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Title: Giving backchat : gendered social critiques in Anglo-Caribbean, migrant female literature
Author: Alexander, Camille S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 9301
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2017
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Giving backchat is a popular term in the Anglophone Caribbean and is locally considered a form of gendered speech. This form of discourse is like the African American concept of talking back with the exception of intent; giving backchat is not intended to convey disrespect whereas backtalk is impertinent. Typically applied to girls and young women, giving backchat is a way of challenging, interrogating, and upsetting social, cultural, and familial gender-biased norms in closed and sometimes unyielding groups that seek to impose forced silences on female group members. This project examines the appearances giving backchat makes throughout the texts of Anglophone Caribbean female writers-particularly those who are migrant, immigrant, and resident in Britain beginning in the 19th century and extending to the 21st century. Female authors with Caribbean roots residing in the UK such as Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, Jean Rhys, Una Marson, Beryl Gilroy, Joyce Gladwell, Andrea Levy, Jean Binta Breeze, and Eintou Pearl Springer utilise giving backchat in their texts, which include slave narratives, travelogues, novels, and poetry, to question the often stagnant roles women occupy in societies; to challenge false immigrant narratives or immigrant narratives exclusive of girls and women of colour; and to create dialogues more inclusive of the colonised or formerly colonised, female Other living in the Imperial, host society. This project examines several examples of immigrant narratives by these authors, fiction and nonfiction, to determine how giving backchat functions in these texts to promote a discourse focused on issues relevant to Anglophone Caribbean immigrant women living in the UK.
Supervisor: Gurnah, Abdulrazak Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available