Africans to Spanish America expands the diaspora framework to include Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Cuba, exploring the connections and disjunctures between colonial Latin America and the African diaspora in the Spanish empires. Analysis of the regions of Mexico and the Andes opens up new questions of community formation that incorporated Spanish legal strategies in secular and ecclesiastical institutions as well as articulations of multiple African identities. The volume is arranged around three sub-themes: identity construction in the Americas; the struggle by enslaved and free people to present themselves as civilized, Christian, and resistant to slavery; and issues of cultural exclusion and inclusion.
Contributors are Joan Cameron Bristol, Nancy E. van Deusen, Leo Garafalo, Herbert S. Klein, Charles Beatty Medina, Karen Y. Morrison, Rachel Sarah O'Toole, Frank "Trey" Proctor, and Michele B. Reid.
In the first published book-length study of Indian fiction in South Africa, Pallavi Rastogi demonstrates that Indians desire South African citizenship in the fullest sense of the word, a longing for inclusion that is asserted through an “Afrindian” identity. Afrindian Fictions: Diaspora, Race, and National Desire in South Africa examines Afrindian identity and blurs the racial binary of black and white interaction in South African studies as well as unsettles the East-West paradigm of migration dominant in South Asian diaspora studies.
While offering incisive analyses of the work of the most important South African Indian writers today—Ahmed Essop, Farida Karodia, Achmat Dangor, Imraan Coovadia, and Praba Moodley among others—the author also places South African Indian fiction within broader literary traditions. Rastogi’s project of recovery shines a light on the rich but neglected literature by South African Indians. The book closes with interviews conducted with six key South African Indian writers. Here the authors not only reflect on their own writing but also comment on many of the issues raised in the book itself, particularly the role of Indians in South Africa today, and the status of South African Indian writing.
Afrindian Fictions is a valuable introduction to South African Indian literature as well as a major interrogation of some of the foundational notions of post-colonial literary studies.
In Archiving Mexican Masculinities in Diaspora, Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández challenges machismo—a shorthand for racialized and heteronormative Latinx men's misogyny—with nuanced portraits of Mexican men and masculinities along and across the US-Mexico border. Guidotti-Hernández foregrounds Mexican men's emotional vulnerabilities and intimacies in their diasporic communities. Highlighting how Enrique Flores Magón, an anarchist political leader and journalist, upended gender norms through sentimentality and emotional vulnerability that he performed publicly and expressed privately, Guidotti-Hernández documents compelling continuities between his expressions and those of men enrolled in the Bracero program. Braceros—more than 4.5 million Mexican men who traveled to the United States to work in temporary agricultural jobs from 1942 to 1964—forged domesticity and intimacy, sharing affection but also physical violence. Through these case studies that reexamine the diasporic male private sphere, Guidotti-Hernández formulates a theory of transnational Mexican masculinities rooted in emotional and physical intimacy that emerged from the experiences of being racial, political, and social outsiders in the United States.
Although he never lived in Harlem, Chester Himes commented that he experienced “a sort of pure homesickness” while creating the Harlem-set detective novels from his self-imposed exile in Paris. Through writing, Himes constructed an imaginary home informed both by nostalgia for a community he never knew and a critique of the racism he left behind in the United States. Half a century later, Michelle Cliff wrote about her native Jamaica from the United States, articulating a positive Caribbean feminism that at the same time acknowledged Jamaica’s homophobia and color prejudice.
In At Home in Diaspora, Wendy Walters investigates the work of Himes, Cliff, and three other twentieth-century black international writers—Caryl Phillips, Simon Njami, and Richard Wright—who have lived in and written from countries they do not call home. Unlike other authors in exile, those of the African diaspora are doubly displaced, first by the discrimination they faced at home and again by their life abroad. Throughout, Walters suggests that in the absence of a recoverable land of origin, the idea of diaspora comes to represent a home that is not singular or exclusionary. In this way, writing in exile is much more than a literary performance; it is a profound political act.
Wendy W. Walters is assistant professor of literature at Emerson College.
Chinese have traveled the globe for centuries, and today people of Chinese ancestry live all over the world. They are the Huayi or "Chinese overseas" and can be found not only in the thriving Chinese communities of the United States, Canada, and Southeast, but also in enclaves as far-reaching as Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Peru. In this book, twenty-two Chinese living and working outside of China—ordinary people from all walks of life—tell us something about their lives and about what it means to be Chinese in non-Chinese societies.
In these pages we meet a surgeon raised in Singapore but westernized in London who still believes in the value of Chinese medicine, which "revitalizes you in ways that Western medicine cannot understand." A member of the Chinese Canadian community who bridles at the insistence that you can't be Chinese unless you speak a Chinese dialect, because "Even though I do not have the Chinese language, I think my ability to manifest many things in Chinese culture to others in English is still very important." Individuals all loyal to their countries of citizenship who continue to observe the customs of their ancestral home to varying degrees, whether performing rites in memory of ancestors, practicing fengshui, wearing jade for good luck, or giving out red packets of lucky money for New Year.
What emerges from many of these accounts is a selective adherence to Chinese values. One person cites a high regard for elders, for high achievement, and for the sense of togetherness fostered by his culture. Another, the bride in an arranged marriage to a transplanted Chinese man, speaks highly of her relationship: "It's the Chinese way to put in the effort and persevere." Several of the stories consider the difference between how Chinese women overseas actually live and the stereotypes of how they ought to live. One writes: "Coming from a traditional Chinese family, which placed value on sons and not on daughters, it was necessary for me to assert my own direction in life rather than to follow in the traditional paths of obedience." Bracketing the testimonies are an overview of the history of emigration from China and an assessment of the extent to which the Chinese overseas retain elements of Chinese culture in their lives.
