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Submission Guidelines postScriptum: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Literary Studies ISSN: 2456-7507 is a bi-annual journal, published in the months of January …

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Patron: Dr Sandip Kumar Basak, Principal, Sarat Centenary College <https://sccollegednk.ac.in>, Dhaniakhali, Sub-Division: Chinsurah, District: Hooghly, WB, India, PIN: 712302. e-Mail: [email protected]

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Current Issue (July 2019)

Volume IV Number ii

Special Issue on

Transnational and Transcultural Spaces

 

Guest Editor

Dr Jati Sankar Mondal, Sidho-Kanho-Birsa University <skbu.ac.in>

 

Distinguished Guest Article

 

Transnationalism and Diaspora: ‘Awkward Dance Partners’?

DOIHimadri Lahiri

Professor of English, Netaji Subhas Open University

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

In view of the unprecedented technological progress that has resulted in ‘time-space compression,’ we have seen a spurt in the worldwide movement of human beings and capital. Such movements have impacts on political, economic and socio-cultural lives of individuals, communities and even on inter-state relationships. In critical parlance two prominent terms – transnationalism and diaspora – are used to describe this movement of man and money. The terms are often used interchangeably. However, it has been argued that they have their own ‘distinct birth marks,’ particular areas of emphases, and their own evolutionary histories. Dealing with issues related to cross-border migration, their interests often overlap.  Diaspora, it has been asserted, is an old term, while transnationalism, as a phenomenon, appears in the 1990s to address certain emerging issues arising in the age of Globalisation. Diaspora and transnationalism have been regarded as ‘awkward dance partners,’ a phrase that points out both the existence of collaborative partnership and the presence of uneasiness in their relationship. This article makes an attempt to define the terms from the vantage point of our time and figure out their relationship. It also suggests that they should be regarded as cognate terms to analyse the growing impact of cross-border flow of human beings as well as economic and cultural resources.

 

Keywords

diaspora, transnationalism, border, network relationship, hypermodernity

 

 

 

The Fall of an Empire, the Birth of a Nation’s Friend: The Turkish Reception of Pierre Loti

DOICan Bahadır Yüce

Butler University

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

Pierre Loti’s novel Aziyadé (1879), which tells the story of an affair between a Western soldier and a married Muslim woman, is a celebrated work of the nineteenth-century French Orientalism. The novel has been translated into Turkish several times and the name “Pierre Loti” has become a part of Turkish collective memory. Despite Aziyadé‘s Orientalistic and stereotypical portrayal of the Ottoman culture, the author has been described as a “beloved friend” of Turks. This paper proposes to discuss the reasons behind the positive reception of Loti’s Orientalism by the Turkish literati. I argue that this transnational encounter should be understood in the context of the Ottoman decline and anxiety of imperial collapse. The Turkish reception of Pierre Loti’s work is a significant case that shows how politics and national anxieties may lead to a misreading of a novel and shape intellectual scene.

 

Keywords

Orientalism, anxiety, transnational encounters, Pierre Loti, Turkish literature

 

 

The Political Reverberations of Gulf: Reading the Insistence of Arab Spring on Gulf Nationalism

DOIJithin Joseph

Central University of Tamil Nadu

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

On the outset of any analytical deliberations in the contemporary political and cultural situations of Gulf, it would be the instability that marks the defining features it. Just like  a children’s ‘Building the Block’ game in which progress is attained in the expense of stability, in Middle East, Power either political or economic is constantly reconstituting ever since the decolonised era, and the question, “where do I belong to?” reflects the indefinite nationalism and national boundaries shared by the people. Taking Middle East as a cultural discourse where power is in motion in variant forms has to be observed very prudently today. For the last two decades, Arabian nations are in constant political turmoil and have witnessed overthrow of power regime in five more countries. All those movements assumed integrated political stability on land, but all resulted either in unprecedented civil wars or irreversible human exile. Arab spring was a revivalist movement in the early 21st century, calling for paradigm shift in the existing political regimes in Middle East nations. The spring swept away the lands and replaced the systems, but never defined a discourse to take the rule ahead. The revivalist governments replaced the preceding, but failed in promise to keep a stable and legitimised political system ever. Moreover, to take the lead with an ideological ambush for the so called Arabian Spring, none of the indigenous writers of the land attempted. Rather, there were far grievances caught banner headlines in top rated magazines by the so called writers in exile who luxuriously exploit the European life. This paper is an investigation into the cultural factors that signifies the real deep power structures possess the land of gulf.

