Somewhere Else Things Are Changing

26th February 2021

Chloe Austin

In that heady summer when the apocalypse seemed to have temporarily receded, I talked my family into a weekend at the seaside. While I sold them on the white cliffs of Botany Bay, I knew my ulterior motive: We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South had opened at the Turner Contemporary in Margate and I was determined not to miss it. Among the range of mediums, subjects and techniques on display were a selection of quilts, most of which were made in a small town on a bend of the Alabama River, called Boykin but more commonly known as Gee’s Bend.[1] Mainly women, the Gee’s Bend quilters are tied by the familial and communal bonds of the African American hamlet where quilting skills have been passed down and innovated upon for generations.

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Physical impressions and the marks we leave behind; an analysis of Wolfgang Tillmans’ Faltenwurfs inspired by readings of Felix-Gonzalez Torres

26 February 2021

Charlotte Russell, Independent Researcher

Perhaps best known for his photographs of the European youth of the nineties, Wolfgang Tillmans’ vignettes about the lives of the LGBTQ community and electronic music subcultures feature images of people partying in sweaty raves or embracing in open woodland; living together in the wake of division caused by the fallen Berlin Wall. Exhibited across magazines such as i-D and The Face, Tillmans’ photography encapsulated the zeitgeist of 1990s Europe. In 1997 following the opening of his debut London show I didn’t inhaleat The Chisenhale, London, the photographer lost his boyfriend, the artist Jochen Klein, to AIDS. Continue reading “Physical impressions and the marks we leave behind; an analysis of Wolfgang Tillmans’ Faltenwurfs inspired by readings of Felix-Gonzalez Torres”

Rewriting Joyce in contemporary Irish women’s short fiction

26 February 2021

Orlaith DarlingTrinity College Dublin

Modernist influences in the contemporary Irish novel have been well documented, from the narrative fragmentation of Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing (2013), to the stream-of-consciousness narration of Anna Burns’s Milkman (2018), to the structure of Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones (2016). Here, however, I wish to examine two Irish women short story authors’ rewriting James Joyce. Continue reading “Rewriting Joyce in contemporary Irish women’s short fiction”

Salt of the Sarkar: Interrogating the Politics of Salt in Across the Black Waters

8 February 2020

Sonakshi Srivastava, Indraprastha University

Set amidst the backdrop of World War I, Mulk Raj Anand’s Across the Black Waters (1939)  highlights the anxiety of Indian soldiers who arrive in Marseilles after having risked the dreaded ‘kala pani’, which are black waters, rumoured to bring bad luck upon anyone who dares to cross them. A series of salty gastrocentric metaphors and imageries abound in the text to pronounce brimming tensions, and ideas of servitude between the soldiers and the Sarkar, their (English) master.

Continue reading “Salt of the Sarkar: Interrogating the Politics of Salt in Across the Black Waters”

‘Virginia Woolf’s ‘entanglements’ vs. Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism’

8 February 2020

Marie Allègre, University of Birmingham

In her 1929 essay ‘Phases of Fiction’, Woolf writes: ‘[t]he enormous growth of the psychological novel in our time has been prompted largely by the mistaken belief […] that truth is always good; even when it is the truth of the psychoanalyst and not the truth of imagination’.[1] Is ‘the truth of the psychoanalyst’ hospitable enough for ‘the truth of imagination’ to emerge?

Continue reading “‘Virginia Woolf’s ‘entanglements’ vs. Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism’”

Online Events Dialogue #3

We’re back with the third instalment in our online events dialogue series. Online events are becoming the new normal, and even when we can all meet in person again, our digital event organisers think that online is here to stay (at least in part – we’d miss the egg sandwiches and bad coffee too much). Last month we heard about nearly-carbon-neutral conferences and a digital lecture series, and before that, we were inspired by an enterprising twitter conference and by the agility of an international conference to make the digital switch. This month, we’re going artsy, with a reflection on how poetry is thriving in the digital space.

Continue reading “Online Events Dialogue #3”

Come Dine With Me: Gertrude Stein and the Performative Act of Dining

7 December 2020

Rebekka Jolley, Liverpool Hope University

Richard Schechner unpacks the often-overcomplicated term ‘performative’. He clarifies that performative as an adjective ‘inflects what it modifies with performance-like qualities’.[1]In this article, performative will be used as an adjective to demonstrate how Gertrude Stein unveils dining as a ritualised performative act within her early plays: White Wines Three Acts (1913) and Turkey and Bones and Eating and We Liked It A Play (1916). This piece is interdisciplinary and draws on a close reading of the texts to establish the performative acts that are unveiled through the dialogue, as well as an enquiry into the staging of these pieces and the inclusion of the audience as part of the performative act. Continue reading “Come Dine With Me: Gertrude Stein and the Performative Act of Dining”

‘Further confusing such already confusing words’: Lydia Davis’ footnotes to Beckett

7 December 2020

James Baxter, Independent Scholar

This article will consider Lydia Davis’ (1947-) response to the work of Samuel Beckett, revealing her indebtedness to twentieth-century formal innovations, while gently critiquing the (occasionally ponderous) weight of modernist legacies. Deceptively little sustained criticism exists on Davis’ writing; prior to the 2009 release of The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (a critically acclaimed compendium of Davis’ short fiction that would go on to be awarded the 2013 Man Booker International Prize), Davis’ reputation as a translator would arguably supersede the attention devoted to her highly singular body of creative work.[1] Continue reading “‘Further confusing such already confusing words’: Lydia Davis’ footnotes to Beckett”

Abolitionist Feminism Then and Now #2: Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson

7 December 2020

Aija Oksman, University of Edinburgh

Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson (1896-1965) was an inspirational Black woman; she was a writer, an anthropologist, and an activist for women’s and civil rights, as well as a successful business woman. Goode strongly favoured Black women’s radical feminism over the type of white women’s more mainstream feminism, the latter of which advocated for the rights of women without paying heed to what we would now term ‘intersectionality’.[1] This she considered obverse to the Woman Question, and believed that mainstream feminism was sowing seeds of disunity by excluding women of all classes and races. Goode and her contemporary Black radical women advocated for a new intersectional, inclusive feminism – though ‘intersectionality’ would not be coined as such until 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw.[2] Continue reading “Abolitionist Feminism Then and Now #2: Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson”

Prizes and Prejudice: Institutional Support for Windrush Modernists

10 November 2020

Bret Johnson, Loughborough University

George Lamming, who is originally from Barbados, established himself in Britain during the 1950s as a successful author, intellectual, and public figure who frequently appeared on TV and radio programmes.[1] Lamming’s public appearances came despite the hostility towards Caribbean immigrants, known as the Windrush Generation, who came to the United Kingdom following the British Nationality Act 1948. In an interview in 1960 for the BBC program Monitor, Lamming described the ordeal of the Windrush Generation, remarking upon ‘the terror of not knowing and of not even daring to call upon a single soul among the hundred who surround him,’ stating that, ‘this is the initial experience of the West Indian arriving […] he is alone.’[2] Along with other Caribbean authors of this generation, such as Sam Selvon and Edgar Mittelhölzer, Lamming experienced uncertainty, segregation and prejudice when he moved to London in 1950. Many viewed the move to London as a necessity: Arthur Calder-Marshall, a close acquaintance of Lamming, described London as ‘the cultural centre for Caribbean writers.’[3] Many writers from the Caribbean knew that London offered a cultural infrastructure which included the British Empire’s publishing industry, art institutions and an audience who were receptive to the experimental prose that would become associated with this generation of Caribbean authors.

Continue reading “Prizes and Prejudice: Institutional Support for Windrush Modernists”

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