The migratory flows which have stimulated these developments have been of two main types.
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The U. The new forms of thinking associated with both sets of population movements share two important features: they increasingly challenge the established boundaries and components of national literatures and they foreground a realignment of power relations in which hitherto disempowered ethnic groups are accorded levels of respect that were generally lacking in earlier times.
In attempting to redress those imbalances, policies of affirmative action encouraged universities to hire more academics of minority ethnic origin, who in turn pressed for the revision of teaching and research programs, notably in the fields of literature and other cultural forms, so as to accord greater recognition to the work of African American artists. Other minority groups such as Native Americans and, more recently, those originating in Latin America, who now outnumber African Americans, have pressed similar claims with considerable success.
A key effect of this has been to greatly expand the canon of texts deemed worthy of study. Formerly dominated by writers of European origin, who became caricatured as Dead White Males, university syllabuses have now widened to embrace growing numbers of writers from other ethnic groups. Emblematic of these changes are the revisions undergone by successive editions of the Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces , the most widely used multinational collection of writing in American universities. First published in Mack et al. Gradually, attempts have been made to correct this imbalance. Beginning with the third edition, published in , a supplement entitled Masterpieces of the Orient was offered as a Companion volume to the main anthology.
Since the fifth edition in , a number of non-Western authors have been included in the main anthology. In recognition of this accelerating trend, when the collection entered its seventh edition in it was, significantly, retitled as the Norton Anthology of World Literature and the sub-title limiting its field to Western Culture was dropped Lawall At the same time, post-war Europe has been the site of mass migration from former colonies, leading for the first time to the rise of permanently settled minorities of non-European origin from among whom new literary currents have been emerging.
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This list is remarkable not only because most of these terms, identified by Gunn as part of the agenda of globalized literary studies, first came to prominence in the field of postcolonial studies but also because they ignore or cut across nationally defined categories, emphasizing processes of cultural mixing which open up new ethnic categories or which defy categorization altogether. At least three factors have contributed to this trend: a growing recognition of the fact that colonialism, traditionally thought of almost literally in terms of a black and white pattern of ethnic relations, engendered numerous forms of cultural interaction and change in the overseas empires; the personal trajectories of migration and exile experienced by many writers originating in former colonies, generating transnational perspectives in place of monolithic nationalism; and the permanent settlement of post-colonial minorities within the national heartlands of former colonial powers, leading to new forms of transcultural writing within Europe.
Developed initially with reference to postcolonial writing in English, approaches of this kind have been increasingly applied to Francophone literatures by scholars based in Anglophone countries Miller More recently, the literatures of postcolonial minorities within Europe have been approached through categories borrowed or adopted from the Anglophone world. All of these concepts speak of processes of cultural mixing in which conventionally defined national categories are seen as increasingly blurred or irrelevant. Where the first of these concepts foregrounded a diasporic concept of ethnicity and the second proposed a pan-regional geo-political frame of reference, the third was characterized primarily as a space of linguistic mixing.
What all three have in common is the low salience accorded to nationally defined spaces. The most important reason for this no doubt lies in the extreme form taken by European colonialism in the Caribbean, where indigenous cultures were obliterated, forced migrants were severed from their ancestral homelands in Africa and European languages became creolized through intercourse between highly diverse ethnic groups. The hybridity and indeterminacy at the heart of such concepts are incompatible with the fixity of national boundaries and challenge the habits of mind of scholarly institutions which have been accustomed to taking such boundaries as basic frames of reference.
France has a long history of incorporating in its national literature the works of writers born in other parts of Europe. Emile Zola was the son of an Italian immigrant but he is never referred to as anything other than a French writer.
Unlike second-generation Europeans, who have generally been absorbed invisibly into French society and culture, second-generation North Africans have attracted a series of labels distinguishing them from the majority ethnic population. While these labels have been widely used in the media, they have been less easily incorporated in the institutional structures of literary studies, where national lines of demarcation have remained primordial. Yet it is far from clear that this categorization fits with the thrust of their work.
For this reason Abdallah Mdarhri-Alaoui contrasts them with francophone authors raised and resident in the Maghreb, who are much more deeply marked by Arabo-Berber culture. On the contrary, one of their main preoccupations has been with establishing the legitimacy of their presence within France. Should these be recognized as autonomous literatures outside the dominant Anglo-centric literature of the U. Chicano literature i. This simultaneous presence in multiple spaces reflects the impact of international migration in stimulating the emergence of new literary movements which cannot be fully understood if they are forced into conventionally defined nationally categories.
The political structures of colonialism were such that European cultures were assumed to remain largely unaffected by contact with the cultures of colonized peoples. Postcolonialism has brought a threefold change: writers of non-European origin have used the languages of their former colonizers to challenge the dominance of the North in its dealings with the South, analysts of colonial discourse have shown it to be more permeated by cultural mixing than had previously been thought, and South-North migration has brought new forms of hybridity into the cultural heartland of the North.
In mapping these changes, new literary categories have emerged which traverse national boundaries and erode their traditional dominance in literary scholarship. While the ethnic dimensions of these changes have been embraced more readily by scholars in the Anglophone world, they are present in more camouflaged ways in Francophone studies and the logic of globalization is such that they appear destined to become ever more evident.
Nationalism, Exoticism, Imperialism. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia, Xlibris. Texte traduit par M.
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