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FEMALE IDENTITY AND THE POLITICS OF MULTICULTURALISM: A STUDY OF FICTIONS WRITTTEN BY JUMPA LAHIRI AND KIRAN DESAI.

Diaspora and Female Subjectivity: A Perspective on Fictions by Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai Introduction Chapter 1: Diaspora and Sociology of Female Experience Chapter 2: Sifting Female Identities in Global Geography Chapter 3: Female Community on the margin of Nation Chapter 4: Politics of Female Subjectivity Conclusion

Introduction In a post-Communist, post-national era, multiculturalism has been theorized as a paternalistic, top-down solution to the problem of minorities, a dangerous reification of culture, or a new way forward to a politics of recognition and authenticity. Multiculturalism is the political outcome of ongoing power struggles and collective negotiations of cultural, ethnic and racial differences. Chapter 1: Historical background of the debate between female identity and multiculturalism. Feminism and multiculturalism: the dialogue continues. Worlds of Knowing: Global Feminist Epistemologies, Deliberative Democracy, Political Legitimacy, and Self-Determination in Multicultural Societies. Multiculturalism and the politics of recognition. Racism, identity and community as postcolonial encounters. Situating Plural Identities.

Postcolonial Women Writers: The South Asian Instance This course will focus on writings by women from the South Asian sub-continent and its diaspora. Working from an expanded definition of writing as the attempt to draw new maps of reality, we will look at fiction, poetry, political manifestos, theoretical discussions, socio-historical accounts, and films by South Asian women. We will examine the ways these writings intervene in and energize postcolonial culture in South Asia and beyond by forging an aesthetic and political practice that involves a radical critique of gender arrangements. In particular, we will explore the ways writers use narrative traditions such as folklore, memoir, and autobiography to give

voice to their unique historical, cultural, and political perspectives. We will also trace the play of irony, parody, and mimicry as writers figure the ambivalence of their position as women, especially around issues of modernity, sexuality, religion, nation, and development. Click here for the website for this course: The Politics of Multiculturalism in the New Europe: Racism, Identity and Community (Postcolonial Encounters) by Tariq Modood Synopses & Reviews Publisher Comments: Europe has become a novel experiment in multiple, tiered and mediated multiculturalisms. It is now a supranational community of cultures, sub-cultures and trans-cultures inserted differentially into radically different political cultural traditions. The consequences of this re-imagining and re-making of a new Europe are variously seen to be threatening or utopian. In a post-Communist, post-national era, multiculturalism has been theorized as a paternalistic, top-down solution to the problem of minorities, a dangerous reification of culture, or a new way forward to a politics of recognition and authenticity. But is multiculturalism simply a novel project of social engineering, devised for the twenty-first century by well-meaning liberals or communitarians? The authors of this book reject this view by demonstrating that multiculturalism is the political outcome of ongoing power struggles and collective negotiations of cultural, ethnic and racial differences. Table of Contents 1. Introduction: The Politics of Multiculturalism in the New Europe - Tariq Modood PART 1: Inclusion and Exclusion in the Making of the New Europe 2. Globalization and the Discourse of Otherness in the New Eastern and Central Europe - Laszlo Kurti 3. The Invaders, the Traitors and the Resistance Movement: The Extreme Rights Conceptualization of Opponents and Self in Scandinavia - Tore Bjorgo 4. International Migration in Europe: Social Projects and Political Cultures - Umberto Melotti PART 2: From Immigrants to Citizens: The Politics of Inclusion

5. The Perils of Ethnic Associational Life in Europe: Turkish Migrants in Germany and France - Lale Yalcin-Heckmann 6. Negotiating Religious Difference: The Opinions and Attitudes of Islamic Associations in France - A. Moustapha Diop 7. Arenas of Ethnic Negotiation: Cooperation and Conflict in Bradford - Philip Lewis 8. Islam as a Civil Religion: Political Culture, Education and the Organization of Diversity in Germany - Werner Schiffauer PART 3: Situating Plural Identities 9. Hyphenated Identities and the Limits of Culture - Ayse S. Caglar 10. Defining Ethnicity: Another Way of Being British - Wenonah Lyon PART 4: Plural Polities: Instituting Multiculturalism 11. Why Positive Action is Politically Correct - Gideon Ben-Tovim 12. Society as a Kind of Community: Communitarian Voting with Equal Rights for Individuals in the European Union - Christopher Brewin 13. Reflections on Multiculturalism in Britain - Yunas Samad 14. Afterword: Writing Multiculturalism and Politics in the New Europe - Pnina Werbner

Feminism and multiculturalism: the dialogue continues.(Worlds of Knowing: Global Feminist Epistemologies)(Deliberative Democracy, Political Legitimacy, and Self-Determination in Multicultural Societies)(Book Review)

Article Excerpt [Review Essay: Jane Duran, Worlds of Knowing: Global Feminist Epistemologies (New York: Routledge, 2001), xvi + 304 pp.; and Jorge M. Valadez, Deliberative

Democracy, Political Legitimacy, and Self-Determination in Multicultural Societies (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000), xiv + 386 pp.] In the past two decades, post-structuralist and post-colonial theories have significantly influenced debates in Western feminist theory, including "feminist standpoint theory," which is a diverse body of thought that analyzes the relationships between the conditions of women's oppression and women's consciousness of these conditions. One recent criticism of standpoint theory is that it relies on biological essentialist and/or universalist claims. Some critics argue that some standpoint theories are essentialist because they relate women's reproductive capacities to unique forms of female consciousness. The more Marxist-inspired standpoint theories, although not biologically based, have been called universalist because they frequently employ concepts like "sexual division of labor" or "sex/affective production," which overemphasize cross-cultural similarities among women. Against this search for essences, universals, or similarities, the new trend is to recognize women's "intersectional" or "hybrid" identities based on multiple differences. In this theoretical climate, feminist theorizing is fraught with serious challenges and productive tensions. The case against simplistic notions of feminist solidarity, be they Eurocentric or global versions of "sisterhood," has been widely and effectively argued. One can even sense that Western feminist theory, in many respects, has risen to the post-colonial, transnational feminist challenge. (But of course, only time will tell how open Western theorists are to this decentering of their concerns and priorities.) Now the challenge is how to engage the project of transnational feminist theory and politics without succumbing to either the old demands for false (global) solidarity or the more novel fears of an infinitely local and exasperated fragmentation. This is the context in which feminist philosopher Jane Duran offers her latest work, Worlds of Knowing: Global Feminist Epistemologies. Duran responds to the poststructuralist/ standpoint theory debate with a comparison of the gender dimensions of some global knowledge bases. This project is both expansive and inspiring in its scope, yet it raises more questions than it answers. Perhaps, at this moment in time, debate-stimulating material, however imperfect, is the best contribution to make. Given this charged climate, at first glance Worlds of Knowing appears a bit arrogant in its attempt to compare a variety of cross-cultural gendered ways of knowing. (After glancing over the book's table of contents, I remarked to a friend that I was about to read The Lonely Planet's Guide to Global Feminism.) In response to a cross-cultural emphasis on feminist solidarity, transnational feminism criticizes attempts to find common ground with the profoundly diverse group of international women. At first glance it appears that Duran's project may suffer from the same problem of tokenistically acknowledging differences among women while "gender" or the more specific "sexual division of labor" remain categorically privileged terms. Fortunately, from the beginning Duran acknowledges that she is aware of her project's dilemmas. She recognizes post-structuralist and post-colonial criticisms of feminist epistemology and standpoint theory, especially highlighting problems with the universalist concept of "woman" and the use of Western theoretical terms in non-Western contexts. But these very problems, while important, are not enough to keep Duran from finding "cultural equivalents" for ideas widely believed to be Eurocentric. From this insight, the framework for her book is gleaned.

