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Call for papers: Contemporary Fictions of Migration and Exile: Writing Diaspora in the 21st Century

American Studies Programme, School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU 


Contemporary Fictions of Migration and Exile: Writing Diaspora in the 21st Century

Guest editors:

María Alonso Alonso (University of Vigo)

Bárbara Fernández Melleda (University of Hong Kong)

Deadline for abstract submissions: March 31, 2021

Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2021

Submission of full articles: May 31, 2022

Tentative publication date: early 2023

James Procter (2007) defines 'diaspora' as both a geographical phenomenon and a theoretical concept that stands for the physical movement of people from one area to another, and for a particular way of understanding world order and cultural representations. Literature mirrors some of the most immediate challenges that contemporary society has to face as migration has turned 'glocal'. Many characteristics that shape contemporary migratory movements depend on the destination sought, the circumstances that force them, and the links maintained with the country of origin. This special issue is interested in exploring the ways in which contemporary fiction writes legal, illegal migration and the different shades between both. The European Union, as a comfort zone (Cafruny and Ryner 2003; Schmidt 2006; Geddes 2008) and the border between Mexico and the U.S., as a conflict zone (Anzaldúa 1987; Tokatlian 2000; Staudt 2008) are two of most productive 'diaspora spaces' (Brah 1996) for analysing the subaltern position of the migrant subject through literature, although not the only ones. Transoceanic movements of Afghan, Somali and/or Syrian refugees that seek shelter, the case of Hongkongers whose flexible citizenship has allowed them to ameliorate political risks, or the Windrush Generation being sent back to Jamaica by the UK Home Office are some of the myriads of diasporic experiences of interest for contemporary authors.

We are looking for innovative approaches to texts that offer new literary techniques, styles, aesthetics, voices and/or themes that shed light on the critical issues that contemporary migrations represent for society in a general sense at the dawn of the 21st century.

Suggested topics include both theoretical and practical approaches to fiction written in English, and avenues of research related to:

・ Transmigration through comfort and/or conflict zones

・ Mass migration vs individual migration

・ Refugee literature

・ Displacement and transterritorialisation

・ Migrants and host communities

・ First and second generation migrants

・ Climate migrants

Call for Papers

We invite authors to submit abstract proposals for the "Contemporary Fictions of Migration and Exile: Writing Diaspora in the 21st Century" special issue before March 31, 2021. The document should include a 500-word summary, 5 keywords and a bio note including the author's name, institutional affiliation and avenues of research. Abstracts should be send to and under the subject "Writing Diaspora SI".

The selected abstracts will be compiled as the special issue's table of contents in order to be submitted for final approval to an international, top-tier journal. Full articles will be revised by the guest editors before submission for peer reviewing.

Works Cited

Anzaldúa, Gloria (1987) Borderlands: La Frontera. The New Mestiza, San Francisco: Aunt Lute.

Brah, Avtar (1996) Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities, London and New York: Routledge.

Cafruny, Alan W. e Magnus Ryner (2003) “Introduction: The Study of European Integration in the Neoliberal Era”, in Alan W. Cafruny and Magnus Ryner (eds.), A Ruined Fortress? Neoliberal Hegemony and Transformation in Europe, New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Geddes, Andrew (2008) Immigration and European integration: Beyond fortress Europe?, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.

Procter, James (2007) "Diaspora", in John McLeod (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Postcolonial Studies, London and New York: Routledge.

Schmidt, Vivien A. (2006) Democracy in Europe: The EU and National Politics, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Staudt, Kathleen (2008) Violence and Activism at the Border: Gender, Fear, and Everyday Life in Ciudad Juárez, Austin: University of Texas Press.

Tokatlian, Juan Gabriel (2000) Globalización, narcotráfico y violencia, Bogotá: Norma



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