The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies
Part One: Globalization and the Study of Literature 1. Difference, Multiculturalism, and the Globalizing of Literary Studies 2. What Is Globalization? 3. Economies, Cultures, and the Politics of Globalization 4. Border Studies: Remapping the Locations of Literary Study
Part Two: Globalization in Contemporary Literature 5. Post–Postcolonial Writing in the Age of Globalization: The God of Small Things, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Moth Smoke 6. Globalization and Nationalism in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss 7. The Cultural Politics of Development in Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness 8. Multiculturalism and Identity in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth 9. Transnational Masculinities in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
As the pace of cultural globalization accelerates, the discipline of literary studies is undergoing dramatic transformation. Scholars and critics focus increasingly on theorizing difference and complicating the geographical framework defining their approaches. At the same time, Anglophone literature is being created by a remarkably transnational, multicultural group of writers exploring many of the same concerns, including the intersecting effects of colonialism, decolonization, migration, and globalization.
Paul Jay surveys these developments, highlighting key debates within literary and cultural studies about the impact of globalization over the past two decades. Global Matters provides a concise, informative overview of theoretical, critical, and curricular issues driving the transnational turn in literary studies and how these issues have come to dominate contemporary global fiction as well. Through close, imaginative readings Jay analyzes the intersecting histories of colonialism, decolonization, and globalization engaged by an array of texts from Africa, Europe, South Asia, and the Americas, including Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Vikram Chandra’s Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke, and Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness.
A timely intervention in the most exciting debates within literary studies, Global Matters is a comprehensive guide to the transnational nature of Anglophone literature today and its relationship to the globalization of Western culture.