In 1993 I published an essay entitled "Decolonizing the English Past: Readings in Medieval Archaeology and History" in the North-American-based Journal of British Studies. The paper questioned the category "medieval English peasant," which had informed my work in economic history for the first decade of my academic research. I argued for the category's construction in India in the later nineteenth century through a two-fold process of adjudicating colonial property rights in India and emplotting constitutional histories as national allegories in England. "Medieval English peasant" worked as the ideological product of "English India," a term used by Sara Suleri to express the literal and figurative intimacies of such dichotomous pairings as national-colonial, colonizer-colonized, colonial,-postcolonial.  My essay then tried to imagine how to undo this category. I wished to set its political historiography back in motion in order to write other economic histories. An American editor of a prospective volume on medieval peasant studies, targeted for an English publisher, invited this essay for reprint. I welcomed the opportunity of its traveling more widely. It turned out, however, that a reader for the press, a prominent English medieval historian, would not sign off, unless my essay was pulled from the collection. An editorial dilemma--with profuse apologies to me, the editor dropped the piece and the book went forward to press.
This minor skirmish in academic publishing productively shifted my critical attention from the historicist complications posed by English India to what I will come to call in this paper the performance of "English America" and the politics of its border patrol.  I use "English America" as a kind of shorthand for the complex ways in which North American medieval studies, since its so-called "take-off" with the GI Bill after World War II, mimes British imperial phantasmatics and thereby does the work of reproducing an "Englishness" that can then be exported back to England in a vertiginous transnational exchange of imageric power.  North American medievalists may protest at this juncture, countering that surely the publication of my essay in the Journal of British Studies countermands such a claim about circulation. I suggest in turn that its publication was an instance of North American medieval studies mistaking a concessionary narrative. Peter Hulme has defined a concessionary narrative as one that "goes some way toward recognizing a native point of view and offering a critique of European behaviour, but [it] can only do this by not addressing the central issue" (Hulme: 253).  My essay could not be exported back to England because it explicitly violated such a narrative agreement by exposing the production of a category of English India "English medieval peasant" and its historiographic force. 
This publishing lesson taught me how transnational publishing performs "English America" in specific ways. The fate of one essay in the circulation of that phantasmatic does not much matter. What concerns me more about this performance is its repetition in the History Department curriculum. One of my job responsibilities is defined as teaching the "undergraduate medieval English survey." The "medieval English survey" still persists as a common course offering, often required of undergraduate history majors in North American universities. But what is the performative nature of this survey, and what does it have to do with ensuring British imperial phantasmatics? In other words, what does it mean to read the survey through the phantasmatics of English America? I will take my cue for such a reading from Gauri Viswanathan, who has written eloquently on the construction of English Studies through the India Service. About curricular process she writes: "Until curriculum is studied less as a receptacle of texts than as activity, that it to say, as a vehicle of acquiring and exercising power, descriptions of curricular content in terms of their expression of universal values on the one hand, or pluralistic, secular identities on the other are insufficient signifiers of their historical reality"(167). 
My paper troubles the three terms of the survey: the timing of "medieval", the repetition of "English[ness], " and the gaze of a national "survey," which keeps imperialism in a space-off. I get to this trouble through an analysis of the major historiographical investments of the British journal Past and Present, founded in Birmingham by British Marxists in 1952. I wish to join the North American performance of the medieval English survey with the historiographical phantasmatics conjured by Past and Present in the wake of the loss of the Raj and in the constitution of postcolonial racial politics in Britain from the 1960s to the Thatcher years. During that time, the journal advocated the history of the family and of crime as a major focus of historical study. In what ways, I ask, does the history of the family and crime offer a pastoral space, a shadow in which the historian stands seemingly protected from neo-imperial racial politics? The medieval English survey lies, I hope to show you, in the pastoral shade of this racism: the survey does the melancholic work of holding the impossibility of Englishness at bay.
