Women's Mystery Writing and Migration in the African Diaspora
3: Travel: Meditations on Postmodernism
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Over the last thirty years, Postmodernism has been discussed in Humanities Departments across the globe. African-American theorists such as Hortense Spillers, Houston Baker, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and a score of others have deployed postmodern theory liberally to elucidate African-American texts. African-American female mystery writers have also dabbled with what it means to exist in a world culture where travel is more the norm than growing up in, living in and dying in one place. Slavery, Colonialism, war, famine and poverty have led to an international rise in mobility, so much so that we must constantly reconsider and renegotiate how we define our traditions and the assumptions that we form. These artists are attuned to this shift, although it is not the dominant issue that is most readily addressed. However, there is enough substantial commentary on Bohemianism and figuring out where one is positioned or should be positioned in a rapidly changing transnational cultural and economic map, so it’s worth exploring these notations about travel because they help us to understand what it means to search for a collective nesting ground for one’s ancestors, worldview and belief systems in a global arena that is in the midst of great flux. How, for instance, can a detective secure a toehold or establish a safe ← 47 | 48 → zone in a world that has trended toward mobility and the general expectation that migration has become the norm? Will her “sanctuary” be merely figurative? A site in cyberspace? An interactive blog...
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