Although some believe that Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” is inclusionary democratic poem, it additionally is exclusionary. Widely read as carrying the idea of inclusive democracy and nationalism, the critics like Betsy Erkkila defines him not only as an American but the world citizen in terms of his inclusive thoughts. But this claim of Whitman’s inclusiveness is ironically lacking in the poem, “Leaves of Grass” and in the reality. Whitman sounds rather sentimental than real in the poem. Though he seems to celebrate democracy, his idea of nationalism has failed to give comparatively equal space to the minorities of immigrants, African-Americans and Native Americans. Moreover, in his efforts to appear inclusive he sounds exclusive that has given an imperial tone to the poem. This paper aims at showing the gap between the ideal notion of nationalism and the problem of excluding minor nationalities in the poem. This contrast of Whitman’s ideal and the real will be discussed primarily with reference to the textual evidences and analysis with the ideas of critics. After some basic concepts of democracy and justice, the paper is to bring that issue into consideration.
Impact of Visual Images in Communicating Socio-Cultural and Political Messages in Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Artworks to Nigerian Peoples (Published)
The impact that visual images has on the dissemination of Bruce Onobrakpeya’s symbolic messages to the Nigerian peoples is the focus of this paper. The researchers stress that Onobrakpeya started to experiment with symbolic images of the Urhobo people and a complete set of ideograms that he calls IBIEBE symbols has emerged from this experiment. They reappraise the varied symbolic images that Bruce Onobrakpeya had used to disseminate national security messages to the Nigerian peoples. The study also places emphasis on the usage of colours in passing cultural messages in African society. It is, however, revealed that in some African cultures colours give contextual connotations to peace, danger and life respectively. Onobrakpeya’s childhood encounter with the colour red was used by the researcher to support this argument. It is concluded that through the inherent symbolic representations and communicative messages in his prints Onobrakpeya has encouraged patriotic ideals as a Nigerian citizen.
The Deaf and Mute as Subalterns in Korean Contexts: Analysis of Korean Film of Silenced (Do-Ga-Ni) (Published)
This research is an investigation of a Korean film (Do-Ga-Ni or Silenced in 2011), which reflects the contemporary situation in South Korea where the sexual crimes against disabled children in educational institutions have occurred. In this research, the deaf students are positioned as subalterns who are recognized as the underrepresented that do not have the ability to speak for themselves. Through the methodology of illuminating individual cases of deaf students featured in this movie, this investigation approaches this interpretation: the testimony of the deaf children through their sign language in the courtroom, although this act of speaking for themselves suggests a possibility to change their identity from subalterns to non-subalterns, turns out to be ineffective due to the social elites’ rejection to admit their statement. This does result in a death of a subaltern, which makes the consciousness of the dead student disappear permanently from the understandings of the Korean public.
Anomy and Postmodern Relativism (Published)
The presented study deals with philosophical analysis of modern and postmodern notions of public space. The actual problem of relativism in European culture is a consequence of essentialism, the belief that the world, reality or universe, has some inner essence which cannot be grasped in the language. Text analyzes the two main themes. Firstly, the treatise attempts at an philosophical analysis of the category – public space. It points out the dissension between the traditional and postmodern definition of this conception and the consequences resulting from these different attitudes. As far as the methodology is concerned, the study is based on French postmodern philosopher J. F. Lyotard, presenting the postmodern approach as a greater contribution. In postmodern public area we can meet two basic types of dissentions, while only the first of them can be solved by further grow of specialization and the expertlike know. The second part of the study discusses Richard Rorty’s philosophy, influence of Rorty’s ideas on solving some traditional philosophical topics, especially the question of relativism. Richard Rorty’s untraditional, provocative and inspiring version of neo-pragmatism enables us to view all the theories created so far by human culture as a case with tools. Physics and astronomy can be seen as a way to cope with some aspects of the Universe, philosophy, religion or literature as ways that help us cope with other aspects of the reality. One form of research results in statements, another in images, mathematical equations or stories. The emphasis is put on the analysis of the influence of neo-pragmatism and continental postmodernism on Rorty’s writings.
Depressing Connections between the Misogynist Project of Political Islam and Western Academia in the Backdrop of Literary Work of Khaled Hosseini’s ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ (Published)
This paper seeks to explore the role of political Islam, its relation with the West and its impact on the women of Afghanistan. It discusses the term political Islam, discourse issue of Islamic feminism, demonstrates the power of patriarchy and displays the Western project to support misogynist construction of Islam. It shows how the framework of Islamic feminism re-describes political Islam as a discursive establishment, simultaneously; it presents Esposito’s insights on the representation of political Islam in the West. Furthermore, this paper investigates the subjugated Living of women focussing on an understanding the misogynist attempts that marginalize women. A small critique of some postcolonial works illustrating the chauvinist character of identity politics in Muslim societies is used to explore the set assumptions. Theoretical model of Islamic feminism provides methodology for analyses of A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). This paper concludes that this novel presents a flourishing view of Islam and reinforces the need to educate the West about the Islamic concept of peace, tolerance and gender indiscrimination.
An Evaluation of the Challenges of Representation to Public Policy Formulation and Implementation in Nigeria (Published)
The study examined how the challenges faced by the democratic principle of representation affect public policy formulation and implementation. If it were possible for constituencies to directly deal with governments in making their inputs in public policy formulation and implementation, they would have been better disposed to pass on their felt needs for inclusion in the formulation and implementation of public policies. But since this is not possible for logistic reasons associated with the governmental processes, representation has thus become inevitable. However, much as representation is meant to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of governance, it faces challenges that limit its ability to wholly pass across the wishes and needs of the constituencies for inclusion in government policies and programmes. In examining these challenges, questionnaire were administered to 480 respondents who are politically conscious with a minimum of first degree graduate education. The location of the survey was Enugu state of Nigeria and respondents were free to respond to the questions as it applied to their various constituencies. The study found out, among other things, that there is hardly existing constituency benchmarks which guide representatives, against which their representative functions are evaluated. Secondly, there are no defined channels through which constituencies regularly communicate their needs and issue positions to be considered in policy formulation and programmes to their representatives. Thirdly, there are no functional machinery charged with regular assessment of legislators to ascertain their level of compliance or otherwise with the issue position of their constituencies. Fourthly, the level of confidence constituents have in their representatives to take the right decision/position on issues concerning their constituencies is significantly low. Fifthly, constituents do not know the voting pattern of their representatives in the various Legislatures to ascertain their level of responsiveness to constituency needs. Finally, the interest of political parties that produced candidates for election into the Legislature over the years do not reflected the interest of the constituencies. In view of the foregoing findings, the study recommended the need for constituency-articulated benchmark to guide representative activities. Secondly, the electoral process should allow independent candidacy to make it possible for constituencies to elect candidates with credible character that win the confidence of their constituents. Thirdly, there should be a regular channel of communication between representatives and their constituencies which should also serve the purpose of evaluating the performance of representatives. Fourthly, a voting method in the legislature that makes it possible for constituency members to access the voting records of their representatives need be introduced. Fifthly, the political system needs to evolve a system that allows a fuller public participation in the crafting, implementation and evaluation of public policies.
One significant beauty of literature is the openness of this academic discipline. It permits sensible endless debate on issues with a view to reconciling them and to bring out the best from the divided opinions for ultimate use of the most enduring and outstanding perspective from among many. Even before now that world has turned a global village; the geography of our existence allows us to tell our stories because man is heavily connected to his environment. Our culture and all our material creations including literature are therefore reflections of our ecological existence. This paper examines J. P. Clark’s “Night Rain” as a product of the relationship between literature and the environment, and the representation of nature, which make up the environment in a literary work. With the application of Eco-criticism as our theoretical framework, the paper concludes that our lives are not meaningful except they are situated in the cultural context of our environment. Hence, the study and understanding of culture in relation to the environment through literature will help us in solving the challenges of the 21st century.