Home is a natural place of belonging. However, as a threshold between the politics of domesticity and ideologies of nationhood and citizenship, it proves a loaded construct within the production of space. Read in tension with issues of migrations, ‘home’ becomes further charged. Such themes (considered, for example, in the work of Mieke Bal) have provided rich material worked by female artists in particular, addressing and challenging homes and homelands, their comforts and their strictures. 20th and 21st-century migrations, those of enforced mobility (expulsions) or performing the agency of motility (emigrations, whether on the domestic or the transnational level), have further destabilised previous concepts of ‘home’. Is home now a lost space? And, if so, how might, or have, artworks navigate(d) the precarious terrains of nostalgia such a loss makes present? Can practices of emplacement compensate for the absence of home? Can ‘home’ be reconstructed, perhaps even contesting nationalisms? Can memories function as operational tools re-mapping ‘home’ and emancipatory narratives? In this mixed format session, including a roundtable, various presentations (papers, short performances or screenings) will address female artists and artworks from 1945 to the present which confront this nexus of ‘home’ and migration. We welcome papers on, but not limited to: transnational migration, inclusions / exclusions, post-femininity and geographical mobility, home / abroad, incarnations of contemporary migrants, relationships between female subjectivity and place, nationalism as masculinised memory production, the construction of the ‘foreigner’ as Other, and larger issues of globalisation and identity.
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