When we have had more presentations, there will be more student-authored posts on which you can comment. Until then, here are some questions to consider. If you are not presenting this week, then you should comment this week.
1) To what extent does Richardson’s novel fit into the theories of the novel espoused by Hunter, Watts, or Eagleton?
2) Pamela has been linked to class resistance and (in the case of Nancy Armstrong) to colonial captivity narratives. Does Pamela (book or character) contain some resonances with Bhabha’s hybridity and mimicry as resistance?
Hybridity: the co-opting and transformation of the colonizing culture by the colonized
“The discovery of the English book establishes both a measure of mimesis and a mode of civil authority and order. If these scenes, as I have narrated them, suggest the triumph of the writ of colonialist power, then it must be conceded that the wily letter of the law inscribes a much more ambivalent text of authority. For it is in-between the edict of Englishness and the assault of the dark unruly spaces of the earth, through an act of repetition, that the colonial text emerges uncertainly” (149).
“Hybridity is a problematic of colonial representation and individuation that reverses the effects of the colonialist disavowal, so that other ‘denied’ knowledges enter upon the dominant discourse and estrange the basis of its authority – its rules of recognition. Again, it must be stressed, it is not simply the content of disavowed knowledges, – be they forms of cultural otherness or traditions of colonialist treachery – that return to be acknowledged as counter- authorities. For the resolution of conflicts between authorities, civil discourse always maintains an adjudicative procedure. What is irremediably estranging in the presence of the hybrid – in the revaluation of the symbol of national authority as the sign of colonial difference – is that the difference of cultures can no longer be identified or evaluated as objects of epistemological or moral contemplation: cultural differences are not simply there to be seen or appropriated” (156).
3) If (and this is debatable) we read this text as an argument for reform, what is it arguing is in need of reform? To whom are its reform efforts directed? How does the act of reading (both within and outside of the narrative) play a role in these reforms?