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    Postcolonial hauntings in riverine London: conviviality and melancholia

    Gidley, Ben (2024) Postcolonial hauntings in riverine London: conviviality and melancholia. Patterns of Prejudice , ISSN 0031-322X.

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    In his 2000 book, Between Camps, and its 2005 follow-up, Postcolonial Melancholia, Paul Gilroy described postcolonial melancholia – a failure to mourn the loss of imperial prestige – and conviviality – the messy and banal navigation of fractally complex but increasingly less meaningful lines of difference in the city – as two opposing but related characteristics of the British urban experience at the dawn of the century. Nowhere is the more evident than in the neighbourhoods of riverine East London, whose identity and urban morphology have been shaped by the river running through them: upriver to the heart of the imperial metropolis and downriver to Britain’s extensive colonies and postcolonies. In these long-standing arrival quarters, two structures of feeling exist in tension with each other: a mode of lament expressing a form of morbid attachment to the perceived greatness of the imperial age, whose ghostly afterlife is etched in the monumental architecture of London’s boroughs and inscribed in the names of its streets and buildings – and on the other hand a fragile emergent form of convivial co-existence, which finds resonance in alternative narratives of the imperial past. This article addresses these issues through data from long-standing research engagement with Bermondsey and Deptford on the Thames’ southern shore and Barking on its northern shore.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Conviviality, melancholy, postcolonial, London
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
    Depositing User: Ben Gidley
    Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 10:44
    Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 17:55


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