فهرست مطالب

Contemporary Literary and Cultural Studies - Volume:1 Issue: 1, 2018
  • Volume:1 Issue: 1, 2018
  • تاریخ انتشار: 1396/12/17
  • تعداد عناوین: 13
  • Bakhtiar Sadjadi * Pages 1-3
    Publishing an academic journal concerning English literature and the exploration of a given text in terms of contemporary critical approaches is a significant endeavor with both its pains and joys. This characteristic feature appears to be more tangible when the number of the similar attempts throughout the whole country is surprisingly low. If we review major developments in the area of English literature in what is generally referred to as the Iranian academic discourse in the past few decades, we will immediately find out that, to our big surprise, there has occurred no major attempt in publishing an academic journal in this field of study nationwide. Having been first addressed by Plato in the fifth century B.C. down to the present day, literary criticism and theory, in its general sense, is new in that it began to sprout as an academic discipline only in the past few decades. Literary theory is still ‘new’ to a number of professors of literature and the human sciences in some of the universities of the world. The question of the practicality and authenticity of literary theory has become so critical that one can clearly observe the split of the professors of the departments of, for example, English into two major groups: one group contributing to literary theory, and the other group simply ignorant of or rejecting it. The close and one-to-one association between literature, on one hand, and the other fields of study in the Humanities including philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, on the other hand, has paved the way for a number of re-readings and re-evaluations of literary texts according to different approaches provided by diverse theories barrowed from these disciplines. The interdisciplinary nature of contemporary literary theory is in itself another reason that supposedly makes it rather separated from the departments of English or other languages. However, as managed in a number of western and recently Iranian universities, literary theory has been gifted an independent character and, as followed in other universities, it is treated as a self-contained discipline in the closely related departments. The interdisciplinary character of literary theory makes it a field of study that is permanently shuttling back and forth between literature and the specific academic subject on which it is theoretically based. For example, a psychological approach to literature ultimately comes up with a psychological literary theory; that is, a theory that is about and constituent of both literary criticism and psychology. The same feature is explicitly manifested in the other subcategories of literary theory such as sociological and mythological literary theories. Structuralism, to bring another example, focuses on both literature and linguistics whereas Post-Structuralism seeks to present a philosophical interpretation of language, literature, and culture. Similarly, one can also address another subgroup in contemporary literary theory that is different from the above examples. The theories presented in this subgroup are founded upon specific philosophical or even cultural schools of thought. Phenomenological, Feminist, New Historicist, Post-Colonialist, and Deconstructionist literary theories, to name only a few, are categorized in this subgroup. Obviously, the approaches provided here are not only extensively distinguishable from, but also in opposition to, each other at a large scale. For example, Feminist literary theory proposes a project that is opposite to the ‘male-dominated’ tradition of literary criticism. The other theoretic controversy is, to bring another example, between New Historicism and Deconstructionism. New Historicist theory’s interest in searching for the true historical facts based on arts and literature finds itself in sharp contrast with the Deconstructivist repudiation of the concept of truth as human beings have ever thought of. The immediate conclusion we arrive at is that literary theory is not only new and interdisciplinary but also a perplexing area of scholarship that offers different and sometimes contradictory views on a given text or concept. Although the term literary theory, because of its generality and recent universality, seems to be not a perplexed discipline, it really embodies these heterogeneous premises. However, one should not be misled by such an immediate conclusion. In other words, in order to avoid any misconception one should not think of literary theory as an organic unity the constituent parts of which are all in accordance with each other. Literary theory, on the contrary, is a general term for a number of different critical approaches to literature, each one of which based upon a specific worldview or school of thought. Therefore, by literary theory as an independent academic discipline we really mean ‘literary theories,’ the different sub-categories of which are sometimes in opposition to each other. Furthermore, there is most often a philosophical base for a certain literary theory. That is why to account for a specific literary theory means to account for that philosophical school upon which it has been founded. Considering the direct impact of the other areas of the human sciences on literary theory and criticism in the last decades of the twentieth and the early twenty-first century, one might regard literary theory as an area of study in which the findings of all human sciences meet, influence, and promote each other. Contemporary Literary and Cultural Studies is the first and, for the present time, the only academic English journal in the area of English literature and literary theory in the Iranian academic discourse. The editorial board of the journal includes prolific academicians and versatile researches all well-known and well-liked. The contributors are mostly brilliant and energetic young researchers in the field. The CLCS’s team of reviewers includes members form different universities both in Iran and abroad. The ultimate goal of the CLCS is to present world class researches to both our Iranian and international readers and researchers. I would like to sincerely thank the academic members of the department of English in the University of Kurdistan. Furthermore, I should express my gratitude to the authorities of the Faculty of Language and Literature for their corrective suggestions and inspiration. I also offer my sincere thanks to my colleagues in the Research Department of the UOK, who I owe a debt of gratefulness. I also appreciate the friendly environment of the CLCS office and I am thankful to the administrative staff of the journal. Here in the CLCS, we are looking forward to reading your submitted manuscripts.
  • Farzad Boobani * Pages 5-17

