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The Abstract – 16th October 2013

The second Abstract of the autumn term will take place on Wednesday 16th October, room  7.01 VWB, 6-8pm. Continuing with the theme of ‘After’, we will be hearing  from Niamh Campbell and Shruti Amar – please see their abstracts below. Come along to hear their two fantastic papers, discuss their ideas, drink wine, eat biscuits and then join us for a trip to the pub (optional, of course).

We look forward to seeing you there after an excellent start to the autumn Abstract a couple of weeks ago (with thanks to our speakers Mary Horgan and Olivia Bascombe).


Niamh Campbell – ‘A child is being beaten’: ‘Re’-reading The Dark after revelations of child abuse in Ireland

 The Dark was banned on its appearance in Ireland because it presented scenes of masturbation, child abuse, and clerical pederasty; in the aftermath of the Ferns and Ryan Reports (official inquiries into institutional child abuse in Ireland undertaken in the 1990s-2000s), the book has been re-mobilized as a thwarted attempt at exposure and a kind of moral salve. I want to disrupt this reading by historicizing it more brutally and by closely reading its representations of domestic violence and voyeurism. Above all, I want to query [queery, actually] the notion of national atonement and the processes by which the ‘unspeakable’ continues to be elided in official discourse.
Shruti Amar – Myth as Technique for De-construction of history ‘After’ decolonization: A Study of The Serpent and the Rope by Raja Rao
Decolonization is the process by which colonized states liberated themselves from the authority and domination of the foreign nation and subsequently attained sovereignty and freedom. This process was followed by a re-assertion of their history and culture by the decolonized states. In the words of Edward Said ‘appeals to past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretation of present.’ Indeed as it is the strategy of Postcolonial writers to make an appeal to the past to re-interpret, re-assert and re-establish the connection between past and present in order to recreate lost identity. The Serpent and the Rope is the manifestation of the Hindu cultural identity and representation of the concept of history that speaks of a limitless time cycle which is assumed to be circular in nature. This assumption is necessarily distinct from the European concept of linear time consciousness. The principle argument of this essay, therefore, is to consider the novel as a critique of history by manifestation of oral style of narration.
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