Languages and Literature Abstracts
POEMS BY DENNIS BRUTUS
Ken Gibbs, Ph.D.
Poems from the Dennis Brutus Collection in the LRC, selected, transcribed, and edited, with an introduction by Ken Gibbs. This is the second edition of poems gleaned from the Dennis Brutus Collection. The third edition, considerably expanded with new poems, is being prepared for publication this summer.
Jacqueline Morrill and Steven Smyth
Faculty Adviser: Philip Burns, Ph.D.
This is a bound collection of the poems submitted by the first and second prize winners to the A. Barbara Pilon Poetry Contest at Worcester State College for the current academic year.
CODE-SWITCHING, SHAPE-SHIFTING, ASKING DIFFERENT QUESTIONS: SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN’S LANGUAGE IN AND ACROSS NATIONS
Josna Rege, Ph.D.
This essay is a chapter in Other Tongues: Rethinking the Language Debates in India, published by Rodopi Press, 2009. In order to question overly rigid conceptions of location and language in evaluating literary works, it discusses two writers who fall into neither and/or both of the polarized categories of ‘diaspora vs. native’ and ‘English vs. vernacular.’ It focuses on two writers, C.S. Lakshmi (aka Ambai) and Rukhsana Ahmad, based in India and Britain respectively, who work in different genres and registers as they address different issues and constituencies. In so doing, they reach effectively across national, ethnic, linguistic, and class/caste barriers.
CURRENTS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
Josna Rege, Ph.D.
Currents in Teaching and Learning is a new peer-reviewed electronic journal published twice a year by the Worcester State College Center for Teaching and Learning. Non-specialist and jargon-free, Currents seeks to improve teaching and learning in higher education with short reports on classroom practices as well as longer research articles and explorations of challenges facing teachers today. Currents is intended for faculty and graduate students teaching in all academic disciplines. Editor Josna Rege is assisted by an active advisory board of WSC faculty across the disciplines. See the latest issue at: www.worcester.edu/currents.
THE DIFFERENCE THAT DIASPORA MAKES: SHIFTING SUBJECTIVITIES IN ANITA DESAI’S FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN AND KIRAN DESAI’S THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS
Josna Rege, Ph.D.
The Inheritance of Loss (2006), Kiran Desai’s Booker Prize-winning second novel, is deeply indebted to Fire on the Mountain (1977), her mother Anita Desai’s novel of a generation earlier; so much so that it can be read as a 21st-century reworking. I suggest that postcolonial theory, a new era of globalization, and her diasporic location allowed Kiran Desai to develop her novel in ways that were not available to her mother. I compare gender and class subjectivities in the two novels, and assess the difference that diaspora makes. [Conference paper, “Unsettling Women: Contemporary Women’s Writing and Diaspora, Leicester, England, July 2008.]
MONTY PYTHON MEETS KAFKA: “BRAZIL” AS QUEST
MaryLynn Saul, Ph.D.
Sam Lowry in the film Brazil is on a quest. We may compare it to chivalric quests and to Kafka’s The Trial. Brazil may in fact be said to be Monty Python and the Holy Grail meets Kafka. These motifs are expanded upon in Sam’s dreams, which parallel the action of Sam’s waking life. There is a change in tone of the dreams, indicating the conflict in the movie between the more optimistic quest theme and the pessimistic depiction of the oppressive governmental system that resembles the Kafka novel. The pessimistic side seems to take over, as the dreams demonstrate.