As the title indicates, three themes of perpetual interest in contemporary cultural studies - place, identity, and nationality - converge in this critical essay collection. While proffering varied and sometimes clashing arguments concerning the title themes, the essays and their authors all assert the importance of the creative text in defining, contesting, and understanding place, identity, and nationality in the modern and contemporary globalised world. The critical frameworks of these essays grow out of the groundbreaking literary and cultural studies theory of the past two decades. However, several of the essays map hitherto unchartered territory by engaging with recent works from emerging authors and a director, and providing new insight into the work of established authors. Beyond mapping new academic terrain, the collection is further distinguished by its global perspective with texts and authors from around the world which come together in a unique multinational dialogue. The collection is divided into three sections. The first, Women Writers and Nationalism , includes essays on Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Jo Shapcott, and Leila Aboulela. The second, National Identity and Contemporary Fictions , examines the role of contemporary fiction in establishing the respective national identities and histories of Wales and Australia. The third, Transnational Identities , analyses Partition literature, migrant women's literature of France and Spain, and film director Shane Meadows' take on new forms of nationalism. From India, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the United States, the texts and essays crisscross the globe, exploring the relationships between nationality and identity through film, memoir, poetry, and the vel. Some examine national literatures and identities; others focus on the struggle of the individual, particularly the migrant individual, to define his or her identity within a multicultural, multinational framework. Together, the essays register both collective and individual responses to nationality and illustrate new forms of nationalism and identity in the modern and contemporary world.
Dr Nissa Parmar is an independent scholar. Her interests include modern and contemporary poetry and emergent American literature and culture. Anna Hewitt recently submitted her PhD on the topic of Jo Shapcott's poetry at the University of Reading. Her research interests include contemporary and modern British and American poetry, feminist and transnational studies, and the medical humanities. Professor Alex Goody is Research Director in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes University. Her primary research and teaching interests are modernist studies and American literature and culture.