Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Interrogating cross-cultural dialogue : histories and techniques of representation in post-colonial literature (1954-2001)
Author: Guarnieri, Ambra
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 597X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This research project focuses on a selection of anglophone literary and anthropological texts written in the second half of the twentieth century in various nations of Africa and the Middle East, as well as India. The authors I will be looking at are Laura Bohannan, Amitav Ghosh, Ryszard Kapuscinski and V.S. Naipaul. I will be focusing on works that are closely related to the experience of travel and that narrate cross-cultural encounters, being aware that to elaborate a critical and literary project in the contemporary context one must move from those multicultural and dynamic sites where culture is increasingly produced. In the course of this work, I will move from the poetics of these texts as a starting point to address questions on power relations inherent to the process of writing. By focusing on the representational strategies employed, I will investigate the way in which the author provides a representation of Third-World society, which appears to challenge the paradigm of a totalizing, epistemic violence that - since Said's seminal work - has been considered a distinctive epistemological attitude of any text having an "orientalizing" tendency. Bakhtin's multifaceted theory of dialogue is of central importance to this study. It affords us the critical lens with which to investigate literary, linguistic, metalinguistic and psychological dimensions that lie beyond the "making" of the text. These represent important aspects of inquiry that have often remained uninterrogated. However, I will argue, they provide useful perspectives to reconfigure the problem of agency in a representative context, as this has remained one of the unsolved theoretical underpinnings of Gayatri Spivak's theory on subalternity. By unveiling, dissecting and reconstructing the silenced and uninterrogated intersubjective, dynamic - and often dialogic - processes that leave their traces inside the literary text (but that intervene behind or beyond its making), this work intends to suggest a new perspective to address the problem of agency, by providing a different answer to the critical and theoretical questions of how agency manifests itself in a representative context. By focusing on the forms and occurrences of dialogue that appear in this selection of texts, I intend to indicate a new direction that could prove useful in the attempt to reconstitute the discourse of cultural difference - as Homi Bhabha expresses in "The Postcolonial and The Postmodern" - as this has emerged as one of the principal theoretical aims of postcolonial literary criticism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral