Next Issue
Volume 12, August
Previous Issue
Volume 12, April
 
 

Humanities, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 2023) – 18 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article challenges David Rudd’s recent criticism of ‘The Reading Critics’ school of children’s literature criticism, which he takes to be problematic in so far as it is intolerant towards traditions that stray outside its own narrow concerns. Rudd forwards in its place an approach that is generous and dynamic. This article understands this approach to create some difficult questions. What are the limits of tolerance? Is what Rudd forwards merely a tolerance of the tolerable? Is his forgiving attitude to the work of ‘The Reading Critics’, as he mourns their passing, tolerance also? What if these critics were to object to such tolerance, or read violence or erasure within it? And how does such tolerance fit within the ‘broadly Lacanian framework’ that Rudd champions, considering Lacan’s criticism of the politics of neighbourliness? View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
15 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Itsuki Hiroyuki’s Farewell to Moscow Misfits and Entertainment Strategies: Middlebrow Novels, Jazz Novels, and Repatriates
by Takayuki Nakane and Eric Siercks
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030053 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
This paper addresses writer Itsuki Hiroyuki’s 1966 debut novel Farewell to Moscow Misfits through the lens of middlebrow novels, jazz novels, and repatriates. This novel draws from Itsuki’s personal experience being repatriated from colonial Korea after the war and visiting the Soviet Union [...] Read more.
This paper addresses writer Itsuki Hiroyuki’s 1966 debut novel Farewell to Moscow Misfits through the lens of middlebrow novels, jazz novels, and repatriates. This novel draws from Itsuki’s personal experience being repatriated from colonial Korea after the war and visiting the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s. Farewell was unique for its time in representing jazz, music, and youth “stilyagi” counterculture in the Soviet Union. This counterculture movement was roughly contemporaneous with the student movement of the 1960s in Japan. This period also saw the popularization of the “middlebrow novel”—an ambiguous term that was used to describe literature outside of the established pure/popular dichotomy. These amorphous “middlebrow” works allow us to read some of the cultural dynamics of the 1960s. Itsuki published many of his early works in so-called middlebrow magazines, not “pure” literary journals. Itsuki himself claimed that his works were neither pure literature nor popular literature; they were simply “entertainment”. He placed his works in relation to jazz, the circus, and enka. His unique views on cultural production and media emerged from his repatriation experiences and his encounter with Russian culture. This paper examines not only genre conventions in literature but also Itsuki’s objections to the pure/popular literary structure, as well as his place in cultural representations of the 1960s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
15 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
Songlines Are for Singing: Un/Mapping the Lived Spaces of Travelling Memory
by Les Roberts
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030052 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Putting to work the dialectical concept of ‘un/mapping’, this paper examines the immateriality of cultural memory as coalescent in and around songlines: spatial stories woven from the autobiogeographical braiding of music and memory. Borrowing from Erll’s concept of ‘travelling memory’ (2011), the [...] Read more.
