In Sir Charles Grandison, Richardson anticipates the imaginary Italy of the Gothic novel. The categories of gender and nationality that Richardson constructs in the division of the ‘Names of the Principal Persons’ into ‘Men’, ‘Women’ and ‘Italians’ intersect with categories of health and illness to reinforce the opposition of a sensible, enlightened England, home of liberty and social stability, against a passionate, unstable and irrational Catholic Italy, home of wounded, mad and dangerous ‘Italians’. While the Gothic novel relies on landscape descriptions, banditti and abandoned castles to create a sense of terror, in Sir Charles Grandison, the Gothic is located, not in Italy, imaginary or otherwise, but in the bodies of the Italian characters.
To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his
first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist
critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia
Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther,
and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of
heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape
and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus
wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its
style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and
intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains
enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing
transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s
ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and
This book is an analysis of the complex links between social relations—including notions of class, nationality and gender—and spatial relations, landscape, architecture and topography—in post-colonial contexts. Arguing against the psychoanalytic focus of much current post-colonial theory, it aims to set out in a new direction, drawing on a wide range of literary and non-literary texts to develop a more materialist approach. The book foregrounds gender in this field where it has often been marginalised by the critical orthodoxies, demonstrating its importance not only in spatial theorising in general, but in the post-colonial theorising of space in particular. Concentrating on the period of ‘high’ British colonialism at the close of the nineteenth century, it examines a range of colonial contexts, such as India, Africa, America, Canada, Australia and Britain, illustrating how relations must be analysed for the way in which different colonial contexts define and constitute each other.
whether conscious or not, from which the actual appropriation of language can take place. 10
While Kelman attempts to resist the reductive marginalisation and othering of a language and a culture, he also abrogates standard bearers on another front: nationality. In his last two novels, he questions the validity of national definition, and looks at the violence and oppressions carried out through establishment state politics in the name of national ‘integrity’ and cultural tribalism. Kelman worries at nationality because, as a libertarian
The poetics of suffrage in the work of Eva Gore-Booth and Constance Markievicz
attention on improving the lives of working-class
women including barmaids and female factory workers. Both sisters wrote
poetry and plays that articulated their individual attitudes to Irish nationality and their shared battle for sexual equality.
The suffrage meeting in Drumcliffe gives a foretaste of the poetics that
Constance and Eva developed over the following three decades. The meeting hall was ‘packed to the doors’ with an audience that consisted primarily of men – most of whom had come to object to women’s right to vote.
However, the suffragists had prepared to
of resisting received notions of nationality, as well
as unified concepts of gender, have become increasingly recognised in
poetry criticism. But one of the problems is that the geographical groupings that have been used to indicate the heterogeneity of race and region
in women’s writing have tended to enforce a homogeneity of particular
races and regions. In the recent study of poetry in the Atlantic archipelago from non-metropolitan perspectives which I cited at the beginning of this essay, Christopher Harvie warns that ‘one cannot see the
periphery whole, or
national family drama and establish alternative patterns of political aﬃliation.
The ﬁnal ﬁve chapters connect through the medium of their concern with
the re-imagining of community, nationality, subjectivity, sexuality or the native
body, especially as a response to the agon of disillusionment of the neocolonised nation – or the postcolony in Achille Mbembe’s now widely accepted
phrase, discussed in chapter 7. Whereas the focus at the centre-point of the
book was on postcolonial women as the ‘spoken-for’ of national traditions,
chapters 7 and 8 act on the idea
paradigms of new nationality and
the postcolonial nation founded on the imagery of national sons. To open the
discussion with these two novels is in itself an anticipatory and symbolic
gesture, in that Africa and India will comprise the two postcolonial ‘constituencies’ predominantly represented by this book.
Ranging across the wide terrain of African literature of the 1950s, 1960s and
1970s, the nationalist hero, often exiled or alienated from home (mother and
heart(h)land), is cast as resilient and courageous (the soldier, the leader); idealistic or visionary (the poet
Johanna Gondouin, Suruchi Thapar-Björkert and Ingrid Ryberg
biological labour and situating the notion of motherhood in a larger context
of issues of reproductive work, the series offers a rich and complex reflection on the current debate about the global division of reproductive work
across axes of gender, race, nationality, migration status, and class (Colen,
1995; Ginsburg and Rapp, 1995; Parreñas, 2000; Shanley, 2001; Vora, 2008;
Yngvesson, 2010). However, while critics have recognised motherhood,
misogyny, sexism, and gendered violence as central themes in China Girl,
surprisingly few comments address the racial
When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar.
Arthur & George is a book about unlikely pairings and questionable divisions. It is a fiction about truth and relativity, perception and rationality, fear and authority. Drawing on the real-life investigation by Arthur Conan Doyle of a miscarriage of justice, it explores the borderlines of nationality and ethnicity, evidence and imagination, doubt and faith, fact and fiction, endings and beginnings. Above all, it underlines the power of