Reading Mennonite Writing: A Study in Minor Transnationalism (Hardcover)

Reading Mennonite Writing: A Study in Minor Transnationalism By Robert Zacharias Cover Image

Reading Mennonite Writing: A Study in Minor Transnationalism (Hardcover)


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Mennonite literature has long been viewed as an expression of community identity. However, scholars in Mennonite literary studies have urged a reconsideration of the field's past and a reconceptualization of its future. This is exactly what Reading Mennonite Writing does.

Drawing on the transnational turn in literary studies, Robert Zacharias positions Mennonite literature in North America as "a mode of circulation and reading" rather than an expression of a distinct community. He tests this reframing with a series of methodological experiments that open new avenues of critical engagement with the field's unique configuration of faith-based intercultural difference. These include cross-sectional readings in nonnarrative literary history; archival readings of transatlantic life writing; Canadian rewritings of Mexican film's deployment of Mennonite theology as fantasy; an examination of the fetishistic structure of ethnicity as a "thing" that has enabled Mennonite identity to function in a post-identity age; and, finally, a tentative reinvestment in ideals of Mennonite community via the surprising routes of queerness and speculative fiction. In so doing, Zacharias reads Mennonite writing in North America as a useful case study in the shifting position of minor literatures in the wake of the transnational turn.

Theoretically sophisticated, this study of minor transnationalism will appeal to specialists in Mennonite literature and to scholars working in the broader field of transnational literary studies.

Robert Zacharias is Associate Professor of English at York University in Toronto. He is the author of Rewriting the Break Event: Mennonites and Migration in Canadian Literature, editor of After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Mennonite Studies.
Product Details ISBN: 9780271092744
ISBN-10: 0271092742
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: May 17th, 2022
Pages: 266
Language: English