PSA Convention Publication: New Directions in Diaspora Studies

New Directions in Diaspora Studies: Cultural and Literary Approaches, edited by Sarah Ilott, Ana Cristina Mendes and Lucinda Newns, has recently been published by Rowman & Littlefield. It brings together contributions emerging from the PSA’s 2015 convention on Diasporas held at Leicester University. A description of the book and some reviews are included below. Please consider ordering a copy for your libraries!


This collection brings together new critical approaches to diaspora studies, branching out to areas such as literary studies, visual culture, and museum studies, and explores them in relation to a variety of fictional works, cultural traditions, theoretical paradigms, and geo-political contexts. The innovation of this volume lies in the interplay of both texts and theoretical insights from these different areas of cultural analysis, drawn together to probe diverse manifestations of diaspora while pointing out new directions of critique. Moving between representations of real and imaginary, violent and utopian, past, present and future diasporas, contributors demonstrate the ways in which authors, performers and artists are establishing new modes of representing and imagining diaspora in an increasingly globalised age. Contributions are organised into sections on performance, speculative fiction, city spaces, affective or violent diasporas, and silence and voice. Bringing together these wide-ranging histories, contexts and media allows for dialogue across vastly divergent experiences and representations of diaspora, and opens up a theoretical debate on the changing nature of this field of study.


New Directions in Diaspora Studies is a brilliant collection that challenges readers to consider new contexts, contestations, formations, and representations of diaspora. In this current moment of rising securitization, white nationalism, and dangerous migrations, this volume offers a timely, critical, and much-needed intervention, paving the way for new discussions and debates.  — Amrita Hari, Assistant Professor, Pauline Jewett Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies at Carleton University

New Directions in Diaspora Studies is a major contribution to the field. Contributors from diverse geographic affiliations take an important new step in reassessing the usefulness of diaspora as a theoretical framework. Because of the comparative approach, it will become an important reference for students and scholars.  — Chia Youyee Vang, Professor, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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