Dorothea Fischer-Hornung / Heike Raphael-Hernandez (eds.)
Holding Their Own
Perspectives on the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States
Papers from the MELUS Europe Founding Conference, June 1998, Heidelberg, Germany

Band 10, 2000, XVI, 336 Seiten
EUR 64,-
ISBN 978-3-86057-739-4
Reihe: ZAA Studies


The essays collected in Holding Their Own reflect the scope of scholarship in the field of U.S. multi-ethnic literatures. Among the authors are eminent scholars such as Michel Fabre, Elaine Kim, Nellie McKay, and Daniel Walden, with additional contributions by scholars from seven European countries and the United States. These articles demonstrate the broad range and variety of approaches in the field, each chapter dealing with a fundamental question posed in contemporary ethnic literary studies: "double consciousness" as a model for ethnic awareness; the politics of location as reflected in space, place and home; the (un)translatability of culture among ethnic groups; aesthetics and oppositional poetics based on ethnicity; and the shifting categories of margin and center. Among the numerous authors treated here are, for example, Toni Morrison, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Bharati Mukherjee, Audre Lorde, Cynthia Ozick, Helena María Viramontes.


Dorothea Fischer-Hornung and Heike Raphael-Hernandez: Introduction


Chapter I: That Double Consciousness and More

  • Nellie McKay: African American Literature and MELUS Europe: A Necessary Connection
  • Michel Fabre: "In emulation, but without jealousy": On the Literature of the New Orleans gens libres de couleur
  • Ineke Bockting: "That Double Consciousness": Chicana/o Literature Between Loyalty and Betrayal
  • Tobe Levin: Ill at Ease with Mariam, Gloria Naylor’s Infibulated Jew
  • Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez: Bilingual, Interlingual – Language and Identity Construction in Mexican American Literary Discourse


Chapter II: The Politics of Location: Space, Place and Home

  • Elaine H. Kim: Myth, Memory, and Desire: Homeland and History in Contemporary Korean American Writing and Visual Art
  • Yesim Basarir: Bleak Expectations: O.E. Rølvaag and the Legacy of Non-fulfillment
  • Lene Johannessen: The Meaning of Place in Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus
  • Alison D. Goeller: Illness as Metaphor: The Italian American Immigrant Experience in Tina De Rosa’s Paper Fish
  • Antje Kley: "There is no place / that cannot be home / nor is": Constructions of ‘home’ in Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of my Name


Chapter III: The (Un)Translatability of Culture

  • Mita Banerjee: Pork Chops and alu gobi: The (Un)Translatability of Culture in Mukherjee’s Jasmine
  • Dorothea Fischer-Hornung:An Island Occupied: The U.S. Marine Occupation of Haiti in Zora
    Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse and Katherine Dunham’s Island Possessed
  • Cathy Waegner: Toni Morrison and the ‘Other’-Reader: Oprah Winfrey and Marcel Reich-Ranicki as Mediators?
  • Dominique Marçais: The Presence of Africa in Melville’s The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade
  • Monika Müller: Nineteenth-Century Constructions of Race: Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe

Chapter IV: Oppositional Poetics

  • Harryette Mullen: "Incessant Elusives": The Oppositional Poetics of Erica Hunt and Will Alexander
  • Barry Maxwell: "I hate it when things become so pat as to be oppressive:" Staying Out of Range of the Commonplace in Nathaniel Mackey’s Bedouin Hornbook
  • Kirsten Twelbeck: "‘Elle venait de loin’ – Re-reading DICTEE"
  • Carmen Birkle: "There is plenty of room for us all": Charles W. Chesnutt’s America


Chapter V: The Margin Sustains the Center?

  • Frances Smith Foster: Race, Region and the Politics of Slavery’s Memory
  • Daniel Walden: Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud and Cynthia Ozick: Dealing with Existentialism, Evolving Moral Essentialism
  • Susanne Klingenstein: The Margin Sustains the Center: Eccentric Sources of Inspiration in Recent Jewish American Fiction
  • Marina Cacioppo: Italian American Crime-Fiction From the 1890s to the 1930s: Bernardino Ciambelli, Prosper Buranelli and Louis Forgione
  • Carolyn Burmedi: Star Trek: Multi-race, Multi-species, Multicultural?

Contributors and Editors 

William Boelhower: Afterword

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