Organizing Empire critically examines how concepts of individualism functioned to support and resist British imperialism in India. Through readings of British colonial and Indian nationalist narratives that emerged in parliamentary debates, popular colonial histories, newsletters, memoirs, biographies, and novels, Purnima Bose investigates the ramifications of reducing collective activism to individual intentions. Paying particular attention to the construction of gender, she shows that ideas of individualism rhetorically and theoretically bind colonials, feminists, nationalists, and neocolonials to one another. She demonstrates how reliance on ideas of the individual—as scapegoat or hero—enabled colonial and neocolonial powers to deny the violence that they perpetrated. At the same time, she shows how analyses of the role of the individual provide a window into the dynamics and limitations of state formations and feminist and nationalist resistance movements.
From a historically grounded, feminist perspective, Bose offers four case studies, each of which illuminates a distinct individualizing rhetorical strategy. She looks at the parliamentary debates on the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, in which several hundred unarmed Indian protesters were killed; Margaret Cousins’s firsthand account of feminist organizing in Ireland and India; Kalpana Dutt’s memoir of the Bengali terrorist movement of the 1930s, which was modeled in part on Irish anticolonial activity; and the popular histories generated by ex-colonial officials and their wives. Bringing to the fore the constraints that colonial domination placed upon agency and activism, Organizing Empire highlights the complexity of the multiple narratives that constitute British colonial history.
With the fall of socialism in Europe, the former East bloc nations experienced a rebirth of nationalism as they struggled to make the difficult transition to a market-based economy and self-governance. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, in particular, underscored the power of ethnic identity and ancestral loyalties.
Hugh Agnew develops the argument that Czechoslovakia's celebrated national revival of the mid-eighteenth century has its intellectual roots in the Enlightenment and defined the nation's character and future development. He describes how intellectuals in eighteenth-century Bohemia and Moravia--the “patriotic intelligentsia”--used their discovery of pre-seventeenth-century history and literature to revive the antiquated Czech vernacular and cultivate a popular ethnic consciousness. Agnew also traces the significance of the intellectual influences of the wider Slavic world whereby Czech intellectuals redefined their ethnic and cultural heritage.
Origins of the Czech National Renascence contributes to a renewed interpretation of a crucial period in Czech history.
As our millennium draws to a close, we find ourselves in the midst of great and rapid global changes with nations and political systems dissolving all around us and the world becoming one of shifting identities--of peoples unified and divided by such distinctions as nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, and colonial status. The articulation and construction of these distinctions, the very language of difference, is the subject of An Other Tongue. This collection of essays by a group of distinguished scholars, including Norma Alarcón, Gayatri Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov, and Gerald Vizenor, explores the interconnections between language and identity. The Chicanos, the U.S./Mexico borderland polyglots whose sense of history, nationality, and race is as mixed as their language, are the book's prime example. But the authors recognize that border zones, like diasporas and post-colonial relations, occur globally, and their discussion of hybrid or mestizo identities ranges from the United States to the Caribbean to South Asia to Ireland. Drawing on personal experience, readings of poetry and fiction, and cultural theory, the authors detail the politics of being human through the mediation of language. What does "shadow" mean to the Native American Indian, or diaspora to the East Indian immigrant? How does British colonialism yet affect Irish and Indian nationalist literary production? Why is the split between Eastern and Western European language use necessarily schizophrenic? So much of our sense of difference today is constructed as we speak, and An Other Tongue speaks with eloquence to this phenomenon and will be of great interest to those concerned with the discourse of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and the remapping of world literature.
Contributors. Norma Alarcón, Alfred Arteaga, Juan Bruce-Novoa, Cordelia Chávez Candelaria, Michael G. Cooke, Edmundo Desnoes, Eugene C. Eoyang, David Lloyd, Lydie Moudileno, Jean-Luc Nancy, Tejaswini Niranjana, Ada Savin, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Michael Smith, Tzvetan Todorov, Luis A. Torres, Gerald Vizenor
<P>In October 1785, American statesman John Jay acknowledged that the more his countrymen "are treated ill abroad, the more we shall unite and consolidate at home." Behind this simple statement lies a complicated history. From the British impressment of patriots during the Revolution to the capture of American sailors by Algerian corsairs and Barbary pirates at the dawn of the nineteenth century, stories of Americans imprisoned abroad helped jumpstart democratic debate as citizens acted on their newly unified identity to demand that their government strengthen efforts to free their fellow Americans. Deliberations about the country's vulnerabilities in the Atlantic world reveal America's commitment to protecting the legacy of the Revolution as well as growing political divisions.</P><P>Drawing on newspaper accounts, prisoner narratives, and government records, David J. Dzurec III explores how stories of American captivity in North America, Europe, and Africa played a critical role in the development of American political culture, adding a new layer to our understanding of foreign relations and domestic politics in the early American republic.</P>
China’s new nationalism is rooted not in its present power but in shameful memories of its former weaknesses. Invaded, humiliated, and looted by foreign powers in the past, China looks out at the twenty-first century through the lens of the past two centuries. History matters deeply to Beijing’s current rulers, and Robert Bickers explains why.