Nissa Parmar is Lecturer in Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota and teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is the coeditor (with Anna Hewitt and Alex Goody) of Mapping the Self: Place, Identity, Nationality.
The collection is divided into three sections. The first, “Women Writers and Nationalism”, includes essays on Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Jo Shapcott, and Leila Aboulela. The second, “National Identity and Contemporary Fictions”, examines the role of contemporary fiction in establishing the respective national identities and histories of Wales and Australia. The third, “Transnational Identities”, analyses Partition literature, migrant women’s literature of France and Spain, and film director Shane Meadows’ take on new forms of nationalism. From India, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the United States, the texts and essays crisscross the globe, exploring the relationships between nationality and identity through film, memoir, poetry, and the novel. Some examine national literatures and identities; others focus on the struggle of the individual, particularly the migrant individual, to define his or her identity within a multicultural, multinational framework. Together, the essays register both collective and individual responses to nationality and illustrate new forms of nationalism and identity in the modern and contemporary world.