The Albertian Review of Literature is an attempt to weave diverse threads of literature and the arts into a meaningful tapestry. It aspires to be a microcosm reflecting the myriad realities and the multiplicity of voices of existence as reflected through different genres. The inaugural issue covers topics ranging from the regional and topical as the emergence of the local dialects in Malayalam cinema to the national anxieties of newly liberalized India of the nineties to Soyinka’s voice from Nigeria.
‘An Interview with Wole Soyinka’ by Mary T. David is an attempt at understanding the author and his works. The interview is a free-wheeling chat in which the writer talks about creativity, writing as an African, the influence of good teachers, ‘bourgeois individualism,’ among others.
Ajay S. Sekher in his article ‘Democratizing the Academia: Teaching Dalit Literatures in Kerala’ talks about the democratization of the academia in Kerala by introducing dalit studies. The author attempts to locate dalit studies in the academic circles of the state and how it has come to occupy an important position being ‘a part of a trend and partly a realization of the cultural and historic reality of India.’
Cheri Jacob K and Aju K. Narayanan deconstruct the myth and ‘brand’ of Kannaki on screen in the article ‘The (ab)uses of Semiosis: Kannaki on Screen.’ The authors analyze two ‘versions’ of Kannaki in Tamil and Malayalam films respectively.
A.A. Chandradasan in his article ‘Rasanubhava in Indian Performance’ delineates Bharata Muni’s Natyasastra and explores the ultimate motive of theatre/performance as seen by Classical Indian aesthetics.
Sajin P.J’s reading of Pankaj Mishra’s travel writing Butter Chicken in Ludhiana analyzes Mishra’s exploration of the psyche of the small towns of India during the early years of economic liberalization and globalization.
Leslie Thomas draws the readers’ attention towards the hybrid nature of Chavittunatakam, an indigenous Christian theatre art of Kerala in the article ‘Chavittunatakam: The Theatre of Hybridity.’ The research article argues how this art form is indebted to medieval European works like The Song of Roland and Orlando Furioso along with the indigenous art form of Kutiyatam.
Jacob George C and Akhila Narayanan’s discourse on the emerging trend of using local dialects in recent Malayalam cinema evaluates how such ‘inclusion’ in the name of realism has given voice to the hitherto unheard.
Appu Jacob John’s article ‘ Tibetan Poetry: Voices in the Wilderness’ is a reflection on the Tibetan experience and how poetry has given them voice in exile. Tibetan poetry is one of hope and resistance.
‘Gender, Act, Masculinity: Some thoughts on the Male Performances of Women’ by Yakob Thomas is an interesting study on the concept of gender and how Malayalam cinema perpetuates some of the stereotypes associated with gender.
The concept of gender is further explored by Aathira Nandan in ‘Transgender Performance in Kathakali.’ She explores the indefinable, that is, the transgender, and its ramifications and how in Kathakali the transgender is portrayed in a manner acceptable to society.
Vijayan A.V in ‘Literature and Values’ takes us through a historical journey on how the constructs of morals and values have been seen from different perspectives. The journey stops with eco-criticism which values the essence that links all life forms.
Soney Bhageeradhan in ‘The Politics of the Female Misfit: An Ecofeminist Reading of Jane Smiley’s The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton’ critiques the gender roles thrust upon women and shows how the novel is ‘a tongue in cheek subversion’ of gender stereotypes.