This chapter examines the ways in which ‘racial issues’ migrated from Rhodesia to London through institutional connections between the London School of Economics, the University of London and the University of Rhodesia from the 1950s to 1970s. As Walter Adams was appointed as the new director of LSE from his post as principal of the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1967, LSE students were against his appointment to protect what they construed as the most multiracial university in Britain from having a director they regarded as holding reactionary racial views. The students made further demonstrations against Adams’s directorship until 1974. In doing so, their voices became stronger, reflected in the school’s governance and policymaking processes. The continued inflow of returning staff and international students from new Commonwealth countries shaped new communities and cultures at the University of London. These students’ radical activities in Britain helped to highlight and challenge racial issues within British universities and among students. Britain’s 1960s student counterculture was shaped by these colonial networks that brought the colonial empire’s race and decolonisation issues ‘home’. By introducing new postcolonial perspectives on the history of the University of London, this chapter argues the earlier activism of LSE students and student demonstrations at British universities in the late 1960s are a key example of Britain’s afterlives of empire and the predecessor of current movements to ‘decolonise the university’.
Chapter 10 considers aspects of English law relating to the human corpse. The need for bodies and their parts long precedes the advent of organ transplants. Human dissection was crucial to understanding the human body and thus developing medicine. The first part of the chapter charts measures to meet the gap between supply and demand, including bodysnatching, robbing the grave of recently deceased persons and selling the corpse to the surgeons. The inadequacy of the law and the shaky authority of the so-called ‘no property in a corpse rule’ is exposed. The second part focuses on the introduction of legislation expressly designed to regulate anatomy, the Anatomy Act 1832 which triggered riots and the burning of an anatomy school. The process of law-making which culminated in the 1832 Act is shown to mark a radically increased respect on the part of legislators to biomedical science, in sharp difference to the more sceptical approach of the judges. And as with abortion laws, medical practitioners acquired a strong voice in debates on the law, a voice not limited to the science, but also addressing the moral and social issues.
Chapter 6 explores the influence of Christianity in shaping secular laws relating to moral dilemmas in medicine dilemmas, which might now be described as bioethical questions. What is perceived to be the persistent influence of Christian theology in shaping the law on matters of life and death is decried in a country where fewer and fewer people practise that faith. The common law has long addressed debates about the nature of human life, beginning and ending human lives. The chapter will contend that while Christian tradition undoubtedly played a part in forming English law relating to the protection and value of human life, religion was only one factor, and maybe not the principal factor, in the formation of legal principles applicable to the value of life. The common law is seen to display a strong theme of pragmatism and a focus on the maintenance of the King’s Peace. The chapter addresses euthanasia, suicide and what makes an entity legally human.
This extensive critical introduction examines Ishiguro’s work in the context of global identities and literary inheritance. The introduction then provides a detailed breakdown of the individual chapters on each of Ishiguro’s novels, his short-story collection and his film and television screenwriting.
In this book, I aim to bring the new history of capitalism into a productive conversation with gender studies and critical race theory and to show how the intellectual and cultural history of private property (and of capitalism more broadly) cannot be understood outside the obsessions with race and gender that are inherent to capitalism. The acts of imagination which this book studies – and in which race and gender were so central – were acts of legitimation, as capitalist theorists constructed an image of the ideal world capitalism promises; often constructing that image in conscious opposition to images of dismal, chaotic or violent non-capitalist worlds. A vision of harmonious private property required a vision of a savage order where private property did not receive its due respect. And as I argue in this book, over the last 400 years there has never been a conception of private property, and of the class-structured society it underpinned, that has been free of race and gender.
The Introduction sets out the cultural and political background to the book, detailing the editors’ shared interest in Rhodesia’s surprising influence within Britain and the figure of Enoch Powell. These twin research interests provided the impetus for the conference and later the book. Moving from the ‘shards’ of empire found in rural Norfolk to the ongoing Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall campaigns, the Introduction demonstrates how the legacies of empire remain an enduring and prominent feature of British culture. This section also works to distinguish what the editors and other contributors mean by ‘culture’ as well as Britishness, distinguishing England from the other constituent parts of the UK, which have their own complex relationships with the British Empire and English imperialism. The Introduction sets out the historiographical and literary works upon which the entire book is founded and engages with key scholars who have shaped the work of all the contributors, as well as given us the tools with which to begin dismantling the legacies of empire. The Introduction also pays close attention to the ongoing ‘imperial history wars’ and apparent ‘cultural wars’ currently raging within British academia and politics.
