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Scholarly Undergraduate Research Journal at Clark

Faculty Mentor Contact Information

Stephen Levin

Faculty Mentor Email

slevin@clarku.edu

Abstract

Action is a metaphysical reality of our daily existence, one so commonplace and privileged that it has transcended its dialectical relationship with inaction to preeminence. The latter has failed to capture the imagination of philosophers and critical theorists, leaving the subversive potential of this negative space unexplored. This essay seeks to interrogate the space of inaction, and restore the unity between the action and inaction. This exploration is situated within a postcolonial context, as a conversation between Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Homi Bhabha, to examine how inaction offers a site to challenge the violence of action and the unitary discourse of nationhood. What potential does inaction hold to contribute to resignify nationhood? How does it create the psychic space to (re)imagine nationhood as narrative, and situate it within the temporality of modernity? How does the figure of inaction inform the discourse of postcolonial nationhood? These are some of the questions that preoccupy the author and this work.

 

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