1st Edition

Ambivalent Transnational Belonging in American Literature

By Silvia Schultermandl Copyright 2021
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    Ambivalent Transnational Belonging in American Literature discusses the extent to which transnational concepts of identity and community are cast within nationalist frameworks. It analyzes how the different narrative perspectives in texts by Olaudah Equiano, Catharina Maria Sedgwick, Henry James, Jamaica Kincaid, and Mohsin Hamid shape protagonists’ complex transnational subjectivities, which exist between or outside national frameworks but are nevertheless interpellated through the nation-state and through particular myths about liberal, sentimental, or cosmopolitan subjects.

    The notion of ambivalent transnational belonging yields insights into the affective appeal of the transnational as a category of analysis, as an aesthetic experience, and as an idea of belonging. This means bringing the transnational into conversation with the aesthetic and the affective so we may fully address the new conceptual challenges faced by literary studies due to the transnational turn in American studies.

    1. Introduction: Ambivalent Transnational Belonging
    2. Olaudah Equiano’s Liberal Authorial Subject of the Circum-Atlantic Middle Passage
    3. Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Clarence, Sentimental Kinship, and the Transnational American Novel of Manners
    4. Cosmo-Nationalist Aesthesis and Essentialized Womanhood in Henry James’s Daisy Miller
    5. Precarious Intimacies and Narratives of the Transnational Care Economy in Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy
    6. Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Transnational Ambivalence at the Limits of Multiculturalism



    Silvia Schultermandl is Professor and Chair of American Studies at the University of Münster. She is the author of Transnational Matrilineage: Mother-Daughter Conflicts in Asian American Literature and co-editor of six collections of essays which explore various themes in transnational studies, American literature and culture, as well as family and kinship studies, including Ethnicity and Kinship in North American and European Literatures. Among others, her articles have appeared in the following journals: Meridians, Atlantic Studies, Interactions, Journal of Transnational American Studies, and Journal of American Culture. Together with May Friedman, she is series editor of the Palgrave Series in Kinship, Representation, and Difference. Silvia’s areas of interest include affect theory, literary theory, critical race theory, queer theory, visual culture, and transnational feminism.

    "A significant contribution to the way we practice a transnational approach to literary analysis in American Studies, Schultermandl's work offers a complex and illuminating focus on the potentialities born of the reader's encounter with their ambivalent attachments to nation, identity, myths and values." Nina Morgan, Journal of Transnational American Studies