Cultures of Populism : Institutions, Practices and Resistance book cover
1st Edition

Cultures of Populism
Institutions, Practices and Resistance

Edited By

Merle A. Williams

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 20, 2021
ISBN 9780367715625
December 20, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

The rapid global spread of populism has become an arresting and often disturbing phenomenon in the opening decades of the twenty-first century.

This collection of essays explores the complex histories and diverse geographies of populist activity, examining its manifestations on both the political left and the right, while tracing its dangerous association with nativism, racism and xenophobia. Established socio-political theories are questioned and challenged, giving way to fresh philosophical or cultural perspectives. At the heart of this collection lies a concern with the capacity of the humanities – and especially literary studies – to interpret, evaluate and intervene in this populist moment. Literary discussion ranges from Henry James and William Faulkner to Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, Ali Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates. These essays demonstrate the pertinence and value of enquiries from multiple perspectives if we are to come to terms with the impact of populist rhetoric on meaning and truth, as proliferating misinformation unmoors conceptual and ethical coherence.

The chapters in this book were originally published in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies and English Studies in Africa.

Table of Contents

1. Framing ‘Cultures of Populism: Institutions, Practices and Resistance’

Merle A. Williams

2. Trump the Antisemantic, and the Boundaries of Populism

Stephen Clingman

3. Populism and the Politics of Misinformation

Eiríkur Bergmann

4. Acts of Collusion: Myth, Media and the Populist Imagination in the 2016 United States Presidential Election

Sorin Radu Cucu

5. Burying Caesar . . . or Praising Him? Shakespeare and the Populist Right in the United States

Chris Thurman

6. Populism and Dog Whistle Writing: The Memoirs of J.D. Vance and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Maria Lauret

7. Trumping the House that Race Built: Deracinating 21st-Century American Politics

Aretha Phiri

8. Authoritarianism and the Planetary Mission of Queer of Colour Critique: A Brief Reflection

Roderick A. Ferguson

9. Authoritarian Patriarchy and Its Populism

Inderpal Grewal

10. Heritage, Narrative and the Role of the Humanities in Populist Times

Marie Kruger

11. Perplexing the Liquid University

Wamuwi Mbao

12. Responding to Xenophobia: Politics, Populisms and Our Teaching

Phyllis van Slyck

13. Global Populism and Its 1890s Southern United States Antecedents: The Vexing Case of Thomas E. Watson and William Faulkner’s Literary Intervention

Donald R. Wehrs

14. Populism, Privilege and Democracy in Henry James’s The Bostonians: Encounters with Community

Merle A. Williams

15. Autochthonous Oralities and Coral Islands: Imagining ‘The People’ in the Poetry of William Carlos Williams and the Southern Fugitives

Simon van Schalkwyk

16. Populism vs. the Popular in South African Literature

David Attwell

17. Asbestos Populism in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Arthur Rose

18. ‘Don’t tell me this isn’t relevant all over again in its brand new same old way’: Imagination, Agitation and Raging against the Machine in Ali Smith’s Spring

John Masterson

19. UDPS Opposition Populism in the DRC and Its Reflection in Two Congolese Novels

Kasongo Mulenda Kapanga

20. Authoritarian Populism and the Republic of Heaven in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust

Robyn Pierce

21. Finding the ‘Herstorical’ Narrative in Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give

Adam Levin

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Merle A. Williams is professor emerita of English and research associate of the African Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She is the author of Henry James and the Philosophical Novel: Being and Seeing (reprinted 2009) and has completed a scholarly text of The Awkward Age for the Cambridge Edition of the Complete Fiction of Henry James. Other edited volumes include Hospitalities: Transitions and Transgressions, North and South (Routledge, 2020) and several recent journal issues.