(long essay) "The Making of Tupaia’s Map: A Story of the Extent and Mastery of Polynesian Navigation, Competing Systems of Wayfinding on James Cook’s Endeavour, and the Invention of an Ingenious Cartographic System"
Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz. The Journal of Pacific History 54.1 (2019): 1-95.
Translated as Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz.La carte de Tupaia, maître d'astres et de navigation polynésienne.Trans. and intr. Serge Dunis. Bulletin de la Societé des Études Océaniennes (Polynésie orientale) no°348 (Mai/Août 2019). 153pp. klick here for the full text pdf.
Tupaia’s Map is one of the most famous and enigmatic artefacts to emerge from the early encounters between Europeans and Pacific Islanders. It was drawn by Tupaia, an arioi priest, chiefly advisor and master navigator from Ra‘iat̄ea in the Leeward Society Islands in collaboration with various members of the crew of James Cook’s Endeavour, in two distinct moments of mapmaking and three draft stages between August 1769 and February 1770. To this day, the identity of many islands on the chart, and the logic of their arrangement have posed a riddle to researchers. Drawing in part on archival material hitherto overlooked, in this long essay we propose a new understanding of the chart’s cartographic logic, offer a detailed reconstruction of its genesis, and thus for the first time present a comprehensive reading of Tupaia’s Map. The chart not only underscores the extent and mastery of Polynesian navigation, it is also a remarkable feat of translation between two very different wayfinding systems and their respective representational models.
Postcolonial Literatures in English: An Introduction
Anke Bartels, Lars Eckstein, Nicole Waller and Dirk Wiemann. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 2019. Pb, vi + 202pp. ISBN: 978-3-476-02674-3.
The term ‘postcolonial literatures in English’ designates English-language literatures from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania, as well as the literatures of diasporic communities who have moved from those regions to the global North. This volume introduces the central themes of postcolonial literary studies and delineates how these themes are reflected and elaborated in exemplary literary works by postcolonial authors from around the world. It also offers succinct definitions of key terms like Orientalism, hybridity, Indigeneity or writing back.
Remembering German-Australian Colonial Entanglements
Ed. Lars Eckstein and Andrew Hurley. London: Routledge, 2020. Hb x + 153 pp. ISBN HB: 978-0-367-42159-5.
Reprinted, with a new expanded introduction, from a Special Issue of Postcolonial Studies 21 (March 2018). Pb, 130 pp. Essays by Eckstein, Schwarz, and Mischke available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cpcs20/21/1?nav=tocList
Remembering German-Australian Colonial Entanglements emphatically promotes a critical and nuanced understanding of the complex entanglement of German colonial actors and activities within Australian colonial institutions and different imperial ideologies. Case studies ranging from the German reception of James Cook’s voyages through to the legacies of 19th- and 20th-century settler colonialism foreground the highly ambiguous roles played by explorers, missionaries, intellectuals and other individuals, as well as by objects and things that travelled between worlds – ancestral human remains, rare animal skins, songs, and even military tanks. The chapters foreground the complex relationship between science, religion, art and exploitation, displacement and annihilation. Contributors trace how these entanglements have been commemorated or forgotten over time – by Germans, settler-Australians and Indigenous people. Bringing to light a critical understanding of the German involvement in the Australian colonial project, Remembering German-Australian Colonial Entanglements will be of great interest to scholars of colonialism, postcolonialism, German Studies and Indigenous Studies. But for the editors' substantial new introductory chapter, these contributions originally appeared in a special issue of Postcolonial Studies.
Postcolonial Piracy: Media Distribution and Cultural Production in the GlobalSouth
Eds. Lars Eckstein and Anja Schwarz. Theory for a Global Age. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. xii + 300pp. ISBN HB: 978-1-4725-1942-9; ePDF: 978-1-4725-1944-3; ePub: 978-1-4725-1943-6
Across the global South, new media technologies have brought about new forms of cultural production, distribution and reception. The spread of cassette recorders in the 1970s; the introduction of analogue and digital video formats in the 80s and 90s; the pervasive availability of recycled computer hardware; the global dissemination of the internet and mobile phones in the new millennium: all these have revolutionised the access of previously marginalised populations to the cultural flows of global modernity. Yet this access also engenders a pirate occupation of the modern: it ducks and deranges the globalised designs of property, capitalism and personhood set by the North. Positioning itself against Eurocentric critiques by corporate lobbies, libertarian readings or classical Marxist interventions, this volume offers a profound postcolonial revaluation of the social, epistemic and aesthetic workings of piracy. It projects how postcolonial piracy persistently negotiates different trajectories of property and self at the crossroads of the global and the local.
