Dislocating culture, relocating identity: literary formations of the multiplied self in the works of Roberto Bolano, Ben Okri, and Suheir Hammad
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viii, 114 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Humanities
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In this thesis I examine identity within the current context of globalization as both an individual and a collective construction using the works of three cross-cultural and transnational authors. By analyzing the roles of language, nationality, and ethnicity in both complementing and complicating notions of identity, I explore how these authors affirm, challenge, and transform their cultural identities through individual artistic expression. My larger argument about personal and social identity as it relates to questions of nationalism and belonging attempts to reconcile seemingly paradoxical definitions of self and culture. The thesis is also an extension of and an intervention into Postcolonial Studies, since it addresses the discipline's theoretical shortcomings and problematic absences. Lastly, I examine the sociopolitical stakes of pluralizing identity, analyzing how reconstructing the self as multilocal can, by extension, multiply individual affinities thereby radicalizing conceptions external to but closely associated with the self, namely home, citizenship, and patriotism.