Literacy, Literature and Identity
Modern humanities scholarship presents a scene of intriguing change. A leading figure like Professor Eagleton moves suddenly from theory to a fascination with culture, while still wrestling with literature's meaning and function. Creative non-fiction becomes fashionable while life writings retain a very wide readership. Language professionals, meanwhile, ask themselves if teaching an alien tongue can be done without teaching its associated culture, and what this might mean for individual and group identity - itself now an area of rising academic concern.Crucially, the present volume looks at how these currents and concerns coalesce. It shows how literature, operating through language (oral and written) both shapes and reveals the identities of individuals and societies. With a truly global reach, it draws evidence from diverse contexts and environments. The struggles of women in North America, female portrayal in Middle Eastern proverbs, the response to identity challenge in West, East and Southern Africa (including the extraordinary complexity of black South African experience), and the literary assertions of New Zealand's Maoris - they are all here in this multi-faceted contribution to modern cultural, linguistic and literary scholarship.
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