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Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain

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 sex.

James Baldwin Review

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

in James Kelman
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

in Irish women’s writing, 1878–1922
Arthur & George

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. Anon 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

in Julian Barnes
From modest shoot to forward plant

The stereotype of the forward, sexually precocious female botanist made its first appearance in literature in the turbulent revolutionary climate of the 1790s. The emergence of this figure illustrates both the contemporary appeal, particularly to women, of the Linnaean Sexual System of botanical classification, and the anxieties surrounding female modesty that it provoked. This book explores the cultivation of the female mind and the feminised discourse of botanical literature in eighteenth-century Britain. In particular, it discusses British women's engagement with the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, and his unsettling discovery of plant sexuality. The book also explores nationality and sexuality debates in relation to botany and charts the appearance of a new literary stereotype, the sexually precocious female botanist. It investigates the cultivation of the female mind and its implications for the theories of the feminised discourse of botanical literature. The book also investigates a process of feminisation of botany in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's and Priscilla Wakefield's letters on botany; these were literary and educational texts addressed specifically to women. Linnaean classification exemplified order, making botany an ideal discipline for young British women in the eighteenth century. Erasmus Darwin's explicit discussion of sexuality related to the aura of illicit sexuality that had surrounded Sir Joseph Banks. Richard Polwhele appropriates Collinsonia's image of the promiscuous female to allude to Mary Wollstonecraft's sexuality, drawing on forward plants in Darwin and Thomas Mathias. The book finally looks at early nineteenth-century debates and demonstrates how scientific botany came into conflict with the craft of floristry.

Doris Lessing’s late-twentieth-century fiction

analysing Lessing’s late-twentieth-century ‘fabular’ fictions in relation to ideas about genre and ‘race’, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s discussion of ‘minor’ literature proves instructive. Deleuze and Guattari define minor literature as exhibiting three main characteristics: ‘the deterritorialization of language, the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation’. 2 Thus, minor literature has a partial relation to nationality both linguistically and, I will argue, generically. The ‘social milieu’ 3 is not

in Doris Lessing
Abstract only
Roddy Doyle’s hyphenated identities

‘the unstable points of identification or suture, which are made, within the discourses of history and culture. Not an essence but a positioning’ (Hall, 1994: 395). For Doyle, Ireland’s new ‘positioning’ includes a larger definition of Irishness that encompasses hybridisation and its resulting hyphenated identities, that is, identities that encompass more than one nationality, ethnicity or culture. Diane Sabenacio Nititham is a good 95 Eva Roa White example of an Irish hyphenated identity, as her cultural identity encompasses two nationalities. In her article on

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Tales of contemporary Dublin city life

bus with no roof. Sure we’ll even organise the weather for ye. Fuckin’ right. We’ve been doin’ that for centuries, don’t see why we should stop now. (Laughs.) But I have a son and he doesn’t get a look-in cos he’s got the wrong address in his own fuckin’ city. (3) The politics of identity underlying Parkie’s and the drunk man’s behaviours need urgent revision in a globalised world where nationality is no longer ‘defined in terms of an individual’s identification with the physical spaces of geographic 246 Tales of contemporary Dublin city life territory’, and

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland

that accompanies casting off the rules of polite society, yet fears the consequences of this creolisation. In contrast to the insubstantial clothing of the slaves, Emily describes the overdressed, and uncomfortable, white inhabitants of Baytown as ‘half melting under heavy, richly embroidered coats and waistcoats’ ( C , 102). The English on the island feel it necessary to dress to reflect national identity, yet this is inappropriate clothing for the climate. Apparel is clearly a badge, a wearisome marker of nationality. Furthermore, it would

in Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar