Dismantling Bellicose Identities: Strategic Language Games in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's DICTEE

Hee-Jung Serenity Joo; Lux, Christina
January 2012
Journal of Transnational American Studies;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 1, preceding p1
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
This essay argues that Cha's DICTEE trains the reader in strategic language games in order to resist bellicose identities. It engages contemporary studies of multilingual literature in the United States, challenging overly optimistic visions of an inclusive cosmopolitanism that elides problems of gender, race, class, and nation. Sau-ling Wong's "Denationalization Reconsidered" is used to examine these issues in relation to defense funding, language policies, and historical tensions between ethnic studies and area studies in the US. As this essay posits, Cha addressed many of Wong's concerns avant la lettre.


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