Issue 3, Volume 7: History: writing/re-writing – manipulation?

Cultural Studies Year
(October 2013 – July 2014)

History: writing/re-writing – manipulation?




Historical Fact and Narrative Truth in Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany
Patricia Michael looks at two texts – Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin and John Irwing’s A Prayer for Owen Meany – to delineate how the they reveal, when viewed sequentially, not merely the face of a period beginning in the twentieth century and ending in the early twenty-first, but also a changing landscape of consciousness reconfigured by historic disruptions that challenged the fixed order and impacted everyday human lives.

ImagiNation and Demythification of Nationhood in Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood
Jose Varunny M. analyses Caryl Phillips’s historical novel The Nature of Blood to examine how Ethiopian Jews in Israel remain unable to constitute an unproblematic national identity in the context of diverse national ethos, myths and stories that are projected to feed a sense of national identity and integrity. He offers a critical account of how such ethos, myths and stories associated with the Israel’s nationhood become hurdles in imagining a multicultural and multiethnic social existence for the Ethiopian Jews who remain marginalised and excluded as a ‘foreign’ element in modern Israel.

Englishness and Narrative: New Perspectives of Literary and Historical Revisionism in Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship
John Mazzoni reads Jane Austen’s concerns on moral and sexual mores and the precautionary nature of experienced authority in her early novel Love and Friendship as indicative of a historically revisionist critique of contemporaneously prevalent notions of Englishness and English nationality.

History of Kathakali: of art, agency, and aesthetics
Safwan Amir moves through a linear history of Kathakali, dealing with its inception, influences, patronage and participation. He also explores the emergence of Kathakali as an art form and part of national and sub-national identity as part of specific responses to caste and religion based social formations. The final section looks at the implementation of aesthetics as a supposedly neutral regime of identification of art mainly through academic and scholarly constructions, and modern practices of tourism in the present day context.

Historicizing a Past, Homogenizing a Tradition: A Note on the Discourse Generated around Bengali Cinema in the 1980s-1990s
Spandan Bhattacharya revisits the discourse generated around Bengali cinema in 1980’s and 1990’s. He posits that it is not exceptional for the cinema of any period or of any culture to be situated in a past/present comparison, or for a generation to feel a sense of regret and loss about what the previous generation had. He explores historicising process and its politics while relating it to the question of question of class imagination, policy of cultural representation, media, community and taste discourse.

The Arminius picture in the 19th and 20th centuries, and his distorted use for propaganda power purposes
Riccardo Altieri’s paper considers the varying interpretations of Amrinius throughout German history, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to investigate the ways in which the authenticity of the heroic figures and stories arising from the accounts of antiquity aid the creation of national identity.




Arpita Roy

Associate Editors:
Anubha Barthwal
Shambhavi Pandey
Tina Das


Cover page image: Lipica Buttan;


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