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Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

The concept of 'margins' denotes geographical, economic, demographic, cultural and political positioning in relation to a perceived centre. This book aims to question the term 'marginal' itself, to hear the voices talking 'across' borders and not only to or through an English centre. The first part of the book examines debates on the political and poetic choice of language, drawing attention to significant differences between the Irish and Scottish strategies. It includes a discussion of the complicated dynamic of woman and nation by Aileen Christianson, which explores the work of twentieth-century Scottish and Irish women writers. The book also explores masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorizing. A different perspective on the notion of marginality is offered by addressing 'Englishness' in relation to 'migrant' writing in prose concerned with India and England after Independence. The second part of the book focuses on a wide range of new poetry to question simplified margin/centre relations. It discusses a historicising perspective on the work of cultural studies and its responses to the relationship between ethnicity and second-generation Irish musicians from Sean Campbell. The comparison of contemporary Irish and Scottish fiction which identifies similarities and differences in recent developments is also considered. In each instance the writers take on the task of examining and assessing points of connection and diversity across a particular body of work, while moving away from contrasts which focus on an English 'norm'.

Gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis

156 Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis 8 ‘Strange things so probably told’: gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis KATE AUGHTERSON I Let us establish a chaste and lawful marriage between mind and nature, with the divine mercy as bridewoman.1 I am come in very truth leading to you Nature with all her children to bind her to your service and make her your slave … so may I succeed in my only earthly wish, namely to stretch the deplorably narrow limits of man’s dominion over the universe to their promised bounds.2 The human mind in studying

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

exercise imperial power, and indeed some of the most prominent suffragists, including Millicent Garrett Fawcett, had reservations on this issue. Their discussions of the physical force objection illustrate the various perspectives possible within liberal thinking on the uses and roles of force within both the empire and the international arena. John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, a text which is recognised as a ‘classic statement of liberal feminism’, rested on the argument that most sexual differences are likely to be social or cultural in origin.1 Mill (1806

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’
New interdisciplinary essays
Editor: Bronwen Price

Francis Bacon produced his final draft of the New Atlantis around the years 1624-1625. Standing at the threshold of early modern thought, Bacon's text operates at the interstices of its contemporary culture and does indeed signal a desire to 'illuminate all the border-regions that confine upon the circle of our present knowledge'. This book presents a collection of essays that show how the New Atlantis negotiates a variety of contexts, namely literary, philosophical, political, religious and social, in order to achieve this. The narrative begins with a standard literary device. When Bacon wrote the New Atlantis, he clearly had More's Utopia in mind as a model. For all his strictures on the use of language for rhetorical effect, Francis Bacon was thoroughly grounded in the Renaissance art of rhetoric. He consciously drew on his rhetorical skill in his writings, adapting his style as occasion demanded. The New Atlantis is a text about natural philosophy which seems to offer connections at almost every point with moral and political philosophy. The book discusses two forms of natural knowledge that Bacon takes up and develops in the New Atlantis: natural magic, and medicine. The modern project is crucially dependent on two fundamental miracles: the miracle of creation and the miracle of divine revelation. The book also analyses Bacon's representations of colonialism and Jewishness in the New Atlantis has revealed. The New Atlantis raises questions concerning the relationship between censorship and knowledge.

Feminist journals and peace questions

have everything to lose, nothing to gain.9 Women, it was argued, were inclined towards peace not only in international political relations, but also in international (free) trade, as their emancipation would ‘strengthen the pacific tendency of commerce’.10 Arguments of sexual difference were developed when a review of Conversations on War and General Culture noted that the author, Sir Arthur Helps, advanced the view that there were ‘souls masculine and souls feminine’.11 Biggs used the review to clarify her position on sexual difference, noting ‘the feminine souls

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’
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compulsory heterosexuality that lies at the heart of the determining structures of modern society, affirming that at the heart of this compulsory heterosexuality, like a Russian doll, lies a firm and unquestioned belief in sexual difference as a system that operates functionally like a binary opposition – and this belief is often tantamount to considering that sexual difference is indeed itself a binary system.15 More recently, in a key text, Masculin/Féminin: la pensée de la différence, the French social anthropologist Françoise Héritier has considered the ways in which sexual

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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backgrounding and naturalising of sexual, reproductive and ‘family’ arrangements. There are, of course, exceptions, and it is worth exploring one in particular in order to raise the issue of bodily differences and the question of the validity of generalisations in relation to sex. Plato’s dramatic dialogue The Republic ( c . 380–370 bc) is the sole malestream work that raises female sexual difference as an issue in relation to

in Political concepts
Theorising the en-gendered nation

postcolonial literatures from 1947, are cast in a gendered mould. Nationalism, which has been so fundamental to the decolonisation process around the world, bears a clear mark for gender, and this gender marking, rather than being referred to a monolithic or transhistorical concept of patriarchy, can be explained as a specific historical development of power defined by sexual difference. To put it more plainly, this book submits that, without this marking for gender, it is well-nigh impossible to conceive of the modern nation. Whether we look at its iconography, its

in Stories of women
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Pacifism and feminism in Victorian Britain

, such as Lydia Becker in the first quotation above, drew upon essentialist arguments of sexual difference. Many reinforced their construction of women as moral agents who relied upon debate rather than physical force in both individual and collective relations. Some, including Priscilla Peckover, also quoted above, began to re-evaluate concepts of peace to argue that it meant more than simply the absence of war, and to redefine patriotism as a force that was primarily moral, rather than national, in its points of reference. These arguments were founded upon analyses

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’
The unknowable image in The Winter’s Tale

and sexual difference. 30 The relevance of cultural meanings of motherhood for The Winter’s Tale has already been recognised in a number of studies focusing on Hermione’s maternal body. 31 Significantly, these readings of the play are at times invested in the unknowable, deferred ‘wholeness’ invoked by Hermione’s statue. For example, acknowledging the ‘decidedly patriarchal’ nature

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama