Alterity and Narrative: Stories and the Negotiation of Western Identities
SUNY Press, 2012 M02 1 - 238 pages
Intertwines identity and culture to demonstrate how identity is negotiated over a given history.
Drawing from the fields of rhetoric, cultural studies, literature, and folkloristics, Kathleen Glenister Roberts argues that identity and the history of alterity in the West can be understood more clearly through narrative motifs. She provides analyses of these motifs including infanticide, universalism, the Tower of Babel, the warrior Other, the noble savage, entropology, and the trickster. With current intellectual conflict as its subtext, this book posits that identity is always negotiated toward Otherness. Roberts interrogates narrative constructions of Western biases toward non-Western Others, with each chapter addressing a Western historical moment through an exemplary narrative. This process shows that by imagining and objectifying Others, Western cultures were creating their own Selves. In confronting the ethnocentrism of past historical moments, Roberts invites us to recognize it in the present—in a new way. Alterity and Narrative asks that we afford Others the ability to transcend their own ethnocentrism, and therefore avoid well-meaning but naïve calls for “cultural sensitivity.”
Kathleen Glenister Roberts is Assistant Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies and Director of the Communication Ethics Center at Duquesne University.
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African African American ancient Greece anthropology Aquinas argue argument Athens audience Babel Badiou Bauman believe bias biases Bougainville Bougainville’s Brer Rabbit Buell Cassio century chapter character Christ concerning Connecticut Yankee context Creon cultural identity Desdemona dialogue Diderot discourse early Christian Enlightenment ethnic ethnocentrism ethnographer Euripides European example exile folklore French Galatians Genesis Gentiles Glauce God’s Greek Hank Hank’s human Iago identity negotiation intercultural communication Jason Jews kill King Arthur’s Court knights language Letao Lévi-Strauss MacArthur Medea medieval period metaphor modern myth mythography narrative logic narrative motifs narratives of alterity Native Americans nature Nimrod noble savage one’s Orou Othello Paul Paul’s letter perhaps perspective postmodern prophet Rakhat relationship religion Renaissance rhetoric Roman scholars Shakespeare’s significant so¯te¯ria social society story Supplément Tahiti Tahitian tar baby Tayo tells things tion tower tradition travel narrative Trickster Twain understanding universalism Valerian voyage Western identities writes