Articles By Editor

The concept of “Passing” and Transgender Identity: An Analysis of Jackie Kay’s Trumpet

Surinder Kaur

Department of English, S.G.A.D. Govt. College, Tarn Taran, Punjab. Email: sandhu.surinder85@gmail.com

  Volume VII, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

Abstract

The concept of “Passing” dates back to eighteenth century meaning hiding one’s race or sexuality and passing as the priviledged race or sexuality. Black individuals passed as white in the U.S in order to escape slavery. Hence to “pass” denotes an act of being something you are not in reality. Passing calls for an erasure of one’s true self in the presence of others so “passing” is perceived as a performance. Today, the concept of passing is associated with transgender individuals. It is often reduced down to a “good/bad” dichotomy. Passing as cisgender can ensure safety, an escape from verbal and physical violence and it can reaffirm a transgender individual’s identity. However, passing can be seen as deceptive or hiding on’s true identity. Since passing signifies a performancee, some believe passing for transgender individuals simply means passing as man or woman. This supposition leads to the idea that “passing as cisgender” means a transgender creates a new identity for him/herself and establishes a new set of narratives- a conflicting set of narratives (one told and believed by trans person and another by medical system). The proposed endeavour attempts to analyze Jackie Kay’s novel Trumpet (1998) as it exposes this conflicting set of  “double narrative” of Joss Moody. The novel narrates the life and death of Joss, a trans man, who passes as a cisgender man until his death. Using Foucault’s ideas about life and death, I aim to foreground the metaphorical killing of Joss by other persons in the novel. He is able to pass as man during his life but after his death when he can no longer control his body and medical system has access to his body and power over his body, punishes his identity by revealing its sex as female.

Keywords:  Passing, Cisgender, Transgender, Conflict, Narrative, Identity

Ethical Responsibility in a Modernist Universe: America in the Canvas of Miller’s All My Sons

Subhayu Bhattacharjee

Presidency University, Kolkata. Email: subhayubhattacharjee007@gmail.com

   Volume VII, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

 Abstract:

In an interview with Enoch Brater in the University of Michigan, Arthur Miller emphasized the significance of the Depression of the 1920’s on all playwrights of his generation. In one of his plays, namely, All My Sons, this re-emerges as an important theme, albeit implicitly. Focussing on the lives of a middle-class American household, Miller essays to show how politics in the realm of the public sphere happens to influence decisions that have tremendous emotional consequences in the private lives of all members. I attempt to show that this focus on the family as a space of theatricality is undertaken with a view to exposing the inextricable associations that exist between the two aforesaid spheres of life, and which conspicuously is left unidentified by the characters. The play makes it evident that the hidden presence of this issue is itself the principal cause of tragedy. In fact Miller himself in his well-known article entitled ‘Tragedy and the Common Man’ attributed the idea of self-persistence in an extremely uncontrollable universe to the idea of tragedy in modern times, and the idea of semblance of private autonomy (which no character in the play is bereft of ) as mentioned above squares in perfectly well with this. In attempting to demonstrate the consequences of the inability to locate this nexus between the public and the private, I have undertaken to show how each character is, in the last instance, ‘interpellated’by the ethos of a social discourse that ultimately puts into question their autonomy further, thereby identifying this ‘hidden presence’ as critics have spoken of vis-à-vis the play and its symbolic implications.

 Keywords: Other, pubic, private, capitalist, modernism, American Dream.

Banaras as Text: Representation of Widows in Mona Verma’s The White Shadow

Ankur Konar

Assistant Professor, Department of English, Sir Rashbehari Ghosh Mahavidyalaya. Email: ankrknr@gmail.com

  Volume VII, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

 Abstract:

The interplay of suppression, oppression, repression, compression of identity is an apt summary of the widows living in India. Such long practiced derelict, desolate state of the widows marks them to be somewhat ‘unwanted’ in our so called progressive society. This article will take up Mona Verma’s novel The White Shadow, a novel set in the city of widows, that is Banaras, to discuss how the five-year-old Brinda is widowed after being married for a few hours. The child widow becomes an unwanted figure as her family refuses to take her back and she is placed in the Nirmala Ashram, the marginal place within the centre of the city. Allied with a sense of metaphor, this marginalisation relegates Brinda in particular and the widows in general to be parasitic in nature, lacking any individual identity. Taking cue from some social studies on widowhood this article will focus on how Banaras becomes vibrant with the voices of these silent widows!

Keywords:  Banaras, City, Urban, Widow

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Call for Papers for Volume IV, 2014: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Water

Call for Papers for Volume IV, 2014

The theme

“Interdisciplinary Approaches to Water”

We are inviting articles and book reviews on “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Water” for the Vol. IV of the journal. We have selected the area in order to explore many forms of complex issues—geological, historical, philosophical, commercial/economic, anthropological, ethical, metaphysical, religious, artistic, biological, medical, sociological, psychological etc. associated with water. In spite of large body of literature on the area, we feel that the area still merits attention and discussion in the face of the loss of memory of the importance of water (when water is just a commoditified thing), corporatization of natural resources, pollution of water engineered through industrial economy, exploitation of underground water reserve for agriculture, apathy towards preserving and utilizing rain-water, unnatural activities on the river systems like dams etc and many more.  In other words, we want to approach the area from holistic multidisciplinary manner and so we invite papers from any discipline and we encourage authors to engage themselves in interdisciplinary discussions.

