Minority Studies

New PDF release: Abiding by Sri Lanka. On Peace, Place, and Postcoloniality

By Qadri Ismail

The loss of peace in Sri Lanka is often portrayed on account of a violent, ethnonationalist clash among the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. considered during this gentle, solution might be attained via clash administration. yet, as Qadri Ismail unearths, this is often too simplistic an figuring out and can't produce lasting peace. 

Abiding via Sri Lanka examines how the disciplines of anthropology, heritage, and literature deal with the Sri Lankan ethnic clash. Anthropology, Ismail contends, ways Sri Lanka as an item from an “outside” and western standpoint. heritage, addressing the clash from the “inside,” abides by way of where and so promotes swap that's nationalist and particular. Neither of those fields imagines an inclusive group. Literature, Ismail argues, can. 

With shut readings of texts that “abide” by means of Sri Lanka, texts that experience a dedication to it, Ismail demonstrates that the issues in Sri Lanka increase basic issues for us all concerning the courting among democracies and minorities. spotting the structural in addition to political trends of consultant democracies to suppress minorities, Ismail rethinks democracy via redefining the idea that of the minority point of view, no longer as a subject-position of numerical insignificance, yet as a conceptual house that opens up the prospect for contrast with no domination and, finally, peace. 

Qadri Ismail is affiliate professor of English on the college of Minnesota. He has additionally been a journalist in Sri Lanka.

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Extra info for Abiding by Sri Lanka. On Peace, Place, and Postcoloniality

Sample text

Wilson— and this is one of the most crucial similarities in their two positions— does not disagree with de Silva over this general fact or structuring principle of representative democracy. His problem is that de Silva does not recognize a particular fact: the Tamils are a nation. When Memory Dies, in contrast, works within the logic of geometry, or the incommensurable, not that of arithmetic, the easily compared. Where social science can find significance only in “principals,” this novel has actants from four ethnic groups.

After which, finding inspiration in Fanon, Spivak, and Chatterjee, I offer my own understanding, a (re)theorizing of the concept and the work it has still left to do. Reading Abiding But how, you may wonder, were the texts that abide by Sri Lanka chosen in the first place? By what criteria was it decided that a certain text does so and another does not? Do some texts come stamped “abiding by”? Or do I, despite my disclaimer, actually work within a notion of an insider? Even worse, am I performing some kind of police function?

Gory as the intellectual production of Watson and Spencer and not of the scholars, dramatists, and novelists discussed later, is not that, like the avowed outsiders, he lives and/or is employed outside Sri Lanka, or even that he shares their foreign citizenship. What is at stake here is that his text does not intervene in a Sri Lankan conversation, or argument, or brawl perhaps; rather it seeks to interpret the country to a “wider world,” presumably the West. This debate in the wider world is certainly about Sri Lanka but, in a very strict sense, it is not of it.

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Abiding by Sri Lanka. On Peace, Place, and Postcoloniality by Qadri Ismail


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