Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that black British and British Asian literature has changed faster than the postcolonial/migratory theories through which it is often read and has entered an "indigene period" (Osborne 3). The ways in which ideas like hybridity, belonging, and race are usually employed are no longer useful for analysing this literature, mainly because they originate in binary conceptualisations of migrant and non-migrant identities that are increasingly disappearing in the literary works themselves. The concepts remain relevant but need revision. To contribute to this work, the article explores the emerging concept of "postmigration." Postmigration breaks away from the migrant/non-migrant binary by arguing that migration and cultural and racial heterogeneity are no longer exceptional phenomena. They have become the norm in European societies and are now ordinary features of everyday life that affect all citizens, regardless of background. The article focuses on the postmigrant idea that in order to normalize migration as integral to everyday social reality, migration must no longer be positioned as an object of research but should instead become its point of departure. This transformation requires two shifts: research on non-white European art and culture needs to be "de-migratized," while European social and cultural studies need to undergo a general "migratization" (Römhild 44). The article then shows how concepts like hybridity, belonging, and race signify differently in black British and British Asian novels when "de-migratized" by a postmigrant perspective. The article provides a reading of Gautam Malkani's Londonstani that demonstrates how the postmigrant perspective develops as an analytical tool in conjunction with the literary works it explores.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1920-1222
Print ISSN
0004-1327
Pages
pp. 105-136
Launched on MUSE
2019-07-23
Open Access
No
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