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“Third Culture Kid” and the Literary World

  • 04 Jun 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Online (via Zoom)

 “Third Culture Kid” and the Literary World 

Date: Friday, June 4, 2021

Time: 60 minutes. 9:00am EDT (New York) / 1:00pm GMT (Accra) / 3:00pm CEST (Vienna) / 9:00pm SGT, AWST (Singapore & Perth)

Location: Online (via Zoom)

Cost: FREE. Open to all. 

Join the FIGT Research Network for a discussion on the ‘Third Culture Kid (TCK)’ concept and research with Dr. Antje Rauwerda. 

I need “TCK” in my work.  Do you need it in yours?

“TCK” catches an experience of displacement that is usually invisible in Literary Studies.

As a college professor in a Literary Studies major, I spend a lot of time thinking about authors like Michael Ondaatje, Ian McEwan and Barbara Kingsolver: each of these is a TCK, but they are marketed as Canadian, British and American.  If their novels get taught in university courses, they are grouped with the novels of other Canadian, British and American writers. Focusing on the passport nationalities of these authors in marketing and teaching leaves out a great deal about the internationalism, dislocation and other TCK experiences they share.

The TCK experiences of the authors result in some surprising thematic similarities in their fictions, but without “TCK” as a term, there isn’t really any way for me to analyze how their novels are similar.

My discipline has highly theorized analytical terms like (im)migrant, diaspora, transnational, global, postcolonial, borderland, and liminal, but these do not capture the experience of spending one’s developmental years outside one’s passport nation.   

My presentation will first offer a brief and utilitarian description of some of the words used for internationalism in my field, with an emphasis on how they overlap with and differ from our construction of “Third Culture Kid.”  (I will provide a take-away glossary.)

Antje M. Rauwerda is an associate professor of British and Postcolonial Literature at Goucher College in Baltimore, USA.  She is the author of The Writer and the Overseas Childhood: The Third Culture Literature of Kingsolver, McEwan and Others and other articles in the fields of third culture and postcolonial literature.

This event will be hosted by Danau Tanu, Co-Chair of the FIGT Research Network and author of Growing Up in Transit.  

Dr. Rauwerda’s book is available via the FIGT Online Bookstore, which also includes other resources on Third Culture Kids and expatriate living. Purchasing through the FIGT Online Bookstore supports our David C. Pollock Scholarship at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, FIGT earns a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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