Transcultural Identities in Contemporary Literature


In recent decades, globalization has led to increased mobility and interconnectedness. For a growing number of people, contemporary life entails new local and transnational interdependencies which transform individual and collective allegiances. Contemporary literature often reflects these changes through its exploration of migrant experiences and transcultural identities. Calling into question traditional definitions of culture, many recent works of poetry and prose fiction go beyond the spatial boundaries of a given state, emphasizing instead the mixing and collision of languages, cultures, and identities. In doing so, they also challenge recent and contemporary discourses about cultural identities, fostering a more nuanced understanding of the complexities of identity-formation processes in diverse transcultural frameworks.
This volume analyses how traditional understandings of culture, as well as literary representations of identity constructs, can be reconceptualized from a transcultural perspective. In four thematic sections focusing on migration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, and literary translingualism, the twelve essays included in this volume explore various facets of transculturality in contemporary poetry and fiction from around the world.
Contributors: Malin Lidström Brock, Katherina Dodou, Pilar Cuder–Domínguez, Stefan Helgesson, Christoph Houswitschka, Carly McLaughlin, Kristin Rebien, J.B. Rollins, Karen L. Ryan, Eric Sellin, Mats Tegmark, Carmen Zamorano Llena.

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Irene Gilsenan Nordin is Professor of English Literature at Dalarna University, Sweden. She is founder and director of DUCIS (Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies) and leads Dalarna University’s Transcultural Identities research group. Julie Hansen is Research Fellow at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies and teaches Russian literature in the Department of Modern Languages at Uppsala University, Sweden. Carmen Zamorano Llena is Associate Professor of English Literature at Dalarna University, Sweden, and member of Dalarna University’s Transcultural Identities research group.
Irene Gilsenan Nordin, Julie Hansen, and Carmen Zamorano Llena: Introduction: Conceptualizing Transculturality in Literature
A New Kind of Migration
Carmen Zamorano Llena: Transnational Movements and the Limits of Citizenship: Redefinitions of National Belonging in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland
Karen L. Ryan: Forging a Transcultural Identity as a Russian-American Writer: Lara Vapnyar and Cultural Adaptation
Carly McLaughlin: Childhood, Migration, and Identity in Chris Cleave’s The Other Hand
Transcending the Nation
Christoph Houswitschka: Cosmopolitanism and Citizenship: Identities and Affiliations in Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen
Mats Tegmark: Constructions of Transcultural Subjectivity: Going Beyond Nationalism and Ethnicity in A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Kristin Rebien: Cosmopolitan Perspectives: Globalization and Transnationalization in Contemporary German Literature
Critiques of Multiculturalism
Pilar Cuder–Domínguez: Beyond the Multicultural Fairytale: Insider–Outsiders, the Politics of Violence, and the Transnational Turn in Canadian Literature
Malin Lidström Brock: Beyond Multiculturalism: Invisible Men and Transculturality in The Human Stain and Erasure
Katherina Dodou: America After 9/11: Ethnic Diversity and Patriotism in John Updike’s Terrorist
The Interaction of Languages in Translingual Texts
Stefan Helgesson: Literary Language and the Translated Self of Assia Djebar
Eric Sellin: Translingual and Transcultural Patterns in Francophone Literature of the Maghreb
J.B. Rollins: Hsia Yü’s Translingual Transculturalism from Memoranda to Pink Noise
Notes on Contributors
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