Putting to work the dialectical concept of ‘un/mapping’, this paper examines the immateriality of cultural memory as coalescent in and around songlines: spatial stories woven from the autobiogeographical braiding of music and memory. Borrowing from Erll’s concept of ‘travelling memory’ (2011), the idea of songlines provides a performative framework with which to both travel with music memory and to map/unmap the travelling of music memory. The theoretical focus of the work builds on empirical studies into music, place and cultural memory in the form of interviews conducted across the UK in 2010–2013. The interviews were designed to explore the way peoples’ musical pasts—memories of listening to music in the domestic home, for example, or attendance at concerts and festivals, music as soundtracks to journeys, holidays or everyday commutes to work or school, music at key rite of passage moments—have coloured and given shape to the narratives that structure a sense of embodied selfhood and social identity over time. Songlines, it is shown, tether the self to spaces and temporalities that map a tangled meshwork of lives lived spatially, where the ghosts of musical pasts are as vital and alive as the traveller who has invoked them. Analysis and discussion is centred around the following questions: How should the songlines of memory be mapped in ways that remain true and resonant with those whose spatial stories they tell? How, phenomenologically, can memory be rendered as an energy that remains creatively vital without running the risk of dissipating that energy by seeking to fix it in space and time (to memorialise it)? And if, as is advocated in the paper, we should not be in the business of mapping songlines, how do we go about the task of singing them? Pursuing these and other lines of enquiry, this paper explores a spatial anthropology of movement and travel in which the un/mapping of popular music memory mobilises phenomenological understandings of the entanglements of self, culture and embodied memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Phenomenology of Travel and Tourism)
11 pages, 248 KiB  
Essay
Sounding War: Subverting Jim Crow in Not Only War and Sula
by Candice Marie Fairchild
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030051 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1163
Abstract
A sound-studies-centered reading of Victor Daly’s Not Only War: A Story of Two Great Conflicts (1932) and Toni Morrison’s Sula (1973) sheds light on the sonic realities of WWI, both before and after, for Black soldiers. Both novels, set during and after WWI, [...] Read more.
A sound-studies-centered reading of Victor Daly’s Not Only War: A Story of Two Great Conflicts (1932) and Toni Morrison’s Sula (1973) sheds light on the sonic realities of WWI, both before and after, for Black soldiers. Both novels, set during and after WWI, utilize music to subvert the codified system of Jim Crow through sonic resistance. The term generative entropy offers a theoretical intervention in the field of sound studies to enable a better understanding and identification of the emphasis both novels place on narrative possibility rooted in sonic and physical spaces of ambiguity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound Studies in African American Literature and Culture)
11 pages, 235 KiB  
Article
Liminality, Madness, and Narration in Hassan Blasim’s “The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes” and “Why Don’t You Write a Novel Instead of Talking about All These Characters?”
by Rima Sadek
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030050 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2043
Abstract
The fiction of Hassan Blasim addresses the horrors of contemporary Iraq and centers on the crisis of identity that is part of the immigrant’s experience. Blasim’s protagonists try to forget past traumas related to their homeland by developing new identities ingrained solely in [...] Read more.
The fiction of Hassan Blasim addresses the horrors of contemporary Iraq and centers on the crisis of identity that is part of the immigrant’s experience. Blasim’s protagonists try to forget past traumas related to their homeland by developing new identities ingrained solely in the present. Yet, the past resurfaces in the form of nightmarish dreams, madness, and fractured narratives where fiction and reality intersect and overlap. Inhabiting a constant state of liminality imprints itself on the body and psyche of the border crossers and leads to their physical or mental demise. Drawing on theories of madness, liminality, and narration advanced by Shoshana Felman and Michel Foucault, I analyze Blasim’s two short stories “The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes” and “Why Don’t You Write a Novel Instead of Talking About All These Characters?” I argue that the imaginative space of literary narration, an in-between, liminal space between reality and fiction, is the space where ethico-political paradoxes and the absurdity of real-life trauma, death, and chaos are transformed into a meaningful literary dialogue that can expand reality and offer new spheres of understanding of the trauma that shapes the lives of Blasim’s characters. Full article
15 pages, 1505 KiB  
Article
What Is a Child in What Is a Child?
by Yuna Nam
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030049 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This paper is an extended analysis of the English translation of Beatrice Alemagna’s picture book What is a Child? By extended analysis, I am referring to sustained engagement with the constitutive textual framing and narrative perspective of the picture book. Through this approach, [...] Read more.
