Reframing Exoticism in European Literature

Edited by Claudia Dellacasa and Hannah McIntyre

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities 14

Modern Humanities Research Association

9 December 2019


European identity and literature have developed on a bedrock of constant confrontation with the 'exotic'. If, in 1978, Said's seminal Orientalism has convincingly demonstrated that the prevailing image of the 'Orient' was a Western construct, generated by a complex set of economic and political concerns, it is equally true that exotic representations have defined the European culture from which they originated. The appropriation and subsequent domestication of the exotic have variously reflected ideological and religious stances over time, and the difficulty of unsettling certain established convictions has intersected cultural mobility and porosity, in a process whose traits are only apparently paradoxical. This process is overwhelmingly embedded in the history of colonialism, and the more recent postcolonial turn in critical thought. Indeed, literature has played a central role in the construction and deconstruction of both colonial power and exoticism as an aesthetic category.

This fourteenth issue of MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities seeks to engage with the multifaceted category of the 'exotic' in European literature, art, and culture, with its ever-changing character, and with its position in past and present discourses. We encouraged contributors to interrogate the established discourse in this field. How might recent developments in world literature, comparative, and postcolonial theory challenge and enhance Said's work? To what extent has exoticism – if not exoticisms – changed over time and in different national contexts, according to mutating historical conditions? In what way have narrative, philosophy, and ideology engaged with the shifting parameters of exoticism? How have different traditions dealt with those moments of 'cultural contact' which bring into focus the alienation of self/other? In light of globalisation, have we outrun the usefulness of exoticism as a cultural concept?

Contents:

1-8
Introduction: Reframing Exoticism in European Literature
Claudia Dellacasa, Hannah McIntyre
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9-17
Genet’s Palestinian Folklore
Joanne Brueton
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18-28
Beyond Asiatic Despotism: The Stagecraft of Erwin Piscator’s Adaptation of Tai Yang erwacht (1931)
Lucy Byford
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29-37
An Orientalist Masquerade: The Self-Exoticizing Gaze in the Works of Elissa Rhaïs
Edwige Crucifix
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38-47
Undermining Exoticism: The Memory of al-Andalus and Fluid Identities in Lope de Vega’s Comedias Fronterizas
Rebecca De Souza
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48-56
Identifying with the Orient: Exoticism and Similarity in Jean Lahor’s Quatrains d’Al-Ghazali
Julia Caterina Hartley
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Bibliography entry:

Dellacasa, Claudia, and Hannah McIntyre (eds), Reframing Exoticism in European Literature (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 14 (2019)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-14> [accessed 13 April 2021]

First footnote reference: 35 Reframing Exoticism in European Literature, ed. by Claudia Dellacasa and Hannah McIntyre (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 14 (2019)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-14> [accessed 13 April 2021], p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Dellacasa and McIntyre, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Dellacasa, Claudia, and Hannah McIntyre (eds). 2019. Reframing Exoticism in European Literature (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 14) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-14> [accessed 13 April 2021]

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Dellacasa and McIntyre 2019: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Dellacasa and McIntyre 2019: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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