Madness in postcolonial fiction in English

Starting date
June 1, 2011
Duration (months)
20
Departments
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Managers or local contacts
Pes Annalisa , Zinato Susanna
Keyword
madness, colonization, ex-centricity

The concern with identity and belonging, with place/dis-placement is a major feature of postcolonial literature and the theme of alienation cannot but be ‘topical’ in the literatures of the countries that have experienced the cultural shock and bereavement, and the physical and psychic trauma of colonial invasion. The vocation of this project is to gauge the difference one is faced with when a postcolonial mad/ex-centric text is addressed by considering a range of writers from Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, the Indian subcontinent and Asian diaspora(s). While giving contextual specifics their due, the project highlights how the theme of alienation, when perceived through the anamorphic lens of madness, is magnified and charged with an excruciatingly questioning and destabilizing power, laying bare political, as well as existential and moral urges. From the ex-centric, broadly exilic position it is the ideology and practice of colonialism that demand to be rubricated under the sign of psychopathology. More broadly, in fiction the mad character’s ex-centric vision is a continuous warning against the temptation to believe in those discourses that pass themselves off as reflecting the given, ‘natural’, order of things.

Project participants

Annalisa Pes
Associate Professor
Angelo Righetti
Teaching Assistant
Susanna Zinato
Associate Professor

Collaboratori esterni

David Attwell
University of York
David Callahan
Universidade de Aveiro
John Thieme
University of East Anglia
carmen concilio
Università di Torino
Rossella Ciocca
Università L'Orientale di Napoli
Francesca Scalinci
Università di Verona cultore della materia
Giulia Rosastri
Università di Verona dottoranda
Alice Civieri
Università di Verona dottoranda
Research areas involved in the project
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Critical Theory & Poetics
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Cultural Studies: Colonialism/Colonial Discourse
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Historical period codes: 1500-1600
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Literature (General): Comparative literature  (DFLL)
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Literature (General): Comparative literature  (DLLS)
Letteratura inglese e letterature anglofone
Stylistics

Activities

Research facilities