Uniform TitleCross-ethnic mediums and the autobiographical gesture in twentieth century American literature
NameJaffe-Foger, Miriam (author), Edwards, Brent Hayes (chair), Evans, Brad (internal member), Manganaro, Marc (internal member), Posnock, Ross (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectEnglish, Literatures in,
American literature--African American authors--History and criticism,
American literature--Jewish authors--History and criticism
DescriptionOne of the most definitive aspects of twentieth century literary studies has been the move to group fiction by ethnic minorities into separate categories according to the authors' ethnicities. Among these categories, "African American literature" and "American Jewish literature" have emerged as two of the most prevalent. This study suggests that African American authors and American Jewish authors have resisted the confines of ethnic categorization by imagining themselves as each other and by using each other's cultural property within their writing. Previous scholarship on the literary relationship between African Americans and American Jews tends to position the two groups in conflict, but the subjects of this study--Franz Boas, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Fran Ross, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth--employ cross-ethnic mediums in pursuit of a common goal: to be considered as American individuals without the boundaries of their ethnic identities. The literary tactic that indicates each subject's struggle with the boundaries of their own ethnic identities is the autobiographical gesture--the artful use of one's own experiences. In each subject's use of the autobiographical gesture, the self as other serves as a means to work against the bounds of ethnic identity.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 161-169).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.