Associative magic
Nostalgic time and the revolt against mourning
in Imperial nostalgia
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Beginning with a close reading of a controversy surrounding the erasure of a mural of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If …’ at Manchester University in 2018, this chapter explores the concept of nostalgia, its relation to mourning and melancholia, and its political valences. Taking its cue from Svetlana Boym’s writing of nostalgia, it follows through how affective reactions to loss can be redirected towards potentially eliminationist political conclusions. Touching on the memory of the Second World War and the COVID-19 crisis, it proposes an understanding of how nostalgia works by making mythical histories coexist imaginatively with the present.

Imperial nostalgia

How the British conquered themselves

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