rss_2.0East-West Cultural Passage FeedSciendo RSS Feed for East-West Cultural Passage Cultural Passage Feed Equiano’s Biography: Fact or/and Fiction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyzes the documentation available in an attempt to settle the controversy over the “true” date and place of birth of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavo Vassa, the African. Several original documents are analyzed, and the data is compared to the information provided by the author himself in his <italic>The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself</italic>, first published in London, in 1789. According to these documents (a baptismal record and a muster book), he was not born in Africa, in Igboland (in today’s Nigeria) as he argued in his autobiography, but in South Carolina, as he declared before those who recorded the information in the official documents. The issue of authenticity is more relevant for historical research than for literary criticism; in the case of the latter, the accuracy of the data does not significantly impact upon the literary value of his work. In conclusion, the dispute is pertinent only in the liminal space where the two contexts (historical research and literary analysis) overlap, and it currently operates with information whose relevance and usefulness depend on the framework against which it is judged.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“Michael Cavendish’s” (1598)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article is part of <italic>A Comparative Study of Byrd Songs: Volume 17</italic> of the <italic>British Renaissance Re-Attribution and Modernization</italic> (BRRAM) series. <italic>Volume 17</italic> offers evidence to re-assign the authorship of the 29 texts in William Byrd’s linguistic group. <italic>Volumes 1-2</italic> of the series present a new computational-linguistic attribution method that reassigns all of the tested 303 texts from the British Renaissance to a Workshop of only six ghostwriters: Byrd, William Percy, Josuah Sylvester, Gabriel Harvey, Richard Verstegan and Gabriel Harvey. This article is a fragment from <italic>Volume 17</italic> that presents new evidence, beyond the quantitative linguistics, for one of the Byrd re-assignments, “Michael Cavendish’s” <italic>Airs</italic> (1598), together with a modernizing translation of a representative sample of poetry from the linguistically-tested text. <italic>Airs</italic> is a rarely commented on work that tends to appear in studies of the self-plagiarisms within it, or between it and other texts. Only a single private copy of <italic>Airs</italic> has survived; this closeting is likely to have been the result of its dedication addressing Lady Arbella, who repeatedly unsuccessfully plotted with the Cavendishes and Percys to gain the British throne, first after Elizabeth I’s reign, and then after James I’s. The dedication appears to have been a propagandistic marker of support during Arbella’s attempt in 1609 to marry Seymour to challenge James I’s claim, which ended with Arbella’s imprisonment and premature death. The <italic>Airs</italic> book is likely to have been published to encourage this effort and was probably closeted and had its title-page backdated to 1598 when the attempt failed. Additionally, a comparative study is included in the Appendix between a poem in <italic>Airs</italic> and a translation of a song it echoes from Giovanni Croce.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Archetypal Reading of Bharati Mukherjee’s Instinctive Agency and the Individuation Process<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article presents an archetypal reading of Bharati Mukherjee’s <italic>Jasmine</italic> that foregrounds the narrator’s agency in her sequential transformations in the narrative. The critic starts from a broader conception of the term agency that encapsulates those instinctive types of actions in which the protagonist, and people in everyday life, find themselves implicated. In other words, the term agency should not be limited to fully conscious and deliberate acts, hence the concept “instinctive agency.” Other scholars have seen that the denomination factor in <italic>Jasmine</italic>, i.e. the fact that every characterological transformation the narrator experiences coincides with a name given to her by a male partner, is a clear sign of her diminishing subjectivity and lack of agency. This study refutes this claim by foregrounding the agentive role of her personal history, and by presenting a thorough psychological and archetypal analysis of the male partners with whom she relates. This article also refutes Mukherjee’s claim that complete abnegation of the old self is required for transformation to occur. By highlighting the ways in which the protagonist’s old Indian self comes to the surface time and again throughout her journey, the article evidences that the author’s views regarding self-transformation are psychologically unrealistic. The article concludes with the perspective that it is inaccurate to regard Jasmine as a sheer receptacle of male power and postcolonial influence, and that a deeper psychological reading substantiates her agency and subjectivity in the postmodern world in which her narrative of self-transformation unfolds.