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  • 43.1 | 2020

     The “state of exception,” as defined by Giorgio Agamben, has often been evoked in postcolonial contexts as a means of accounting for the way in which exceptional circumstances are used to justify depriving people of their rights under the law. This issue addresses how exception is represented in postcolonial literatures, through the depiction of states of emergency, zones of exception, and various processes of marginalization. In all eight case studies, laws can be seen a(...)

  • 42.2 | 2020
    Place and Placelessness in Postcolonial Short Fiction

    In postcolonial contexts marked by multiple forms of displacement and replacement, this issue examines the ambivalent value of placelessness. Another word for dislocation and dispossession, placelessness can also be approached as a force resisting the desire to lock things into place, leading to creative re-inscriptions and reinventions. Through its characteristic reticence, short fiction offers a privileged means to register fractures that take place and yet cannot necess(...)

  • 42.1 | 2019
  • 41.2 | 2019
    Nadine Gordimer
    De-Linking, Interrupting, Severing
    Couverture du 41-2 | 2019

    A special issue reassessing the whole of Nadine Gordimer's prolific and versatile work, this collection of articles maps out the numerous breaches, interruptions, and ruptures that traverse the South African writer's novels and short stories, as well as her essays and political commitments. The issue aims at re-circulating and re-directing a number of concepts and critical stances which have emerged over the years about Gordimer's texts. Through their emphasis on processes(...)

  • 41.1 | 2018
    Unsettling Oceania
    Couverture du 41-1 | 2018
  • 40.2 | 2018
    Couverture du n° 40-2 | 2018, Confluence/Reconstruction
  • 40.1 | 2017
    Caryl Phillips
    Couverture du n° 40-1 | 2017, Caryl Phillips

    This issue is devoted to Caryl Phillips, and includes essays focusing on his 1993 novel Crossing the River and discussing issues such as the relation to his radio plays, but also the treatment of trauma and of the family, the use of allegory, and a comparison of its presentation of slavery with the film Twelve Years a Slave. Other essays deal with A State of Independence, Foreigners, Dancing in the Dark and his most recent novel The Lost Child, seen from the perspective of(...)

  • 39.2 | 2017
    Anglo-Arab Literatures
    Couverture du n° 39-2 | 2017, Anglo-Arab Literatures

    This issue gathers contributions on Anglo-Arab literatures understood as a corpus of texts in prose and verse written in English by Arab writers from the diaspora or from the Middle East, and in translation. The ethnic, linguistic, and areal categories summoned to describe the corpus are fundamentally called into question by the writers and poets discussed here. Their texts evade monolithic and homogenous conceptions of belonging – to a language, a race, or a nation – and (...)

  • 39.1 | 2016
    Post-Conflict Territories
    Representations and Reconfigurations
    Couverture du n° 39-1 | 2016, Post-Conflict Territories: Representations and Reconfigurations

    This issue focuses on post-conflict territories and, specifically, on their representation and reconfiguration in literatures from the postcolonial world. The articles variously investigate the legacy of partition in Irish, Indian and Palestinian literature, as well as analysing the formal and thematic manifestations of porous and not so permeable borders in literature from Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, and even London. In so doing, they engage with the untold storie(...)

  • 38.2 | 2016
    Geographies of Displacement
    Couverture du n° 38-2 | 2016, Geographies of Displacement

    The expansion of the British Empire and its subsequent contraction and transformation into the Commonwealth was accompanied in postcolonial societies by the displacement of populations of diverse origins which, on coming into contact with each other, were transformed at the interface. The processes of exchange and transformation have given rise to original cultural productions which are the object of study of this issue, in the full diversity of their forms: literary, arti(...)

  • 38.1 | 2015
    Couverture du n° 38-1 | 2015, Commitment

    This issue examines the multifaceted forms of commitment in postcolonial literatures in English. Faced with specific challenges in a context where the pressure of politics and ideology is particularly strong, postcolonial writers have devised literary responses ranging from an endorsement of ideological issues to a refusal to directly “commit” their texts to immediate demands. The articles endeavour to show the specificities of various committed forms – novels, poems, anth(...)

  • 37.2 | 2015
    Alice Munro
    Writing for Dear Life
    Couverture du n° 37-2 | 2015, Alice Munro: Writing for Dear Life

    This issue devoted to the work of the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro comprises eight original essays and the full transcript of an interview Munro granted Eleanor Wachtel in 2004. The essays focus on two Munrovian themes: the practice of everyday life – discards, everyday discourse, family quarrels – and cracks – secrets, dissonances, and wounds. Insisting that Munro writes for dear life, they show that her stories actually offer a reflection on the reconstructive(...)

  • 37.1 | 2014
    Couverture du n° 37-1 | 2014, Crossings

    This volume looks at the notion of “crossings” and the way it has informed the postcolonial text, for obvious reasons of historical crossings in the colonial and postcolonial periods, as well as aesthetic choices. The articles study various forms of crossings at the heart of the postcolonial text, such as generic crossings or crossings between cultural traditions. They also interrogate the theoretical implications of the positioning of the postcolonial text at the crossroa(...)

  • 36.2 | 2014
    Negotiating Multiple Identities in a Globalized Postcolonial World
    Couverture du n° 36-2 | 2014, Inside/Out: Negotiating Multiple Identities in a Globalized Postcolonial World

    This volume presents the increasing contingency of the concepts of “inside” and “outside” when exploring identity in postcolonial literature. The authors underline the productivity of a non-essentialist stance of the “in-between” in essays spanning an array of geographical areas, ranging from Nigeria to India, the Caribbean to New Zealand, Turkey to the U.S. By addressing issues as varied as terrorism and diaspora, metonymic tropes and postmodern camp, and hospitality and (...)

  • 36.1 | 2013
    Naming, Labelling, Addressing
    Couverture du n° 36-1 | 2013, Appelation(s): Naming, Labelling, Addressing

    This volume deals with the permutations contained in the terms naming, labelling, and addressing in the field of postcolonial studies, revealing that such terms are not neutral. They are intricately bound to practices of appropriation, domination and alienation that haunt the imaginary of former colonised countries and their literatures. These articles thus set out to investigate what is at stake in the act of naming. Does it confer a sense of self and belonging, or rather(...)

  • 35.2 | 2013
    Ben Okri
    Couverture du n° 35-2 | 2013, Ben Okri

    Devoted entirely to the fictional work of Ben Okri and in particular to The Famished Road (1991), this issue of Commonwealth Essays and Studies provides detailed analyses of the Booker prize-winning novel and discussion of its position within both a West African and a wider, postcolonial literary tradition. Covering a variety of issues, including Okri’s stylistic innovation, the novel’s complex, intriguing narrative style, the intersection of spiritual and material journey(...)

  • 35.1 | 2012
    Couverture du n° 35-1 | 2012, Transparencies

    If fiction constantly stages, represents and fantasizes its own encounter with reality, associating perception with pellucidity, both language and the very text would seem to set it under the sign of opacity, not transparency. The latter concept poses further questions in the case of postcolonial literatures, where one very often finds an increased awareness of the impact and multiplicity of perspectives. The volume interrogates the idea of transparency through a scrutiny (...)

  • 34.2 | 2012
    Couverture du n° 34-2 | 2012, Reappraisals

    Out of the twelve contributions that compose Commonwealth Essays and Studies 34.2, six of the essays and one of the reviews engage with poetry and fiction from the African continent, from South Africa and Botswana to Nigeria. Diverse as the objects of their investigations may be, the contributors have opted for approaches that vindicate the choice of the title “Reappraisals” for the whole volume, either because they approach canonical writers such as Chinua Achebe or Bessi(...)

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