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EMMA (Études Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone)

Céline Murillo (Université Sorbonne Paris Cité), “The Mimic Indians in Westerns : a Transnational Concept”

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Céline Murillo (Université Sorbonne Paris Cité), “The Mimic Indians in Westerns : a Transnational Concept”

When Nobody, the native American character in Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995), recounts his travels as “an exhibit” in Europe, he explains that, to avoid attracting the attention he started to imitate the people around him.  He declares: “I mimicked them”. Homi Bhabha post-colonial concept of “mimic men” (The Location of Culture, 1994, p.125) is linked to language politics in 19th century India, where an elite was educated in English only, as demanded by Thomas Babington Macaulay in his "Minute on Indian Education" (1835). Mimic men are essentially transnational as their identity straddles the gap between colonized (or formerly colonized) countries and the metropolis, but also because their case may apply to any native inhabitants when forced or lured to speak the language of more recent settlers. This talk will analyze the representation of Indians speaking English and of English language education in various Westerns and their transnational implications.




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