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Border Stories

Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication in the 20th and 21st Centuries

by Beate Greisel (Volume editor) Tanja Konrad (Volume editor) Senta Sanders (Volume editor) Heike Schwarz (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 278 Pages

Summary

Narratives of human existence that cross borders on manifold levels and reflect current vulnerability to the environment and humankind are essential preconditions to ensure an open-minded and humanistic society. This collection covers environmental, ethical, political, postcolonial, psychological, and sociological issues of borders and border-crossing. Combining creative writing with academic essays, this book seeks to incorporate the productive results of the eponymous Summer School which was organized for GAPS and held at the University of Augsburg in September 2015.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction (Beate Greisel / Tanja Konrad / Senta A. Sanders / Heike Schwarz)
  • Across the Rift Valley and Beyond: Border Crossings in “When Africa Calls Uhuru” (Henry Beissel)
  • Lone Wolves (at the Breach) (Ivaylo R. Shmilev)
  • Paradise (Sarah Nowotny)
  • Woman with Golden Apple (no ordinary fruit) (Dorothea Smartt)
  • eshu* cuban fusion (Dorothea Smartt)
  • Poem about My Rights (Ellina Totoeva)
  • Grass in the Concrete (Donna Bartl)
  • The Permeability and Inevitability of Borders: A Cultural-Ecological View (Hubert Zapf)
  • “Stories that Speak in Ropes of Blue Water”: Environmental Justice in Martha Baillie’s The Search for Heinrich Schlögel (Senta A. Sanders)
  • Blue Hawai’i? Adam Horowitz’s Film Nuclear Savage (Mita Banerjee)
  • “Indeed our Ways of Dying are our Ways of Living”: Cultural Ecology in Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying (Tanja Konrad)
  • The Animal Was Never Non-Human: Human Dignity and the Twentieth Century (Sonja Schillings)
  • Moving (Across) Borders: Dystopian Bodies and Possibilities of Transgression in Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s Utopia (2008) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) (Alessandra Boller / Walaa Said)
  • Cultural Displacement, Multiple Selves, and Psychological Border Crossing in Hualing Nieh’s Mulberry and Peach: Two Women of China (Heike Schwarz)
  • Between ‘Here’ and ‘There’: Epistolary Motifs as Border Motifs in Selected Short Stories by Austin Clarke (Rebekka Schuh)
  • The Devil in Exile: “Apologies from the Ground Up” for ‘Lamentable Mistakes’ (Beate Greisel)
  • Beyond the Rectangle: Border Crossings in Visual Art (Arlette Francière / Senta A. Sanders)
  • Biographical Notes

Beate Greisel/Tanja Konrad/Senta A. Sanders/
Heike Schwarz (eds.)

Border Stories

Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication
in the 20th and 21st Centuries

About the editors

Beate Greisel studied English and American Literature, Linguistics and History of the Arts and Culture at the Universities of Augsburg and Tartu. Her research interests focus on women writers, ecocriticism, exile, ethics and aspects of religion, belief and superstition in literature.

Tanja Konrad received her degree in American and English literature and Anglophone cultural studies at the University of Augsburg and Emory University, USA. Her fields of interest include crime fiction, contemporary American literature, postcolonialism, bioethics and ecocriticism.

Senta A. Sanders is currently working on her Ph.D. in American Studies. She studied American and English Literature and Anglophone cultural studies at the University of Augsburg. Her fields of interest include ecocriticism, environmental justice, indigenous literature and film, human rights, the transnational Arctic, contemporary American literature, art and creative writing.

Heike Schwarz completed her Ph.D. at the University of Augsburg. She published articles on ecopsychology, ecocriticism, American fiction and film studies. Her research interests include ecocriticism, psychiatry and literature, memory studies, dementia studies and disability studies.

About the book

Narratives of human existence that cross borders on manifold levels and reflect current vulnerability to the environment and humankind are essential preconditions to ensure an open-minded and humanistic society. This collection covers environmental, ethical, political, postcolonial, psychological, and sociological issues of borders and border-crossing. Combining creative writing with academic essays, this book seeks to incorporate the productive results of the eponymous Summer School which was organized for GAPS and held at the University of Augsburg in September 2015.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Table of Contents

Beate Greisel, Tanja Konrad, Senta A. Sanders, Heike Schwarz

Introduction

Henry Beissel

Across the Rift Valley and Beyond: Border Crossings in “When Africa Calls Uhuru”

Ivaylo R. Shmilev

Lone Wolves (at the Breach)

Sarah Nowotny

Paradise

Dorothea Smartt

Woman with Golden Apple (no ordinary fruit)

Dorothea Smartt

eshu* cuban fusion

Ellina Totoeva

Poem about My Rights

Donna Bartl

Grass in the Concrete

Hubert Zapf

The Permeability and Inevitability of Borders: A Cultural-Ecological View

Senta A. Sanders

“Stories that Speak in Ropes of Blue Water”: Environmental Justice in Martha Baillie’s The Search for Heinrich Schlögel

Mita Banerjee

Blue Hawai’i? Adam Horowitz’s Film Nuclear Savage ←5 | 6→

Tanja Konrad

“Indeed our Ways of Dying are our Ways of Living”: Cultural Ecology in Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying

Sonja Schillings

The Animal Was Never Non-Human: Human Dignity and the Twentieth Century

Alessandra Boller and Walaa Said

Moving (Across) Borders: Dystopian Bodies and Possibilities of Transgression in Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s Utopia (2008) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)

Heike Schwarz

Cultural Displacement, Multiple Selves, and Psychological Border Crossing in Hualing Nieh’s Mulberry and Peach: Two Women of China

Rebekka Schuh

Between ‘Here’ and ‘There’: Epistolary Motifs as Border Motifs in Selected Short Stories by Austin Clarke

Beate Greisel

The Devil in Exile: “Apologies from the Ground Up” for ‘Lamentable Mistakes’

Arlette Francière and Senta A. Sanders

Beyond the Rectangle: Border Crossings in Visual Art

Biographical Notes ←6 | 7→

Beate Greisel, Tanja Konrad, Senta A. Sanders, Heike Schwarz

Introduction

Despite the fact that the concept of borders is often initially associated with tangible and often geographical instances thereof, the very notion of borders is abstract—if not ambiguous—as many borders go above and beyond their concrete, albeit incomplete implications. In September 2015, the summer school ‘Border Stories: Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication in the 20th and 21st Centuries’ took precisely these manifold metaphorical borders and the narratives that have emerged—and continue to emerge within—the realm of postcolonial literatures and theory, as a point of departure to re-examine issues pertaining to the postcolonial concepts of place, space and sense of self. Accordingly, artists and scholars from all over the globe came together to explore multifarious factual as well as fictional accounts that deal with both personal and collective sociopolitical struggles and exchange their ideas concerning the agency and limitations of either being able to intimately convey or productively contribute to the ongoing discourses of conflicts that often involve having to come to terms with displacement. Focusing on the historical dimension of the place of the event, the title of the summer school echoes an essential aspect of Augsburg’s own storied past that has hallmarked it as a hub of peace, conflict and communication since antiquity. In an endeavor to interconnect the city’s renowned role in important historical events—such as the Religious Peace of Augsburg (1555)—and the significance that the New English Literatures ascribe to space and place and the narratives that have either resulted from these perimeters or permeated them, we decided to use the terms peace, conflict and communication as tools to shape the thematic structure of our summer school. Created for students by students, the GAPS (formerly ASNEL/GNEL) summer school is a biennial event that is hosted at German, Austrian and Swiss universities. These summer schools aspire to enable an active intellectual exchange between students and established scholars from all over the world and focus on divergent discourses within the realm of the New English Literatures.

Given that the insightful—and often creative—contemplations of the contributors and participants did not come to an end after the summer school, we decided to publish a book that would mirror these considerations as well as their outcomes. Since we endeavor to equally convey the artistic as well as the academic←7 | 8→ elements of the summer school, this volume consists of scholarly essays as well as creative pieces that mutually illustrate the multifaceted—and borderless—nature of this project. Containing contributions by artists, participants and young and established scholars alike, this multi-voiced volume presents readers with a vast array of insightful perspectives on issues that were either closely examined during the summer school’s keynotes, readings, seminars and lectures or emerged subsequently.

Border Stories: Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Communication in the 20th and 21st Centuries begins with the celebrated Canadian poet Henry Beissel’s piece entitled “Across the Rift Valley and Beyond: Border Crossings in ‘When Africa calls Uhuru’”, which contemplates various instances of border crossings in his epic poem “When Africa Calls Uhuru” (2011). In doing so, Beissel enables his readers to join him on a journey to the common cradle of humanity in order to shed light on the human condition by using the perspectives of nature, science and politics to eloquently examine our common—often vicious— tale of human existence. By means of linking manifold moments of horror with rare instances of humanity, Beissel’s words tap into our hearts and stir our consciousness, reminding us of our responsibility toward one another and the world we collectively inhabit.

Ivaylo R. Shmilev’s short story “Lone Wolves (at the Breach)” uses a sci-fi setting to contest the boundaries of the human mind and soul. By not only granting his characters the opportunity to connect with one another and jointly experience various stratums of reality, but also enabling them to venture out into the realms of other beings’ consciousness, Shmilev imaginatively reflects upon border crossings pertaining to various layers of human existence and experience.

In contrast, Sarah Nowotny’s short story “Paradise” presents readers with a coming of age narrative of here and now that creatively contemplates national borders as well as metaphorical borders that have been established by religion. By means of letters, the main protagonists introduces her addressee, her sister, with the insights and dramatically shifting perspective on a life-changing journey.

Biographical notes

Beate Greisel (Volume editor) Tanja Konrad (Volume editor) Senta Sanders (Volume editor) Heike Schwarz (Volume editor)

Beate Greisel studied English and American Literature, Linguistics and History of the Arts and Culture at the Universities of Augsburg and Tartu. Her research interests focus on women writers, ecocriticism, exile, ethics and aspects of religion, belief and superstition in literature. Tanja Konrad received her degree in American and English literature and Anglophone cultural studies at the University of Augsburg and Emory University, USA. Her fields of interest include crime fiction, contemporary American literature, postcolonialism, bioethics and ecocriticism. Senta A. Sanders is currently working on her Ph.D. in American Studies. She studied American and English Literature and Anglophone cultural studies at the University of Augsburg. Her fields of interest include ecocriticism, environmental justice, indigenous literature and film, human rights, the transnational Arctic, contemporary American literature, art and creative writing. Heike Schwarz completed her PhD. at the University of Augsburg. She published articles on ecopsychology, ecocriticism, American fiction and film studies. Her interests include ecocriticism, psychiatry and literature, memory studies, dementia studies and disability studies.

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Title: Border Stories