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Narrative Mapping and the Interdisciplinary Study of Home and Homeland, Sec. 2

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Organizer: Kyunghee Pyun

Co-Organizer: Jean Amato

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Ideas of home are a fundamental part of the ideological formations of the self and the stories we tell of our times—each one unique. This fluid, two-way process of affiliation is local and global; domestic and transnational; private and public; symbolic and material; temporal and spatial; tangible and intangible; invoking multiple belongings, longings, and estrangements; and in dialogue with the past and the present. Standard classifications—such as nation, region, ethnicity, community, borders, sexuality, gender roles, religion, class, and citizenship—all reveal insights into the power dynamics of identity formation but rarely acknowledge the pervasive and universal pull of the idea of home with all its entanglements. While many of us may strive to locate a sense of identity and belonging expressed via a home or ancestral homeland; today, however, this connection is no longer, if it ever was, a straightforward identification. “Home” has become a fluid and complex process of re-negotiation, rather than a given definition, which makes this topic such an intriguing, inclusive, and timely tool for a seminar where we can collectively unpack our own biases, context, under-examined layers of affiliations, and intersectional relationships. Homes are not neutral places, imaging a home is often as political an act as imagining a nation (George 1996). Recent global catastrophes have caused a dramatic undoing of our sense of orientation in space and feeling safe and “at home'' in our bodies, spaces, and communities. A sense of home and belonging is undoubtedly in a state of upheaval, especially in the context of today’s global migrations and transformations. Our seminar will unpack the places we call home, “as temporal and not just spatial: as set in time as well as space” (Massey, 1996). As co-chairs, our own cross-disciplinary and multi-lingual research focuses on primarily Asian Diasporas, gender, nationalism, and migration studies in literature and visual culture. Our goal is to facilitate scholars of world literature on ways to collaborate on the theme of home, as a means to better decolonize and open up traditional research avenues, curricula and pedagogies. Papers should reflect on how the diverse, layered, rich, and fluid representations of both our homes and ancestral homelands can reframe our way of viewing the material and imaginative geographies of our lives—both locally and globally, from domestic to transnational scales, and on micro and macro levels. Using the following central questions—who is mapping our home; where are you from; or where is your home, papers in this seminar can zoom out to increase spatial literacy, both locally and globally, and find ways to meaningfully acknowledge and remap the histories, injustices, erasures, displacements, migrations, and demolitions around the spaces and places we call home. Papers in this panel will ask to critique standard practices of fixing and fixing and mapping.

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