In compiling these personal accounts, Wei Djao, who was born in China and now lives near Seattle, undertook a quest that took her not only to many countries but also to the inner landscapes of the heart. Being Chinese is a highly personal book that bares the aspirations, despairs, and triumphs of real people as it makes an insightful and lasting contribution to Chinese diasporic studies.
Bringing South Asian and British imperial history together with recent scholarship on transnationalism and postcolonialism, Tony Ballantyne offers a bold reevaluation of constructions of Sikh identity from the late eighteenth century through the early twenty-first. Ballantyne considers Sikh communities and experiences in Punjab, the rest of South Asia, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the world. He charts the shifting, complex, and frequently competing visions of Sikh identity that have been produced in response to the momentous social changes wrought by colonialism and diaspora. In the process, he argues that Sikh studies must expand its scope to take into account not only how Sikhism is figured in religious and political texts but also on the battlefields of Asia and Europe, in the streets of Singapore and Southall, and in the nightclubs of New Delhi and Newcastle.
Constructing an expansive historical archive, Ballantyne draws on film, sculpture, fiction, and Web sites, as well as private papers, government records, journalism, and travel narratives. He proceeds from a critique of recent historiography on the development of Sikhism to an analysis of how Sikh identity changed over the course of the long nineteenth century. Ballantyne goes on to offer a reading of the contested interpretations of the life of Dalip Singh, the last Maharaja of Punjab. He concludes with an exploration of bhangra, a traditional form of Punjabi dance that diasporic artists have transformed into a globally popular music style. Much of bhangra’s recent evolution stems from encounters of the Sikh and Afro-Caribbean communities, particularly in the United Kingdom. Ballantyne contends that such cross-cultural encounters are central in defining Sikh identity both in Punjab and the diaspora.
Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora traces the production and circulation of discourses about "the Middle East" across various cultural sites, against the historical backdrop of cross-Atlantic Mahjar flows. The book highlights the fraught and ambivalent situation of Arabs/Muslims in the Americas, where they are at once celebrated and demonized, integrated and marginalized, simultaneously invisible and spectacularly visible. The essays cover such themes as Arab hip-hop's transnational imaginary; gender/sexuality and the Muslim digital diaspora; patriotic drama and the media's War on Terror; the global negotiation of the Prophet Mohammad cartoons controversy; the Latin American paradoxes of Turcophobia/Turcophilia; the ambiguities of the bellydancing fad; French and American commodification of Rumi spirituality; the reception of Iranian memoirs as cultural domestication; and the politics of translation of Turkish novels into English. Taken together, the essays analyze the hegemonic discourses that position "the Middle East" as a consumable exoticized object, while also developing complex understandings of self-representation in literature, cinema/TV, music, performance, visual culture, and digital spaces. Charting the shifting significations of differing and overlapping forms of Orientalism, the volume addresses Middle Eastern diasporic practices from a transnational perspective that brings postcolonial cultural studies methods to bear on Arab American studies, Middle Eastern studies, and Latin American studies. Between the Middle East and the Americas disentangles the conventional separation of regions, moving beyond the binarist notion of "here" and "there" to imaginatively reveal the thorough interconnectedness of cultural geographies.
Surrealism as a movement has always resisted the efforts of critics to confine it to any static definition—surrealists themselves have always preferred to speak of it in terms of dynamics, dialectics, goals, and struggles. Accordingly, surrealist groups have always encouraged and exemplified the widest diversity—from its start the movement was emphatically opposed to racism and colonialism, and it embraced thinkers from every race and nation. Yet in the vast critical literature on surrealism, all but a few black poets have been invisible. Academic histories and anthologies typically, but very wrongly, persist in conveying surrealism as an all-white movement, like other “artistic schools” of European origin. In glaring contrast, the many publications of the international surrealist movement have regularly featured texts and reproductions of works by comrades from Martinique, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, South America, the United States, and other lands. Some of these publications are readily available to researchers; others are not, and a few fall outside academia’s narrow definition of surrealism. This collection is the first to document the extensive participation of people of African descent in the international surrealist movement over the past seventy-five years. Editors Franklin Rosemont and Robin D. G. Kelley aim to introduce readers to the black, brown, and beige surrealists of the world—to provide sketches of their overlooked lives and deeds as well as their important place in history, especially the history of surrealism.
Chinese Connections is a valuable new anthology that provides a prismatic look at the cross-fertilization between Chinese film and global popular culture. Leading film scholars consider the influence of world cinema on China-related and Chinese-related cinema over the last five decades. Highlighting the neglected connections between Chinese films and American and European cinema, the editors and contributors examine popular works such as Ang Lee’s The Hulk and Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep to show the nexus of international film production and how national, political, social and sexual identities are represented in the Chinese diaspora.
With talent flowing back and forth between East and West, Chinese Connections explores how issues of immigration, class, race and economic displacement are viewed on a global level, ultimately providing a greater understanding of the impact of Chinese filmmaking at home and abroad.
Contributors include: Grace An, Aaron Anderson, Chris Berry, Evans Chan, Li-Mei Chang, Frances Gateward, Andrew Grossman, Peter Hitchcock, Chuck Kleinhans, Jenny Kwok Wah Lau, Helen Leung, Aaron Magnan-Park, Gayle Wald, Esther C.M. Yau, Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh, Xuelin Zhou and the editors.
