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Title: Masculinities in immigrant women's writing in France and Canada
Author: Kistnareddy, Oulagambal
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 7837
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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This study focuses on the representation of masculinities in texts written by women who have immigrated into France or Canada from a range of geographical spaces. Centring on the premise that the migratory experience creates a form of tabula rasa which destabilizes identity, I chart the various ways in which the texts examined permit a reconfiguring of masculinities within the migratory spaces represented by France and Canada. I explore texts by Léonora Miano (Cameroon), Fatou Diome (Senegal), Assia Djebar, Malika Mokeddem (Algeria), Ananda Devi (Mauritius), Ying Chen (China), and Kim Thúy (Vietnam), to gauge the extent to which migration generates new ways of understanding and writing masculinities. I draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including Postcolonial theory, Affect theory, Critical Race theory, amongst others. Through the lens of hospitality as theorized by Jacques Derrida in De l’hospitalité (1997a), I examine Miano’s, Diome’s, Chen’s and Thúy’s texts to investigate the ways in which both the host country and, sometimes, the migrant’s own reluctance to cede to the new paradigms presented by a new society, have a role to play in the inhospitality experienced by (im)migrants. In Chapter Two Jean-Luc Nancy’s notion of community in La Communauté désoeuvrée (1983) and Être singulier pluriel (1996), is deployed as a means of interrogating the positioning of Afropean masculinity in France. The concept of an emergent Rancierian improper community is foregrounded in Mokeddem’s text, as a woman’s discordant voice is heard against hegemonic masculinities, while Devi develops the concept of a writing community comparable to Nancy’s own theory. Chapter Three discusses women’s writing as a means of speaking with men and creating new modes of communication which allow for an equal and mutually understanding relationship with masculinities. Drawing on Hélène Cixous’s Coming to Writing (1991), Gayatri Spivak’s ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ (1988) as well as Djebar’s own Ces Voix qui m’assiègent (1999), the final chapter delves into the ways in which immigrant women writers are re-inscribing new modalities for reshaping masculinities within the narrative space.
Supervisor: Wilson, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: masculinities ; francophone ; women's writing ; migration