    Adopting a descriptive-analytical method, this article aims to closely examine the representations of London in Ben Jonson’s early seventeenth-century play The Alchemist and Samuel Johnson’s mid-eighteenth-century poem London. These two great examples of literary texts provide the reader with two highly distinguishable treatment of the subject, that is to say London. Jonson’s drama depicts life in his native London mainly to satirize it. Likewise, Samuel Johnson’s poem denounces London life for what he thinks to be its immorality, anarchy and corruption. However, both authors seem to have been fascinated with London at the same time: while Jonson’s interest is evident from his detailed cataloguing of city sites, Samuel Johnson gradually reconciles himself to London to finally declare it to be the city that houses “all that life can afford”.

    Keywords: London, Urban Space, Satire, Moral Space, Ben Jonson, Samuel Johnson
  • Fazel Asadi Amjad, Peyman Amanolahi Baharvand* Pages 21-37

    Critically reading Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, the present paper attempts to explore the impacts of colonization on indigenous subjects, plants and animals. To trace the detrimental effects of colonialism on both environment and people in Sea of Poppies, this study foregrounds the reflection of the obligatory cultivation of poppy under the rule of British colonizers in India. Sea of Poppies is indeed a portrayal of the catastrophic policies enforced in India by British colonizers in the nineteenth century. In his seminal novel Ghosh deals with the changes brought about by the lucrative cultivation of poppy in the exacerbation of the financial status of indigenous subjects. Environmental devastation and the changes in the normal behavior of animals are also dealt with. Focusing on the theoretical frameworks proposed by Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin, this paper explores the convergence of postcolonialism and ecocriticism in Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies to indicate that not only were native people impoverished during colonialism in India, but also the ecosystem was severely damaged.

    Keywords: Colonialism, Post-colonial Approach, Ecocriticism, Poppy, Nature, Animals
  • Maryam Tarighatbin*, Seyyed Shahabeddin Sadati Pages 39-61

    The scopes of this research were to analyze the semiotic and cultural aspects of 30 English and Persian advertising slogans of various brands and also to reveal the functions of advertising elements used in the advertising teasers. The slogans were sampled for the analysis on the random basis from the internet sources. The writer used descriptive qualitative method to describe and analyze the semiotic elements; objects; verbal and nonverbal dimensions of advertisements. The semiotic model used in this analysis was Charles Sanders Peirce’s semiotic framework. The researcher identified the frequency of cultural and advertising elements used in the advertising slogans in order to illustrate the techniques used by the companies. The findings of the present research indicated that among the advertising elements, shots, color, and music were used more in the 15 English advertising teasers, but in 15 Persian advertising teasers, shots and color were used more than the other advertising elements. In addition, the functions of semiotic and cultural elements in advertising are as follows: they convey the messages more vividly and comprehensively, facilitate the communication between the advertisers and audiences, indicate the truths and facts in a different way, evoke the awareness and conscience of people in order to help others, convey a piece of information about the advertisement, make reference to a concrete or imaginary reality associated with the values of the advertised product or service, and build a bridge for social groups and various communities.

    Keywords: Culture, Semiotics, Advertising Slogans, Peirce’s Model, Advertising Elements
  • Hoda Niknezhad ferdos *, Jalal Sokhanvar Pages 63-80

    The present paper aims address the Lacanian concepts of the tyche (tuche) and the automaton in Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion (1987), and to explore the way the whole novel is based on moments of chance, peril, and jeopardy which are traceable in the transformation of automaton into tyche. Illuminating the track of automaton into tyche, the study endeavors to compare reading women’s writing style to experiencing tyche while going through other styles could be comparable to an automaton. A historiographic metafiction, The Passion is divided into four seemingly unrelated sections connected by the elements of chance and calamity. Via experiencing traumatic happenings, the characters face the incursion of the Real into the Symbolic Order (Tyche), considered beyond the determinations of the Symbolic. Observing the mass slaughter and deplorable death of his comrades, Henri is unable to return to the Symbolic and is obliged to remain in the asylum as a mentally disordered person. On the contrary, Villanelle manages to free herself from the post-traumatic stress and commences a new life.