This paper is an extended analysis of the English translation of Beatrice Alemagna’s picture book What is a Child? By extended analysis, I am referring to sustained engagement with the constitutive textual framing and narrative perspective of the picture book. Through this approach, my aim is to draw out the specific antagonisms necessary to its concept of ‘child’. The child, for What is a Child?, is never quite a self-evident and isolated identity. Rather, it is (to take just three examples): constituted by a perspective on it, and other to it; other to itself, because of the various contradictions in its pictorial and textual constructions; split between name and being. The understanding of the child that emerges runs counter to Marah Gubar’s subtle critique of the child as a contradictory identity, knowable, but only in a piece-meal fashion. My understanding of what Jacqueline Rose calls the ‘impossibility’ of the child is rooted, instead, in an understanding of it as self-cancelling, unavailable as an in-itself identity shorn of its constitutive others, an identity, I argue, that can be addressed only through an approach that is non-essentialist and narration-focused. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing the Political in Children’s Literature)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
Visions of Red Riding Hood: Transformative Bodies in Contemporary Adaptations
by Elizabeth Abele
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030048 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2427
Abstract
Gothic and sexual elements are embedded within both Charles Perrault’s and the Brothers Grimm’s tellings of “Little Red Riding Hood”. When popular culture turned to fairy tales from the late 20th century forward, reimagining them as gothic tales for adults, “Little Red Riding [...] Read more.
Gothic and sexual elements are embedded within both Charles Perrault’s and the Brothers Grimm’s tellings of “Little Red Riding Hood”. When popular culture turned to fairy tales from the late 20th century forward, reimagining them as gothic tales for adults, “Little Red Riding Hood” provided a particularly rich setting. In particular, these adaptations exploited the false binaries within these tales while making more visible the sexual abuse and recovery encoded in the narratives. This essay will first explore the particular gothic qualities within this tale, as well as the shapeshifting nature of the four characters. After establishing how the figure of Red, as well as her motifs, are key to ensemble fairy-tale narratives, I will examine adaptations that directly explore the sexuality and agency of a young woman, as she resists both predators and her family legacy. However, the last section will note that monstrosity, like victimization, can be resisted. Overall, this essay interrogates contemporary film and television adaptations of this tale, with a particular interest in the messages of recovery and agency in these new versions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gothic Adaptation: Intermedial and Intercultural Shape-Shifting)
13 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Nazis in Auschwitz: Reflections on Anglophone Perpetrator Fiction
by Joanne Pettitt
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030047 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1421
Abstract
This article considers the various ways in which the topographies of Auschwitz are used as a symbolic means of articulating particular kinds of guilt in fiction relating to the Holocaust. To do this, I analyse three primary examples: John Donoghue’s The Death’s Head [...] Read more.
This article considers the various ways in which the topographies of Auschwitz are used as a symbolic means of articulating particular kinds of guilt in fiction relating to the Holocaust. To do this, I analyse three primary examples: John Donoghue’s The Death’s Head Chess Club (2015), Martin Amis’ The Zone of Interest (2014), and Dalton Trumbo’s unfinished novel, Night of the Aurochs (1979). These texts, I argue, employ the complex spatial dynamics of the site in order to address important questions of power, agency, and moral ambiguity. More specifically, such imagery reveals a spectrum of complicity that, without exonerating those responsible for the genocide, suggests the need for a more nuanced understanding of the Holocaust and those that were responsible for its implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
14 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Transfigurations of the Commonplace: Hirst’s Tumbler, Joyce’s Tap
by Judith Woolf
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030046 - 7 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1072
Abstract
One reason why the concept of the quotidian has proved elusive to critics of literature and the visual arts is that the commonplace in art and literature so often refuses to remain untransfigured, not least because of its power to confront us with [...] Read more.
One reason why the concept of the quotidian has proved elusive to critics of literature and the visual arts is that the commonplace in art and literature so often refuses to remain untransfigured, not least because of its power to confront us with the material detritus with which we surround ourselves and which we will eventually join. It is not surprising, then, that contemporary artists share a preoccupation with finding both mortality and transcendence in what John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester called “the lumber of the world.” In this paper, I shall consider how an early Damien Hirst mini-installation, consisting of a glass tumbler of water and a ping-pong ball, takes its only partly mocking place in a still life tradition going back to Roman xenia and seventeenth-century vanitas paintings, and to a related literary tradition typified by Thomas Hardy’s Under the Waterfall and James Joyce’s great prose aria to water all its forms in the Ithaca section of Ulysses. Full article
16 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
On the Tolerance of Children’s Literature Criticism: Psychoanalysis, Neighborliness, and Pooh
by Neil Cocks
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030045 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
This article challenges David Rudd’s recent criticism of ‘The Reading Critics’ school of children’s literature criticism, which he takes to be problematic in so far as it is intolerant towards traditions that stray outside its own narrow concerns. Rudd forwards in its place [...] Read more.
