Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration

Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration

Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration

Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration

Synopsis

New forms of transnational mobility and diasporic belonging have become emblematic of a supposed 'global' condition of uprootedness. Yet much recent theorizing of our so-called 'postmodern' life emphasizes movement and fluidity without interrogating who and what is 'on the move'. This original and timely book examines the interdependence of mobility and belonging by considering how homes are formed in relationship to movement. It suggests that movement does not only happen when one leaves home, and that homes are not always fixed in a single location. Home and belonging may involve attachment and movement, fixation and loss, and the transgression and enforcement of boundaries. What is the relationship between leaving home and the imagining of home itself? And having left home, what might it mean to return? How can we re-think what it means to be grounded, or to stay put? Who moves and who stays? What interaction is there between those who stay and those who arrive and leave? Focusing on differences of race, gender, class and sexuality, the contributors reveal how the movements of bodies and communities are intrinsic to the making of homes, nations, identities and boundaries. They reflect on the different experiences of being at home, leaving home, and going home. They also explore ways in which attachment to place and locality can be secured - as well as challenged - through the movements that make up our dwelling places. Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration is a groundbreaking exploration of the parallel and entwined meanings of home and migration. Contributors draw on feminist and postcolonial theory to explore topics including Irish, Palestinian, and indigenous attachments to 'soils of significance'; the making of and trafficking across European borders; the female body as a symbol of home or nation; and the shifting grounds of 'queer' migrations and 'creole' identities. This innovative analysis will open up avenues of research and inspire new debate.

Excerpt

Sara Ahmed, Claudia Castañeda, Anne-Marie Fortier, Mimi Sheller

Uprootings/Regroundings is concerned with the ways in which different bodies and communities inhabit and move across familial, national and diasporic locations. The chapters in this collection examine both how migration is experienced in relation to home and belonging, and how home and belonging are formed in relationship to individual and collective migration. We begin from the premise that the forms and conditions of movement are not only highly divergent – consider the difference between tourism and exile – but also necessarily exist in relation to similarly divergent configurations of placement, or being ‘at home’. Who moves, who stays, under what conditions? What is the relationship between those who stay and those who arrive and leave? What forces entrench migration, or propel staying ‘at home’?

Each contribution to this collection brings to the fore in its own particular way the work of migration and the work of inhabitance, including that which goes into making and unmaking familial, communal, national and transnational borders, kinships and identities. Highlighting the laborious effort that goes into uprooting and regrounding homes, and the energy that is expended in enabling or prohibiting migrations, allows us to challenge the presumptions that movement involves freedom from grounds, or that grounded homes are not sites of change, relocation or uprooting. Being grounded is not necessarily about being fixed; being mobile is not necessarily about being detached. Thus the overall project of this collection is to call into question the naturalization of homes as origins, and the romanticization of mobility as travel, transcendence and transformation.

The concept of ‘uprootings/regroundings’ provides a framework for rethinking home and migration in ways that open out the discussion beyond oppositions such as stasis versus transformation, or presence versus absence. Rather than thinking of home and migration as constituted through processes that neatly map onto ‘migrating’ and ‘homing’ . . .

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