This volume stems from the idea that the notion of borders and borderlines as clear-cut frontiers separating not only political and geographical areas, but also cultural, linguistic and semiotic spaces, does not fully address the complexity of contemporary cultural encounters. Centering on a whole range of literary works from the United States and the Caribbean, the contributors suggest and discuss different theoretical and methodological grounds to address the literary production taking place across the lines in North American and Caribbean culture. The volume represents a pioneering attempt at proposing the concept of the border as a useful paradigm not only for the study of Chicano literature but also for the other American literatures. The works presented in the volume illustrate various aspects and manifestations of the textual border(lands), and explore the double-voiced discourse of border texts by writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Rudolfo Anaya, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Helena Viramontes, Paule Marshall and Monica Sone, among others. This book is of interest for scholars and researchers in the field of comparative American studies and ethnic studies.
The series locates itself within the field of comparative American studies, and focuses specifically on the analysis and criticism of the so-called “ethnic” American literatures. The orientation of the series is, explicitly, for the literary analysis to merge the political with the imaginative, and the culturally-specific with the cross-cultural. As an intercultural endeavor, the series assumes the inextricable link between standards of aesthetic value and power; aesthetic judgments are not made in an vacuum but are rather intimately connected with dominant cultural standards of value. In this sense, intercultural literary analysis should address issues of race, ethnicity, class and gender, while it focuses on literary topics, therefore occupying the interspace between the political and the aesthetic.
By ethnic American literature is understood the multiethnic literatures of the United States, with an emphasis on the comparative analysis of the different traditions (including African American literature, Asian American literature, Native American lit., Chicano and US latino literature, as well as other so called hyphenated or immigrant writers with non-US background like Indian writers, Arab American writers, European American writers, etc.). The series focus is mostly comparative, multiethnic, and intercultural, but would also love to feature analyses of single ethnic traditions.
The volumes in the series offer clear and comprehensive approaches to selected topics (such as magical realism, border theory, and others), covering the different implications of each topic to the development of ethnic American literatures. Volumes then proceed to comparative literary analyses of carefully selected works from each ethnic tradition.
Volumes should offer interrelated contributions. Each volume should consist of long articles, carefully designed to cover the whole field under study. Each article should offer a general, theoretical exploration of a particular topic, as well as argue a particular point.
Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the publisher at BRILL,
Uncertain Mirrors realigns magical realism within a changing critical landscape, from Aristotelian mimesis to Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics. In between, the volume traverses a vast theoretical arena, from postmodernism and postcolonialism to Lévinasian philosophy and eco-criticism. The volume opens and closes with dialectical instability, as it recasts the mutability of the term “mimesis” as both a “world-reflecting” and a “world-creating” mechanism. Magical realism, the authors contend, offers another stance of the possible; it also situates the reader at a hybrid aesthetic matrix inextricably linked to postcolonial theory, postmodernism, Bakhtinian theory, and quantum physics. As
Uncertain Mirrors explores, magical realist texts partake of modernist exhaustion as much as of postmodernist replenishment, yet they stem from a different “location of culture” and “direction of culture;” they offer complex aesthetic artifacts that, in their recreation of alternative geographic and semiotic spaces, dislocate hegemonic texts and ideologies. Their unrealistic excess effects a breach in the totalized unity represented by 19th century realism, and plays the dissonant chord of the particular and the non-identical.