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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... vol. 52 no. 2 June 2017 of The Journal of Commonwealth Literature est. 1965 The Journal of Commonwealth Literature
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'This Editorial feels like it is being written from a very dark place and time, in view of the seismic shifts in the world order which have happened over the past year. In June 2016, a majority of the British electorate voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The referendum drama unfolded amid a toxic set of debates around race and immigration, which continue to dominate the political conversation. With the continental far right also currently experiencing a surge driven by similar nationalist, racist, and Islamophobic agendas, the whole postwar European project of alliance and unity, however flawed, may be in jeopardy. At the same time, hypermasculine, autocratic ideologues across the world — including Vladimir Putin in Russia and Narendra Modi in India — appear to be learning from each other’s playbooks. Meanwhile, in the United States, the election of Donald Trump signals disaster for both human and environmental justice, the scale of which we are only beginning to see.' (Editorial introduction)


  • Editor's note : This issue of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature is dedicated to contributing author Dr Gugulethu Siziba, who didn’t live to see its publication.
  • Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    • Affect, empathy, and engagement: Reading African conflict in the global literary marketplace by Madhu Krishnan
    • 'Re)membering the nation’s “forgotten” past: Portrayals of Gukurahundi in Zimbabwean literature by Gibson Ncube, Gugulethu Siziba
    • “I am a father now”: Colonial paternalism and oedipal typicality in Shaun Johnson’s The Native Commissioner by Christine Emmett
    • Female killers and gender politics in contemporary South African crime fiction: Conversations with crime writers Jassy Mackenzie, Angela Makholwa, and Mike Nicol by Sabine Binder
    • Saint or sinner? Suttee in the depiction of Flora Annie Steel and Cornelia Sorabji by Susmita Roye
    • “By its very presence”: Conventionality and commonality in Shashi Deshpande’s realism by Ayelet Ben-Yishai
    • “The Black”, space, and sexuality: Examining resistance in Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners by Patrick Herald
    • Obituary: Derek Walcott (1930–2017) by Anthony Joseph
    • Obituary: Buchi Emecheta (1944–2017) by Onookome Okome
    • Obituary: Bharati Mukherjee (1940–2017) by Sharmani Patricia Gabriel


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
“Where’s Home, Ulysses?” Judith Wright in Europe 1937, Sarah Kennedy , single work criticism
'When Judith Wright travelled to Europe in the “loaded spring” of February 1937, the 22-year-old poet found herself witness to “a break in the consciousness of Europe”. This article argues that Wright’s experience of being an outsider in Europe at this crucial historical moment had profound implications for her poetics, in the form of a compound and productive series of displacements. Her peripatetic encounters with European cultures-in-crisis caused Wright to despair of Europe as a source of political and creative renewal, and exposed fault lines in her own cultural orientation. Sundered from her Anglophile cultural inheritance, and able to reflect on home with the distance and imaginative ambivalence of an outsider, Wright invoked Ulysses — that archetypal poetic wanderer — whose experience of archipelagic journeying came to express for her the contingencies and hauntedness of Australia’s palimpsestic identity. This essay positions the shifting perspectives and excursive patterns of Wright’s developing poetics in relation to concepts of outsideness and embodiment, drawing on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and phenomenological philosophies of mind.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 331–349)
“Come Be off with You” : White Spatial Control in the Representation of Aboriginality in Early Australian Drama, Ben Miller , single work criticism
'Scholars of early Australian drama have over-emphasized the stylistic relationship between Aboriginal characters in early Australian drama and blackface characters in early American drama. Focusing on stylistic connections between early US and Australian theatre potentially overlooks the complex ideological similarities in representations of race on the American and Australian stage. This article provides a close reading of two of Australia’s first plays — David Burn’s “The Bushrangers” and Henry Melville’s “The Bushrangers; or, Norwood Vale” — in order to nuance the critical record exploring the influence of American drama on Australian drama around 1830. Looking beyond formal connections between early US and Australian theatre can reveal an ideology of white spatial control underpinning early representations of Aboriginality and blackness in Australian and American drama.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 365–381)
Last Whales : Eschatology, Extinction and the Cetaean Imaginary in Winton and Pash, Graham Huggan , single work criticism
'Few of the earth’s creatures capture the popular imagination quite like the whale, which has come to serve as an ambivalent figure for both salvation and perdition, whether the moral dramas that unfold around it are seen in religious (eschatological) or scientific (ecological) terms. Whales are at once signifiers for extinction, pointing to the threat of planetary destruction, and signifiers for redemption, in which the ongoing environmentalist campaign for protection doubles as a human struggle to save us from ourselves. This article looks at two contemporary Australian literary texts, Tim Winton’s Shallows (1985) and Chris Pash’s The Last Whale (2008), both of which explore competing extinction scenarios: the extinction of whales; the extinction of the whaling industry; and the extinction of whaling as a way of life. Given the further possibility of human self-extinction, the article argues that a new cetacean imaginary is needed in which whales are seen as complex manifestations of a life that co-exists with humanity, but is neither reducible to human understandings of history nor to the various futures — or non-futures — that human beings might imagine for themselves.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 15 Jun 2017 09:50:26
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