Sam Naidu has been awarded a Mellon Inclusive Professoriate grant (2017–2019), which has enabled her to develop a project that focuses on transnational subjectivities represented in literature of the African, Latin American and South Asian diasporas. Underpinned by foundational theories which view diaspora as a social category and transnationalism as a type of consciousness and mode of cultural production, the project’s impetus is to explore imaginary constructions of similar and differing transnational migrant experiences, and to determine the value of representations of hybrid and fluid transnational subjectivities in an increasingly globalised world. Underlying the project is the view that critical appreciation of such fictional representations contributes to a more holistic understanding of the experiences and exigencies of diasporas in broader social and cultural terms.
The project examines literature produced in the African, Latin American and South Asian diasporic contexts, and utilises a comparative methodology to explore the writing of these diasporas in relation to one other. Ultimately, the intention is to compare and contrast various transnational texts in order to describe the complex and paradoxical experiences of diaspora in a world of increasing mobility and de-territorialism, which yet, in certain locations, also faces increased regulation or prohibition of migration.
This project, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is located in the Department of English Literature at Rhodes University, South Africa, and will run from 2017–2019.
Co-ordinator: Sam Naidu
Project Title: Intersecting Diasporas: A Comparative Study of Literature of the African, Latin American and South Asian Diasporas
Research Associate: Teresa Carrillo
Project Title: Watching Over Greater Mexico: The Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME) and the Limits of Extra-territorial Governance (Book Manuscript)
Teresa Carrillo is a Professor of Latina/Latino Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.
Post-Doctoral Fellow: Marzia Milazzo
Project Title: Colorblind Tools: Narrating Racial Power in the Americas and South Africa (Book Manuscript)
Post-Doctoral Fellow: Andrea Thorpe
Project Title: Diasporic Subjectivities in South African Writing
PhD Candidate: Carol Leff
Project Title: The Afropolitan Flâneur: Literary Representations of the City and Contemporary Urban Identities in Selected African and Transnational Texts
PhD Candidate: Sean James Bosman
Project Title: The Ex-Centric Subject in Changing Discourses of Nationalism: Representations of Alienation, Exclusion in Selected South Asian, Latin American, and African Diasporic Fiction