Transnational

In the office, I will find the notes on the transnational illumination I had the other day.

In the meantime, here we have Vilashini Cooppan in a very old (2000) article on the transnational study of race and nation, in this book. I had kept it, should I still? is the question. It is part of my thesis that race can be studied transnationally (an issue I would not question, or that I would not have a complex about, were it not for the experiences I had in Brazil). Quand même.

She is ill at ease with the term postcolonial, with its watchwords heterogeneity, difference, alterit7y, and hybridity. “Postcoloial studies, as several of its most incisive critics have noted, has compressed the differences of other peoples’ history on a methodological level while it has simultaneously asserted and celebrated those differences on a theoretical and discursive level.” (2) THIS IS PART OF MY ANZALDUA PROBLEM.

Cooppan thinks the categories race and nation “have become dangerously peripheral to what many would see as the ‘real’ work of [postcolonial studies].” (7) They seem too “essentialist” and too dependent on the idea of authenticity. But Cooppan thinks we need these terms and does not think they mean returning to fixity over the more effervescent post-colonial hybridity (paraphrasing 8). DECOLONIAL IS A DERIVATIVE OF POSTCOLONIAL AND IT HAS SOME OF THOSE PROBLEMS.

Tim Brennan (At Home in the World) and Aijaz Ahmad have criticized the notion, popularized by Rushdie and Bhabha, of an intercultural hybridity crystallized in the figure of the cosmopolitan migrant because it dismisses the penetration of capital, the proliferation of ethnic enclaves, and the consolidation of the nation-state form; Cooppan talks about the fact that racialized inequality has been increasing while the celebration of hybridity grows (Shohat has pointed out that it is the “palatable”, assimilable, pastoral version of difference. Race and nation smack of armed resistance, strategic political identification, and these are NOT the preferred post-colonialisms … and that is a problem.

The article goes on, but I am stopping here.

Axé.

1 Comment

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One response to “Transnational

  1. Brandon

    This reminds me of the situation in Hawaii: E.g., the aloha kapu protests at Mauna Kea. A kind of multiculturalism has been celebrated in Hawaii since statehood but there was and is much tension beneath the surface. I’m extremely busy but I need to think this over and share my mana`o later.

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