English Imaginaries: Six Studies in Anglo-British Modernity

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What does it mean to be English in the modern world?

The answer doesn't usually include Nancy Cunard's assault on Anglo-British whiteness; J.B. Priestley's democratic populism; Who guitarist Pete Townshend's modernist rebellion; Vivienne Westwood's anti-fashion; David Dabydeen's blackening of the literary and visual canon; or Mark Wallinger's detournement of English oil painting.

Kevin Davey, drawing on the work of Gramsci and Julia Kristeva, ...

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Overview

What does it mean to be English in the modern world?

The answer doesn't usually include Nancy Cunard's assault on Anglo-British whiteness; J.B. Priestley's democratic populism; Who guitarist Pete Townshend's modernist rebellion; Vivienne Westwood's anti-fashion; David Dabydeen's blackening of the literary and visual canon; or Mark Wallinger's detournement of English oil painting.

Kevin Davey, drawing on the work of Gramsci and Julia Kristeva, argues that any analysis of Englishness should aknowledge these figures, and goes on to pose searching questions about New Labour's vision of the nation.


'With this book the debate about Englishness grows up. In his profound and engaging meditation Kevin Davey puts to shame most of the recent spate of essays on this fashionable theme.'
~Anthony Barnett
 
'Kevin Davey's remarkable blend of history, criticism and politics, ranging across literature, music, art, fashion, biography and cultural theory, is one of the most stimulating contributions to that new questioning. It is certainly among the most original. It deserves to be, and surely will be, one of the most influential.'
~Stephen Howe

'An original and incisive analysis of the peculiarities of the English, offering a variety of new perspectives on both the pasts and possible futures of Anglo-Britishness.'
~David Morley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780853158684
  • Publisher: Lawrence & Wishart, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Pages: 202

Table of Contents

Introduction: Where next for the Anglo-British? 1
1 England: an imaginary country 6
2 Nancy Cunard: 'a half foreign eye' 27
3 J.B. Priestley: premature postscripts to Churchill 55
4 Pete Townshend: 'talking 'bout regeneration' 80
5 Vivienne Westwood: the shadow monarch 113
6 David Dabydeen: coolie lessons for Cool Britannia 139
7 Mark Wallinger: the lost horizon of the English studfarm 171
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