Self-reflexivity in Plurilingual Poems by Alvarez, Chingonyi, and Hashem Beck

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Doris Hambuch


The publication of Jane Hiddleston and Wen – chin Ouyang's Multilingual Literature as World Literature (2021) is one among many recent testimonies to the fact that the study of creative multilingualism has gained momentum in considerations of language hierarchies and their implications. Hiddleston and Ouyang state in the introduction that their anthology "argues not only, with Spivak and Mufti, against the dominance of English, but also against a dominant concept of monolingualism that has further served to limit and skew the scope of world literature" (3). Likewise, this group session investigates the use of plurilingual creative expression across different genres and media in order to contest the status of a global language and its implications for authors, audiences, publishers, and editors.

Yasmin Yildiz, in Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition (2013), identifies the simultaneous consideration of language appropriation and depropriation as "steps necessary towards a nonhomologous multilingual practice" (42). This group proposes such considerations in the context of different media, including music, poetry, theater, and photography. The four presentations discuss creative multilingualism diverse in genre, location, and language combination. The first speaker presents David Bowie's attempts at multilinguality as a Benjaminian critique of monolingualism. The second speaker analyses the use of self – reflexive elements by plurilingual poets such as Kayo Chingonyi, Zeina Hashem Beck, and Julia Alvarez. The third speaker examines Yael Ronin's play Winterreise, in which refugees regard Germany and German as a place and language of exile, and the fourth speaker focuses on technological aspects in her study of Russian artists.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Re – Imagining Plurilingual Art Practices