This article challenges David Rudd’s recent criticism of ‘The Reading Critics’ school of children’s literature criticism, which he takes to be problematic in so far as it is intolerant towards traditions that stray outside its own narrow concerns. Rudd forwards in its place an approach that is generous and dynamic. Through a close reading of Rudd’s analysis of both Winnie-the Pooh and psychoanalysis, this article understands the politics and poetics of tolerance to open some difficult questions. What are the limits of tolerance? Is what Rudd forwards merely a tolerance of the tolerable? Is his forgiving attitude to the work of ‘The Reading Critics’, as he mourns their passing, tolerance also? What if these critics were to object to such tolerance, or read violence or erasure within it? Most significantly, this article is interested in how such tolerance, and the celebration of open community, fits within the ‘broadly Lacanian framework’ that Rudd elsewhere champions. As Lacan has, at best, an ambivalent attitude to the politics of neighborliness, this article argues that the defense of a ‘broad’ and tolerant approach to theory that calls upon his work is only made possible by arguments that neglect the specifics of Lacan’s writing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing the Political in Children’s Literature)
14 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
“Komai Nisan Dare, Akwai Wani Online”: Social Media and the Emergence of Hausa Neoproverbs
by Abdalla Uba Adamu
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030044 - 2 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1313
Abstract
This paper interrogates the changing paradigm in the evolution of traditional African proverbs in the postcolonial setting in which Hausa youth create proverbs centered around the power of both social media and their technologies. In this context, the notion of colonized subjects, cowering [...] Read more.
This paper interrogates the changing paradigm in the evolution of traditional African proverbs in the postcolonial setting in which Hausa youth create proverbs centered around the power of both social media and their technologies. In this context, the notion of colonized subjects, cowering under the glare of English linguistic imperialism, is challenged by the Hausa youth through newly fabricated social media proverbs that acknowledge English terms, but use social media platforms to convey what I call ‘Hausa technofolk’ philosophy. This provides insight into how contemporary African youth force a new narrative in the notion of coloniality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
11 pages, 240 KiB  
Article
‘Is This the Real Me? What Is the Real Me?’: Deconstructing Authenticity in Aline Kominsky-Crumb’s Need More Love
by David Brauner
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030043 - 29 May 2023
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
In spite of being a central figure in the underground comix scene, a trailblazer in the field of female-authored comics, and one of the progenitors of the graphic memoir, there has been relatively little scholarship on Aline Kominsky-Crumb. For much of her career, [...] Read more.
In spite of being a central figure in the underground comix scene, a trailblazer in the field of female-authored comics, and one of the progenitors of the graphic memoir, there has been relatively little scholarship on Aline Kominsky-Crumb. For much of her career, she was in the shadow of her husband, Robert Crumb, an iconic figure of the counterculture, and any attention she has received for her own work tended to be marred by condescension or predicated on the naïve assumption that, as Susan Kirtley claims, it ‘showcase[s] a raw, unvarnished authenticity’. It also tended to ignore her writing, focusing almost exclusively on her artwork. In this essay, I analyse her anthology, Need More Love, paying particular attention to the nuances of its uses of text, to argue that Kominsky-Crumb’s work might be read as a sustained, self-reflexive interrogation of the idea of authenticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Authenticity in Contemporary Literatures in English)
11 pages, 978 KiB  
Article
“This Girl Changed the Story of the World”: Queer Complications of Authority in KindaTV’s Carmilla
by Drumlin N. M. Crape
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030042 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 1964
Abstract
This article investigates the intersection of adaptations of narrative content and form as exemplified in the KindaTV YouTube series Carmilla (2014–2016), a contemporary revisioning of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 vampire novella of the same name. By contextualizing Le Fanu’s text within the [...] Read more.
