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Diaspora 2:1 1992 In This Issue, Esman surveys transnational migration from low-income countries to those with growingeconomies. He criticizes the stereotype of the "apolitical foreign worker" and discusses the transformation of labor diasporas into political actors. By focusing on the USA's response to Mexicans, Germany's to Turks and Kurds, France's to North Africans, and Japan's to Koreans, he identifies factors that shape reception and adaptation, ranging from the attitude of labor unions in host countries to the homeland governments' reluctance to relinquish control over their diasporan nationals. Gourgouris argues that the current refiguration of the nations ofEurope into a postnational European Community necessitates an interrogation of classical "Greece's traditional status as the political -philosophical ancestor of modern European civilization" and a reconciliation of it with the problematic status of Modern Greece. The antagonism between the "social-imaginaries" ofModern Greece and Europe is elucidated by a wide range of reference to theories of society (e.g., Castoriadis, Zizek) and to the history of state-making in Modern Greece. The difficulties the EC is encountering point to the abiding tension between "the dream ofdifference and the seduction of globality." Chu explores the ways in which Maxine Hong Kingston uses very different narrative traditions, ranging from Chinese legends to Anglo -American novels, to depict and defy the Chinese and American social forces that in different ways "deny her experience, worth, and right to speak." While the European "female bildungsroman" provides "a powerful subtext" for The Woman Warrior, Kingston's depiction of "a struggle for personal and artistic autonomy" resists domination by either of the formative national traditions, and succeeds instead in inscribing the author as the orchestrator of a dialogue between them. Beinin investigates "the discursive, social, and historical elements in the formation of culture and identity" by focusing on "the Rome Group" of Egyptian-Jewish communist exiles who had been prominent in the development of Egyptian Marxism before the creation of Israel, were expelled or left voluntarily after 1948, but remained active. "The Rome group's claims to be a legitimate part of Egypt were contested not only by the regime they opposed, but also by their closest political allies." These claims continue to imply ques- Diaspora 2:1 1992 tions (as to who decides group identity) that have implications for every act of contested self-definition by exiles. Rubchak begins by exploring an original Lithuanian ideology of "unique national character" that was synthesized out ofnotions current in Germany and Russia in the nineteenth century. Reviewing Van Reenan's history of the Lithuanian diaspora and contesting the strict binaries it envisages between assimilation and the maintenance ofnational identity, she discriminates between various forms ofimmigrant commitment to diasporan institutions and to the needs ofa homeland whose political situation has also changed repeatedly. Leontis reviews Layoun's study of the Travels ofa Genre, which explores the "newly instituted modern space" to which the novel was exported from western Europe. Discussing the different dynamics of novelistic migration and assimilation in Greece, Egypt, Japan, and the Palestinian diaspora, Leontis concurs with Layoun's argument that while "pressures faced by societies that were not western European [led them] to assimilate novelistic ideas and forms," this reception was not a passive one. Indeed, Leontis adds, "a revision of theories of the novel is necessary" to accommodate the ways in which novels shaped the "particular kind of imaginative geography that attaches identity to a map" and "performfs] a foundational task of nation-building." ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-1568
Print ISSN
1044-2057
Pages
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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