Diaspora Literature Essay

858 words - 4 pages


Diaspora (Greek, “dispersion”), is a term used for large scale migration of people from the country of their origin to other countries, either voluntarily or due to economic or political compulsions. When we speak of the Indian Diaspora we mean Indians settled in England, America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Similarly one can discuss the Caribbean Diaspora to England, Canada and France. Diaspora studies also became an academic discipline. In literature too the text composed of such displacement constitutes the Diaspora Literature.

Characteristic Features of Diaspora Literature:

Displacement: “Over all the world Men move unhoming, and eternally
Concerned: a ...view middle of the document...

The study of world literature might be the study of the way in which cultures recognize themselves through their projections of ‘otherness.’ Where, once, the transmission of national traditions was the major theme of a world literature, perhaps we can now suggest that transnational histories of migrants, the colonized or political refugees - these border and frontier conditions - may be the terrains of world literature.

Diaspora and Utopia: While some writers have created fictional places that embody their ideal societies, others have written satires that ridicule existing conditions of society, or anti-utopia, which show possible future societies that are anything but ideal. The diasporic production of cultural meanings occurs in many areas, such as contemporary music, film, theatre and dance, but writing is one of the most interesting and strategic ways in which diaspora might disrupt the binary of local and global and problematize national, racial and ethnic formulations of identity.

Hybridity: The concept of cultural hybridity, in which an individual’s physical self and cultural self can be two different halves of the same whole, is a uniquely American phenomenon. Asian American authors such as Chang-Rae Lee and Eric Liu have been among the most active in developing this theme. No doubt diaspora and hybridity in cultures of the diaspora community pave the way for the formation of Diaspora Literature.

Historical Understanding: The history and cultural influence of books also became a subject of scholarly study. Literature is a useful resource which provides an understanding as to how settlements were established, illustrates the daily conduct of trade, explores the relationship between diverse people...

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