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Post-Multicultural Writers as Neo-cosmopolitan Mediators

By Sneja Gunew

Post-Multicultural Writers as Neo-cosmopolitan Mediators

The first book to bring together global debates in neo-cosmopolitanism and multiculturaism.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783086634
February 2017 | 166 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
PRICE:  £70.00  /  $115.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

“Sneja Gunew reads post-multicultural literatures to examine the lives of those who risk an escape across razor-wired borders or who live in conditions of colonial occupation: the neo-cosmopolitans. Her questions shatter the familiarity of global English and unsettle the complacency of those who read and think within its hallucinated universality.”
—Margery Fee, Professor of English, University of British Columbia, Canada 

“It is minoritarian authors in their marginalized status who put into crisis the major concepts of national culture and globalization: this incisive yet capacious argument about cosmopolitanism is pursued here through an astonishing range of writings, from the northern to the southern hemisphere. Sneja Gunew’s book is one with which all future transnational literary studies will have to reckon.”
—Rey Chow, author of Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience 

“Sneja Gunew takes us on a compelling elliptical tour of neo-cosmopolitan writers who force attention on alternative understandings of spatialities and temporalities that are urgently needed. This book will be of interest to social and cultural theorists who refuse to accept the ‘anti-multicultural’ politics that reject any recognition of differences that matter.” —Anne-Marie Fortier, Professor, Sociology Department, Lancaster University, UK

‘Post-Multicultural Writers as Neo-Cosmopolitan Mediators’ argues the need to move beyond the monolingual paradigm within Anglophone literary studies. Using Lyotard’s concept of post as the future anterior (back to the future), this book sets up a concept of post-multiculturalism salvaging the elements within multiculturalism that have been forgotten in its contemporary denigration. Gunew attaches this discussion to debates in neo-cosmopolitanism over the last decade, creating a framework for re-evaluating post-multicultural and Indigenous writers in settler colonies such as Canada and Australia. She links these writers with transnational writers across diasporas from Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, China and India to construct a new framework for literary and cultural studies.

This book provides an overview of concepts in the field of literary and cultural neo-cosmopolitanism, demonstrating their usefulness in re-interpreting notions of the spatial and the temporal to create a new cultural politics and ethics that speak to our challenging times. The neo-cosmopolitan debates have shown how we are more connected than ever and how groups and geo-political areas that were overlooked in the past need to be brought to the center of our cultural criticism so that we can engage more ethically and sustainably with global cultures and languages at risk. In her wide-ranging study of world writers, Gunew juxtaposes Christos Tsiolkas, Brian Castro and Kim Scott from Australia with Canadian writers such as Shani Mootoo, Anita Rau Badami and Tomson Highway, connecting them to other Europeans such as Dubravka Ugresic and Herta Müller. [NP] This book analyses diaspora texts within neo-imperial globalization where global English often functions as metonym for Western values. By introducing the acoustic ‘noise’ of multilingualism (accents within writing) in relation to the constitutive instability within monolingual English studies, Gunew shows that within global English diverse forms of ‘englishes’ provide routes to more robust recognition of the significance of other languages that create pluralized perspectives on our social relations in the world.

Readership: Scholars and upper-level students of comparative and postcolonial literary studies, multicultural and diasporic literary and cultural studies, indigenous studies.

Author Information

Sneja Gunew has taught in England, Australia and Canada. She has published widely on multicultural, postcolonial and feminist critical theory.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction. The World at Home: Post- Multicultural; 1. Who Counts as Human within (European) Modernity?; 2. Vernacular Cosmopolitans; 3. The Serial Accommodations of Diaspora Writings; 4. Indigenous Cosmopolitanism: The Claims of Time; 5. The Cosmopolitanism in/ of Language: English Performativity; 6. Acoustic Cosmopolitanism: Echoes of Multilingualism; Conclusion. Back to the Future and the Immanent Cosmopolitanism of Post- Multicultural Writers; Notes; Bibliography; Name Index; General Index.

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