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Exploring Identities in Motion in Diasporic and Global Literature

Matthew Russo
Loyola University Chicago

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v13/russo.html

Abstract: The increasing ease with which individuals can move across the globe provides more opportunities for people to explore the world, but it also results in the displacement of some individuals from their native countries or “homelands.” This displacement, referred to as diaspora, is certainly not a new concept; however, the problem becomes exacerbated in an age of globalization. Two specific novels, Aleksander Hemon’s The Lazarus Project and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, provide narratives focused on characters in the midst of what sociologist Robin Cohen refers to as a “victim diaspora,” but my reading of the novels suggests a slightly different view of diaspora than that suggested by Cohen (28). Particularly, I argue that the main character of each story is not necessarily searching for a lost “homeland” but rather reshaping or altering identity in response to the respective diaspora.

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