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Difference Relates: Allegory, Ideology, and the Anthropocene

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-02-22
Abstract: 

Fredric Jameson’s recent book, Allegory and Ideology, argues that allegory has become a ‘social symptom’, an attempt during moments of historical crisis to represent reality even as that reality, rife with contradictory levels, eludes representation. Mobilising the fourfold medieval system of allegory he first introduced in The Political Unconscious, Jameson traces a formal history of attempts to come to terms with the ‘multiplicities’ and incommensurable levels that emerge within modernity and postmodernity. This article identifies the complexities of Jameson’s understanding of allegory and draws on the brief moments when Jameson references the Anthropocene to argue for an allegorical reading of our contemporary environmental crisis that would allow us to see the problem the Anthropocene names as truly contradictory: at one and the same time, the world we inhabit appears to us as a world of our own making and as a world that has become truly alien to us.

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Article
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The “Unfetter’d” Muse: Robert Burns, Pre-Confederation Poets, and Transatlantic Circulation

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-12-19
Document type: 
Article
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“Bounded to a District Space”: Burns, Wordsworth, and the Margins of English Literature

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1994-03
Document type: 
Article
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Origins of the Specious: James Macpherson's Ossian and the Forging of the British Empire

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993-07
Document type: 
Article
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Irish Bards and English Consumers: Thomas Moore's "Irish Melodies" and the Colonized Nation

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993-04-01
Document type: 
Article
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James Currie's "Works of Robert Burns": The Politics of Hypochondriasis

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1997-03
Document type: 
Article
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Gender and the Nation in the Work of Robert Burns and Janet Little

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1998-10
Document type: 
Article
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Sequels of Colonialism: Edward Bunting's Ancient Irish Music

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008-07-01
Abstract: 

In 1792, Doctor James MacDonnell advertised a competition designed to revive interest in the ancient harping tradition of Ireland.  His advertisement for the event, which was to be held July 11-13 in Belfast, was published in almost all the Irish newspapers and suggests an intimate relationship between harp music and national identity: "when it is considered how intimately the spirit  and character of a people are connected with their national poetry  and music, it is presumed that the Irish patriot and politician will not deam it an object unworthy of his patronage and protection" (Ancient Music [1840] 63).  The festival was organized by MacDonnell, Robert Bradshaw, Henry Joy, and Thomas Russell, and it attracted ten harpers.  MacDonnell employed a young local organist, nineteen year-old Edward Bunting, to copy down the compositions of the harpers engaged in the competition.  Working from his manuscript notes, and from material gathered during his travels around Ireland years after the festival, Bunting went on to publish three successive collections of Irish tunes arranged for piano-forte in 1796, 1809 and 1840. 

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Article
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Mediating Cultural Memory: Ireland and the “Glorious Revolution”

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-08-07
Abstract: 

On 5 November 1688, William of Orange landed his force of 40,000 men at Torbay in Devonshire. Over the following month, he marched his troops to London, assuming control of the government as James II fled to France. This “Dutch invasion,” in Jonathan Israel’s phrase, would in time be reconceived as the “Glorious Revolution.” It would become, in other words, a powerful lieu de mémoire, a term coined by French historian Pierre Nora to designate “any significant entity, whether material or non-material in nature, which by dint of human will or the work of time has become a symbolic element of the memorial heritage of any community.” According to Nora, lieux de mémoire “emerge in two stages.” First, “moments of history” are “plucked out of the flow of history,” then are “returned to it,” but in an altered state so that they are “no longer quite alive but not yet entirely dead, like shells left on the shore when the sea of living memory has receded.” The 1688 Revolution was plucked out of then returned to history in such a way that it became a “symbolic element” not only of “the memorial heritage” of the English nation but of the British empire as well, as it was credited with saving the English nation from tyranny, establishing the rights of individual subjects, and bolstering British power overseas. As G.M. Trevelyan famously pronounced, the “Glorious Revolution” was a “turning-point in the history of our country and of the world.”

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Article
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Memory Studies and the Eighteenth Century

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-01-17
Abstract: 

In Memory in Culture, Astrid Erll contends that if we want to understand the various crises of the present, we need to consider the “mental, discursive, and habitual paradigms that were formed in long historical processes – via cultural memory.” In the current climate of debates about the national past, it is timely to take stock of the field of memory studies, as such studies can help us understand, as Ann Rigney suggests, “how stories about the past emerge as common points of reference and, in the process, help to define collective identities.” This article will provide some background to the field of memory studies and discuss two important new directions in the field: a concern with the mediation of memory and an interest in postcolonial, transnational, and “traveling” memory. The specific objective is to consider the relevance of memory studies for scholars of 18th‐century literature and, conversely, the relevance of 18th‐century literature for the field of memory studies. The broader aim is to encourage further work that will focus attention on the constructedness of even the most long‐standing and pervasive national memories.

Document type: 
Article
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