A Europe of Connections: Post-National Worlds in Contemporary Minority Literature

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Abstract

The minoritized writer is back. Contemporary literary fiction and poetry registers and gives expression to wide-spread societal discussion on issues of borders, culture, and identity. For two centuries, the nation-state has been the regulatory framework through which collective identities were almost naturally formed. Those individuals who were thought to belong were national citizens, members of “the people.” Towards the end of the twentieth century, the quickly intensifying process of globalization made other, more individualistic and idiosyncratic ways of identity formation and experience possible. The massive opening of the global space after 1989 encouraged cross-border labour and mobility, and fostered transnational and diasporic group formation, linguistic mixing, and affective relations unbothered by the nation-state.
Minoritized writers find themselves in the midst of this transition. They are at odds with dominant understandings of the nation on the one hand, and enticed but not (entirely) convinced by the promises of the global on the other hand. Consequently, their work is often studied as resulting from and being expressive of this position in between the nation and the promise of global space: either as containing critiques of national identity and crafting new forms of belonging (in the case of migrant or diasporic writers), or as part of cordoned-off, localized cultures and languages (in the case of writers writing in national minority languages). These approaches contrast individual minority groups against hegemonic national majorities. The point of departure of this book, however, is that in the context of tensions between the national and the global the similarities between various minority groups are greater than their differences and variations.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Jensma, Goffe, Supervisor
  • van der Waal, Margriet, Supervisor
  • Coler, Matt, Co-supervisor
Award date18-Nov-2021
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publisher
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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