Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief

Zbigniew Białas, Paweł Jędrzejko, Julia Szołtysek, red.

Although generally resented and deemed unfavourable for individuals, societies and nations, grief, grievance, and grieving, along with a complex list of epithets that could in various situations, under varying circumstances, accompany them – racial grief, political grievance, protracted grieving, chronic grief, traumatic, unresolved grievance – nevertheless occupy a significant place in culture and its manifestations in literature, art, history, science, or politics. Confused experiences of melancholia, grief, nostalgia, shame, anguish, hate, longing, and jealousy continue to permeate cultural productions across historical moments, literary epochs, and political sympathies. It is these veneers that the present volume endeavours to uncover and dismantle, thus – dissolve, or, assuming yet a different approach – assemble into larger entities exhibiting common patterns of formulaic imagining.

The name Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief comes with several emphases in mind – great impact is placed on attempts to explore questions of how globalization has affected modes of grieving, how it has altered the subjects/objects over which we grieve, and finally, how grievances have come to adopt the shape of ultimatums, sometimes escalating into forms of sabotage, schizophrenia, or even outright military conflict. The proposed collection aims to explore literary/cinematographic representations of the phenomena under investigation from a wide array of scholarly perspectives and attitudes, including articles dealing with the potential intersections of grievings and politics; grievings and history; grievings and globalization; grievings and (post)colonization/(post)colonialism; grievings and trans/multi-culturalism. Among the themes approached by the Contributors to Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief, the following have been given special attention:

  • Trauma and traumatic haunting,
  • Racial/ethnic grief,
  • Melancholia,
  • Mourning,
  • Imperialisms,
  • Sickness,
  • Madness,
  • Compulsion,
  • Obsession,
  • Terror and terrorism,
  • Violence

In their texts, the Authors assume inter-/trans-disciplinary perspectives to explore and analyse the issues they have undertaken, since all these topics in themselves stretch across several disciplines: history, literary studies, psychology, political sciences, educational sciences, gender/queer

studies, anthropology, or sociology. It is this plurality and multiplicity of voice that we wish to emphasise and celebrate with Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief.

In terms of formal structure, the organization of the Volume follows a linear development, with the articles arranged thematically, though not divided into separate parts. The logic behind such an arrangement assumes that the Collection constitutes a uniform monograph, the complexity and multifocality of which are overlaid with the linking fabric of the leitmotif of the Volume, i.e. the vicissitudes of grief, grievance and grieving. Importantly, those are approached from a plethora of critical stances ushering in the emergence of what may be described as a contemporary and transdisciplinary vision of trauma which reveals tenets of the traumatic experience that have frequently suffered oblivion and deficiency of scholarly and academic attention. In their articles, the Contributors – representing diverse academic backgrounds – cut across geographical, social, political, historical and generic divides, offering responses which originally bring together even the seemingly disparate themes and problematics, arriving at a final outcome that fills in a substantial gap in modern criticism and research, from trauma studies as exemplified by war and Holocaust studies, perpetrator studies, terror and terrorism, politics and literature, grief, death and the body, grief, death and sex, trauma and grieving across media discourses, photography and interactive entertainment, monsters and martyrs, as well as many others.

Additional information

Zbigniew Białas, Paweł Jędrzejko, Julia Szołtysek, red. Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.
Pages: 260
ISBN: (10): 1-4438-5059-4, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-5059-9

Books by the same authors or editors:

ang poziom small

wydz fil logo21

logo ikila en small

Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec