Go Away Closer: Strange Intimacies and the Poetics and Politics of Person in Contemporary Minority, U.S. Ethnic, and Postcolonial Writings (Delphine Munos)

The alleged ‘new openness’ of our globalized era can be underpinned by universalizing impulses that reintroduce old forms of Euro-American centrism. My hypothesis is that contemporary literary texts by ‘minority’ and postcolonial authors have much to offer when it comes to creating new discursive spaces through which the homogenizing thrust of globalization and its commodification of difference are not only exposed but also kept in check.

My project looks at the ways in which the multiplication of ‘impossible’ and non-conversational kinds of telling in minority writing are geared towards expressing the ‘exclusion-by-inclusion paradox’ faced by minority groups in Western multicultural societies. Specifically, I wish to analyze how the “strategies of referential indeterminacy” (Monika Fludernik) at play in texts written in the second person (“you texts”) and the first-person plural (“we texts”) dislodge readers from a position of power and privilege and create new perspectives.

With the help of interdisciplinary incursions into the domains of globalization theory, postcolonial studies, literary theory, memory studies, and narratology, this project aims to show that ‘impossible’ or non-conversational forms of telling participate in myriad ways in Doris Sommer’s “particularist strategies,” because their poetics and politics of selective individualization, shifting referentiality and/or excessive permeability have a tremendous potential for problematizing the evacuation of otherness in our globalized era.