As an island—a geographical space with mutable and porous borders—Cuba has never been a fixed cultural, political, or geographical entity. Migration and exile have always informed the Cuban experience, and loss and displacement have figured as central preoccupations among Cuban artists and intellectuals. A major expression of this experience is the unconventional, multi-generational, itinerant, and ongoing art exhibit CAFÉ: The Journeys of Cuban Artists. In Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora, Andrea O’Reilly Herrera focuses on the CAFÉ project to explore Cuba’s long and turbulent history of movement and rupture from the perspective of its visual arts and to meditate upon the manner in which one reconstitutes and reinvents the self in the context of diaspora. Approaching the Cafeteros’ art from a cultural studies perspective, O’Reilly Herrera examines how the history of Cuba informs their work and establishes their connections to past generations of Cuban artists. In interviews with more than thirty artists, including José Bedia, María Brito, Leandro Soto, Glexis Novoa, Baruj Salinas, and Ana Albertina Delgado, O’Reilly Herrera also raises critical questions regarding the many and sometimes paradoxical ways diasporic subjects self-affiliate or situate themselves in the narratives of scattering and displacement. She demonstrates how the Cafeteros’ artmaking involves a process of re-rooting, absorption, translation, and synthesis that simultaneously conserves a series of identifiable Cuban cultural elements while re-inscribing and transforming them in new contexts. An important contribution to both diasporic and transnational studies and discussions of contemporary Cuban art, Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora ultimately testifies to the fact that a long tradition of Cuban art is indeed flourishing outside the island.
An interdisciplinary, international collection of essays, case studies, position papers, and roundtable discussions, Diaspora and Immigration is unified (like the 1996 Stanford University seminar that inspired it) by the paradox which—and on which—it reflects: We are all minorities constituting multiple diasporas in our own countries and elsewhere. Experts from a variety of fields—anthropology, sociology, history, literature, and African, Hispanic, and Jewish studies—examine specific diasporas, immigrant communities, and “border identities” ranging from Muslims in Europe to Chicanos in Texas, from Chinese immigrants in California to the "peach blossom diaspora" in Taiwan. They discuss the Jewish Diaspora and the creation of the State of Israel, as well as two centuries of Irish diasporic experiences in Australia and America. Following testimonies by German, Filipino, Italian American, and South African Israeli academics, who scrutinize their respective "personal diasporas," this special issue concludes with some afterthoughts on diaspora and the potential for global unity in the face of today's global diversity.
Contributors. Jean Bazin, Louis Shabat Bethlehem, Gordon H. Chang, Ngwarsungu Chiwengo, Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Christopher Davis, Marcel Detienne, Sabine Engel, Daphna Golan, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Ramón A. Gutiérrez, Daniel Itzkovitz, Riva Kastoryano, Vassilis Lambropoulos, V. Y. Mudimbe, Peter Murphy, Richard Roberts, Aron Rodrigue, Ramón Saldívar, Kenneth J. Surin, Neferti Xina M. Tadiar, Marianna De Marco Torgovnick, Danielle Trudeau, Candice Ward, Steven Zipperstein
Diaspora and transnationalism are concepts that have become very popular in modern academic and political discourses. And while most of the new literature treats the two separately, this book studies these fields alongside one another. Rainer Bauböck and Thomas Faist bring together scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines to discuss the concepts, theories, and methodologies used in the study of border-crossing affiliations.
In Diaspora and Trust Adrian H. Hearn proposes that a new paradigm of socio-economic development is gaining importance for Cuba and Mexico. Despite their contrasting political ideologies, both countries must build new forms of trust among the state, society, and resident Chinese diaspora communities if they are to harness the potentials of China’s rise. Combining political and economic analysis with ethnographic fieldwork, Hearn analyzes Cuba's and Mexico's historical relations with China, and highlights how Chinese diaspora communities are now deepening these ties. Theorizing trust as an alternative to existing models of exchange—which are failing to navigate the world's shifting economic currents—Hearn shows how Cuba and Mexico can reformulate the balance of power between state, market, and society. A new paradigm of domestic development and foreign engagement based on trust is becoming critical for Cuba, Mexico, and other countries seeking to benefit from China’s growing economic power and social influence.
Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity challenges conventional understandings of identity based on notions of nation and culture as bounded or discrete. Through careful examinations of various transnational, hybrid, border, and diasporic forces and practices, these essays push at the edge of cultural studies, postmodernism, and postcolonial theory and raise crucial questions about ethnographic methodology. This volume exemplifies a cross-disciplinary cultural studies and a concept of culture rooted in lived experience as well as textual readings. Anthropologists and scholars from related fields deploy a range of methodologies and styles of writing to blur and complicate conventional dualisms between authors and subjects of research, home and away, center and periphery, and first and third world. Essays discuss topics such as Rai, a North African pop music viewed as westernized in Algeria and as Arab music in France; the place of Sephardic and Palestinian writers within Israel’s Ashkenazic-dominated arts community; and the use and misuse of the concept “postcolonial” as it is applied in various regional contexts. In exploring histories of displacement and geographies of identity, these essays call for the reconceptualization of theoretical binarisms such as modern and postmodern, colonial and postcolonial. It will be of interest to a broad spectrum of scholars and students concerned with postmodern and postcolonial theory, ethnography, anthropology, and cultural studies.
