This chapter examines how Allen Lane, his editors, and Penguin’s commissioned freelancers created the Penguin Russian Classics series. Before appointing E.V. Rieu as the Penguin Classics series editor, Lane had already liaised with two emigre Russians, Samuel S. Kotelianskii and Sergei Konovalov, about the prospects of publishing Russian literature in translation. Rieu’s Medallion Titles were dominated by translations from Greek and French literature (twenty-nine and twenty-eight translations respectively), followed by Latin and Russian literature, each with sixteen translations. However, insights into the art of translation would probably have seemed irrelevant to both readers and editors during the early Penguin Classics years, when more interest was generated simply by the (re)discovery of the Russian literary canon at affordable prices. As the archived correspondence for Penguin’s Russian Classics shows, the Penguin Classics editors also had to manage inquisitive, often concerned, academics from all over the world. This chapter from “Translating Great Russian Literature: The Penguin Russian Classics” (Routledge, 2021) by Cathy McAteer is published here via Creative Commons License.
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The Values of Independent Hip-Hop in the Post-Golden Era: Hip-Hop’s Rebels (2019, Palgrave Macmillan) — by Christopher Vito
Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, this book uncovers the historical trajectory of U.S. independent hip-hop in the post-golden era, seeking to understand its complex relationship to mainstream hip-hop culture and U.S. culture more generally. Christopher Vito analyzes the lyrics of indie hip-hop albums from 2000-2013 to uncover the dominant ideologies of independent artists regarding race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and social change. These analyses inform interviews with members of the indie hip-hop community to explore the meanings that they associate with the culture today, how technological and media changes impact the boundaries between independent and major, and whether and how this shapes their engagement with oppositional consciousness. Ultimately, this book aims to understand the complex and contradictory cultural politics of independent hip-hop in the contemporary age.
“Nothing moved except the mirage”: Analysing Fear and Freedom in Adania Shibli’s Minor Detail — by Dr. Chaandreyi Mukherjee
Dr. Chaandreyi Mukherjee presents an academic paper that is also a book review for Palestinian author Adania Shibli’s 2020 novel, “Minor Detail” (New Directions). A finalist for the National Book Award, “Minor Detail” is one of the most relevant works of contemporary Palestinian literature that connects 1949 and the Nakba with present day Palestine—as its protagonist digs into the past to uncover horrific truths. Mukherjee’s response and writing on the novel and its many themes is essential to understanding the greater depth to be found in decades of Israeli occupation over Palestinian land and life. The academic not only includes relevant criticism within this piece but also integrates theoretical formulations and observations by various scholars and thinkers that are pertinent to her own readings, such that through her ‘book-review-as-academic-paper’ one gets access to entire bodies and fields of knowledge, from postcolonial theory to resistance literature. Just as “Minor Detail” tells the story of a people and their larger history by means of a protagonist, Dr. Mukherjee’s paper offers multiple vectors of understanding in order to facilitate incisive critical engagement with this recent work of Palestinian literature.
Dr. Inshah Malik speaks in relative detail about her monograph, “Muslim Women, Agency and Resistance Politics: The Case of Kashmir” (Palgrave Pivot, 2019). The book presents a considerable volume of research and knowledge about the agency of Muslim Kashmiri women and their varied roles in forming and shaping resistance, a subject that has been undermined, if not ignored, in the global arena of academic writing. As such, this seminal text serves to break multiple stereotypes and myths, while uncovering the history of a multifarious resistance by Kashmiri women, whether against state control, patriarchy (both militarized and societal) or political repression. As a visiting professor, Dr. Malik also gave a related lecture on the subject for the South Asia Center at the University of Washington earlier last year. Relevant links included.
While evaluating the writings of various philosophers and theorists like Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway, Mubashir Karim presents an extensive paper that considers the central role that animals play in celebrated works of literature and film. From Chekhov’s “Misery,” Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi’s “The Cow,” Maile Meloy’s “Travis B.” among others, to film adaptations by Dariush Mehrjui and Kelly Reichardt, the Kashmiri academic traces the connections between stories and films where animals find a prominent place. The resulting study weaves multiple theoretical, critical and philosophical formulations by leading thinkers on the subject of animals. Karim brings in his own observations and interpretations to present a world of fiction and film where animals humanize humans further or retrieve their humanity by entering their plane of existence to create greater depth within it.
Neoliberalism in Palestine and Kashmir: The Nakedness of Colonial Pretexts in the 21st Century — by Abdulla Moaswes
On this Nakba Day, Palestinian researcher and educator Abdulla Moaswes presents this article to draw parallels between India’s treatment of Kashmir (after the abrogation of Article 370) and Israel’s treatment of Palestine (after the Trump-Netanyahu “Deal of the Century” was announced). According to Moaswes, both events and their aftermath unabashedly reflect the “nakedness of colonial dehumanisation.” The writer explores “the relationship between capitalism, colonialism and dehumanisation” interplayed with nation-state driven “racism and securitisation” in the context of Palestine and Kashmir as occupied territories. The writer also addresses the manner in which “neoliberal economic logic is used by the colonial powers to justify the dehumanisation of Palestinians and Kashmiris” in the 21st century. This article is featured in our Academia section.
