Transculturation in Our Sister Killyjoy and Nervous Conditions Essay

Transculturation in Our Sister Killyjoy and Nervous Conditions Essay

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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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