chapter  11
14 Pages

A Borderless World: Literature, Nation, Transnation

WithBILL ASHCROFT

Like language, literature plays a role in both shaping and reflecting cultural evolution. This symbiotic relationship can be seen in the interlacing of the human rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s in society at large with the 'culture wars' in university English departments. Like many other racialized minority and Aboriginal women, Monture-Angus developed a 'double understanding' of feminism as a force both of liberation and of oppression, offering empowerment, yet perpetuating 'colonial' relationships, drawing together a supposedly global 'sisterhood', yet exposing fissures based on racialization, class, sexuality, and other markers of social location. In academic women's life-writing, new feminist quest plots emerge in which 'rescuing the self' is central, symbolic of women's self-empowerment and liberation. Historian Jill Ker Conway acknowledges that she began writing her memoirs with the express goal of reshaping the genre to fit contemporary women.