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DepositGlobal Shakespeares as Methodology

Having reached a critical mass of participants, performances and the study of Shakespeare in different cultural contexts are changing how we think about globalization. The idea of global Shakespeares has caught on because of site-specific imaginations involving early modern and modern Globe theatres that aspired to perform the globe. Seeing global Shakespeares as a methodology rather than as appendages of colonialism, as political rhetorics, or as centerpieces in a display of exotic cultures situates us in a postnational space that is defined by fluid cultural locations rather than by nation-states. This framework helps us confront archival silences in the record of globalization, understand the spectral quality of citations of Shakespeare and mobile artworks, and reframe the debate about cultural exchange. Global Shakespeares as a field registers the shifting locus of anxiety between cultural particularity and universality. This article explores the promise and perils of political articulations of cultural difference and suggests new approaches to performances in marginalized or polyglot spaces.

DepositSherlock and Global Transfandom

When I proposed this paper, the idea was to examine a number of global iterations of Sherlock fandom from a transfandom perspective. However, as doing this in fact involvesgoing ‘deep’ in at least two popular cultural contexts in order to effectively pull out examples of how I believe transfandom works more generally in a transnational setting, my talk today will center mostly on Japanese Sherlock transfandom.

DepositGlobal South/Global North Comparatism: The Case of the Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean

Global South/Global North Comparatism: The Case of the Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean Hala Halim The text below is the abstract of a presentation given by Hala Halim, New York University, on the Presidential Panel at the American Comparative Literature Association annual meeting in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on July 8, 2017. An intervention in the gestating project of South-South comparatism, the presentation made the argument that such comparative work, timely though it is, cannot afford to overlook the South’s multiply overdetermined relations with the North. Granted, Third-Worldism must be recouped for a genealogy that undermines Eurocentrism, whether in the cultural sphere or in terms of international law. Scholarship on the contributions of Small States and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), particularly in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was cited. The presentation went on to press the point that defaulting to an exclusive focus on Third World or Global South interrelations risks losing sight of the structuring effect of global capital, the existence of pockets of the South within the North and vice versa–this articulated in dialogue with essays published in The Global South journal–and adumbrating solidarities between constituencies in the South and in the North. The presentation proposed an expanded understanding of Antonio Gramsci’s Southern Question as a generative framework and went on to demonstrate this by undertaking a comparatist reading of regards croisés on a Mediterranean “southern question.” Halim brought into dialogue two texts on the refugee crisis, a creative non-fiction book written in the South and researched in part in the North, specifically Egyptian migrants in Italy–Ezzat El Kamhawi’s 2011 al-‘Ar min al-Daffatayn (Shame on Both Shores)–and the representations in a film made in the North on Southern migrants to Italy–Gianfranco Rosi’s 2016 documentary Fire at Sea.

DepositSepharadim/conversos and premodern Global Hispanism

Sepharadim participated in the Hispanic vernacular culture of the Iberian Peninsula. Even in the time of al-Andalus many spoke Hispano-Romance, and even their Hebrew literature belies a deep familiarity with and love of their native Hispano-Romance languages. However, since the early sixteenth century the vast majority of Sepharadim have never lived in the Hispanic world. Sepharadim lived not in Spanish colonies defined by Spanish conquest, but in a network of Mediterranean Jewish communities defined by diasporic values and institutions. By contrast, the conversos, those Sepharadim who converted to Catholicism, whether in Spain or later in Portugal, Italy, or the New World, lived mostly in Spanish Imperial lands, were officially Catholic, and spoke normative Castilian. Their connections, both real and imagined, with Sephardic cultural practice put them at risk of social marginalization, incarceration, even death. Some were devout Catholics whose heritage and family history doomed them to these outcomes. Not surprisingly, many Spanish and Portugese conversos sought refuge in lands outside of Spanish control where they might live openly as Jews. This exodus (1600s) from the lands formerly known as Sefarad led to a parallel Sephardic community of what conversos who re-embraced Judaism in Amsterdam and Italy by a generation of conversos trained in Spanish universities. The Sephardic/Converso cultural complex exceeds the boundaries of Spanish imperial geography, confuses Spanish, Portuguese, Catholic, and Jewish subjectivities, and defies traditional categories practiced in Hispanic studies, and are a unique example of the Global Hispanophone.

DepositRichard Wright’s Globalism

This essay takes a long view of Wright’s work, arguing that his racial consciousness always extended beyond national boundaries and was forged from a globalist perspective. This outlook is not, as some critics have maintained, a late-stage development in Wright’s career, but rather the predominant theme that unites his oeuvre with a single continuous thread. Wright’s work—including his fiction, essays, journalism, poetry, letters, and unpublished pieces spanning from the beginning of his career in the mid-1930s to his deathbed writings of 1960—crystallizes his globalist imagination even as it shifts registers: from an anti-fascist political solidarity framed by Marxist internationalism to an affective kinship among formerly colonized peoples expressed through existentialist proto-postcolonialism, and finally a transcendent poetics in search of universal humanism.

DepositLocal and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance

This collection of scholarly essays offers a new understanding of local and global myths that have been constructed around Shakespeare in theatre, cinema, and television from the nineteenth century to the present. Drawing on a definition of myth as a powerful ideological narrative, Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance examines historical, political, and cultural conditions of Shakespearean performances in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. The first part of this volume offers a theoretical introduction to Shakespeare as myth from a twenty-first century perspective. The second part critically evaluates myths of linguistic transcendence, authenticity, and universality within broader European, neo-liberal, and post-colonial contexts. The study of local identities and global icons in the third part uncovers dynamic relationships between regional, national, and transnational myths of Shakespeare. The fourth part revises persistent narratives concerning a political potential of Shakespeare’s plays in communist and post-communist countries. Finally, part five explores the influence of commercial and popular culture on Shakespeare myths. Michael Dobson’s Afterword concludes the volume by locating Shakespeare within classical mythology and contemporary concerns.

DepositCrime and the Global City: Migration, Borders, and the Pre-Criminal

In recent years social scientists have been interested in the growth and transformation of global cities. These metropolises, which function as key command centers in global production networks, manifest many of the social, economic, and political tensions and inequities of neoliberal globalization. Their international appeal as sites of financial freedom and free trade frequently obscures the global city underbelly: practices of labor exploitation, racial discrimination, and migrant deferral. This chapter explores some of these global tensions, showing how they have shaped the strategies and technologies behind urban crime prevention, security, and policing. In particular, the chapter shows how certain populations perceived as risky become treated as pre-criminals: individuals in need of management and control before any criminal behavior has occurred. It is demonstrated further how the production of the pre-criminal can lead to dispossession, delay, and detention as well as to increasing gentrification and violence.