This article investigates the intersection of adaptations of narrative content and form as exemplified in the KindaTV YouTube series Carmilla (2014–2016), a contemporary revisioning of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 vampire novella of the same name. By contextualizing Le Fanu’s text within the emerging medicalized discourse around so-called deviant sexualities and close reading the invocations of medical, legal, and narrative authority within Carmilla, I reveal an approach to authority which upholds hegemony. Consequently, in engaging with KindaTV’s YouTube adaptation, the rehabilitating of queer feelings and connections reframes authority within the narrative, while the interactive platform and active fan communities resist the idea of a single textual authority. By considering the source text and adaptation through the lens of authority, it becomes clear that, as part of addressing the homophobic history of the Gothic, KindaTV’s Carmilla presents a world full of possibilities that directly opposes the way authorities like legal, medical, and academic systems have historically pathologized queer people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gothic Adaptation: Intermedial and Intercultural Shape-Shifting)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Healing with the Nonhuman Actor: A Study of the Recuperation from Loneliness and Isolation Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic through the Cinematic Text Lars and the Real Girl
by Shipra Tholia
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030041 - 23 May 2023
Viewed by 2846
Abstract
Loneliness and isolation were two factors introduced as “effective measures” during the COVID-19 crisis. The lockdown exacerbated loneliness among those already suffering from acute illnesses. In this context, a rereading of the film Lars and the Real Girl by Craig Gillespie is particularly [...] Read more.
Loneliness and isolation were two factors introduced as “effective measures” during the COVID-19 crisis. The lockdown exacerbated loneliness among those already suffering from acute illnesses. In this context, a rereading of the film Lars and the Real Girl by Craig Gillespie is particularly relevant as it offers novel perspectives on loneliness. The interplay between Lars’s desire to be in a compassionate relationship and the fear of meeting and socializing is comparable to what was witnessed across the coronavirus-afflicted world. This paper explores the potential for understanding delusion caused by traumatic experiences as a form of communication rather than a mental disorder. The film explains how a silicone sex doll functions as a medium between the lonesome Lars and society in resolving the trauma. The paper focuses on the infantile nature of humans and uses infantilism in a conducive manner to understand anthropomorphism for bridging the gap between a lonely/delusional person and society while drawing examples from the film. The introduction of a nonhuman actor—an anatomically correct doll—becomes an opportunity for a traumatized person such as Lars to know himself well and gradually open up to socializing. As he moves from external to threshold en-rolling, followed by internal en-rolling, it indicates his opening up to communication as he moves from language to lalangue and creates his world with the doll. This film presents a therapeutic approach to treating schizoid personality disorder with the assistance of a nonhuman actor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Ethics & Illness in Contemporary Literature and Culture)
9 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Cinema, the Settler
by Lorenzo Veracini
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030040 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1719
Abstract
While the history and technology of cinema are considered for the purpose of achieving decolonial ends, this paper suggests that ‘classic’ cinema may be considered a quintessentially settler colonial medium. However, the moving image is now delivered in new ways and through new [...] Read more.
