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Stillness of star-less nights: Afghan Women’s Poetry of Exile

Rumpa Das, Maheshtala College, South 24 Parganas, India

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 Abstract

Contemporary English poetry by Afghan women presents a remarkable reading experience. Critical explorations, at ease with post-colonial conditions, minority solitude and feminist readings, have largely remained inimical to the unique, yet chequered history that women poets such as Zohra Saed, Sahar Muradi, Sara Hakeem, Fatana Jahangir Ahrary, Fevziye Rahzigar Barlas and Donia Gobar document in their works. Most of them write in their native Dari and Pushtun languages as well as in English and often their English compositions have smatterings of their native tongues. Even though individual experiences differ, these women delve into the collective memory of oppression, pain and unrest to give vent to their feelings, and seek to reach out towards a sorority of shared angst. This paper seeks to explore the complex cultural contexts which have given birth to Afghan women’s poetry in exile.

Black Feminist Discourse of Power in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide

Lamia Khalil Hammad, Yarmouk University, Jordan

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Abstract

This paper discusses black feminist discourse of power in Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who have considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. The work depicts the struggle of black women through a rainbow of experiences. At the end, the girls arrive at ‘selfhood’ by finding God in themselves. This paper focuses on how the patriarchal discourse lead to their suffereing and how they were able to claim back their identities as black females who only need to be loved and appreciated.

Voicing Colourspaces: Colour-usage and Response as Alternative Narration in Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack

Ashes Gupta, Tripura University, India.

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Abstract

Dennis Cooley has attempted to unsettle several complex issues relating to post modernity, intertextuality, mingling of genres, decentering authority et al.  His poetry is rich in complexity and in dealing with the problems of the text. He has published three books of poetry.  Leaving (Turnstone 1980), Fielding (Thistledown 1983) and Bloody Jack (Turnstone 1985).  His poetry reveals his interest in formal departures from the tyranny of orthodox running rhythm, and the left hand margin.  From Leaving to Bloody Jack, Cooley has decentred authority from its traditional formal and ideological strongholds including the author, and placed it in the mind and heart of the reader.  In his books of poetry, especially Bloody Jack, Cooley tends to deal with flexibility, knowledge and tolerance and seeks to voice the sparsely populated and neglected space of the Canadian prairie. This paper is an attempt to read Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack from the semiotic perspective of his use of colour as sign-code in it and the other related issues that it voices.

Bob Dylan’s Folk Poetics in the Later Albums: Telling the Story of America in Ruins in Simple Poetic Language

Matt Shedd, University of Oregon, USA

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Abstract

Bob Dylan’s recent albums have returned to a more basic sense of American vernacular and poetics, employing stock phrases that evoke a rural America of the past. However, the past does not provide any shelter from modern day angst and impending devastation. We see this particularly in the 2001’s Love and Theft, coincidentally released on the day of the Twin Towers attack. By foregoing concepts of radical artistic individuality, Dylan use more traditional folk poetics to provide a historical and communal account of the descent of the United States into what Dylan calls “an empire in ruins.”

Poetry and Technology in Marinetti’s Futurist Manifestos

Daniela Petro?el, University of Suceava, Romania

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Abstract

The Avant-garde literary movements accomplished a wide combination of artistic and scientific principles, exploiting aesthetically the aspects of technological world. Thus, the Futurist manifestos are landmarks for a new model of technophilic sensibility. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the way in which elements of the technological universe are comprised in the discourse of Marinetti’s futurist manifestos, implicitly giving rise to a new aesthetics. The new means of transportations (the automobile, the dirigible, the airplane) and the means for transmitting information (the telegraph, the radio) radically modify the perception of time and space, creating an aesthetics of simultaneity.    

The Forking Paths of Open Your Eyes and Vanilla Sky

Carolina Ferrer, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada

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Abstract

In March 1992, researchers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean inaugurated in Paris the conference Épistémocritique et Cognition, thus giving official birth to epistemocriticism. This new branch of literary criticism incites us to make a re-appropriation of culture as a whole. Essentially, this perspective calls on us to explore the relations between literature and science. The purpose of my paper is to extend epistemocriticism to film studies. Thus, I analyse how bifurcation theory and Borges’s story “The Garden of Forking Paths” operate as main interdiscoursive artefacts in Alejandro Amenábar’s Open Your Eyes and in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky. Accordingly, I believe that extending this perspective to film studies, we can achieve a better understanding of what happens in these forking-paths films.

In Search of… a Third Culture: Towards an Experimental Science and Nature Cinema

 Walter C. Metz, Southern Illinois University

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Abstract

This essay attempts to move beyond C.P. Snow’s reductive formulation of the two cultures, positing a third culture forged out of the collision of science documentary television with the avant-garde traditions of the cinema. In particular, I use both scientific and humanistic understandings of memory to compare and contrast a science television program, “Understanding the Mysteries of Memory” (Science Channel, 2002) with an avant-garde film, Report (Bruce Conner, 1967).

CREATIVE: Invasive Species by Roy Frank Staab

About the Artist

Roy Frank Staab (b. 1941) attended Layton School of Art and received a BFA from UWM in 1969, extending studying in Europe, settling in Paris.  He had first exhibition in 1977.  His artworks found place in the collections of the Muséed’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France, Le Fonds national d’art contemporain, Paris, France.  He began making site-installation art in 1979 in France. In 1980 he moved to New York City [works-on-paper in Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY].  By 1983 he shifted to working entirely in nature, employing natural materials from each site and became a peripatetic artist making his ephemeral outdoor sculpture installations in many places throughout the world. He received grants from the New York Foundations for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, U.S./Japan Creative Artists’ Fellowship, Artist-in-Museum Yokohama Museum of Art, Joan Mitchell Foundation award.  He has installed works in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.