Twisted paths led to my study of this pastoral politics. I will offer a map to them now and invite you to spend some time in the course of this essay at some of the most contested sites. First, I plunge my readers into my pedagogical formation as a teacher of the "medieval English survey" at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana , my first and current teaching position. I endeavor to show how that teaching experience led to a specific meditation on the ideology of a "pastoral" survey. I then turn my attention to a far-reaching pastoral crisis as exemplified in the thematics of the journal Past and Present. I trace how the pastoral politics of Robin Hood in the 1950s, an obsessive topic in the early years of publication of Past and Present, bleeds into a pastoral historiography of the family in the 1960s and a pastoral historiography of crime in the 1980s. I contrast this pastoral politics of Past and Present with a counter-politics of the Birmingham School of Contemporary Cultural Studies founded in 1964. The separateness of these two adjoining institutional projects becomes exemplary for me in understanding the pastoral space that can deny the gap in term "English America." (Viswanathan 1991)
The autumn semester 1987 at the Universtity of Notre Dame: I am teaching the medieval English survey. On October 16, 1987, fierce winds of hurricane force devastate over 500,000 trees in the south of England. The British papers talk of "felled giants," how the ancient seven oaks of Sevenoaks, Kent, lay uprooted and dying in the aftermath. That same autumn, the British film maker Derek Jarman worked on his film entitled The Last of England, which he described as a "dream allegory (in which) the present dreams the past future" (Jarman 1987,188). In the opening voice-over of the film, Jarman alludes to the dead trees and lost ancient woodland: "The oaks died this year. On every green hill mourners stand, and weep for The Last of England" (Jarman 1987, 188)
Also in 1987: Margaret Thatcher, too, announced the last of England. She said: "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families".(Strathern, 158). Thatcher dreams the collapse of polity into the nuclear family as site of consumption. Only the purchase of commodities can continue to make agency visible in this dream world. Her speech could be easily mistaken as an advertisement for Benneton. Englishness works no longer as an imperial-national culture, a teleological necessity, but rather, now, in the late 1980s, as a transnational "style"--you too can choose it, buy it, wear it, eat it, implant it, grow it in a test-tube, in the shadow of the family tree, naturally.
I dreamt a painful dream that autumn. In the dream I saw some kind of intricate, vivid, shiny metallic pattern, like some shard or crumbled piece of a mask. At first it seemed menacingly indecipherable when, suddenly, it struck me with all the relief of dream-recognition that it was Celtic interlace. That seemed to explain everything! From many years of dream-work I could sense that a crucial piece of a haunting puzzle had fallen into place.
I know that my aging great-grandmother had come to die at the house of her daughter, Sarah Gallagher, who had left Donegal, Ireland in her teens. The large, hairy, aged woman sitting in the corner of my grandmother's kitchen spoke in a language that made no sense to me, and mine seemed to make no sense to her; our nonsense profoundly frightened me. A solipsistic four-year-old, I had not yet learned that there was more than one language in the world. Not long after my great-grandmother died. We drove a seemingly interminable distance to Brooklyn for the wake. As I climbed the heights to her bier, the nonsense got all mixed up with her deathly silence. Only much later did I learn that my great-grandmother spoke in Gaelic to me, or so the story was told. My dream had dreamed Britain thinking me as a child through the broken migrant histories of my own family.
Britain also thought me as a "first-ever in the family at university," as an American graduate student, studying at a Canadian university, who worked on an English archaeological site (Peterborough) for her dissertation. As I taught the survey that autumn, the image of the blue-uniformed borstal boys (as they were called), whom the excavation had contracted from the regional reformatory to do the heavy work of our excavation, haunted me. As we students trowelled, the borstal boys stood in rows laboriously shovelling, not unlike the Egyptian fellahs to be seen in early twentieth-century photographs of British excavations in Egypt. General Pitt-Rivers never lets go, I thought.
These ghosts from past and present haunted me as I tried to understand the power of the medieval English survey over the students who seemed to sit so complacently in front of me. They came in throngs from pre-law, the London Abroad program; they were government majors,history majors, and English majors and a good number were from ROTC. The students desired that exceptional story that they already knew: law, parliament, monarchy, progress, Pax Britannia. They desired this even though the majority of them were self-identified Irish-Americans who had chosen to come to the university of the "fighting Irish."
At that time there existed no Irish Studies Program at the University, no curricular means by which these students could come to understand the co-construction of "Irishness" and "Englishness." Seamus Deane, who now heads such a program at Notre Dame, calls this persistent, timeless denial of "Irishness" for the "Irish-American" "a kind of self-imposed cultural starvation, almost a hunger strike." Was I teaching cannibals, then, who turned against the abandoning, colonized "mother country" and ate her in the football stadium? Irishness was good to eat!
That curricular musing got me to thinking of the space where the "fighting Irish" fight: the football stadium, the libidinal, economic and ideological heart of the Notre Dame campus; a place of enclosure, green and idyllic; a pastoral space. There is my clue, I thought: the space of the survey works like the pastoral, a green, protected space, like the football stadium, where conflict can be repeated and contained. The survey not only assured students of Englishness, but also, that most of civilization still lies shaded under the sturdy, capacious, seemingly eternal canopy of the British oak. Safe, secure, idyllic, the space of the survey promised the reproduction of order, of monarchy, law, parliament, world power, even the "fighting Irish." There was my curricular challenge. Could I work to move the survey out of the cultural shade of the British oak, or is the very notion of a medieval English survey constitutive of such trees, helping to make the British oak visible, just as the British oak, the pastoral, makes the survey visible? 
