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Using a "cultural studies" approach to the question of what constitutes literary study at the end of the twentieth century, the contributors address identity politics in specific cultural instances.
The sixteen original essays by scholars from around the world examine concerns common to writers who experience marginalization based upon their inescapable identification with two or more cultures. From Australian aboriginal and Maori, to Irish, Maghrebian, and South African, and on to the rich ethnic mix in North America, the book considers fiction, poetry, autobiography, and anthropological reportage to raise questions as determinative as one's choice of language, one's presentation of self in society, one's "recovery" of a history. This collection serves as a bridge between recent Eurocentric postmodern discourse dealing with the breakdown of the modernist stability in art, architecture, and electronic media, and those recent studies that problematize the issue of racial identity and literary practice. Cross-Addressing discusses site-specific strategies of resistance to the imposition of identity in the terms imposed or implied by colonizers and their descendants: narrative empowerment, gender reconstruction, racial decategorization, an intersection of marginalities, and a cross-cultural Third World solidarity. The movement is from the individual to the collective, from the particular to the global. The theoretical approach is eclectic, echoing the current split in cultural studies between discussions of the cultural production of meaning, and an involvement in policy debates. The book contends that the heightened consciousness resulting from marginalization not only judges our world, but offers it a window onto its future possibilities. Contributors include Lyn McCredden, Suzette Henke, Trevor James, Mary O'Connor, S.M., Nejd Yaziji, Rosemary Jolly, Bernice Zamora, Gayle Wald, Arturo Aldama, Manuel M. Martin-Rodriquez, Barbara Frey Waxman, Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, Lien Chao, Karin Quimby, and Roger Bromley. John C. Hawley is Associate Professor of English at Santa Clara University.
Table of Contents
Toward a Critical Solidarity: (Inter)change in Australian Aboriginal Writing
Aboriginal Autography: The Dreaming of Sally Morgan
"Telling Our Own Stories": Reclaiming Difference, a Maori Resistance to Postculturalism
Breaking the Rules: Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill's Language Strategies
Exile and the Politics of (Self-)Representation: The Narrative of Bounded Space and Action in Sahar Khalifeh's Wild Thorns
"Intersecting Marginalities": The Problem of Homophobia in South African Women's Writing
Against Extinction: The Native American and Indo-Hispanic Literary Discourse
The Satire of Race in James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Tayo's Journey Home: Crossblood Agency, Resistance, and Transformation in Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Arturo J. Aldama
Border Crisscrossing: The (Long and Winding) Road to Tamazunchale
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
Feeding the "Hunger of Memory" and an Appetite for the Future: The Ethnic "Storied" Self and the American Authored Self in Ethnic Autobiography
Babraba Frey Waxman
Chinese-U.S. Border Crossings: Ethnic, National, and Anthropological
Mayfair Mei-Hui Yang
The Collective Self.' A Narrative Paradigm in Sky Lee's Disappearing Moon Cafe
"This is my own, my native land":Constructions of Identity and Landscape in Joy Kogawa's Obasan
A Concluding Essay: Narratives for a New Belonging—Writing in the Borderlands