While the history and technology of cinema are considered for the purpose of achieving decolonial ends, this paper suggests that ‘classic’ cinema may be considered a quintessentially settler colonial medium. However, the moving image is now delivered in new ways and through new devices, and streaming has transformed global patterns of cinema production and consumption. Thus, two developments are considered in relation to this transformation. On the one hand, there are signs that mainstream cinema may be genuinely addressing its implication with colonialism, and this paper focuses on a formal apology and on a big budget movie that adopted a radically innovative approach to representing Indigenous peoples: Prey (2022). On the other hand, streaming has made cinema portable and has made consumption in personally deliberated instalments possible. The ‘digital natives’ consume cinema in fragmented and noncollective patterns, and their activity is subjected to unprecedented modalities of surveillance and appropriation. This paper concludes that a form of digital colonialism supported by streaming operates in ways that are homologous with modes of settler colonial appropriation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
14 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Composting Ecofeminism: Caring for Plants, Animals, and Multispecies Flourishing in Molly Chester’s Dream Farm
by Kathryn Yalan Chang
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030039 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Using the documentary The Biggest Little Farm (2019) and its follow-up sequel The Biggest Little Farm: The Return (2022), this article examines how American filmmaker and farmer John Chester and his wife Molly transformed previously dead land lacking biodiversity into Molly’s dream farm [...] Read more.
Using the documentary The Biggest Little Farm (2019) and its follow-up sequel The Biggest Little Farm: The Return (2022), this article examines how American filmmaker and farmer John Chester and his wife Molly transformed previously dead land lacking biodiversity into Molly’s dream farm over the past decade. My article argues that the way the films illustrate the Chesters’ intricate relationships with plants, animals, and multispecies players is a way of showing how ecofeminism’s concerns and insights can best be integrated into organic food/farming, which do not foreground gender in their analyses and activism. The article consists of four parts. The first describes the challenges Apricot Lane Farms faced before and after the Chesters’ arrival. The second part explores the Chesters’ “thinking with the soil” and de la Bellacasa’s commitment to soil care in Matters of Care (2017), showing how this can serve as a refuge in a sense, as defined by Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing. The third part examines the Chesters’ approach to conflicts, setbacks, and loss of life by emphasizing the potential for “staying with the trouble.” Finally, the article concludes by demonstrating how the Chesters present Apricot Lane Farms as an attachment site of co-flourishment by caring for the plants, animals, and microorganisms essential to supporting all life’s ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reconstructing Ecofeminism)
24 pages, 402 KiB  
Article
Conserving Africa’s Eden? Green Colonialism, Neoliberal Capitalism, and Sustainable Development in Congo Basin Literature
by Kenneth Toah Nsah
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030038 - 8 May 2023
Viewed by 3852
Abstract
Starting with European colonization, African natural resources in particular and nature in general have been coveted and exploited mainly in the interest of Euro-American industrialized countries, with China as a recent major player from Asia. Interestingly, the incessant quest by some Western NGOs, [...] Read more.
Starting with European colonization, African natural resources in particular and nature in general have been coveted and exploited mainly in the interest of Euro-American industrialized countries, with China as a recent major player from Asia. Interestingly, the incessant quest by some Western NGOs, institutions, and governments to protect and conserve African nature not only are inspired by ecological and climatic concerns but also often tend to propagate a false image of Africa as the last Eden of the earth in order to control Africa’s resources. Using literary texts, this article argues that some Euro-American transnational NGOs and some of their governments sometimes conspire with some African governments to spread global capitalism and green colonialism under the pretext of oxymoronic sustainable development as they attempt to conserve a mythical African Eden. Utilizing three novels and one play from the Congo Basin, namely In Koli Jean Bofane’s Congo Inc.: Le Testament de Bismarck (2014), Assitou Ndinga’s Les Marchands du développement durable (2006), Étienne Goyémidé’s Le Silence de la forêt ([1984] 2015), and Ekpe Inyang’s The Last Hope (2011), I contend that such Euro-American environmental NGOs and their governments sometimes impose and sustain fortress conservation (creation of protected areas) in the Congo Basin as a hidden means of coopting Africa’s nature and Africans into neoliberal capitalism. For the most part, instead of protecting the Congo Basin, green colonialists and developmentalists sell sustainable development, undermine alternative ways of achieving human happiness, and perpetuate epistemicide, thus leading to poverty and generating resentment among local and indigenous populations. As these literary texts suggest, nature conservation and sustainable development in the Congo Basin should not be imposed upon from the outside; they should emanate from Africans, tapping into local expertise, and indigenous and other knowledge systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Conservation Humanities)
14 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Productive Psychoses: Views on Terrorism and Politics in Homeland
by Janna Houwen
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030037 - 4 May 2023
Viewed by 1317
Abstract
In the eight seasons of Showtime’s television show Homeland, leading character Carrie suffers from a bipolar disorder which repeatedly results in psychotic episodes. During these psychotic breakdowns, her grip on reality is disturbed by delusions. However, her psychotic disposition also leads to [...] Read more.
In the eight seasons of Showtime’s television show Homeland, leading character Carrie suffers from a bipolar disorder which repeatedly results in psychotic episodes. During these psychotic breakdowns, her grip on reality is disturbed by delusions. However, her psychotic disposition also leads to abilities and insights that make her a valuable agent in international secret agencies such as the CIA. This essay examines how the productivity of Carrie’s psychoses can be related to the political, military-industrial order within which she operates as a spy fighting terrorism and other threats to national and international security. What does the fact that a person suffering from psychoses is able to comprehend complex international political processes tell us about these processes and the context in which they occur? To answer this question, I turn to two scholars, both of whom have theorized subjectivity in relation to psychosis: psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and philosopher Mauricio Lazzarato. The radically different notions of Lacan and Lazzarato lead to different interpretations of Homeland. However, although Lazzarato is a critical opponent of Lacanian psychoanalysis, I demonstrate that Lacan’s psychoanalytical ideas and Lazzarato’s machine theories can to some extent be read as complementary in an analysis of Homeland, for what the two distinct theorists have in common is that they both relate subjectivity to sign systems—to the emergence and assignment of meaning, as well as to the suspension and absence thereof. This paper argues that the psychoses of Homeland’s lead character produce political meanings because of the condition’s specific relation to meaninglessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discourses of Madness)
12 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Exilic Roots and Paths of Marronage: Breaching Walls of Space and Memory in the Historical Poetics of Dénètem Touam Bona
by Geoffroy de Laforcade
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030036 - 3 May 2023
Viewed by 1995
Abstract
Afropean anthropologist, philosopher, and art curator Dénètem Touam Bona is an original “border thinker” and “crosser” of geographic and conceptual boundaries working within a tradition of Caribbean historical poetics, notably represented by Édouard Glissant. He explores ideas of “fugue” and “refuge” in light [...] Read more.
Afropean anthropologist, philosopher, and art curator Dénètem Touam Bona is an original “border thinker” and “crosser” of geographic and conceptual boundaries working within a tradition of Caribbean historical poetics, notably represented by Édouard Glissant. He explores ideas of “fugue” and “refuge” in light of the experience of maroons or escaped slaves, key actors of the simultaneous expansion of freedom and industrial-scale chattel slavery in the Americas. In “Freedom as Marronage” (2015), Neill Roberts defines freedom itself as perpetual flight, and locates its very origins in the liminal and transitional spaces of slave escape, offering a perspective on modernity that gives voice to hunted fugitives, defiant of its ecology, enclosures, and definition, and who were ultimately excised from its archive. Touam Bona’s “cosmo-poetics” excavates marronage as a mode of invention, subterfuge and utopian projection that revisits its history and representation; sacred, musical, ecological, and corporeal idioms; and alternative forms of community, while also inviting contemporary parallels with the “captives” of the global border regime, namely fugitives, nomads, refugees, and asylum seekers who perpetually evade norms, controls, and domestication. He deploys the metaphor of the liana, a long-stemmed tropical vine that climbs and twines through dense forests, weaving relation in defiance of predation, to evoke colonized and displaced peoples’ subterranean evasion of commodification, classification, control, cultural erasure, and ecological annihilation. This article frames his work within an Afro-diasporic history and transnational cultural criticism that envisions fugitivity and exilic spaces as dissonant forms of resistance to the coloniality of power, and their relevance to understanding racialization, representations of the past, and narratives of freedom and belonging across borders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice II: Refugees and Representation)
Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop