Rewriting Histories and Geographies: Cosmopolitan Moments in Contemporary Indian Writing in English

Cottier Bucher, Annie Madeleine (2014). Rewriting Histories and Geographies: Cosmopolitan Moments in Contemporary Indian Writing in English. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Humanities)

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In order to grasp the imaginative geographical and historical scope of contemporary Indian writing in English, this thesis claims that it is necessary to think about literature beyond the paradigms of national, postcolonial or even transnational diasporic literatures. It is asserted that cosmopolitanism, which is here understood to be a concept that encompasses the negotiation of the ethics and practice of migration, community, responsibility, difference and sameness, offers the possibility of thinking critically about migration and globalization in the context of the literary texts at the centre of this thesis: Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies (2008) and River of Smoke (2011), Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence (2007) and M.G. Vassanji’s The Assassin’s Song (2007). Literary criticism has acknowledged the relevance of cosmopolitan thought in contemporary literatures of a global, transnational literary imaginary. Yet the literature concerned with cosmopolitanism has, with a few exceptions, mainly used it as a descriptive rather than as an interpretative term, focusing on the politics of these fictional texts rather than on their aesthetics or in this case, to be more precise, their literary features.

In this thesis, the interest is to examine the ethics, practice and aesthetics of cosmopolitan moments in which histories and geographies are rewritten and reimagined, i.e. the propensity of these four novels to remap, rethink and reimagine these narratives of time and space according to an understanding that moves away from postcolonial dichotomies towards a more global view of events that still takes into account existing power relations.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures

UniBE Contributor:

Cottier Bucher, Annie Madeleine, Rippl, Gabriele, Claviez, Thomas


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Michael Boog

Date Deposited:

23 Dec 2016 10:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:00



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)




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