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Modernity, race and colonialism
Editors: Noa K. Ha and Giovanni Picker

European cities: modernity, race and colonialism is a multidisciplinary collection of scholarly studies that sets out to rethink urban Europe from a race-conscious perspective, reflexively and critically aware of colonial entanglements and what came to be known as ‘‘modernity’’. The twelve original contributions engage various combinations of urban studies, postcolonial, decolonial and race critical theories. The results are empirical and theoretical analyses critically centring on the multiple ways in which race partakes in the production of urban space in the twenty-first-century former metropole. European cities across the East–West divide get in this way decentred and detached from dominant Eurocentric analyses and (self-)representations; viewed from global and historical perspectives, their aura of alleged ‘‘modernity’’ leaves the proscenium to offer the reader an opportunity to start imagining and understanding urban living and politics otherwise. After decades of rigorous critical race scholarship on various global urban regions, European cities is a comprehensive attempt to squarely centre race in analyses of urban Europe. The book may appeal to all students and learners both within and outside academia; scholars; activists; journalists; and policy makers interested in urban life, governance, planning, racism, Europe and colonialism.

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Gregor Gall

Having examined Strummer’s political influence using secondary sources, where little explanation and almost no substantiation were provided by those making ‘you changed my life’-type statements, this chapter turns to assess the primary data generated for this study. In doing so, it examines the self-reported evidence of influence on the basis of self-reported perceptions of Strummer and his politics. A key task is to examine whether his socialist period and his move to humanism were detected, and what impact these had. This chapter begins by examining the pilot study testimonies before analysing the full study testimonies. It finds that from amongst those giving testimony, Strummer’s socialist and radical influence was wide, deep and long-lived.

in The punk rock politics of Joe Strummer

This chapter explores the multifaceted queer story of this postindustrial city and shows how and why it became Britain’s cutting-edge gay capital in terms of music, dance, drag and civic politics. It does this in three main sections. ‘Northern Soul’ charts overlapping queer, trans, lesbian and gay social, political and sexual scenes in the 1960s and 1970s. ‘Safe Spaces and Battle Lines’ is about draconian policing and the concerted resistance it provoked and also about the council’s pro-lesbian and gay work from 1984 which helped fuse civic and gay pride here. The final section, ‘Shifting Scenes’, explores the dynamics of the UK’s first gay village which grew in up in and around Canal Street’s emptied warehouses and also the alternative music and drag scene that developed in reaction to it in the late 1990s and 2000s. Each section speaks to particular experiences in the city at different moments but together they help to marshal something of the collective sense of the straightforwardness and solidarity which interviewees frequently associated with being Mancunian and being a queer Mancunian.

in Queer beyond London
Memory and temporality in Hidden Symptoms, One by One in the Darkness, and Time Present and Time Past
Stefanie Lehner

This chapter analyses Deirdre Madden’s repeated concerns with memory and temporality by comparing two of her earlier works, Hidden Symptoms (1986) and One by One in the Darkness (1996), with her latest novel Time Present and Time Past (2013). Her exploration of the impact of the past on the present is exemplified in her two ‘Troubles’ novels, but is also a major concern of her last work that is set at the height of the Celtic Tiger’s economic success. In all three novels, characters are faced with a past which intrudes into the present in quasi-traumatic form and has notable visual qualities. Drawing on ideas by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Pierre Nora, the chapter argues that in all these works, memories are embodied in physical spaces, especially domestic interiors, but most notably crystallise in images, in particular photographs, that are translated into ‘prose pictures’. These created memory images oscillate between the traumatic and the nostalgic and ultimately help to reconcile the past and the present, thereby challenging the notion of progress that underpins contemporary historical-political developments on both sides of the Irish border.

in Deirdre Madden
Elke D’hoker

This chapter explores the many figurations of home in Deirdre Madden’s novels against the background of critical theories of home, from Heidegger and Bachelard to bell hooks, Iris Marion Young, and Doreen Massey. A close reading of relevant passages from the novels shows the primacy of home in all its dimensions in Madden’s work. In widening concentric circles, home is shown to refer to house, family, neighbourhood, city, land, and country; with the different scales feeding into each other. Following the chronological trajectory of the novels, the chapter also argues that the conceptualisation of home undergoes a significant shift in Madden’s oeuvre. The angry rejection of traditional definitions of home in terms of safety, identity, and Authenticity in Hidden Symptoms, The Birds of the Innocent Wood, and, to a lesser extent, Remembering Light and Stone is gradually replaced by an exploration of alternative imaginaries of home as more fluid, open, and relational. In the later novels, then, home is experienced as a process far more than a product and is no longer necessarily bound to one specific place. Still, if for characters like Julia in Authenticity or the narrator of Molly Fox’s Birthday, the movement from the childhood home to an adult sense of being-at-home among friends and family in different places seems fairly straightforward, for several other characters, the relation between the inherited and performative dimensions of home remains a source of conflict requiring constant negotiation and reconstruction.

