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Multicultural Hybridity: Transforming American Literary Scholarship and Pedagogy

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Author(s): Laurie Grobman

Grobman argues that texts by writers of color are multiply inflected hybrids that blur, but do not erase, cultural difference, thereby allowing for multiple intersections of meaning.

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 9780814154977

Stock No.: 54977


Multicultural Hybridity explores the difference paradox in multicultural literary studies, the seemingly inescapable contradiction between two competing impulses: how do we acknowledge difference when it comes to multicultural literature but simultaneously treat all texts equally and as equal parts of the body of work and discipline long referred to as American literature?

Laurie Grobman addresses this paradox by arguing that texts by writers of color are multiply inflected hybrids that blur, but do not erase, cultural difference, thereby allowing for multiple crossings, or intersections, of meaning. The multicultural text offers a model enabling us to refigure our understanding of difference and/in American literature and to resee all of American literature as an intercultural, interconnected nexus.

Drawing on diverse theoretical positions, including postcolonial hybridity, border theory, political philosophy, feminist theory, aesthetic theory, poststructuralist and postmodernist theories, and postpositivist realism, Multicultural Hybridity situates itself within multicultural literary theory and is informed by research in multicultural education as well. Grobman integrates theory with pedagogy, acknowledging the mutually enriching connection between theory and practice in the multicultural literature classroom.

After an introduction to the difference paradox and its ramifications for multicultural literature, chapters address multiculturalism, difference, and hybridity; hybrid multiculturalism in literary theory and critical practice; the hybrid aesthetics and/of multicultural literature; the hybrid politics of multicultural literature; and finally, refiguring American literature.

Several chapters intermix theory, critical practice, and pedagogy, discussing texts such as The Bluest Eye, House Made of Dawn, The Color Purple, Bone, Silent Dancing, and . . . y no se lo trago la tierra / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, so that the theoretical concepts are readily transferable to classroom practice.

Refiguring English Studies series. 207 pp. 2007. College. ISBN 978-0-8141-5497-7.

No. 54977

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts