Diasporas Reimagined: Spaces, Practices and Belonging

To mark the culmination of the Oxford Diasporas Programme, we created a collection of essays designed to showcase the breadth as well as cohesion of our research on diasporas. Featuring contributions from 45 authors, this collection is free to download as a PDF, either as a complete collection or as individual essays. 

This collection, titled Diasporas Reimagined: Spaces, Practices and Belonging, is a series of accessible and thought-provoking snapshots brought together to illustrate the vitality and variety of research on diasporas. Drawing on a range of disciplines, including social anthropology, sociology, human geography, politics, international relations, development studies and history, Diasporas Reimagined depicts a world increasingly interconnected through migration, where sediments of previous encounters coexist in places, practices and personal and collective identities.

Put together, this collection of photo essays and ethnographic vignettes, theoretical ruminations and poetic interventions, literature overviews and empirically-based reflections aims to provoke new ways of thinking, both about diasporas and about some of the foundational concepts of social science.

Notes on the editors
Nando Sigona is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham. Alan Gamlen is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Victoria University in Wellington and Editor in Chief of Migration Studies. Giulia Liberatore is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford. Hélène Neveu Kringelbach is Lecturer in African Studies at the University College of London.

ISBN 978-1-907271-08-3
Format: 246 x 189mm
Extent: 256pp.

Designed and set by Advocate design agency

© Oxford Diasporas Programme

Cover image © Alpha Abebe

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. View a copy of this license.

Download the essays
Both full text PDF and individual essays are available to download in the right-hand column.

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Full text PDF

Foreword and Introduction
Robin Cohen
Nando Sigona, Alan Gamlen, Giulia Liberatore and Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Metaphors, concepts, genealogies and images

Seeds, roots, rhizomes and epiphytes: botany and diaspora
Robin Cohen

The loss and the link: a short history of the long-term word 'diaspora'
Stéphane Dufoix

Network
Sondra L. Hausner

The sinews of empire in the world of modern welfare
Vron Ware

Points of origin: a visual and narrative journey
Alpha Abebe and Jyotsana Saha

Spheres of diaspora engagement
Nicholas van Hear

Belonging: imagining and remaking home

Cultures of translation: East London, diaspora space and an imagined
cosmopolitan tradition
Ben Gidley

Living with difference locally, comparing transnationally: conviviality in Catalonia à la Casamance
Tilmann Heil

Making a Kurdistani identity in diaspora: Kurdish migrants in Sweden
Barzoo Eliassi

African migrants at home in Britain: diasporas, belonging and identity
Naluwembe Binaisa

Dimensions and dynamics of the Gambian diaspora in the digital age
Sylvia Chant

Ambitious cultural polyglots: Kenyan Pentecostals in London
Leslie Fesenmyer

Dreaming of the mountain, longing for the sea, living with floating roots: diasporic ‘return’ migration in post-Soviet Armenia
Nanor Karageozian

Diaspora youth and British young men of colour
Linda McDowell, Esther Rootham, Abby Hardgrove

Associational profusion and multiple belonging: diaspora Nepalis in the UK
David N. Gellner

A diaspora-for-others: Hadramis in the world
Iain Walker

Spaces, networks and practices

Creolization, diaspora and carnival: living with diversity in the past and present
Olivia Sheringham

Malian traders in the Senegalese capital
Gunvor Jónsson

The Indigent Moslems Burial Fund
Nazneen Ahmed

Strangers and diasporas in Lusaka
Oliver Bakewell

The ‘diasporas’ of Little Mogadishu
Neil Carrier

Fitting in by being yourself: Avenues Unlimited and youth work in the East End
c. 1960s–2000s
Eve Colpus

Diasporic devotions and bodies in motion
Alana Harris

Divergences and convergences between diaspora and home: the Somaliland diaspora in the UK
Giulia Liberatore

Architectural associations: memory,  modernity and the construction of community in East London
Jane Garnett

Parallel lives and scattered families: European immigration rules and
transnational family practices between Africa and Europe
Hélène Neveu Kringelbach

Transnational school-based networks: diaspora, mobilities, and belonging
Mette Louise Berg

New ICT and mobility in Africa
Mirjam de Bruijn

Life in refuge: across Rwanda’s camps and Uganda’s settlements
Patrycja Stys

Roma, statelessness and Yugo-nostalgia
Nando Sigona

Governance and mobilisation: old and new actors

The rise of diaspora institutions
Alan Gamlen

The animators: how diasporas mobilise to contest authoritarian states
Alexander Betts and Will Jones

Comparing and theorising state–diaspora relations
Alexandra Délano and Alan Gamlen

Disaggregating diasporas as actors
Carolin Fischer

From native informant to diasporic activist: the gendered politics of empire
Sunera Thobani

‘Know your diaspora!’: knowledge production and governing capacity in the context of Latvian diaspora politics
Dace Dzenovska

The stateless speak back: Palestinian narratives of home(land)
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Diaspora as anti-politics: the case of Rwanda
William Jones

The Jewish diaspora and Israel: problems of a relationship since the Gaza wars
William Safran

Stalemate in the Armenian genocide  debate: the role of identity in Turkish diasporic political engagement
Cameron Thibos

Shifting forms of diaspora engagement among the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora
Nicholas van Hear and Giulia Liberatore

Weapons of knowledge construction: the Afghan-American diaspora and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan
Morwari Zafar