• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.



Page history last edited by Dai Kojima 13 years, 3 months ago

Home and away: Narratives of migration and estrangement



Sara Ahmed

Institute for Women's Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

This article examines the relationship between migration and identity by complicating our notion of what 'home' means, both for the narrative of 'being at home' and for the narrative of 'leaving home'. It offers, not a migrant ontology, but a consideration of the historical determination of patterns of estrangement in which the living and yet mediated relation between being, home and world is partially reconfigured from the perspective of those who have left home. This reconfiguration does not take place through the heroic act of an individual (the migrant), but through the forming of communities that create multiple identifications through collective acts of remembering in the absence of a shared knowledge or a familiar terrain. The article interweaves a variety of different texts: short stories by Asian women in Britain, autobiographical reflection, theoretical constructions of migrancy and literature from two very different nomadic or migrant communities, the Global Nomads International and the Asian Women's Writing Collective. The article provides a critique of recent theories of migrancy – and nomadism – as inherently transgressive, or as an ontological condition (where what we have in common is the loss of a home). The author argues that it is through an uncommon estrangement that the possibility of migrant communities comes to be lived. That is, it is the uncommon estrangement of migration that allows migrant subjects to remake what it is they might yet have in common.


Key Words: bodies • communities • estrangement • globality • home • identity • memory • migration • nomads • transgression


From http://ics.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/2/3/329 (access through UBC VPN)



'Coming home': Queer migrations and multiple evocations of home



Anne-Marie Fortier

Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK

This article proposes an examination of recent interventions in queer studies that project queer culture and politics within a diasporic framework. Drawing on written narratives of what may be termed 'queer migrations', I seek to map the intersections of queer memories and diasporic spaces as they are uttered in terms of 'home'. By following the movement of queer subjects between homes, I examine how 'home', migration and belonging relate to each other in multiple ways. First, I discuss narratives of queer migration as homecoming, where 'home' is a destination rather than an origin. I explore the connection between exile, displacement and migration-as-homecoming found in some discussions on queer diaspora. How do the 'homes' people move towards relate to those that are 'left behind'? How does the movement toward some 'homes' operate through the fixing of others? Second, I consider the movement back home, how home is reimagined or reconstituted through memories that challenge the assumed idea of home-as-familiarity. Drawing on autobiographical renditions of queer migrations and remembrances of home, I discuss Elspeth Probyn's argument about movement, desire and childhood as 'suspended beginnings'. If one can never return 'home', as Probyn argues, what are the effects of coming home again and again on definitions of home? Third, I wonder how memories of home can relocate queerness within the home without reinstating home as originary moment. Is it possible to conceive of being 'at home' in a way that already encounters/engenders queerness, but without deploying an originary narrative of 'home'? Running through this discussion is a reflection about identity narratives that seek to reconfigure spaces of belonging shaped through both movement and attachment. Can we consider differential movements of subjects as not simply about thinking about home as mobile – not simply about the undoing of home as stasis – but as the re-forming of the very bounded spatiality of homes?


Key Words: belonging • diaspora • home • identity • mobility • queer • sexualities


http://ecs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/4/4/405 (access through UBC VPN)

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.