Beyond Multiculturalism: Ethnic Studies, Transnationalism, and Junot Díaz’s Oscar Wao

Elisabeth Maria Mermann-Jozwiak


This paper places Junot Díaz’s 2007 novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao within the context of transnational American Studies to illustrate that the use of the transnational as a category of critique, as Laura Briggs, Gladys McCormick, and J.T. Way suggest American Studies Scholars do, leads to a reconsideration of the accomplishments and the limitations of multiculturalism and its academic manifestation, ethnic studies. By highlighting new migratory patterns, intercultural exchanges, and inter-national dependencies, Díaz’s work can be read as a response to uncritical celebrations of difference and multiculturalism’s narrative of the integration of ethnic subjects. These depictions, I argue, are central to a challenge of concepts of nationhood that persist in forming the basis of multiculturalism


Multiculturalism, Transnationalism

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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