Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard, Benjamin Mountford (eds.), Fighting Words: Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World (Peter Lang, 2017)

fighting words

Can a book change the world? If books were integral to the creation of the imperial global order, what role have they played in resisting that order throughout the twentieth century? To what extent have theories and movements of anti-imperial and anticolonial resistance across the planet been shaped by books as they are read across the world?

Fighting Words responds to these questions by examining how the book as a cultural form has fuelled resistance to empire in the long twentieth century. Through fifteen case studies that bring together literary, historical and book historical perspectives, this collection explores the ways in which books have circulated anti-imperial ideas, as they themselves have circulated as objects and commodities within regional, national and transnational networks. What emerges is a complex portrait of the vital and multifaceted role played by the book in both the formation and the form of anticolonial resistance, and the development of the postcolonial world.

Series: Race and Resistance Across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century

Introduction to Race and Resistance Across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century – Tessa Roynon, Elleke Boehmer, Stephen Tuck

Introduction: Fighting Words: Books and the Making of the Postcolonial World – Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard, Benjamin Mountford

1: From Communism to Postcapitalism: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848) – Dominic Davies

2: Anna Julia Cooper’s A Voice From the South (1892): Black Feminism and Human Rights – Imaobong Umoren

3: Ambivalence, Admiration and Empire: Emily Hobhouse’s The Brunt of the War and Where it Fell (1902) – Christina Twomey

4: W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk (1903): Of the Veil and the Color-Line, of Double-Consciousness and Second-Sight – Reiland Rabaka

5: Wake Up, India: A Plea for Social Reform (1913): Annie Besant’s Anticolonial Networks – Priyasha Mukhopadhyay

6: Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa (1916): The Politics of Belonging – Janet Remmington

7: Making Freedom: Jawaharlal Nehru’s An Autobiography (1936) and The Discovery of India (1946) – Elleke Boehmer

8: Joseph B. Danquah’s The Akan Doctrine of God (1944): Anticolonial Fragments? – Rouven Kunstmann

9: The Resistant Forces of Myth: Miguel Angel Asturias’s Men of Maize (1949) – Johanna Richter

10: The Hip-Hop Legacies of Cheikh Anta Diop’s Nations nègres et culture (1954) – Ruth Bush

11: Culture in Transition: Rajat Neogy’s Transition (1961-1968) and the Decolonization of African Literature – Asha Rogers

12: Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961): The Spectre of the Third World Project – John Narayan

13: ‘The Match is in the Spinifex’: Frank Hardy’s The Unlucky Australians (1968) – Benjamin Mountford

14: Provenance, Identification and Confession in Sally Morgan’s My Place (1987) – Michael R. Griffiths

15: Freedom Fighter/Postcolonial Saint: The Symbolic Legacy of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom (1994) – Erica Lombard

Afterword: Plotting a Postcolonial Course in Fifteen Chapters – Antoinette Burton, Isabel Hofmeyr

Dominic Davies is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford, where he also obtained his DPhil in Post/Colonial Literature. His first monograph, Imperial Infrastructure and Spatial Resistance in Colonial Literature, 1880–1930, was published in 2017.

Erica Lombard is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg. She holds a DPhil in English Literature from the University of Oxford.

Benjamin Mountford is a David Myers Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Australia. His first monograph, Britain, China & Colonial Australia, was published in 2016 and he is currently editing a collection with Stephen Tuffnell titled Gold Rush: A Global History.

Elleke Boehmer, University of Oxford

Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois

Ruth Bush, University of Bristol

Dominic Davies, University of Oxford

Michael R. Griffiths, University of Wollongong

Isabel Hofmeyr, University of Witwatersrand

Rouven Kunstmann, University of Oxford

Erica Lombard, University of Johannesburg

Benjamin Mountford, La Trobe University

Priyasha Mukhopadhyay, Harvard Society of Fellows

John Narayan, University of Warwick

Reiland Rabaka, University of Colorado

Janet Remmington, University of York

Johanna Richter, IFK International Research Center for Cultural Studies

Asha Rogers, University of Birmingham

Christina Twomey, Monash University

Imaobong Umoren, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

22 June 2017 | 282 PAGES | HARDBACK | PETER LANG LTD

ISBN: 9781787070752