NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number: HB-251276-17

Query elapsed time: 0.031 sec

Save this query
Export results to Excel

HB-251276-17

Swati Rana
University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA 93106-0001)

Eccentric Characters in 20th-Century Ethnic Literature

A book-length study of race and character in American ethnic literature, 1900-1960.

Retrograde Minorities studies the vexed, conservative, and recalcitrant characters that elude the oppositional framework of ethnic literary criticism, which prioritizes resistance to dominant power structures. My chapters range from Ameen Rihani’s The Book of Khalid (1911) to Paule Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959), including work by José Garcia Villa, José Antonio Villarreal, and Dalip Singh Saund. I develop a hermeneutic for reading the problem characters in these works across formal and social spheres, and in so doing enliven the study of race and character both. This project presents a new comparative paradigm for ethnic literature and for the neglected writings of the early twentieth century, itself a retrograde period in a field that generally privileges post-1965 works. My readings reveal a new protagonist of the American dream: the racialized minority whose retrograde disavowal of race represents a crucial archetype of American exceptionalism and postracial ideology.

Project fields:
American Literature; American Studies; Ethnic Studies

Program:
Awards for Faculty

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019