Transatlantic Subjects: Acts of Migration and Cultures of Transnationalism Between Greece and America
The early twentieth century was marked by massive migration of southern Europeans to the United States. Transatlantic Subjects views this diaspora through the lens of Greek migrant life to reveal the emergence of transnational forms of subjectivity.
According to Ioanna Laliotou, cultural institutions and practices played an important role in the formation of migrant subjectivities. Reconstructing the cultural history of migration, her book points out the relationship between subjectivity formation and cultural practices and performances, such as publishing, reading, acting, storytelling, consuming, imitating, parading, and traveling. Transatlantic Subjects then locates the development of these practices within key sites and institutions of cultural formation, such as migrant and fraternal associations, educational institutions, state agencies and nongovernmental organizations, mental institutions, coffee shops, the church, steamship companies, banks, migration services, and chambers of commerce.
Ultimately, Laliotou explores the complex and situational entanglements of migrancy, cultural nationalism, and the politics of self. Reading against the grain of hegemonic narratives of cultural and migration histories, she reveals how migrancy produced distinctive forms of sociality during the first half of the twentieth century.
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Page 10 - From these elements, however, genealogy retrieves an indispensable restraint: it must record the singularity of events outside of any monotonous finality; it must seek them in the most unpromising places, in what we tend to feel is without history - in sentiments, love, conscience, instincts...