Transnational Women: Neocolonialism and Feminine Identity in the 21st-Century American Novel
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Release date: Spring 2020
Authors: Fatemeh Bornaki, Ali Salami
Transnational Women uses recent Western feminist theory to read a selection of novels by four American women writers that have been published since 9/11. The overall socio-historical context within which the book locates these literary texts is the terror and trauma of 9/11 and the effects of 9/11 on attitudes toward non-white Americans whether born in America or overseas.
Bornaki and Salami bring togetherSally Haslanger’s concept of socially constructed transnational female identities, Carol Gilligan’s “ethics of care," and the political democratic matrix found in Chantal Mouffe’s theory of “agonistic pluralism.” They argue that Carol Gilligan’s ethics of care proposes that women innately care for each other. They seek to investigate whether this understanding of a particular form of feminine subjectivity is able to bridge the gap between what Spivak terms "Third World Women" and "First World Feminism."
In practice, this work is concerned with the relations between white Americans and women in the U.S. who are racially or ethnically “other.” The novelists in question present their women characters as invoking an ethics of care in the face of the intensified fracturing of American society which is heightening issues of ethnicity and race in the US. This ethics of care attempts to paper over the underlying issues transforming antagonistic relations into agonistic relations while keeping underlying white power intact.
Fatemeh Bornaki, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University (Iran), where she is currently head of the English Department. Her areas of interest and research are gender studies, postmodern, postcolonial and neocolonial literature and culture, and her main research area is the politics of feminine identity as an interdisciplinary sociopolitical study. She has presented papers at conferences and published articles and papers in various journals.
Ali Salami, Ph.D., is a literary scholar, lexicographer, and literary translator. Salami has written extensively on gender, discourse, Shakespeare, postcolonial literature and human rights. Some of his writings have been translated into a number of languages. An Assistant Professor of English Literature and Translation Studies at the University of Tehran, he is also currently a research scholar at the Folger Shakespeare Institute in Washington, D.C.