The problem of visibility and performance in the survey continued to haunt me as I made my various awkward adjustments to it over the semesters. In 1991 I thought I might have found the answer to my curricular problems in Marilyn Strathern's study After Nature: English kinship in the late twentieth century. Strathern, an anthropologist, traces the historic epistemology of Thatcher's statement ("There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families") and considers its cultural implications. She locates in those words a rupture which she describes as "After Nature," meaning an epoch in which individuality no longer reproduces individuality, in which there is no future due to the "demise of the reproductive model of the modern epoch which was "a model not just of the procreation of persons but for conceptualising the future" (Strathern, 193).
Somehow Strathern seemed to me to converge oddly on Thatcher. So convinced that "After Nature" marked an epistemic break, Strathern failed to interrogate it as yet one more move in a neo-imperial production with/over the Englishness of national identity. Such odd convergence of left- and right-wing analysis, suggested that another politics might be in question here; politics of race. Paul Gilroy in his study There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack has analyzed just such strange left-right convergences in the emergence postcolonial racial politics of Britain after World War II . [9 ] My guess was that both Thatcher and Strathern would seemingly rather "disappear" "English society," rather than see it rendered vulnerable to or shattered by--what? This question would not let go of my historical sense and I decided to go back to the journal Past and Present, once the "source" of historiography for me during my graduate studies to see if a critical reading of the journal as a symptom and not a source would help me to understand this fear of shattering.
I needed to return to Past and Present in an effort to understand what kind of history it performed in the wake of the loss of the Raj and the rise of a new British racism in the 1960s and 70s. Its first issue, as I have mentioned, appeared in February 1952. The editors subtitled it: "a journal of scientific history." In the dysphoria of decolonization and the emerging Cold War, British Marxists looked to the ancient historian Polybius whose belief in the historical discipline could, according to the editorial introduction, help historians in the present to "face coming events with confidence."
What struck me about the the medieval contributions to the journal in its first years was the obsession with questions about the historical identity and socioeconomic class of Robin Hood. So intense was this debate that the first anniversary volume of fifteen essays culled from the first twenty years of the journal featured five essays, or one-third of the volume, devoted to Robin Hood. What could be better than the fantasy of a medieval English peasant to forestall the intimate shattering that might occur if the postcolonial loss of an imagined national rurality which had come to reside in India were fully avowed? Both academic and popular culture --the BBC series also produced and programmed its famous Robin Hood series at this same time-- melancholically held onto Robin Hood to avoid a sense of historical loss.
The editorial obsession with Robin Hood at the journal provided me a way into understanding the pastoral politics of English America. I detect in this return of Robin Hood to the pages of Past and Present a pastoral move among British historians. Indeed, the project of founding the journal Past and Present was itself a pastoral move, the obsession with Robin Hood being one of the medieval effects of the move. The strong desire to locate Robin Hood under the pastoral shade of the medieval past at that moment, in 1952, has everything to do with the culture of decolonization in England. What kind of desire is this desire of English historians for English peasants? Here we have to look at what phantasmatic histories were lost in England with the loss of the Raj. My argument is compressed here for purposes of time and its main point is that England lost an imagined rural past with the loss of India.
Put very briefly: to write a progressive history of national freedom in the nineteenth century, English scholars appropriated German scholarship on the Teutonic village community as a guide for imagining Saxon villages as the laboratory for democracy. British scholars in the India Service who grappled to frame tenurial policies in Indian villages then extended the narrow concept of Teutonic village community developed in Anglo-Saxon studies to encompass the Aryan community (Biddick 1995). Publications such as Village Communities in East and West (1871) by Sir Henry Maine, a classicist, jurist, and member of the Viceroy's Council in India, helped to produce India as the rural past of England and England as the colony's national future. In a paradoxical way the medieval English village community was invented by the India Service.