Artist’s Statement

I learned to question and opened the door to experiment and experience, finding the freedom to make art ‘my way’ and choose or reject traditional techniques as a means—to create visual experiences that excite me. It took ten years for my art to evolve from painting, to line structure on paper, to installation. I started to make works in/over water—large works, my drawings in space, using only natural materials gathered from near by. I like the idea of working with nature, geometry and physical science to make works that can be considered a meditation on perception and being—with the idea of ephemeral, nothing to hold on to but the visual experience; Art that is and transcends the object. I make art in nature and refer and depend upon nature and natural sciences to work with me on the art.

Artworks

Invasive Species*
Invasive Species*

 [*because of the fish that escaped that were non-native and took over the native species there in Chen-Long, Taiwan]

There is the oyster fishing industry where they grow oysters and then they reuse some of the shell to grow a new stock. I found piles of discarded shells.  I came up with the idea of putting them on bamboo, held in place by the tension of a slit.  But I learned later, that was the old way they used to grow oysters there. The work is designed to be a long free form like an abstract fish [that I told the children] to fit the land area. I use the oyster shells all facing the sunrise to give the very white glow at that special time.  I was told of the high water rainy season and made the work to be magic.  The rain did not come in May as predicted, but in the end of July, making my art complete with reflection and isolation in the water.

Suspended between the living and the dead
Suspended between the living and the dead

In Philadelphia—I use the cantenary curve (gravity) and wind for my art to move and swing. The situation is to make a work over the canal in a visible place accessible to people to. I chose a place where trees suspend over the canal. But one tree, an elm, was dead, hence the title ‘Suspended between the living and the dead’. I had to test the branch of the dead tree and make sure it will hold. I put up a measuring line between the trees and then took it down and extended it out along the canal edge. The materials for the lines are collected from the nearby abandoned lands. I did not want the line to stretch out as it did on another work, so I use the Japanese knotweed as the main support and tooth-picked it end to end and then layered the line with other weeds such as goldenrod, mug wart and bundle it using jute cord. Sometimes the wind in the tops of the trees makes the work bounce, other times it moves and sways by the wind in the work.  It is held out by bamboo and balanced by stones where needed.

Eau Claire Currents
Eau Claire Currents

For the work Eau Claire Currents, made for the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, a suggested idea as to make a work on the sandbar in the river below the walking bridge.  But the two times that I came to see the site, the Chippewa River was in flood because of the heavy rains. I responded to the site, the bridge and my concern that the people walking over the bridge could see something, not just hang down hanging down, but pulled out by the current. I use the bridge railing supports for the placement of the work and the measure between the lines, for the right shape and proportions of the lines. I am concerned with it lasting as long as possible so the junctions had to be above the water, as I know that the natural materials breakdown in a short time in the water and current.  Ephemeral art belongs in nature and I have no problem with that. The ‘Y’ shaped tendrils were made with wild weeds and bundled with jute. I chose to punctuate the ends in the water using torpedo shaped logs. To my surprise when they were tied on, instead of just staying in a straight line of the current [they were not streamlined enough], they move back and forth giving movement to the work that I like. Slowly, piece-by-piece, parts break off and slipped silently down the river. The work is made with all organic materials and will rot as other river detritus does over time.

More info about Roy Staab and his art can be found at http://roystaab.blogspot.com

Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin and Mr Bucket: Mid- Nineteenth-Century Intimations of the Thought-Police

Maria-Ana Tupan , University of Bucharest, Romania

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Abstract

The detective as a literary character was co-fathered within a brief interval from each other by Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, but Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin , who appears in three stories of the former  – “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” (1842), and “The Purloined Letter” (1844) –  and low-born, illiterate Bucket, who wreaks havoc upon an ancient aristocratic family in Bleak House, were hatched within nests of widely different social and cultural provenance. The American boy treated to the long-established traditions of institutionalized education in the Old World, and the English child worker, whose father was imprisoned for debt, were a Victorian version of the Prince and Pauper plot.  Our new-historicist approach to these early samples of detective fiction seeks to throw light on the discursive negotiations which may be invoked in an explanatory narrative of the polar representations of one and the same professional class shortly after the creation of the metropolitan police.

Heart versus Head: Hard Times as a radical critique of Industrial Capitalism

Manjeet Rathee, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak

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Hard Times, published in 1854, at the time of the initial ‘textile phase’ of the England’s Industrial revolution, is a powerful indictment of the inherent exploitative and repressive character of the emerging industrial system that based itself on the reduction and dehumanization of the factory workers as mere mechanical units of manufacture and production, devoid of any human sentiments and emotions. Rightly described as ‘the socially conscious novel’, or ‘the condition of England’ novel’, Hard Times, offers to present, through its structural principle of ‘the conflict of opposites’, an extremely authentic and radical critique of the class exploitation in a newly industrializing England economy that in its overenthusiastic adoption of industrial capitalist ethos tended to threaten the very existence of human individual into a machine and that of the industrial worker into a mere unit of ‘labor power.’ This was sought to be done at various levels ranging from public life in a factory to private existence in a family affecting crucial decisions of love and marriage and through the role of power in education system affecting the growth and development of children as thinking and imaginative individuals. The novel, through its two chief advocates of industrial capitalism- Gradgrind and Bounderby- provides a socio-economic critique of the times of early phase of capitalism when the processes of production were ideologically privileged over the inhuman existence of the workers and when a uniform monotonous life of facts found supremacy in private as well as public life, institutional structures and value system that guided the middle nineteenth century England. The resultant crisis referring to working class reactions in the form of various militant actions has aptly been described by one of the eminent historians of the Industrial Revolution:

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