Download Aspiring to Home: South Asians in America by Bakirathi Mani PDF

By Bakirathi Mani

What does it suggest to belong? How are twenty-first-century diasporic topics fashioning identities and groups that bind them jointly? Aspiring to Home examines those questions with a spotlight on immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Advancing a conception of locality to provide an explanation for the skill in which immigrants of various nearby, non secular, and linguistic backgrounds event what it ability to belong, Bakirathi Mani exhibits how ethnicity is produced in the course of the dating among household racial formations and worldwide activities of sophistication and capital.

Aspiring to Home makes a speciality of well known cultural works created by way of first- and second-generation South Asians from 1999–2009, together with these via writer Jhumpa Lahiri and filmmaker Mira Nair, in addition to public occasions equivalent to the leave out India U.S.A. festival and the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams. reading those diversified productions via an interdisciplinary framework, Mani weaves literary readings with ethnography to solve the restrictions of shape and style that form how we learn diasporic well known culture.

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Such cultural texts are central to forging a common sense of South Asian locality between artists and audience members at the festival sites. However, the commodification of early South Asian immigrant histories through the exhibition of films and artwork also generates a homogeneous history of migration, one that is claimed at the festivals by second-generation South Asians of various religious, national, and class backgrounds. Even as young immigrants collaborate with each other to produce a common history of South Asian ethnicity, their consumption of these aesthetic texts eclipses the structural differences between British imperial migration to North America, early twentieth-century Punjabi immigration to California, and the migration of professionals to the United States in the mid-to-late twentieth century.

S. military, and the increasingly neoliberal orientations of the United States and nation-states in South Asia. Such political convergences highlight the ways in which the postcolonial history of the subcontinent is never far from the formation of South Asian identities and communities in America. As immigrants, South Asians become ethnic subjects through pluralist discourses of multiculturalism that codify their religious and racial difference. As diasporic subjects, South Asians participate in postcolonial constructs of nationhood on the subcontinent in ways that inflect their racialized and classed locations in the United States.

The fact that South Asians are bound by competing logics of nationhood without fully resolving their citizenship to either geographic site reveals the ambivalent embodiment of locality. “The Third and Final Continent” begins in 1969, four years after the passage of the Hart-Celler Act. In this short story the unnamed narrator travels from Calcutta to London in 1964 to study and work, and five years later moves from London to Boston, where he has secured a job as a librarian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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