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Papers on Language and Literature
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Forthcoming 

Volume 58, Number 2, 2022

Essays

MACIEJ KARASINSKI, “Mapping the Contours of Spiritual Oppression—Thematic Parallels of Magical Reality in O. V. Vijayan’s The Legends of Khasak (Khasākkiṉṟe Itihāsam) and Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times (Prawiek i inne czasy)”

ABSTRACT: This study aims to illustrate the thematic parallels in two novels of magical realism: O.V. Vijayan’s The Legends of Khasak (Khasākkiṉṟe Itihāsam) and Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times (Prawiek i inne czasy). The paper argues that the reality presented in the novels is a peculiar dystopian world in which spiritual and magical entities both oppress and comfort its citizens. It can be said that the magic of Primeval and Khasak allows the physical manifestation of oppression, but also serves as a means of relieving the oppressed of their sufferings. Therefore, the paper investigates the narrative techniques used by Tokarczuk and Vijayan to create the spiritually oppressed worlds of their novels.

MATTHEW MORAN, “Wading through the Flood: The Transcultural Counterwitness, Hurricane Katrina, and Video Poetry”

ABSTRACT: Hurricane Katrina exposed Americans to the harsh realities of racial inequalities in the United States. As the trauma unfolded on the screen, however, mainstream news outlets flooded Americans with narratives of crime, violence, and social incompetence. In response, poets such as Claudia Rankine and Walidah Imarisha turned to digital spaces to counter pervasive narratives in mainstream journalism. Through an investigation of Claudia Rankine’s and Walidah Imarisha’s video poems, this essay addresses how two American poets resist, and engage with, the pervasive stereotypes of Black Americans presented in mainstream journalism, post-Hurricane Katrina, and how transcultural counterwitnessing provides viewers with a more complex understanding of American racism. The notion of the transcultural counterwitness, a marginal figure who supplements the testimonial role of witnesses, demonstrates the value of poetry counterpublic when confronting racial injustice and highlights poetry’s potential to convey broader messages of justice.  

HEDIYE ÖZKAN, “The Politics of Reconciliation: Revolutionary Leadership of Zitkala-Ša for Indian Education and Cause”

ABSTRACT: In her autobiographical short stories published in 1900, Zitkala-Ša, a controversial Native American writer and activist, critiques Indian education policy which obliterated Indigenous identity through white cultural and linguistic impositions. Zitkala-Ša’s early subtle anti-assimilation rhetoric in her literary writings, however, evolves into a progressive trajectory in her journalistic essays published two decades later. Zitkala-Ša’s revisionism of the Indian education policy in her political career is an aspiration for acculturation and an intricate negotiation between Indian and white worlds, between Indigenous and Western education, between oral and written traditions, and between domestic and national. Her belief in syncretism is an important prerequisite to gain equal rights and citizenship for Native Americans. Employing the concept of “revolutionary leader” in critical pedagogy, this study examines the transformation of Zitkala-Ša from an irresolute teacher to a revolutionary leader, serving across various tribes, advocating for their rights, and reconciling the white world and Indigenous values.

 

Reviews

ANA SCHNELLMANN reviews  My Victorian Novel: Critical Essays in the Personal Voice, Annette R. Federico, ed.

TERRENCE T. TUCKER reviews Howard Rambsy II’s  Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers

 

 

 

 

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