Nationalism and Internationalism: Domestic Differences in a Postcolonial World
This chapter talks about the Amy Kaplan's trenchant observations, the vulnerability of multiculturalism to nationalist cooptation. Kaplan attributes much of the impetus for critics' pursuit of an international analysis of American literary studies to the influence of Chicano studies. The chapter argues the alignment rather than identification desirable only in part because of Chicano studies' recognition of the regionally heterogeneous nature of Anglo-European global empire. The dominant culture dismisses minority studies as provincial, as the creation of "special interests"; as an affront to the traditional intellectual's quest for universals. If there is a danger of multiculturalism's being recuperated in the interest of maintaining the concept and practices of nationalism, then there is also a danger of confirming the dominant view of minority studies by setting up postcolonialism as the "global" knowledge sanctioning the otherwise too "narrow" study of US minorities.