Locating Home on the Move: The Politics of Multicultural Propinquity

full name / name of organization: 
Adamu Pangmeshi and Sukanta Das

The movement and migration of people across various borders for a variety of reasons has always taken place throughout human history. The movement engenders multi-dimensional social, economic, cultural as well as psychological changes in the people who traverse between two cultures. This is generally set in motion by empire. Eward Said 1993:407 concurs that 'imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale', thus leading to a negotiation of identity. This negotiation with a 'different' culture entails a re-formulation of identity, and the various markers of identity like race, ethnicity, religion etc. are called into question. Diaspora study has now emerged as the most important field of critical enquiry into the cultural matrix of people who leave a 'home land' to settle in and adopt new home. The term 'diaspora' which was derived from the Greek word came to designate people who leave a country to settle elsewhere. Avtah Brah 1996:181 further notes that diaspora 'invokes images of multiple journeys'. At the heart of diaspora is the issue of social location which in fact defines whether any particular movement of people across national boundary may be called diasporic. In other words the movement of people is inextricably linked to the power dynamics that determines the diasporic identity of a people or group. In fact diaspora refers to the cultural minorities, and thus they strive to establish their identity against the rule of a majoritarian culture.
Salman Rushdie locates the unceasing interest of diasporic writers in recuperating the loss entailed through their social and cultural dislocation. The urge to 'reclaim' the past of lost culture that characterizes diasporic experience is a defeated project, because of the intrinsically unrecoverable nature of representation. No wonder the writers create, as Rudhdie says, 'fictions', 'imaginary homelands'. Disaporic literature thus is concerned with the multi-dimensional nature of the formation of cultural identity which is looked upon both as a matter of 'becoming' as well as 'being', a transaction between 'roots' and 'routes'.
The proposed anthology on diaspora looks for papers that offer new critical perspectives to the issue of diaspora and cultural identity.
Important Timelines:
February 10th 2016: End of reception of abstracts/full papers
March 5th 2016: Notification of acceptance of abstracts
May 30th 2016: End of reception of full papers
June 2016: Peer review of papers
July 2016: Correction of papers by contributors depending on the comments of the reviewers
August 2016: Submission of the volume to the publishers
NB/ Publication by end of year 2016.