Till Dembeck

Literaturwissenschaft in Forschung und Lehre

Challenging

Challenging the Myth of Monolingualism, hg. mit Liesbeth Minnaard (2014)

Despite the fact that transnational movement and intercultural encounter are the signs of our present time, questions of belonging and legitimation of citizenship in most West-European countries still largely depend on monolingual norms and the problematic conflation of the idea of a national language with that of the mother tongue. This volume explores literary negotiations of and challenges to this powerful myth of monolingualism in various, mostly West-European cultural contexts. The focus of these explorations ranges from the ethics of mono- and multilingualism and the persistent ideology of nativity and the native speaker, to multilingual strategies and the trials and tribulations of translating multilingual texts. The volume also contains contributions by awarded literary writers, such as Yoko Tawada, Ramsey Nasr, Chika Unigwe and Fouad Laroui: texts that demonstrate the creative multiplicity of language and the disruptive potential of multilingualism in action.