Theorising the en-gendered nation
Elleke Boehmer

BOEHMER Makeup 3/22/05 2:55 PM Page 22 John's G5:Users:john:Public:John's Mac: John's Jobs 1 Motherlands, mothers and nationalist sons: theorising the en-gendered nation Woman is an infinite, untrodden territory of desire which at every stage of historical deterritorialisation, men in search of material for utopias have inundated with their desires. (Klaus Theweleit, Male Fantasies)1 Among postcolonial and feminist critics it is now widely accepted that the nationalist ideologies which informed, in particular, the first wave of independence movements and of

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation
Author: Elleke Boehmer

Why is the nation in a post-colonial world so often seen as a motherland? This study explores the relationship between gender icons and foundational fictions of the nation in different post-colonial spaces. The author's work on the intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved canonical in the field. This book combines her keynote essays on the mother figure and the post-colonial nation with new work on male autobiography, ‘daughter’ writers, the colonial body, the trauma of the post-colony and the nation in a transnational context. Focusing on Africa as well as South Asia, and sexuality as well as gender, the author offers close readings of writers ranging from Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri and Nelson Mandela to Arundhati Roy and Yvonne Vera, shaping these into a critical engagement with theorists of the nation such as Fredric Jameson and Partha Chatterjee. Moving beyond cynical deconstructions of the post-colony, the book mounts a reassessment of the post-colonial nation as a site of potential empowerment, as a ‘paradoxical refuge’ in a globalised world. It acts on its own impassioned argument that post-colonial and nation-state studies address substantively issues hitherto raised chiefly within international feminism.

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Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

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The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa
Elleke Boehmer

common national mother is, significantly, one to which postindependence women writing from Africa and India have also paid their respects. Buchi Emecheta, the London-based, Nigerian-origin novelist, for example, once expressed the opinion that ‘the white female intellectual may still have to come to the womb of Mother Africa to re-learn how to be a woman’.6 For the Zimbabwean poet and former guerrilla fighter Freedom Nyamubaya, writing in the 1980s, to speak of the Zimbabwean nation is to speak of the motherland. To her the concepts knit together so tightly that she

in Stories of women
James E. Connolly

with the thousands of German men living alongside them. Many were aware of this moral-​ patriotic framework and the potential criticism from compatriots for v 31 v 32 The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914–18 perceived breaches of the limits of respectability. This was an extension of wider French war culture, outlined by Jean-​Yves Le Naour: At a time when Frenchmen spilled blood for the endangered motherland, it was intolerable that certain individuals ran away from and avoided their duty. Collective surveillance, actually autosurveillance, called

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Open Access (free)
Elleke Boehmer

Caribbean – by way of illustration. As a structure Stories of women falls roughly into three (unmarked) parts, framed by the Introduction and the Conclusion, though there are numerous intertextual links connecting different chapters between and across these ostensible divides. First, chapters 1 to 4 group together to theorise and exemplify the gendered formation of the nation in text. Chapter 1, ‘Motherlands, mothers and nationalist sons’, examines why and how, overdetermined by colonial history, national structures in post-independent nations have conventionally been

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Global Britishness and settler cultures in South Africa and New Zealand
Charles V. Reed

and action could heighten the already natural tendency to imagine and construct über-British societies on the edges of the world. Settlers competed with the motherland and other cores to make ‘better Britains’ and to be more perfect Britishers – whether by building a prosperous commercial entrepôt at the Cape of Good Hope or by imagining a more democratic – even classless – society in New Zealand

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
Daughters of the Empire, mothers in their own homes, 1929–45
Katie Pickles

and constructed places as mothers. On a wider – metaphorical – level there was the rhetoric of ‘Canada prides herself on having been on the side of the motherland and since war began has paid her way, has the largest volunteer fighting force in the World, the largest small arms factory in the Empire, and has been privileged to share in the great glories as the daughter who is mistress on her own house

in Female imperialism and national identity
Open Access (free)
Colonial body into postcolonial narrative
Elleke Boehmer

reinforces the tendency. If the most grievous colonial violations were those inflicted upon the utterly objectified body, that of the subjected motherland, or of the dumb subaltern, nationalist texts invoke this body as the ultimate signifier of sacrifice endured. So it remains the case that, as in other symbolic systems, femininity in nationalism ‘is experienced as a space that . . . carries connotations of the depths of night (God being space and light), while masculinity is conceived of in terms of time [national history and myth]’.14 As Nuruddin Farah graphically

in Stories of women