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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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From Imagination to Inquiry

The Discourse of “Discovery” in Early English Writings on India

Pramod K. Nayar

This article unravels a discourse of discovery in early English writings on India, suggesting that this discourse works through three stages. The first stage constructs a fantasy of discovery about India even before the Englishman's arrival in the country. This demanded a representation of Indian wonders and the wondrous geographical-physical expansion of England into the distant reaches of the known world. In the second stage a narrative organization of the "discoveries" of Indian wealth and variety was achieved through the deployment of three dominant rhetorical modes—visuality, wonder, and danger. In the final stage the Englishman meticulously documented but also sought to explain the discoveries in the narrative form of the "inquiry." The "inquiry" shifted the discourse from that of India as a wondrous space to India as knowable and therefore manageable one. The sense of wonder modulates into a more organized negotiation, as a quest for specific information and as means of providing this information.

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Brian Yothers and Pramod K. Nayar

From John Donne’s appropriation of “both the Indias of Spice and mine” as a metaphor for erotic fulfillment to the unexpected success of Slumdog Millionaire at the 2009 Academy Awards, South Asia and the Americas have been linked discursively in Anglophone literature and film despite their geographic distance from each other. Throughout the nineteenth century, South Asian religious and philosophical traditions contributed substantially to shaping the thought of such central American literary figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Herman Melville. Trade and missionary accounts brought back from South Asia meant that even so reclusive a literary figure as Emily Dickinson found occasion to mention Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in her letters. By the late nineteenth century, travel between the Americas and South Asia had become a two-way affair, and the amount of traffic has been increasing ever since. The articles in this issue span a period from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century, and they address four important modes of travel and cultural exchange between South Asia and the English-speaking portions of the Americas.

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Johannes Görbert, Russ Pottle, Jeff Morrison, Pramod K. Nayar, Dirk Göttsche, Lacy Marschalk, Dorit Müller, Angela Fowler, Rebecca Mills, and Kevin Mitchell Mercer