Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest

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In recent years, hospitality has emerged as a category in French thinking for addressing a range of issues associated with immigration and other types of journeys. Rosello's book concentrates primarily on France and its former colonies in North and sub-Saharan Africa and considers how hospitality and its dissidence are defined, practiced, and represented in European and African fictions, theories, and myths at the end of the twentieth century. Postcolonial Hospitality explores the ways in which Western ...
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Overview


In recent years, hospitality has emerged as a category in French thinking for addressing a range of issues associated with immigration and other types of journeys. Rosello's book concentrates primarily on France and its former colonies in North and sub-Saharan Africa and considers how hospitality and its dissidence are defined, practiced, and represented in European and African fictions, theories, and myths at the end of the twentieth century. Postcolonial Hospitality explores the ways in which Western superpowers rewrite ideals of hospitality that are borrowed from a variety of sources and that sometimes constitute an incompatible system of values.

Each chapter focuses on a problematic moment when hospitality is read either as excessive or lacking: when the host does not give what is ideally expected; when the guest is mistreated rather than protected; when the guest abuses the host rather than being grateful. In considering these issues, the author examines the relationship between ownership and generosity, focusing specifically on the connections among nationalism, immigration, and hospitality. Because the intersections between cultural differences and issues of gender often expose the fragility or arbitrariness of hospitable conventions, the author studies novels, films, and immigrant interviews that explore those moments of crisis when systems of hospitality clash.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The current and ongoing increase in numbers and types of international travelers <-->from migrants, refugees, and business people, to tourists<-->causes Rosello (French, comparative literary studies, Northwestern U.) to question whether the "global village has started thinking about a global yet diverse law of hospitality." Her sense is that it has not. In this text she explores the problems arising when host and guest are in discord. Focusing mainly on France and its former colonies in North and sub-Saharan Africa, Rosello examines how hospitality and its dissidence are defined, practiced, and represented in European and African fictions, theories, and myths, and the problems arising when Western superpowers reform ideals of hospitality borrowed from a variety of sources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"This timely book anticipated the wave of anti-immigrant reactions revealed by the spring elections in France and other European Union (EU) states. . . . Postcolonial Hospitality contributes to the immigration debate and to the interpretation of contemporary culture, within France and beyond its borders."—H-France Review of Books

"Rosello's analysis is rich and wide-ranging. It deepens understanding of the material she discusses and makes one eager to see the films and read the novels she analyzes."—CHOICE

"...Rosello's book represents an important contribution to the fields of immigration and identity studies; it bridges the gap between the political and the literary, demonstrating not only the power of social discourse to shape cultural production, but also the power of metaphor to shape the everyday world."—Dayna Oscherwitz, Southern Methodist University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804742320
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Lexile: 1480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Mireille Rosello is Professor of French and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University. Her most recent book is Declining the Stereotype: Representation and Ethnicity in French Culture.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Immigration and Hospitality 1
1 Intellectuals, Politicians, and the Media: Hospitality, Ethics, and the State 23
2 Deportation and Generosity: Hostile Hospitality in Didier van Cauweiaert's Un aller simple 49
3 Host(esse)s Granting and Refusing Hospitality Across National and Ethnic Lines 63
4 Immigrants and the Logic of Interchangeability: Merzak Allouache's Salut cousin! and Jean de La Fontaine's "The Town Rat and the Country Rat" 85
5 Gender and Hospitality: Women as Gifts, Hostesses, and Parasites 119
6 New Definitions of Hospitality and Philosophical Experiments: From Inhospitable States to Cities of Refuge 149
Conclusion: Imperfections and Hospitality 166
Notes 179
Bibliography 195
Index 205
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