Contributors. Norma Alarcón, Edward M. Bruner, Nahum D. Chandler, Ruth Frankenberg, Joan Gross, Dorinne Kondo, Kristin Koptiuch, Smadar Lavie, Lata Mani, David McMurray, Kirin Narayan, Greg Sarris, Ted Swedenburg
Echoes of the Great Catastrophe: Re-sounding Anatolian Greekness in Diaspora explores the legacy of the Great Catastrophe—the death and expulsion from Turkey of 1.5 million Greek Christians following the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922—through the music and dance practices of Greek refugees and their descendants over the last one hundred years. The book draws extensively on original ethnographic research conducted in Greece (on the island of Lesvos in particular) and in the Greater Boston area, as well as on the author’s lifetime immersion in the North American Greek diaspora. Through analysis of handwritten music manuscripts, homemade audio recordings, and contemporary live performances, the book traces the routes of repertoire and style over generations and back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, investigating the ways that the particular musical traditions of the Anatolian Greek community have contributed to their understanding of their place in the global Greek diaspora and the wider post-Ottoman world. Alternating between fine-grained musicological analysis and engaging narrative prose, it fills a lacuna in scholarship on the transnational Greek experience.
Volumes 1 and 2 of Stuart Hall's Essential Essays are available as a set
From his arrival in Britain in the 1950s and involvement in the New Left, to founding the field of cultural studies and examining race and identity in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stuart Hall has been central to shaping many of the cultural and political debates of our time. Essential Essays—a landmark two volume set—brings together Stuart Hall's most influential and foundational works. Spanning the whole of his career, these volumes reflect the breadth and depth of his intellectual and political projects while demonstrating their continued vitality and importance.
Volume 1: Foundations of Cultural Studies focuses on the first half of Hall's career, when he wrestled with questions of culture, class, representation, and politics. This volume's stand-out essays include his field-defining “Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies;” the prescient “The Great Moving Right Show,” which first identified the emergent mode of authoritarian populism in British politics; and “Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse,” one of his most influential pieces of media criticism. As a whole, Volume 1 provides a panoramic view of Hall's fundamental contributions to cultural studies.
Volume 2: Identity and Diaspora draws from Hall's later essays, in which he investigated questions of colonialism, empire, and race. It opens with “Gramsci's Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,” which frames the volume and finds Hall rethinking received notions of racial essentialism. In addition to essays on multiculturalism and globalization, black popular culture, and Western modernity's racial underpinnings, Volume 2 contains three interviews with Hall, in which he reflects on his life to theorize his identity as a colonial and diasporic subject.
From his arrival in Britain in the 1950s and involvement in the New Left, to founding the field of cultural studies and examining race and identity in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stuart Hall has been central to shaping many of the cultural and political debates of our time. Essential Essays—a landmark two-volume set—brings together Stuart Hall's most influential and foundational works. Spanning the whole of his career, these volumes reflect the breadth and depth of his intellectual and political projects while demonstrating their continued vitality and importance.
Volume 2: Identity and Diaspora draws from Hall's later essays, in which he investigated questions of colonialism, empire, and race. It opens with “Gramsci's Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,” which frames the volume and finds Hall rethinking received notions of racial essentialism. In addition to essays on multiculturalism and globalization, black popular culture, and Western modernity's racial underpinnings, Volume 2 contains three interviews with Hall, in which he reflects on his life to theorize his identity as a colonial and diasporic subject.
Gatherings in Diaspora brings together the latest chapters in the long-running chronicle of religion and immigration in the American experience. Today, as in the past, people migrating to the United States bring their religions with them, and their religious identities often mean more to them away from home, in their diaspora, than they did before.
This book explores and analyzes the diverse religious communities of post-1965 diasporas: Christians, Hews, Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians, and practitioners of Vodou, from countries such as China, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Jamaica, Korea, and Mexico. The contributors explore how, to a greater or lesser extent, immigrants and their offspring adapt their religious institutions to American conditions, often interacting with religious communities already established. The religious institutions they build, adapt, remodel, and adopt become worlds unto themselves, congregations, where new relations are forged within the community -- between men and women, parents and children, recent arrival and those longer settled.
Many Filipino Americans feel obligated to give charitably to their families, their communities, or social development projects and organizations back home. Their contributions provide relief to poor or vulnerable Filipinos, and address the forces that maintain poverty, vulnerability, and exploitative relationships in the Philippines. This philanthropy is a result of both economic globalization and the migration of Filipino professionals to the United States. But it is also central to the moral economies of Filipino migration, immigration, and diasporic return. Giving-related practices and concerns—and the bonds maintained through giving—infuse what it means to be Filipino in America.
Giving Back shows how integral this system is for understanding Filipino diaspora formation. Joyce Mariano “follows the money” to investigate the cultural, social, economic, and political conditions of diaspora giving. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to reveal how power operates through this charity and the ways the global economic and cultural dimensions of this practice reinforce racial subordination and neocolonialism. Giving Back explores how this charity can stabilize overlapping systems of inequality as well as the contradictions of corporate social responsibility programs in diaspora.
A vivid ethnography of the global and transnational dimensions of gay identity as lived by Filipino immigrants in New York City, Global Divas challenges beliefs about the progressive development of a gay world and the eventual assimilation of all queer folks into gay modernity. Insisting that gay identity is not teleological but fraught with fissures, Martin Manalansan IV describes how Filipino gay immigrants, like many queers of color, are creating alternative paths to queer modernity and citizenship. He makes a compelling argument for the significance of diaspora and immigration as sites for investigating the complexities of gender, race, and sexuality.
Manalansan locates diasporic, transnational, and global dimensions of gay and other queer identities within a framework of quotidian struggles ranging from everyday domesticity to public engagements with racialized and gendered images to life-threatening situations involving AIDS. He reveals the gritty, mundane, and often contradictory deeds and utterances of Filipino gay men as key elements of queer globalization and transnationalism. Through careful and sensitive analysis of these men’s lives and rituals, he demonstrates that transnational gay identity is not merely a consumable product or lifestyle, but rather a pivotal element in the multiple, shifting relationships that queer immigrants of color mobilize as they confront the tribulations of a changing world.
In Graphic Migrations, Kavita Daiya provides a literary and cultural archive of refugee stories and experiences to respond to the question “What is created?” after decolonization and the 1947 Partition of India. She explores how stories of Partition migrations shape and influence the political and cultural imagination of secularism and contribute to gendered citizenship for South Asians in India and its diasporas.
Daiya analyzes modern literature, Bollywood films, Margaret Bourke-White’s photography, advertising, and print culture to show how they memorialize or erase refugee experiences. She also uses oral testimonies of Partition refugees from Hong Kong, South Asia, and North America to draw out the tensions of the nation-state, ethnic discrimination, and religious difference. Employing both Critical Refugee Studies and Feminist Postcolonial Studies frameworks, Daiya traces the cultural, affective, and political legacies of Partition migrations.
The precarity generated by modern migration and expressed through public culture prompts a rethinking of how dominant media represents gendered migrants and refugees. Graphic Migrations demands that we redraw the boundaries of how we tell the story of modern world history and the intricately interwoven, intimate production of statelessness and citizenship across the world’s communities.
An important modern exponent of Asian dance, Pandit Chitresh Das brought kathak to the United States in 1970. The North Indian classical dance has since become an important art form within the greater Indian diaspora. Yet its adoption outside of India raises questions about what happens to artistic practices when we separate them from their broader cultural contexts.
A Guru's Journey provides an ethnographic study of the dance form in the San Francisco Bay Area community formed by Das. Sarah Morelli, a kathak dancer and one of Das's former students, investigates issues in teaching, learning, and performance that developed around Das during his time in the United States. In modifying kathak's form and teaching for Western students, Das negotiates questions of Indianness and non-Indianness, gender, identity, and race. Morelli lays out these issues for readers with the goal of deepening their knowledge of kathak aesthetics, technique, and theory. She also shares the intricacies of footwork, facial expression in storytelling, and other aspects of kathak while tying them to the cultural issues that inform the dance.
The first scholarly work to come from inside the Hmong community, Hmong America documents Chia Youyee Vang's own migration from Laos to Minnesota at age nine and the transformations she has witnessed in Hmong communities throughout the migration and settlement processes.
Vang depicts Hmong experiences in Asia and examines aspects of community building in America to reveal how new Hmong identities have been formed and how they have challenged popular assumptions about race and ethnicity in multicultural America. Combining participant observation and archival research with personal experience, Vang constructs a nuanced and complex portrait of the more than 130,000 Hmong people who came to the United States as political refugees beginning in the mid-1970s. Her critique of previous representations of the Hmong community provides the sociological underpinnings for a bold reassessment of Hmong history in the greater context of globalization. This new understanding redefines concepts of Hmong homogeneity and characterizes ordinary Hmong migrants not as passive victims but as dynamic actors who have exercised much power over their political and social destinies.
In Illegible Will Hershini Bhana Young engages with the archive of South African and black diasporic performance to examine the absence of black women's will from that archive. Young argues for that will's illegibility, given the paucity of materials outlining the agency of black historical subjects. Drawing on court documents, novels, photographs, historical records, websites, and descriptions of music and dance, Young shows how black will can be conjured through critical imaginings done in concert with historical research. She critically imagines the will of familiar subjects such as Sarah Baartman and that of obscure figures such as the eighteenth-century slave Tryntjie of Madagascar, who was executed in 1713 for attempting to poison her mistress. She also investigates the presence of will in contemporary expressive culture, such as the Miss Landmine Angola beauty pageant, placing it in the long genealogy of the freak show. In these capacious case studies Young situates South African performance within African diasporic circuits of meaning throughout Africa, North America, and South Asia, demonstrating how performative engagement with archival absence can locate that which was never recorded.
In The Immigrant Kitchen: Food, Ethnicity, and Diaspora, Vivian Nun Halloran examines food memoirs by immigrants and their descendants and reveals how their treatment of food deeply embeds concerns about immigrant identity in the United States. Halloran argues that by offering a glimpse into the authors’ domestic lives through discussions of homemade food, these memoirs demystify the processes of immigration, assimilation, acculturation, and expatriation—ultimately examining what it means to live as naturalized citizens of the United States. Having grown up hearing about their parents’ often fraught experiences of immigration, these authors examine the emotional toll these stories took and how such stories continue to affect their view of themselves as Americans. Halloran covers a wide swathe of immigrant food memoirs, moving seamlessly between works by authors such as Austin Clarke, Madhur Jaffrey, Kim Sunée, Diana Abu-Jaber, Eduardo Machado, Colette Rossant, Maya Angelou, and Jonathan Safran Foer.
The Immigrant Kitchen describes how these memoirs function as a complex and engaging mass media genre that caters to multiple reading constituencies. Specifically, they entertain readers with personal anecdotes and recollections, teach new culinary skills through recipes, share insight into different cultural mores through ethnographic and reportorial discussions of life in other countries, and attest to the impact that an individual’s legal immigration into the United States continues to have down through the generations of his or her American-born families.
Radhika Mohanram shows not just how British imperial culture shaped the colonies, but how the imperial rule of colonies shifted—and gave new meanings to—what it meant to be British.
