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The City and the Ocean: Journeys, Memory, Imagination

Jonathan White

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ISBN 10: 1443837199 / ISBN 13: 9781443837194
Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: The City and the Ocean: Journeys, Memory, ...

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Edition: 1st Unabridged.

About this title


Throughout history cities have been locations of human encounter. Equally they have been contexts for the trade of goods and services, for the evolution of various forms of urban space, and for the production, development, and enrichment of culture and technology. Many cities grew up along shorelines, which themselves constitute some of the globe's most important cultural boundaries. For above all else, it is water that has separated but also connected different communities, races, religions and nations, down through recorded time. With the rapid advance in technologies of communication, encounters between cultures have multiplied at a rate that no individual can follow or control. The present book constitutes a space of memory in its own right, one of its chief raisons d'etre being that a group of diverse scholars herein maps certain key encounters between peoples, past as well as present, and the urgent issues generated in consequence. No one person could have traced such diversity and made sense of it, whereas a scholarly grouping of persons reporting on phenomena from around the world, such as is provided here, offers its readers a vision of global change and development. With the twentieth and twenty-first centuries a new set of mega-cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has emerged to challenge the primacy of European and North American metropolitan centres. This expanded landscape is here interpreted with special attention, as already mentioned, to cities located at coastlines, hence (generally speaking) more exposed to globalizing trends. Migrants, exiles and refugees, ethnic and racial minorities, as well as alternative or countercultural groupings continue to complicate the ways in which cities articulate their now pluralized identities, in terms of (and by means of) literature, history, architecture, social events, and other forms of artistic and cultural production. The international scholars whose work is assembled in these pages are well placed to engage with the intersecting themes and issues of the volume. Contributors have mapped different examples from Homeric narrative, through Renaissance drama and its representation of crossways of culture such as Rhodes and Malta, to an earlier time in the development of a New World city such as Boston: others look at the twentieth and twenty-first centuries' complexity of great world cities and of oceanic migration or trade between them. Shanghai, Singapore, London, Detroit, Shantou, Macau, and Saigon are some that are dealt with in detail. Emphasis falls on both the historical reality of those contexts as well as how they have been culturally represented.

About the Author:

Jonathan White is Professor Emeritus in Literature at the University of Essex. Born in Britain, he grew up in the USA and Australia, which helps to explain his interest in global aspects of cultural change. He has edited Recasting the World: Writing after Colonialism (1993) and written two monographs on Italian Culture: Italy: the Enduring Culture (2001) and Italian Cultural Lineages (2007). He has held fellowships at the Italian Academy of Columbia University in New York (2002-03), and at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University (2003). More recently he has spent time in universities in Taiwan: in particular as a visiting research professor at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Kaohsiung (2008), and as visiting professor at the National Chengchi University in Taipei (2012). His recent studies have been in the domain of psychogeography, with particular emphasis on the role of memory in literary representation of cities, of travel, and of past or present cultural crises. I-Chun Wang is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for the Humanities at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, where she teaches Renaissance and twentieth-century drama. Her scholarly interests include comparative literature, Chinese and Taiwanese drama, and English Renaissance drama. Among her recent publications are Gendered Memories (Studies in Comparative Literature 28), Xing Bie yu Jiang Jieh (Gender and Boundary), East Asian Cultural and Historical Perspectives, and Identity and Politics: Early Modern Culture. She is currently working on Renaissance travel literature.

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