Back in England, as its countryside grew more industrialized, this imperially informed notion of the peasant village community could lend itself as a Romantic emblem attractive to both liberal and conservatives in Parliamentary debates over colonial land settlements in the mid-nineteenth century. Medieval English peasant studies, so important to English constitutional historians, such as Maitland, returned again, not surprisingly, with force at decolonization, which brought with it the loss of the rural phantasmatic. English historians labored to recover the medieval English village and, in so doing, to work out the problems of continuity and change for an "imperial-national" culture undergoing decolonization. Their historiographic labors bore directly on a work of public culture to refigure the sites at which much nineteenth-century peasant history had been produced. The peasant historiography that emerged in the post-War period in the pages of Past and Present tried to resurrect the lost past by disavowing its loss and putting Robin Hood in its place. The pages of Past and Present moved the discourse of the English peasant to a non-place, to the site of Robin Hood, who, if he could be given an archival identity and class status, could be made the visible father of a new "English" rural history. This non-place, however, as Michel de Certeau has warned, "forbids history from speaking of society and death--in other words, from being history" (69).
How to make this new phantasmatic rurality, which cannot speak death, reproduce itself historiographically? In 1964 Joan Thirsk, a noted agrarian historian and member of the editorial board, made a clarion call in the pages of Past and Present for English family history. English family history would go on to become a historiographic industry. The debates in family history were actually discussions of Englishness and how early it could be detected. Studies such as Alan Macfarlane's The Origins of English Individualism: The Family, Property, and Social Transition (1979) exemplify the genre. Macfarlane would locate the formation of the distinctive English family in the twelfth century, a century, perhaps not so coincidentally associated with Robin Hood.
Ever reactive, albeit in its historiographic unconscious, Past and Present began to take on yet another issue of racial politics in its pages, to construct another site where Englishness could be regarded as distinctive, that is, the history of crime. In the November 1983 issue, just two short years after the "explosions" at Brixton and the publication of Lord Scarman's report on the racial uprisings, a report which Paul Gilroy considers "a crucial document in the history of the discourse of the black community. It set the official seal on a definition of the origins and extent of black crime and tied these to what were felt to be distinct patterns of politics and family life, characteristic of black culture" (Gilroy: 104). Lawrence Stone (1983) wrote a review essay on historical patterns of crime in England. In his concluding remarks he claimed: '"We are infinitely more destructive in war than our ancestors, but in our daily lives the English at least are also, for some reason, still far less prone to casual violence" (22-23). Read this against those "explosions," the "mindless" violence of Brixton, and it is again possible to see how the Englishness of the family and the Englishness of peaceful everyday life lay protected in the white shade of the pages of Past and Present.
The pastoral politics of Past and Present did not go unchallenged in public culture. The more Robin Hood, the more cadaverous Past and Present became. The disavowal of loss at the heart of this journal accounts, I think, for its failure to articulate with another Birmingham project, that of Marxist cultural studies as carried out at the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies in the 1960s and 70s. 
The Center was founded at the University of Birmingham in 1964, a mere twelve years after the founding of Past and Present. Its students tracked the study of racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, and ongoing imperialisms as processes, not events. It attended to migrant and sexual histories, popular music, film, and television. In particular, the Center took a critical stance on how the "family" was being used to stand for a national narrative of England in the 1960s and 1970s, such that the family acted as a pastoral space in which political processes could be converted into natural, instinctive, seemingly invisible processes, acts of national nature. Works produced under the influence of the Center traced how the families of British Blacks came to be labelled as pathological, a source of growing "black criminality."
How is it that, in spite of gestures and invocations, the two Birmingham projects did not really articulate, did not join their national and imperial critiques? This question raises the very different positioning of the family in the two projects and it is to that positioning of the family I will now turn.
To focus on the contest I would like to turn to two films influenced by the Birmingham Cultural Studies school. The films, Handsworth Songs (1986) by the Black Audio Collective and The Last of England (1987) by Derek Jarman can be used as examples of this counter-pastoral politics (Auguiste 1988;Kruger 1988; Gilroy and Pines 1988).  Together these films work like a double-edged blade that exposes the roots of the pastoral family tree of Englishness to migrant and sexual histories. Both films splice family scenes from home-movie footage, to create a counter-pastoral space.
Handsworth Songs can be read as a kind of video museum for West-Indian migration into Britain. It tells a history of the Handsworth uprising of 1985 through a diasporan history of West-Indian migration, largely post-war, to Britain. The family footage works diasporically in the film to show not an essentialist West-Indian family of tradition which would deteriorate, become "pathological," upon its arrival in the metropolis. Rather, home-movie footage constitutes the family as a contact zone that articulates with a range of spaces that cannot be easily categorized as public or private and with times that cannot be easily categorized as developmental. The Black Audio Collective nested home-movie footage of a young infant being washed in a tub, a young man and two women in a living room, two young girls with their parents in a living room into an unfolding montage of archival footage ranging from splices of post-War inter-racial dance clubs, disembarking immmigrant Calypso stars, labor parades and rallies along with local footage of community spaces, such as grade-school, nursery, health clinic, factory, reggae clubs, green markets. This material is further folded into studies of black-and-white family photographs of weddings, school days etc. The home-movie footage, family photographs and archival footage of migration and labor history are cut against contemporary BBC footage (stripped of audio) of the Handsworth uprisings, the famous "swamping" speech of Thatcher, and of documentary footage of community-group and neighborhood commentary on the uprisings.