This chapter studies John Locke’s conception of private property, mainly drawing from his two Treatises of Government. It is difficult to over-emphasize the importance of Locke’s thinking about private property; his influence can be seen in perhaps all subsequent Anglophone writings on the topic. Locke understood private property as a source of stability in society and as the sole preserve of men. But he also saw it as something artificial; God created nature but man privatised it over the course of human history. Thus, Locke imagined America as a massive cornucopia, a natural space – before private property and civilisation – in which English men could all own private property and create an ideal social order; this would act as a safety valve for an England perceived as overcrowded and overrun with dangerous ‘masterless men’. Moreover, Locke thought Native Americans did not use the land productively and therefore had no real right to it. How he perceived the unprivatised New World would have a huge influence on American political culture, and a determining impact on the later intellectual history of private property, with its emphasis on individualistic male authority and exclusion of non-white races from the rights and privileges of property-ownership.
The policies of the Truman era were emblematic of the Keynesian consensus that dominated the post-war years. Chapter Six examines the breakdown of that consensus and also explores late-twentieth-century, Anglophone conservatives’ particular obsession with their own childhoods. In their autobiographies, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater both waxed nostalgic about their supposedly idyllic youth in rural Illinois and the Arizona Territory, respectively. Likewise Margaret Thatcher, who used her two volumes of autobiography and countless speeches and interviews to construct a rosy image of her pre-war childhood as a grocer’s daughter in provincial Lincolnshire. This imaginary world of a pre-welfare state and implicitly white, pre-Windrush Britain served to throw into sharp contrast her dystopian view of 1970s and 1980s Britain, a land of oppressive socialism, race riots and family breakdown. A key goal of contemporary British conservatism was the creation of a ‘property-owning democracy’ and in the Thatcherite imaginary, England could only be a green and pleasant land if private property were fully dominant. Thus, as with Reagan and Goldwater, constructed images of an arcadian childhood in the past helped to legitimise privatisation in the present.
Continuing the discussion of Ishiguro’s formal sensibilities but focusing exclusively on An Artist of the Floating World, Rebecca Karni interrogates what she describes as ‘Ishiguro's tempered presentational realism and practice’. Karni proposes that those aspects of Ishiguro’s writing which appear to offer points of entry into a complex and ambiguous body of work – ‘the deceptive surface transparency of the author's prose, in addition to his Japanese background’ – often result in readings which are inherently reductive (essentialist or Orientalist). Karni explores Ishiguro’s tactics of evasion, which, she argues, result in texts which sustain ‘meaning in ways that go beyond signification’. Taking the idea of ‘presentation’ from Hans-Georg Gadamer – refining this with the usage of the same term in Japanese cinema studies – Karni thinks through the ways in which Ishiguro both borrows from the expectations of traditional realist texts and undercuts these through his characteristic narrative and narratological techniques. Ishiguro’s first two novels, Karni suggests, are peculiarly apposite examples of his presentational realism. Her chapter interrogates the ways in which the novels provoke the reader’s hermeneutic impulse, the desire to uncover, to move ‘from signifier to the supposedly “hidden” signified’, while simultaneously playing on the futility of such interpretative practices. In this way, Karni argues, Ishiguro’s literary devices work to provoke more profound and wide-ranging questions about fiction, the novel as form, and the practice of reading more broadly.
This volume is an extensive edited collection devoted to the work of the 2017 Nobel Literature Laureate, Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, featuring contributions from the most established Ishiguro scholars. It contains major new chapters on each of his novels, including the first published essay on Klara and the Sun as well as his short-story collection Nocturnes and his screenplays. Situating Ishiguro’s work within current debates regarding modernism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, the chapters examine his engagement with the defining concerns of the contemporary novel, including national identity, Britishness, cosmopolitanism, memory, biotechnology, terrorism, Brexit, immigration and populist politics. Discussing Ishiguro as both a British and a global author, the collection contributes to debates regarding the politics of publishing of ethnic writers, examining how Ishiguro has managed to shape a career in resistance to narrow labelling where many other writers have struggled to achieve long-term recognition. The collection opens with an extensive introduction by the co-editors which examines Ishiguro’s body of work as a whole and Ishiguro’s evolving literary reputation in light of his recent personal and commercial success. The book then offers individual chapters on each of Ishiguro’s novels, his short-story collection and his television and film work, as well as his recent journalistic interventions. Each chapter aims to extend and update existing criticism on Ishiguro via engagement with the most up-to-date critical frameworks, while at the same time staying true to each text’s most prominent thematic concerns. Given the prominence of its contributors and its comprehensive coverage, Kazuo Ishiguro: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives will be the definitive volume of Ishiguro scholarship for years to come.