Images of Migrants in Alice Munro’s Short Stories: Language and Accents as Mediators between Cultures
Dr. Kristina Vorontsova,
Department of English Literature and Culture
Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities
Aula de Graus de la Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, Edifici Ramon Llull (Campus UIB)
Hora: 10.00 - 12.00
Alice Munro is well-known for her psychological short stories, vivid regional pictures of Canada and critics of conservative gender and social hierarchies. Her favourite heroines are outsiders in a commonplace meaning: primarily unmarried, intelligent, educated women with an independent feministic point of view. So, it’s them who are on the same level with the migrants from Europe despised by the middle-class majority. Munro creates images of the strangers from the Old World to figure out defects of Canadian society. Moreover, when depicting the sharp contrast and big cultural gap between European and Canadian people, she focuses virtually on the mediating role of language in the process of communication.
In sum, accents in this context seem to be a distinguishing sign tagging the Others, the Aliens in the ontological and cultural sense. On the one hand, sometimes it could be a recognizable cultural code in communication between the Canadian outsiders and strangers from Europe while, on the other hand, accents are supposed to be a trigger for uprising of ethnic and social stereotypes and even so called “hate speech”.
The author uses methods of close reading to reveal a variety of specific social patterns illustrating different levels of interpersonal attitudes in dialogues with migrants on the material of short stories from the collection “Runaway” (2004) by Alice Munro.
Kristina Vorontsova is an Assistant Professor at the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce, Poland (Institute of Polish Philology and Modern Languages). Aside from writing a book entitled “Space-Time is an Androgyne”: Models of Space in Poetry by Elena Shvarts, she has published articles and lectured extensively on imagology of the Poles and cultural geopoetics in Russian, American and Canadian literatures.
Rubén Jarazo Álvarez i Aida Rosende Pérez
Event date: 14/11/2019
Publication date: 29/10/2019