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Transmigrant Movements and Crossings in Kamila Shamsie's Novel "Burnt Shadows"
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, English.
2011 (English)In: 4th Global Conference: Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity, Prague, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Kamila Shamsie’s novel Burnt Shadows traces the complex, interconnected web of relationships that the protagonist, Hiroko Tanaka, develops during her journeys. This study will begin by exploring the theme of identity in relation to Rosi Braidotti’s theory of nomadism which describes a character in a constant state of becoming as according to Braidotti, the nomad can always reconstruct him/herself in relation to the different experiences he/she encounters on his/her journeys. This serves partly as a migratory framework in my analysis of the identity development of Hiroko as she experiences dramatic historical events which span from Nagasaki in 1945 after the US nuclear bombing, to India during the independence struggle, to Pakistan after partition and finally to post-9/11 New York. These events provide the impetus for each of her physical relocations and her corresponding “inner” relocations. However, I argue that Rosi Braidotti’s theory of nomadism does not express the complex ways economic, political and cultural processes affect the character of Hiroko and will therefore analyze the role of place and social relations with regard to the development of Hiroko’s identity using John Urry’s paradigm of mobility which problematizes mobility processes and analyzes how they affect the individual and fragment national societies. The conflicts Hiroko encounters in her endeavor to feel at home will be analyzed. In addition, I will explore the border-crossing practices Hiroko uses to negotiate inclusion without becoming completely bounded by society’s norms and values. She constantly re-negotiates her identity through a process of adaptation and resistance and struggles to retain her individuality/difference in interaction with the collective as an attempt to coexist. I argue that Hiroko lives as a transmigrant, that is, a character in a constant process of migration. Her continuous movement is made possible through a complex web of social networks whereby Tanaka questions traditional definitions of nation, home, community and allegiance as she crosses the boundaries of national cultures and develops an identity which can be described as both local and global.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Prague, 2011.
Keyword [en]
Shamsie, Transmigrant, Identity, Nation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5652OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:5652DiVA: diva2:522313
Conference
4th Global Conference: Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity , Prague, 9-11 March, 2011
Available from: 2011-08-03 Created: 2011-08-03 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf