Beyond 'Other Cultures'

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Sabine Doff, Frank Schulze-Engler (Eds.)

Beyond 'Other Cultures'. Transcultural Perspectives on Teaching the New Literatures in English

ISBN 978-3-86821-286-0, 258 S., kt., € 28,50 (2011)

(Reflections - Literatures in English outside Britain and the USA, Bd. 21)

Becoming adept in a hermeneutics of cultural alterity not only appears to be a natural prerequisite for handling culturally different texts in the classroom. It also promises to make teaching and learning processes particularly relevant in an increasingly globalized world faced with the multiple challenges of unlearning deeply entrenched colonial hierarchies of cultural value based on notions of ‘advanced’ and ‘primitive’ cultures. While meeting these challenges undoubtedly constitutes a necessary pedagogical objective, there are good reasons to doubt whether the very idea of ‘other cultures’ itself is conducive to reaching that goal. If a more or less absolute cultural difference is posited as the starting point for processes of ‘intercultural learning’, the well-meant pedagogical objective of ‘intercultural learning’ actually reproduces stereotyped notions of cultural difference that are hard to reconcile with the social and cultural realities that teachers and learners are faced with. The contributions in this volume argue and demonstrate that the so-called ‘New Literatures in English’ allow insights into the complexity of culture rather than laying bare ‘other cultures’, and they challenge readers to come to terms with cultural difference without falling back into the conventional wisdoms produced by a global alterity industry. It is this ‘constitutive transculturality’ (to use the term employed by Bill Ashcroft in his contribution to this volume) that makes the New Literatures in English particularly valuable for teaching about culture in the EFL classroom.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)