My research interests include colonial states of emergency, Anglophone literatures from Canada and South Asia, postcolonial theory, critical theory, poetics, and politics, and visual culture.
States of Emergency: Terrorism and Colonialism in Literature and Culture 1905-2005
This monograph examines how Third World national liberation struggles and the legal, military and political techniques employed by colonial governments to contain them have been represented in literature and culture of the 20th century and the first five years of the 21st century. The book comprises six case studies of colonial states of emergency in India, Ireland, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, and South Africa, and concludes with an assessment of the continuities between these colonial states of emergency and the current global war on terror post-9/11. By adopting a comparative approach to the representation of colonial states of emergency in literary and cultural texts, the study assesses how the particular cultural and historical experiences of colonial violence and violent anti-colonial resistance in India, Kenya, South Africa, Ireland and Israel-Palestine are negotiated in the narrative structure, generic conventions and rhetoric of literary texts, statutes, minutes, reports and court trials, while also identifying any formal similarities between these very different texts and historical contexts. In so doing, I argue that in spite of the liberal rhetoric of European colonialism’s civilising mission, political government by violence and terror was more often the rule rather than the exception in the European colonies. While colonial rule by force may have seemed to be more pronounced during violent national liberation struggles, I contend that the use of violence and force was in many cases inherent to the entire legal and political edifice of the European colonial state.
The Year’s Work in Cultural and Critical Theory
From December 2004, I have been a co-contributor (with James Procter) to The Year’s Work in Cultural and Critical Theory, to which I contribute an annual essay on the year’s work in Postcolonial Theory.
The project involved visits and readings by leading international writers, a conference on international migration, and creative writing workshops with local schoolchildren.
Professor Stephen Morton
Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom
Telephone:(023) 8059 3239