1st Edition

Anthropological Approaches to Reading Migrant Writing Reimagining Ethnographic Methods, Knowledge, and Power

Edited By Deborah Reed-Danahay, Helena Wulff Copyright 2024
    228 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book brings fresh perspectives to the anthropology of migration. It focuses on what migrants write and how anthropologists may incorporate insights gained from engagement with this writing into research methods and writing practices.

    The volume includes a range of contributions from leading scholars in the field, all organized around a striking set of questions about the conditions in which migrant narratives are written and translated, the audiences for which they are intended, the genres and media through which they are disseminated, and what such stories include or leave out. The contributors to this volume demonstrate an innovative shift in anthropological methods by showing how fiction and nonfiction, graphic memoir and autoethnography, song lyrics, as well as social media posts and images unsettle the power dynamics in the study of migration narrative.

    This book will serve as important supplemental reading for courses on migration, literary anthropology, ethnographic methods, and sociocultural anthropology in general. Its interdisciplinary perspective will appeal to a broad range of scholars and students with interests in migration, narrative, and anthropological writing genres.

    Introduction: Unsettling Migrant Narratives

    Deborah Reed-Danahay and Helena Wulff

    1. Exploring the Immigrant Novel:  Blurred Genres, Embodied Identities, and the Unsettling Migration Experience

    Caroline B. Brettell

     2. “I Dream of Cabo Verde Every Night Now": Reflections on/from Writers in the Diaspora

    Alma Gottlieb

    3. “The love of the people – my reward”: Sam Selvon's legacy in Caribbean London

    Thomas Hylland Eriksen

    4. Imaginaries of Belonging in Middle-Class Relocation Narratives: The French in London

    Deborah Reed-Danahay

    5. Capturing Comedy and Tragedy: Emplacement Strategies in Migrant Writing from Sweden

    Helena Wulff

    6. Migrants’ Self-Narrations as Cultural Critique: Exploring Political Subjectivities through Asylum Seekers' and Returnees’ Narratives and Literature

    Viola Castellano and Bruno Riccio

    7. The Anthropologist as Observant Reader of Migrant Literature: The Case of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

    Noel B. Salazar 

    8. At the Unsettling Limits of Collaborative Life Writing: A Memoir of An Ethnography-Memoir

    Susan Beth Rottmann

    9. Scrolling Through Unheard Voices: Unaccompanied Child Migrant Narratives on Social Media

    Othon Alexandrakis

    Afterword: Migrants, Anthropologists, and Writing

    Virginia R. Dominguez





    Deborah Reed-Danahay is Professor of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA.

    Helena Wulff is Professor Emerita of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, Sweden.