From Links of Iron to Slender Rope: Essays in the Empire and Commonwealth Essay Competition

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Focusing on young peoples' articulation of modernity in the imperial and the postcolonial contexts, this paper compares the winning essays submitted to the 1920s Empire Essay Competition with the 21st century entries in the Commonwealth Essay Competition. While the early essays articulate a universal notion of progress as the road to Anglo-Saxon state- and nationhood, the essays of today critically assess and critique modernity. The article argues that today's young people are engaged in a project of negotiating and redefining the modern, essentially a search for a historically and culturally particular modernity. In this way, the young writers become the producers of their own modernity, rather than the consumers of a Western modernity.
TidsskriftRound Table
Udgave nummer388
Sider (fra-til)37-49
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2007
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Commonwealth
  • Empire
  • Modernity
  • Youth
  • Essay

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