Uneasy Attachments: Postcolonial Anglophilia and Identity Formation in Twentieth-Century Anglophone Autobiographies
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation focuses on the impact of anglophilia on identity formation in the British empire. Since Britishness was an identity unavailable to non-white citizens of the empire, this attachment was necessarily unrequited. Analyzing works by Cornelia Sorabji, E.R. Braithwaite, V.S. Naipaul, and Tsitsi Dangarembga, I argue that the critical significance of anglophilia does not lie in the postcolonial subject’s success or failure in achieving a British-coded identity, but in the ways in which an affiliation to Britishness can be mobilized to accomplish a variety of personal, political, and social ends. I use a range of autobiographical literature—travel narratives, autobiographical novels, autoethnography—to contend that anglophilia is a significant, if overlooked, affective framework that structures late colonial and postcolonial subject formation. The blending of fact and fiction and the explicit authorial self-performance that autobiographical writing entails highlights one of the core components of my argument: postcolonial anglophilic self-formations exist in the tense space between the undeniable power of socially determined categories (“non-white,” “colonized,” “woman”) and the often-unexpected ways in which they are affectively felt and performed.
Chair and Committee
J. Dillon Brown
Kundu, Anwesha, "Uneasy Attachments: Postcolonial Anglophilia and Identity Formation in Twentieth-Century Anglophone Autobiographies" (2022). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2776.
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