    Keywords: Automaton, Chance, The Real, The Symbolic, Trauma, Tyche
  • Negar Sharif * Pages 81-95

    The present study addresses one of the most recently debated areas in postmodern literature and art, the revival of interest in theatricality. The researcher aims to introduce a few strategies which are used to turn the intertextual elements and the pastiche into working tools for creating theatricality. In order to do so, Thomas Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) which was later made into a movie version as well, directed by Stoppard himself, is examined. The study tries to show how theatricality can affect the performance as well as the contribution of the spectators to the dramatic text and performance. The shared experience of the pastiche made based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare, can contributeto the understanding of how theatricality can work when intertextuality is a powerful and positive force. The sample scenes chosen here are concluded to be the examples of how the illusion of having a stable identity is what not only the characters, the players or the author just assume to exist, but also what the text deliberately and constantly recreates. The playful nature of theatricality highlights the way each of these contributors willingly dupe themselves for the show to go on.

    Keywords: Theatricality, Postmodern Drama, Intertextuality, Pastiche, Stoppard’s Drama
  • Narges Montakhabi Bakhtvar *, Nina Pezeshk Hamedani Pages 97-113

    Neil Simon’s plays, through their comic exterior, target serious social critique at the contemporary media-ridden culture of America. This research is a study of Simon’s theater from the perspective of Hannah Arendt’s speculations on human condition, totalitarianism, and violence. The selected plays, Fools, Lost in Yonkers, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor are scrutinized according to the three main concepts in Arendt’s thought, which are “action”, “work”, and “labor.” Action is a set of goal-oriented human activities carried out in plurality and imbued with the hope for new possibilities. Plural action is the most effective means of resisting totalitarianism that only wishes to downgrade action to work and then labor through violence. However, despite impositions and enforcements of violence, action always remains in the history for future generations to draw inspiration from. In Simon’s theater, despite its nonpolitical and humorous façade, action is inevitably thwarted, but its positive outcomes cannot be plagued. Simon puts on a vivid display the sparkles of pluralism and action regardless of immanent violence and its democratic disguise.

    Keywords: Action, Work, Labor, Power, Violence, Totalitarianism
  • Zhila Gholami *, Bakhtiar Sadjadi Pages 115-138

    Exploring how literature represents social context, the present study aims to critically examine Mark Ravenhill’s plays, Some Explicit Polaroids and Faust is Dead, in terms of Giddens’ concepts of Globalization, Risk, and Transformation of Intimacy. The central argument of this analysis is thus to demonstrate how Ravenhill’s plays represent the social changes of the contemporary era in which the plays have been produced. The study addresses the concepts of Globalization and Risk in the plays in order to illustrate how transformations brought by it affect individual’s day-to-day life in contemporary society. Accordingly, the researcher thus focuses on the impacts of such transformations on the process of self-identity construction as well as the transformation of intimacy in that, as Giddens has contended, the characteristics of the globalized world deeply intrude into the heart of self-identity and reshape the way individuals build up their self-identities.

    Keywords: Globalization, Risk, Self-Identity, In-Yer-Face Theater, Ravenhill
  • Fatemeh Azizmohammadi * Pages 139-146

    The highlighted purpose of the present study lies on the traces of Hermeticism in John Donne’s celebrated poem, An Anatomy of the World. Since Donne was one of the seventeenth-century poets and a highly significant poet in the metaphysical school of poetry, his poems explore the realms of philosophy, theology, popular science, and also the idea of Platonic love in his love poetry. Hermeticism is an ancient idea which focuses on spiritual, philosophical, and magical tradition. This school of thought concentrates on the path of spiritual growth. It believes that human beings return to a state of unity by the spiritual journey. With reference to this idea, this study explores the elements of Hermeticism in the lines of An Anatomy of the World in order to grasp the idea of spiritual journey and unification in that Donne in this poem centers on a profound quest and spiritual journey of the soul that goes to heaven.

    Keywords: Donne, Hermeticism, An Anatomy of the World, Spiritual Journey, Unification
  • Sadegh Ahmadi Asl*, Hossein Aliakbari Harehdasht, Ehsan Karaminejad Pages 147-165

    One of the most challenging approaches toward literary works is the feminist approach. After three waves of feminism through the history of literary criticism, Judith Butler has introduced a new vision that is gender-based rather than sex-based. She has strongly influenced the domain of feminism and queer theories. In her preeminent book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity</em> (1990), Butler sharply criticizes the former feminists for their division of men and women into two distinct groups, the latter being the underdog and the former being the superior. Butler argues that gender is a cultural and social construct. One’s gender is performative for one’s actions, which determine and construct his/her gender identity. The present paper aims at investigating Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl</em> (2012) in terms of Butlerian concepts of gender and performativity. The novel takes advantage of certain characters to depict the idea of gender, as performative. The current study explores the concept of gendered identity focusing on the characters of Amy Elliott Dunne, Margo Dunne, and Maureen Dunne. Further investigations of the characters, particularly Detective Rhonda Boney and Amy Elliott Dunne, illustrate the link between the concept of performativity and the novel.

    Keywords: Gender, Performativity, Performance, Heterosexuality, Norm
  • Alireza N, A Farahbakhsh* Pages 167-183

    The present article aims to explore the notion of Existentialist essence in the major and minor characters of Albert Camus’s short story “The Guest.” It also takes it upon itself to investigate the different implications of the setting of the story. The central questions of this survey, therefore, are: which of the characters of the short story can be said to have developed a sort of personality we associate with Existentialism? What can be inferred from Camus’s choice of the setting? To answer the questions, this moral/philosophical study first reviews the basic tenets of Existentialism in a nutshell and then probes them as well as their functions in the characters and the setting of the narrative. The present research argues that the only person who fits into Camus’s conception of an Existentialist hero is Daru, even though The Arab, too, develops certain traits which are attuned with the Existentialist mindset. It is also revealed that in “The Guest,” there are significant allusions toThe Myth of Sisyphus</em></strong>, Inferno</em></strong>, Hell</em></strong>, Notes from Underground</em></strong>, “The Waste Land,” and Psalm 23</em></strong>, which create a gloomy setting and represent Daru as a modern Sisyphus. A possible implication is that Camus is effectively comparing the plateau/Algeria/the world to Hades/inferno/Hell and that he is identifying himself with Daru and the people living in the mid-twentieth century with the residents of Tartarus.

    Keywords: Existentialism, Essence, Choice, Alienation, Sisyphus
  • Jalil Fathi *, Ehsan Soleimani Dahenehsari Pages 185-204

    As far as teaching English as a foreign language is concerned, the role of literature as a medium to enhance language learning or to promote other cognitive and affective variables has been quite contentious. In order to shed more light on the use of literature in English Language Teaching (ELT), the study investigated the role of literature as a medium to foster critical thinking among English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students. A sample of 39 intermediate Iranian EFL students who were the students of two intact classes were recruited. They were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group (n=18) were required to read unabridged, authentic short stories written by literary figures whereas control group students were provided with abridged and simplified texts and short stories. A validated scale of critical thinking was administered as the pre/post-test before and after the treatment. The results of a one way ANCOVA revealed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the post-test of critical thinking, suggesting that use of literary texts has been effective in enhancing the level of critical thinking among EFL students. The findings of the study have pedagogical implications for ELT theorizers and practitioners.

    Keywords: Literature, Critical Thinking, EFL, Language Teaching, Short Story
  • Minoo Abouzarjomehri* Pages 205-222

    The purpose of this study is to explore the image of loss in modern American drama in the theme of family. The image of loss prevails the post-war era of American drama in three levels of psychological, physical, and moral space. This image is clearly observable in two of the prominent works of the era, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Moreover, this image of loss is closely connected with the notion of time. The familial breakdown appears as a sustaining motif that plays a central role in the psychologically shattered personality of the major characters, as a result of the profound changes in the American post-war society and family. World War II was a milestone in the society as a whole, and in the family as a smaller society, and correspondingly among the people as entities which the image of loss seemed inseparable from. American post-War drama fully represents the tough conditions of that era particularly in the themes of familial breakdown and the image of loss.

    Keywords: American Post-War Drama, Loss, Family Breakdown, Shattered Persoanlity