Economic Activity and Labour Mobility Amidst a Rising Pandemic: When Is It Possible and Safe in India? — by Dr. Javaid Iqbal Khan and Dhaar Mehak
Economists Dr. Javaid Iqbal and Dhaar Mehak present a timely short paper that articulates relevant questions about striking a balance between strategically resumed “economic activity” in its relation to “labour mobility.” In doing so, the two academics provide feasible strategies and approaches that could keep India from receding into an economic collapse.
Postdoctoral researcher Amrita Ghosh interviews Gurminder K Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies (at University of Sussex) about the relevance of postcolonial and decolonial studies and the importance of the anticolonial in relation to these. The discussion expands into greater considerations about ‘modernity’ and colonialism from a contemporary perspective in the context of books written by Professor Bhambra. The interview brings forth many important ideas to readers, both familiar and unfamiliar with such concepts, drawing connections to substantial research required to dialogue with such ideas and their use in various fields of knowledge, particularly historiography and the social sciences. This interview was previously published in the Winter 2019 issue of “Cerebration: The Literary Journal.”
In this essay, Kashmiri research scholar Mohd. Tahir Ganie approaches the symbolic date of January 19, 1990 from a broader view of recent Kashmiri history. In doing so, Ganie problematizes the manner in which a narrow and oversimplified narrative has been developed around a date that has become “an empty signifier.”
Dr. Javid Ahmad Ahanger, who specializes in Political Science with a focus on Kashmir, presents this article underlining the multiple possibilities for the political future of the multi-party system in Kashmir’s political landscape under Indian rule. The article discusses the emergence of key political parties that served under India’s dominion and the various stakeholders at a critical juncture when a new political framework is yet to be defined after the August 5th (2019) abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.
Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP Kashmir) recently released their official provisional biography that relates the journey of parents, family members, relatives and friends of victims subjected to enforced disappearance over the last three decades. The total number of enforced disappearances in Kashmir is estimated to be between 8000 to 10,000 people. After three decades, their loved ones still seek justice and answers as to their whereabouts. The document titled “The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir: A Provisional Biography of a Journey Towards Justice for the Enforced Disappeared” is authored by Dr. Goldie Osuri (University of Warwick) and Iffat Fatima (Filmmaker), with support from APDP Consultant Shahid Malik and a team of APDP volunteers. The document is embedded here directly from APDP’s official website and references important texts and relevant research produced by members of the community.
This paper by Professor Ananya Jahanara Kabir (presented earlier at the 2014 MLA convention in Chicago) is required reading for those interested in understanding the importance of freedom of expression manifest through basic access to internet. As of now, internet access is severely restricted in Kashmir after a total blockade of nearly six months, with the state now allowing 2G speed access to only 301 websites (most of them government ones). Jahanara Kabir’s paper prompts relevant and important questions about censorship, blockade in a material and virtual sense, when even mourning, remembrance and commemoration are prohibited to an entire Kashmiri population (whether online or offline). This work is licensed and reproduced here under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and remains ever so important since its presentation at the 2014 Modern Language Association’s convention in Chicago, aptly themed “Vulnerable Times?”
This contribution focuses on aspects of feminism and gender in Marx’s theory. Marx’s methodology has given us the tools and the categories enabling us to think together gender and class, feminism and anti-capitalism. However, his contribution is an indirect one because Marx never developed a theory of gender. It is important to include the role of reproductive labour, slave labour, migrant labour, labour in the Global South and the unemployed in the critical analysis of capitalism and its division of labour. Reproductive labour is the largest activity on this planet and a major ground of divisions within the working class.
Through a brief yet meticulous study of Kashmiri history, particularly grounded in the different dealings that outsiders have had with a Kashmiri population, Arsilan Aziz presents this paper recounting how Kashmir began to figure in foreign imaginations through the optics of a peculiar orientalism. It was one that primarily targeted Kashmiri Muslims and maintained the one quality that makes orientalism what it is: the capacity to spread, through a genealogy of knowledge and power employed to caricature and characterize a dispossessed peoples, to then be passed on from generation to generation in non-linear ways in an attempt to maintain a lineage of power and supremacy. Aziz takes readers through carefully cited texts to validate his points while also referencing the work of notable scholars who have written about the portrayal of Kashmiris, and particularly Muslims, through that peculiar and abhorrent orientalist gaze. In doing so, Aziz unveils the manner in which such orientalist approaches to Kashmir manifest in contemporary times in mainstream Indian media, while remaining unchecked and unquestioned.