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Memory and Postcolonial Studies

Synergies and New Directions


Edited By Dirk Göttsche

In the postcolonial reassessment of history, the themes of colonialism, decolonisation and individual and collective memory have always been intertwined, but it is only recently that the transcultural turn in memory studies has enabled proper dialogue between memory studies and postcolonial studies. This volume explores the synergies and tensions between memory studies and postcolonial studies across literatures and media from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and intersections with Asia. It makes a unique contribution to this growing international and interdisciplinary field by considering an unprecedented range of languages and sources that promotes dialogue across comparative literature, English and American studies, media studies, history and art history, and modern languages (French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian-Croatian, Spanish).

Combining theoretical discussion with innovative case studies, the chapters consider various postcolonial politics of memory (with a focus on Africa); diasporic, traumatic and «multidirectional memory» (M. Rothberg) in postcolonial perspective; performative and linguistic aspects of postcolonial memory; and transcultural memoryscapes ranging from the Black Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from overseas colonialism to the intra-European legacies of Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian/Soviet imperialism. This far-reaching enquiry promotes comparative postcolonial studies as a means of creating more integrated frames of reference for research and teaching on the interface between memory and postcolonialism.

CONTENTS: Dirk Gottsche – History or memory? Postcolonial politics of memory in Bernhard Jaumann’s Der lange Schatten and M. G. Vassanji’s The Magic of Saida – Berny Sebe: Cross-cultural memory in postcolonial contexts: European imperial heroes in twenty-first-century Africa – Richard Tsogang Fossi: The memory of German, French and British colonialism in Cameroonian postcolonial literature – Emanuelle Santos: Memory and the contemporary postcolonial condition in Jose Eduardo Agualusa’s novel A General Theory of Oblivion – Abigail Ward: Long-memoried women: Slavery and memory in contemporary Black women’s poetry – Hannah-Rose Murray: «My name is not Tom»: Josiah Henson’s fight to reclaim his identity in Britain, 1876–877 – Stephanie Lewthwaite: Traumatic memory in the art of Freddy Rodriguez – Antonia Wimbush: «Effacer mes mauvaises pensees»: Memory, writing and trauma in Nina Bouraoui’s autofiction – Rebekah Vince: Pulled in all directions: The Shoah, colonialism and exile in Valerie Zenatti’s novel Jacob, Jacob – Alex Hastie: Proximate spaces of violence: Multidirectional memory in Rachid Bouchareb’s films Days of Glory and Outside the Law – Fang Tang: The reconstruction of history and cultural memory in contemporary Chinese-American women’s life-writing: A comparative study of two memoirs – Rosemary Chapman: Literary history and memory in Quebec – Anneliese Hatton: Post-national Portuguese literature: Reconfiguring the imperial master narrative – Heike Bartel: Writing food and food memories in Turkish-German literature by Renan Demirkan, Hatice Akyun and Emine Sevgi Ozdamar – Victoria Carpenter: «2 October is not forgotten»: Tlatelolco 1968 massacre and social memory frameworks – Christopher Davis: Writing Rwanda: The languages of killing and suffering – Spencer Jordan: Digital storytelling and performative memory: New approaches to the literary geography of the postcolonial city – Monika Albrecht: Comparative Postcolonial Studies: Southeastern European history as (post-) colonial history – Yannis G. S. Papadopoulos: Collective trauma, transgenerational identity, shared memory: Public TV series dealing with the Ottoman Empire and Anatolian refugees in Greece – Benedikts Kalnačs: The working memory in contemporary Latvian culture and society: Between postcolonialism and postcommunism – Vladimir Zorić: The Danube archipelago: The hydropoetics of river islands – Alun Thomas: An empire remembered? Collectivization and colonialism in Mukhamet Shayakhmetov’s memoir The Silent Steppe.