Issue 17 (Summer 2011): Crisis

Edited by Ashley Edwards, Nessa Johnston, Anthony Reynolds, Graham Riach, and Andrew Rubens

Photograph: Jonathan Nicholson

This issue of eSharp engages with the timely theme of Crisis, aiming to explore the meanings and significance of this salient concept within contemporary research in the Arts and Social Sciences.

Crisis is multifaceted, transient, disruptive, painful, and perplexing. Crises invite us to consider moments of transformation, moments of loss, moments of upheaval; moments which are often hard to comprehend yet which necessitate analysis even in their articulation. The research presented here engages with these moments, offering reflections and perspectives on the ways in which culture and societies can negotiate and understand crisis.

Within this issue is a body of outstanding work that approaches crisis from a variety of disciplinary practices, ranging from historicised literary studies to comparative media research, and from anthropological participant observation to political-economic analysis.

Mattia Marino discusses European cultural identity crises within the early 21st century, by unpicking the tensions between cultural conformity and resistance, and pointing to examples of hybrid identities in recent literature, film and music. Seumas Bates spent time observing and interviewing a small Louisiana parish community that suffered the ill effects of both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, and describes the methods these people have used to survive as a community. Sam Wiseman suggests a new perspective on the 1920s/1930s crisis of English identity in the face of modernity, by examining the roles of the urban and the rural in the work of Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. Seamus MacLeod questions the policies and rhetoric of the current UK government's fiscal strategies, drawn up after the financial crisis of 2008, suggesting analogies between the securitisation of fiscal policy in the present, to securitisation of foreign policy in the past. Gohar Karim Khan considers the role that modern Anglophone Pakstani fiction plays in creating a cultural narrative of the crisis of acceptance that young Pakistani men face in negotiating western cultures since 9/11.

These articles share a resolute engagement with dark and often distressing moments of crisis. In their varied approaches and subjects, they demonstrate that such moments can also be moments of revelation, leading towards new understandings. Moving in and through crisis, this collection finds space for new energies of creation and renewal, of criticism and affirmation, of optimism and defiance. It shows that to attempt to understand crisis is also to try to overcome it.



Marino, Mattia
The Mnemonics of Identity Crisis: Hybrid Gender and European Postmodern Memory in Literary and Audiovisual Cultures




17 - Marino 
Bates, Seumas Beyond The Storm, Beyond The Spill: Moral Willing In Post-Katrina & Post-BP Oil Spill Plaquemines Parish As Narrative Re-Envisioning Abstract 17 - Bates
Wiseman, Sam Identity, Ecology, Eschatology: The Country and the City in D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf Abstract 17 - Wiseman
MacLeod, Seamus Death and Taxes: Why has the UK securitised fiscal policy in the manner that it has and what does this move imply regarding the coalition government’s understanding of economic security? Abstract 17 - MacLeod
Khan, Gohar Karim The Treatment of ‘9/11’ in Contemporary Anglophone Pakistani Literature: A Case for Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist as a Postcolonial Bildungsroman Abstract 17 - Khan