Cover image for After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America Edited by Robert Zacharias

After Identity

Mennonite Writing in North America

Edited by Robert Zacharias

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$89.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-07037-7

$29.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-07038-4

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256 pages
6" × 9"
1 b&w illustration
2015
Co-published with University of Manitoba Press

After Identity

Mennonite Writing in North America

Edited by Robert Zacharias

“Showcasing some of the best new scholarship in cultural studies, After Identity explodes the tight boundaries of Mennonite culture and points us toward the new literary representations that are redefining Mennonite identity in the twenty-first century. An important book for anyone interested in the debates around culture, identity, and writing in the United States and Canada.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Sample Chapters
  • Subjects
For decades, the field of Mennonite literature has been dominated by the question of Mennonite identity. After Identity interrogates this prolonged preoccupation and explores the potential to move beyond it to a truly post-identity Mennonite literature.

The twelve essays collected here view Mennonite writing as transitioning beyond a tradition concerned primarily with defining itself and its cultural milieu. What this means for the future of Mennonite literature and its attendant criticism is the question at the heart of this volume. Contributors explore the histories and contexts—as well as the gaps—that have informed and diverted the perennial focus on identity in Mennonite literature, even as that identity is reread, reframed, and expanded.

After Identity is a timely reappraisal of the Mennonite literature of Canada and the United States at the very moment when that literature seems ready to progress into a new era.

In addition to the editor, the contributors are Ervin Beck, Di Brandt, Daniel Shank Cruz, Jeff Gundy, Ann Hostetler, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Royden Loewen, Jesse Nathan, Magdalene Redekop, Hildi Froese Tiessen, and Paul Tiessen.

“Showcasing some of the best new scholarship in cultural studies, After Identity explodes the tight boundaries of Mennonite culture and points us toward the new literary representations that are redefining Mennonite identity in the twenty-first century. An important book for anyone interested in the debates around culture, identity, and writing in the United States and Canada.”
“The twelve essayists in Robert Zacharias’s After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America (to which Zacharias also contributes an introduction and chapter) share in the larger cultural desires to surpass taxonomic or binary thinking, and their collective contributions inquire carefully and seriously into the meaning and the value of the categories of identity such as ‘Mennonite’ and ‘Mennonite writing.’”
“When a traditional culture enters into a part of the modern, secular realm (academia), how does that traditional culture maintain its sense of identity? After Identity does not attempt to offer simplistic answers to these questions, but it does a superb job of mining the multiple issues that confront the field of Mennonite literature as it attempts to define itself.”
“A vital book that not only expresses the importance of finding alternative reading practices for Mennonite literature, but also presents various compelling and convincing ways to locate those reading practices.”

Robert Zacharias is Assistant Professor of English at York University.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction After Identity: Mennonite/s Writing in North America

Robert Zacharias

Part 1 Reframing Identity

Chapter 1 The Autoethnographic Announcement and the Story

Julia Spicher Kasdorf

Chapter 2 A Mennonite Fin de Siècle: Exploring Identity at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

Royden Loewen

Chapter 3 Mennonite Transgressive Literature

Ervin Beck

Chapter 4 Double Identity: Covering the Peace Shall Destroy Many Project

Paul Tiessen

Chapter 5 After Ethnicity: Gender, Voice, and an Ethic of Care in the Work of Di Brandt and Julia Spicher Kasdorf

Ann Hostetler

Chapter 6 The Mennonite Thing: Identity for a Post-Identity Age

Robert Zacharias

Part 2 Expanding Identity

Chapter 7 In Praise of Hybridity: Reflections from Southwestern Manitoba

Di Brandt

Chapter 8 Queering Mennonite Literature

Daniel Shank Cruz

Chapter 9 Toward a Poetics of Identity

Jeff Gundy

Chapter 10 Question, Answer

Jesse Nathan

Chapter 11 “Is Menno in There?” The Case of “The Man Who Invented Himself”

Magdalene Redekop

Chapter 12 After Identity: Liberating the Mennonite Literary Text

Hildi Froese Tiessen

List of Contributors

Credits

Index

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