No Place Like Home: Cosmopolitanism and the Notion of Home in The Namesake and the Parable Series
Eline Reinhoud holds a BA in English Language and Culture from Utrecht University and is currently pursuing a research Master in Comparative Literary Studies at Utrecht University. Her areas of interest include cultural memory, feminist (re)writings and literary theory.
While the traditional notion of home and the concept of cosmopolitanism would at first glance seem at odds with one another, this essay demonstrates how the two are actually closely connected, and that this understanding can afford productive new insights into transcultural literature. This essay explores the notions of home, transculturality, and cosmopolitanism as theoretical concepts, and employs these concepts to analyze three characters from Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and Octavia E. Butler’s Parable series who find themselves in a transcultural situation. Through a case study of these characters, the essay demonstrates that in this postmodern, or supermodern age, a cosmopolitan attitude may be the only way to be at home in an increasingly transcultural, digital, and mobile world.