upon it) and that which draws upon texts in order to explore a social or cultural phenomenon outside of them. Despite the sophistication of so much of the textual analysis that is now undertaken under the banner of literary studies, there is still a
Some Reasons Why Literary Scholars Have Been Slow to Hop on the Mobilities Bus
postcolonial scholarship. It is therefore not surprising that in postcolonial literary studies, representations of mobility practices—in the mundane, practical, and everyday sense of the term—have not received much critical attention. 4 This article is
—from the perspectives of researchers in anthropology, literary studies, history, and art history and criticism. The issue opens with the article by Zoia Tarasova, who seeks to interrogate two key anthropological concerns—issues of gender ideologies and
Mobility and the Geographical Imaginaries of Interwar Australian Magazines
Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich
: Manchester University Press, 2013), 4. 3 The recent transnational trend in Australian literary studies, however, has begun to highlight the “international” in Australian literature. Examples are “Australian Literature/World Literature: Borders, Skins
John Powell Ward
After three decades the ‘aesthetic’ has crept back into literary studies. It is twelve years since Isobel Armstrong wrote that ‘the abandonment of the concept of literature and the category of the “aesthetic” . . . is possibly one of the greatest mistakes the left has made this decade’, and eleven since Terry Eagleton traced powerful ideas through a galaxy of philosophers of the last two centuries. Peter Brooks’s article ‘Aesthetics and Ideology: What Became of Poetics?’ appeared in 1994.
The Travels of José Uriel García and Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa
Rupert J. M. Medd
From the 1930s onward, Peru began to acknowledge its own intellectual travel writers who were committed to writing about national geographical and social realities. This can be evidenced by the output during the period of independent travelers and those connected to state-funded institutions such as the Sociedad Geográfica de Lima. The underlying position is that the act of travel and its literature can work against imperialism and, therefore, become expressions of patriotism. Here, the travel narratives of two prominent Peruvian figures are analyzed: José Uriel García from Cusco and Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa from Lima. Together, they provide valuable evidence about two different responses to the modernization of Peru while also representing the nation’s significant sociogeographical divides. The focus is on questions of history, coloniality/modernity, national identity, and natural resources such as water and wood. We hope that this will contribute to literary studies on travel and the environment.
Student-Prisoner Reading Groups and the Object(s) of Literary Study
Taking stock of ten years of a service learning project that brings together small groups of college students and prisoners in jailhouse classrooms to discuss literary representations of crime and punishment, this essay finds in project participants' reading journals some remarkable trends. Complex dynamics of authenticity and authority emerge in the groups' weekly meetings, as participants negotiate their own and their groups' identities and commitments with respect to each other and to the literary texts, in the absence of professors, corrections officers, or other guardians of discipline. These dynamics are investigated in light of participants' discussions of a range of works, before looking in greater detail at responses to Sherman Alexie's 1996 novel Indian Killer, which are found to complicate stable notions of pedagogical authority and the object(s) of literary study.
The Sub-disciplinary Context
Máiréad Nic Craith and Laurent Sebastian Fournier
This special issue on anthropology and literature invited proposals for original contributions focusing on relationships between anthropology and literature. We were especially interested in the following questions: what role does literature play in anthropology? Can literature be considered as ethnography? What are the relationships between anthropology and literature, past and present? Are anthropology and anthropological motives used in literature? We also looked for critical readings of writers as anthropologists and critical readings of anthropologists as writers. Moreover, we wanted to assess the influence of literature on the invention of traditions, rituals and cultural performances. All these different questions and topics are clearly connected with the study of literacy, illiteracy and popular culture. They also lead to questions regarding potential textual strategies for ethnography and the possibilities of bringing together the field of anthropology (more associated with the social sciences) and literary studies (traditionally part of the humanities).
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.
The Exhumation of Shakespeare's Remains
The textual, like the literary, criticism of Shakespeare is concerned with the inter-relation of spirit and form: searching for traces of the originating hand, the distinctly Shakespearean feature that is encased in the accretions of the physical book. The presence of such idealisations is less a contradiction of the claim to objectivity than it is a necessary precondition of the method of enquiry of nineteenth and early twentieth-century textual theory. Literary criticism likewise, sought for a similar spiritual element, a pure principle of meaning locked into the words on the page. As Stephen Greenblatt remarks at the beginning of Shakespearean Negotiations: ‘I began with the desire to speak with the dead. This desire is a familiar, if unvoiced, motive in literary studies, a motive organised, professionalised, buried beneath thick layers of bureaucratic decorum...Even when I came to understand that in my most intense moments of straining to listen all I could hear was my own voice, even then I did not abandon my desire. It was true that I could hear only my own voice, but my own voice was the voice of the dead, for the dead had contrived to leave textual traces of themselves, and those traces made themselves heard in the voices of the living’.