Postsocialist Literatures in the United States a special issue of Twentieth-Century Literature, March 2019

Ioana Luca's picture
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, European History / Studies, Literature, Area Studies

Postsocialist Literatures in the United States
a special issue of Twentieth-Century Literature

Volume 65, Number 1, March 2019

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 Introduction: Postsocialist Literatures in the United States

Claudia Sadowski-SmithIoana Luca pp. 1-22

This issue places an emergent body of cultural productions by US immigrants from former Eastern Bloc nations in dialogue with scholarship on US immigrant and transnational writing. We argue that the collective work by authors of (post-)Soviet and Central/Eastern European background constitutes a new object of inquiry and theory, which we call postsocialist literatures in the United States. The new representations—fiction, poetry, and theater—connect the United States to key events in the former Eastern Bloc. They emphasize the importance of state socialism and its decline for the consolidation of postsocialist diasporas in the United States and for the constitution and maintenance of US Cold War imaginaries, which continue to inform US policy making to this day. The new cultural productions show how experiences of (post)socialism have helped shape new transnational connections and cultural practices, and some link the Cold War and military conflicts in the former Yugoslavia to the ongoing “war on terror,” as well as portray cross-ethnic linkages between immigrants of different national backgrounds. As it creates new transnational imaginaries, this work reconfigures US representations of the former Eastern Bloc, while also contributing to theories of US immigrant writing that bridge American, Slavic, and immigration studies.

 Transnational American Studies: A Postsocialist Phoenix

Joseph Benatov pp. 23-42

 Postsocialist Fiction and Frameworks: Miroslav Penkov, Lara Vapnyar, and Aleksandar Hemon

Ioana Luca pp. 43-70

 Geopolitical Imaginaries: Croatian Diasporic Writers in North America

Jelena Šesnić pp. 71-96

 Between Homeland and Hostland: Women Migrants’ Agency in US Post-Yugoslav Novels

Tatjana Bijelić pp. 97-120

 “There Is No Such City”: The Myth of Odessa in Post-Soviet Immigrant Literature

Adrian Wanner pp. 121-144

 Transnationalism in Contemporary Post-Soviet North American Literature

Anna Katsnelson pp. 145-166

 Staging the Postsocialist Woman: Saviana Stănescu’s Alternative Transnations

Oana Popescu-Sandu pp. 167-186

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