Medieval Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Medieval Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Medieval Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Medieval Literature and Postcolonial Studies

Synopsis

In this extensive introduction to a rich new area of research, Lisa Lamper-Weissig examines the historical connections between postcolonial and medieval studies, conducting new readings of key medieval texts from different European traditions. These include Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, Bernard Mandeville's Travels, and Guillaume de Palerne, a French romance poem about werewolves set in Norman Sicily. Lampert also incorporates insights from later fiction set in the medieval period, such as Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and contemporary works by Salman Rushdie, Tariq Ali, Juan Goytisolo, and Amitav Ghosh. These fascinating comparisons connect postcolonial medievalisms to current issues, including the issue of race in the 2008 presidential elections, the thesis behind Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilisations, and the future of Islam in Europe. This volume features a helpful timeline, reproductions of medieval maps, and a bibliography with further readings.

Excerpt

Postcolonial Literary Studies foregrounds the colonial and neo-colonial contexts of literary and cultural texts, and demonstrates how these texts help to understand past and present histories of empires. the books in the series relate key literary and cultural texts both to their historical and geographical moments, and to contemporary issues of neo-colonialism and global inequality. in addition to introducing the diverse body of postcolonial criticism, theory and scholarship in literary studies, the series engages with relevant debates on postcolonialism in other disciplines–history, geography, critical theory, political studies, economics and philosophy. the books in the series exemplify how postcolonial studies can re-configure the major periods and areas of literary studies. Each book provides a comprehensive survey of the existing field of scholarship and debate with a timeline, a literature survey, discussion of key critical, theoretical, historical and political debates, case studies providing exemplary critical readings of key literary texts, and guides to further reading. At the same time, each book is also an original critical intervention in its own right. in much the same way that feminism has re-defined how all literary texts are analysed, our ultimate aim is that this series will contribute to all texts in literary studies being read with an awareness of their colonial and neo-colonial resonances.

D. J. and A. L.

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