The Poetics of Diaspora, Identity and Dialogic Synthesis in Contemporary British Cross-Cultural Poetry

By:
Dr. Renuka Rajaratnam
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A diaspora discourse is not just a chronicle of sorrow and regret. It is a powerful story of contribution and adaption. With a certain amount of irony, it has become a valued repository of contemporary global society. In essence, the diaspora discourse can instruct our civil society in values of diversity, tolerance and fair-mindedness. This paper will examine the relevance and status of the diaspora literature today and will argue how the discourse can challenge and reformulate one’s sense of identity and cultural competence.

The paper will focus on the black and the South Asian diaspora poetry in Britain and will analyse the two seminal developments in the current British diaspora poetics: one, the major political implications involved in the diaspora writing and two, the leading aesthetic constructs and concerns that have developed in the discourse. With reference to the work of selected poets such as Derek Walcott, Grace Nichols, Jackie Kay, Moniza Alvi and Sujatha Bhatt, the politics and poetics of diaspora will be viewed within the framework of British cross-culturalism and will focus on the heart of the diaspora matter which is the issue of cultural identity. The dynamism of cross-cultural poetics and politics takes into account experiences such as migration, exile, identity, conflicts of allegiance and displacement, location and alienation. This paper will study the complex formations and patterns of cross-cultural convergence and cultural dialogic-synthesis and will re-interpret diasporic conditions which are all submitted to poetic self-expressions and theoretical interrogations.


Keywords: Diaspora, Identity, Cross-culturalism, Dialogic Synthesis
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Renuka Rajaratnam

Humanities Worker, Research Professional, Associate Member of the Manchester Metropolitan University English Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University English Research Institute, U.K., Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester, Manchester, UK

My central areas of concern are Cultural and Poetry studies, Women's issues, Theatre, Art, Design and Special Education. Professional experience about two decades includes teaching, programming, teacher-training, freelance writing and reviewing. Research and poetry programmes have been largely supported by the British Council, South India. Received the British Council Charles Wallace Award for Literature Teaching and Visiting Scholarship to Oxford, U.K. Educational Consultant to the International Studies, University of Madras, Chennai, S.India and the Centre for Research on New International Economic Order, Chennai.

Ref: H06P0428