By no means does this book claim to cover all of the major world cultures; Duran focuses her concrete analyses on two major parts. One part is entitled "Asian Focal Points" and includes chapters on women in Northern India, Dravidian India, Bangladesh, and... http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-631095/Feminism-and-multiculturalismthe-dialogue.html

MULTICULTURALISM Examining the Politics of Recognition Charles Taylor, with commentary by K. Anthony Appiah, Jrgen Habermas, Steven C. Rockefeller, Michael Walzer, and Susan Wolf (Amy Gutmann-editor and Introduction) Princeton University Press, expanded paperback edition (1994) (first published in 1990 as Multiculturalism and 'The Politics of Recognition', an expansion of an inaugural lecture delivered at Princeton) "A number of strands in contemporary politics turn on the need, sometimes the demand, for recognition. The need, it can be argued, is one of the driving forces behind nationalist movements in politics. And the demand comes to the fore in a number of ways in today's politics, on behalf of minority or 'subaltern' groups, in some forms of feminism, and in what is today called the politics of 'multiculturalism.' The demand for recognition in these latter cases is given urgency by the supposed links between recognition and identity, where this latter term designates something like a person's understanding of who they are, of their fundamental defining characteristics as a human being. The thesis is that our identity is partly shaped by recognition or its absence, often by the misrecognition of others, and so a person or group of people can suffer real damage, real distortion, if the people or society around them mirror back to them a confining or demeaning or contemptible picture of themselves. Nonrecognition or misrecognition can inflict harm, can be a form of oppression, imprisoning someone in a false, distorted, and reduced mode of being.... ...In order to examine some of the issues that have arisen here, I'd like to take a step back, achieve a little distance, and look first at how this discourse, of recognition and identity came to seem familiar, or at least readily understandable, to us. For it was not always so, and our ancestors of more than a couple of centuries ago would have stared at us uncomprehendingly if we had used these terns in their current sense. How did we get started on this? Hegel comes to mind right off, with his famous dialectic of the master and the slave. This is an important stage, but we need to go a little farther back to see how this passage came to have the sense it did. What changed to make this kind of talk have sense for us? We can distinguish two changes that together have made the modern preoccupation with identity and recognition inevitable. The first is the collapse of social hierarchies,

which used to be the basis for honor. I am using honor in the ancien regime sense in which it is intrinsically linked to inequalities....to have honor in this sense, it is essential that not everyone have it.... ...As against this notion of honor, we have the modern notion of dignity, now used in a universalist and egalitarian sense, where we talk of the inherent 'dignity of human beings,' or of citizen dignity. The underlying premise here is; that everyone shares in it. It is obvious that this concept of dignity is the only one compatible with a democratic society, and that it was inevitable that the old concept of honor was superseded. But this has also meant that the forms of equal recognition have been essential to democratic culture.... Democracy has ushered in a politics of equal recognition, which has taken various forms over the years, and has now returned in the form of demands for the equal status of cultures and of genders. But the importance of recognition has been modified and intensified by the new understanding of individual identity that emerges at the end of the eighteenth century. We might speak of an individualized identity, one that is particular to me, and that I discover in myself. This notion arises along with an ideal, that of being true to myself and my own particular way of being....I will speak of this as the ideal of 'authenticity.'... ...This new ideal of authenticity was, like the idea of dignity, also in part an offshoot of the decline of hierarchical society. In those earlier societies, what we would now call identity was largely fixed by one's social position....The birth of a democratic society doesn't by itself do away with this phenomenon, because people can still define themselves by their social roles. What does decisively undermine this socially derived identification, however, is the ideal of authenticity itself....By definition, this way of being cannot be socially derived, but must be inwardly generated.... ...In order to understand the close connection between identity and recognition, we have to take into account a crucial feature of the human condition... ...This crucial feature of human life is its fundamentally dialogical character. We become full human agents, capable of understanding ourselves, and hence of defining our identity, through our acquisition of rich human languages of expression.... ...my discovering my own identity doesn't mean that I work it out in isolation, but that I negotiate it through dialogue, partly overt, partly internal, with others. That is why the development of an ideal of inwardly generated identity gives a new importance to recognition. My own identity crucially depends on my dialogical relations with others.... ... With the move from honor to dignity has come a politics of universalism, emphasizing the equal dignity of all citizens, and the content of this politics has been the equalization of rights and entitlements.... ...By contrast, the second change, the development of the modern notion of identity, has given rise to a politics of difference. There is, of course, a universalist basis to this as well, making for the overlap and confusion between the two. Everyone should be recognized for his or her unique identity. But recognition here means something else.

