Empire and After: Englishness in Postcolonial Perspective

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Graham MacPhee, Prem Poddar
Berghahn Books, Oct 1, 2007 - Social Science - 218 pages

The growing debate over British national identity, and the place of "Englishness" within it, raises crucial questions about multiculturalism, postimperial culture and identity, and the past and future histories of globalization. However, discussions of Englishness have too often been limited by insular conceptions of national literature, culture, and history, which serve to erase or marginalize the colonial and postcolonial locations in which British national identity has been articulated. This volume breaks new ground by drawing together a range of disciplinary approaches in order to resituate the relationship between British national identity and Englishness within a global framework. Ranging from the literature and history of empire to analyses of contemporary culture, postcolonial writing, political rhetoric, and postimperial memory after 9/11, this collection demonstrates that far from being parochial or self-involved, the question of Englishness offers an important avenue for thinking about the politics of national identity in our postcolonial and globalized world.


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PART 1 Nation Empire
Africa Ireland Imperial Panic and the Effects of British Race Discourse
South Africas Forgotten Nationalism
CHAPTER 3 Passports Empire Subjecthood
CHAPTER 4 Friends Across the Water British Orientalists and Middle Eastern Nationalisms
The Disappearance of Irishness in Conrads The Secret Agent
PART II Postcolonial Legacies
The Fundamentalist Trope in Hanif Kureishis The Black Albumand My Son the Fanatic
CHAPTER 7 Crisis of Identity? Englishness Britishness and Whiteness
A Tropological Evolution of Englishness
CHAPTER 9 All the Downtown Tories Mourning Englishness in New York

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About the author (2007)

Graham MacPhee has taught at universities in Britain and the US and is currently Assistant Professor of English at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Architecture of the Visible: Technology and Urban Visual Culture (Continuum, 2002).

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