Rites of Passage in Postcolonial Women's Writing
Pauline Dodgson-Katiyo, Gina Wisker
Rodopi, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 307 pages
This volume brings a variety of new approaches and contexts to modem and contemporary women's writing. Contributors include both new and well-established scholars from Europe, Australia, the USA , and the Caribbean. Their essays draw on, adapt, and challenge anthropological perspectives on rites of passage derived from the work of Arnold van Gennep and Victor Turner. Collectively, the essays suggest that women's writing and women's experiences from diverse cultures go beyond any straightforward notion of a threefold structure of separation, transition, and incorporation. Some essays include discussion of traditional rites of passage such as birth, motherhood, marriage, death, and bereavement; others are interested in exploring less traditional, more fluid, and/or problematic rites such as abortion, living with HI V/AIDS, and coming into political consciousness. Contributors seek ways of linking writing on rites of passage to feminist, postcolonial, and psychoanalytic theories which foreground margins, borders, and the outsider.
The three opening essays explore the work of the Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera, whose groundbreaking work explored taboo subjects such as infanticide and incest. A wide range of other essays focus on writers from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. including Jean Rhys, Bharati Mukherjee, Arundhati Roy, Jean Arasanayagam, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, and Eva Sallis.
Rites of Passage in Postcolonial Women's Writing will be of interest to scholars working in the fields of postcolonial and modern and contemporary women's writing, and to students on literature and women's studies courses who want to study women's writing from a cross-cultural perspective and from different theoretical positions.
Pauline Dodgson-Katiyo is Head of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research focus is on African literature (particularly Zimbabwean), contemporary women's writing, and postcolonial cinemas.
Gina Wisker is Professor of Higher Education and Contemporary Literature at the University of Brighton, where she teaches literature, is the head of the centre for learning and teaching, and pursues her research interests in postcolonial women's writing.
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