Teaching English Literature in the 'Contact Zone': Speaking Back to 'Official Nationalism'
- 10.2991/icla-17.2018.72How to use a DOI?
- official nationalism, heteroglossic, contact zone, identity, colonial legacy, speaking back
The concept of a national identity is 'dialogical' (Bahktin, 1981) emerging out of a heteroglossic environment, and so means different things to different people. This means that nationalism is not something natural, as though a feeling of national identity and belonging simply inheres within people, but that it is constructed through language. When Suharto and his regime were still ruling Indonesia, they applied what Anderson (1991) called 'official nationalism' in order to suceeed his 'unity in diversity project'.The implementation, however, was full of contradictions because it was in conflict with the nature of Indonesian 'heterogeneity'. Parker (2003, p. 246) views the New Order's 'official nationalism' project as Suharto's attempt 'to maintain order and security' in order to shore up his power, rather than to explore or understand the differences that make up the vast diverse nation. The fall of Suharto in 1998 was then greeted as opening up the possibility of creating a free and democratic society where the Indonesia diverse communities can now engage with alternative discourses of identity. As a result, new and re-emerging notions of what it means to be Indonesian emerge in the country. Suharto's resign was also seen by people working within English literary studies in the universities in Indonesia as an opportunity to grapple further with alternative discourses of identity. Teaching English literature in this context should then mean providing our students with more opportunities to study in 'the contact zone' (Pratt', 2008), allowing learning at the interface between languages and cultures in order to transcend the hierarchies implied by the dominance or hegemony of global English and its colonial legacy.
- © 2018, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
- Open Access
- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Desvalini ANWAR PY - 2017/10 DA - 2017/10 TI - Teaching English Literature in the 'Contact Zone': Speaking Back to 'Official Nationalism' BT - Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Languages and Arts (ICLA 2017) PB - Atlantis Press SP - 415 EP - 417 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/icla-17.2018.72 DO - 10.2991/icla-17.2018.72 ID - ANWAR2017/10 ER -