Tracing 'Home' in the Critical Discourse on Migration

Newns, L. (2024) Tracing 'Home' in the Critical Discourse on Migration. In: The Routledge Companion to Migration Literature. Routledge. ISBN 9781003270409 (In Press)

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The concept of home is intrinsic to the practice of migration: one only migrates if one leaves a home behind. Home is at once geographical, psychological, emotional and material, making it an extremely rich resource for literary texts. From the late twentieth century to the present day, approaches to home in the critical discourse on migration have moved through three broad phases. First, influenced by postmodernism and postcolonial theory’s celebration of hybridity, home became associated with conservatism while migrancy was embraced as a disruptive metaphor for challenging old essentialisms. However, a second phase was inaugurated by scholars who were critical of metaphorical abstractions of migrancy, emphasizing instead the material differences between migrants. Taking account of class, gender and conditions of departure, arrival and settling demonstrates that home is a privilege that is not equally available to everyone. More recently, as part of the broader 'material turn', there has been a greater focus on the local, material and affective dimensions of home, across particular sites like cities, domestic, and environmental spaces. This chapter elaborates on each of these phases in conversation with some illustrative literary examples. Ultimately, it argues that migration literature has a crucial role to play in 'making' (a) home for the marginalised.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: home, migrancy, refugees, temporary workers, domesticity
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lucinda Newns
Date Deposited: 02 May 2024 09:53
Last Modified: 02 May 2024 09:53

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