Continental Perceptions of Englishness, 'Foreignness' and the Global Turn
This collection of essays explores the uneasy, and at times uncomfortable, relationship between English identity and the discipline of English Studies viewed from a broad, critical-creative perspective. The volume draws together literary and cross-cultural studies material in order to shed light on internal visions and external projections of Englishness, the interplay between Englishness and foreignness, and the degree in which they inform each other in the age of globality. Unlike conventional approaches, it sets the scene for a productive and inspiring dialogue between inside and outside perspectives of the subject, between homegrown and continental European perceptions of it and its pedagogy.
Adriana Neagu is Associate Professor of Anglo-American Studies at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She is the author of Sublimating the Postmodern Discourse: toward a Post-Postmodern Fiction in the Writings of Paul Auster and Peter Ackroyd (2001) and In the Future Perfect: the Rise and Fall of Postmodernism (2001), as well as numerous critical and cultural theory articles. Her main research focus is the poetics of modernist and postmodernist discourse, global theory and the literatures of identity, and translation and interpretation pedagogy. At present, she is currently working on new paradigms of cultural identity in the UK, a focus which is reflected in her current book project, Englishness, Regionality and Religion in the Post-secular Age. Dr Neagu has been Advisory Editor of American, British and Canadian Studies, the journal of the Academic Anglophone Society of Romania, since 1999.
"While this discussion has read Continental Perceptions very much by exploring its parallels to an earlier age, its values as a present-day exploration should not be undervalued. The collection addresses issues that remain insistent today, constantly and bewilderingly resurfacing in what, to borrow a phrase of the great Tom Lehrer, might well be called the masochism tango of Brexit. That the discussion is rooted in secure and wide-ranging awareness of many branches of central European literary theory is another of its strengths; and lest that be thought of as an achievement manifestly unEnglish, its presentation of the authors’ own voices, through extensive interviews with both Ackroyd and Ishiguro, offers further depth and balance to this provocative and immediate collection. As an approach to Ackroyd’s writings, it is perceptive and wide-ranging; in its larger implications about the historical forces at work within notions of nationhood, it presents a voice powerfully resonant."
Stuart Sillars, University of Bergen
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