Beyond the Borders: American Literature and Post-Colonial Theory

Overview

The contributors to this book challenge the usual boundaries of 'post-colonial' theory. Focusing on American literature, they examine how America's own imperial history has shaped the literatures that have emerged from within America -- for instance, from Native American, Latino, Black and Asian-American writers. They contrast this with postcolonial literatures from countries whose history has been shaped by American colonialism -- from Canada, Central America and the Caribbean to Hawaii, Indonesia and Vietnam. ...

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Overview

The contributors to this book challenge the usual boundaries of 'post-colonial' theory. Focusing on American literature, they examine how America's own imperial history has shaped the literatures that have emerged from within America -- for instance, from Native American, Latino, Black and Asian-American writers. They contrast this with postcolonial literatures from countries whose history has been shaped by American colonialism -- from Canada, Central America and the Caribbean to Hawaii, Indonesia and Vietnam. In this way the contributors explore key questions about national identity and multiculturalism: why, for instance, is a Native writer categorised within 'American literature' if writing on one side of the border, but as 'Canadian' and 'post-colonial' if writing on the other? This is a challenging collection that raises questions not only about the boundaries of post-colonial theory, but also about ethnicity and multiculturalism, and the impact of immigration and assimilation -- issues that lie at the heart of the literary curriculum.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"a mass of interesting stuff here that scholars in the field will want to read" --Dr Maria Lauret, School of English and American Studies, University of Sussex.

"This collection of essays on the field of post-colonial studies, offers perspectives on texts from both sides of the Atlantic, challenging the emerging consensus on post-colonial literatures in the process. The contributors dicuss a diversity of related topics, from case studies of specific authors to theoretical investigations of such fundamental questions as the role of literary study within multicultural societies." --Review of Post-Colonial Literatures

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745320458
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 8/20/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Madsen is Professor of American Literature at the University of Geneva. Her previous books are Post-Colonial Literatures (Pluto Press, 1999) and Feminist Theory and Literary Practice (Pluto Press, 2000).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: American Literature and Post-colonial Theory 1
1 Indigenous Literatures and Postcolonial Theories: Reading from Comparative Frames 15
2 "Going Into a Whole Different Country": Postcolonial "Nation"-hood in Native American Literature 31
3 Origin Story: On Being a White Native American(ist) 51
4 Counter-Discursive Strategies in Contemporary Chicana Writing 65
5 "At Least One Negro Everywhere": African American Travel Writing 77
6 Unsettling Asian American Literature: When More than America is in the Heart 92
7 Forging a Postcolonial Identity: Women of Chinese Ancestry Writing in English 111
8 Border Crossings: Filipino American Literature in the United States 122
9 Reading the Literatures of Hawai's Under an "Americanist" Rubric 135
10 Writing Migrations: The Place(s) of U.S. Puerto Rican Literature 151
11 Diasporic Disconnections: Insurrection and Forgetfulness in Contemporary Haitian and Latin-Caribbean Women's Literature 167
12 Reclaiming Maps and Metaphors: Canadian First Nations and Narratives of Place 184
13 Thomas King and Contemporary Indigenous Identities 195
14 Vietnamese and Vietnamese American Literature in a Postcolonial Context 209
15 Politics, Pleasure, and Intertextuality in Contemporary Southeast Asian Women's Writing 222
16 U.S. and US: American Literatures of Immigration and Assimilation 238
List of Contributors 249
Index 253
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