New Postcolonial British Genres: Shifting the Boundaries by Sarah Ilott
Though individual genres have been studied in relation to postcolonial criticism, there has not, until now, been a critical intervention that considers what it is about genre itself that makes it useful for a postcolonial project and for writing contemporary Britain.
This study analyses four new genres of literature and film that have evolved to accommodate and negotiate the changing face of postcolonial Britain since 1990. It reads shifting genre boundaries as a means of understanding shifting constructions of Britishness, arguing that both genres and nations have unstable boundaries that are, at least imaginatively, redrawn when the implications of postcolonial texts and contexts are taken into consideration. Questions of categorisation are always political, as borders are redrawn and criteria of inclusion and exclusion are negotiated, so genre fiction and film provide a unique space for exploring a contested national identity.
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Sarah Ilott is Senior Lecturer in English Studies at Teesside University, UK. Her main research and teaching interests are in postcolonial literature and twenty-first century British literature. She has published journal articles on postcolonial literature and multicultural screen comedy, and has taught at Lancaster University–where she gained her PhD in 2013– as well as at the University of Birmingham.