With the politics of equal dignity, what is established is meant to be universally the same, an identical basket of rights and immunities; with the politics of difference, what we are asked to recognize is the unique identity of this individual or group, their distinctness from everyone else. The idea is that it is precisely this distinctness that has been ignored, glossed over, assimilated to a dominant or majority identity. And this assimilation is the cardinal sin against the ideal of authenticity...." Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism (1994 edition), excerpted from his essay, "The Politics of Recognition" BOOK DESCRIPTION PUBLISHER "A new edition of the highly acclaimed book Multiculturalism and 'The Politics of Recognition,' this paperback brings together an even wider range of leading philosophers and social scientists to probe the political controversy surrounding multiculturalism. Charles Taylor's initial inquiry, which considers whether the institutions of liberal democratic government make roomor should make room for recognizing the worth of distinctive cultural traditions, remains the centerpiece of this discussion. It is now joined by Jrgen Habermas's extensive essay on the issues of recognition and the democratic constitutional state and by K. Anthony Appiah's commentary on the tensions between personal and collective identities, such as those shaped by religion, gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality, and on the dangerous tendency of multicultural politics to gloss over such tensions. These contributions are joined by those of other well-known thinkers, who further relate the demand for recognition to issues of multicultural education, feminism, and cultural separatism. BOOK REVIEWS (for previous edition) Lawrence BlumBOSTON REVIEW "Original and important....The essays by Taylor and the other contributors raise the debate to a new level, providing it with the high moral seriousness it deserves." Michael Saward,THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT "Multiculturalism...is packed with depth, intelligence, and (to revive an old-fashioned word) wisdom....It is highly relevant to pressing debates about nationalism and its identity." David McCabeCOMMONWEAL "[Taylor's] comments about multiculturalism in particular demonstrate his knack for finding sensible middle ground between unreasonable extremes....His writing here is clear, direct, and refreshingly free of philosophical jargon. He is also delightfully nonpartisan." ETHICS "...engaging, thought-provoking, suggestive, full of insights on questions of intellectual history, philosophical and moral psychology, and current issues in political philosophy and practice." WASHINGTON TIMES "Because it impinges upon so muchfrom campus speech to bilingual education to the causes and effects of political correctnessthe current discussion on

multiculturalism is essential to understanding Western academic culture as it exists today (and as it will exist in the future). This book is a valuable guide to the complexities involved." http://www.ou.edu/cas/psc/booktaylor2.htm

Postcolonial Women Writers: The South Asian Instance This course will focus on writings by women from the South Asian subcontinent and its diaspora. Working from an expanded definition of writing as the attempt to draw new maps of reality, we will look at fiction, poetry, political manifestos, theoretical discussions, socio-historical accounts, and films by South Asian women. We will examine the ways these writings intervene in and energize postcolonial culture in South Asia and beyond by forging an aesthetic and political practice that involves a radical critique of gender arrangements. In particular, we will explore the ways writers use narrative traditions such as folklore, memoir, and autobiography to give voice to their unique historical, cultural, and political perspectives. We will also trace the play of irony, parody, and mimicry as writers figure the ambivalence of their position as women, especially around issues of modernity, sexuality, religion, nation, and development. http://www.haverford.edu/engl/engl277b/engl277b.html Texts will be selected from the following list: Alexander, Meena, ed. Truth Tales: Contemporary Stories by Women in India Antherjanam, Lalithambika. Cast Me Out if You Will Desai, Anita. Clear Light of Day Desai, Kiran. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard Divakaruni, Chitra. The Mistress of Spices Kumar, Radha. The History of Doing Markandaya, Kamala. Nectar in a Sieve Mehta, Gita. Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East Namjoshi, Suniti. Feminist Fables Roy, Arundhathi. God of Small Things Shiva, Vandana. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development

Sidhwa, Bapsi. Cracking India Suleri, Sara. Meatless Days Short fiction and poetry by Jean Arasanayagam, Ismat Chugtai, Mahasweta Devi, Yasmine Gooneratne, Anees Jung, and Ginu Kamani Films by Gurinder Chadha, Laleen Jayamanne, Indu Krishnan, and Deepa Mehta http://www.haverford.edu/engl/Sp00courses/277bmohan.htm