1st Edition

Memory and Identity Ghosts of the Past in the English-speaking World

Edited By Linda Pillière, Karine Bigand Copyright 2023
    224 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the ways in which ghosts haunt and shape cultural identities and memory, considering the manner in which the fluctuations of such identities sometimes imply the rethinking or rewriting of the past.

    Drawing on case studies in historical, political, literary and linguistic studies, it explores the narratives that produce imagined communities and identities and the places in which cultural identities are constructed through memory, asking how far these identities and memories disinherit or exclude otherness, and how far ghosts disturb orderly narratives, inviting multiple readings of the past. Thematically organized to consider the persistence of ghosts within present memory and identity, the creation of new identities through intertwining narratives of the past, and the reclamation of identities in postcolonial contexts, Memory and Identity: Ghosts of the past in the English-speaking world offers a multi-disciplinary examination of the concept of haunting.

    Memory and Identity will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and history with interests in memory and identity.


    Memory and identity: ghosts of the past in the English-speaking world


    Part 1: Shackled identities

    1. Ghosts of the past and the Oxford English Dictionary

    Charlotte Brewer

    2. The invisible American shoeshine boy: creation and persistence of a ghostly icon

    Anne Lesme

    3. Australian ghosts: representations of the past in Australia

    John Potts

    4. Ghosts from the future: post-apocalyptic narratives in Scotland and the displacement of memory

    Marie-Odile Pittin-Hédon

    Part 2: Multi-layered identities

    5. Ghosting the Victorians in A.S. Byatt, Kate Atkinson and Michèle Roberts’s neo-Victorian fiction

    Armelle Parey

    6. Whose past is it before us? The shaping of identity in Scotland’s 2014 referendum on independence

    Philip Rycroft

    7. Haunted by the lessons of the ‘the good war’: post-Cold War contestation of World War II narratives

    Marjorie Galelli and Michael Stricof

    Part 3: Reclaimed Identities

    8. Haunting in a postcolony: race, place and intergenerational trauma on a South African campus

    Veeran Naicker and Kathy Luckett

    9. First World War memorial ghosts and the reshaping of South African identity: remembering the SS Mendi in Delville Wood

    Gilles Teulié

    10. Blyton’s ghosts: childhood receptions in India and Britain

    Tanvi Chowdhary and Sara Thornton

    11. Decolonial poetics: ghosts of coloniality, capitalism, and care in contemporary anglophone literature

    Fiona McCann


    Linda Pillière is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Aix-Marseille Université, France. She is the co-editor of Standardising English: Norms and Margins in the History of the English Language and Standardisation and Variation in English Language(s) and author of Intralingual Translation of British Novels: A Multimodal Stylistic Perspective.

    Karine Bigand is Senior Lecturer in Irish Studies at Aix-Marseille Université, France. She has recently co-authored Faces and Places. Northern Ireland, 1975–2020.