Why is the nation in a post-colonial world so often seen as a motherland? This study explores the relationship between gender icons and foundational fictions of the nation in different post-colonial spaces. The author's work on the intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved canonical in the field. This book combines her keynote essays on the mother figure and the post-colonial nation with new work on male autobiography, ‘daughter’ writers, the colonial body, the trauma of the post-colony and the nation in a transnational context. Focusing on Africa as well as South Asia, and sexuality as well as gender, the author offers close readings of writers ranging from Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri and Nelson Mandela to Arundhati Roy and Yvonne Vera, shaping these into a critical engagement with theorists of the nation such as Fredric Jameson and Partha Chatterjee. Moving beyond cynical deconstructions of the post-colony, the book mounts a reassessment of the post-colonial nation as a site of potential empowerment, as a ‘paradoxical refuge’ in a globalised world. It acts on its own impassioned argument that post-colonial and nation-state studies address substantively issues hitherto raised chiefly within international feminism.
This book offers a cross-disciplinary approach to pain and suffering in the early modern period, based on research in the fields of literary studies, art history, theatre studies, cultural history and the study of emotions. Part I of the book discusses, inter alia, the different forms of how suffering was staged, how that staging anticipated certain affects of the onlooker. The focus is on early modern French tragedy and how theatre chose to represent violence, the shocking events of infanticide, and the representation of the enslaved body, where suffering and exoticism go hand in hand. Part II deals with the question of how the availability (both physically and conceptually) of a beholder affects the pain of a victim. It reaffirms the role that words that stand in for pain can have in consolidating the harrowing experience of watching 'King Lear'. It explores the motif of the captivating power of the woman's gaze as part of a wider discourse of male anxiety, and deals with the issue of a (neo-) Epicurean image criticism. The case of Irish Rebellion is used to discuss several forms of witnessing horror, pain and torture in the context of religious and colonial massacres. Part III of the book discusses the executions of Palermo and the role pain played in stock trade discourses in the early modern Dutch Republic. The different forms of punishment at stake, whether in a theatrical or a dramatic scene, imply modes of subjection that were deeply coloured theologically.
Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.
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colonialbody into postcolonial narrative
to get me out of the belly of my patriarchal mother . . . [distance] my eye from
her enough so as to see her in a diﬀerent way, not fragmented into her metaphoric
parts. Crossing through the symbol while I am writing. An exercise in deconditioning that allows me to acknowledge my own legitimacy. The means whereby
every woman tries to exist; to be illegitimate no more. (Nicole Brossard, These
(both in life and death) in defining their form of rule. That
Xavier was the founder of the Society of Jesus in India reinforces the
intimate connections between conquest and conversion that defined the
Portuguese enterprise in India. That the public were rumoured to have
prevented his ‘theft’ from Goa illuminates the diversity of
meanings attached to this colonialbody by those subjected to Portuguese
light was instrumentalised to achieve certain ends. As
such, this study views iconographies of unveiling as strategic technologies of
illumination consonant with the lighting technologies of the day, to describe
how colonialbodies and spaces were subjected to an imperial vision. The
inscription of bodies within such an architectonics of light and visibility
produces what Foucault has called ‘subjection by illumination’.29 Rather than
a nostalgic recovery of the life of shadows proposed by the Chhayavaadis, this
account argues that the Indian response to the
science’, Eighteenth-Century Studies 23 (1989/1990), pp. 387–405.
21 S. Quinian, ‘Colonial encounters: Colonialbodies, hygiene and abolitionist policies in eighteenth-century France’, History Workshop Journal 42
(1996), pp. 107–26, on p. 107.
22 Quinian, ‘Colonial encounters’, pp. 112–13.
23 Quinian, ‘Colonial encounters’, p. 120. According to male European
savants, female Europeans also lacked the self-control of the male, as did
Africans. (Schiebinger, ‘Anatomy of difference’.)
24 Rather than introducing a concept of leprosy from Europe to the colonies
The cultural work of nakedness in imperial Britain
nature. This may seem an obvious and perhaps even a trivial point.
Images of naked ‘primitives’ litter the historical record,
to be sure, but these representations have largely been taken for
granted, assimilated and even normalised. Yet the tenacity both of a
fascination with the state of unclothedness and of its seeming link to
savagery and primitivism make this an area worth exploring. The colonial
symbolises the body of the war and his own war-torn body; while for Kip the patient’s blackened remains offer a ghastly evocation of the ruined colonialbody: a body fought over and ceaselessly remade in the image of its antagonists. The persistently doubled nature of the patient’s image is further accentuated by his suspension between life and death as he prepares to become one more memory among all the others that circulate throughout the novel.
The integrity of the patient’s image is therefore both crucial and curiously beside the point: its
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
heroes, those who have
sacrificed all, for and on whom the nation rests. Following this, if
196 Nicky Rousseau
colonialbodies had initially interrupted the TRC scripts, but the
later role of physical anthropology in the MPTT had served to draw
a line neatly separating apartheid-era and colonialbodies, then the
politics of personhood have tended to erase that line, drawing them
ever closer together. These moves signal the ongoing instability of
South Africa’s bodies of violence.
This chapter, although expressing personal views, draws on