Sofie Behluli is an assistant to the Chair of Literatures in English/North American Literature and Culture at the University of Bern. She has recently started working on her PhD project with the preliminary title “Visuality and Materiality in the Contemporary North American Novel” while pursuing her training as a grammar school teacher at the College of Education. Her research interests focus on intermediality, visuality and materiality in the contemporary North American novel.

Review: ‘American Communities: Between the Popular and the Political’

Since the early 1980s, before which, according to Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘the word community was unknown to the discourse of thought’, the concept of ‘community’ has experienced a meteoric rise in politics, cultural discourse and academia. While the OED defines community as a group of people ‘shar[ing] the same interests, pursuits, or occupation’ and ‘distinguished by shared circumstances of nationality, race, religion, sexuality, etc.; esp. such a group living within a larger society from which it is distinct’, this notion of community is too simplistic and in fact ‘colored by romantic nostalgia for homogeneity, closeness, and sameness’. Continue reading