Residual Nationalism and Postcolonial Anglophone Literatures

Full Metadata

Overview

Title
Residual Nationalism and Postcolonial Anglophone Literatures
Contributors
Gui, Weihsin (creator)
George, Olakunle (director)
Bewes, Timothy (reader)
Chow, Rey (reader)
Brown University. English (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0930RFT
Copyright Date
2008
Abstract
My dissertation focuses on the persistence of national consciousness in postcolonial and contemporary British literatures. Theories of globalization after 1945 represent nationalism and culture as mutually exclusive and absolute terms. These theories project a heterogeneous, decentered global culture that transcends insular national boundaries. In contrast, I argue that contemporary literatures reconfigure nationalism as an ongoing negotiation between politics and culture, and emphasize the mutually constitutive relationship between transnational flows and national formations instead of their binary opposition. My first chapter provides a theoretical framework using classical European theories of nationalism, postcolonial theory, and the cultural criticism of Raymond Williams and the Frankfurt School. I argue that the older opposition of national identity against imperialism has shifted to a configuration of residual nationalism (as political consciousness and cultural critique) against globalization. Chapter Two shows how Kazuo Ishiguro's novels The Remains of the Day and The Unconsoled reshape literary conventions of Britishness, such as the "condition-of-England" narrative and the romance of the archive, by pushing these tropes of identity to their limit. Ishiguro illustrates how Britishness is commodified and consumed by official multiculturalism and the burgeoning heritage industry. In Chapter Three I argue that Derek Walcott's poetry and essays challenge the dominant perspective of the Caribbean as a postnational hybrid culture that exemplifies our globalized world. Through his representations of Caribbean and European figures who complement nationalism with culture in "The Schooner Flight" and "The Fortunate Traveller," Walcott shows us how diasporic subjectivities are produced in conjunction with national consciousness rather than by opposing nationalism to diaspora. In Chapter Four, I argue that the writing of Shirley Geok-lin Lim, who is regarded as both an Asian American and a Southeast Asian writer, interrogates state-sponsored national allegories of globalization and multiculturalism by reconfiguring dominant concepts of race and nation. Lim focuses on the sensuality and particularity of women and literature to imagine an alternative community of women that challenges and rethinks the nation without transcending it.
Keywords
postcolonial
diaspora
adorno
anglophone
Postcolonialism
Nationalism
Globalization
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Brown University (2008)
Extent
vi, 217 p.

Citation

Gui, Weihsin, "Residual Nationalism and Postcolonial Anglophone Literatures" (2008). English Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0930RFT

Relations

Collection: