in political theory, standing at the heart of attempts to respond to the dilemmas of contemporary times. However, many accounts tend to ascribe to an idealised, heroic view. In this view, resistance represents a clear-cut action against injustice and
Maša Mrovlje and Jennet Kirkpatrick
The politics of French and German cinema between the onset of the Great Depression and the end of World War II is far from a new topic of study. However, scholars have typically focused on one country or the other, rather than comparing the two, and prioritized high-profile directors (for example, Jean Renoir, Jean-Paul Le Chanois, Leni Riefenstahl, and Veit Harlan) whose work benefited from direct party sponsorship and served a clearly propagandistic function. Reflecting the evolution of cultural history and film studies over the past decade, this collection of essays seeks to enrich the traditional approach in three ways. The first is by expanding the definition of politics beyond official party or state discourse to include power-related issues such as representation of gender and gender roles; access to material resources including funding and technology; relationships between film creators and industry or government officials; and competition between commercial and ideological priorities in film production, censorship, and distribution.
Friends and Family Figures in Contemporary Fiction
During the twentieth century, scientific advances, especially in the field of reproductive technologies, have fundamentally altered ideas about parenting, the family and what it means to be human. In the 1980s, the family became a significant site of political conflict in the UK when family values were defended and so-called pretended families were condemned. New information technologies make it possible for online chat between friends who have never met. Changes in legislation have defined and protected the rights of the child and spectacular campaigns have developed for fathers’ rights. Meanwhile tracing your family history has become one of the most popular hobbies.
The concern of this issue on post-colonial interdisciplinarity is with the apparent need for interdisciplinary approaches in post-colonial analyses: analyses that take textuality as their object but which are framed around wider social or political questions of power. By necessity such analyses take the critic into territories that until the end of the 1960s were not considered the property of literary studies. Yet, however necessary this expansion of the critic’s focus has been in order to allow literary criticism to comment on the social functions of representation, it has exposed post-colonialism to a range of criticisms, many of which seem to arise from a perceived weakness in its interdisciplinary approach. For instance, as the gaze of the critic has been cast increasingly widely, many conservative commentators have come to lament the loss of the text. This concern has perhaps been less hotly contested in Britain than in the U.S., where the socalled ‘Canon Wars’ split departments. Nevertheless it seems especially problematic for post-colonial studies because even its fairly modest project of opening up the canon to writers from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East has been predicated on a fundamentally political concern with wider forms of inequality, of which Eurocentric reading practices are only one facet.
This year American scholar Patricia J. Williams was invited to Britain to speak as Reith Lecturer, only the fourth woman and the third black speaker to contribute to the prestigious series of lectures which has a 49-year history. Her chosen subject was as topical as it proved controversial. Professor Williams’s subtle and measured discussion of the persistence of racism in daily life – and in even the most liberal of consciousnesses – struck a chord in British society. The furore that broke in the press was based as much in a certain ‘British’ intransigent refusal to allow that the persistence of prejudice could possibly be as ‘bad’ here as across the Atlantic as it was in a basic reluctance to address distinctive realities in contemporary society. Richard H. King and I interviewed Williams immediately following the transmission of the lecture series on Radio 4 and the transcripts, published by Virago as Seeing a Colour-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race, are reviewed in this issue by Larry Brown. Brown places Williams alongside fellow African-American scholar bell hooks in order to assess the different perspectives they take on issues of race and the politics of identity, and in order to decide on nature of the often very different roles of contemporary black intellectuals.
Angels and Demons
This special issue of Critical Survey stems from a conference at Canterbury Christ Church University in June 2010 that was intended to explore continuities and ruptures in the representation and deployment of angels and demons and related binaries, be they in nineteenth-century print media or seventeenth-century Protestant texts, twenty-first century bestsellers or company PR strategies. From the first it was decided that discussion should not be limited to actual angels and demons, but the more general binaries of good and evil, lucid self and obscure Other. Considerations of the generic processes of demonisation and its opposite were also welcome, as were attempts to think outside such binaries (insofar as such is possible). Was it the case that the undoing of binaries, vital to Cixous’ feminist enterprise and deconstruction generally, was salient today for the various politics of gender, sexuality, ‘race’, class, disability, and place, or had such deconstruction been so co-opted by conservative commercial culture (as was always possible according to Christopher Norris) that alternative strategies were necessary? All these ways of thinking about angels and demons are represented in the essays that follow.
Edited by Graham Holderness and Bryan Loughrey
importance of collapsed trade barriers in the present juncture, but also of the close and complex relationship between economic and political power and culture in a historical perspective. Shakespeare’s characters and stories certainly played an important
Edited by Bryan Loughrey and Graham Holderness
sacrifice for the sake of a political cause is associated with Lumley’s family’s participation in the political culture of the 1550s. Mohammad Shafiqul Islam analyses Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest book, In Other Words , as an autobiographical text that highlights
‘Trouthe thee shall deliver…’ —Truth: Balade de Bon Conseyl We are living at a time of what seems like unprecedented social, political, moral, epistemological and environmental uncertainty. It seems we are moving into – or are already in – what some
Katherine Hennessey and Margaret Litvin
); the wellsprings of political repression and revolt (his The Speaker’s Progress , 2011–12); Sunni-Shi‘a sectarian strife in Iraq and the rise of extremist Sunni movements (Monadhil Daood’s Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad , 2012); and the threat of