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Trauma Novels in Postcolonial Literatures: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, and Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen

©2012 Masterarbeit 107 Seiten


This study will depict the traumatic condition of the formerly colonised indigenous peoples of Africa and Canada. The postcolonial trauma novels, Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998) and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions (1988), are first-hand accounts of colonial experience under the governance of the British Empire of the second half of the twentieth century. The semi-autobiographical novels bring up the voices of the formerly silenced natives and are pioneering accounts of the native perception of Western intrusion. The narratives portray the upsetting experiences of the era of colonisation and explore the insidious consequences of living in the midst of historical change. The novels, written in English, speak back to the canon and expose the suffering of its subjects. They depict the grim atmosphere of the colonial project and show the effects of the domination, oppression, diaspora and discrimination suffered by the natives. The novels are life narratives and as such reveal facts not recorded in history books. The trauma novels enrich and challenge the discourse on (post)colonial trauma. The native authors, Dangarembga and Highway, explore the questions of identity, trauma and resistance in the context of colonization. Their approach queries traditional notions of identity formation and the common understanding of trauma and trauma healing. With their portrayal of unique means for resistance and survival, the novelists offer a challenge to the existing beliefs and theories.
In the study of the novels Nervous Conditions and Kiss of the Fur Queen, which allow silenced, repressed individuals to speak out about the unspeakable events of their lives, I will explore the formation of colonial and postcolonial identities, the nature and impact of colonial trauma and the possibility of resistance on the side of the colonised. I will work towards identifying the discrepancies between indigenous and Western notions of trauma and identity, and study the challenges of postcolonial literatures. I will explore the concept of cultural hybridity as presented in the novels and study the impact of trauma on identity construction. In the process of this study, I intend to find out to what extent trauma influences and shapes identity. Moreover, I will reconsider the Western notions of trauma and identity and examine their integrity in the colonial discourse. With the help of the novels, I will study the differences […]


ISBN (eBook)
706 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf – Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Studiengang: Anglophone Literatures and Literary Translation
2012 (Dezember)
kolonialzeit psychologie kultur hybridity identität



Titel: Trauma Novels in Postcolonial Literatures: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, and Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen