The Intimate Empire

A&C Black
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By means of contextualized readings, this work argues that autobiographic writing allows an intimate access to processes of colonization and decolonization, incorporation and resistance, and the formation and reformation of identities which occurs in postcolonial space. The book explores the interconnections between race, gender, autobiography and colonialism and uses a method of reading which looks for connections between very different autobiographical writings to pursue constructions of blackness and whiteness, femininity and masculinity, and nationality. Unlike previous studies of autobiography which focus on a limited Euro American canon, the book brings together contemporary and 19th-century women's autobiographies and travel writing from Canada, the Caribbean, Kenya, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. With emphasis on the reader of autobiography as much as the subject, it argues that colonization and resistance are deeply embedded in thinking about the self.
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About the author

Gillian Whitlock is an associate professor in the School of Humanities at Griffith University in Brisbane. She has degrees in postcolonial studies from the University of Queensland and Queen's University and has published widely in this area.

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Additional Information

Publisher
A&C Black
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Published on
Feb 1, 2000
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781847142405
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / World
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Reading information

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The Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures series offers stimulating and accessible introductions to definitive topics and key genres and regions within the rapidly diversifying field of postcolonial literary studies in English. Postcolonial Life Narrative draws together two dynamic fields of contemporary literature and criticism, postcolonialism and life narrative, to create a new assemblage: postcolonial life narrative. Focusing in particular on testimonial narrative, from slave narrative in the late eighteenth century to contemporary Anglophone life narrative from Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Palestine, North America, and India, this study follows texts on the move through adaptation, appropriation, and remediation. For postcolonial subjects life narrative offers extraordinary opportunities to present accounts of social injustice and oppression, of violence and social suffering. Testimonial narrative can reach across cultures to produce intimate attachments between those who testify and those who bear witness to legacies of apartheid, slavery, rape warfare, genocide, and dispossession. Thresholds of testimony are subject to change and for some, for example refugees and asylum seekers, opportunities to engage a witnessing public and inspire campaigns for social justice on their behalf are curtailed—these are the 'ends of testimony'. The production, circulation, and reception of testimonial life narrative connects directly to the most fundamental questions of who counts as human, what rights follow from this, and what makes for grievable life. Postcolonial life narrative is a dynamic field of literature and criticism, and this book presents a series of proximate readings that outline its distinctive imaginative geographies.
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One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

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