• Mary Stewart’s Greek Novels: Hellenism, Orientalism and the Cultural Politics of Pulp Presentation

    James Gifford (see profile)
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century, CLCS Global Anglophone, Cultural Studies, GS Travel Writing, LLC 20th- and 21st-Century English and Anglophone
    British literature, Travel writing, Culture--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    philhellenism, Travel literature, Travel narratives, Postcolonial English literature, Cultural studies
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    This chapter makes two critical interventions: one to redirect attention to women’s writing on Greece from a century that was dominated by either a masculine homosocial modernity or Byron’s long shadow in David Roessel’s sense (2002); and two, revising the critical scotoma that surrounds Hellenism as a process of power and style of thought in the shadow of Edward Said’s critical study Orientalism (1995[1978]). For the former, even Virginia Woolf’s Jacob orients himself around a self-discovery that takes place amidst male heteronormativity. For the latter, Said’s work shaped a generation of scholars by extending the 1950–1960 Marxist discourses of decolonization beyond the materialism of Albert Memmi and Frantz Fanon to include foucauldian approaches to institutions like the university, the operations of power on styles of knowledge, and the biopolitics of colonialism. However, Said did so while opening Orientalist Studies as a disciplinary field, a discourse, and a participant in institutions to an ideological critique while in the same breath excusing Hellenic Studies as an acceptable, naturalized, and neutral exercise of power-knowledge. Likewise, the rise of a critical discourse of decolonization developed into postcolonial theory during a literary moment when the notional understanding of Greece from the perspective of the former centers of global power was moving from a politicized Romanticism to a personalized modernism.
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    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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