1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives

Edited By Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, Vinh Nguyen Copyright 2023
    528 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook presents a transnational and interdisciplinary study of refugee narratives, broadly defined. Interrogating who can be considered a refugee and what constitutes a narrative, the thirty-eight chapters included in this collection encompass a range of forcibly displaced subjects, a mix of geographical and historical contexts, and a variety of storytelling modalities. Analyzing novels, poetry, memoirs, comics, films, photography, music, social media, data, graffiti, letters, reports, eco-design, video games, archival remnants, and ethnography, the individual chapters counter dominant representations of refugees as voiceless victims. Addressing key characteristics and thematics of refugee narratives, this Handbook examines how refugee cultural productions are shaped by and in turn shape socio-political landscapes. It will be of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners committed to engaging refugee narratives in the contemporary moment.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    1. Storytelling
    2. 1. Carrie Dawson, "Flights of Fancy: Imagination, Audacity, and Refugee Storytelling"

      2. B. Venkat Mani, "Theorizing Unsettlement: Refugee Narratives as Literary Ration Cards"

      3. Bishupal Limbu, "Refugee Narratives and Humanitarian Form"

      4. Asha Varadharajan, "Coming Undone: Displacement, Trauma and the Crisis of (Narrative) Agency"


    3. Genres and Conventions
    4. 5. Sydney Van To, "Refugee Noir"

      6. Agnes Woolley, "Re-orienting the Gaze: Visualizing Refugees in Recent Film"

      7. Lan Duong, "Song, Sound, and Refugee Affect in Life of a Flower and Song Lang"

      8. Asis De, "Refugees to Worker-migrants: Transformation of Cross-border Migration in Amitav Ghosh’s Novels"


    5. Visuality and Visibility
    6. 9. Anna Carastathis and Myrto Tsilimpounidi, "‘Through the Lens of a Refugee’: Disrupting Visual Narratives of Displacement"

      10. M. Eliatamby O’Brien, "Narrativizing Unarrival: Digital Autographics by Asylum Seekers in the Pacific"

      11. Zuzanna Olszewska, "If We Do Not Write Poetry, We Will Die: Afghan Diasporic Social Media Poetry for the Fall of Kabul"

      12. Roopika Risam, "Connecting the Dots: Refugee Data Narratives"


    7. Mediation and Positionality
    8. 13. Nina Mickwitz, "Up Close and Personal: Mediated Testimony and Narrative Tropes in Refugee Comics"

      14. Elif Sarı, "‘I am Myself’: Queer/Refugee Narratives"

      15. Julia Hope, "Applying RefugeeCrit to Recent Middle Grade/Young Adult Children’s Literature About Refugees"

      16. Erin Goheen Glanville, "Refugee Narrative Pedagogy: A Cultural Refugee Studies Approach"


    9. Border-crossing
    10. 17. Regina Marie Mills, "Border-crossing, Identity, and Voice in Central American and US-Central American Refugee Narratives"

      18. Charmaine A. Nelson, "The Canadian Fugitive Slave Archive: Contesting the Refugee Narrative"

      19. Aalene Mahum Aneeq, "To the Editor: Partition Refugee Relief and the Making of the ‘Pakistani Muslim Citizen’ in Punjab"

      20. Angela Naimou, "Iraq and the Work of the Frame"


    11. Health and (Dis)ability
    12. 21. April Shemak, "The Biopoetics of Health: Caribbean Refugee Narratives"

      22. Y-Dang Troeung, "Refugee Race-ability: Bodies, Lands, Worlds"

      23. Christiane Assefa, "‘Many Hands Lighten the Load’: Health Lessons from San Diego during the Time of COVID-19"


    13. Care and Kinship
    14. 24. Veronika Zablotsky, "Affecting Appeals: Armenian Refugee Narratives in the Archives of Early Humanitarian Discourse"

      25. Eun Ah Cho, "Fearless Faces: Motherhood and Gendered Mobility of North Korean Refugees in Jero Yun’s Films"

      26. Katherine Fobear, "Queer Refugee Homemaking: Lesbian and Gay Refugees’ Oral Histories and Photovoice Narratives of Home"

      27. Sunčica Klaas, "‘Little Knowledges’: Shifting Visions of Childhood, Care, and Technology in the Contemporary Novel of Forced Migration"


    15. Land/Water Ecologies
    16. 28. Marguerite Nguyen, "Refugee Ecologies: The Elements, Flora, and Fauna in Refugee Narratives"

      29. Himadri Chatterjee, "Writing, Belonging, Forgetting: Waterscapes in Bangla Dalit Refugee Literature"

      30. Eman Ghanayem, "Being Indigenous and Refugee: The Duality of Palestinian and American Indian Narratives"


    17. Spatiality and Cartographies
    18. 31. Marco Mogiani, "Alternative Spatial Imaginaries: Refugees’ Counter-Narratives of Settlement and Mobility in Patras"

      32. Aline Lo, "Letting Karst Mountains Bloom: Decentering the Secret War in Hmong American Literature and Art"

      33. Kieren Kresevic Salazar, "Islands of Writers: Tracing an Archipelagic Literature"

      34. Nathan Jung, "Spatial Empathy in Refugee Video Games"


    19. Temporality and Futurity

             35. Alenka Bartulović and Miha Kozorog, "Songs Against Boredom: Youth, Music, and Bosnian Exile"

             36. Emily Hue, "On Water, On Land: Sustainability of Refugee Lives in an Era of Ecological Crises"

             37. Olivia Quintanilla, "The Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Figure of Climate Refuge(e)s"

             38. Hadji Bakara, "Refugee Writing and the Problem of the Future"



    Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi is an Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in Critical Ethnic Studies, Amerasia Journal, Canadian Review of American Studies, MELUS, American Quarterly and LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. Her book, Archipelago of Resettlement: Vietnamese Refugee Settlers and Decolonization across Guam and Israel-Palestine, was published in 2022.

    Vinh Nguyen is an Associate Professor of Diasporic Literature at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. His writing can be found in Social Text, MELUS, ARIEL, Canadian Literature, Life Writing, Migration and Society, and Canadian Review of American Studies. He is co-editor of Refugee States: Critical Refugee Studies in Canada.