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  • 44.2 | 2022
    Alexis Wright
    Centring Indigenous Stories, Worlding Possibilities

    This special issue on Alexis Wright’s work includes ten academic articles, seven of which focus on Wright’s Carpentaria (2006), while three discuss the author’s two other novels – Plains of Promise (1997) and The Swan Book (2013) – and oeuvre as a whole. The issue also contains art and poetry by Australian Indigenous creative artists, as well as the reprint of a review of Carpentaria and a reflexive essay on translating Wright’s works into Chinese. From the centrality of I(...)

  • 44.1 | 2021


  • 43.2 | 2021
    In Other Worlds
    Imagining What Comes Next

    When the COVID pandemic was officially announced in France in March 2020 and the country went into lockdown, a lot changed almost overnight in unprecedented ways. Among more dramatic measures, academic conferences were cancelled or postponed, and editorial schedules were consequently disrupted. After the initial shock, we decided to work on a journal issue that would help us think about the crisis in terms of the questions with which we usually deal. “In Other Worlds: Imag(...)

  • 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

    Unsettling Oceania takes the pulse of the contemporary literature of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, 250 years after Captain Cook’s first voyage led to encounter and Western colonisation. The eleven articles gathered here reflect the ideological current of “decolonisation” in the white settler societies considered, and the will to deconstruct our understanding of modernity, in particular by foregrounding Indigenous perspectives and epistemologies. The essays adopt (...)

  • 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(...)

  • 34.1 | 2011
    Tectonic Shifts
    The Global and the Local
    Couverture du n° 34-1 | 2011, Tectonic Shifts

    The analogy of tectonic shifts used in this issue of Commonwealth Essays and Studies evokes the cultural and literary upheavals that characterise globalisation. The metamorphic transformations caused by historical events of far-reaching consequences have made worldwide interrelationships easier and more abundant. The eight essays here show that the “global” is overwhelmingly synonymous with new local configurations, not uniformisation or binary confrontation. They also rev(...)

  • 33.2 | 2011
    Janet Frame
    Short Fiction
    33.2 | 2011 - Janet Frame

    The Lagoon and Other Stories (1951), a first collection of stories that focuses on childhood, arguably anticipates all the subsequent themes and techniques of Janet Frame’s later fiction – and this is what the twelve essays in this issue suggest, by revealing the ramifications of the stories of The Lagoon in Frame’s later, longer fiction. The four parts that structure the issue further emphasize key aspects of her writing: “The subject of words” focuses on the modernist at(...)

  • 33.1 | 2010
    33.1 | 2010 - Horizons

    The renowned painting by Turner on our front cover (courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) admirably configures the phenomenological, aesthetic, historical, and socio-political issues which this issue’s theme, Horizons, addresses. The storm-tossed slaveship in the background and the drowning slaves in the foreground re-present a historical, referential reality which has taken on mythical resonances, calling up to contemporary viewers Derek Walcott’s assertion that the s(...)

  • 32.2 | 2010
    Couverture du n° 32-2 | 2010, Mutations

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 32.2 (“Mutations”) contributes to recent interrogations concerning postcolonial theory in mutation, unravelling and rearticulating itself within the contexts of an increasingly globalized world system. The contributors address the need to unsettle traditional postcolonial frameworks and engage with the frictional border-zones consubstantial with models of circulation. The articles engage with texts which do not fit into the standard “writing(...)

  • 32.1 | 2009
    Essays and Trials
    Couverture du n° 32-1 | 2009, Essays and Trials

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 32.1 (“Essays and Trials”) is an issue devoted to the protean genre of the essay, deployed in both scientific and literary discourse in often fluid, hybrid ways. Its potential to take on multiple forms of interstitiality allows it to interrogate concerns at the heart of both postcolonialism and postmodernism, namely the conjunctive and disjunctive relations of authority and authorship, and the dynamics of derivation, transformation, and devi(...)

  • 31.2 | 2009
    South Asian Fiction / Anita Desai
    Couverture du n° 31-2 | 2009, South Asian Fiction / Anita Desai

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 31.2 (“South Asian Fiction/Anita Desai”) offers an overview of contemporary Indian and Pakistani fiction, but also of Tamil Dalit writing. It provides a multifaceted discussion focusing on writers ranging from Ceylon-based Leonard Woolf to Ghosh, Ondaatje, Rushdie, and the 2008 Man Booker Prize recipient Aravind Adiga. A section is devoted to internationally renowned Anita Desai.

  • 31.1 | 2008
    Couverture du n° 31-1 | 2008, Resurgence

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 31.1 (“Resurgence”) adopted the topic of the 48th SAES congress in Orléans in May 2008 where Jane Urquhart was guest of honour. A workshop was devoted to her writing, as reflected in the section on cultural resurgence and the role of symbolic objects in this process in Canadian literature. The issue also explores the resurgence of history and the metamorphoses it leads to, and the impact of the resurgence of the past on artistic creation.(...)

  • 30.2 | 2008
    Open-topic issue
    Couverture du n° 30-2 | 2008, Open-topic issue

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 30.2 is an eclectic open-topic issue that covers a variety of genres and a vast range of postcolonial writers (Soyinka and Achebe, but also Lahiri and Mukherjee) emerging from multiple cultural and geographical areas, from Ireland (Friel) to New Zealand (Ihimaera), both diasporic and rooted, and thus engaging in dialogic relations with amorphous readerships.

  • 30.1 | 2007
    Behind the Scenes
    Couverture du n° 30-1 | 2007, Behind the Scenes

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 30.1 (“Behind the Scenes”) considers the novel as a stage and explores strategies of avoidance, ambiguity, and irony as ways to skirt censorship – be it Freudian or political. The studies revisit Fanon’s concept of white mask, address filmic illusion in the world of Bollywood, or problematize the literary codes of realism in a postcolonial context.

  • 29.2 | 2007
    Couverture du n° 29-2 | 2007, Antipodes
  • 29.1 | 2006
    Couverture du n° 29-1 | 2006, Strange/Stranger

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 29.1 (Strange/Stranger) deals with such widespread notions as “strangeness”,  “otherness” , “the other”,  “foreignness”  and “the foreign”. This topic is central to the current preoccupations of scholars in the field of postcolonial literature and theory and may explain the wide geographical range of the articles concerned. These in effect cover every major region relating to the former British Empire: Asia (5), Africa (1), Australia (2), th(...)

  • 28.2 | 2006
    Derek Walcott
    Couverture du n° 28-2 | 2006,  - Derek Walcott

    Commonwealth Essays and Studies 28.2 (“Derek Walcott”) is an exceptional issue devoted to the poetic works of Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature. The volume includes an original address by Walcott, as well as a discussion between Walcott and fellow Caribbean writer E.A. Markham. The essays are a selection of papers from the international conference at the Sorbonne Nouvelle on 17-18 March 2006 in which Walcott participated. Many of the contributors(...)

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