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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
Kate Aughterson

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
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.

Open Access (free)
Gill Rye and Michael Worton

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
Theorising the en-gendered nation
Elleke Boehmer

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
Clotilde Escalle’s tales of transgression
Michael Worton

sexuality that is abusive for their own internal reasons. The feminist philosopher, Linda LeMoncheck, argues that sexuality should not be divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘normal’ and ‘perverse’, but should be rethought as ‘a differentiated category of nonstigmatized sexual variation’.15 She further argues that from such a perspective: both normal and perverse sex become forms of sexual difference. Within this framework, no sexual preference is advantaged by being ‘normal’ . . . understanding both the normal and the perverse as two types of sexual difference from the ‘view

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Open Access (free)
Elleke Boehmer

rereminds postcolonial theory of the significance of the nation, as I will explain. For another, it persuasively introduces (and reintroduces) the constitutive reality of sexual difference to a critical practice that has till very recently, unless in passing, tended to overlook this formative legacy. In mainstream postcolonial studies, gender is still conventionally treated in a tokenistic way, or as subsidiary to the category of race. These two impacts correspond to the two major ironies or blind-spots of postcolonial theory which continue even today to compete for centre

in Stories of women
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Crossing the margins
Glenda Norquay and Gerry Smyth

Scottish strategies; 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 and assesses the relevance of a postcolonial context in understanding the ‘debatable’ boundaries arising from that intersection; an exploration of masculinities in both English and Scottish writing from Berthold Schoene, which also deploys sexual difference as a means of testing postcolonial theorising, but does so within the context of a discourse in which bodily, social and national

in Across the margins
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Colonial body into postcolonial narrative
Elleke Boehmer

Rajeswari Sunder Rajan’s reading, see Real and Imagined Women: Gender, Culture and Postcolonialism (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 15–39. Jacobus, Reading Woman, p. 217. Luce Irigaray, ‘Sexual difference,’ in Toril Moi (ed.), French Feminist Thought (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988), p. 120. Nuruddin Farah, Maps (London: Picador, 1986). Jean Franco, ‘The nation as imagined community’, in H. Aram Veeser (ed.), The New Historicism (London: Routledge, 1989), p. 205. On the second, cynical, ‘postnativist’ stage in African writing, see Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘Is the post- in

in Stories of women
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British masculinities, pomophobia, and the post-nation
Berthold Schoene

hence with femininity. It means, in other words, the collapse of that system of fortification whereby sexual difference is secured, a system dependent upon projection, disavowal and fetishism. (3) The question to be asked now is whether contemporary Scottish masculinity could possibly be described as a devolutionary kind of masculinity that has embraced its feminine marginality and is saying ‘no’ to power. In ‘Not(e) from the margin’, an essay written in 1995 in response to an English woman colleague’s suggestion that ‘nationalism is always bad news for women

in Across the margins