Imperial White looks at literary, social, and cultural texts on the racialization of the British body and investigates British whiteness in the colonies to address such questions as: How was the whiteness in Britishness constructed by the presence of Empire? How was whiteness incorporated into the idea of masculinity? Does heterosexuality have a color? And does domestic race differ from colonial race? In addition to these inquiries on the issues of race, class, and sexuality, Mohanram effectively applies the methods of whiteness studies to British imperial material culture to critically racialize the relationship between the metropole and the peripheral colonies.
Considering whether whiteness, like theory, can travel, Mohanram also provides a new perspective on white diaspora, a phenomenon of the nineteenth century that has been largely absent in diaspora studies, ultimately rereading—and rethinking—British imperial whiteness.
Radhika Mohanram teaches postcolonial cultural studies in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University, Wales. She is the author of Black Body: Women, Colonialism, Space (Minnesota, 1999) and edits the journal Social Semiotics.
Sana Aiyar chronicles the strategies by which Indians sought a political voice in Kenya, from the beginning of colonial rule to independence. She examines how the strands of Indians’ diasporic identity influenced Kenya’s leadership—from partnering with Europeans to colonize East Africa, to collaborating with Africans to battle racial inequality.
With the rise of digital tools used for media entrepreneurship, media outlets staffed by only one or two individuals and targeted to niche and super-niche audiences are developing across a wide range of platforms. Minority communities such as immigrants and refugees have long been pioneers in this space, operating ethnic media outlets with limited staff and funding to produce content that is relevant and accessible to their specific community. Micro Media Industries explores the specific case of Hmong American media, showing how an extremely small population can maintain a robust and thriving media ecology in spite of resource limitations and an inability to scale up. Based on six years of fieldwork in Hmong American communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California, it analyzes the unique opportunities and challenges facing Hmong newspapers, radio, television, podcasts, YouTube, social media, and other emerging platforms. It argues that micro media industries, rather than being dismissed or trivialized, ought to be held up as models of media innovation that can counter the increasing power of mainstream media.
Engage and explore readings from a multi-religious, globalized, multicultural region
The papers in this collection were presented at the third meeting of the Society of Asian Biblical Studies held at the Sabah Theological Seminary, Malaysia in 2012. The essays represent the work of women/feminist scholars in biblical hermeneutics in this region who have raised questions against traditional, male-centered interpretations, offering distinct perspectives based on their experiences of pain, subjugation, and a forced sacrificial philosophy of life.
Articles focused on finding justice for women through dialogue with biblical texts
Reflections on migration, diaspora, displacement, discrimination, and conditions generated by poverty and systemic oppression
How is the internet transforming the relationships between citizens and states? What happens to politics when international migration is coupled with digital media, making it easy for people to be politically active in a nation from outside its borders? In Nation as Network, Victoria Bernal creatively combines media studies, ethnography, and African studies to explore this new political paradigm through a striking analysis of how Eritreans in diaspora have used the internet to shape the course of Eritrean history.
Bernal argues that Benedict Anderson’s famous concept of nations as “imagined communities” must now be rethought because diasporas and information technologies have transformed the ways nations are sustained and challenged. She traces the development of Eritrean diaspora websites over two turbulent decades that saw the Eritrean state grow ever more tyrannical. Through Eritreans’ own words in posts and debates, she reveals how new subjectivities are formed and political action is galvanized online. She suggests that “infopolitics”—struggles over the management of information—make politics in the 21st century distinct, and she analyzes the innovative ways Eritreans deploy the internet to support and subvert state power. Nation as Network is a unique and compelling work that advances our understanding of the political significance of digital media.
In the decade following the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, some 100,000 diasporic Palestinians returned to the West Bank and Gaza. Among them were children and young adults who were born in exile and whose sense of Palestinian identity was shaped not by lived experience but rather through the transmission and re-creation of memories, images, and history. As a result, “returning” to the homeland that had never actually been their home presented challenges and disappointments for these young Palestinians, who found their lifeways and values sometimes at odds with those of their new neighbors in the West Bank and Gaza. This original ethnography records the experiences of Palestinians born in exile who have emigrated to the Palestinian homeland. Juliane Hammer interviews young adults between the ages of 16 and 35 to learn how their Palestinian identity has been affected by living in various Arab countries or the United States and then moving to the West Bank and Gaza. Their responses underscore how much the experience of living outside of Palestine has become integral to the Palestinian national character, even as Palestinians maintain an overwhelming sense of belonging to one another as a people.
Reasserts the centrality of Jewish culture to contemporary discussions of diaspora.
Diaspora: the scattering of a people, often described as a condition of helplessness and a pathology to be overcome. It can also be, as Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin assert in this provocative work, a unique source of power and strength. Focusing on Jewish experience, Powers of Diaspora forcefully argues that diasporic communities exercise a distinct form of cultural power in order to maintain themselves.
With reference to rabbinic culture and contemporary Jewish ethnography, the authors evoke the cultural strategies of Jewish diaspora-of regeneration through statelessness-that should prove increasingly relevant to the dilemmas and possibilities of the "new diasporas" born in the midst and in the aftermath of the modern world-system. Their work exposes the various methods by which peoples in diaspora "legislate" distinctive ways of life and establish formal communal structures, thus creating fluid yet effective boundaries between themselves and the others who surround them, and critiques the internal power dynamics that can sometimes result.
Powers of Diaspora strongly reasserts the place of Jewish culture in contemporary discussions of diaspora, where the cultural politics of postcolonialism have remarginalized Jewish experience; at the same time, it brings insights from studies of other diasporas to bear on the study of Jews. In challenging the equation of diaspora with powerlessness, the book questions the modern nation-state ideal and suggests that diasporic cultural formations offer important clues toward an alternative means of relating culture to polity.
