The book represents a selection of papers presented at an international symposium in Singapore on the role of theory and practice in the mutually interactive and mutating relations between institutions and cultures. In effect, the papers turn about a single theme: the ways in which power is expressed through those institutions by means of which cultures mediate their requirements.
The symposium brought together scholars and academics from a variety of disciplines, including literature, philosophy, cultural studies, sociology, comparative literature and comparative religions. In terms of the geography of cultures and the history of institutions, the range of reference to this book of the symposium is global: from Hong Kong awaiting 1997, through the travails of political democracy in Singapore, and Cultural Studies à la Greenblatt or under the aegis of Shakespeare as cultural idol, through German Romantic theory and its relevance to current theorizing about theory in America, to Zen Buddhism and Nagarjuna and how these two sources refract the concerns of Jung, Lacan and Derrida; through Colonialism and postcoloniality and how they have shaped identity and mediated power to the current crises in education created by these mediations, specifically, in literary studies.
The aim of the symposium was twofold: to theorize about the impulse to theorize in relation to the plurality of cultures and institutions which comprises our contemporary world; and to ground this impulse in those specificities and contingencies which provide resistance to such theorizing.
This innovative volume discusses the significance of home and global mobility in contemporary diasporic fiction written in English. Through analyses of central diasporic and migrant writers in the United Kingdom and the United States, the timely volume exposes the importance of home and its reconstruction in diasporic literature in the era of globalization and increasing transnational mobility. Through wide-ranging case studies dealing with a variety of black British and ethnic American writers,
Home, Identity, and Mobility in Contemporary Diasporic Fiction shows how new identities and homes are constructed in the migrants’ new homelands. The volume examines how diasporic novels inscribe hybridity and multiplicity in formerly uniform spaces and subvert traditional understandings of nation, citizenship, and history. Particular emphasis is on the ways in which diasporic fictions appropriate and transform traditional literary genres such as the
Bildungsroman and the picaresque to explore the questions of migration and transformation. The authors discussed include Caryl Phillips, Jamal Mahjoub, Mike Phillips, Hari Kunzru, Kamila Shamsie, Benjamin Zephaniah, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Cynthia Kadohata, Ana Castillo, Diana Abu-Jaber, and Bharati Mukherjee. The volume is of particular interest to all scholars and students of post-colonial and ethnic literatures in English.
African literary theory has recently gained immensely from an emerging multitude of perspectives and scholarly approaches. This volume offers a welcome opportunity to assess trends in the twenty-first century’s discourse on African literature: Twelve different articles treat such lively issues as modernity, nation, civil society, postcolonial theory, and feminism, relating these both to more recent short stories, poems, and novels and to a large variety of texts that have in one way or another acquired canonical status. The first section “Language, Modernity and Modernism” explores ocial and aesthetic figurations of modernity in African literary discourse. “New Readings in African Literature and Postcolonial Theory” offers fresh and critical approaches to this hotly contested area. In the closing section, “Identity, Dissidence and Cultural Practice,” the questions tackled concern the role of literature and the African writer in an increasingly plural and diversifying social environment. Some of the authors treated in detail are: Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Okot p’Bitek, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nuruddin Farah, Nadine Gordimer, Helon Habila, Kojo Laing, Alexander Kanengoni, Farida Karodia, Lewis Nkosi, Flora Nwapa, Ike Oguine, Ben Okri, and Wole Soyinka.