Often perceived as unbridgeable, the boundaries that divide humanity from itself--whether national, gender, racial, political, or imperial--are rearticulated through friendship. Elora Halim Chowdhury and Liz Philipose edit a collection of essays that express the different ways women forge hospitality in deference to or defiance of the structures meant to keep them apart. Emerging out of postcolonial theory, the works discuss instances when the authors have negotiated friendship's complicated, conflicted, and contradictory terrain; offer fresh perspectives on feminists' invested, reluctant, and selective uses of the nation; reflect on how the arts contribute to conversations about feminism, dissent, resistance, and solidarity; and unpack the details of transnational dissident friendships. Contributors: Lori E. Amy, Azza Basarudin, Himika Bhattacharya, Kabita Chakma, Elora Halim Chowdhury, Laurie R. Cohen, Esha Niyogi De, Eglantina Gjermeni, Glen Hill, Alka Kurian, Meredith Madden, Angie Mejia, Chandra T. Mohanty, A. Wendy Nastasi, Nicole Nguyen, Liz Philipose, Anya Stanger, Shreerekha Subramanian, and Yuanfang Dai.
By combining personal memoir and critical analysis, Lori Amy links the violence we live in our homes to the violence that structures our larger culture. The Wars We Inherit brings insights from memory and trauma studies to the story of violence in the author’s own family.
In this brave, fascinating and compelling book, Amyconcerns herself with the violence associated with the military, and how this institution of public, cultural violence, with its hypermasculinity, pervades society with physical, verbal, emotional and sexual aggression. She uses her war-veteran father to represent the chaotic and dehumanizing impact of war to show how violence is experienced and remembered.
Amy provides examples that support the relationship between military structures and domestic violence, or how the sexual violence that permeates her family prompts debates about the nature of trauma and memory. In addition, Amy employs feminist psychoanalytic theory, cultural and trauma studies, and narrative theory, to explain how torture in Abu Ghraib is on a direct continuum with the ordinary violence inherent in our current systems of gender and nation.
Placing individual experience in cultural context, Amy argues that “if we can begin, in our own lives, to transform the destructive ways that we have been shaped by violence, then we might begin to transform the cultural conditions that breed violence.”