Migration and Diasporas in Literatures and Cultures in English
This course addresses the diasporic nature of the contemporary world, with a view to the understanding the construction of new personal, communal, and national and transnational identities in the meeting of cultures: their benefits and drawbacks, its opportunities, and limitations. For this, several post/colonial impact areas will be studied through representative narratives in English chosen to reflect on how population flows have changed our societies, identities, and sense of belonging, not only in the former colony but also in the western metropolis.
What Do We Study
The scope of study is geographically wide. 25% of the world was colonized by Great Britain in 1850, the moment of its maximum geopolitical importance and power, which slowly diminished until today, along with the abandonment of its colonies in America, Africa, and Asia. Imperialism pushed settlers from Europe to other continents, where they kept their culture but also mixed with the local population or the (semi) enslaved population imported from Africa, India, and China. However, after the Second World War these migratory movements would be reversed, and those who had previously been colonized became new British citizens (often of second rank), many of whom would find their way to the metropolis. Through theory, film, and literature, we will analyze and discuss how and why these migratory movements arose and how they have impacted on personal, community and national identity. We will also spend time on the process of globalization and how it is affecting the perception of identity.
Which is the Line of Thought
The course draws on a variety of Postcolonial, Cultural and Diaspora Studies scholarly contributions, which have theorized migration and diaspora from different standpoints. The following bibliography will constitute our points of departure (especially Stierstofer and Wilson 2018):
Theoretical and Practical Approaches
Braziel, Jana Evans & Anita Mannur, ed. Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader. Blackwell, 2003.
Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. Routledge, 2008.
Safran, William. “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return.” Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 1991, p. 83-99.
Klaus Stierstorfer and Janet Wilson, ed. The Routledge Diaspora Studies Reader. 2018.