Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

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Digesting Development: Demarcation, hybridization and Power

Roy Bendor (Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada)



This paper discusses two inverse yet interrelated sites of cultural power, analyzing them through the prism of cannibalism as a cultural category, trope and as a metaphor. Cannibalisms premise in acts of incorporation that simultaneously create and dissolve boundaries between self and other suggests a plethora of meanings that lend themselves to opposing readings and applications. This richness and complexity of cannibalism make it a fruitful point of departure for deconstructing and renegotiating cultural boundaries and positions of dominance that are prominently featured in discourses of modernity, postcolonialism, development and globalization.

By contrasting the use of cannibalism for discursive demarcation, segregation and marginalization in Western thought, with its use in Brazilian modernism to construct a national identity that hybridizes European and native cultures, I wish to outline a mode of cultural hybridization that preserves subjectivity and agency and can be transposed into contemporary discourses of agency in development.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-09-27