The evocation of the family through home-movies in Handsworth Songs refuses any essentialized notion of the family and produces the family instead as a relay in a complicated grid of migrant, labor, racial, and sexual histories. The family itself becomes diasporic within a diasporic film. The voice-over over the last home-footage to be spliced into the film underscores this diasporic staging. We see the last home-movie cut after we hear the story of the death of Cynthia Jarret, a victim of police violence, as told by her family. A woman's voice speaks over cuts of the funeral cortege interspliced with family -movie footage of a father, mother and two daughters. The voice-over that accompanies these splices recites the poetic words of a young West Indian woman: "then I slip through the crack to be shamed by the sea, Night-time I am the sea, and if I walk from the shoreline to cast it, it will fill my shoes, washing my journey away."
In staging the family as historical journey, Handsworth Songs blacks out the shade of the pastoral tree that would seek to collapse itself into the family tree--to root nation into Englishness. This ideological family tree is cut down in the collage of Handsworth Songs. A voice-over that accompanies another splice of home-movies of a living room scene says as much: "There are sands to shift, dry woods to sweep away, and they said to each other, here we will be shoulder to shoulder, and we will survey the world in ascension, and one day the world will come to us." The pastoral is dismantled and its dry timber carried away in order to make the space for different histories and articulations that do not work through the family as an essentialized "natural/national" entity whose purpose is to occlude imperial relations.
Derek Jarman uses home-movie footage in The Last of England not to cut down the pastoral family tree but to show the costs of its politics. He focuses on the pastoral site of the post-war white English suburban family, and through splicing his father's home-movies shows that pastoral suburban site to be one of devastation, an extension of war, terrorism, imperialism, libidinal exclusion.
Jarman's family history is in itself an interesting montage of migration and imperialism. On the paternal side, his great-grandfather left Devon to migrate to New Zealand in the mid-nineteenth century. Jarman's father came from New Zealand to Britain supposedly for a brief period in the 1920s but ended up in the RAF for World War II. He was a successful bomber pilot and learned to work a camera on his bombing forays. He hated the English, according to his son, and resented the pantomime of accent and gesture he had to adopt to pass in England. On the maternal side, Jarman's grandparents had made their fortune in the tea trade in Calcutta and returned to England to retire. When Jarman was 10 years old, his father was seconded as a pilot to Pakistan and the family accompanied him. Jarman retained vivid memories of that trip.
It is mistake, I think, to read the beautiful color footage of the Jarman home-movies as a site of the pastoral spliced into his unremittingly desolate scenes which insist on the terrorism and desolation of bureacratic and bureacratized life under Thatcher. I think Jarman, instead, is asking us to read the home-movies as the site of enclosure and the open-secret that constitutes violence and secrecy within the suburban enclosure of the family and gives the permission for the extension of this violence beyond the English hedge--an extension that Jarman shows in detail.
Jarman does, however, twice stage a pastoral moment in The Last of England. Jarman uses these pastoral stagings strategically to shatter the open secret of the pastoral family tree which is also about the good order of English sexuality, that is the Englishness of orderly, heterosexuality. Jarman stages the first pastoral scene with a cut to a painting by Caravaggio entitled Perverse Love. The painting of a beautiful male angel lies on the ground and subsequently a young punk proceeds to masturbate on, fuck and then stomp on the painting. The same punk then moves around the abandoned lot in which the painting lies, in the glare of a brightly burning flare, which seemingly burns up and exposes any lingering shade of the pastoral.
Jarman stages yet another pastoral scene that criss-crosses disorderly sexuality with the pastoral space of the Union Jack. A well-suited (yuppy?) drunken disco-goer tries to fuck a masked terrorist of uncertain gender on a bottle-strewn Union Jack. The sexual scene dissipates in drunken frustration. Here, once again, Jarman seems to be exposing and questioning the good order of sexuality that would come under the shade of the pastoral family tree of Englishness.
