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Race and Displacement

Nation, Migration, and Identity in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Maha Marouan and Merinda Simmons

Publication Year: 2013

Race and Displacement captures a timely set of discussions about the roles of race in displacement, forced migrations, nation and nationhood, and the way continuous movements of people challenge fixed racial definitions.
 
The multifaceted approach of the essays in Race and Displacement allows for nuanced discussions of race and displacement in expansive ways, exploring those issues in transnational and global terms. The contributors not only raise questions about race and displacement as signifying tropes and lived experiences; they also offer compelling approaches to conversations about race, displacement, and migration both inside and outside the academy. Taken together, these essays become a case study in dialogues across disciplines, providing insight from scholars in diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, literary theory, race theory, gender studies, and migration studies.
 
The contributors to this volume use a variety of analytical and disciplinary methodologies to track multiple articulations of how race is encountered and defined. The book is divided by editors Maha Marouan and Merinda Simmons into four sections: “Race and Nation” considers the relationships between race and corporality in transnational histories of migration using literary and oral narratives. Essays in “Race and Place” explore the ways spatial mobility in the twentieth century influences and transforms notions of racial and cultural identity.  Essays in “Race and Nationality” address race and its configuration in national policy, such as racial labeling, federal regulations, and immigration law. In the last section, “Race and the Imagination” contributors explore the role imaginative projections play in shaping understandings of race.
 
Together, these essays tackle the question of how we might productively engage race and place in new sociopolitical contexts.  Tracing the roles of "race" from the corporeal and material to the imaginative, the essays chart new ways that concepts of origin, region, migration, displacement, and diasporic memory create understandings of race in literature, social performance, and national policy.
 
Contributors: Regina N. Barnett, Walter Bosse, Ashon T. Crawley, Matthew Dischinger, Melanie Fritsh, Jonathan Glover, Delia Hagen, Deborah Katz, Kathrin Kottemann, Abigail G.H. Manzella, Yumi Pak, Cassander L. Smith,  Lauren Vedal
 

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-xiv

Hayden’s lines represent what Caribbean writer Edouard Glissant calls the “point of entanglement” (1999, 15). For Glissant the point of entanglement is a multilayered space of conjuncture, a collective unconscious where structures of memory and feeling collage. In “Middle Passage,” discourses and temporalities...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

This volume is the result of the “Race and Displacement” symposium that took place October 1–3, 2009, at the University of Alabama. We owe a great debt of gratitude to all those who made that conversation among scholars a success....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Originally conceived of and entitled the Alabama Symposium on English and American Literature, the University of Alabama symposium series sponsored by the English department and the College of Arts and Sciences, begun in fall 1974, may now be said manifestly in its own substantial scholarly record of...

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Reflections on Race and Displacement

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pp. 7-11

Transnational identity is not always dynamic within the discussion of race in the United States. However, the “Race and Displacement” symposium held at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, in October 2009 incorporated this crucial aspect in the discussions. The symposium focused on the concept of...

I. Race and Bodies

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pp. 13-31

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Lady Eve’s Garden Sings the Blues: Spirituality and Identity in Gloria Naylor’s Bailey’s Café

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pp. 15-26

A prevalent theme that connects the various experiences of women in the African diaspora is the sense of displacement, a peculiarity that saturates the stories constructed about their lives. The single-dimensioned representation of being either hypersexual or asexual left little room for expressing the multidimensionality...

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Blackqueer Aesthesis: Sexuality and the Rumor and Gossip of Black Gospel

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pp. 27-42

In this essay I consider the sound of religious music in relation to a sociosexual understanding of queerness as nonnormative, resistant, and utopist. Influenced by aesthetic and sound studies, this essay investigates the relation of aurality to subject formation and personhood that both anticipates...

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The Practice of Embodiment: Transatlantic Crossings and Black Female Sexuality in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand

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pp. 43-56

In The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism, Brent Edwards argues that the central question of Harlem Renaissance writings should be how “black expression between the world wars . . . was molded through attempts to appropriate and transform the discourses of...

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Returning from “Beyond the Bridge”: Postcolonial Hybridity in Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day

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pp. 57-65

In The Empire Writes Back, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin contend that the “'Black writing’ model” should not find a home in postcolonial criticism because such a conflation would “overlook . . . the very great cultural differences between literatures which are produced by a Black minority...

