The contact zone

Something I didn’t take on in this long article I just published was Mary L. Pratt’s concept of the “contact zone,” which I also don’t like. I think it’s too abstract, too totalizing, too asceptic, too fuzzy, and above all, it assumes the existence of no-contact zones.

I know, languages in contact, cultures in contact. I know.

Are the Louisiana ICE detention facilities, where one visits, “contact zones” — or more to the point, what would be gained by calling them that? Is this term really any less problematic than “borderlands” (I know it is different)?

This, then, should be something I take up in the talk I’ve offered to give on the piece.

Axé.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s