People talked of a ‘post-racial’ US when I arrived in 2008. That seems ludicrous now

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-11-13 19:43Z by Steven

People talked of a ‘post-racial’ US when I arrived in 2008. That seems ludicrous now

The Guardian

Hari Kunzru

I arrived in New York in 2008, in the midst of a bitterly fought election campaign. When Barack Obama declared victory, I was standing at the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard, the historic heart of Harlem, as part of an emotional crowd watching the speech on a big screen. People around me were in tears. I have never been hugged by so many strangers. Even for someone sceptical about the new president’s ability to deliver on his promise of “hope and change”, the symbolism of a black family in the White House was deeply moving.

Everyone tends to see the world through the prism of their own experience, and I had been lucky enough, in Britain, to live through a period of real racial hope and change, from the frank terror I had felt as a “Paki” kid in the early 80s, to feeling part of a confident “second generation” of British Asians who were suddenly visible in many areas of public life in the late 90s and early 2000s. That period of progress was brought to a grinding halt by 9/11, of course, but those years left me with a streak of Whiggish optimism that now seems naive…


Read the entire article here.

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Midnight’s Orphans: Anglo-Indians in Post/Colonial Literature

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2011-10-17 21:22Z by Steven

Midnight’s Orphans: Anglo-Indians in Post/Colonial Literature

Peter Lang
265 pages
Weight: 0.370 kg, 0.816 lbs
Paperback ISBN: 978-3-03910-848-0
Series: Studies in Asia-Pacific “Mixed Race”

Glenn D’Cruz, Senior Lecturer
School of Communication and Creative Arts
Deakin University, Australia

Anglo-Indians are the human legacy of European colonialism. These descendants of European men and Indian women regularly appear as disconsolate and degenerate figures in colonial and postcolonial literature, much to the chagrin of contemporary Anglo-Indians. Many significant writers, such as Rudyard Kipling, Maud Diver, John Masters, Salman Rushdie and Hari Kunzru, have created Anglo-Indian characters to represent the complex racial, social and political currents of India’s colonial past and postcolonial present.

This book is the first detailed study of Anglo-Indians in literature. Rather than simply dismissing the representation of Anglo-Indians in literary texts as offensive stereotypes, the book identifies the conditions for the emergence of these stereotypes through close readings of key novels, such as Bhowani Junction, Midnight’s Children and The Impressionist. It also examines the work of contemporary Anglo-Indian writers such as Allan Sealy and Christopher Cyrill.

Presenting a persuasive argument against ‘image criticism’, the book underscores the importance of contextualizing literary texts, and makes a timely contribution to debates about ‘mixed race’ identities, minoritarian literature and interculturalism.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Seven Deadly Stereotypes
  • Chapter Two: Regulating Bodies: Dangerous ‘Others’ and Colonial Governmentality
  • Chapter Three: Beyond the Pale: Imperial Power and Scientific Regimes of Truth
  • Chapter Four: The Poor Relation: Social Science and the Production of Anglo-Indian Identity
  • Chapter Five: Midnight’s Orphans: Stereotypes in Postcolonial Literature
  • Chapter Six: ‘The Good Australians’: Australian Multiculturalism and Anglo-Indian Literature
  • Chapter Seven: Conclusion: Bringing it all Back Home
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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