Susan Stanford Friedman

is Professor of English and Women’s Studies. Her publications include


"Border Talk," Hybridity, and Performativity

Cultural theory and identity in the spaces between difference

Such bankrupt metaphors as the melting pot and the mosaic, clearly useless for adequately expressing identities in a multicultural context, are replaced by a different kind of conceptualization whereby the very notion of “inbetweeness” comes alive by setting in creative conjunction three current rhetorics of identity pervasively a feature of cultural studies across the disciplines: “border talk,” “hybridity talk,” and “performativity talk.” Whereas these different rhetorics seem quite distinct, if not contradictory, actual narratives of and about identity often set in motion all three, establishing a fluid borderland where boundaries are frequently transgressed. As a conclusion, the proposed theoretical framework is put to the test through the work of two American women writers of today: Anna Deavere Smith and Gish Gen.

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