 

Keywords

Arab Spring, nationalism, depthlessness, Middle Easternism, Mediterranean option

 

 

Transnationalism in Diasporic Context: African Woman in Gwendolen by Buchi Emecheta

DOIDr Sujarani Mathew

K E College, Mannanam

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

The change in identity of a diasporic African girl due to sexual trauma that she undergoes in her ‘ModerKontry’ from paternal figures and later due to racial discrimination in the adopted nation is detailed in the fiction under study. The plot of the work conceptualizes a number of multiple identities in characterization, which are subject to constant renegotiations in the transcultural scenario. Gwendolen, as a novel, depicts how the Black woman’s survival depends on her ability to use all economic, social and cultural resources available to her. The sexual laceration and racial ambivalence that the protagonist undergoes, as a transnational First World immigrant, is delineated by Buchi Emecheta in this work poignantly.

 

Keywords

identity, discrimination, ambivalence, diaspora, sexual assault

  

 

Transculturalism and Culinary Fiesta in Adeola Osunkojo’s The Life of a Nigerian Couple

DOIStephen Ogheneruro Okpadah & Damilare Ogunmekan

University of Ilorin

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

When the Canadian Professor, public intellectual and philosopher, Herbert Marshall McLuhan, prophesied that “the world is fast becoming a global village”, man did not realise how fast this would be. Multiculturalism, Interculturalism, Transculturalism, Technological advancement and other socio-cultural processes and innovations have made this possible. In Nigeria, the multiplicity of cultures has culminated into an influx of traditional values, and norms. These norms and values include the culinary traditions. The culinary tradition is an aesthetic experience that is pleasing to the senses and also in the transnational space. Transculturality stems from the convergence of various cultures. It is not a rarity to witness a marriage of foods from different cultural backgrounds. Varieties of foods are fully captured in culinary fiestas in ceremonies such as weddings, burials, birthday parties, among others. The Amiedi, Owho-evwri, and Usi of the Urhobo people of the Niger Delta, the Amala, Ewedu and Gbegiri of the Yoruba people, and the Tuwo Shinkafa in Northern Nigeria do not only portray the multiplicity of foods in Nigeria, they  also mirror the complex nature of determining one’s taste, especially in  homes where couples are from different cultural backgrounds. Consequently, this paper advocates transculturality in the Nigerian culinary traditions. It uses content analysis methodological investigative approach to examine polemic(s) of preference of food among couples in Adeola Osunkojo’s short film, The Life of a Nigerian Couple. The paper is anchored upon Fernando Ortiz’s 1947 theory of Transculturalism, the phenomenon of merging and converging cultures. This research reveals that food is an art and as such can only be evaluated within the context of the culture from which it emanates. We conclude that the advocacy for a transcultural Nigerian society will not only facilitate peaceful coexistence, it will also serve as machinery that would improve culinary processes in Nigeria and beyond.

 

Keywords

transculturalism, multiculturalism, culinary fiesta, Amala, Ewedu

 

 

Tiddaism: Negotiating Aboriginality and the Experiences of the Australian Aboriginal Woman in a Cross-Cultural Context

DOIPayel Paul

Kulti College

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

After years of displacement and dispossession perpetrated by European colonizers the Australian Aborigines had come to inhabit a space where they could neither identify with the culture of their colonizers, nor could they return to their traditional roots which was retained only by a few living in the outback. Questions of identity became crucial in the 1960s when Aboriginal political activism rejected the stereotypical constructions of Aboriginality produced by white discourses, and called for a redemption and reconstruction of Aboriginal identity by the Aborigines themselves. The life-writings penned by Aboriginal women became very crucial in this redemptive process as they not only questioned western constructs of Aboriginality, but at the same time voiced a need for a particular ‘ism’ that would prevent the distinct experiences of the Australian Aboriginal woman from getting subsumed under the universalizing banner of feminism. The Aboriginal writer and activist Jackie Huggins came up with the term tiddaism to denote the experiences of Australian Aboriginal womanhood. As tidda means ‘sister’, the term tiddaism also points towards the group solidarity that is essential in Aboriginal women’s identity formation. This paper will study the Aboriginal woman, Ruby Langford’s Don’t Take Your Love to Town to explore the several aspects of Australian Aboriginal womanhood that have been represented in the text, and will try to find out how those aspects have contributed towards a construction of Aboriginality.

