Islands Identity And The Literary Imagination
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Australia is the planet’s sole island continent. This book argues that the uniqueness of this geography has shaped Australian history and culture, including its literature. Further, it shows how the fluctuating definition of the island continent throws new light on the relationship between islands and continents in the mapping of modernity. The book links the historical and geographical conditions of islands with their potent role in the imaginaries of European colonisation. It prises apart the tangled web of geography, fantasy, desire and writing that has framed the Western understanding of islands, both their real and material conditions and their symbolic power, from antiquity into globalised modernity. The book also traces how this spatial imaginary has shaped the modern 'man' who is imagined as being the island's mirror. The inter-relationship of the island fantasy, colonial expansion, and the literary construction of place and history, created a new 'man': the dislocated and alienated subject of post-colonial modernity. This book looks at the contradictory images of islands, from the allure of the desert island as a paradise where the world can be made anew to their roles as prisons, as these ideas are made concrete at moments of British colonialism. It also considers alternatives to viewing islands as objects of possession in the archipelagic visions of island theorists and writers. It compares the European understandings of the first and last of the new worlds, the Caribbean archipelago and the Australian island continent, to calibrate the different ways these disparate geographies unifed and fractured the concept of the planetary globe. In particular it examines the role of the island in this process, specifically its capacity to figure a 'graspable globe' in the mind. The book draws on the colonial archive and ranges across Australian literature from the first novel written and published in Australia (by a convict on the island of Tasmania) to both the ancient dreaming and the burgeoning literature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the twenty-first century. It discusses Australian literature in an international context, drawing on the long traditions of literary islands across a range of cultures. The book's approach is theoretical and engages with contemporary philosophy, which uses the island and the archipleago as a key metaphor. It is also historicist and includes considerable original historical research.
This book demonstrates the variety of ways in which the materiality of islands is intertwined in a symbiotic relationship with the capacity of the imagination to make islands the site and embodiment of a host of recurrent human desires, anxieties, and hopes.
Considers how real island spaces have been used in literary texts and the popular imagination to shore up the fiction of the nation in order to offer a new theory of postcolonial nationalism.
Literature has always played a central role in creating and disseminating culturally specific notions of citizenship, nationhood, and belonging. In Reconfiguring Citizenship and National Identity in the North American Literary Imagination, author Kathy-Ann Tan investigates metaphors, configurations, parameters, and articulations of U.S. and Canadian citizenship that are enacted, renegotiated, and revised in modern literary texts, particularly during periods of emergence and crisis. Tan brings together for the first time a selection of canonical and lesser-known U.S. and Canadian writings for critical consideration. She begins by exploring literary depiction of “willful” or “wayward” citizens and those with precarious bodies that are viewed as threatening, undesirable, unacceptable—including refugees and asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, deportees, and stateless people. She also considers the rights to citizenship and political membership claimed by queer bodies and an examination of "new" and alternative forms of citizenship, such as denizenship, urban citizenship, diasporic citizenship, and Indigenous citizenship. With case studies based on works by a diverse collection of authors—including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Djuna Barnes, Etel Adnan, Sarah Schulman, Walt Whitman, Gail Scott, and Philip Roth—Tan uncovers alternative forms of collectivity, community, and nation across a broad range of perspectives. In line with recent cross-disciplinary explorations in the field, Reconfiguring Citizenship and National Identity in the North American Literary Imagination shows citizenship as less of a fixed or static legal entity and more as a set of symbolic and cultural practices. Scholars of literary studies, cultural studies, and citizenship studies will be grateful for Tan’s illuminating study.
"England may with justice claim to be the native land of transfusion," wrote one European physician in 1877, acknowledging Great Britain’s crucial role in developing and promoting human-to-human transfusion as treatment for life-threatening blood loss. As news of this revolutionary medical technique spread from professional publications to popular journals and newspapers, the operation invaded the Victorian imagination. Transfusion is the first extended study of this intersection between medical and literary history. It examines the medical discourse that surrounded the real nineteenth-century practice of transfusion, which focused on women suffering from uterine hemorrhage, alongside literary works that exploited the operation’s sentimental, satirical, sensational, and gothic potentials. In the eighteenth century, the term "transfusion" was used to figure aesthetic and religious inspiration as well as erotic and romantic commingling—associations that persisted into the nineteenth century and informed attitudes toward the medical practice of blood transfer and the cultural conception of sympathetic exchange. Exploring transfusion’s role in canonical works such as Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau and Stoker’s Dracula, as well as a surprising array of lesser-known short stories and novels, Kibbie demonstrates the tangled, mutually informing relationship between science and culture. This innovative study traces the creation of a new fluid economy between persons, one that could be seen to forge new forms of intimacy between donors and recipients or to threaten the very idea of personal identity.
A 2006 investigation of the idea of the powerful Asian empires in the works of Milton, Dryden, Defoe and Swift.
This volume brings together diverse, cross-disciplinary scholarly voices to examine gender construction in children's and young adult literature. It complements and updates the scholarship in the field by creating a rich, cohesive examination of core questions around gender and sexuality in classic and contemporary texts. By providing an expansive treatment of gender and sexuality across genres, eras, and national literature, the collection explores how readers encounter unorthodox as well as traditional notions of gender. It begins with essays exploring how children's and YA literature construct communities formed by gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and in face-to-face and virtual spaces. Section II's central focus is how gendered identities are formed, unpacking how texts for young readers ranging from Amish youth periodicals to the blockbuster Divergent series trace, reproduce, and shape gendered identity socialization. In section III, the essential literary function of translating trauma into narrative is addressed in classics like Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna, as well as more recent works. Section IV's focus on sexuality and romance encompasses fiction and nonfiction works, examining how children's and young adult literature can serve as a regressive, progressive, and transgressive site for construction meaning about sex and romance. Last, Section IV offers new readings of paratextual features in literature for children -- from the classic tale of Cinderella to contemporary illustrated novels. The key achievement of this volume is providing an updated range of multidisciplinary and methodologically diverse analyses of critically and commercially successful texts, contributing to the scholarship on children's and YA literature; gender, sexuality, and women's studies; and a range of other disciplines.
Ranging from the fundamental question, whether a children's literature is possible, or what its formal and contextual parameters might be, to the exigent issues of contemporary cultural studies, this essay collection inserts children's literature into literary theoretical and historical debate.