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Marta Werbanowska ENGG-259 1 March 2017

IMPERIALISM, COSMOPOLITANISM, AND BEYOND

Gayatri C. Spivak, Three Womens Texts and a


Critique of Imperialism (1985)

worlding the process of imperialist narrativization of


history (897)
critique of the 19th century British feminist project of
soul making beyond mere sexual reproduction (900)
as also invested in the larger imperialist and capitalist
project of meritocratic individualism (898)
the function of Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre: to act out
the transformation of her self into that fictive Other,
set fire to the house and kill herself, so that Jane Eyre
can become the feminist individualist heroine of British
fiction. (902)
the problem of representation in Wide Sargasso Sea: No perspective critical of
imperialism can turn the Other into a self, because the project of imperialism has
always already historically refracted what might have been the absolutely Other into a
domesticated Other that consolidates the imperialist self. (904)
the monster in Shelleys Frankenstein as Shakespeares/Retamars Caliban (908); the
text itself as a problematization of the relationship between sexual reproduction and
social subject-production the dynamic nineteenth-century topos of feminism-in-
imperialism (909)

Homi K. BhaBha, Introduction to The Location of


Culture (1994)

the turn of 20th/21st centuries as borderlines of the


present, a disjunctive moment of living in temporal
and geographical transit (2)
cultural hybridities . . . emerge in moments of
historical transformation and accommodate difference
without imposing hierarchies (4)
contemporary subject positions as the moments or
processes that are produced in the articulation of
cultural differences (3) inbetweenness, or the interstice, as the site of identity
formation and negotiation of binaries such as self/community, private/public,
past/present
Marta Werbanowska ENGG-259 1 March 2017

new internationalism the 'middle passage' of contemporary culture, as with slavery


itself, is a process of displacement and disjunction that does not totalize experience.
Increasingly, 'national' cultures are being produced from the perspective of
disenfranchised minorities [and] cultures of postcolonial contra-modernity (8,9)
the need for a radical revision in the concept of human community itself (8)
unhomeliness the condition of extra-territorial and cross-cultural initiations, when
the borders between home and world become confused; and, uncannily, the private
and the public become part of each other (13)
The unhomely moment relates the traumatic ambivalences of a personal, psychic
history to the wider disjunctions of political existence (15)
the task of critic/artist is to show how historical agency is transformed through the
signifying process; how the historical event is represented in a discourse that is
somehow beyond control (18)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. In what ways does Americanah engage with the discursive fields of


imperialism/neocolonialism, cosmopolitanism/ transnationalism, and feminism?
2. In her essay, Spivak claims that Jane Eyre emerges as the individualist feminist at
the cost of Bertha Masons humanity. Can we offer similar criticism of Ifemelus
cosmopolitan feminism? How is she presented in the text vis--vis other Black
women such as Aisha, Aunty Uju, Shan, Ranyinudo, or Kosi?
3. How is BhaBhas third space, or the in-between location of cultural hybridity,
played out in Adichies novel? Can we speak of Ifemelu and/or Obinze as new
internationalists? Does the novel channel a sense of unhomeliness?