Jonathan Boyarin is an attorney and an independent scholar in the fields of anthropology and Jewish cultural studies. His books include Storm from Paradise: The Politics of Jewish Memory (1992), Palestine and Jewish History: Criticism at the Borders of Ethnography (1996), and Thinking in Jewish (1996). Daniel Boyarin is Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Carnal Israel (1993), A Radical Jew (1994), and Unheroic Conduct (1997). These authors also coedited Jews and Other Differences (1997).
A pathbreaking work of scholarship that will reshape our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, The Practice of Diaspora revisits black transnational culture in the 1920s and 1930s, paying particular attention to links between intellectuals in New York and their Francophone counterparts in Paris. Brent Edwards suggests that diaspora is less a historical condition than a set of practices: the claims, correspondences, and collaborations through which black intellectuals pursue a variety of international alliances.
Edwards elucidates the workings of diaspora by tracking the wealth of black transnational print culture between the world wars, exploring the connections and exchanges among New York–based publications (such as Opportunity, The Negro World, and The Crisis) and newspapers in Paris (such as Les Continents, La Voix des Nègres, and L'Etudiant noir). In reading a remarkably diverse archive--the works of writers and editors from Langston Hughes, René Maran, and Claude McKay to Paulette Nardal, Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté--The Practice of Diaspora takes account of the highly divergent ways of imagining race beyond the barriers of nation and language. In doing so, it reveals the importance of translation, arguing that the politics of diaspora are legible above all in efforts at negotiating difference among populations of African descent throughout the world.
Little attention has been paid to the Latino movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the literature of social movements. This volume is the first significant look at the organizations of the Puerto Rican movement, which emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s as a response to U.S. colonialism on the island and to the poverty and discrimination faced by most Puerto Ricans on the mainland.
To combat these two problems, and drawing n a tradition of patriotism and social responsibility, a number of organizations grew up, including the Young Lords Party (YLP), which later evolved into the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization; the Pro Independence Movement (MPI), which evolved into the U.S> branch of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party; El Comite; the Puerto Rican Student Union (PRSU); the Movement for National Liberation (MLN); and the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). THe Puerto Rican Movement looks at all these groups as specific organizations of real people in such places as Boston, Chicago, Hartford, New York, and Philadelphia.
The contributors, almost all of whom were involved with the organizations they describe, provide detailed descriptions and historical analyses of the Puerto Rican Left. Interviews with such key figures as Elizam Escobar, Piri Thomas, and Luis Fuentes, as well as accounts by people active in the gay/lesbian, African American, and white Left movements add a vivid picture of why and how people became radicalized and how their ideals intersected with their group's own dynamics.
These critical assessments highlight each organization's accomplishments and failures and illuminate how different sets of people, in different circumstances, respond to social problems -- in this case, the "national question" and the issues of social justice and movement politics.
Exploring cultural expressions of Puerto Rican queer migration from the Caribbean to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes analyzes how artists have portrayed their lives and the discrimination they have faced in both Puerto Rico and the United States.
Highlighting cultural and political resistance within Puerto Rico’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender subcultures, La Fountain-Stokes pays close attention to differences of gender, historical moment, and generation, arguing that Puerto Rican queer identity changes over time and is experienced in very different ways. He traces an arc from 1960s Puerto Rico and the writings of Luis Rafael Sánchez to New York City in the 1970s and 1980s (Manuel Ramos Otero), Philadelphia and New Jersey in the 1980s and 1990s (Luz María Umpierre and Frances Negrón-Muntaner), and Chicago (Rose Troche) and San Francisco (Erika López) in the 1990s, culminating with a discussion of Arthur Avilés and Elizabeth Marrero’s recent dance-theater work in the Bronx.
Proposing a radical new conceptualization of Puerto Rican migration, this work reveals how sexuality has shaped and defined the Puerto Rican experience in the United States.
Employing rootedness as a way of understanding identity has increasingly been subjected to acerbic political and theoretical critiques. Politically, roots narratives have been criticized for attempting to police identity through a politics of purity—excluding anyone who doesn’t share the same narrative. Theoretically, a critique of essentialism has led to a suspicion against essence and origins regardless of their political implications.
The central argument of Queer Roots for the Diaspora is that, in spite of these debates, ultimately the desire for roots contains the “roots” of its own deconstruction. The book considers alternative root narratives that acknowledge the impossibility of returning to origins with any certainty; welcome sexual diversity; acknowledge their own fictionality; reveal that even a single collective identity can be rooted in multiple ways; and create family trees haunted by the queer others patrilineal genealogy seems to marginalize.
The roots narratives explored in this book simultaneously assert and question rooted identities within a number of diasporas—African, Jewish, and Armenian. By looking at these together, one can discern between the local specificities of any single diaspora and the commonalities inherent in diaspora as a global phenomenon. This comparatist, interdisciplinary study will interest scholars in a diversity of fields, including diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, LGBTQ studies, French and Francophone studies, American studies, comparative literature, and literary theory.
This readable, insightful, and thought-provoking collection of essays, presents an original and innovative ideology that stirringly affirms the unity of the Jewish people. Rawidowicz's rich themes include the relationship between the State of Israel and the Diaspora; Jewish "difference" and its repercussions; Jewish learning; and Jewish continuity in the post-Holocaust world. In his foreword to the paper edition, Michael A. Meyer writes, "Forty years after his death, [Rawidowicz's] sober analyses, his realism with regard to both the State of Israel and the Diaspora, and his striving to find unities among dichotomies that divide the Jewish people -- all of these make his images and ideas still worthy of our reflection."