Topics:

  • Birth of life from water: evolutionary perspectives on creation of life on earth.
  • Prehistoric water-bodies and migration and settlement of animal and human beings in different parts
  • Rise and decline of ancient civilizations on the bank of rivers.
  • Water-bodies for irrigation, transport, security and food.
  • Extreme places: polar regions, deserts etc.
  • Water and rituals: anthropological perspectives on water and culture.
  • Water and human psychology
  • Rain, water, water-bodies as symbols in human culture
  • Treatment of water and water-bodies in literature and arts
  • Water in folk culture
  • Aesthetics of the world under water
  • Performative aspects of water
  • Pollution, water industry and the future of drinking.
  • Water, water-bodies and rural management
  • Urban planning and water management.
  • Climate change, environmental disaster and its impact on the water systems
  • Alternative engineering: indigenous water management systems based on long-time experience
  • Futurism of water: search for water in other planets in scientific researches and science fictions

Book Reviews: Reviews can be submitted on any book (not older than 2 years) on ‘water’ related areas.

Language: English.

Word-limit: Minimum 3000 words and Maximum 5000 words.

Mode of submission: Submission should be made through e-mail only with word/doc. attachment to the Chief Editor at principal@bhattercollege.ac.in or to the Managing Editor at ttm1974@gmail.com. Submission through hard manuscript form or hard format will not be entertained.

Deadline of Submission: 30 August, 2014.

Date of Publication: The issue will be published in the first week of December, 2014.

Contact: Please contact Chief Editor at principal@bhattercollege.ac.in or Managing Editor for queries at ttm1974@gmail.com.

Editorial, Volume III

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This edition of Bhatter Colege Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies is dedicated to the broad multidisciplinary field of Animal Studies. The Animal Question was selected as a focal point of academic enquiry and discussion because of the demands of our time. We believe strongly that animals, not just as opposite beings—in relation to whom our identity is to be defined, but as our fellow beings on this planet deserve more—more rights and respect solely on the basis of their evolutionary status. Founded mainly on the principles of the Enlightenment and liberalism, our educational system follows mainly utilitarian principles. The syllabi, particularly at the school levels inculcate utilitarian attitudes to animals, and thus it is deprived of higher idealistic attitudes and it does not leave any room for alternative view-points. On the contrary, under the guise of scientificism it encourages a sense of non-responsibility for the individual, and the responsibility becomes a kind of invisible idea ascribed to the vague entity of the collective society, authority, institution etc. Our educational system should seriously reconsider the ways animals are presented, represented and familiarized and speciesism is institutionalized.

Eliot’s ‘Circus Animals’: Modernity and the Zoic Primitivism in Eliot’s Poetry

Sourav Kumar Nag, The  University of Burdwan, India

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Abstract

It is a paradox that T.S.Eliot, one of the chief architects of modernism, was interested in primitivism. Primitivism to Eliot was not a matter of the past but a timeless guiding principle that goes hand in hand with modernism. A believer in Pound’s jargon ‘make it new’ Eliot was ever tantalized by the past and significantly contextualized myths in his poetry. The exposition of the primitive through his poetry is essentially tied to the zoic primitivism -the animal existence of the modern man. Eliot has ever remained a literary monument to the literary scholars and a source of eternal enigma. Millions of literary papers were written on Eliot though there is hardly any discussion on this area of his poetry. In this paper my primary focus is to show how Eliot uses the zoic primitivism as a significant trope to capture the loopholes of civilization and modernism in his poetry.  

Editorial, Volume III, 2013

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This edition of the Bhatter College Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies is dedicated to the broad multidisciplinary field of Animal Studies. The Animal Question was selected as a focal point of academic enquiry and discussion because of the demands of our time. We believe strongly that animals, not just as opposite beings—in relation to whom our identity is to be defined, but as our fellow beings on this planet deserve more—more rights and respect solely on the basis of their evolutionary status. Founded mainly on the principles of the Enlightenment and liberalism, our educational system follows mainly utilitarian principles. The syllabi, particularly at the school levels inculcate utilitarian attitudes to animals, and thus it is deprived of higher idealistic attitudes and it does not leave any room for alternative view-points. On the contrary, under the guise of scientificism it encourages a sense of non-responsibility for the individual, and the responsibility becomes a kind of invisible idea ascribed to the vague entity of the collective society, authority, institution etc. Our educational system should seriously reconsider the ways animals are presented, represented and familiarized and speciesism is institutionalized.

Humans, Humanoids and Animals in Eywa: An Eco-critical Reading of James Cameron’s Avatar

Partha Bhattacharjee, the University of Burdwan, India

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Abstract        

One of the more interesting elements in Avatar is the neural connection fibers (Tsahaylu) that each living creature is born with on the planet –“Pandora, a densely forested habitable moon orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system”. Animals, humanoids and even the trees have these neural connection fibers, allowing all living creatures to “plug in” to each other’s neural networks. Once connected through this neural connection, they can feel each other’s emotions and thoughts. They are, in essence, operating as one single being with expanded sensory awareness. In this film Cameron tries to depict the relationship that the human from the Earth and the Na’vi of the Pandora have with the environment. Jake Sully, Grace, Dr. Augustine, Norm Spellman are those who came from Earth and Tsu’tey, Neytiri, et al. are of the Omaticaya tribe. The most interesting fact in Avtar is that the environmental issues, dealt in it, has some moral environmental values encrypted throughout the film. The subject of this paper is to investigate how these moral environmental values are intertwined with thematic and structural point of view of the film.