The Black Audio Collective and Derek Jarman, who filmed as Thatcher claimed "there are individual men and women and there are families" and as Strathern delivered her lectures of "After Nature," were telling different and powerful migrant and sexual histories that foregrounded the family in counter-pastoral spaces. As histories of excluded bodies these counter-pastoral films challenged the politics of visibility which serve as the conditions of possibility for the English model of Nature, Society, Individual. and for a pastoral historiography of Englishness as written in the pages of Past and Present. These migrant and sexual montages of Handsworth Songs and The Last of England dispelled the shade of the English family tree. These films provided me with the inspiration to attempt to do the same with the medieval English survey.
What, then, are North American medievalists to do, who are required to teach the medieval English survey? How can we imagine a pedagogy that short-circuits the performance of English America, walks out of the shade of Past and Present, out of the shadow of the football stadium? I return once again to Robin Hood to give these questions one more pass. Not surprisingly, Robin Hood had returned yet again in the early 1990s to pose the problem of English America. The Hollywood film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991) devotes itself to reminding its Anglo-American audience of "Englishness." It is not by coincidence that the first words of Robin Hood (Kevin Costner), who as a Hollywood star is already intertextually interpellated into the American neo-imperial phantasmatic through his starring role in Dances with Wolves are the following spoken to his Muslim captors: "This is English courage." Shot in England during the Persian Gulf War, in which England served as an ally to the United States, it is not by coincidence that the audience follows the arrows of Robin Hood as they make their way to the target through the missile-nose view that had become familiar from CNN coverage of scud-missile attacks in Desert Storm. This scud-archery of Robin Hood became the signature special-effect. It appeared in the promotional trailers for the film and were also spliced into the film's music-video "Worth Dying For" (Bryan Adams) which also concluded the film.
The moral order of "Worth Dying For" suggests once again that we are dealing with English medieval studies in North America as a concessionary narrative for the truth of Englishness (Biddick 1995). On the first day of class in the spring semester of 1995, we began with the video "Worth Dying For." We talked about death, the pastoral, and the historical production of Englishness. We ended the semester with a reading of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (1992), a story set at a Tuscan villa in the summer of 1945. It weaves back and forth between rewritings of Kipling's Kim and The Last of the Mohicans. Ondaatje perceptively calls World War II "the last medieval war" (69). In this mystery story that hovers over the badly burnt, "unidentifiable" "carbon-like" body of an English patient, Ondaatje seems to suggest that there there are no more conditions of possibility for producing Englishness. Writing in 1992, Ondaatje knows, of course, that he is wrong. It is with this misrecognition that I drafted yet again another version of the the "medieval English survey" for the spring semester of 1995. That syllabus is appended below.
ENGLAND AND ITS OTHERS
A COURSE FOR BELATED TRAVELERS
IN AN AGE OF COLONIAL DISSOLUTION
HISTORY 413-SPRING 1995
Pasq Center 109-M/W 11:15-12:30
Prof. K. Biddick
office hours: WED 2:00-4:00
the trouble with the Engenglish is that their hiss hiss history happened overseas, so they don't know what it means.
Salman Rushdie, Satanic Verses (Viking, 1988), p. 343
PROBLEM OF THE COURSE:CHRONOPOLITICS
What time is it in the medieval England survey? Are we so sure of the chronology of medieval English history: 410 ACE (the withdrawal of Roman rule), 1066 ACE (the Norman Conquest), and all that? Whom and what do these chronologies repress and how were they constituted? Why were English chronologies so challenged in the twelfth century and again in the late twentieth century?
Undergraduate Surveys leave unmarked their chronopolitcs, the politics of time and timing. Chronologies are the effects of constituting,engendering, sexualizing, racializing "historical subjects." To mark and re-articulate the chronopolitics of the medieval English survey, this course will think about various time-telling devices used in the cultural work of time-telling: the prophecies of Merlin, the archives of the Public Record Office, the time-bombs dropped on London in World War II, the home-movies of migrant colonials--these are a few of the time-telling devices we will think about this semester.
Why is telling time in the survey so important? Does the time of the medieval England survey course have everything to do (still) with the question" what time is it in the British Empire? " How is the medieval England survey course a site, or itinerary for belated travel in a post-colonial age? Do we need to ask further, where is Greenwich mean time?
