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Migrant Identities of «Creole Cosmopolitans»

Transcultural Narratives of Contemporary Postcoloniality


Edited By Nirmala Menon and Marika Preziuso

One defining question links the essays of this collection: How do aesthetic and stylistic choices perform the condition of dislocation of the migrant and, in doing so, also put pressure on the seemingly global promise of cosmopolitanism? Migrant Identities of «Creole Cosmopolitans»: Transcultural Narratives of Contemporary Postcoloniality offers a wide array of narratives that complicate the rhetoric of cosmopolitanism and the related discourses of «hybridity». Many such narratives are under-theorized migrations, such as Dalit narratives from India and inter-island migrations in the Caribbean. Collectively, the essays suggest that there are ways in which the forms of the migrant aesthetics, language, and imaginaries may offer new insights in the interactions between practices and discourses of hybridity and cosmopolitanism by examining their precise points of intersection and divergence. This inquiry is especially timely because it raises questions about the circulation, marketing, and consumption of narratives of migration, dislocation, and «diaspora.»
In addition, the collection addresses in at least two significant ways the question about «beyond postcolonialism» and the future of the discipline. First, by questioning and critically examining some foundational theories in postcolonialism, it points to possible new directions in our theoretical vocabulary. Second, it offers an array of reflections around disparate geographies that are, equally importantly, written in different languages. The value that the authors place on languages other than English and their choice to focus on the effect that multiple languages have on the present of postcolonial studies are in line with one of the aims of the collection – to make the case for a multilingual expansion of the postcolonial imaginary as a necessary imperative.
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Chapter 9. Liminality within Borders: A Study of Baby Kamble’s The Prisons We Broke and Urmila Pawar’s The Weave of My Life


A Study of Baby Kamble’s The Prisons We Broke and Urmila Pawar’s The Weave of My Life


Dalit1 writings located within the heterogenous category of Indian literature mark the articulation of a subaltern consciousness in terms of “systems of signs, a writing of sorts with its own phonocentrism” (Devy 125). These literary narratives are not just a collection of texts, but also signal a new kind of writing, which articulates the awareness of belonging to a distinct literary culture and history. In this context, G. N. Devy has identified Dalit writings as one of the new and progressive writings, which have re-defined Indian literary historiography. Dalit cultural texts have created liminal spaces where re-imagination of cultural and political praxis have resulted in the growth of radical and inclusive politics followed by engagement with issues of visibility and invisibility, hegemony and marginalization, and articulation and silence. As literary and cultural performance, Dalit autobiographies2 have created a discourse, which has challenged existing literary structures through their articulation of cultural and caste discrimination:

The literary historiography of Dalit literature derives from this principle of racial inequality of Indian society. It focuses on the question of otherness, difference, marginality, canon and the categories of aesthetics. It order to voice the protest of the marginalised, Dalit literature often follows the subversive historiographic path of personalizing history. It is, therefore, …, that autobiography is the most potent and often exercised form of fiction produced in Dalit literature. (127)← 125...

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