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Aftermaths: Exile, Migration, and Diaspora Reconsidered

Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 266
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Aftermathsis a collection of essays offering compelling new ideas on exile, migration, and diaspora that have emerged in the global age. The ten contributors-well-established scholars and promising new voices-work in different disciplines and draw from diverse backgrounds as they present rich case studies from around the world. In seeking fresh perspectives on the movement of people and ideas, the essays included here look to the power of the aesthetic experience, especially in literature and film, to unsettle existing theoretical paradigms and enable the rethinking of conventionalized approaches.

    Marcus Bullock and Peter Y. Paik, in bringing this collection together, show we have reached a moment in history when it is imperative to question prevailing intellectual models. The interconnectedness of the world's economies, the contributors argue, can exacerbate existing antagonisms or create new ones. With essays by Ihab Hassan, Paul Brodwin, and Helen Fehervary, among others,Aftermathsengages not only with important academic topics but also with the leading political issues of the day.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4598-1
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Peter Y. Paik

    The world produced by globalization, whereby the world’s economies are increasingly brought together into a single network, has been largely understood in terms of a dynamic that emphasizes movement and convergence. The political and economic order that has taken shape since the end of the cold war is frequently characterized as an interdependent system of permeable boundaries, through which migrants may flow and finance capital streams more freely still. Regions formerly remote have become connected through the spread of industrialization and the opening of markets, a process that relies heavily upon advances in communications technology. Thus, on the one hand,...

  5. I Exile as Origin

    • Tales of Migration from Central America and Central Europe
      (pp. 15-32)
      Helen Fehervary

      Though we academics always hope and believe that what we study and write about under the large heading of “history” will have its place, and perhaps even its effect, in the world—that is, in the world of our most human everyday relationships and actions—the mediation from one realm to the other is elusive and resistant. What we discover when we reflect on our own personal decisions and actions in the world reveals to us that the autonomy on which our profession depends for its intellectual integrity also requires us to think and speak with a degree of distance...

    • What They Left Behind — The Irish Landscape after Emigration
      (pp. 33-52)
      Andrew Kincaid

      It is impossible to separate the history and culture of Ireland from the experience of emigration. While Ireland is not unique in having seen many of its own leave on account of the arduous circumstances of poverty and eviction, the country stands apart in the sheer number of its losses. Ireland is the only country in Europe to chart a decline in population every single year from 1840 to 1960, dropping from eight million to three million over that period.¹ What most scholars of the Irish diaspora have focused on are the routes and channels through which the outward flow...

  6. II The Spirituality of Exile

    • The Dialectic of Marginality in the Haitian Community of Guadeloupe, French West Indies
      (pp. 55-75)
      Paul Brodwin

      For the past twenty years in American cultural anthropology, diasporas have been defined by the cultural connections and flows that knit together a single geographically dispersed group. The Jewish historical experience, regarded by many as an ideal type, involved a sprawling social world of interlinked practices, families, travel circuits, and dreams of return to the homeland. Contemporary diaspora groups, especially refugees or immigrants living in expatriate minority enclaves, constitute themselves through nonlocal configurations of people, media, capital, information, and political ideologies.¹ Members of a given diaspora are said to possess cultural bifocality.² They continually mediate between local and global perspectives,...

    • On the Metaphysics of Exile
      (pp. 76-100)
      Stefan Rossbach

      According to the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, exile marks a crucial moment in human history. Genesis 3 tells us how Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden with consequences affecting the whole of human existence. And yet the account given in Genesis appears to fall short of providing a metaphysics of exile because it does not consider exile as a constitutive feature of the human condition. Exile is presented as a punishment that was inflicted on Adam and Eve as a consequence of their actions. The text does not state that these actions...

  7. III Diasporas and the Reinvention of the Local

    • Pays rêvé, pays réel — Créolité and Its Diasporas
      (pp. 103-132)
      Natalie Melas

      The idea of diaspora has undergone a stark transvaluation in recent cultural criticism. From the Greek and meaning “to scatter throughout, or far and wide,” the term “diaspora” originally referred to the dispersal of the Jewish people in the Babylonian exile and after. It signified the continuity of a culture and a people despite displacement from the land of origin and indeed despite the lack of coincidence between the culture and the territory upon which it is lived. This notion of diaspora relies for its unity on an unchanging, stable, ancestral cultural identity, fundamentally resistant to the vicissitudes of secular...

