This issue is devoted to the radical and innovative Shakespeare criticism that emerged in Britain in the 1980s; and to the memory of a hugely influential and much-loved leader in the field, Professor Terence Hawkes, who died in 2014.
In Memory of Terry Hawkes (1932–2014)
Graham Holderness and Richard Wilson
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.
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.
Black Women's History and the Archive of Brexit Britain
Kennetta Hammond Perry
the most legitimate claims to cit izenship. 6 Their critical insights about the limits of the welfare state were both timely and prescient. Not only did they speak to the contemporary realities of 1980s Britain, but they also offered a useful
Sex and the Body in Dickens
William A. Cohen
Not so long ago, the topic of Dickens and sex might have seemed entirely entailed by Foucault's inquires in the first volume of the History of Sexuality. In that work, Foucault argues that sex is not a biological donnée but is instead an effect of discourse, a culturally variable vehicle for the exercise of power in many different directions. Emerging out of Foucault's studies of social institutions such as prisons and madhouses, the History of Sexuality emphasises the disciplinary imperative of sexual knowledges; it argues that individual subjects internalise surveillance mechanisms, experiencing them through and as their sexuality. One of the beneficiaries of the Foucauldian paradigm, which dominated Victorian literary studies from the late 1980s until recently, was queer theory. Queer theory interrogates rather than presuming identity categories (such as homosexual, lesbian and gay), but it has always sat in an uneasy relation to identity politics, simultaneously relying on and deconstructing stable notions of gender and sexual identity. Some critics have employed queer theory to discover lesbian, gay or queer characters and practices in Victorian literature (not to mention finding more properly nineteenth-century types, such as the hysteric, the onanist and the sodomite). Such projects have often understood the function of sexual representation as part of modernity's more general disciplinary structure.
Reading Robert Kroetsch's The Lovely Treachery of Words
Many of the critical essays of the Canadian novelist, poet and theorist Robert Kroetsch, as collected in his 1989 anthology The Lovely Treachery of Words, explore the issue of how Canadian writers attempt to establish a cultural nationalism in the face of the decline of the British Empire. They are an initial expression of ideas about place and language, the problematic discourse of the 'New World', and the reinscription of First Nations peoples into the literature and culture of the Canadian nation. These are concerns which later came to be regarded as 'postcolonial' with the burgeoning of the term in the late 1980s through to the present day. However, his essays are due for reassessment in the light of recent responses to postcolonial subjectivity which critique the 'colonizer-colonized' binary as used in settler-invader contexts. This 'colonizer-colonized' binary has a troubling tendency to efface indigenous peoples. It conceals the imperialistic, land-grabbing aspects of settler-invader history by positing the settler as the true postcolonial subject, searching for a stable national identity – an authentic Canadian sense of citizenship and belonging – in the face of a cultural heritage largely defined by European imperialism.
Knowledge and Power in Amitav Ghosh's The Circle of Reason
In recent times, the position of the Indian writer writing in English has undergone something of a transformation. The celebrations of post-colonial marginality have come to be replaced by allegations of what Graham Huggan has termed ‘strategic exoticism’. Even though the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981) is hailed as a turning-point, much contemporary criticism has tired of Rushdie’s chutnified histories and East–West fusions. By the time Arundhati Roy won the Booker in 1997, the 1980s era of welcoming post-colonial ‘difference’ had been replaced by an unease that postcolonial writers, rather than being marginal ‘others,’ had become the shrewd profiteers of a global economy. The rhetoric of globalisation since the mid-1990s has increasingly situated the post-colonial writer as beneficiary (and not always an inadvertent one) of the global market-place rather than as the under-represented, under-taught, noncanonical ‘other’ who must be studied if only under the rubric of Fredric Jameson’s well-intentioned ‘national allegories’.
Rick Turner and the End of the Durban Moment
progression between the social movements at the start of the 1970s straight through to the foment of the 1980s, and the end of apartheid in the 1990s. In this version of history, all of the later developments in the struggle against apartheid took their
Narrative and the Sacralisation of Mormon Historical Sites
Hildi J. Mitchell
Since the 1980s, the anthropology of pilgrimage has moved away from its traditional focus on the exoticisms of non-Christian pilgrimage (e.g. Karve 1962; Rabinow 1975; Gold 1988) towards an analysis of pilgrimage in more familiar settings (e.g. Coleman and Elsner 1998). Partly as a result of this shift of ethnographic focus, recent anthropology of pilgrimage has also been marked by a shift of emphasis from a broadly structuralist approach informed by the influential work of Victor Turner (e.g. Turner and Turner 1978) towards a concern with the heterogeneity of the pilgrimage experience.
E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class and Australia
E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class was influential in Australia as it was throughout the Anglophone world. The focus of interest changed over time, starting with the fate of those of The Making's radical protesters who were transported to the Australian colonies, and then focusing on questions of class formation and the relationship between agency and structure. The peak of influence was in the 1980s, especially in the rising field of social history, and a little later in the burgeoning field of cultural history. Yet The Making's own limitations on questions of gender, race, and colonialism meant that feminist and indigenous histories, which were transforming the discipline, engaged with it only indirectly. In recent years, as the turn to transnational, imperial, and Indigenous histories has taken hold, Thompson's influence has somewhat declined.