ASNEL Papers 12

Transcultural English Studies.
Theories, Fictions, Realities.

ASNEL Papers 12.
SCHULZE-ENGLER, Frank & Sissy HELFF (Eds.) editorial assistance from Claudia Perner and Christine Vogt-William
Brill, Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2008.


What is most strikingly new about the transcultural is its sudden ubiquity. Following in the wake of previous concepts in cultural and literary studies such as creolization, hybridity, and syncretism, and signalling a family relationship to terms such as transnationality, translocality, and transmigration, ‘transcultural’ terminology has unobtrusively but powerfully edged its way into contemporary theoretical and critical discourse. The four sections of this volume denote major areas where ‘transcultural’ questions and problematics have come to the fore: theories of culture and literature that have sought to account for the complexity of culture in a world increasingly characterized by globalization, transnationalization, and interdependence; realities of individual and collective life-worlds shaped by the ubiquity of phenomena and experiences relating to transnational connections and the blurring of cultural boundaries; fictions in literature and other media that explore these realities, negotiate the fuzzy edges of ‘ethnic’ or ‘national’ cultures, and participate in the creation of transnational public spheres as well as transcultural imaginations and memories; and, finally, pedagogy and didactics, where earlier models of teaching ‘other’ cultures are faced with the challenge of coming to terms with cultural complexity both in what is being taught and in the people it is taught to, and where ‘target cultures’ have become elusive. The idea of ‘locating’ culture and literature exclusively in the context of ethnicities or nations is rapidly losing plausibility throughout an ‘English-speaking world’ that has long since been multi- rather than monolingual. Exploring the prospects and contours of ‘Transcultural English Studies’ thus reflects a set of common challenges and predicaments that in recent years have increasingly moved centre stage not only in the New Literatures in English, but also in British and American studies.

Table of Contents

Frank SCHULZE-ENGLER: Introduction

Theoretical Perspectives

Wolfgang WELSCH: On the Acquisition and Possession of Commonalities

Gisela WELZ: Multiple Modernities: The Transnationalization of Cultures

Virginia RICHTER: Authenticity: Why We Still Need It Although It Doesn’t Exist

Sissy HELFF: Shifting Perspectives: The Transcultural Novel

Ruth MAYER: The Dangers of Diaspora: Some Thoughts About the Black Atlantic

Dirk WIEMANN: The Times of India: Transcultural Temporalities in Theory and Fiction

Peter STUMMER: Lakshman’s Journal: An Essay in Narratology and the Barbs of Transculturality

Transcultural Realities

Mike PHILLIPS: Broken Borders: Migration, Modernity and English Writing – Transcultural Transformation in the Heart of Europe

Axel STÄHLER: From the Belly of the Fish: Jewish Writers in English in Israel: Transcultural Perspectives

Pascal FISCHER: Linguistic Dimensions of Jewish-American Literature

Edith SHILLUE: Eluding Containment: Orality and the Ordnance Survey Memoir in Ireland

Kerstin KNOPF: Atanarjuat: Fast Running and Electronic Storytelling in the Arctic

Michaela MOURA-KOÇOGLU: Manifestation of Self and/or Tribal Identity? Maori Writing in the Global Maelstrom

Sabrina BRANCATO: Transcultural Perspectives in Caribbean Poetry

Transcultural Fictions

Mark STEIN: The Location of Transculture

Eva Ulrike PIRKER: ‘Final Passages’? Representations of Black British History in Caryl Phillips’s Novel and Its Television

Barbara SCHAFF: Trying to Escape, Longing to Belong: Roots, Genes and Performativity in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Hari Kunzru’s
The Impressionist

Nadia BUTT: Fictions of Transcultural Memory: Zulfikar Ghose’s The Triple Mirror of the Self as an Imaginative Reconstruction of the Self in Multiple Worlds

Christine VOGT-WILLIAM: Routes to the Roots: Transcultural Ramifications in Bombay Talkie

Katja SARKOWSKY: Beyond the Contact Zone? Mapping Transcultural Spaces in Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen and Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach

Silke STROH: The Long Shadow of Tacitus: Classical and Modern Colonial Discourses in the Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century
Scottish Highlands

Teaching Transculturality

Sabine DOFF: Inter- and/or Transcultural Learning in the Foreign Language Classroom? Theoretical Foundations and Practical

Michael C. PRUSSE: Towards a Cosmopolitan Readership: New Literatures in English in the Classroom

Laurenz VOLKMANN: Teaching Hanif Kureishi

Kanaka Bashyam SANKARAN: A New Dialogue at the Periphery? Teaching Postcolonial African, Black American, and Indian Writings in

Look, See, and Say: Photographs of Africa in a Cultural Perspective

Detlev GOHRBANDT: Transcultural Communication, Poetics, and Viewer Response in Photography

Gisela FEURLE: Teaching and Learning with Photographs of Africa

Notes on Contributors.