Growing up with God and Empire A Postcolonial Analysis of ‘Missionary Kid’ Memoirs Author: Stephanie Vandrick

Format:
Paperback - 160 pages
Related Formats:
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ISBN:
9781788922319
Published:
31 Dec 2018
Publisher:
Dimensions:
210 x 148
Availability:
Forthcoming

Summary

This book analyzes the memoirs of 42 ‘missionary kids’ – the children of North American Protestant missionaries in countries all over the world during the 20th century. Using a postcolonial lens the book explores ways in which the missionary enterprise was part of, or intersected with, the Western colonial enterprise, and ways in which a colonial mindset is unconsciously manifested in these memoirs. The book explores how the memoirists’ sites and experiences are exoticized; the missionary kids’ likelihood of learning – or not learning – local languages; the missionary families’ treatment of servants and other local people; and gender, race and social class aspects of the missionary kids’ experiences. Like other Third Culture Kids, the memoirists are migrants, travelers, border-crossers and border-dwellers who alternate between insider and outsider statuses, and their words shed light on the effects of movement and travel on children’s lives and development.

Review:

In this exquisitely written book Vandrick takes a postcolonial look at the experiences of missionary kids. Rigorous analysis of their memoirs and personal reflection are weaved together with sensitivity to produce an insightful and at times emotional account of their journeys. This is a stunning piece of work.

- Gary Barkhuizen, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Vandrick’s empathic yet unflinching reading of this book’s at times painful accounts enables us to understand the contradictory discourses and historical forces swirling through and shaping the lives of these children and the adults they became. This highly original work is mandatory reading for all of us who seek to decode the myriad ways privilege is daily produced and reproduced.

- Sue Starfield, UNSW Sydney, Australia

Author Biography:

Stephanie Vandrick is a Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Language at the University of San Francisco, USA. Her research interests include critical and feminist pedagogies, the use of narrative in research and the role of gender and social class in language education. This is her fourth book; she has also written numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional


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