Beyond the Borders

Beyond the Borders : American Literature and Post-Colonial Theory

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This book challenges the boundaries of postcolonial theory. Focusing on American literature, it examines how America's own imperial history has shaped the literature that has emerged from America, from Native American, Latino, Black and Asian-American writers. They contrast this with postcolonial literature from countries whose history has been shaped by American colonialism, from Canada, Central America and the Caribbean to Hawaii, Indonesia and Vietnam.

It explores questions about national identity and multiculturalism: why, for instance, is a Native writer categorised within 'American literature' if writing on one side of the border, but as 'Canadian' and 'postcolonial' if writing on the other?

This is a challenging collection that raises questions not only about the boundaries of postcolonial theory, but also about ethnicity and multiculturalism, and the impact of immigration and assimilation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 22.61mm | 598.74g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • index
  • 0745320465
  • 9780745320465

Table of contents



1. Indigenous Literatures and Postcolonial Theories: Reading from Comparative Frames

Chadwick Allen, Ohio State University


2. `Going Into a Whole Different Country': Postcolonial `Nation'-hood in Native American Literature

Lee Schweninger and Cara Cilano, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

3. Origin Story: On Being a White Native American(ist)

John Peacock, Maryland Institute College of Art

4. Counter-Discursive Strategies in Contemporary Chicana Writing

Deborah L. Madsen, University of Geneva

5. `At Least One Negro Everywhere': African American Travel Writing

Alasdair Pettinger

6. Unsettling Asian-American Literature: When More than America is in the Heart

Rajini Srikanth, University of Massachusetts, Boston

7. Forging a Postcolonial Identity: Women of Chinese Ancestry Writing in English

Mary Conde, Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London

8. Border Crossings: Filipino American Literature in the United States

Angela Noelle Williams, San Jose State University

9. Reading the Literatures of Hawai'i under an Americanist Rubric

Paul Lyons, University of Hawai'i-Manoa


10. Writing Migrations: The Place(s) of U.S. Puerto Rican Literature

Frances R. Aparicio, University of Illinois

11. Diasporic Disconnections: Insurrection and Forgetfulness in Contemporary Haitian and Latin-Caribbean Women's Literature

Myriam J. A. Chancy, Arizona State University

12. Reclaiming Maps and Metaphors: Canadian First Nations and Narratives of Place

Richard J. Lane, University of Debrecen

13. Thomas King and Contemporary Indigenous Identities

Laura Peters, University of Surrey, Roehampton


14. Vietnamese and Vietnamese American Literature in a Postcolonial Context

Renny Christopher, California State University, Channel Islands

15. Politics, Pleasure and Intertextuality in Contemporary Southeast Asian Women's Writing

Julie Shackford-Bradley, California State University, Monterey Bay

16. U.S. and US: American Literatures of Immigration and Assimilation

Geraldine Stoneham, London South Bank University

Notes on Contributors

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Review quote

"a mass of interesting stuff here that scholars in the field will want to read" Dr Maria Lauret, School of English and American Studies, Sussex. 'This collection of essays on the field of post-colonial studies, offers perspectives on texts from both sides of the Atlantic, challenging the emerging consensus on post-colonial literatures in the process. The contributors dicuss a diversity of related topics, from case studies of specific authors to theoretical investigations of such fundamental questions as the role of literary study within multicultural societies.' Review of Post-Colonial Literatures
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About Deborah L. Madsen

Deborah L. Madsen is Professor of American Literature at the University of Geneva, and the author of numerous books on aspects of literature, genre, gender and allegory, including Beyond the Borders (Pluto Press, 2003) and Feminist Theory and Literary Practice (Pluto Press, 2000).
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