II. Race and Place

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pp. 67-85

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Immigrant Desire: Contesting Canadian Safety and Whiteness in Dionne Brand's In Another Place, Not Here

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pp. 69-81

Canada is frequently imagined as a haven (for British Loyalists, runaway slaves, draft dodgers, and refugees, to name a few). Such an image presents a Canada that is by definition “safe”—or at least safer than the places that drive people there. Thus, safety and the nation become synonymous in Canada. However,...

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Beyond Race and Nation: The African American Barbary Captivity Narrative of Robert Adams

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pp. 82-96

African American writings from the colonial and early national periods have traditionally been read through the lens of the antebellum fugitive slave narrative, and early black texts have often been reduced to mere precursors of the more popular autobiographical genre. The critical preoccupation with the...

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Upon the Public Highways: Travel and Race in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition

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pp. 97-110

In “Traveling Cultures,” anthropologist James Clifford articulates a methodological problem: “Twentieth-century ethnography—an evolving practice of modern travel—has become increasingly wary of certain localizing strategies in the construction and representation of ‘cultures.’ ” By inquiring into “[w]ho...

III. Race and Nation

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pp. 111-129

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Washing the Ethiop Red: Sir Francis Drake and the Cimarrons of Panama

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pp. 113-126

In 1572, England’s Sir Francis Drake and a motley crew of pirates landed on the Panama Isthmus, intending to rob a Spanish mule train—or caravan of mules—loaded with tons of gold and silver farmed out of mines along the west coast of South America. As mule trains had done on so many occasions before...

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Nations, Migration, and Métis Subsistence, 1860–1940

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pp. 127-142

After 1860, Canada and the United States invaded the northern Great Plains. A stream of non-Indian agricultural settlers inundated the region’s indigenous societies. Among the affected indigenous groups were the Métis, a racially and ethnically mixed nation produced by the intercultural contact of...

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Disorientation in Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine: The Imprisoned Spaces of Japanese Americans during World War II

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pp. 143-161

“[A] Jap is a Jap,” the commander of the Western Defense, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, stated in the midst of World War II, but this statement was not made against the Japanese who had attacked Pearl Harbor. Instead, it directly questioned the loyalty of Japanese American soldiers. DeWitt had explained...

IV. Race and Imagination

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pp. 163-181

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Moreau avec Cuvier, Kant avec Sade: Saint Domingue, Sara Baartman, and the Technologies of Imperial Desire

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pp. 165-180

In his essay “Kant avec Sade,” Lacan posits equivalency between two philosophical extremes, noting that Sade’s “Philosophy in the Bedroom comes eight years after [Kant’s] Critique of Practical Reason. . . . [T]he one accords with the other. . . . [Philosophy in the Bedroom] gives the truth of the Critique” (1963...

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An Oracular Swan Song?: American Literary Modernism, Modernity, and the Trope of Lynching in Jean Toomer’s Cane

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pp. 181-196

In 1921, Jean Toomer moved from Washington, D.C., to Sparta, Georgia, to serve as the principal at Sparta Agricultural and Industrial School. During this time, Toomer was introduced to “folk-songs and spirituals” that he found “very rich and sad and joyous and beautiful,” yet because of the strong objection...

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Cultural Schizophrenia and Postcolonial Identity in Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain and Bernadine Evaristo’s Lara

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pp. 197-210

In these lines from “The New Ships,” Edward Kamau Brathwaite highlights issues that plague individuals affected by the African diaspora who strive to create their own postcolonial identities (1973, 125). The narrator of this poem has traveled away from his home to discover this identity, but he feels even...

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Afterword: The Complexities of Home

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pp. 211-220

“Home,” Robert Frost asserts in “The Death of the Hired Man” (1915), “is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.” Frost’s statement presupposes a moral obligation, one that the couple to whom the hired man Silas returns in the poem ultimately adheres by allowing him, in...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 221-223

List of Contributors

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pp. 225-227

Index

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pp. 229-232


E-ISBN-13: 9780817386795
E-ISBN-10: 0817386793
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817318017
Print-ISBN-10: 0817318011

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 2 illustrations
Publication Year: 2013

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Subject Headings

  • Displacement (Psychology) in literature.
  • Culture conflict in literature.
  • Refugees in literature.
  • Race relations in literature.
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