Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement

Duke University Press
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Contemporary theory is replete with metaphors of travel—displacement, diaspora, borders, exile, migration, nomadism, homelessness, and tourism to name a few. In Questions of Travel, Caren Kaplan explores the various metaphoric uses of travel and displacement in literary and feminist theory, traces the political implications of this “traveling theory,” and shows how various discourses of displacement link, rather than separate, modernism and postmodernism.
Addressing a wide range of writers, including Paul Fussell, Edward Said, James Clifford, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Gayatri Spivak, Edward Soja, Doreen Massey, Chandra Mohanty, and Adrienne Rich, Kaplan demonstrates that symbols and metaphors of travel are used in ways that obscure key differences of power between nationalities, classes, races, and genders. Neither rejecting nor dismissing the powerful testimony of individual experiences of modern exile or displacement, Kaplan asks how mystified metaphors of travel might be avoided. With a focus on theory’s colonial discourses, she reveals how these metaphors continue to operate in the seemingly liberatory critical zones of poststructuralism and feminist theory. The book concludes with a critique of the politics of location as a form of essentialist identity politics and calls for new feminist geographies of place and displacement.
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About the author

Caren Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She is coeditor (with Inderpal Grewal) of Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices and Between Woman and Nation (with Norma Alarcón and Minoo Moallem).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Aug 21, 1996
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780822382041
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"We thought the study of women would be a temporary phase; eventually we would all go back to our disciplines."—Gloria Bowles, From the Afterword

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