Questions of 'identity': staging 'the culturally complex Australian body' in Germany
The essays collected in Belonging and exclusion: case studies in recent Australian and German literature, film and theatre explore a wide range of aesthetic, philosophical and generic applications of the concepts of belonging and exclusion in the context of migration. Organised in two sections, 'Performing belonging' and 'Narrating otherness', this original study represents a timely interdisciplinary approach to a topic of great contemporary and future interest. It is the first cross-cultural analysis of how belonging and exclusion are created and represented in literature, film and theatre against the background of the different historical and present conditions of migration and 'multiculturalism' in Australia and Germany. Academics from Australia and Germany, two countries described by some as opposite poles on the migration spectrum, uncover new correlations between different cultures and genres. The focus on artistic works offers snapshots, seldom available in everyday life, of belonging and exclusion in process. Written with both academics and students in mind, the essays discuss belonging and exclusion across a variety of genres, including the Bildungsroman, terrorism novel, children's literature, and different kinds of film, cabaret and theatre. Among the topical issues addressed are borders, bodies, education, exile, generations of migrants, globalisation, identity, language, memory, narrative strategies, photography, representation, lieux de memoire, terrorism and transculturalism. Given the dominance of sociopolitical and anthropological studies of belonging and exclusion, this cross-cultural study with its emphasis on aesthetics represents a unique approach and is of topical concern to scholars in the humanities.
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