rss_2.0American, British and Canadian Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for American, British and Canadian Studieshttps://sciendo.com/journal/ABCSJhttps://www.sciendo.comAmerican, British and Canadian Studies 's Coverhttps://sciendo-parsed-data-feed.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/6005de7de797941b18f29ca9/cover-image.jpg?X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Date=20220520T141841Z&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Expires=604800&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA6AP2G7AKDOZOEZ7H%2F20220520%2Feu-central-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Signature=3f8728f4aabf4fe1667a774c8259e51ccf34e8618cbcc30963b424966ccdddf1200300Scotland and Scottishness: From Tradition to Modernityhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0022ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Homes for Canadians (II)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0021<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>According to Giorgio Agamben, the Greek term for ‘habitual dwelling place,’ or ‘habit,’ is <italic>ethos</italic>. The rise to prominence in the twentieth century of the modern idea of the suburb, or ‘suburbia,’ held open the door to the potential realization of the American (and Canadian) dream <italic>ethos</italic> of universal home ownership. The tantalizing appeal of a the ideal of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ have become key terms in the Post World War Two pursuit of a mode of ‘dwelling’ linked to consumer capitalism. Yet for Frankfurt School critics such as Theodor W. Adorno, the pursuit of this suburban ideal induced a deep sense of <italic>ennui</italic> such that to feel ‘at home’ in such a suburban environment challenged the very foundations of the dwelling place of Western civilization. “It is part of morality,” Adorno concluded in his book, <italic>Minima Moralia</italic>, “not to be at home in one’s home.” This text is an exercise in examining this question of ‘dwelling’ and ‘home’ through an allegorical poetical focus (drawn from Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire) focusing on a newly completed suburb in the Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Unnatural Narratology: Extensions, Revisions, and Challengeshttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0024ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00“Daft naff Scottish things”: Stuff, Waste and Memory Objects in Jackie Kay’s https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0015<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Guided by new materialist approaches to the memory of loss, this reading of Jackie Kay’s 1998 novel <italic>Trumpet</italic> surveys the affective permutations registered by different objects of remembrance in the Scottish-Nigerian writer’s fictional account of mourning. Exploring several material figurations of Black Scottishness in Kay’s writings, the essay derives its main theoretical framework from studies on blended subject-object ontologies, including Bill Brown’s critique of <italic>thingness</italic>, Maurizia Boscagli’s notion of the disruptive agency of <italic>stuff</italic>, and Mel Y Chen’s view of matter’s <italic>animacy</italic>, and discusses how the novel latches onto the role of things in anchoring memory and in helping humans work through bereavement.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Future as a Scenario of Hospitality in Ali Smith’s https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0016<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how Ali Smith’s novel <italic>There But For The</italic> (2011) foregrounds a temporality in which the scenario of hospitality is encoded into the characters’ perception of the future, while the welcoming scenarios in which they engage are themselves marked by the awareness of futurity. To this end, I rework Levinas’s equation of the future as the Other, as well as Derrida’s notions of conditional and unconditional hospitality, of the future as the expected/unexpected event, and of “<italic>choratic</italic> space.” The subsequent analysis of the novel proves how these notions are thematized both through the characters’ inner and intersubjective discourse, and via the authorial construction of imagery and the deictics of the spaces they inhabit. As such, the characters’ conversations bear the marks of an uncertain causality springing from the welcoming scenario; attitudes towards futurity are faced with the disquieting awareness of the conflict between the expected and the unexpected event; while the <italic>choratic</italic> space acts as the possibility of an ethical reaction to the strangers’ singularity, through a linguistic reorientation which employs the contingency of the linguistic sign as a site for hospitality.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00“In came the self-evident and luminous little mess”: Ethical Life Writing in Muriel Spark’s https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0017<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Starting from a brief examination of Muriel Spark’s position as a Scottish novelist within the framework of her anti-essentialist, anti-authoritative aesthetics, my essay will take a seemingly abrupt, but in fact consequential turn to investigate the complex antinomies involved in her fictional representation of the lives of others. Although at home and abroad she is hailed as Scotland’s most celebrated author of the twentieth century, Spark’s writerly practice consists of regularly dismantling grand narratives or fixed, stable identities, often clashing with more localized or prescriptive views on the social and national functions of narrative. My argument, however, is that it is the very unease of her “Scottishness” that acts as one of the foundations of her literary ethics, embodied in her acute awareness of the antinomies involved in textualizing the lives of others. Spark’s shrewdly metafictional <italic>Loitering with Intent</italic> (1981) openly thematizes both the obligation, and the risks of telling one’s own and other people’s stories, performing a radical ethics of narrative alterity through its staging of the enmeshments of writing, (auto)biography and experience.