Medievalist double consciousness and the
production of difference: Medieval bards,
culturalmemory and nationalist fantasy
Thomas Gray’s 1757 poem ‘The Bard’ sits at the centre of a complex network of medievalist culturalmemory. Gray was an accomplished scholar and historian as well as poet, familiar with many
works of medieval as well as Classical literature, and his poem
was first published at his good friend Horace Walpole’s press at
Strawberry Hill. An image of Walpole’s astonishing medievalist
building is printed on its title page (see Figure 3
Ruins and wonders: The poetics of culturalmemory in and of early medieval England
In the beginning there is ruin.
Jacques Derrida, Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and
When is the now of a medieval text? How might a text be situated
in, or free from, historical process? These are the questions posed
by Benjamin Thorpe in the preface to his edition of Cædmon’s
Metrical Paraphrase of Parts of the Holy Scriptures, in Anglo-
Saxon, a foundational work of Anglo-Saxon studies first published
in 1832. Although he justified his edition by
This book is a study of cultural memory in and of the British Middle Ages. It works with material drawn from across the medieval period – in Old English, Middle English and Latin, as well as material and visual culture – and explores modern translations, reworkings and appropriations of these texts to examine how images of the past have been created, adapted and shared. It interrogates how cultural memory formed, and was formed by, social identities in the Middle Ages and how ideas about the past intersected with ideas about the present and future. It also examines how the presence of the Middle Ages has been felt, understood and perpetuated in modernity and the cultural possibilities and transformations this has generated. The Middle Ages encountered in this book is a site of cultural potential, a means of imagining the future as well as imaging the past. The scope of this book is defined by the duration of cultural forms rather than traditional habits of historical periodization and it seeks to reveal connections across time, place and media to explore the temporal complexities of cultural production and subject formation. It reveals a transtemporal and transnational archive of the modern Middle Ages.
Making Home explores the orphan child as a trope in contemporary US fiction, arguing that in times of perceived national crisis concerns about American identity, family, and literary history are articulated around this literary figure. The book focuses on orphan figures in a broad, multi-ethnic range of contemporary fiction by Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Cunningham, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Toni Morrison. It also investigates genres as carriers of cultural memory, looking particularly at the captivity narrative, historical fiction, speculative fiction, the sentimental novel, and the bildungsroman. From a decisively literary perspective, Making Home engages socio-political concerns such as mixed-race families, child welfare, multiculturalism, and racial and national identity, as well as shifting definitions of familial, national, and literary home. By analyzing how contemporary novels both incorporate and resist gendered and raced literary conventions, how they elaborate on symbolic and factual meanings of orphanhood, and how they explore kinship beyond the nuclear and/or adoptive family, this book offers something distinctly new in American literary studies. It is a crucial study for students and scholars interested in the links between literature and identity, questions of inclusion and exclusion in national ideology, and definitions of family and childhood.
Felicia Hemans and Burial at Sea in the Nineteenth-Century
This article identifies sea-burial as a topos of the early nineteenth-century imaginary
that draws on both Gothic tropes and Romantic reformulations of Gothic aesthetics in order
to signal a sea changed poetics of shifting dislocation, decay, and denial in the work of
Felicia Hemans. The loss of a corpse at sea makes visible the extent to which any act of
posthumous identification relies upon a complex network actively maintained by the living.
This article will also develop our understanding of the ways in which Gothic tropes of
burial might extend into specifically maritime literary cultures of the early nineteenth
century. This strand of a nautical Gothic reflects not only nineteenth-century anxieties
about nautical death but the corporeality of both individual and cultural memory. Such
representations of sea-burial negotiate a nautical Gothic aesthetic that might propel new
understanding of the relationship between poetry and the material dimensions of affective
This timely collection explores British attitudes to continental Europe that explain the Brexit decision. Analysing British discourses of Europe and the impact of British Euroscepticism, the book argues that Britain’s exit from the European Union reflects a more general cultural rejection of continental Europe: Britain is in denial about the strength of its ties to Europe and needs to face Europe if it is to face the future. The volume brings together literary and cultural studies, history, and political science in an integrated analysis of views and practices that shape cultural memory and the cultural imaginary. Part I, ‘Britain and Europe: political entanglements’, traces the historical and political relationship between Britain and Europe and the place of Europe in recent British political debates while Part II, ‘British discourses of Europe in literature and film’, is devoted to representative case studies of films as well as popular Eurosceptic and historical fiction. Part III, ‘Negotiating borders in British travel writing and memoir’, engages with border mindedness and the English Channel as a contact zone, also including a Gibraltarian point of view. Given the crucial importance of literature in British discourses of national identity, the book calls for, and embarks on, a Euro-British literary studies that highlights the nature and depth of the British-European entanglement.
This book is a collection of essays that offers a new lens through which to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The films analysed span a period of some 40 years that have been crucial in the development of Spain, Spanish democracy and Spanish cinema. The book offers a new lens to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic language and aesthetics. At the heart of this project lies an examination of the ways in which established auteurs and younger generations of filmmakers have harnessed cinematic language towards a commentary on the nation-state and the politics of historical and cultural memory. The films discussed in the book encompass different genres, both popular and more select arthouse fare, and are made in different languages: English, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, and French. Regarded universally as a classic of Spanish arthouse cinema, El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive has attracted a wealth of critical attention which has focused on political, historical, psychological and formal aspects of Víctor Erice's co-authored film-text. Luis Bunuel's Cet obscur objet du désir/That Obscure Object of Desire, Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons' Ocana. Retrat Intermitent/Ocana. An Intermittent Portrait, Francisco Franco's El Dorado, Víctor Erice's El sol del membrillo/The Quince Tree Sun, and Julio Medem's Vacas/Cows are some films that are discussed.
the Vichy past in French public and political life, crime fiction emphasises different circuits of memory, informed by more diffuse social and
cultural processes of remembrance. These popular circuits of memory
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French crime fiction and the Second World War
can help enhance our understanding of culturalmemories of the war
years and their evolution in France in three key respects.
Firstly, the crime fiction discussed in this study has confirmed a movement away from politically and ideologically inflected representations of
The past is always contemporary.
This book has traced a series of movements across time, space,
form and media. It has attempted to reveal and accommodate the
diversity of the archive of the Middle Ages and demonstrate how
forms of culturalmemory produced in or inspired by the Middle
Ages define subject positions, collective identities and visions of
the future. It has offered a series of micro-histories that illustrate
the intimate connections between ideas of ‘the modern’ and ‘the
medieval’ and outline some of the
contributing to popular culture’s shaping of war memory, French
crime fiction provides a colourful corpus of texts with which to extend
analysis of what it means to live in the shadow of such a past.
French crime fiction and the Second World War
This introduction will set out the conceptual, historical and literarycritical foundations on which this study is built. It will begin by mapping
memory, exploring some of the major approaches to the study of collective memory. It will focus in particular on culturalmemory and the significance of fictional forms as some of