Constructing Native Cultures: Travel, Gender, and Hybridity in Emily Keene's My Life Story (1911) and Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky (1993)

Hamid El Mountassir (Department of English, Sais/Fes University, Morocco)

The term hybridity has been extensively used by postcolonial theorists, especially Homi Bhabha, who argues that cultural discourses/systems are constructed in what he terms 'the third space of enunciation'. This is ultimately the 'in-between space' which is characterised by ambivalence and contradictions:

It is significant that the productive capacities of this Third Space have a colonial or postcolonial provenance. For a willingness to descend into that alien territory....may open the way to conceptualising an international culture, based not on the exoticism of multiculturalism or the diversity of cultures, but on the inscription and articulation of culture's hybridity. [Bhabha, 1994:38]

Starting from these theoretical premises, the present paper will try to explore the notions of 'hybridity' and 'going native' in Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky (1993) and Emily Keene's My Life Story (1911). The main focus will be on the construction of native cultures by two English women writers whose representations of Morocco seem to be controversial and ambivalent.

Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference

Last modified: 7 May 2001