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Chapters in the Evolution of Taste: How Eighteenth-Century English Shaped the Culture of Sociability<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In eighteenth-century Britain the term <italic>taste</italic> was a new vehicle for discerning subtle qualities of an individual mind’s experience of practically anything in the polite world and the world of letters. The term entailed the response of the mind to beauty, and it became popular in each and every genre of writing. The notion of taste acquired a distinctive dimension which effectively disentangles it from the notion of aesthetics emerging early in the nineteenth century as a new area of philosophical enquiry. The eighteenth-century discourses on and ongoing debates over taste and beauty focused on the dominant classicist prototypes of universality, awareness of proportion, harmony and the sense of form and symmetry, principles which were specifically articulated by such <italic>Men of Taste</italic> as the Earl of Shaftesbury, David Hume and Joshua Reynolds, who had a monopoly on taste. However, the eighteenth century laid the groundwork for an alternative notion of taste, which included women in the realm of theorizing in the taste mode. This article aims to look into the category of exotic taste, and more precisely into the fashionable literary coterie of eighteenth-century England, often presided by women writers such as the Bluestockings Elizabeth Montagu, Mary Delany, Catherine Macaulay, and Hannah More, with the purpose of connecting this type of literary promotion, which was effective in shaping contemporary literary taste, to the theories of taste that anticipated aesthetic judgment in the nineteenth century. Besides, the new social milieu accommodating literary meetings shaped a new discourse which, though ridiculed, facilitated and revitalized conversation in what Hume called “the conversable world” and Samuel Johnson defined as the “clubbable” age. Accordingly, the article will explore the extent to which the discourse employed in such conversations transformed women’s literary taste into an accepted critical category and contributed to the formation of literary reputations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the “Unfinished Business”: An Introductory Study of the Dictator Novel Set in Africa<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Whereas so-called dictator fiction in Latin America is already established as a significant literary subgenre, it is only recently that an increasing number of studies have started to deal with its counterpart set in Africa. In fact, both inside and outside the postcolonial African continent, dictator novels have been written in several languages, including English, French, Arabic, and Kikuyu. One of the most outstanding achievements among recent studies of this kind of fiction is Magali Armillas-Tiseyra’s <italic>The Dictator Novel: Writers and Politics in the Global South</italic> (2019), which examines dictator novels in two different regions – Africa and Latin America – by using the keyword “Global South” to connect them with each other. After taking a genealogical overview of some dictator novels by both African and non-African authors, the present essay will critically investigate Armillas-Tiseyra’s argument in order to reconsider fictional African dictators depicted in contemporary novels, especially those written in English, from a global and transborder perspective. The aim of this essay is to clarify both the challenges and prospects of the current studies of this literary subgenre in/about Africa.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue , translation into Romanian by Mircea M. Tomuș, Cluj Napoca: Editura Școala Ardeleană, 2021, 350 pages, ISBN 978-606-797-644-1, paperback, 50 RON Verbs in Research Article Abstracts in Applied Linguistics: Juxtaposing Discursive Practices of the Inner and Outer Circles of English<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article introduces and discusses a computer-assisted study that seeks to shed light on the frequency and use of the central modal verbs (<italic>can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would</italic>) in research article (further: RA) abstracts in applied linguistics published in the Inner and Outer Circles of English, respectively. The study is informed by the construal of the Circles of English that are comprised of the Inner Circle, where English is spoken as the mother tongue (for example, the United Kingdom), the Outer Circle, where it is used as a second language in the former British colonies (for instance, Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc.), and the Expanding Circle (e.g., Japan), where English is spoken and taught as a foreign language (Kachru 48). In the construal of the Circles of English, the Outer Circle is regarded as a heterogeneous sociolinguistic space with fluid boundaries (Higgins 615) that affects the frequency and use of the central modal verbs in a variety of textual genres (Lee and Collins 501). Against this background, the study aims at identifying and analysing the frequency of the central modal verbs in a corpus of RA abstracts in applied linguistics published by international peer reviewed journals associated with the Outer Circle (one journal published in Hong Kong and one in Malaysia, respectively) and the Inner Circle of English (one journal published in the United Kingdom). The results of the quantitative analysis of the corpus indicate that the most frequent modal verbs in the entire corpus are <italic>can</italic> and <italic>may</italic>, which function as hedging devices in the journals that are associated with the Outer and Inner Circles of English, respectively. These findings are discussed in the article through the prism of the construal of the Circles of English.