Weekly updates in Group National Global Imaginaries 2010.02.27
Memory and photography: Rethinking postcolonial trauma studies – Journal of Postcolonial W…
Recent scholarship in trauma and postcolonial studies has called for more wide-ranging and at the same time more specific paradigms in trauma theory in order to accommodate the complexities of trauma evidenced in postcolonial writing. The work of sociologist Kai Erikson provides a useful model for unpacking the diachronic nature of postcolonial trauma, and for acknowledging the multiple social fractures that trauma inflicts. In a case study demonstrating Erikson’s applicability, I show how common tropes of trauma narrative are used as more than an adherence to convention in Marinovich and Silva’s memoir, The Bang-Bang Club, which recounts the experiences of white South African photographers covering Soweto’s Hostel War in the early 1990s. These narrative strategies produce a space of non-resolution in which the trauma of violence and witnessing can appear.
Defining cosmopolitan sociability in a transnational age. An introduction – Ethnic and Rac…
This special issue features ethnographies that examine the trajectories of mobile people within particular places, moments and networks of connection. Critiquing the ready equation of cosmopolitanism with experiences of mobility, we examine the encounters of pilgrims, migrants, missionaries or members of a diaspora. Defining cosmopolitanism as a simultaneous rootedness and openness to shared human emotions, experiences and aspirations rather than to a tolerance for cultural difference or a universalist morality, the authors explore the degree to which mobility produces cosmopolitan sociability.
BETWEEN SUBALTERNITY AND INDIGENEITY – Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonia…
This introductory essay addresses the conditions for possible exchange between subaltern studies and indigenous and American Indian studies. It highlights the special significance of Spivak’s ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ as an inaugurating moment of postcolonial studies in the US with important implications for those working in indigenous studies. Scholars in postcolonial and indigenous/American Indian studies share an interest in challenging the logics of colonialism and deploying incommensurability as a critical tool. However, the essay also points to tensions between postcolonial and indigenous studies that derive from indigenous people’s sense of living under ongoing colonial projects – and not just colonial legacies – and from postcolonial studies’ over-reliance on models of colonialism in South Asia and Africa that do not necessarily speak to the settler colonies of the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. Besides tracing the convergences and tensions that mark the relation between indigenous and postcolonial critical tendencies, this essay introduces the contributions to this special issue and seeks to prompt further dialogue that continues the project of interrogating subalternity.
“Another World Is Actual”: Between Imperialism and Freedom — Political Theory
There have been two distinctive aspects to James Tully’s approach to the study of imperialism over the years, and both are put to work in these remarkable volumes.1 The first is his belief in two seemingly contradictory claims: (i) that imperialism is much more pervasive than usually thought (conceptually, historically and practically); and yet (ii) that there are many more forms of resistance to it than usually appreciated. The second is the way Tully places the situation of indigenous peoples at the heart of his analysis.
Caribbean Studies – Unfinished Synthesis: Georg Simmel’s Adventure, Two Chinese …
In this article, I explore how the Simmelian concept of “adventure” can serve as a symbolic category providing a framework for understanding two Chinese Jamaicans’ recollections of childhood migration and their attempts to mediate and synthesize the tensions caused by that experience into an overall expression of identity. The Simmelian adventure recognizes that the very process of synthesizing life events draws attention to the disconnections and disruptions—what Simmel defines as “dualities”—that Simmel concludes are characteristic of modern identities. The Chinese Jamaican narratives in this study display the dualities of the adventures as posited by Simmel and as such, reconfirm the understanding of the Caribbean as a site of modernity and recognize both the experiences and contributions of a minority group in this region as being significant for our understanding of modern diasporic identities in general and, more specifically, in the Caribbean.
Caribbean Studies – Brain Drain and Return Migration in CARICOM: A Review of the Challenge…
This paper investigates the pertinent issues of the arguments on human capital depletion, specifically in the context of the more recent literature that seeks to explain the phenomenon in the context of the English speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It further assesses return migration policies of the region in an attempt to ascertain their practicality in redressing skills depletion or accumulation for member states. Clearly, facilitation policies are essential, but there is no documented analysis on their effectiveness, despite the tendency to speak of their usefulness. The main motivation for having return facilitation policies, emerged out of recognition of the potential of the Diaspora and what they can offer for the development of CARICOM nations. There is a tendency for return facilitation policies to favour life cycle re-migrants or retirees with affinity to their homeland, whatever the reason. From observation the all inclusive nature of the return facilitation policy construct does not present a framework for attracting skilled individuals in their productive age. The problem with this is that the retirement age in most member states does not allow for retirees to reenter the workforce to impart knowledge or skills, outside of investment initiatives. This general weakness in return facilitation policy limits what optimally a re-migrant can offer. The counterfactual that return migrants bring with them networks and links from which their home country can benefit is also potentially restricted by the same token.
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