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Transgressive Itineraries

Postcolonial Hybridizations of Dramatic Realism


Marc Maufort

The fast-growing body of postcolonial drama is progressively gaining its just recognition in the twentieth-century canon of English-language plays. From the vantage point of various samplings along the Trans-Pacific axis linking English Canada, Australia and New Zealand, this monograph seeks to document the significance of this emerging postcolonial theater. More specifically, it examines the myriad ways in which, over the last two decades, representative mainstream, ethnic and First Nations playwrights have dramatized Europe’s «Other» in its multiple guises. In their efforts to match new content with innovative form, these artists have followed transgressive itineraries, redrawing the boundaries of conventional Western stage realism. Their new aesthetics often relies on techniques akin to Homi Bhabha’s notions of hybridity and mimicry. The present study offers detailed analyses of the modes of hybridization through which Judith Thompson, Louis Nowra, Tomson Highway, Jack Davis, Hone Kouka, and other prominent writers have articulated subtle forms of psychic, grotesque, and mythic magic realism. Their legacy will undoubtedly affect the postcolonial dramaturgies of the twenty-first century.
Contents: Postcolonial drama in English – English Canadian drama – Australian drama – New Zealand drama – Magic realism – Postcolonial hybridity.