Julie Briand-Boyd (University of Glasgow)
jmes@****.com (Log-in to reveal)
In the second volume of Ali Smith's seasonal quartet entitled Winter (2017), she opens with a quote from Prime Minister Theresa May, which was uttered at the Tory party conference in 2016: ‘But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere’.
have always been citizens of nowhere across Britain, ranging from the expulsed Roma
peoples and Jewish diaspora to the displaced migrants workers of Romania and
Poland, and the non-white immigrants of the former colonies (Afro-Caribbean,
Indian, and Pakistani). This sense of national-cultural homelessness in Britain has further been
sparked among England’s Celtic cousins, as well. In the North of Britain
especially, the failed Scottish independence of 2014 which prevented Scotland
to access recognition of its national status in the world led to the rise of discourses
of nationlessness (or the post-national movement) across Scotland and Ireland, as well. The political stunt of Brexit
not only revived fears of isolationism, anti-immigration policies, Islamophobia, intensified classism, and right wing populism, but it also brought forth more questions about the
independent vocation of Scotland, and it even revealed the vicious colonial relationship
between the English and the Irish. In every possible way, the Brexit Campaign
and the policies of the Conservative Party have exposed the ignorance,
negligence and the incompetence of the clowns of Westminster, reminding the world of the imperial and
colonial follies that Britain has ignored for centuries. For many, Brexit most importantly revealed their own status as citizens of nowhere, which has further lead to widespread
panic, terror, and precarity among the most precarious peoples living and working in Britain, and in the cosmopolitan city of London.
this panel welcomes papers discussing the rise of Brexit texts depicting not only the aftermath and the political and social
consequences of this referendum, but also the people affected by it, namely the
citizens of nowhere. Submissions may include papers on contemporary British literature and culture (with an emphasis on Scottish and
Irish literature/culture) to many cultural texts concerning Brexit across Europe and the world.