in Deirdre Madden
Spenser’s Machiavelli
Andrew Wadoski

Central to Spenser’s ethics is the question of the political and metaphysical insufficiency of the ancient virtues to the task of establishing colonial rule in Ireland. Chapter 6 focuses on Spenser’s engagements with the Florentine political theorist, Machiavelli, claiming that if Spenser’s Irish experience exposes the political limitations of an Aristotelian understanding of virtuous action, then the View’s Machiavelli-inflected account of Arthur, Lord Grey as an icon of virtue notably clarifies the scope, aims, and ambitions of what we might describe as a specifically Spenserian account of virtue. Spenser’s account of Grey’s violent tenure in Ireland, in which he upholds the massacre of Spanish troops at Smerwick as an exemplary action, defines virtue not as fulfillment of normative principles of excellence, but as the ability to respond in politically efficacious ways to various bad choices compelled by fortune and necessity.

in Spenser’s ethics
Marisol Morales-Ladrón

In this interview, Deirdre Madden discusses her work and influences, putting them in the context of her early life in Northern Ireland, her studies at Trinity College Dublin and the University of East Anglia, and her years spent living abroad on the Continent. She talks about how she became a writer, and about significant themes in her work, including home and domesticity. She discusses how she crafts her work and speaks of literary influences, including Marcel Proust, T. S. Eliot, and Henry James. Themes in her novels include time, transience, and memory. These ideas, together with the significance of family as a subject, and the Northern Irish Troubles are all explored in the interview. Another important theme is the visual arts, including painting and photography – both how these works are produced and what they might mean to the viewer. These art forms, in which something is made, are contrasted to acting, which is performative. There are reflections on the nature of identity, and how it may be constructed. Madden’s interest in material culture and the psychic force apparent in objects is also considered in detail. Whether or not her work belongs fully to the tradition of realism is discussed. Finally, she reflects upon her writing for children and speculates on future work.

in Deirdre Madden
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Emptying the virtuous middle in Elizabethan Ireland
in Spenser’s ethics
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Anne Fogarty and Marisol Morales-Ladrón

Deirdre Madden is one of the most accomplished contemporary Irish novelists, who has garnered many awards and has been the subject of positive but sporadic critical attention. Her work merits more concentrated study than it has hitherto received and deserves to be analysed in its totality and not in a piecemeal fashion. It has eluded recognition because of the continuing bias towards the male author in the media in Ireland. Also, her subtle and probing fictions challenge readers by falling between literary categories and cross-connecting genres such as the novel of ideas or the Künstlerroman in unique ways. Madden has most often been valued for her Troubles and post-Troubles fictions which depict complex and oblique accounts of the lingering aftermath of violence in Northern Ireland. Her novels eschew essentialist views of identity and typically make use of transnational frameworks, cross-connecting Irish and European settings. They are focused on philosophical questions about being in the world and ideas of home and dislocation and also treat issues relating to the passage of time and the continuities and gaps between the past and the present. Despite the critique of consumerism often mounted in her works, the material and the everyday are key concerns. Redolent objects, memories, and artworks often provide core metaphors in her texts. Above all, Madden’s novels celebrate the generative roles of art, the imagination, and empathetic vision.

in Deirdre Madden
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Gregor Gall

Joe Strummer was no ‘ordinary Joe’. He was the most radical, politically aware and politically engaged performer of his peers. He prosecuted his politics with mass appeal, making him more successful in this task than any others from punk onwards. In 1969, radical folk singer Phil Ochs suggested any hope of revolution lay in ‘getting Elvis Presley to become Che Guevara’. Strummer came closer than any other to achieving this. Strummer understood music was a cultural battleground in the fight for social justice. For that, he will always be remembered. His legacy is a living one; it is one that seems to shine brighter the longer apolitical pop reigns. So this is the story of Strummer’s politics: what he thought, said, meant and did. Crucially, it is also the story of what impact he had. It is the story of his politics of radicalism, resistance and rebellion against the established order. It is the story of how one determined and talented individual made such a difference to the attitudes and behaviours of so many others. The study uses the framework of socialist realism to assess Strummer’s contribution and influence.

in The punk rock politics of Joe Strummer