MELUS

A journal concentrating on multi-ethnic American literature for the academic audience.

Articles from Fall-Winter

Agency Via Guilt in Anchee Min's Red Azalea
The number of Mainland Chinese legally entering the United States has been soaring since 1978. Although a large number of them came as students and visiting scholars, many have acquired citizenship or status as resident aliens. In 1997 alone 41,100...
Beyond Lot's Wife: The Immigration Poems of Marilyn Chin, Garrett Hongo, Li-Young Lee, and David Mura
When God tells Lot to flee Soddam and Gomorrah, he cautions him not to look back. Lot's wife cannot resist the temptation and, as they rush from the great fire storm erupting behind them, she does look back and is immediately turned into a pillar of...
Counter-Chronicling and Alternative Mapping in Memoria del Fuego and Almanac of the Dead
Recent definitions of nationalism amount to a charge that Eurocentric narratives of economic development and hierarchical racial classification accrue around the very idea of "nation." At the same time, descriptions of late twentieth-century global...
Implementing a Liberatory Feminist Pedagogy: Bell Hooks's Strategies for Transforming the Classroom
Feminist educator and cultural critic bell hooks has dedicated much of her career to the development of a truly liberatory feminist pedagogy. Her first book, Ain't I a Woman, which appeared in 1981, made a groundbreaking contribution to the newly forming...
Jean Toomer and Okot p'Bitek in Alice Walker's "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens"
By writing "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," Alice Walker hopes to fulfill a twofold purpose: to create a sense of literary continuity among black women by saving writers like Zora Neale Hurston and Phillis Wheatley from oblivion and, as Felipe...
Maurice Kenny's Tekonwatonti, Molly Brant: Poetic Memory and History
Maurice Kenny, a contemporary Mohawk poet, published his series of poems, Tekonwatonti, Molly Brant, Poems of War, 1735-1795 in 1992. His first works began appearing in print in the 1970s. He was awarded the prestigious American Book Award in 1984...
Philomela Speaks: Alice Walker's Revisioning of Rape Archetypes in the Color Purple
The ancient story of Philomela has resonated in the imaginations of women writers for several thousand years. The presence of this myth in contemporary texts by African American women writers marks the persistence of a powerful archetypal narrative...
Postcolonial Experience in a Domestic Context: Commodified Subjectivity in Toni Morrison's Beloved
Many of the characters in Beloved are born into slavery and experience the imposed objectivity of its commodifying ideology. Clearly, as we know from historical and slave narratives, such objectivity does not exclude all possibility of experiencing...
The Refusal of Motherhood in African American Women's Theater
As Darlene Hine and Kate Wittenstein show in their recent study of slavery, African American slave women practiced sexual abstinence, abortion, and infanticide as strategies of resistance, exemplifying their refusal to participate in and help perpetuate...
The Stories We Tell: Louise Erdrich's Identity Narratives
In their study of American individualism, Robert N. Bellah and his associates report that the mostly white and middle class Americans to whom they spoke "have difficulty articulating the richness of their commitments [to other people]. In the language...
Tongue-Tied: Rhetoric and Relation in Louise Erdrich's Tracks
I do not say these things for a dollar, or to fill up the time.... It is you talking just as much as myself.... I act as the tongue of you, It was tied in your mouth.... in mine it begins to be loosened. Walt Whitman, Song of Myself In the epilogue...
Writing the Asian American Artist: Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book
Maxine Hong Kingston's genre crossing between autobiography, memoir, and fiction in The Woman Warrior: A Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts generated a rethinking of the traditional expectations of autobiography as a "truthful" representation of a writer's...