finland, Sápmi, Sweden, and Denmark. It addresses issues such as methodological nationalism in literary scholarship, the uses of concepts such as “transnational” and “immigrant” literature, the ways in which traditional Sámi features are employed in contemporary Sámi poetry, postcolonial representations in Nordic literature, and the ways that political processes of “Othering” are made visible in contemporary literature’s uses of traditional Scandinavian folklore. Read together, these articles provide an overview of some of the challenges and changes in Nordic literature today.

Rethinking Race In Modern Argentina

Author : Paulina Alberto
ISBN : 9781316477847
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 83 MB
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This book reconsiders the relationship between race and nation in Argentina during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and places Argentina firmly in dialog with the literature on race and nation in Latin America, from where it has long been excluded or marginalized for being a white, European exception in a mixed-race region. The contributors, based both in North America and Argentina, hail from the fields of history, anthropology, and literary and cultural studies. Their essays collectively destabilize widespread certainties about Argentina, showing that whiteness in that country has more in common with practices and ideologies of Mestizaje and 'racial democracy' elsewhere in the region than has typically been acknowledged. The essays also situate Argentina within the well-established literature on race, nation, and whiteness in world regions beyond Latin America (particularly, other European 'settler societies'). The collection thus contributes to rethinking race for other global contexts as well.

The Wounded Hero In Contemporary Fiction

Author : Susana Onega
ISBN : 9780429000058
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 87. 88 MB
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The Wounded Hero in Contemporary Fiction tracks the emergence of a new type of physically and/or spiritually wounded hero(ine) in contemporary fiction. Editors, Susana Onega and Jean-Michel Ganteu bring together some of the top minds in the field to explore the paradoxical lives of these heroes that have embraced, rather than overcome, their suffering, alienation and marginalisation as a form of self-definition.

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