South Asian diasporas can be considered transcultural legacies of colonialism, while constituting transcultural forms of postcolonial reality in today's globalised world. The main focus of investigation here is South Asian women's fiction, where diverse forms of identity negotiation undertaken by the protagonists in a number of contemporary vels (from the 1990s to the early 2000s) are read as transgressions. The themes of early gendered experiences of South Asian indentured labour migration, female genealogies and transmissions of cultural heritages down female lines, as well as negotiations of patriarchal violence, are read using a framework culled from postcolonial and feminist criticism. The literary representations of South Asian diasporic female experience in these texts are forms of commentary and critique by contemporary South Asian diasporic women writers. Hence these vels can be viewed as feminist strategies of textual creativity with distinct political aims of presenting transformative narratives addressing the tensions of diaspora and patriarchy. This book is intended to contribute to the current spectrum of academic work being done in diaspora studies, in that it brings together the concepts of diaspora, transculturality, contemporary women's writing and transnational feminist critical approaches to bear on South Asian women's diasporic literature. Contrary to the celebratory tion of the concept in much theory, transculturality, as represented in these texts, is fraught with ambivalence.
A native of Singapore, Christine Vogt-William studied English, German and Psychology at the University of Essen, Germany. She completed her doctoral thesis at the Centre for Women's Studies at the University of York, England as a Marie Curie Gender Graduate Fellow. Besides publications on South Asian diasporic literature from the US, Canada, England and the Caribbean, she is co-editor of Disturbing Bodies (2008), an essay collection on artistic and literary representations of deviant bodies. Vogt-William was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Women's Studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, from 2008 to 2010. On returning to Germany, she taught in the Postcolonial and Media Studies Department at the University of Munster, in the American Studies Department at the University of Frankfurt am Main, as well as in the North American Studies Department at the University of Freiburg. Vogt-William is currently a Guest Professor at the English and American Studies Department at the Humboldt University, Berlin, where she teaches Postcolonial and Gender Studies. She is also working on her second book entitled Twoness in Oneness: Biological Twinship in Anglophone Literatures.