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Thomas Luk

Abstract

Rewriting Shakespeare has become a global genre. Arnold Wesker was one of the trailblazers of the genre with his The Merchant (1976). This article argues that Arnold Wesker’s The Merchant, with both its subversion and extension of Shakespeare’s play, in theme, plot and characterization, engages with Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice by means of a counter-discourse. Wesker rewrote Shylock by focusing on two episodes in Shakespeare’s play: Jessica’s conversion to Christianity and Shylock’s self-defence. Wesker’s rewriting disrupts the binary as well as Christian conceptions to bestow upon the Jew the ‘protean quality’ of representing just about any sort of ‘Other’ but themselves. Wesker’s Shylock has a rounded humanity and is a cultured, humorous and book-loving Renaissance man. Wesker puts Shakespeare’s work under scrutiny as a culturally constructed world where life can be repositioned, and margins moved to the centre to be in a new light.

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Vassiliki Markidou

witches appear when the play opens, and the scene of the battlefield at its closure, while concurrently they refigure and reinscribe one another. In other words, they are presented as unstable sites that reflect their dwellers’ ambiguous as well as

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Enemies of the people

Theorizing dispossession and mirroring conspiracy in the Republic of Georgia

Katrine Bendtsen Gotfredsen

, simultaneously, they represent an effort to reinscribe those who tell them into the wider social and national narrative while excluding the politically and economically powerful. Acknowledgments I thank Oscar Salemink, Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Astrid Oberborbeck

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Philip Tew

B. S. Johnson (1933–1973) committed suicide after a short career as a novelist marked both by literary experimentation and critical controversy. Subsequently, in Britain his work is available only second-hand; the substance and texture of his work lost to later generations by his continued absence from British bookshops. Autumn 1999 brought the republication by Picador of The Unfortunates (1969), Johnson’s so-called book-in-a-box, with further plans to retrieve most of his work. This re-emergence provides a new potential co-ordinate for English studies, with an opportunity to re-inscribe a strand of the intellectual history of the post-war period.

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Peiliao

Gender, Psychologization, and Psychological Labor in China

Jie Yang

This article examines the psychologization trend in China by analyzing peiliao (companion to chat), a 'profession' promoted among laid-off women workers since the mid-1990s. Unlike other psychological caregivers who empathize or sympathize through imagining the situation of another who suffers, job counselors encourage those who become peiliao to invoke their direct experience of unemployment in their current care work. Such job training not only reinscribes these women's pain, but also naturalizes their psychological labor as part of their moral virtue, which downplays its social and economic value. The article suggests that peiliao and other psychologizing processes in China, rather than depoliticizing social struggle, constitute a new arena for politics in which marginalized women's psychological labor is exploited both to advance market development and to enact the therapeutic ethos of the ruling party.

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Birthed from the Clinic

The Degenerate Medical Students of Edward Berdoe's St. Bernard's

Lorenzo Servitje

This article reveals how Edward Berdoe's St. Bernard's: The Romance of a Medical Student (1887) critiques the evolution of medical science at the fin de siècle. Berdoe deploys the discourse of degeneracy to challenge the culture of medical education that produces monstrous medical students. St. Bernard's reflects not only the ambiguity towards scientific materialism and knowledge, which entails learning how to prolong life by encountering death, but also critiques the foundations of late Victorian medical education by articulating how the middle class was complicit in the horrors that the novel would expose, ultimately suggesting that middle-class health was built on the bodies of the poor. The text's ethical imperative to reform the medical establishment, however, derives its rhetorical power from provoking anxieties of corrupting middle-class health with working-class and pauper bodies. This reveals the novel's problematic use of degeneracy, as St. Bernard's reinscribes some of the very tenets about class that it aims to critique.

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Danielle Brady

The struggle to save the Beeliar Wetlands, an urban remnant bushland in Perth, Western Australia, demonstrates elements of both urban social and urban environmental movements. At the end of 2016, 30 years of objection to the continuation of the Roe Highway development (Roe 8) culminated in months of intense protest leading up to a state election and a cessation of work in 2017. During the long-running campaign, protestors fought to preserve high-conservation-value bushland that was contained in the planned road reserve. At the heart of this dispute were competing spatial uses. This article will analyze four protest actions from the dispute using Henri Lefebvre’s concept of the production of space, and will demonstrate that the practices of protest gave those fighting to preserve Roe 8 the agency to reinscribe meaning to the natural uses of the Beeliar Wetlands over and against the uses privileged by the state.

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L’Aimé qui est l’aimée

Can Levinas’ Beloved Be Queer?

Robin Podolsky

Abstract

Emmanuel Levinas’ teachings with regard to the other, the erotic and fecundity can speak powerfully to questions of Queer politics, morality and justice. Levinas’ insistence on the inalienability of human rights which supersede the bourgeois social contract, the interpersonal as the locus of goodness and his interest in the moral possibilities of the affectional and erotic offer stirring possibilities. So does his insistence that each person is a unique event in being, irreducible to genus (or gender). But what about Levinas’ formulations which appear to reinscribe heteronormative and patriarchal ideas about gender and family? Levinas scholars disagree about how to read these texts. This article provides a close reading of one of Levinas’ more provocative texts to derive a queer reading that honours the teacher.

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Collecting Girlhood

Pinterest Cyber Collections Archive Available Female Identities

Jen Almjeld

Collection is an important activity and marker of childhood. In this article I will discuss Pinterest as an online iteration of the collection process. Through Pinterest, users amass bits of information online, known as pins, to display on virtual bulletin boards. My project positions Pinterest as an influential text and literacy practice related to identity production with particular impact on girls. With obvious parallels to the keeping of commonplace books, Pinterest is an act of virtual curation that shapes a pinner's present and future identities. In the Pinterest space, girls see and collect ideals of femininity (displayed in recipes, fantasy weddings, and parenting tips) and in so doing create their own online avatars. This practice requires a critical awareness as users reinscribe, resist, or reinforce cultural norms of femininity. This article offers a conceptual base for future systematic study of Pinterest as a text and practice of girlhood.

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Posthumous Rescue

The Shafia Young Women as Worthy Victims

Yasmin Jiwani

This article focuses on the coverage of the murders of the young Shafia women. Based on an analysis of the coverage published in The Globe and Mail (July 2009 to March 2012), I argue that the young women were constructed as exceptional and worthy victims of a particularly heinous crime—honor killing—allegedly imported from Afghanistan by the Shafia patriarch. I interrogate the different threads that were interwoven to construct these young women's representations to make them intelligible as girls and young women. Within the coverage, the trope of culture clash anchored in an Orientalist framing worked to consolidate their representations as worthy victims and re-inscribe the national imaginary of Canadian society as egalitarian, tolerant and beyond gender violence. These different maneuvers served to accomplish a kind of posthumous rescue in a domestic context akin to the strategies of rescue implemented by Western powers in the War on Terror to save Afghan women.