Hands-on, seminar format. Written exercises, and required research paper (10-12 pp) in lieu of final exam (due May 9, 1995). If you take more than 3 unexcused absences, you forfeit your 15 credits for class participation (15 credits)
(instructions for these assignments will be explained in class)
class participation 15
reading report 10 (1 report -5 choices/5 teams/5 pp)
exercise 1 10 (group work-group paper/6 pp)
exercise 2 10
exercise 3 10
exercise 4 10
final paper 35
(assigned topic on Time,Timing,Translation in HKB)
Course Packet LaFortune Copy Center
Gerald of Wales, The History and Topography of Ireland
Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain
Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
Robin Frame, Political Development of the British Isles
Paul Gilroy, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack
Wed JAN 18: WORTH DYING FOR?
introduction to course
music videos and the problem of English America
PART I: TELLING ENGLISH TIME: CARTOGRAPHY/LANGUAGE/ARCHIVE
MON JAN 23: BRITISH HISTORY AS A BORDER PROJECT
Homi K. Bhabha, "DissemiNation: Time, narrative and the margins of the modern nation" (cp)
HAND-IN (3 pp)
write your migration history and use it to react to Bhabha:
"We then have a contested conceptual territory where the nation's people must be thought in double-time; the people are the historical 'objects' of a nationalist pedagogy, giving the discourse an authority that is based on the pre-given or constituted historical origin in the past; the people are also subjects of a process of signification that must erase any prior or originary prsence of the nation-people to demonstrate the prodigious, living principles of the people as contemporaneity: as that sign of the present through which national life is redeemed and iterated as a reproductive process. " (p. 145)
WED JAN 25: Watching the Detectives
(NB: class meets in Special Collections-Hesburgh Library)
TEAM I REPORT:
Joseph M Levine, "The Antiquarian Enterprise"(cp)
Class study of William Camden's (1551-1623) Britannia --
Special Collections, Hesburgh Library
MON JAN 30: GRAMMARS FOR THE "FOREIGNESS OF LANGUAGES"
TEAM 2 REPORT
Elizabeth Elstob, The Rudiments of Grammar for the English-Saxon Tongue (1715)
Read the Dedication and Preface (cp)
WED FEB 1: RECORD AS MONUMENT
class will meet in LIBRARY LOBBY by CIRCULATION DESK
Team 3 Report
Read Public Records Office Act--1838(cp)
"The Public Use of the Records" from First Report of the Royal Commission on Public Records, vol 1 (1910), pp. 21-25 (cp)
we visit CD 1040 on 11th floor of Hesburgh Library to look at the Lists and Indices of the Public Record Office
and visit DA 25 to look at the Calendars
EXERCISE 1 (5 pages+ xeroxed source materials) - groups of 5
due FRIDAY FEB 10 (456 Decio)
Please look at the Calendars for Trade and Plantations (1704-1782)
pick a country, state, island (e.g. Virginia, Barbados), or trading company ( e.g. East India Company) and go through the volume (each member take a share of the volumes) and xerox the entries--put the collage together and read the "map"--then be prepared to say how the archival project of "calendaring" produces an archival map of colonialism
RECOMMENDED READING FOR EXERCISE 1 (on reserve)
PhilippaLevine, The Amateur and the Professional: Antiquarians and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838-1886 (Cambridge1986) read chapter: "The role of government"
John Cantwell, "The 1838 Public Record Office Act and its aftermath: a new perspective," Journal of the Society of Archivists, 7 (1984), 277-285.
MON FEB 6-WORTH DYING FOR?
TEAM 4 REPORT
Clare A. Simmons, "The Conquest Reversed: King Alfred and Queen Victoria," in her Reversing the Conquest: History and Myth in 19th Century British Literature (Rutgers, 1990), pp. 175-202+228-232.(cp)
for your interest (on Reserve)
E. Darby and N. Smith, The Cult of the Prince Consort (Yale 1983)
PART II: MEANWHILE BACK IN BRITAIN
TUES FEB 7-viewing of HANDSWORTH SONGS (1986)(Black Audio Collective)
WED FEB 8 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Read: material on Handsworth Songs (cp)
Paul Gilroy, "Diaspora, utopia, and the critique of capitalism," in his There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (Chicago 1987), pp. 153-222.(on reserve/recommended in bookstore)
EXERCISE 2 (group paper-due FRI FEB 17)
Reading Handsworth Songs through the course work so far (topic question + additional recommended readings to be circulated)
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK IN THE 12TH CENTURY
MON FEB 13: THE REPEATING ISLAND
Antonio Benítez-Rojo,"Introduction: the repeating island," from his The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective (Duke, 1992),pp. 1-32(cp)
Robin Frame, The Political Development of the British Isles (Oxford, 1990), pp. 1-49(required-Book Store) (hereafter called PDBI)
WED FEB 15: WHAT'S EATING GERALD OF WALES (1146-1223)?
lecture: Imagining Colonial Community: an Introduction to the Works of Gerald of Wales
read all: PDBI, pp. 50-97.