Tracking Europe is a bold interdisciplinary critique of claims regarding the free movement of goods, people, services, and capital throughout Europe. Ginette Verstraete interrogates European discourses on unlimited movement for everyone and a utopian unity-in-diversity in light of contemporary social practices, cultural theories, historical texts, media representations, and critical art projects. Arguing against the persistent myth of borderless travel, Verstraete shows the discourses on Europe to be caught in an irresolvable contradiction on a conceptual level and in deeply unsettling asymmetries on a performative level. She asks why the age-old notion of Europe as a borderless space of mobility goes hand-in-hand with the at times violent containment and displacement of people.
In demystifying the old and new Europe across a multiplicity of texts, images, media, and cultural practices in various times and locations, Verstraete lays bare a territorial persistence in the European imaginary, one which has been differently tied up with the politics of inclusion and exclusion. Tracking Europe moves from policy papers, cultural tourism, and migration to philosophies of cosmopolitanism, nineteenth-century travel guides, electronic surveillance at the border, virtual pilgrimages to Spain, and artistic interventions in the Balkan region. It is a sustained attempt to situate current developments in Europe within a complex matrix of tourism, migration, and border control, as well as history, poststructuralist theory, and critical media and art projects.
Vietnamese diasporic relations affect—and are directly affected by—events in Viet Nam. In Transnationalizing Viet Nam, Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde explores these connections, providing a nuanced understanding of this globalized community. Valverde draws on 250 interviews and almost two decades of research to show the complex relationship between Vietnamese in the diaspora and those back at the homeland.
In the series Asian American History and Culture, edited by Sucheng Chan, David Palumbo-Liu, Michael Omi, K. Scott Wong, and Linda Trinh Võ
What happens to ethnic communities when they have two homelands to love—one real and immediate, the other distant but treasured in the heart and imagination?
Ukrainian Otherlands is an innovative exploration of modern ethnic identity, focused on diaspora/homeland understandings of each other in Ukraine and in Ukrainian ethnic communities around the globe. Exploring a rich array of folk songs, poetry and stories, trans-Atlantic correspondence, family histories, and rituals of homecoming and hosting that developed in the Ukrainian diaspora and Ukraine during the twentieth century, Natalia Khanenko-Friesen asserts that many important aspects of modern ethnic identity form, develop, and reveal themselves not only through the diaspora's continued yearning for the homeland, but also in a homeland's deeply felt connection to its diaspora. Yet, she finds each group imagines the "otherland" and ethnic identity differently, leading to misunderstandings between Ukrainians and their ethnic-Ukrainian "brothers and sisters" abroad.
An innovative exploration of the persistence of vernacular culture in the modern world, Ukrainian Otherlands, amply informed by theory and fieldwork, will appeal to those interested in folklore, ethnic and diaspora studies, modernity, migration, folk psychology, history, and cultural anthropology.
Voices of the Diaspora offers, for the first time, representative works by major Jewish women writers from Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Russia. These stories and essays, written over the last twenty-five years, speak to the challenges confronting the post-Shoah generations of Jews living in Europe: a need to commemorate the lives extinguished in the camps; a desire to repair a ruptured culture; and a determination to reclaim a Jewish identity resistant to assimilation and the threats of anti-Semitism.
At the same time, these writers address themes specific to their national contexts. Berlin-born Barbara Honigmann questions the possibility of Jewish life in the country responsible for the "final solution." Maghreb-born Marlène Amar and Reina Roffé address the experiences of displacement and emancipation as Sephardic women in Western, post-colonial societies. Clara Sereni describes how Jews in post-Fascist Italy reemerged with a self-assertiveness that troubled a society that had found comfort in amnesia. Ludmila Ulitskaya portrays a Jewish girlhood on the eve of Stalin's death empowered by the religious traditions of Jewish resistance.
From the unique perspective of women's literary voices, this volume reveals to English-speaking readers the extraordinary vivacity and diversity of European Jewry, and introduces them to a new generation of women writers.
The Yaqui warrior is a persistent trope of the Mexican nation. But using fresh eyes to examine Yoeme indigeneity constructs, appropriations, and efforts at reclamation in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Mexican and Chicana/o literature provides important and vivid new opportunities for understanding. In Yaqui Indigeneity, Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining representations of the transborder Yaqui nation as interpreted through the Mexican and Chicana/o imaginary.
Tumbaga examines colonial documents and nineteenth-century political literature that produce a Yaqui warrior mystique and reexamines the Mexican Revolution through indigenous culture. He delves into literary depictions of Yaqui battalions by writers like Martín Luis Guzmán and Carlos Fuentes and concludes that they conceal Yaqui politics and stigmatize Yaqui warriorhood, as well as misrepresent frequently performed deer dances as isolated exotic events.
Yaqui Indigeneity draws attention to a community of Chicana/o writers of Yaqui descent: Chicano-Yaqui authors such as Luis Valdez, Alma Luz Villanueva, Miguel Méndez, Alfredo Véa Jr., and Michael Nava, who possess a diaspora-based indigenous identity. Their writings rebut prior colonial and Mexican depictions of Yaquis—in particular, Véa’s La Maravilla exemplifies the new literary tradition that looks to indigenous oral tradition, religion, and history to address questions of cultural memory and immigration.
Using indigenous forms of knowledge, Tumbaga shows the important and growing body of literary work on Yaqui culture and history that demonstrates the historical and contemporary importance of the Yaqui nation in Mexican and Chicana/o history, politics, and culture.