This talk offers a new reading of postcolonial women’s writings. The conventional model since the 1980s has been to emphasize issues of silence and invisibility, the desire for voice and narrative space, and self-representation as a form of empowerment and transformation. What is often eclipsed as a result is a valuable political ethic based on coalition and solidarity with oppressed and marginalized figures. By working across an expansive literary archive, stretching from Mary Prince’s slave narrative to more recent works by Miriama Bâ, Bapsi Sidhwa, Edwidge Danticat and Shani Mootoo, Professor Donnell will identify an alternative framework for reading postcolonial women’s writing, presenting a new model of feminist criticism rooted in solidarity and coalitional ethics.
Alison Donnell is reader in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Reading, UK. She is the author of Twentieth Century Caribbean Literature: Critical Moments in Anglophone Literary and Critical History and has been a Joint Editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies since its founding in 1998.