The 9/11 of Our Imaginations: Islam, the Figure of the Muslim, and the Failed Liberalism of the Racial Present

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter describes the work of several South Asian diasporic novelists, namely Salman Rushdie, Hari Kunzru, Mohsin Hamid and Bharati Mukherjee. These works invite a reframing of Asia not as a singular category but as a pluralized and shifting matrix of identity positions, albeit notionally anchored to nation-state formations. The need to pluralize Asia and complicate received formations of Asian identities is even more pressing in North America, where Indian Americans are not the predominant Asian American ethnic group. Diasporic South Asian self-fashioning is a complicated matter in the works of Salman Rushdie. The Asia projected by liberal Western multiculturalist discourse is not necessarily the Asia envisioned by Asians, whether they live in South Asia or elsewhere. This then is one of the reasons to pluralize both national and diasporic self-fashioning. Cosmopolitanism and transnationalism are recurrent themes in many recent South Asian diasporic novels, challenging essentialist constructions of national and personal authenticity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Asian American Literature
EditorsRajini Srikanth, Min Song
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Chapter29
Pages503-518
ISBN (Print)9781107284289
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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    Rana, J. (2015). The 9/11 of Our Imaginations: Islam, the Figure of the Muslim, and the Failed Liberalism of the Racial Present. In R. Srikanth, & M. Song (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature (pp. 503-518). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHO9781107284289.030