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Bilingual BrokersRace, Literature, and Language as Human Capital$
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Jeehyun Lim

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275304

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275304.001.0001

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Global English and the Predicament of Monolingual Multiculturalism

Global English and the Predicament of Monolingual Multiculturalism

(p.159) Chapter Five. Global English and the Predicament of Monolingual Multiculturalism
Bilingual Brokers

Jeehyun Lim

Fordham University Press

Chapter five examines the writings of Julia Alvarez and Ha Jin as examples of literary bilingual brokering in the age of global English. As writers of bi-national scope in their writings, Alvarez and Ha Jin explore a cultural politics of circulation to dislodge the assumption of an organic relationship between national language and literature. However, the coexistence of World Literature in English and US multicultural literature in these writers’ works places their representations of political oppression and human rights abuse abroad within the pedagogy of neoliberal multiculturalism at home that is geared toward an individualistic understanding of freedom and rights. Even as Alvarez and Ha Jin seek to claim belonging in the homeland of language outside the narrow confines of national literature, that choice itself is circumscribed by the cultural politics of writing in English at a time of global English hegemony.

Keywords:   Julia Alvarez, global English, Ha Jin, politics of circulation, translation

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