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Introduction

Literature of the Thirties – Region and Genre

Mary Joannou

The second special issue on the literature of the thirties follows on from an earlier edition of Critical Survey which brought together new critical writings on the period (volume 10, number 3, 1988). The first four essays selected are responses to regionalism and identity and the last two to the issues raised by the relationships of gender and generic fiction. Simon Featherstone analyses how two popular artistes, Gracie Fields (the ‘mill girl’) and Max Miller (‘the cheeky chappie’) achieved success in an entertainment industry that was changing rapidly in response to technological and cultural pressures. Their stardom depended on the dialogues between regional and national identities as part of a national cultural dynamic during a decade in which mass popular forms reconstituted the older regional and local traditions of dialogue and performance. Steven Matthews sees Auden’s injunction to ‘Consider this and in our time’ as a ‘clarion call to a particular, post-The Waste Land, form of modernity’. Focusing on Scottish and Irish writers (Louis MacNeice, Sorley Maclean, Grassic Gibbon et al.) Matthews argues that the temporality of some thirties’ writing aligns it closely with the emergent nationalisms familiar in recent postcolonial theory.

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Smita Yadav

Sites of pilgrimage and heritage tourism are often sites of social inequality and volatility that are impaired by hostilities between historical, ethnic, and competing religious discourses of morality, personhood, and culture, as well as between imaginaries of nationalism and citizenship. Often these pilgrim sites are much older in national and global history than the actual sovereign nation-state in which they are located. Pertinent issues to do with finance—such as regimes of taxation, livelihoods, and the wealth of regional and national economies—underscore these sites of worship. The articles in this special issue engage with prolix travel arrangement, accommodation, and other aspects of heritage tourism in order to understand how intangible aspects of such tourism proceed. But they also relate back to when and how these modern infrastructures transformed the pilgrimage and explore what the emerging discourses and practices were that gave newer meanings to neoliberal pilgrimages. The different case studies presented in this issue analyze the impact of these journeys on the pilgrims’ own subjectivities—especially with regard to the holy sites being situated in their imaginations of historical continuity and discontinuity and with regard to their transformative experiences of worship—using both modern and traditional infrastructures.

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Editorial

South African Writing at the Crossroads

Nahem Yousaf and Graham Pechey

The stranger’s words addressed to the hero in J.M. Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K bring home in a very concrete way the relentless binarism not only of the apartheid order (revealingly figured in its truth as the disorder of civil war), but also of many Western forms of life and thinking: a typically high-modern technology sums up an epistemology no less typical. The train abolishes the age-old institution of the crossroads, the three- or four-way junction which puts before the traveller two or more options besides the one of retracing his steps back along the way he came. Daredevils who ‘ride staff’ on township trains may be rebellious terms in a system, but terms of that system they remain. Yesterday’s staffrider on the train of progress is today’s builder of his own locomotive. This is the logic whereby we have seen in South Africa rival nationalisms arising out of the early transcultural flux of Empire and then, at length, imposing their different inflections of the modern project upon the rest of their compatriots.

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The Ariadne’s thread that runs through, and connects, the articles in this issue of Theoria is the modern state. How should the state approach welfare policy? Is the state’s power as absolute as once it had been? What is the importance of nationalism for states? What assumptions about the relationship between the state and civil society should be examined, and how? What, especially in a developing society such as South Africa, is—or should be—the relationship between the state and the poor? These are the overarching questions that knit together the contributions.

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Empire and Economics

Decolonising Colonialism and Its Legacies in Africa

Edited by Lawrence Hamilton

historiography and political theory. Liberalism, communism, African and Afrikaner nationalism, localised cultural and social histories and related ideological conflicts of identity have failed to grasp and explain the relations of power that continue to operate

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Romanticizing Difference

Identities in Transformation after World War I

Nadia Malinovich

empire were enjoined to respect their residents’ linguistic identities as a critical element in ensuring that Europe would have a peaceful future. Maggy Hary’s comparison of representations of Irish and Zionist nationalism in British political discourse

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Editorial

Some Senses of Pan-Africanism from the South

Christopher Allsobrook

principles haunt South Africa forty years after Biko’s death. With political independence, despite the sterling example of early nationalist leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, relations between African Nationalism and Pan-Africanism have tended

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Introduction

Traces of Pan Africanism and African Nationalism in Africa Today

Denis Goldberg

African Unity had different reasons for that call at different times. It is also necessary to distinguish between concepts such as African Nationalism in the different countries or even regions and Pan-Africanism relating to the whole continent. Then there

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Rethinking World War I

Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction

George Robb and W. Brian Newsome

current issues and events. As Jeremy Black recently noted, the Great War was a key factor in “the making of the modern world,” and many contemporary phenomena flow inexorably from its unbridled nationalism and totalizing violence. 14 From shell shock to