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Provincial Shakespeare

Donald Wolfit, Marginality, and The Merry Wives of Windsor

Christopher Marlow

With reference to aspects of the career of the twentieth-century actor-manager Donald Wolfit and the use of the concept of provincialism in English criticism, this article argues that idealist and universalist values are repeatedly valorised in order to devalue materialist and what might be called ‘provincial’ interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays. I pay attention to conditions of production of early modern drama in the sixteenth century, and to Wolfit’s Second World War performances of Shakespeare, the reception of which is offered as evidence for the persistence of a critical prejudice against what is understood as provincial marginality. The article concludes with a reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor that argues that the play supports the provincial values that have so often been dismissed by critics.

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Urooj Akailvi


This article analyzes the means of self-representation, the conflicts between self/other, and the conscious and unconscious quest for identity by the writer. It attempts to understand travel narratives as being about the journey undertaken in a quest for identity by the traveler/writer, wherein apart from the physical journey of the author the emphasis is laid on the emotional and psychological journey within the author.

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Randolph Miller

The popularity of Ultramontanism and the political energy provided by Sacred Heart piety gave French Catholicism of the post-Commune era a militant posture, one that republican socialists saw as antagonistic to their political objectives. This article shows that socialists responded by emasculating their Catholic opponents. Drawing on the materialist tradition that emerged from the Enlightenment and Revolution, and highlighting the resignation and emotive nature of radical Catholic piety, republican socialists maintained that religious belief was evidence of inadequate virility. Speaking to the anxieties of the period, which included concerns about racial degeneration and the adequacy of France on the world stage, this gendering of epistemological convictions allowed socialists to argue for the exclusion of religion and the religious male from French politics.

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Shakespeare’s Orientalism Revisited

A Postcolonial Study of the Appropriation of Arabic/Islamic Allusions and Matters in the Bard’s Oeuvre

Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi

This article attempts to document and examine the corpus of Arabic and Islamic allusions and references in Shakespeare’s drama and poetry in line with postcolonial discourse and theory. The works of Shakespeare incorporate a large body of Arabic/Islamic matters, which the Bard has gleaned from different sources, such as travel literature, narratives of pilgrims, history annals and common tales of the Crusaders. However, these matters are sporadic in Shakespeare’s works, woven into the fabric of various plays and poems. For example, Shakespeare has thematically used a set of allusions and references to the Arab world such as Arabian trees, the Prophet Mohammed, the Turk, Aleppo, Jerusalem, and many others. Shakespeare has also presented three Oriental characters in his plays: the Prince of Morocco, Shylock and Othello, each with distinctive ethnic and personal traits. A scrutiny of Arabic and Islamic matters in the works of Shakespeare from postcolonial critical perspectives reveals that Shakespeare has a vague idea about Arabs and the Orient at large. Therefore, Shakespeare represents the Orient as the other; his Orient is rather exotic and bizarre, posing as an impending menace to Europe.

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To travel is to Look, to Look is to Relate

Identity and Otherness in the Account of Otto Nordenskjöld (1902)

Eduardo Gallegos and Jaime Otazo


Generally, analyzes of Otto Nordenskjöld's trip to the Antarctic (1901-1904) ignore the preparations that required a previous trip to Chilean-Argentine Patagonia (1894-1897). Even more, these analyzes forget the Colonial dimension of this expedition. This paper intends to fill this void considering for the analysis two images present in the Swedish travel story. The concept of iconology is proposed here as a link between the image (icons) and the story (logos). The aim is to analyze the iconology to discuss the meaningful configuration of an identity gaze—the Europeans—and a gaze on the otherness—the indigenous. The results show that in the iconology presented in the story and in the images, appear paradoxical elements that allow questioning the relevance of the identity-alterity dichotomy through the appearance of third spaces.

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Visualising Resilience

Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde

Pramod K. Nayar

This article argues that Joe Sacco in Safe Area Goražde, first published in 2000, constantly draws our attention to the resilience of the Goražde people who recover from their horrific experiences of the 1994–95 massacres, as a way of pointing to the continuing trauma of the same people. First, Sacco depicts both individual and social resilience. He then presents the inhabitants of the town as living in perpetual risk, for resilience demands the mobilisation of disaster or its threat as a constant presence. Third, resilience is linked to the collapse of cultural protection where the survivors are transformed into previvors of a future disaster. Sacco suggests that resilience, then, is not a good thing after all because it opens up already embedded vulnerability to greater exposure and an uncertain, but not secure, future.

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Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You

Sartre on Pure Reflection in Response to Husserl & Levinas

Curtis Sommerlatte


This paper examines how Sartre's early phenomenological works were influenced by Emmanuel Levinas's The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology. Sartre embraced two key aspects of Levinas's interpretation of Husserl: 1) that phenomenology is an ontological philosophy whose foundation is the doctrine of intentionality; and, 2) that consciousness's being consists in intentionality, which entails that consciousness is non-substantial as well as pre-reflectively or non-thetically aware of itself. In addition to adopting these views, Sartre also became gripped by a methodological problem raised by Levinas. Namely, phenomenology reflects on consciousness, yet reflection modifies the consciousness it reflects on. I argue that Sartre responds to this problem by developing two of Levinas's ideas: that reflection is a motivated act and that reflection must adequately grasp consciousness's temporality.

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Andrew Sanders


‘Happiness’, as we now commonly understand the term, is not something we should expect to meet in Shakespeare's work. When he employs alternative words – such as ‘felicity, ‘merry’ or ‘blessed’ – he rarely seeks to convey what latter-day readers might assume to be the concept of ‘happiness’ that we accept as an agreeable state of mind. Shakespeare's ‘happy’ seems to apply to circumstances rather than to a state of mind. His characters often appear to be luckier in their happiness rather than actual achievers of happiness. The idea that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is an essential part of the definition of the human condition (as in the founding documents of the American Revolution) may well owe far more to John Milton's use of the words ‘happy’ and ‘happiness’ and the common acceptance of ‘happiness’ as a socially and politically desirable condition.

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Federica Stagni and Daryl Glaser

Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, by Noura Erakat. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2019. 331 pp.

Race, Class and the Post-Apartheid Democratic State, edited by John Reynolds, Ben Fine. and Robert van Niekerk. Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2019. 396 pp.

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Colonising ‘Free’ Will

A Critique of Political Decolonisation in Ghana

Bernard Forjwuor


While colonialism, in general, is a contested concept, as are the conditions that constitute its negation, political decolonisation seems to be a relatively settled argument. Where such decolonisation occurred, political independence, and its attendant democratic system and the undergirding of the rule of law, signify the self-evidentiality of such political decolonisation. This article rethinks this self-evidentiality of political independence as necessarily a decolonial political accomplishment in Ghana. This critical enterprise opens the documents that founded the newly independent state to alternative reading to demonstrate how the colonial folded itself into the dictate of freedom.