Beyond Liverpool, 1957: Travel, diaspora, and migration in Jamal Mahjoub’s The Drift Latitudes

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2011-09-22 00:23Z by Steven

Beyond Liverpool, 1957: Travel, diaspora, and migration in Jamal Mahjoub’s The Drift Latitudes

The Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Volume 46, Number 3 (September 2011)
pages 493-511
DOI: 10.1177/0021989411409813

Jopi Nyman, Professor
University of Eastern Finland, Finland

This essay discusses the novel The Drift Latitudes (2006) by the Anglo-Sudanese author Jamal Mahjoub. By telling the stories of the German refugee Ernst Frager and his two British families, I argue that Mahjoub’s novel utilizes the tropes of transnational travel and migration to present a critique of discourses of purity and nationalism. Through its uncovering of silenced family narratives, the novel hybridizes British and European identities and underlines the need to remember the stories of ordinary people omitted from official histories. As the novel’s supposedly British families appear to possess transnational links with Sudan, Germany, and the Caribbean, the novel reconstructs European identity as transnational and in need of historical reassessment. As a further contribution to the importance of hybrid identity, the story of black cultural identity and its construction in post-Second World War Liverpool is told in tandem with the importance of black music as a means of constructing black diasporic identity.

Read or purchase the article here.

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In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-01 23:54Z by Steven

In the Middle, In Between: Cultural Hybridity, Community Rejection, and the Destabilization of Race in Percival Everett’s “Erasure”, Adam Mansbach’s “Angry Black White Boy”, and Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia”

Howard University
84 pages
Publication Number: AAT 1495397
ISBN: 9781124728568

Laura R. Perez

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Howard University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English

Cultural hybridity, a term first introduced by post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha, has been a shifting and difficult to define concept within academic discourse. My thesis will focus on cultural hybridity as the embodiment of a pluralistic identity that encompasses the characteristics or attributes of more than one culture or race. I will examine three contemporary literary works of racial satire—Percival Everett’s Erasure, Adam Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy, and Danzy Senna’s Caucasiathat present culturally hybrid protagonists and explore the ways in which these protagonists are utilized to destabilize race. Furthermore, I will demonstrate the tensions that this destabilization creates through community rejections of each protagonists’ hybridity – tensions that become inherent to hybridity itself.

My exploration will include an analysis of the protagonists’ hybridity—the ways in which they do not fit into the existing notions of what blackness or whiteness is—and how this hybridity is marginalized by their communities. Following this, I will explicate the protagonists’ responses to their marginalization—their creation of dual identities or alter egos and the racial/psychoanalytic significance of this process. I will draw upon post-colonial and critical race theory writings, as well as Freudian and Lacanian theory, to frame my analysis. But most importantly, I will draw upon the work of scholars—including Marwan Kraidy, Jopi Nyman, Sabrine Broeck, Pnina Werbner, Peter Burke, and Robert Young—to theorize hybridity within my analysis.

Finally, I will examine the novels’ conclusions, during which the protagonists’ dual identities are forcefully merged, and demonstrate the lack of resolution that this merging creates. This examination will reveal that the community rejections of hybridity in each novel are, in themselves, impossible to mediate. Thus, I will prove that each protagonist’s hybrid positioning not only destabilizes race by challenging the concreteness of racial categorizations, but that this positioning, and the community’s response to it, also demonstrates the tensions inherent to hybridity itself. In this way, each text undermines the black-white binary, while also affirming the tensions that result from not willfully engaging in it.

Table of Contents

  • Thesis Committee
    • Background to the Problem
    • Statement of the Problem
    • Review of Literature
    • Theoretical Framework and Methodology
    • Plan of Research
    • Definition of Terms

Purchase the dissertation here.

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Reconstructing Hybridity: Post-Colonial Studies in Transition

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-02-07 01:14Z by Steven

Reconstructing Hybridity: Post-Colonial Studies in Transition

330 pages
Hardback: 978-90-420-2141-9 / 90-420-2141-1

Edited by:

Joel Kuortti, Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Culture
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Jopi Nyman, Acting Professor of English
University of Joensuu, Finland

This interdisciplinary collection of critical articles seeks to reassess the concept of hybridity and its relevance to post-colonial theory and literature. The challenging articles written by internationally acclaimed scholars discuss the usefulness of the term in relation to such questions as citizenship, whiteness studies and transnational identity politics. In addition to developing theories of hybridity, the articles in this volume deal with the role of hybridity in a variety of literary and cultural phenomena in geographical settings ranging from the Pacific to native North America. The collection pays particular attention to questions of hybridity, migrancy and diaspora.

Table of Contents

  • Contributors
  • Joel KUORTTI and Jopi NYMAN: Introduction: Hybridity Today
  • Part One: Reconstructing Theories of Hybridity
    • David HUDDART: Hybridity and Cultural Rights: Inventing Global Citizenship
    • Sabine BROECK: White Fatigue, or, Supplementary Notes on Hybridity
    • Dimple GODIWALA: Postcolonial Desire: Mimicry, Hegemony, Hybridity
    • Jeroen DEWULF: As a Tupi-Indian, Playing the Lute: Hybridity as Anthropophagy
    • Paul SHARRAD: Strategic Hybridity: Some Pacific Takes on Postcolonial Theory
    • Andrew BLAKE: From Nostalgia to Postalgia: Hybridity and Its Discontents in the Work of Paul Gilroy and the Wachowski Brothers
  • Part Two: Reading Hybridity
    • Zoe TRODD: Hybrid Constructions: Native Autobiography and the Open Curves of Cultural Hybridity
    • Sheng-Mei MA : The Necessity and Impossibility of Being Mixed-Race in Asian American Literature
    • Jopi NYMAN: The Hybridity of the Asian American Subject in Cynthia Kadohata’s The Floating World
    • Joel KUORTTI: Problematic Hybrid Identity in the Diasporic Writings of Jhumpa Lahiri
    • Andrew HAMMOND: The Hybrid State: Hanif Kureishi and Thatcher’s Britain
    • Valerie KANEKO LUCAS: Performing British Identity: Fix Up and Fragile Land
    • Samir DAYAL: Subaltern Envy? Salman Rushdie’s Moor’s Last Sigh
    • Mita BANERJEE: Postethnicity and Postcommunism in Hanif Kureishi’s Gabriel’s Gift and Salman Rushdie’s Fury
    • Index
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