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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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The Self, the Social Order and the Trouble with Sympathy in the Romantic and Post-Modern Gothic
Eric Daffron

This essay is about the figure of the double in Romantic and post-modern Gothic literature and film. Most criticism of the double interprets this figure from the perspective of psychoanalysis. In contrast, this essay embeds the double in cultural history. In discussions of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century discourses of ‘possessive individualism’, nationalism, and sexuality, this essay contends that the eighteenth century and the Romantic Period became dissatisfied with sympathy: with its inability to unify the social order without dissolving the crucial differences that distinguish one person from another. In response, Gothic literature invented the double to represent an extreme moment when two characters think, act, and feel so much alike that they can no longer be distinguished from each other. The essay offers two examples: Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner.

Gothic Studies

This volume of twelve essays, preceded by an introduction that succinctly frames the problematic and history of the notion of the ‘self’, examines the various ways the ‘self’ was perceived, fashioned and written in the course of the long eighteenth century in Great Britain. It highlights, in particular, the interface between literature and philosophy. The chapters include discussion of philosophers such as Locke, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hume, Hutcheson and Smith, churchmen such as Isaac Barrow and John Tillotson, the novelists Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne, the poets Anne Killigrew, Alexander Pope, William Blake and William Wordsworth, the writers and sometime diarists Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, and the radical writer Sampson Perry.

The originality of the studies lies in their focus on the varied ways of seeing and saying the self, and what Locke called personal identity. They foreground the advent of a recognisably modern, individualistic and ‘sustainable’ self, which, still today, remains plural and enigmatic. The book should appeal to a wide public, both undergraduate and graduate students working in Literature and the Humanities, in particular those interested in the Enlightenment period, as well as researchers and the general public interested in questions related to identity and consciousness and their formulation in the past and present.

The volume follows a chronological narrative which surveys the intriguing and protean nature of the ‘self’ from varied perspectives and as expressed in different genres. It assembles contributions from both confirmed and young researchers from Britain, Europe and the United States.

The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

, collecting information and ‘taking the temperature’. Performing Principles Finally, the proximity of some staff became a means of illustrating MSF’s impartiality in practice. As well as interpersonal networks, local staff possessed perceived collective and personal identities which held a collection of meanings and associations. Some staff were known quantities locally, with family ties or political histories. Others had fluid and overlapping, ‘ethnic’ and regional identity markers which mapped onto highly politicised and historically formed discourses of belonging

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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The British Empire and the stage, 1790–1930

Imperialist discourse interacted with regional and class discourses. Imperialism's incorporation of Welsh, Scots and Irish identities, was both necessary to its own success and one of its most powerful functions in terms of the control of British society. Most cultures have a place for the concept of heroism, and for the heroic figure in narrative fiction; stage heroes are part of the drama's definition of self, the exploration and understanding of personal identity. Theatrical and quasi-theatrical presentations, whether in music hall, clubroom, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre or the streets and ceremonial spaces of the capital, contributed to that much-discussed national mood. This book examines the theatre as the locus for nineteenth century discourses of power and the use of stereotype in productions of the Shakespearean history canon. It discusses the development of the working class and naval hero myth of Jack Tar, the portrayal of Ireland and the Irish, and the portrayal of British India on the spectacular exhibition stage. The racial implications of the ubiquitous black-face minstrelsy are focused upon. The ideology cluster which made up the imperial mindset had the capacity to re-arrange and re-interpret history and to influence the portrayal of the tragic or comic potential of personal dilemmas. Though the British may have prided themselves on having preceded America in the abolition of slavery and thus outpacing Brother Jonathan in humanitarian philanthropy, abnegation of hierarchisation and the acceptance of equality of status between black and white ethnic groups was not part of that achievement.

Tristram Shandy and the quest for identity
Gioiella Bruni Roccia

9  The discursive construction of the self in Shaftesbury and Sterne: Tristram Shandy and the quest for identity Gioiella Bruni Roccia Locke, Sterne, and the concept of personal identity The problematic nature of selfhood has puzzled man since antiquity. The long eighteenth century, however, witnessed a renewed interest in the philosophical and psychological problem of the ‘self’1 and the related notions of subjectivity and self-consciousness – all issues and discussions so brilliantly parodied in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. This

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century
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Diana Holmes
David Looseley

with a specific political history, and with the exceptionally strong presence of linguistic and literary tradition as a prized element of national identity. Popular culture itself and the discourses that have constructed and fought over it have been vital elements in the process of making and re-making national, as well as social and personal, identities. We have attempted to show that, despite transnational migrations and globalisation, a national specificity remains a given in any fully located view of French culture: to universalise or to generalise on the basis

in Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture
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Brian D. Earp
Julian Savulescu

’s intuitions about potential changes in personal identity as a result of taking drugs. What we found is that if taking a drug leads to an improvement in your moral character (and perhaps also your relationship, though we haven’t tested this yet), this change is likely to be seen as more identity-preserving than if your character deteriorates, even if the deterioration is due to going off a drug (like when a person stops taking their medication). As an analogy, if you started feeling and acting more loving toward your partner after drug-free talk therapy (a relationship

in Love is the Drug
Open Access (free)
Memories of cinema-going in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood
Sarah Stubbings

The psychologist Joseph Fitzgerald has argued that ‘personal identity is a culturally and historically specific notion’, which he locates within modern Western society. He relates the development of personal identity to the narrative mode used in literature, something that is ‘used extensively in the socialization process by which new members are taught the underlying themes and values of the group

in Memory and popular film
Maureen Wright

she is unlike many of her feminist counterparts) is any account of the principal reason for her ‘conversion’ to an overtly feminist consciousness.67 The vital information is given in a single line in a letter that focuses almost solely on a public issue: the matter for which she became most famous, the rights of married women. The bitter family quarrels surrounding Elizabeth’s yearning for higher education occurred at precisely the same time as she acknowledged the ‘iniquitous English law of sex slavery’ that enforced the loss of personal identity of every wife in

in Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy and the Victorian Feminist Movement