Kohn kat -- Métissage and Postmemory in Southeast Asian Francophone and Khmer Literature from 1921 to 2016 translation missing: zh.hyrax.visibility.files_restricted.text

So, Angelica (Summer 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bn999762t?locale=zh
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Abstract

This dissertation traces the literary production of nationalist Vietnamese and Khmer literatures in 20th-century French Indochina, as well as the 21st-century literary trends within the Cambodian diaspora, in order to analyze the relationship between literature, nationalism, race, memory, and identity. I examine the portrayal of racially and ethnically ambiguous characters in the first Vietnamese novel written in French (Nguyen Phan Long’s Le Roman de Mademloiselle Lys, 1921), the first Cambodian novel in Khmer (Rim Kin’s Sophat, 1942), and the construction of Cambodian and Vietnamese identities in relation to one another. I read the construction of the first Khmer novel and the first Vietnamese Francophone novel as nationalist and masculinist projects that attempt to suppress métissage and “fix” gender and race, and suppress intercultural and “interethnic” ambiguity in Vietnamese and Cambodian women. In addition, I trace the history of Khmerization from its literary and pedagogical trajectory in the early to mid 20th-century, to its evolution into mass murder during the Khmer Rouge regime, and finally, its re-naissance in the 21st century. The larger implications of this project are to unveil the intersection between métissage and trauma, by providing a notion of métissage beyond its “Western” understanding, in the Cambodian context. I argue that métissage in the Cambodian context is always present – as a source of collective anxiety – in that it threatens Cambodian erasure. The Khmer term for métis, kohn kat [literally, “child-cut”] acts as the fil-conducteur of this dissertation, and serves to link – rather than divide – the concepts of national, racial, and “ethnic” identity. Finally, I consider how the 21st-century literary and artistic productions, within and beyond Southeast Asia and the diaspora, defy national and generational boundaries, and how the diversity of Cambodian and Vietnamese experiences rejects categorization and monolithic national narratives. 

Table of Contents

Introduction. Kohn Khmer?, Kohn kat? ……………………..…...……………..…….……....... 1

Chapter 1. Fixed Identity and Fixing the Future: Suppressing a Half to be Full…..……20

Chapter 2. Cambodia, French Indochina’s Middle Child………………...………………...…81

Chapter 3. Cambodian Family Albums: Tian’s L’année du lièvre and Cambodian “New Aesthetics” … 153

Epilogue………………………………………………………………………… 201

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………...206

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