This book examines representations of violence across the postcolonial world—from the Americas to Australia—in novels, short stories, plays, and films. The chapters move from what appear to be interpersonal instances of violence to communal conflicts such as civil war, showing how these acts of violence are specifically rooted in colonial forms of abuse and oppression but constantly move and morph. Taking its cue from theories in such fields as postcolonial, violence, gender, and trauma studies, the book thus shows that violence is slippery in form, but also fluid in nature, so that one must trace its movement across time and space to understand even a single instance of it. When analysing such forms and trajectories of violence in postcolonial creative writing and films, the contributors critically examine the ethical issues involved in narrating abuse, depicting violated bodies, and presenting romanticized resolutions that may conceal other forms of violence.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Locating the Mutations of Colonial Violence in the Postcolonial World
Rebecca Romdhani and Daria Tunca
Section 1: Intimate and Gender Violence
1 Ethics, Representation, and the Spectacle of Violence in Marlon James’s Short Fiction and the August Town Fiction of Kei Miller
2 Narrating Jamaican and Cypriot Colonial Legacies: Postcolonial Pathologies of Violence in Alecia McKenzie’s "Satellite City" and Nora Nadjarian’s "Okay, Daisy, Finish"
3 Unscrambling the "Grammar of Violence": Sexual Assault and Emotional Vulnerability in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah
4 Violating Virgins: Symbolic Violence in Tiphanie Yanique’s Land of Love and Drowning
Section 2: Violence and War
5 Reading Testimony: Congolese Civil War and the Trauma of Rape in Dramatic Performances and Fiction
6 An Uneasy Alliance: War, Violence, and Masculinity in Contemporary Sri Lankan Theatre
7 Cinematic Representations of South African Gang Violence: Enclosed Spaces and Turf Wars
Section 3: Violence on the Move
8 Abjected Bodies: The Bogus Woman and British New Slaveries in the Context of Postcolonial Studies
9 Violence, Trauma, and the Question of Redemption in Postcolonial Zimbabwe: Petina Gappah’s The Book of Memory
10 Of Systemic Violence, Addressivity, and "the Oil Encounter": Representing the Gulf’s Indian Diaspora in Benyamin’s Goat Days
11 Environmental Violence in Australia: The Effects of Mining and Its Representation in the Indigenous Australian Film Satellite Boy
List of Contributors
Rebecca Romdhani is a lecturer at the University of Liège, Belgium.
Daria Tunca works in the Modern Languages Department of the University of Liège.
The authors are members of the postcolonial research group CEREP (http://www.cerep.uliege.be)