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Battle Within and the Battle Without: The Posthuman Worldview of Ken MacLeod’s Trilogyhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0019<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present essay seeks to analyze Scottish science fiction writer Ken MacLeod’s <italic>The Corporation Wars</italic> trilogy (2016-2017) as an amalgam of politico-philosophical ideas set against the background of posthumanism. MacLeod’s far-future posthuman world-building relies on the conventional tropes of science fiction (man-machine hybrids, brain uploading, digital resurrection, and the agency of sentient machines) to engage with pressing ideologies (the master-slave dialectics, the historical perpetuation of age-old conflict between progressive and reactionary forces, the ethics of machinic consciousness). MacLeod’s novels project a postbinarist worldview where outmoded binary oppositions between life and death, the real and the virtual, the human and the machinic are constantly abolished, but which still preserves persistent ideological divisions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Contemporary Women’s Post-Apocalyptic Fictionhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0025ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Literary Politics of Scottish Devolution: Voice, Class, Nationhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0023ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Scottish Literature: Representing the Nation in the Age of the Post-Nationalhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0014ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Modernism, Postmodernism and the Nature of the Times: A Conversation with Randall Stevensonhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0020<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The interview offers a comprehensive, paradigmatic overview of the experience of literary modes within the broad frameworks of modernity and postmodernity. It invites reflection and rethinking of epistemic change from a major literary historian and theorist whose work in the Anglo-American context has become synonymous with the examination of temporality, historicity, and poeticality in twentieth century experimentation with form. Revisiting central concepts and aesthetic categories in literary criticism and theory, Randall Stevenson contributes a highly contemporary, ground-breaking vision of the literary act against the backdrop of the new structures of knowledge pertaining to the digital age and the post-humanist crisis.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Violence, Innocence and Redemption in Irvine Welsh’s Chemical Mythoshttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0018<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Scottish author Irvine Welsh has crafted an internally cohesive cosmology, grounded in mapping a somewhat loosely defined “chemical generation” that helped spearhead a personal brand of anti-Thatcherite counterculture (with an especially heavy focus on the marginalized, disgruntled and boisterous youths of Edinburgh). Examining some of the writer’s most recent and lesser-known works, my essay will argue that a series of archaic mythical patterns, symbols and cosmological coordinates can be shown to guide a large number of the axioms that Welsh employs to refine his own vision of a modern, emergent mythos.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight over the English Languagehttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0026ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Homes for Canadians (I)https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0011<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>According to Giorgio Agamben, the Greek term for ‘habitual dwelling place,’ or ‘habit,’ is <italic>ethos</italic>. The rise to prominence in the twentieth century of the modern idea of the suburb, or ‘suburbia,’ held open the door to the potential realization of the American (and Canadian) dream <italic>ethos</italic> of universal home ownership. The tantalizing appeal of a the ideal of ‘home’ and ‘homeland’ have become key terms in the Post World War Two pursuit of a mode of ‘dwelling’ linked to consumer capitalism. Yet for Frankfurt School critics such as Theodor W. Adorno, the pursuit of this suburban ideal induced a deep sense of <italic>ennui</italic> such that to feel ‘at home’ in such a suburban environment challenged the very foundations of the dwelling place of Western civilization. “It is part of morality,” Adorno concluded in his book, <italic>Minima Moralia</italic>, “not to be at home in one’s home.” This text is an exercise in examining this question of “dwelling” and “home” through an allegorical poetical focus (drawn from Walter Benjamin and Charles Baudelaire) focusing on a newly completed suburb in the Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Self-Mention in Science Communication Associated with COVID-19 Research: A Comparison of Computer-Mediated Communicative Practices in the United Kingdom and the United States of Americahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0008<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article introduces and discusses a corpus-assisted study that sets out to identify and analyse how self-mention is employed in science communication associated with COVID-19 research disseminated to the general public by leading universities in the United Kingdom (the UK) and the United States of America (the USA). The corpus of the study is comprised of computer-mediated communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the official websites of Johns Hopkins University (the USA) and University College London (the UK). The corpus was examined quantitatively for the presence of self-mentions, such as <italic>I</italic>, <italic>my</italic>, <italic>me</italic>, <italic>mine</italic>, <italic>myself</italic>, and <italic>we</italic>, <italic>our</italic>, <italic>ours</italic>, <italic>ourselves</italic>, and <italic>us</italic>. The results of the quantitative analysis indicated that computer-mediated communicative practices associated with COVID-19 discourse and communication by these scientific institutions exhibit similarities in terms of the use of self-mentions. However, in contrast to COVID-19-related discourse communicated by Johns Hopkins University, the self-mention <italic>I</italic> and its forms were used more liberally in COVID-19-related discourse and communication disseminated by University College London. These findings are further discussed in the article from the vantage point of the current Anglo-Saxon tradition of academic writing in English.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Proust in Transylvania: Smell and Memory in Romaniahttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0009ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Subarno Chattarji. New Delhi: Bloomsbury India, 2019. Pp. 262. ISBN: 978-93-88271-46-2https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0013ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Literature, Social Isolation and the Quest for Emotion in the Accelerated Post-Humanitieshttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0001ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Poetic Madness in Malcolm Bradbury’s https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0002<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article addresses the age-old correlation between poetic genius and madness as represented in Malcolm Bradbury’s academic novel <italic>Eating People Is Wrong</italic> (1959), zeroing in on a student-cum-poet and a novelist-cum-poet called Louis Bates and Carey Willoughby, respectively. While probing this unexplored theme in Bradbury’s novel, I pursue three primary aims. To begin with, I seek to demonstrate that certain academics’ tendency to fuse or confuse the poetic genius of their students and colleagues with madness is not only rooted in inherited assumptions, generalizations, and exaggerations but also in their own antipathy towards poets on the grounds that they persistently diverge from social norms. Second, I endeavour to ignite readers’ enthusiasm about the academic novel subgenre by underscoring the vital role it plays in energizing scholarly debate about the appealing theme of poetic madness. Lastly, the study concedes that notwithstanding the prevalence of prejudice among their populations, universities, on the whole, do not relinquish their natural veneration for originality, discordant views, and rewarding dialogue.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00“”: En-gendering Sin in Middle English Religious Drama. The Case of Chesterhttps://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/abcsj-2021-0006<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article investigates the relationship between sin and its retribution as depicted in three Middle English biblical plays concerned with retribution, <italic>Noah’s Flood</italic>, the <italic>Harrowing of Hell</italic> and the <italic>Last Judgement</italic>, in the Chester biblical drama collection. The plays’ general tenor is, to modern sensibilities, conservative and disciplinarian with respect to social mores. Yet, studying the portrayal of sin against the plays’ social background may uncover secular mutations of the Christian conceptualisation of sin as a function of gender as well as estate. Chester’s <italic>Last Judgement</italic> dramatises sin in accordance with fifteenth-century ecclesiastical and secular developments which criminalise people along gender-specific, not just trade-specific, lines. In showing Mulier as the only human being whom Christ leaves behind in hell after his redemptive <italic>descensus</italic>, the <italic>Harrowing</italic> dooms not just the brewers’ and alehouse-keepers’ dishonesty, as imputed to brewsters in late medieval England, but women themselves, if under the guise of their trade-related dishonesty. The underside of the Chester Noahs’ cleansing voyage is women’s ideological and social suppression. Whether or not we regard the Good Gossips’ wine-drinking – for fear of the surging waters – or Mrs Noah’s defiant resistance to her husband as a performance of the sin of humankind calling for the punitive deluge, the script gives female characters a voice not only to show their sinfulness. Rather, like the <italic>Harrowing of Hell</italic> and less so the <italic>Last Judgement</italic>, <italic>Noah’s Flood</italic>, I argue, participates in a hegemonic game which appropriates one sin of the tongue, gossip, to make it backfire against those incriminated for using it in the first place: women.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-31T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1