    • Criticism, Exile, Ireland
      (pp. 133-149)
      Conor McCarthy

      I wish here to look at the work of two of the most prominent Irish critics of the last twenty-five years, Seamus Deane and Edna Longley. It seems to me to be legitimate to look at them under the rubric of exile, as they have moved, over the course of their careers from places of origin into new geographies and jurisdictions. What is interesting is the degree to which they have made themselves new homes in these places.

      Seamus Deane is from the city of Derry, in Northern Ireland. Edna Longley is from Cork City, in the Republic. Deane is...

    • Edwidge Danticat’s Latinidad — The Farming of Bones and the Cultivation (of Fields) of Knowledge
      (pp. 150-172)
      Ricardo Ortiz

      Ellen McCracken’s recent studyNew Latina Narrative: The Feminine Space of Postmodern Ethnicitybegins with a familiar story; in it, she embeds the multiple histories of emerging U.S. Latino political, cultural, and intellectual movements which in tandem comprise what we now take to be both theobject(s)and the subject of the academic discipline calling itself U.S. Latino/a Studies.² To her credit, McCracken manages a rather deft double-gesture; she begins in her first paragraph by narrating the political history within which she inserts, beginning with her second paragraph, the history of politicized, mostly fictional narrative that will mostly take up...

  8. IV Migrant Fantasies

    • The Great Migration Elsewhere
      (pp. 175-191)
      Zoran Samardzija

      Nowhere is the codependent relationship between revolution and tradition, as Boym articulates, more apparent than in the postcommunist Balkans. An upsurge in nationalism had the revolutionary effect of dismantling communist regimes while at the same time inciting the ethnic wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia. Given such a codependency between revolution and tradition, it should not come as a surprise that the late Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic began as a communist bureaucract before transforming himself into a murderous nationalist reformer. Yet, even in the case of postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina, as much as Serbs, Croats, and Muslims entrench themselves...

    • Bending It Like Beckham — Sex, Soccer, and Traveling Indians
      (pp. 192-209)
      K. E. Supriya

      The DVD jacket ofBend It Like Beckhamquotes a review containing a quintessentially Americanized perspective on its theme: “to follow your dreams, you have to bend the rules.” Indian immigration to the West, particularly to Great Britain, the U.S., and Canada has introduced a new twist in this bent pursuit of dreams. To some of his devotees, soccer star David Beckham seems to offer an alternate approach to political equality and its perennially broken promises about a communal compact and covenant. Beckham embodies an approach to equality laid out in the agon of competitive sports, measured by the equal...

    • Coming to the Antipodes — Migrancy, Travel, Homecoming
      (pp. 210-222)
      Ihab Hassan

      The topic of this volume has assumed the shifting boundaries of the world. Does it also assume, I wonder, any deep change in our idea of the human, our idea particularly of the so-called Other? (As if the Other does not dwell within us all, the stranger in our skin, the shadow walking beside us! As if the Other is not every external image in our cultures of frenzied simulation!) And what is it that right-thinking intellectuals do assume when they address miseries on so large and numbing a scale? And is their mission only to speak truth to power...

  9. Afterword — The Dialectics of Identity
    (pp. 223-242)
    Marcus Bullock

    As Helen Fehervary’s final quotation from Anna Seghers reminds us, nowhere do we more vividly experience the inescapable immediacy of the powers that determine our lives than in the need to escape from one place and strike out for another. Whether we are leaving in the aftermath of a natural disaster like a flood, a crisis of violence like a war, an insurgency, a repressive tyranny, or are driven by intolerable social conditions of poverty and a hopeless future, we have to leave a world we know and enter another where we shall be strangers. We become foreigners, alien to...

    (pp. 243-246)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 247-254)