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Emergent U.S. LiteraturesFrom Multiculturalism to Cosmopolitanism in the Late Twentieth Century$
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Cyrus Patell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479893720

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479893720.001.0001

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From Marginal to Emergent

From Marginal to Emergent

(p.19) 1 From Marginal to Emergent
Emergent U.S. Literatures

Cyrus R. K. Patell

NYU Press

This chapter raises the question of how U.S. late-twentieth-century minority cultures, whether oriented around ethnicity or sexuality, transform themselves from marginal cultures into emergent ones capable of challenging and reforming the mainstream. This transformation depends in large on a shift in perspective. Part of what it means to be emergent is to associate yourself with the idea of the new. Thus, the chapter illustrates the various themes, tropes, and other devices used in ethnic and queer narratives as they attempt to engage with the dominant American mainstream culture and negotiate issues of individuality, assimilation, and identity in order to participate in a collaborative that is, for all its diversity of cultural backgrounds, remains—in a word—American.

Keywords:   marginal cultures, emergent cultures, minority cultures, ethnicity, sexuality, American mainstream culture

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