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Valery B. Ferim

Spearheaded by pan-Africanists around the beginning of the twentieth century, the pan-African movement hosted a series of Pan-African congresses. Though the main objectives of the First Pan-African Congresses were to fight against the colonisation of Africa and the oppression of black people, the messages behind pan-Africanism have evolved over time. The central theme behind these Congresses, however, is to reiterate calls that African unity is the most potent force in combating the malignant forces of neocolonialism and entrenching Africa’s place in the global hierarchy. These calls have clamoured for the solidarity of Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora through associated paradigms such as ‘Afrocentrism’, ‘postcolonialism’, ‘African indigenous knowledge systems’ and ‘African solutions to African problems’. Despite this, contemporary societies are characterised by the encroachment of Westernisation, which has become synonymous to globalisation. This article reassesses the relevance of the pan- African discourse within the context of the contemporary world.

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Releasing a Tradition

Diasporic Epistemology and the Decolonized Curriculum

Jovan Scott Lewis

With educational campaigns that ask ‘Why isn’t my professor Black?’ and ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ there is a push directed towards institutions to provide an education that is diverse, inclusive and representative of the liberal ideals that many promote. This is being done primarily through a discourse of decolonization. In this article, I consider the formulation for a truly decolonized curriculum by first assessing what constitutes a ‘colonial’ education, especially one that is deserving of decolonization. I then discuss the parameters of educational decolonization, by thinking with decolonial and anti-colonial thinkers, to assess the tenability of a decolonized curriculum. Ultimately, I suggest what forms a decolonized curriculum might take by drawing on diaspora theory and by describing broader programmatic requirements within the framework of the Black Radical Tradition that offers decolonial epistemologies as a broad praxis for education.

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The Memorialisation of the Highland Clearances in Scottish Museums

Economic and Socio-Political Uses of Heritage

Laurence Gouriévidis

This article focuses on the representation of the Highland Clearances – one of the most painful and controversial themes in modern Scottish history – in Scottish museum spaces. It brings to light the social, economic and political implications of the interpretation of this period through a survey of twelve independent local museums and two national museums. It argues that the Clearances have become a crucially defining landmark at a local but also national level. Yet the way the Clearances are represented in narratives differs significantly, showing the extent to which the meaning ascribed to the clearing process and its consequences is socially and historically conditioned. Whilst the symbolic and emotional resonance of the period as a traumatic rupture prevails, it has also come to articulate a political vision intrinsically linked with land reform in a devolved Scotland, and a transnational identity owing much to the imaginary of the Scottish diaspora.

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Barbara Roche Rico

In this article I examine the representation of bullying in Felita (1979) and Going Home (1986), two novels by Nicholasa Mohr, an important but critically overlooked author of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Using material from current research in the social sciences as well as a close reading of the texts, I explore the emergence of the female subject from behind her self-definition as a victim of girl-bullying. The girl’s involvement with art enables her to move from the role of object to that of subject. That involvement not only counteracts the negative effects of bullying but also brings the girl to a deeper understanding of her culture and herself. That the author would then reengage bullying episodes from these novels in a memoir written later provides a powerful example of the author’s writing back to the tween whose experiences inspired her work.

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Repossession

Material Absences, Affective Presences, and the Life-Resumption Labors of Bosnians in Britain

Eleanor Ryan-Saha

Reflecting on ethnographic research undertaken in 2010–2011, I conceive of dispossession as fundamental to the individual and social experience of displacement for Bosnian former refugees residing in Britain. In this context, I pluck what I term 'repossession' from among the myriad strategies and practices that constitute life resumption after refugee displacement. Repossession is achieved through dynamic interplay between the affective influence of new material absences and presences. At the same time, it includes the reflexive construction of new rhetorical stances regarding materialism. I examine how the attainment of 'materially qualified life' through repossession contributes both to personal recovery and to the formation and consolidation of the British Bosnian diaspora. In this way, repossession achieves material certainty in the present, subsequent to the uncertainty of the past dispossession event.

