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Remembering and forgetting
Yvette Hutchison

this period resulted in violence and 24 South African performance and archives of memory human rights abuses from all sides. No section of society escaped these abuses’.2 Although South Africa had successfully negotiated the handover to a fully democratic government, the country was uneasy, divided, without a coherent or consensual sense of the past. This needed to be redressed, insofar as the articulation of a shared past is central to the conceptualising of an ‘imagined community’ (Anderson, 1991) and the formulation of a nation (McLeod, 2000). Alex Boraine

in South African performance and archives of memory
Some destinations beyond catastrophe
Howard Barker

– finds a congenial new residence in the contemporary dispensation of Late Democracy and its tablet of laws, partly Christian, partly secular idealism, known as Human Rights. The intensity of the social consensus surrounding tolerance and freedom – nomenclature we cannot dispute here – raises the prospect familiar from various decayed regimes of the past that one might be persuaded to apologise for what one senses was never a wrong action in the first place, and this dilemma lies at the heart of this tragedy in which revelation on the part of one character, Ostend, is

in Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre
Anu Koivunen, Katariina Kyrölä, and Ingrid Ryberg

be used at all in some contexts. In Butler’s (2016:  25) words, undoing the binary between vulnerability and resistance is a feminist task, but ‘vulnerability cannot be the basis of group identification without strengthening paternalistic power’. She further critiques human rights discourse and legal regimes for ignoring ‘modes of political agency and resistance within so-​called vulnerable populations’, seeing them instead as in need of institutional or state protection and advocacy (Butler, 2016:  24–​5). On the other hand, feminist scholars such as Alyson Cole

in The power of vulnerability
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Late capitalism and the illegal drug trade in No Country for Old Men and The Counselor
Lydia R. Cooper

This chapter looks at the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries’ global market economy, reflected in the shadow economy of the illegal drug trade along the Texas–Mexico border in No Country for Old Men and The Counselor. Specifically, it examines the sicario narrative in No Country and The Counselor in light of the narratives’ elision of a critical moment of choice on the part of their antagonists and protagonists. These narratological structures draw attention to the myth of inevitability that perpetuates global capitalism and its most egregious violations of human rights.

in Cormac McCarthy
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Author: Rachael Gilmour

At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.

Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.

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Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness
Author: Ben Nichols

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

Zombie pharmacology In the Flesh
Linnie Blake

their sphere of influence … has got so much more normalized as part of national security expectations’, generating in turn increasing incidences of ‘justifiable torture’ scenarios in contemporary popular culture (Agence France-Presse, 2014 ). Simon’s human rights, like those of torture victims across the globe, have been denied not simply in the interests of national security

in Neoliberal Gothic
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Lee Spinks

, a Western-trained forensic anthropologist, who has spent her career investigating human rights abuses in a number of war-torn countries. Her visit takes place on behalf of a United Nations human rights group that wants to examine the political record of the Sri Lankan premier President Katugala. Unsurprisingly, her presence in the country is unwelcome to the government, which grants her a cursory seven-week period to complete her research while insisting that she is supervised throughout her stay by a local archaeologist, Sarath Diyasena. Apart from potentially

in Michael Ondaatje