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The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.

Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.


This book explores the development of Robert Lepage’s distinctive approach to stage direction in the early (1984–94) and middle (1995–2008) stages of his career, arguing that globalisation had a defining effect in shaping his aesthetic and professional trajectory. It combines examination of Lepage’s theatremaking techniques with discussion of his work’s effects on audiences, calling on Lepage’s own statements as well as existing scholarship and critical response. In addition to globalisation theory, the book draws on cinema studies, queer theory, and theories of affect and reception. As such, it offers an unprecedented conceptual framework, drawing together what has previously been a scattered field of research. Each of six chapters treats a particular aspect of globalisation, using this as a means to explore one or more of Lepage’s productions. These aspects include the relationship of the local (in Lepage’s case, his background in Québec) to the global; the place of individual experience within global late modernity; the effects of screen media on human perception; the particular affect of ‘feeling global’; the place of branding in contemporary creative systems; and the relationship of creative industries to neoliberal economies. Making theatre global: Robert Lepage’s original stage productions will be of interest to scholars of contemporary theatre, advanced-level undergraduates with an interest in the application of theoretical approaches to theatrical creation and reception, and arts lovers keen for new perspectives on one of the most talked-about theatre artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Abstract only
Forgotten corners
Jenny Lin

registers loss, encapsulated in the oft-cited Italian wordplay, Traduttore, traditore (Translator, traitor). Yet we continue to translate, because the alternative—to shut ourselves off from languages we don’t readily understand—may result in nationalist isolationism and the halting of cross-cultural communication, generating losses far greater than the translator’s betrayals. For the audience well versed in postmodern art theory, it seems naïve to think of art as capable of smoothly traversing national borders and cultural divides. Visual signifiers, like words, are

in Above sea
Abstract only
Human symbols, doubled identities
Paul Carter

context where the foundation of any cross-cultural communication (discursive, gestural, or both) is the phenomenon of ‘mere coincidence’. While puns and ‘annoying ambiguities’ of all kinds threaten to fragment the ideally spherical identity of the sovereign self, they supply the symbolon hemispherical migrant with the discourse of half signs appropriate to his position. Again, colonial exchanges in nineteenth-century Australia were similarly improvised, and Translations has many examples of ‘symbolic gestures’ where the situation symbolised (an idealised historical

in Translations, an autoethnography
Representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story
Anne Fogarty

, an excavation of indigenous racisms, and a meditation on the role played by fantasy and empathy in cross-cultural communication. Hence, as will become evident, the delineation of the immigrant is bound up with a complex constellation of themes and never simply an isolated motif. The self is unmoored and problematised in current Irish narratives that set out to envisage ethnic outsiders.1 The protagonists in the narratives examined here find themselves compromised and their belief systems confounded. Ironic insights, elisions, imaginative effusions, and trailing

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Dreams, spectral memories, and temporal disjunctions in The Witcher
Lorna Piatti-Farnell

enigmatic representations that play with spatio-temporal coordinates and, in so doing, inevitably expose the fears, anxieties, and obsessions that haunt the dreamer in a multivocal process of cultural communication. The characters in The Witcher are often lost in the disrupted language of dreams and, as a result, so are the viewers. While the dreams channel a past that has apparently been suppressed, their moments of outward authenticity

in Gothic dreams and nightmares
Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

which manipulates judgement in a manner that evidently distorts cultural communication, and this returns the issue to the public side of the dichotomy. Rorty’s way of making the public/private distinction, then, can privatise art to too great an extent and thus ignore some of more productive resources in Adorno’s con- Conclusion 327 ception. It is not that Rorty would deny that so much contemporary culture really is industrially produced trash, but his manner of making the distinction can lead, by giving up any idea that aesthetic judgement might still sustain the

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Open Access (free)
Seas, oceans and civilisations
Jeremy C.A. Smith

and inter-​ cultural communication. Military occupation and colonisation were not outside their experiences either. Interlopers left layers in the historical accretion of island societies, if they governed long enough. As an example, the Maldives make up an unusual historical assemblage. They appear thrown like a net across the oldest courses of commerce. Stretching from the south of India to reach out towards the middle of the ocean, the islands catch the passing traffic, including a share of the spice trade. Religious artefacts attest to the influx of Buddhism and

in Debating civilisations
Welsh Presbyterianism in Sylhet, Eastern Bengal, 1860–1940
Aled Jones

in Pre-Mutiny India , London Studies on South Asia, no. 7 (SOAS, 1993); R. E. Frykenberg (ed.), Christians and Missionaries in India. Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500 (London, 2003). A. N. Porter, ‘Cultural Imperialism and Protestant Missionary Enterprise 1780–1914’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History , 25:3 (1997), pp. 367–91, provided a major

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world