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Pauline Gardiner Barber

This article addresses the politics of class, culture, and complicity associated with Philippine gendered-labor export. Several examples drawn from multisited ethnographic research explore two faces of class: migrant performances of subordination contrasted with militancy in the labor diaspora. With few exceptions, the literature on Philippine women in domestic service has emphasized disciplined subjectivities, the everyday dialectics of subordination. But class is also represented in these same relationships, understandings, and actions. Alternatively, the political expressions of Philippine overseas workers, and their supporters, is a feature of Philippine migration that is not often mentioned in writing concerned with migrant inequalities. This article proposes a reconciliation of these two faces of class expression by exploring how new media, primarily cell-phone technologies, enhance possibilities for organized and personal resistance by Filipino migrants, even as they facilitate migrant acquiescence, linked here to gendered subordination and class complicity, in the contentious reproduction of the migrant labor force.

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Sanaz Nasirpour

Iranian women in the diaspora have a long history of representing their experience of emigration and exile and of defining their identity and the status of women inside Iran. In the early 1990s, Internet access gave them more liberty of expression and enabled collaboration around women’s issues. This article seeks to answer the following research question: How do diasporic websites assist women’s rights activists in tackling women’s issues and supporting women’s status in Iran? It aims to explore online efforts of Iranian women’s rights activists in the diaspora and more importantly to investigate the functions of the Iranian diasporic websites addressing women’s issues in Iran. Through content analysis of ten diasporic websites, as well as interviews with women’s rights activists in the Iranian diaspora, this article argues that these websites have the potential to transfer information and make connections between those inside and outside Iran, addressing diasporic concerns and controversial issues.

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Menachem Begin’s World Travels in the 1950s

A Road to Political Legitimacy

Ofira Gruweis-Kovalsky

This article analyzes Menachem Begin’s attitude toward the Jewish Diaspora based on documented evidence from his international travels. Begin spent a significant amount of time traveling overseas in the 1950s and 1960s. When his leadership was threatened by Revisionists in Israel and challenged by key members of the Herut party, which he had founded, Begin looked for political legitimacy from Revisionists around the world. The staunch support of Diaspora Revisionists was an asset he could not disregard, and he recruited them as partners in decisions that had an impact on life in Israel. The backing of Diaspora Jewry was one of Begin’s sources of power and helped to secure his leadership in the Herut movement and in the State of Israel.

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Eleni Sideri

The Caucasus was a zone of encounters for centuries, generating images of regional cosmopolitanism in the past. This vision creates expectations for the present, when it is included in the wider discussion about the meanings of cosmopolitanism today, its relation to modern geopolitics, and issues of social and political co-existence and recognition. This essay focuses on two different photographs that belong to different Greek families in Georgia. These photographs represent two different historical experiences of migration and pinpoint different understandings of cosmopolitanism. However, they both seem to stem from specific discourses about diasporas and their cosmopolitan character. The role of language in the construction of these discourses is fundamental. The essay compares photographic representations of the 'Greek Diaspora' in order to trace the perceptions of cosmopolitanism they generate, the cultural capital they carry, and its outcome in relation to Greek diaspora politics.

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Negating Diaspora Negation

Children's Literature in Jewish Palestine During the Holocaust Years

Yael Darr

For years, it had been assumed that since the end of the Second World War and up until the Eichmann trial in 1961, Hebrew culture in Israel tended to repress the Holocaust or narrate it according to the Zionist ideology's viewpoint – to accentuate the events of the rebellion against the Nazis and to infer from them a lesson of national revival and restoration. The consensus concerning children's literature, in particular, maintained that it had been utterly committed in the early decades of statehood to extracting out of the Holocaust a 'fortifying tale' bearing a national lesson. This paper, however, argues the existence of a developed Holocaust discourse in children's literature written in Jewish Palestine during the war years, and suggests that children's literature even predated adult literature in setting the Holocaust theme at centre stage. This article aims to shed light on a rare narrative in the Israeli public discourse of the Holocaust: the literary story told to Jewish children in Palestine during the years of the Holocaust. At the time, this new narrative for children was extensive and diverse. For the first time in the history of Zionist children's literature, it challenged the Diaspora-negating code that had been dominant since its beginning. Nevertheless, only a few years later, with the founding of the State of Israel, this new narrative was rapidly 'forgotten' by the Israeli collective memory and proceeded to be neglected by literary and educational research as well. Although it spanned a short time period and failed to leave a literary impact on writings for children in Israel, this Holocaust narrative is tremendously important, having evoked the unique voice of the Jewish settlement in Palestine (the Yishuv) during the Second World War. It also serves as a case study of the crucial function of children's literature within the public discourse during traumatic times, illuminating the advantages of children's literature as a marginal and peripheral form of communication in the public domain.