The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms
By Sneja Gunew
Routledge – 2003 – 180 pages
Postcolonialism has attracted a large amount of interest in cultural theory, but the adjacent area of multiculturalism has not been scrutinised to quite the same extent. In this innovative new book, Sneja Gunew sets out to interrogate the ways in which the transnational discourse of multiculturalism may be related to the politics of race and indigeneity, grounding her discussion in a variety of national settings and a variety of literary, autobiographical and theoretical texts. Using examples from marginal sites - the "settler societies" of Australia and Canada - to cast light on the globally dominant discourses of the US and the UK, Gunew analyses the political ambiguities and the pitfalls involved in a discourse of multiculturalism haunted by the opposing spectres of anarchy and assimilation.
Introduction: Situated Multiculturalisms 1. The Terms of (Multi) Cultural Difference Part 1: Haunted Nations 2. Colonial Hauntings: The Colonial Seeds of Multiculturalism 3. Corporeal Choreographies of Transnational English Part 2: Abjected Bodies 4. A Text with Subtitles: Performing Ethnicity 5. Acoustic Transgressions and Identity Politics: A Translated Performance Part 3: (Un)Civilized Communities 6. Somatic Choreographies: Public Spaces; Private Belongings 7. Can Ghosts Emigrate? Diaspora, Exile and Community Conclusion: Transcultural Improvisations
Sneja Gunew is Director of the Centre for Research in Women's Studies and Gender Relations at the University of British Columbia.