State University of New York Press

SUNY series, Explorations in Postcolonial Studies

Emmanuel C. Eze

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series, Explorations in Postcolonial Studies

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Beyond Dichotomies

Histories, Identities, Cultures, and the Challenge of Globalization

Beyond Dichotomies examines literary texts, cultural production, and concrete local practices within the context of modernity and globalization by focusing on the ways in which some societies confront the complexity of cultures reflected in new forms of knowledge, narratives, and subjectivities. The contributors explore how particular societies negotiate the relations between the global and the local, and use a geographical, comparative perspective combined with an interdisciplinary approach to offer a diversity of views and illuminate the cultural impact of globalization on different societies around the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. These societies face complex questions regarding people’s histories, identities, and cultures that embody the ambivalence, contradictions, and anxieties generated by the process of globalization. The contributors provide a compelling conclusion for a rethinking and reconfiguration of cultures and intercultural relations in today’s global world in which dichotomized representations coexist with a discourse of globalization.

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Empire and Poetic Voice

Cognitive and Cultural Studies of Literary Tradition and Colonialism

In Empire and Poetic Voice Patrick Colm Hogan draws on a broad and detailed knowledge of Indian, African, and European literary cultures to explore the way colonized writers respond to the subtle and contradictory pressures of both metropolitan and indigenous traditions. He examines the work of two influential theorists of identity, Judith Butler and Homi Bhabha, and presents a revised evaluation of the important Nigerian critics, Chinweizu, Jemie, and Madubuike. In the process, he presents a novel theory of literary identity based equally on recent work in cognitive science and culture studies. This theory argues that literary and cultural traditions, like languages, are entirely personal and only appear to be a matter of groups due to our assertions of categorical identity, which are ultimately both false and dangerous.

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From Kung Fu to Hip Hop

Globalization, Revolution, and Popular Culture

From Kung Fu to Hip Hop looks at the revolutionary potential of popular culture in the sociohistorical context of globalization. Author M. T. Kato examines Bruce Lee’s movies, the countercultural aesthetics of Jimi Hendrix, and the autonomy of the hip hop nation to reveal the emerging revolutionary paradigm in popular culture. The analysis is contextualized in a discussion of social movements from the popular struggle against neoimperialism in Asia, to the antiglobalization movements in the Third World, and to the global popular alliances for the reconstruction of an alternative world. Kato presents popular cultural revolution as a mirror image of decolonization struggles in an era of globalization, where progressive artistic expressions are aligned with new modes of subjectivity and collective identity.

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Globalization, Cultural Identities, and Media Representations

Globalization, Cultural Identities, and Media Representations provides a multidirectional approach for understanding the role of media in constructing cultural identities in a newly globalized media environment. The contributors cover a wide range of topics from different geopolitical areas, historical periods, and media genres. Case studies examined include the shift from print to Internet, local representations of modern world cinema and glo/cal television, narrative strategies in transnational literature, and cultural economics of the mediation of world music in India, China, Algeria, Israel, Europe, and the United States. This case study approach allows for deeper insights into the complexity of each cultural subsystem as part of the whole media culture system. This book exemplifies a transcultural and transdisciplinary dialogue that maps out new—relocalized—territories and borders for mediated cultural identities and also reveals the complexity and connectedness of all of these discourses.

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Hybridity

Limits, Transformations, Prospects

This critical engagement with some of the most prominent contemporary theorists of postcolonial studies reevaluates recent theories of hybridity and agency. Challenging the claim that hybridity provides a site of resistance to hegemonic and homogenizing forces in an increasingly globalized world, Anjali Prabhu pursues the ways in which hybridity plays out in the Creole, postcolonial societies of Mauritius and La Réunion, two small islands in the Indian Ocean, and offers an introduction to the literature and culture of this lesser-known region of Francophonie. She also reconsiders two major theorists from the Francophone context, Edouard Glissant and Frantz Fanon, through a provocatively Marxian framing that reveals these two writers shared more in common about agency and society than has previously been recognized.

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Of Irony and Empire

Islam, the West, and the Transcultural Invention of Africa

Of Irony and Empire is a dynamic, thorough examination of Muslim writers from former European colonies in Africa who have increasingly entered into critical conversations with the metropole. Focusing on the period between World War I and the present, “the age of irony,” this book explores the political and symbolic invention of Muslim Africa and its often contradictory representations. Through a critical analysis of irony and resistance in works by writers who come from nomadic areas around the Sahara—Mustapha Tlili (Tunisia), Malika Mokeddem (Algeria), Cheikh Hamidou Kane (Senegal), and Tayeb Salih (Sudan)—Laura Rice offers a fresh perspective that accounts for both the influence of the Western, instrumental imaginary, and the Islamic, holistic one.

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Paradoxes of Postcolonial Culture

Contemporary Women Writers of the Indian and Afro-Italian Diaspora

This innovative contribution to understanding the promise and contradictions of contemporary postcolonial culture applies a wide array of theoretical tools to a large body of literature. The author compares the work of established Indian writers including Bharati Mukherjee, Meena Alexander, Sara Suleri, and Sunetra Gupta to new writings by such Afro-Italian immigrant women as Ermina dell’Oro, Maria Abbebù Viarengo, Ribka Sibhatu, and Sirad Hassan. Sandra Ponzanesi’s analysis highlights a set of dissymmetrical relationships that are set in the context of different imperial, linguistic, and market policies. By dealing with issues of representation linked to postcolonial literary genres, to gender and ethnicity questions, and to new cartographies of diaspora, this book imbues the postcolonial debate with a new élan.

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Postcolonial Narrative and the Work of Mourning

J.M. Coetzee, Wilson Harris, and Toni Morrison

Sam Durrant’s powerfully original book compares the ways in which the novels of J. M. Coetzee, Wilson Harris, and Toni Morrison memorialize the traumatic histories of racial oppression that continue to haunt our postcolonial era. The works examined bear witness to the colonization of the New World, U.S. slavery, and South African apartheid, histories founded on a violent denial of the humanity of the other that had traumatic consequences for both perpetrators and victims. Working at the borders of psychoanalysis and deconstruction, and drawing inspiration from recent work on the Holocaust, Durrant rethinks Freud’s opposition between mourning and melancholia at the level of the collective and rearticulates the postcolonial project as an inconsolable labor of remembrance.

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