Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism : Critical Imaginaries for a Global Age book cover
1st Edition

Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism
Critical Imaginaries for a Global Age

Edited By

Aparajita Nanda

ISBN 9781138547834
Published February 6, 2018 by Routledge
345 Pages

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Book Description

As new comparative perspectives on race and ethnicity open up, scholars are identifying and exploring fresh topics and questions in an effort to reconceptualize ethnic studies and draw attention to nation–based approaches that may have previously been ignored. This volume, by recognizing the complexity of cultural production in both its diasporic and national contexts, seeks a nuanced critical approach in order to look ahead to the future of transnational literary studies.

The majority of the chapters, written by literary and ethnic studies scholars, analyze ethnic literatures of the United States which, given the nation’s history of slavery and immigration, form an integral part of mainstream American literature today. While the primary focus is literary, the chapters analyze their specific topics from perspectives drawn from several disciplines, including cultural studies and history. This book is an exciting and insightful resource for scholars with interests in transnationalism, American literature and ethnic studies.

Table of Contents

Preface by Rafael Perez-Torres  Introduction Aparajita Nanda  Part I: Identity Politics  1. Beyond Identity: Bearings Wlad Godzich  2. ‘One Like Me’: The Refugee as Relational Figure Keith P. Feldman  3. Transnational Identity and the Muslim Diaspora in Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly Esra Mirze Santesso  4. Power, Politics, and the Post-National world of Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood Aparajita Nanda  5. ‘Exotic Fagdom’: The Baraka of Surplus Love in a Transnational Context Suelghee Lee  Part II: Legacy/Trauma/Healing  6. Rethinking Reconciliation: Reflections on Genocide in Africa Pal Ahluwalia  7. Chinese Communism, Cultural Revolution, and American Multiculturalism Steven Lee  8. Rita Dove’s Sonata Mulattica: A Transatlantic Genre for the Restoration of History Cameron Bushnell  9. Animal Ghosts, Colonial Haunting: History’s Presence(s) beyond Benjamin and Derrida Cassel Busse  10. Paul Beatty’s Slumberland and the Myth of Blackness George Hoagland Part III: Literary Crossings  11. A Borderless World: Literature, Nation, Transnation Bill Ashcroft  12. National Identity Reconsidered: The Intersection of Ethnicity and Sexuality in The Book of Salt Debora Stefani  13. Writing at the Crossroads: The Black Atlantic, Transnation and Virginia Woolf in Biyi Bandele’s The Street Pamela McCallum  14. Revisioning Al-Andalus in Nacer Khemir’s film, The Dove’s Lost Necklace Cynthia Mahamdi  15. The Language of Nation beyond Borders: The Bilingual Trilogy of Francisco Jimenez Juan Velasco  Part IV: Established and Emerging Canons: Revisions and Re-Visions  16. Countering Visual Regimes: History, Place and Subjectivity in the Art of Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds Hertha D. Sweet Wong  17. Transnational Feminisms and "Double Understanding": What Academic Women's Memoirs Reveal Wendy Robbins, with Clarissa Hurley and Robin Sutherland  18. Radical Connections/Radical Breaks: African American Writers and the Haiku Form Meta L. Schettler  19. Chinese Obsession, Racial Melancholia, and Male Hysteria: Recuperating Taiwanese American Writer Liu Da-ren in (Chinese) American Studies Su-ching Huang  Afterword by John C. Hawley

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Aparajita Nanda, recipient of a Fulbright faculty teaching scholarship and a Visiting Associate Professorship to the departments of English and African American Studies, UC Berkeley, has taught at Jadavpur University, India and now teaches both at UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University. Her most recent publications include Romancing the Strange, Black California, The Strangled Cry, and articles in Ariel and Callaloo.


'Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism provides new perspectives on how contemporary ethnic writers, filmmakers and visual artists animate in original, distinctive, and creative ways the transnational spaces they encounter in the present and recover from the past. These discussions of hybrid texts infused by hybrid cultures—of counterfactual histories and alternative futures; of refugees and migrants; of forgotten artists and erased civilizations; of nomads, cautious cosmopolites, and citizens of the world—all help us think in fresh ways about transnational communities, global mobility, trauma, loss, and the complex flow of cultures across borders.'

-- Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of American Studies, Stanford University 

'This rich anthology does not merely transnationalize ethnic studies but also ethnicizes transnationalism. A novel foray into new frontiers of ethnic studies within and beyond the United States, it makes an important contribution to studies of ethnicity, diaspora, transnationalism, postcoloniality, and multiculturalism. Highly recommended.'

-- Shu-mei Shih, Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Hong Kong

'A thought -provoking collection which addresses the current transnational turn in the USA as it impinges on ethnic literatures, reframing them in relation to the cross-currents of world literature and the tensions between global forces and ethnic subcultures.'

-- Janet Wilson, Department of English, University of Northampton, UK

'These essays seek variously to de-provincialise U. S. American studies by setting to work the ‘transnationalist turn’. Returning the United States to its postcolonial as well as superpower trajectory, the collection reveals how ethnic and postcolonial studies, no less than diaspora studies, must be at the heart of any broaching of transnationalism within a neo-liberal globalizing frame. Spanning contemporary London, Oklahoma, and Ethiopia, Beijing as well as the British Commonwealth, this wide-ranging book evidences richly the utopian potential of transnational literature, in Bill Ashcroft’s phrase, for envisaging a less border-burdened world. Those seeking a Benjaminian interruption in the stream of time, a breaching of an otherwise ceaseless ‘repetition of unfulfilled expectations’, to quote Jonathan Flatley on W. E. B. DuBois, will find much of compelling interest here.'

-- Donna Landry, Professor, FRAS, School of English, Rutherford College, University of Kent, UK