1st Edition

Figures of the Migrant The Roles of Literature and the Arts in Representing Migration

Edited By Siobhan Brownlie, Rédouane Abouddahab Copyright 2022
    230 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume seeks to investigate the representation of the migrant and migration in literary texts and the arts. Through studies that examine works in a range of art forms ‒ novels, theatre, poetry, creative non-fiction, documentary films and performance and video installations ‒ that evoke a variety of historical and (trans)national contexts, the volume focuses on the question of the roles of literature and the arts in representing migration. An important issue considered is the extent to which artistic figuration can act as a counterpoint to social discourse on migrants that often involves stereotypes and reductive views. The different contributions to the volume illustrate that literature and the arts can provide readers and viewers with a space for fluid knowledge production and affective expansion and that within that overarching function, artistic works play three main roles with regard to representing migration: undertaking a socio-political and cultural critique, presenting alternative views to stereotypes that highlight the singularity and complexity of the migrant and providing proposals for different futures.

    Part I Overview

    1. The roles of literature and the arts in representing the migrant and migration - Siobhan Brownlie

    Part II Critiques of Definitions, Representations and Ideologies

    2. Representations of child ‘migrants’ in Akli Tadjer’s Le Porteur de Cartable - Fiona Barclay

    3. Bridging migratory fault-lines: Francis Alÿs’s performance at the Strait of Gibraltar - David Álvarez

    4. Mediterranean connections: representing the migrant’s journey in Le voyage des âmes by Mounsi - Jonathan Lewis

    Part III Deeper Insights into Being a Migrant

    5. Writing the voice of the ‘other’: Maggie Gee and Antonio Manzini narrating migrant care workers - Nicoletta Di Ciolla and Serena Guarracino

    6. Visual explorations of a new life: language, identity and landscape in El futuro perfecto and Ingen Ko På Isen - Carmen Herrero

    7. ‘I love, you fear, we leave’: representations of emotion and migrancy in Berni Searle’s Home and Away and Seeking Refuge - Nicola Cloete

    8. The father as a figure of exile: desire and sublimation in Naomi Shihab Nye’s ‘My Father and the Figtree’ - Rédouane Abouddahab

    Part IV Migration through Particular Prisms

    9. SHE-menism: Girl-trafficking and the gendered experiences of forced migrations in Soji Cole’s Embers - Julie Umukoro

    10. ‘Times are connected through land and bodies’ in Native American literature: living landscapes in Toni Jensen and Layli Long Soldier - Wes Atkinson

    Part V Trajectories for the Future

    11. Screening young migrants and cosmopolitan mobility: Julie Bertuccelli’s Cour de Babel - Isabelle Vanderschelden

    12. Conclusion - Siobhan Brownlie and Rédouane Abouddahab


    Siobhan Brownlie is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK. With a background in Translation Studies, currently her main research interests lie in the fields of Intercultural Studies and Memory Studies. She has published three monographs of which the most recent is titled Discourses of Memory and Refugees: Exploring Facets (2020). Siobhan is also a creative artist and has recently written a play titled British Women Seeking Asylum.

    Rédouane Abouddahab is Professor of American Literature at Le Mans Université, France. His research, which draws on psychoanalysis, philosophy, poetics and anthropology mainly, is centred on the notions of identity and otherness (in the sociocultural, psychic and ontological senses) in modern and contemporary American literature and the way in which poetic writing brings the experience of limits into play. He has published numerous books and articles on these matters, both in French and in English.