Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement  book cover
1st Edition

Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement

ISBN 9781138305878
Published June 16, 2017 by Routledge
198 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $56.95

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Book Description

In this book, Powell examines the ways that identities are constructed in displacement narratives based on cases of eminent domain, natural disaster, and civil unrest, attending specifically to the rhetorical strategies employed as barriers and boundaries intersect with individual lives. She provides a unique method to understand how the displaced move within accepted and subversive discourses, and how representation is a crucial component of that movement. In addition, Powell shows how notions of human rights and the "public good" are often at odds with individual well-being and result in intriguing intersections between discourses of power and discourses of identity. Given the ever-increasing numbers of displaced persons across the globe, and the "layers of displacement" experienced by many, this study sheds light on the resources of rhetoric as means of survival and resistance during the globally common experience of displacement.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Constructing Narratives of (National) Identity within Relocations  2. Reservations, Internments, and a Little Pink House: Linking U.S. Histories of Displacement with Human Rights  3. Surviving the (Un)Natural Disaster in New Orleans: Rhetorical Implications of Embracing "Refugee"  4. Buying Refugee Narratives: Sudanese Identity, Civil Unrest, and the Good Refugee  5. "Barriers and Boundaries": Mixed Identities and Multiple Displacements in Sri Lanka  6. Layers of Displacement: Discursive Mark(s) of Identity

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Katrina M. Powell is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing in the Department of English at Virginia Tech, USA


"By considering topics ranging from refugees to the forced removal of populations in the U.S., this book addresses both the complexities and differences attending to particular situations and the larger public policy issues facing disenfranchised people. Katrine Powell’s rhetorical analysis provides new and insightful understanding of these important problems of great concern to everyone, the temporarily placed and the displaced." - Amy Shuman, Ohio State University, USA

"Powell brings together a wealth of sources to analyze the transnational and contested implications of displacement and to draw attention to the commonalities, such as a sense of abandonment." - Nedra Reynolds, University of Rhode Island, USA

"The book’s ability to connect events, positionality, and narratives is unique, and it demonstrates the rhetorical means by which displacement has been normalized. Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement is an invaluable resource to opening discussions concerning displacement, migration, rights, identity formation, and narrative theory." - Arabella Lyon, University of Buffalo, USA

"Powell’s Identity and Power in Narratives of Displacement is a wonderful read for anyone looking to engage in innovative conversations about the historical and rhetorical importance of identity in contexts of displacement." - Ashley Szanter, Albeit

"This book is a tremendous contribution to scholars interested in rhetoric, narratives, refugee studies, and related fields." - Tabetha Adkins, Literacy in Composition Studies