Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures

Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures

Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures

Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures

Synopsis

Transatlantic Voicesis the first collection of critical essays by European scholars on contemporary Native North American literatures. Devoted to the primary genres of Native literature- fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry- the essays chart the course of recent theories of Native literature, delineate the crosscurrents in the history of Native literature studies, and probe specific themes of trauma and memory as well as changing mythologies. These essays also incorporate incipient transnational and transcultural methodologies in their approach to Native North American writing. Blending western critical approaches, from cultural studies to postcolonialism and trauma theory, with indigenous epistemological perspectives, the contributors toTransatlantic Voicesadvocate "the inescapable hybridity and intermixture of ideas" proposed by Paul Gilroy in his study of black diasporic identity. Native North American writers forcefully suggest that the study of American ethnicities in the twenty-first century can no longer be confined to the borders of the United States. Given the increasing transnational aspect of American studies, a collection such asTransatlantic Voices, representing scholars from countries as diverse as Germany, France, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Finland, offers a timely contribution to such border crossing in scholarship and writing.

Excerpt

Elvira Pulitano

Transatlantic Voices: Interpretations of Native North American Literatures brings together fourteen scholars from Europe. These scholars have contributed original, critical studies of contemporary literature by Native North Americans in the past few years. the essays in this collection present their most recent critical interventions on Native North American literary studies.

European critical practices and theoretical discourses transcend the boundaries of nations, disciplines, and academic traditions. a collection of essays on Native North American literatures by scholars in Europe takes the Atlantic as a site of cross-cultural exchange and circulation of ideas, a bridge linking the Old and New Worlds, in the attempt to overcome historical and ideological differences. Reflecting the most recent critical debates surrounding the discipline of American Studies in the United States and Europe, Transatlantic Voices significantly points toward transnational and transcultural practices and methodologies.

Recent scholarship on the Atlantic has focused on the cross-cultural exchanges originating with the transatlantic slave trade, a rhizomorphic system that in the years between 1500 and 1800 would alter considerably the boundaries of the Old World. Greatly aided by Paul Gilroy's influential study of transatlantic modernity, The Black Atlantic (1993), scholars interested in transnational and intercultural perspectives have found in the Atlantic a fruitful, creative space around which to articulate ideas on ethnicity, race, gender, class, sovereignty, nationalism, migration, and language in an increasingly globalized world. As the editors of the jour-

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