MON FEB 20: WRITING THE WONDERS OF IRELAND (pt I)
all: James Clifford. "On Ethnographic Authority," in The Predicament of Culture (Harvard, 1988), pp. 21-54
read: Gerald of Wales,
THE HISTORY AND TOPOGRAPHY OF IRELAND. pp. 33-91
WED FEB 22: GERALD OF WALE'S ETHNOGRAPHIC AUTHORITY
READ: GERALD OF WALES, IRELAND, PP. 92-125
DISCUSSION: Jim Clifford meets Gerald of Wales
Exercise 3 ( group work) (due Mar 6)
Jim Clifford meets Gerald of Wales
MON FEB 27: IMAGINED EMPIRE
all read: PDBI, pp. 98-141
John Gillingham, "The Beginnings of English Imperialism," Journal of Historical Sociology, 5 (4, 1992), pp. 392-409
lecture: problems in interpreting 12th century EMPIRE
WED MAR 1: WHAT'S EATING GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH?
Read: Ali Behdad, "Introduction: The Predicaments of Belatedness," in his Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution(Duke, 1994), pp. 1-17 (cp)
Geoffrey of Monmouth. History of the Kings of Britain, (hereafter HKB)pp. 51-148
MON MAR 6: MIMIC MAN?
Homi Bhabha, "Of mimicry and man: the ambivalence of colonial discourse, " October (19 ) (cp)
GofM, HKB, pp. 149-211
WED MAR 8: DOES THE HISTORY HAVE A HISTORY?
TEAM REPORT 5
John Gillingham, "The Context and Purposes of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain,"Anglo-Norman Studies, XIII (1992), pp. 99-118
MON MAR 20: DO DEAD MEN TELL LIES?
GofM,HKB< pp. 213-284
WED MAR 22: PAPER WORKSHOP on HKB
Recommended Readings on Reserve
Dennis Bethell, "English monks and Irish reform in the 11th and 12th centuries," Historical Studies, 8 (1971)
Christopher Brooke, "Geoffrey of Monmouth as a Historian," in Church and Government in the Middle Ages (Cambridge 1958)
Constance Bullock-Davies, Professional interpreters and the Matter of Britain (Cardiff, 1966)
R.R. Davies, "Buchedd a moes y Cymry: The manners and morals of the Welsh," Welsh Historical Review, 12 (1984-85)
John Gillingham, "Conquering the Barbarians: War and Chivalry in 12th Century Britain," Haskins Society Journal 4 (1993)
William Leckie, The Passage of Dominion: Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Periodization of Insular History in the 12th Century (Toronto 1981)
Hugh MacDougall, Racial Myth in English History (1982)
MON MAR 27: TECHNOLOGIES OF CONQUEST
all read: PDBI, pp. 142-197
WED MAR 29: CONSULTATIONS ON DRAFT
PART IV: REREADING EMPIRE
MON APR 3: THE UNCANNY ENGLISHMAN
Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient (1992)(bookstore), chapters 1-3
WED APR 5: THE RETURN OF KIP (ling)? cont
Ondaatje, English Patient, chapters 4-8
MON APR 10: DO DEAD MEN TELL LIES?
Ondaatje, English Patient, chapters 9-10
WED APR 12: ARTHUR, MERLIN, ENGLISH PATIENT
MON APR 17: COLONIZING IMPERIAL TIME
Edward Said, "The Pleasures of Empire," in his Culture and Imperialism (New York 1993), pp. 132-162
Rudyard Kipling, Kim, chapters 1-7
WED APR 19: COLONIZING IMPERIAL TIME cont
Ali Behdad, "Kipling's "Other" Narrator/Reader: Self-Exoticism and the Micropolitics of Colonial Ambivalence," in his Belated Travelers, pp. 73-91(reserve)
Kipling, Kim, chapters 8-12
MON APR 24: KIM MEETS KIP (LING)
Kipling, Kim, chapters 13-15
Sara Suleri, The Adolescence of Kim," Rhetoric of English India (Chicago, 1992), pp. 111-131(cp)
WED APR 26: TIME BOMBS: IT'S JUST A SHOT AWAY
exercise 4 (group work) 5 pp:
Does KIM grow up into KIP or what reader names Kip's brother?
MON MAY 1: IMPERIAL NOSTALGIA AND THE NOTRE DAME CAMPUS
WED MAY 3: OPEN-ENDED CONCLUSIONS