Home: Domesticity and Nationalism in the Literature of the Caribbean Diaspora
Panel, Northeastern Modern Language Association Convention
Boston, March 21-24 2013
This panel examines the ways in which home is conceptualized in terms of the imagery and rhetoric of domesticity and nationalism in the literature of the Caribbean diaspora. In Caribbean texts, the ability to make a home of the diaspora may depend on members of the Caribbean community forming a diasporic nation within a nation, often reliant on domestic spaces or the ability to claim a space—either as an extension of the claim to a nation or as symbolic of the nation and diasporic experience. Please submit 250-500 word abstracts about the intersections between domesticity and nationalism in Caribbean literature to Kim Evelyn at email@example.com by September 30, 2012.
Diasporas can be seen in contrast to “home” nations, but diasporas can also function as homes themselves for those who immigrate in that diasporic subjects may become at home with, and in, communities of movement and relocation, and define their identities by their shifting subject positions. We live in bordered, physical spaces—nations, houses, apartments—or on the fringes of displacement—refugee or squatter camps, temporary housing—but for any of these modes of habitation to become home takes a conceptual leap, an act of agency, and, sometimes, a flight of imagination. How might home be conceptualized as both a divisive cause of and an inclusive response to the rupture of displacement? How might Caribbean literature provide us with a new view of diasporic connections to complicate the ways in which we can understand displacement? How do we understand the inclusivity and exclusivity that domesticity and nationalism share?
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