Transculturation in Our Sister Killyjoy and Nervous Conditions

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Transculturation in Our Sister Killyjoy and Nervous Conditions Postcolonial insights include theories of Diaspora, cultural hybridity and transculturation. The latter, ‘transculturation’ is the term used to define ‘cultural change induced by introduction of elements of a foreign culture.’[1] The term ‘transculturation’ was first coined by Cuban anthropologist and sociologist Fernando Ortiz in 1947 to describe the phenomenon of merging and converging cultures. Transculturation covers war, ethnic conflict, racism and multiculturalism, hence it is a concept very relevant to the postcolonial period and subsequently to postcolonial literature. When transculturation affects ethnicity the term ‘ethnoconvergence" comes into being and is opposed by ‘ethnocentrism’ the view that one's culture is of greater importance than another’s. Ethnocentrism manifests itself in various aspects of culture, though the main ethnocentric divider is always religion or belief, these ethnic divides are most frequently binary. ‘Our Sister Killjoy’ and ‘Nervous Conditions’ both show aspects of transculturation, perhaps the most obvious sign are the narrator's adoption of the dominant English language to write their novels. At varying points in each novel it is also clear that both Aidoo and Dangarembga have difficulty in choosing between the two cultures in their own personal struggles with transculturation. I shall go on to explore these instances of transculturation within both novels. Tsitsi Dangarembga’s 1988 novel ‘Nervous Conditions’ is a landmark in postcolonial literature as it was the first published English novel written by an African woman. Set in 1960’s Rhodesia and emerging from the shadows of apartheid, it chronicle... ... middle of paper ... ...147 [10] Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page [11] Okonkwo p6 [12] Odamtten, Vincent O. The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo: Polylectics and Reading Against Neocolonialism (Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994) page 122 [13] Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 13 [14] Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 57 [15] Odamtten, Vincent O. The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo: Polylectics and Reading Against Neocolonialism (Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994) page 125 [16] Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page [17] Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 112 [18] Pratt, Mary Louise Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, Routledge 1992)

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