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Immigrant Life: Marie Jastrow’s (1979)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In her coming-of-age memoir, <italic>A Time to Remember: Growing Up in New York before the Great War</italic> (1979), Marie Jastrow, a Jewish-American immigrant woman, cleverly captures the daily life of her family in Yorkville, New York City, in the early decades of the twentieth century. Jastrow recalls the difficulties she and her parents had to face during their first years in the United States, between 1907 and 1918, and the ways in which they managed to adapt to the social, economic, political, and cultural circumstances of the new environment. Therefore, this essay sets out to explore how Jastrow’s family members succeeded in negotiating the challenges of a gendered immigrant experience.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Aetiology and the Pyschogenesis of Tyrannical Behaviour in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article explores the aetiology and the psychogenesis of Macbeth’s tyrannical ambitions and the growth of his psychic degradation. Macbeth deigns to be an incorrigible regicide, but his ambition is ultimately overpowered by his conscience. This aporetic conflict is ultimately fatal to his morality and sense of Self. Character analysis informed by psychoanalytic criticism will investigate the protagonist’s tormented psyche in its struggle between the ego-syntonic (Persona) and the ego-dystonic (Shadow) leading to neurosis that culminates in psychosis as Macbeth’s identity fractures throughout the play. The ontological issue of the Witches is explored in an attempt to explain the role the metamorphic environment plays in Macbeth’s psychic atrophy. For this reason, the Witches present us with the conundrum of their being both phenomenal and noumenal. Macbeth’s difficulty to distinguish between the real and the phantasmagoric results in a psychotic breakdown. Accordingly, he becomes a mad tyrant seeking to protect his unlawful reign.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Nostalgia in Mystery Novels Celebrating Old Polish Universities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article focuses on the campus novels <italic>Głowa. Powieść nocy zimowej</italic> (2016) by Tadeusz Cegielski and <italic>Rektorski czek</italic> (2018) by Joanna Jodełka, written to commemorate the foundation of the University of Warsaw and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań respectively. This article first considers the generic peculiarities of the selected novels and then goes on to present the image of the university and academic community in these novels, in order to tap into the nostalgia surrounding the Golden Age of the Polish university. While promoting the idea of “the Polish university” as the source of clear values, a moral compass, and even a condition of the political re-establishment of the Polish state for the reader of mysteries, the novels prompt a re-evaluation of the present-day condition and reflections on the future of the academe for its members.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Black Campus Novels: Between Nostalgia and Counter-Nostalgia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In its vast range of variants, the genre of the campus novel continues to thrive and be reinvented by contemporary writers. This essay focuses on a specific subgenre, the contemporary Black campus novel, and I intend to analyze compelling examples of the dualism of nostalgia and counter-nostalgia. While some of these campus-set stories are centered on, for example, murder mysteries and social satire, generally the Black campus novel has a more specific focus: the fictional and satirical representation of Black students and academics at university, constituting a window into the social-political events.</p> <p>With the support of literary and sociological works such as Derek C. Maus’s <italic>Post-Soul Satire</italic> and Elaine Showalter’s <italic>Faculty Towers,</italic> I scrutinize Paul Beatty’s <italic>The White Boy Shuffle</italic> (1996), Zadie Smith’s <italic>On Beauty</italic> (2005), and Brandon Taylor’s <italic>Real Life</italic> (2020). While Beatty’s novel creates a post-soul satire (Maus) of the contradictory aspects of US colleges and their effect on African American students, Smith’s <italic>On Beauty</italic> and Taylor’s <italic>Real Life</italic> are more centered on nostalgic elements of the coming-of-age process of students coming to terms with their sexuality, family, and their professional future. My article intends to navigate what Janice Rossen calls “a complicated web [that] can be discerned in the texture of university fiction.”