 

Keywords

Aboriginality, tiddaism, Aboriginal womanhood, in-between cultures

 

 

Negotiating ‘Space’ and ‘Belonging’:  Reconstructing Transnational Discourse of the Refugees through Graphic Narrative in Over Under Sideways Down by Karrie Fransman

DOIModhura Bandyopadhyay

Jamini Mazumder Memorial College

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

In the post holocaust era- the discourse that has emerged around the terms ‘space’ and ‘boundary’ is porous and politically charged. The lived experience of belonging to a space and latching the identity of self with the ideological specificities and ethnic memories of that space, architects one’s idea of home at the microcosmic level and nation-state at the macrocosmic level. Transnationalism is in transgression with the non-negotiable boundaries of a nation state, categorization of space in terms of cultural attachments, economic structure, religious orientation and ethnic identity.

It is indeed difficult to belong to a transnational space, as it does not provide anchors to connect genetic memory to ethnic memory of a space. Consequently, the idea of home is forever missing or postponed. This crisis finds representation in the lived experiences of international refugees who are forced to adopt the transnational identity once uprooted from the space which no longer remains their nation or home. This paper explores the discourse of nationality and its negotiation with the forced diasporic identity that constructs the ontological structure of the self, from the perspective of the refugees. The text in context is Over Under Sideways Down by Karrie Fransman. The author has chosen the genre of graphic novel, as illustration is an adept medium of communication that complies with the territorial principles of transnational space being a universal signifier.

 

Keywords

transnationalism, refugees, graphic narratives, ethnographic memory

 

 

Travel and Travel Writing in a Globalized World: A Reading of Pico Iyer’s The Global Soul

DOISubarna Bhattacharya

Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

Travel books are literary representations of journeys across spaces of cultural difference. The genre of travel writing, in recent decades, has produced many interesting travelogues which are also significant studies in cultural heterogeneity in the context of a world post globalization. In their attempts at reading cultural differences, these travelogues consciously move away from the binary of western and eastern cultural divide to look at the so-called globalized world from the subjective ideological position of cultural hybridity. Pico Iyer’s The Global Soul. Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home (2000), a turn of the century travel book, is one such instance of recent travel writing which offers to take a gaze at the world from the subjective position of a hybrid cultural self. In this paper, the author proposes to read Pico Iyer’s The Global Soul. Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home as an experimental travel narrative charting new grounds in the genre of travel literature. Moving beyond the physicality of the journey, the idea of ‘travel’ operates as a multiply nuanced metaphor in the narrative. If, on one level, the travelogue records Pico’s own subjective visceral responses and his reflections and observations, as he lives life on the threshold of cultures, on another deeper level, the book is a comment on the very idea that, living life as a transnational in today’s world of cultural flux, is itself an act of continual travelling across cultural borders.

 

Keywords

travel writing, globalization, transnationalism, multiculturalism

 

 

Testing the Boundaries of Provincialism: IPL’s Transnational Spectacles and Pure Play

DOI

Puspa Damai

Marshall University

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been characterized by its detractors as nothing more than a tamasha. Any defense of the tournament should start with an outright refutation of this appellation. This paper contends that the IPL must wear the nomenclature as a badge of honor. It argues that tamasha is and should be the soul of the IPL; and to expect it to be otherwise is to impose on it the usual trammels of nationalism and other political and cultural ideologies. As a truly transnational spectacle, the IPL mimics and mocks capitalism, thereby exhibiting its subversive agency; as a carnival both cultural and political, the IPL crosses the limits of provincialism to champion the politics of cosmopolitanism; and as a tamasha, it approximates the status of art – pure play.

 

Keywords

IPL, spectacle, cosmopolitanism, pure play

 

Food, Memory and Everyday Transnationalism in Chitrita Banerji’s Culinary Memoirs

DOI

Sucharita Sarkar

D.T.S.S College of Commerce

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

Steven Vertovec suggests that the “dimensions of everyday transnationalism” are located in a range of social practices and institutions that links immigrants to their homeland (61). Homeland food is a marker of transnational identity as well as a vehicle for transcultural memory: the preparing and consuming and circulating of such food are significant social practices through which multiple dimensions of everyday nationalism emerge. The increase of transnational and transcultural flows has also witnessed a complementary increase in online and offline mobilisations of homeland recipes—and the stories embedded in and around them—through food-blogs and culinary memoirs-cum-cookbooks. This paper proposes to explore the manifestations and mobilizations of transnational memories, identities and everyday practices through food in the culinary memoirs of the Bengali-American writer Chitrita Banerji, focusing on three of her works: The Hour of the Goddess (2001); Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals (2007); and Eating India: Exploring a Nation’s Cuisine (2007). Consciously writing for a transcontinental, multicultural readership, Banerji engages with Indian—and especially Bengali—food in a deeply personal way. Yet, as she writes in her website, food is her “primary medium” for narrating stories of her homeland, “a story of arrivals, encounters and assimilations — a process during which natives and outsiders shaped each other’s lives in and out of the home” (http://www.chitritabanerji.com/food/). This complex and enmeshed memorialization of the personal and the cultural in her culinary memoirs allows Banerji to reclaim personal and cultural homeland stories and histories and also, through the sharing of recipes, to expand and provide a toolkit for socializing similarly-situated immigrants. Reading food through the lens of everyday transnationalism, this paper hopes to investigate how Chitrita Banerji’s writings negotiate the shifting and layered meanings of the personal, the local and the global.

 

Keywords

food, identity, memory, recipes, transnational

 

 

Majma‘-ul-Baḥrain: Transcending Cultural Boundaries in the Quest for “Truth of Truths”

DOI

Gargi Bhattacharya

Visva-Bharati

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

The Paper focuses on a particular text of early modern India, entitled Majma‘-ul-Baḥrain (Mingling of Two Oceans), composed by Prince Dārā Shikoh. The discourses that the text offers have a distinct philosophical/metaphysical approach with the aim to establish the Monotheistic thoughts. In that quest for “Truth of Truths”, Dārā was highly inspired by the observations of Vedānta and Sufism, which eventually got the identity of Majma‘-ul-Baḥrain. The current discussion would relocate the very text in the framework of transcultural literature, analyzing how it transcended different boundaries. In this regard, Dārā’s own ideology to project something new in the field of spirituality, with the reference to the happenings of his life and work in the scenario of the then India, will configure the arguments here.

 

Keywords

transculture, Vedānta, Sufism, monotheistic thought, Dārā Shikoh

 

 

“Tipu Sultan: the most famous Indian in Paris before Gandhi and Tagore…”: A Transnational Critique of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ in Twenty-First Century World Heritage Site Discourse using French Drama on Tipu and the Fortress of Srirangapatna from 1788 to 1949

DOI

Ian H. Magedera

University of Liverpool

<[email protected]>

 

Abstract

Building on the work of Assayag who highlighted the parallels between Napoleon and Tipu Sultan in the collective imagination of Parisian theatre-goers 1799-1815, this paper pursues a close textual analysis of the spatial representation of Tipu’s fort in two 1813 plays by de Brévannes and de Jouy. The fortress in de Jouy’s is a transnational space where relationships between the Mysoreans and the British, as well as between the French and Mysorean traitors (in cahoots with the British) are played out in the same theatre (of war). Parallels are drawn between these little-known theatrical representations of the fortress during the 1799siege and the usefulness of their transnational plural spatiality in arguing for the value of representations of a prospective World Heritage site in cultural domains other than that of the proposing nation. Such Global Cultural Heritage Audits before inscription offer a more rigorous definition of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ and can also be used in the case of Srirangapatnam itself.

 

Keywords

19th century French theatre, end of Napoleonic era, peripheral voices, Tipu Sultan, world heritage site, global cultural heritage audit

 

Interview

“Cosmopolitan Sensibility… the Best Way to Describe Me”: An Interview with Kunal Basu

DOI

Interview by

Sanchari Mitra & Jati Sankar Mondal

Sidho Kanho Birsha University 

<[email protected]> & <[email protected]>

Book Review

A Review of The Strength to Say No: One Girl’s Fight against Forced Marriage

Mouhssine Ennaimi with Rekha Kalindi; New Delhi: Vikings by Penguin Books India; 2015; ISBN: 978-0-670-08854-6

DOI

Review by

Divya. P

Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit

<[email protected]>

 

 

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