Professor of Cultural Studies
Her research and teaching interests include world literature and cinema with a special focus on Australian and New Zealand film, exile and migration in transnational literature and film, gender studies, film studies, and contemporary cultural studies of popular culture.
She has published two books, Sisters on Screen: Siblings in Contemporary Cinema (Temple UP, 2000) and Moving Pictures, Migrating Identities (UP of Mississippi, 2003).
She is also the author of several essays on such topics as the film directors Margarethe von Trotta and Jane Campion, New Zealand cinema, diasporic female identities in Asian-American and Asian-Canadian films, African writer Mariama Ba, African American writers Jessie Fauset and Dorothy West, and psychoanalytic criticism. Her current book project focuses on coming-of-age narratives and postcolonial identities in Australian and New Zealand cinema.
In an age of increased movement of people across the globe, this seminar focuses on past and present experiences of (im)migrants, which have inspired a number of recent and contemporary novels, feature films, documentaries, memoirs, and theoretical debates about cultural identity, place and displacement. Using cultural studies of travel, diaspora, ethnicity, and theories of identity and home as critical frameworks for discussion, we will examine some of the following issues addressed in narrative film, fiction and memoirs: the complexities of adaptation or resistance to new cultures; culture transfer, hybridity and biculturality; the journey as metaphor, escape, physical ordeal and psychological odyssey; the meanings of nostalgia and home; intergenerational conflicts between tradition and modernity; representation and negotiations of national and ethnic identities; the cultural and psychological consequences of border crossings; and the interconnections of language, culture and sense of self. This course is part of the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative (LC). Some of the questions we will address are: How can fictional narratives provide us with insight into different perspectives and experiences of migration and displacement? How does film/literature capture a different imaginary relationship migrants must create to a new homeland? (keywords: migration, literature, film studies, identity, cultural studies)
This Division I seminar treats the international modern and contemporary short story as a distinctive genre of fiction. Beginning with influential 19th century examples of the American and European short story (Poe, Chekhov, Maupassant), we will devote most of the course to the forms, techniques, and themes of short fiction from around the globe--Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin American, Europe, and the United States, Beyond the various narrative forms of the story (parable, allegory, fantasy, ghost story, postmodern meta-fiction etc.), this course also offers an introduction to different approaches to literary analysis. We will consider literature in the context of transdisciplinary studies, looking for example at short fiction that deals with climate change and the connections between writing and visual art. This course is part of the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative (LC). Some of the questions we will be exploring are: how are certain narratives embedded and reproduced in cultures around the world? How do short stories engage us in imagining other worlds and exploring contemporary challenges? In what ways does short fiction experiment with our experience of time, narrative point-of-view, and character development?
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