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Graham Holderness

Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, The Invisible Gorilla (New York: Random House, 2009).

Laurie Johnson, John Sutton, and Evelyn Tribble, eds, Embodied Cognition and Shakespeare’s Theatre (London: Routledge, 2014).

Jacques Ranciere, trans. Gabriel Rockhill, The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible (London: Bloomsbury, 2004).

David Hillman, Shakespeare’s Entrails: Belief, Scepticism and the Interior of the Body (London: Palgrave, 2007).

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Ania Loomba

This article offers a reflection on the importance and impact of Jonathan Dollimore's book Radical Tragedy, situating it in the context of the critical and political climate of the 1980s and the author's own engagement with both early modern studies and postcolonial studies. It suggests that the book's engagement with both philosophy and history remains important to both fields today.

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The Body Out of Place

Strangers, Intimates and Destabilized Identities in Synge's When the Moon Has Set and Marina Carr's The Bog of Cats . . .

Mary King

‘Thinking about how we might work with, and speak to, others, or how we may inhabit the world with others, involves imagining a different form of political community, one that moves beyond the opposition between friends and strangers, or between sameness and difference’.

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Caroline Lamb

The homology between the fragmented body politic and its suffering physical bodies in Titus Andronicus seems to suggest that Shakespeare represents physical disability negatively: as corruption, disorder, incapacity. By relying upon a corporeal metaphor of fragmentation to characterise the political state of Rome, Shakespeare makes the traumatised or dismembered body bear a negative ideological burden; political inefficacy seems to be equated with the violated body. Inversely, and to the same effect, Titus and Lavinia's violated bodies seem to render their access to political and social agency difficult, if not impossible. However, at both the metaphorical and material level, Shakespeare endows the dis-abled body with the capacity to heal or adapt itself under the most extenuating circumstances. Overcoming physical barriers to communication and action, Titus and Lavinia enable themselves to enact revenge. This essay argues that the adaptability of the political and physical body in Titus suggests a potentially affirmative way of reconceptualising the physically incomplete body - not as a disabled entity but as a body that can suffer partial losses and still survive, succeed even, if its constituent parts form their own internally coherent body.

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Richard Kirkland

Few aspects of Northern Irish political culture are as denuded as those that attempt to locate and understand the terrorist act. From the exasperation of Margaret Thatcher’s outburst at the time of the Hunger Strikes that ‘it is not political, it is a crime’, to the exhausted freedom fighter/terrorist binary opposition recently pressed back into service by Peter Mandelson, terrorism has consistently been perceived as an act that defies the realm of civic discourse. Indeed, it has been the traditional role of language in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist atrocity to present itself as unable to capture the overwhelming materiality of the event itself. What, so the argument runs, can words offer in the face of such violence? Understood as such, every terrorist outrage becomes unspeakable.

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Vassiliki Markidou

The present essay attempts to shed light on the gender politics of Tobias Smollett's novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker in relation to its spatial politics, and argues that geographic space functions as a framework within which gender contextualises both urban and rural culture. Drawing primarily on Henri Lefebvre's seminal post-modernist study of space, the paper argues that space is a social production that gives rise to representational effects. Chief among them is gender, and the essay analyses the way Smollett invokes and then subverts the traditional literary and cultural binary between country/femininity and city/masculinity. It thus advances a deconstruction of a familiar binary opposition between geographic and sexual stereotypes. Thus, the ultimate 'traveller' of Smollett's picaresque novel is none other than the reader who is invited to explore his/her identity by analysing Smollett's presentation of the formation of subjectivity through the intersections of space and gender as well as his ambiguous stance towards his contemporary status quo.

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Anne Kelley and Carol Banks

Drama and Politics in the English Civil War Susan Wiseman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), ISBN 0-521-47221-0 hardback £40.00

The English Renaissance: An Anthology of Sources and Documents Edited by Kate Aughterson (London and New York: Routledge, 1998) ISBN 0-415-18554-8 hardback £90.00

Coming of Age in Shakespeare Margorie Garber (New York & London: Routledge, 1997) ISBN 0-415-91908-8 paperback £10.99

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Turkish Robbers, Lumps of Delight, and the Detritus of Empire

The East Revisited in Dickens's Late Novels

Grace Moore

It is a testament to Said’s critical legacy that today it is almost inconceivable to approach the Victorian novel without considering the representation (or lack thereof) of race and imperialism. Said’s conceptualisation of Orientalism as a dynamic exchange between authors and their broader political context has made a new generation of readers acutely aware of the markers of Britain’s imperial progress that had hitherto been rendered invisible.

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From the Horse's Mouth

The Other Paul Muldoon

Paul Bentley

In this paper I argue that Muldoon’s recent Horse Latitudes (2006) rereads, in a way that corrects our misreadings, images of horses and horse-related images in his work, and that from this self-reading another Paul Muldoon emerges: the postmodern ironist we think we know will here give way to a poet of abjection and of ‘abject’ political sympathies, a figure it turns out was there all along.

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Inventing the Suffragettes

Anachronism, Gnosticism and Corporeality in Contemporary Fiction

Katharine Cockin

The longevity of the ‘suffragette’ as a sign of rebellion and dissidence in contemporary British culture is significant.1 Anachronistic citations of the ‘suffragettes’, in novels such as Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999), My Life on a Plate (2000), Kingdom Swann (1990), Suffragette City (1999), the film Mary Poppins (1964) and the performance art of Leslie Hill, invite closer inspection. For the female political subject, the body was a site of ideological conflict during the British campaigns for women’s suffrage in the early years of the twentieth century and it continues to haunt feminist subjectivities and gender transgressors. Ever since members of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), formed in 1903 and led by Emmeline Pankhurst, became known as the ‘suffragettes’ they have been mythologised and reinvented for different purposes. The suffragettes have persisted in popular culture, but perversely reduced to a name and a fatal action: Pankhurst, and that woman who threw herself under the horse. In her investigation of the representation and memorialisation of Emmeline Pankhurst in the period 1930–93, Laura E. Nym Mayhall (1999) has established that the ‘suffragette’ became a ‘symbol of modernity’, a ‘symbol of women’s political activism more generally’, privileging a particular understanding of militancy: ‘militant action, defined narrowly as violence against property, through arrest to incarceration and, eventually, the hunger-strike and forcible feeding’. Mayhall rightly emphasises the constructedness of these representations, and demonstrates the pre-eminence of Emmeline Pankhurst as a signifier of the ‘suffragette’.