Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives


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Historians also use terms such as transnational, translocal, entangled histories, connected histories, and global history. All these terms and corresponding approaches have their advantages and drawbacks, but while it is possible to differentiate between them, it is also important to recognize that all of them share an overall agenda, namely the objective to transcend container thinking and the fixed compartmentalization of historical reality, and aim at going beyond what are essentially internalist analyses.

They may thus look at connections between Asia and Europe, or between West Africa and Brazil, but essentially content themselves with crossing the borders of large political and cultural regions.

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In many cases, this geographical expansion may not be sufficient, as for the past several hundreds of years, larger potentially global structures fundamentally shaped what happened in any such region. Speaking the language of transregionalism, in other words, may lead us to avoid thinking about global structures, and to neglect to pursue the question of causality up to a global level. How did the field of transregional research develop in the past ten years? How do you envision its future?

The case against Conrad | Books | The Guardian

Ironically, then, trans-national and trans-regional perspectives were used to make our interpretations of national history more sophisticated. More recently, what we see are works that instead pose transregional questions, and explore transregional spaces, without taking nation-states as their points of departure. In the years to come, my sense is that transregional and global perspectives will complement each other even more than has been the case so far.

Apart from the different words used, however, the differences are slight.

What academic works literature would you name as ground-breaking and trend-setting for the field of transregional research? As mentioned, the debates spawned by the rise of postcolonial studies already raised many of the important issues. In recent years, there are many fascinating studies on different levels, and I can only hint at a few examples.

Finally, some scholars very explicitly establish links to global contexts.

Reflections on Global History in the 20th Century: Towards a New Vision for the 21st Century

Sebastian Conrad is a historian and Japanologist. Tags: history Sebastian Conrad transregional.

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August September Februar His focus is not on unlocking secrets Conrad would have encoded in the writing. The assumption, then, is that there is an element of outdated modernity to Conrad.

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For instance, Hampson aptly demonstrates that The Secret Agent was published in a climate when Europe was the central stage for anarchist activity; Chance was written for an audience under no illusions about the world of finance; Victory first appeared to English readers who were familiar with the everyday reality of prostitution and homosexual scandals. These works are seldom targets for historicist readings and have frequently been regarded by critics as second-rate.

Along with many others, he has previously articulated an appreciation for the later Conrad. Chapter five explores the notion of sexuality in Victory , how it is presented, to whom and why.

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“All Things Transregional?” in conversation with… Sebastian Conrad

But Hampson adds to these studies in an effort to highlight the perspective by which contemporary English readers would have approached Victory. In addition, he provides an original and in-depth discussion about censorship that emphasizes the complexity of the contemporary publishing climate. To my knowledge, he is the first to connect the Obscene Publications Act of to the articulation of sexuality in Victory. Many comparative observations like these are charged with connections that could spark further research.


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  • Although he does not spell it out, this connection has already been discussed, by David Mulry and to a lesser extent by Sarah Cole, Ian Watt and Norman Sherry. Yet the entire subsection on the Greenwich mystery is more than a skillful reiteration of the facts surrounding the actual bombing.

    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
    Conrad in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives

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