Reading Song Lyrics
Lars Eckstein. IFAVL 137. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010. Pb, 291pp. ISBN: 979-90-420-3035.
“Lars Eckstein’s Reading Song Lyrics deserves a place among the key works of popular music studies”
Popular Music 30.3 (2011)
Reading Song Lyrics offers the first systematic introduction to lyrics as a vibrant genre of (performed) literature. It takes lyrics seriously as a complex form of verbal art that has been unjustly neglected in literary, music, and, to a lesser degree, cultural studies, partly as it cuts squarely across institutional boundaries. The first part of this book accordingly introduces a thoroughly transdisciplinary interpretive framework. It outlines theoretical approaches to issues such as performance and performativity, generic convention and cultural capital, sound and songfulness, mediality and musical multimedia, and step by step applies them to the example of a single song. The second part then offers three extended case studies which showcase the larger cultural and historical viability of this model. Probing into the relationship between lyrics and the ambivalent performance of national culture in Britain, it offers exemplary readings of a highly subversive 1597 ayre by John Dowland, of an 1811 broadside ballad about Sara Baartman, ‘The Hottentot Venus’, and of a 2000 song by ‘jungle punk’ collective Asian Dub Foundation. Reading Song Lyrics demonstrates how and why song lyrics matter as a paradigmatic art form in the culture of modernity.
Eds. Anke Bartels, Lars Eckstein, Nicole Waller and Dirk Wiemann. Cross/Cultures 191. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017. Hb xxx + 376pp. ISBN: 9789004335035; E-ISBN: 9789004335196
introduction preprint at:https://publishup.uni-potsdam.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/10322
Postcolonial Justice addresses a major issue in current postcolonial theory and beyond, namely, the question of how to reconcile an ethics grounded in the reciprocal acknowledgment of diversity and difference with the normative, if not universal thrust that appears to energize any notion of justice. The concept of postcolonial justice shared by the essays in this volume carries an unwavering commitment to difference within and beyond Europe, while equally rejecting radical cultural essentialisms, which refuse to engage in “utopian ideals” of convivial exchange across a plurality of subject positions. Such utopian ideals can no longer claim universal validity, as in the tradition of the European enlightenment; instead they are bound to local frames of speaking from which they project world.
Re-Membering the Black Atlantic: On the Poetics and Politics of Literary Memory
Lars Eckstein. Cross/Cultures 84. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006. Hb, xviii + 291pp. ISBN: 9042-01958-1.
The Atlantic slave trade continues to haunt the cultural memories of Africa, Europe and the Americas. There is a prevailing desire to forget: While victims of the African diaspora tried to flee the sites of trauma, enlightened Westerners preferred to be oblivious to the discomforting complicity between their enlightenment and chattel slavery. Recently, however, fiction writers have ventured to ‘re-member’ the Black Atlantic.
This book is concerned with how literature performs as memory. It sets out to chart systematically the ways in which literature and memory intersect, and offers readings of three seminal Black Atlantic novels. Each reading illustrates a particular poetic strategy of accessing the past and presents a distinct political outlook on memory. Novelists may choose to write back to texts, images or music: Caryl Phillips’s Cambridge brings together numerous fragments of slave narratives, travelogues and histories to shape a brilliant montage of long-forgotten texts. David Dabydeen’s A Harlot’s Progress approaches slavery through the gateway of paintings by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and J.M.W. Turner. Toni Morrison’s Beloved, finally, is steeped in black music, from spirituals and blues to the art of John Coltrane. Beyond differences in poetic strategy, moreover, the novels paradigmatically reveal distinct ideologies: their politics of memory variously promote an encompassing transcultural sense of responsibility, an aestheticist ‘creative amnesia’, and the need to preserve a collective ‘black’ identity.
English Literatures Across the Globe: A Companion
Ed. Lars Eckstein. UTB 8345. Paderborn: Fink, 2007. Pb, 360pp. ISBN (Fink): 978-3-4252-9. ISBN (UTB): 978-3-8252-8345-2.
English literature is a global affair. Many of the most widely read and critically acclaimed writers of our time – such as Toni Morrison, J.M. Coetzee or Salman Rushdie – write from diverse literary and cultural traditions in many parts of the world. This companion provides readers with a systematic framework to place and understand these various traditions of writing in English – from Britain to South Africa, from Canada to the Caribbean, from Australia to the USA. It critically assesses recent literary theories of transcultural exchange, and provides introductions to all major English literatures across the globe. To facilitate orientation and enable comparative perspectives, each chapter offers concise historical and political background information, an extensive overview of literary developments, and discussions of representative key texts, dealing with the legacies of colonial encounter, with postcolonial revisions, but also with literary explorations of today’s global challenges.
The Politics of Passion: Reframing Affect and Emotion in Global Modernity
Eds. Lars Eckstein and Dirk Wiemann. Transpects 7. New York: Lang, 2013. Pb. 233pp. ISBN: 978-3-631-60196-9.
Introduction preprint at: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-85457
The demise of the modern self-centred subject does not engender a waning but a politicisation of affect: The site of passion is now no longer the individual’s interiority but the contact zone of intersubjective encounters. The public and political status of the emotions thus becomes apparent, making visible how affects are embedded in and shaped by discursive regimes. Neither spontaneous nor overdetermined, passion is therefore not the ‘other’ of reason but a deeply social energy that fuels political, cultural and everyday practices. The Politics of Passion combines theoretical reframings of affect and emotion in global modernity with analyses of concrete instances of politics of passion from above or from below. By including debates and struggles in Western, Asian and African contexts, the volume attends to the actual plurality of affective rationalities and politics beyond a Eurocentric framework.
Der Australienforscher Ludwig Leichhardt: Spuren eines Verschollenen
Hrsg. von Heike Hartmann in Zusammenarbeit mit Lars Eckstein, Helmut Peitsch, Anja Schwarz [Universität Potsdam] und Steffen Krestin [Stadtmuseum Cottbus]). 114 z.T. farb. Abb., Berlin: Be.Bra, 2013. Pb, 176pp. ISBN 978-3-95410-019-4.
Ludwig Leichhardts Leben ist untrennbar mit der europäischen Erkundung und Besiedlung Australiens verbunden. Der Naturforscher aus der Lausitz folgte dem Mythos des letzten unbekannten Kontinents in die australischen Kolonien des britischen Empires. Mit seiner ersten Expedition 1844/45 wies Leichhardt eine gangbare Route von der Ost- an die Nordküste nach und wurde als »Prinz der Entdecker« gefeiert. 1848 brach er zur ersten Ost-West-Durchquerung Australiens auf. Von dieser Reise kehrte er nicht zurück. Sein Reisejournal und seine naturkundlichen Sammlungen hatten schon zu Lebzeiten ein Publikum gefunden. Sein unbekanntes Schicksal jedoch begründete einen Mythos, der bis heute lebendig ist. Leichhardt ist verschollen, aber nie verschwunden. Er lebt weiter als Erinnerungsfigur zwischen den Nationen, zwischen Gedenken und Vergessen, als wichtiger Bestandteil der deutsch-australischen Beziehungen. Entstanden im Zusammenhang mit den Arbeiten für eine Ausstellung anlässlich seines 200. Geburtstages am 23. Oktober 2013, lädt der vorliegende Band dazu ein, die vielen Facetten Ludwig Leichhardts kennenzulernen.
Multi-Ethnic Britain 2000+: New Perspectives in Literature, Film and the Arts
Eds. Lars Eckstein, Barbara Korte, Ulrike Pirker and Christoph Reinfandt. IFAVL 121. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press, 2008. Hb, v + 427pp. ISBN: 978-90-420-2497-7.
Multi-Ethnic Britain 2000+ provides an encompassing survey of artistic responses to the changes in the British cultural climate in the early years of the 21st century. It traces topical reactions to new forms of racism and religious fundamentalism, to legal as well as ‘illegal’ immigration, and to the threat of global terror; yet it also highlights new forms of intercultural communication and convivial exchange. Framed by contributions from novelists Patrick Neate and Rajeev Balasubramanyam, Multi-Ethnic Britain 2000+ showcases how artistic representations in literature, film, music and the visual arts reflect and respond to social and political discourses, and how they contribute to our understanding of the current (trans)cultural situation in Britain. The contributions in this volume cover a wide range of writers such as Graham Swift, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Jackie Kay, Nadeem Aslam, Gautam Malkani, Nirpal Dhaliwal and Monica Ali; films ranging from Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice to Michael Winterbottom’s In This World and Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men; paintings and photography by innovative black and Asian British Artists; and dubstep music.
Eds. Lars Eckstein and Christoph Reinfandt. Studien zur Englischen Romantik. Trier: WVT, 2009. Pb, 226 pp. ISBN: 978-3-86821-147-4.
As a set of responses to the rapidly changing modern world, Romanticism has lost none of its topicality today. For the last 250 years it has persisted in all available media, and continues to shape a great variety of cultural practices in fields as diverse as literature and the arts, fashion and film, popular culture, the sciences and politics. Assembling selected papers from the 12th International Symposium of the German Society for English Romanticism, this volume is dedicated to the validity of Romanticism Today. It showcases how current cultural perspectives facilitate new readings of Romantic texts, as well as how readings of current cultural perspectives are inevitably confronted with the pervasive continuity of Romanticism.
The White Backlash: Conservatisms in Contemporary British Writing
Eds. Lars Eckstein and Dirk Wiemann. Special Issue of Hard Times 89.1 (2011). Pb, 47 pp. ISSN 0171-1695.
The White Backlash vertritt die These, dass sich weite Teile des gegenwärtigen britischen Kulturbetriebs mit einem konservativen ‘Backlash’ gegen die emanzipatorischen Auseinandersetzungen mit race, empire, class und gender arrangieren, oder ihn gar tragen und unterstützen. Dirk Wiemann zeigt in einer Lektüre des Romans Unity (2005), dass Michael Arditis nur scheinbar soziopolitisch tiefgründigen Romanen eine zutiefst apolitische Vision zugrunde liegt; Lars Eckstein rechnet mit Ian McEwans nostalgischer Begeisterung für Matthew Arnolds liberalen Humanismus in seinem Bestseller Saturday (2005) ab; Sandra Müller arbeitet am Beispiel der Publikationsgeschichte von Maggie Gees antirassistischem Roman The White Family (2002) Konservatismus und Zensur im britischen Verlagswesen heraus; Anke Bartels nimmt den melancholischen Postfeminismus in Fay Weldons The Spa Decameron (2007) aufs Korn; und schließlich spricht Eva Ulrike Pirker mit dem Lyriker und Dramatiker Glyn Maxwell über Backlashes und anderes mehr. Inmitten dieser Beiträge setzt sich Rajeev Balasubramanyam literarisch mit den Folgen des staatlichen Multikulturalismus als bloßer PR-Fassade auseinander.
The Cultural Validity of Music in Contemporary Fiction
Eds Lars Eckstein and Christoph Reinfandt. Special Issue of ZAA 54.1 (2006). Pb, vi + 112pp. ISBN: 3826-03365-5.
It is a popular truth universally acknowledged that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” – music and writing, this supposedly tells us, develop meaning in altogether different ways, and a translation of musical meaning into writing is ultimately bound to fail. By adopting a pragmatic view of the historical traditions and social contexts of performance and communication, this special issue of ZAA demonstrates that “dancing about architecture” can indeed be a productive and very rewarding enterprise. The contributions investigate how recent novels (all published between 1998 and 2003) take up the formal and performative properties as well as the cultural capital associated with particular musical styles into their fictional design in order to position themselves in larger debates negotiating the cultural validity of music.