Alluvium Editorial 8.3: Contemporary Representations of Homelessness

Special Issue: Contemporary Representations of Homelessness Editors: Julia Ditter, Liam Harrison and Martin Goodhead From theorizations of transcendent homelessness to contemporary narratives of displacement in the wake of war and…

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The Post-Millennial Rise of British Homelessness Literature

Approximately as many full-length novels and autobiographies written by British authors about or largely featuring homelessness were published in the last two decades as in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000. Homelessness seems to be growing in the public and cultural consciousness, and it remains a persistent and pressing issue.

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Homelessness, Borders, and the Displaced Youth: Understanding Young Refugees through Fictional Narratives

By Anindita Shome Content warning: contains descriptions of graphic violence and sexual assault Fictional narratives can play a critical role when it comes to understanding…

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Disabled and Deprived: Reading Refugee Narrative in the Light of Disability

Refugee narratives revolve around the intertwined themes of violence, coercion, deprivation, and ultimately the death of humanity. Furthermore, these narratives are built around the motifs of escape from socio-political menace, accompanied by a journey of survival.1 However, these interminable journeys are marked by injuries and casualties: “For the refugees who survive there is significant risk of injury, abuse, and torture during these journeys” (McPherson 1239). The physical and mental assaults upon some of the refugees, and their dire conditions, cumulatively result in disability. The most vulnerable section of a refugee community is predominantly composed of women and children. This essay attempts to address how literature negotiates the onset of disability ensuing from the refugee crisis and forced migration.

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Where Childhood Ceases: Media Representations of the Homeless Street Children of Mumbai, India

Countless imaginaries within popular culture, across literature and film, capture childhood innocence and unbridled hope. Lacking any inhibitions or fear of judgement, and expressing themselves freely, children reflect a parallel dimension that has not yet been corrupted by the malign forces of the world. A child’s reality is essentially rooted in the support systems they have within their small circle of family and friends. The home, in this regard, is their anchor and the crux around which their identity and sense of self revolves. But what happens when this structure itself is uprooted and spun around on its head? This is a crucial question within the context of India, which has 18 million children that do not currently have a home and are often called ‘street children’.

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Alluvium Editorial 8.2: Locating the Centre in Contemporary Literature

This special issue of Alluvium takes as its subject contemporary literature’s relationship with the political centre. The editors remind us that there is more than one answer to this question. Indeed, locating this ideological ground is in part so difficult because of the constantly shifting discursive environment concerning centrism, and its relationship with both the left and the right.

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Class, Authenticity and Centrism

The wider political formation of centrism within the last two decades can be more thoroughly articulated by examining its cultural expressions. This article argues that no accounting of the political centre’s literary and cultural mediations would be complete without Ian McEwan, who has shown remarkable permanence as the pinnacle of a specifically English, middlebrow literary culture.

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Decentring the “Scumbag” Veteran

“How do you get to be a scumbag?” wonders the veteran protagonist of Nico Walker’s novel, “Cherry”. A tale of war, dope fiends and bank robbery, Walker’s auto-fictional debut isn’t short of despicable people doing despicable things. The scumbag veteran, however, marks a striking departure from the veteran hero familiar to the contemporary cultural landscape.

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The Centrality of the Trivial

At the centre of our collective inability to apprehend the climate crisis is our failure to imagine ourselves as anything other than the centre of everything. This article examines Jenny Offill’s novel “Weather” arguing that it stages the contemporary Western subject’s centring on its own trivialities as necessary to survival on an individual scale, yet also as threat to the survival of the planet.

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