Chris Jardine | 10 December, 2018
It has been two and a half years since the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership. While this decision has dominated the political landscape ever since, less attention has been paid to the linguistic innovations, reincarnations and clichés this event has had on and within the English language. Given that the wider Brexit debate has been hijacked by a failed Tory leadership candidate, whose choice in language has been met with disdain by even his allies, and a bizarre anachronism from North East Somerset, a linguistic decoding of some of the key terminology is long overdue.
Chris Jardine | 10 December, 2018
Sarah Stewart | 6 February 2017
At the closing of what my Facebook feed has collectively termed the ‘garbage fire of 2016’ and the consequent mass proffering of narratives to get through and beyond it, Achille Mbembe offered grave discomfort. Perhaps this is hardly surprising coming from the first person to think through the term necropolitics, the idea that, in modernity, ultimate sovereignty rests ‘in the power and the capacity to dictate who may live and who must die’ (Necropolitics). The concept does seem in keeping with the now-crashing visibility of the damage systemic racism, ableism, homophobia and sexism enable (brought to you by the 2016 Brexit Leave campaign and the POTUS-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, to list but a few).
12 December 2016 | Dominic Hale
This poem was written quickly in revulsion, incandescence, disbelief, and horror at present conditions, and the normalising march of recent events. Theresa May’s speech to her delegates on October 5th; Trump on the threshold; the whole unwitty circus.
28 November | Tess Goodman
I woke up on June 24 to dozens of texts. My friends in Britain had just seen the news about Brexit, and many of them were upset. For many of them, the referendum impacted their abilities to live and work and travel. For some, it made them unwelcome in the country that was previously their home. It was a political decision, but for them, it was local.
As an American student, I felt insulated. I’m only a temporary resident in Edinburgh. It’s difficult to relocate permanently to Britain, so I never planned to stay. My life here feels so ephemeral that I’ve stopped buying books, knowing I won’t be able to ship them all home after my time here runs out. This referendum, like most other current events in Britain, seems to have nothing to do with me: this is not my country. I might have opinions, but getting really involved in the debate seems presumptuous, somehow.
16 October 2016 | Scheherazade Khan. ‘Tolerance’ is one of those words that gets thrown around frequently. But what does it really mean? At the risk of sounding overly academic, I refer to the Oxford English Dictionary definition of tolerance: “the disposition to be patient with or indulgent to the opinions or practices of others.” While tolerance to the “practices of others” is highly emphasised in day-to-day discourse, I feel as though the significance of being “indulgent to the opinions” of others has diminished in our current understanding of tolerance. Instead, there is a tendency to force an ascription to what appears to be the morally correct viewpoint, particularly in a university environment where the majority leaning is decidedly liberal. Yet isn’t this a form of intolerance against the morals and opinions of others?
17 October 2016 | Jonathan Drake
Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sci-fi movie Arrival has already created a significant buzz amongst critics after first-look screenings on this year’s film festival circuit. There is still almost a month to go before its official release and it has already managed to attain an impressive score of 80/100 on the review aggregator Metacritic. The general consensus seems to be that this is a thoughtful science fiction offering that doesn’t rely too heavily on action; like the best of the genre, it isn’t afraid to tackle some big ideas. These ideas include the cultural, social and political significance of translation and Translation Studies: provoking thoughts on matters ranging from plot-holes in Roland Emmerich’s film Independence Day to cultural imperialism to translation’s role in the political discourse surrounding Brexit.