</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Writing and College Life: Rainbow Rowell’s as a Campus Novel<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In 2022, Rainbow Rowell’s Bildungsroman <italic>Fangirl</italic> (2013), listed among 10 recent campus novels by Michelle Carroll on PowellsBooks.Blog, may seem a somewhat nostalgic text, as it is set at the University of Nebraska in the 2011/12 academic year. While <italic>Fangirl</italic> has also been classified as a young adult novel, as a chronicle of the protagonist’s, Cath’s, first year at college, it may arouse memories of a comparable experience in any college graduate, academics included. Like many classic campus novels, <italic>Fangirl</italic> is concerned with the writing process, as the storyline focuses on a creative writing course Cath takes in her first semester. An author of fanfiction based on a Harry Potteresque fantasy, Cath submits a piece of her fanfiction as an assignment, and is shocked to be accused of plagiarism by her professor. Gradually, Cath’s progression to writing a different short story for the course parallels her learning to deal with family problems as well as her anxiety in the college environment that is new to her. In turn, not only does the novel not completely idealize college life, but it also highlights Cath’s need to negotiate her obligations as a student and her responsibilities outside campus.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Campus: Its People and Their Lifestyle<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Traditionally, the academic community was a small but influential group of intellectuals more closely associated with their field of study than any university or college. Such elements as individual viewpoints, belonging to a community, collaboration in commonly realised goals, academic freedom, and university autonomy were respected (Billot). Currently, the academic community is a specific type of community, which, as Zygmunt Bauman notes, agreeing with Benedict Anderson, is treated as “a figment of the imagination”<sup>2</sup> (34). Unlike in the past, this community works both locally and internationally, being involved in various networks of scholars and institutions. As a result, academic space nowadays has a less physical dimension and refers to the sphere of values, symbols, and meanings, and the community gathers around the thoughts and ideas of distinguished academics (Rogalski 32). In the 1950s, the academic community became a subject of interest in various university narratives,<sup>3</sup> representing the uniqueness of multiple aspects of university life and practices and making critical use of them. In this article, I will concentrate on such aspects: makeup, internal organisation, way of life, affairs, and customs of the academic community.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“What is up With the Dude Wall?”: An Examination of Academic Portraiture, Race, and Gender in , , and<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article provides an examination of the ways in which academic portraiture is deconstructed in three contemporary visual narratives whose academic protagonists are women of color, the Netflix series <italic>Dear White People</italic> (2017-2021), which is based on the 2014 film of the same name, both of which were created by Justin Simien; the 2021 Netflix series <italic>The Chair</italic>, created by Amanda Peet and Annie Julia Wyman; and the 2022 film <italic>Master</italic> directed by Mariama Diallo. In all three narratives, institutional portraits of white men are overdetermined as symbols of a foundational, historical, and omnipresent white supremacist misogyny that permeates higher education. Furthermore, these portraits serve to frame these narratives by conveying characters’ positions as both products of and confrontational to an academic nostalgia for the past conveyed through the prevalence of portraits of wealthy white men – and the white male gaze – who have shaped and continues to shape and determine the white supremacist story of higher education in the United States.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in Dark Academia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Dark academia is a fandom-created genre that draws on campus novels and thriller murder mysteries and extrapolates its aesthetic affects from the Gothic. At the heart of dark academia is a story set in a nostalgic academic fantasy that involves murder, a close-knit group of students who are obsessed with each other and detrimentally absorbed in their intellectual pursuits. Using nostalgia theory, I argue that the genre’s theme of darkness in tandem with its affects of nostalgia operate as simulacra for the anxieties experienced in academia and on campuses, specifically for its student body. Dark academia as a genre is a reaction to the political threats to the humanities education, which stands for a reification of the value of a more classical education for the love of learning. But, at the same time, while some bathe academia in a nostalgic light, others have criticized how dark academia turns a blind eye to structural issues inherent in academia for generations. However, dark academia is a contemporary genre that quickly evolves in response to those criticisms. By tracing the history of dark academia and its canon development over the years, I examine how dark academia self-critiques campus nostalgia and unveils the academy’s history of violence against women and racism against people of colour.