Passport Photos

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University of California Press, Jun 14, 2000 - Photography - 276 pages
"Passport Photos is a radiant text. It connects its own ironic lyricism with an acute awareness of historical context, and is a moving document of the questions posed by symbolic migration."—Sara Suleri Goodyear, author of Meatless Days

"Amitava Kumar brings his talents as a photographer, poet, scriptwriter, and journalist to the job of critical commentary, refusing to partition and delegate these skills to separate provinces of his intellectual life. The result is an ethical voice and a technical style that often defies our expectations of the critical commentator. I find that voice and style immensely appealing, no more so than in the multi-genre documentary work of Passport Photos. This is not a heavy-handed screed on the conditions of immigrants. It is a sensuous guide to the common contradictions and experiences faced by immigrants to the U.S., whether they are coming from the underside of the international division of labor or from well-heeled and credentialed birthrights. An undeniably original contribution to several academic and journalistic fields, Passport Photos will, I expect, be a widely-acclaimed publication and much cited as a fresh paradigm-shaker."—Andrew Ross, author of The Celebration Chronicles

"An important, timely, and unique book that seems to have multiple lines of descent--as if postcolonial theory were cross-pollinated with poetry, photojournalism, and memoir all at once."—Michael Bérubé, author of Life As We Know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child

"Amitava Kumar is the most grounded of the postcolonial writers today. Passport Photos is a brilliant illustration of his skills. A must read for anybody interested in immigration, transnational identities, and globalization."—Manthia Diawara, author of In Search of Africa

"Passport Photos is a meditation on the modalities of the immigrant: on language as law and record of living immigrant dailiness; on place as a world one loses that gives rise to identity and belonging; on knowledge as the possession of some and not others, as what the immigrant can be but cannot have." Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts
 

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Contents

Language
16
Photograph
36
Name
58
Place of Birth
82
Date of Birth
100
Profession
124
Nationality
148
Sex
172
Identifying Marks
196
Conclusion
216
Appendix I
235
List of Illustrations
249
Acknowledgments
265
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Amitava Kumar is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida, and has been a Fellow at Yale University. He is the editor of Class Issues: Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, and the Public Sphere (1997), and Poetics/Politics: Radical Aesthetics for the Classroom (1999). Kumar was the script-writer and narrator for the award-winning documentary film Pure Chutney (1998).

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