Spatialising Politics: Culture and Geography in Postcolonial Sri Lanka brings together essays on the theme of spatial politics of Sri Lanka. Space is an important factor in the ongoing ethnic conflict fuelling Sri Lanka's continuing civil war. Claims and contestations over the integrity of island space and the control of northern and eastern territories are central to the violently contested dispute. The editors view space from a different perspective. They argue that space is important through a number of registers less frequently invoked in dominant approaches to understanding postcolonial Sri Lankan nationhood, identity and difference. The book examines and historicizes the role of spatialities often occluded within the debates on Sri Lankan politics such as, cities and built-space, diasporic productions and imaginations, commodity cultures and their concordant networks, knowledge spaces and ‘foreign’ intervention, landscape and sacred space, as well as geographical knowledge.

Situated at the intersection of human geography and postcolonial studies, the book signals the ways that postcolonialism and geography are intimately linked and how their intersections evoke the social, spatial and political effects of enduring colonial discourse and representation. In developing its argument, Spatialising Politics also gestures towards alternative spatial imaginations, possibilities and representations, at a time when spaces for alternative discourses on Sri Lankan politics are fast shrinking.

Geography, Spatial Politics, and Productions of the National in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost

Geography, Spatial Politics, and Productions of the National in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost
Geography, spatial politics, and productions of the national in Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost

Published in 2000, Anil's Ghost is Michael Ondaatje's fifth novel and his first to be set in Sri Lanka, the country of his birth. Despite previous engagements with his homeland in the memoir Running in the Family (1982) and a collection of poems Handwriting (1998), this novel nurtures a literary return of sorts for Ondaatje, who, since 1962, has been based in Canada: as one reviewer writes, ‘Anil lets [Ondaatje] go back not just physically but spiritually’ (Verma 2001: 46). The combination of the novel's volatile and contested subject matter, and Ondaatje's post-English Patient domestic status as perhaps one of ...

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