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Academic Conference in Fiction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the central features of the traditional professorial career, the academic conference, can provoke dramatically different responses; for academics of a certain age and established status, the conference is a source of nostalgia. And a number of academic novels, particularly David Lodge’s <italic>Small World</italic>, celebrate the conference in nostalgic terms. At the same time the conference can be challenged on many fronts, including its cost but, even more, its role in catering to, and perpetuating, privilege in the academy, or what one observer calls “the continued feudalization of academia.” Lodge’s original title, <italic>We Can’t Go On Meeting Like This</italic>, may have been prophetic, as the challenges to continuing to meet “like this,” particularly the resentment of angry academic outsiders, may overcome the nostalgic enjoyment of the traditional conference.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Novels and “Built-In” Nostalgia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present article traces nostalgia across various campus and academic novels published during the last three decades and identifies different kinds of nostalgia – writerly and readerly nostalgia, vicarious nostalgia, ersatz nostalgia – not in the systematic manner of a classification but guided by the novels themselves. The readings are informed by theories stemming from different backgrounds – the social sciences, cultural and literary studies, psychology and cognitive science – in an attempt to create a productive dialogue, one that emphasizes the creative potential of nostalgia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Julia May Jonas, New York: Avid Reader Press, 2022, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1982187637, paperback, USD 17.85.“Oh to Be Twenty-one, Reading Greats at Oxford!”: What Happens in Tom Stoppard’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Tom Stoppard’s play <italic>The Invention of Love</italic> stages the classical scholar and poet A.E. Housman at the point of death, as, in the role “AEH,” he recalls his younger self, “Housman.” “Housman” is seen as an Oxford undergraduate; he is a brilliant classicist, driven by ambition to purge ancient texts from corrupt readings; he is also fired by love for a male fellow-student, Jackson, and by a vision of Classical studies as fostering an awareness of ancient virtue shown in athletic prowess and comradely self-sacrifice. His Oxford milieu offers ambiguous support for this combination of ideals; as a clerical worker in London, he fulfils his academic ambitions but forces upon himself and Jackson the recognition that his love is not reciprocated, and, in any case, could not safely be given public expression or acknowledgement. “AEH,” driven by a sense of nostalgia which is also a quest to recover and resurrect his former self, is increasingly led to confront love, in his own life and in the poetic texts upon which he has worked, as an invention – a precarious and perhaps unsustainable balance between coherence and breakdown, between a stoical embrace of modernity and a passionately modern turn to a receding past.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue for the Belief in a Female-Friendly Academic World to Come<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the academic novel of the 1980s, which Elaine Showalter dubs the feminist towers, women characters are not limited to beautiful and seductive students or faculty wives, whose husbands’ academic career appears to be also their own goal. Although the very presence of women in academia is often interpreted as a threat to the male reign over the ‘small world,’ female scholars are determined to expose and fight against gender inequity and inequality in order to be perceived and valued as fully-fledged scholars. Paradoxically, even if women are considered serious candidates for different university positions, they cannot indulge in the same intense pleasures of academic life as their male counterparts due to the overpowering feeling of being the other.</p> <p>An analysis of female scholar characters and their diverse attitudes towards feminism is based on two academic mystery novels written in the 1980s, <italic>Death in a Tenured Position</italic> by Amanda Cross and <italic>Graves in Academe</italic> by Susan Kenney. It is followed by an investigation of the reasons making academics feel nostalgia for the university of the 1980’s, i.e. the milieu before the emergence of the protective power of the Me Too movement and reports on sexual harassment of women in academia published by the NASEM.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue