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Narratives of exile and identity: UEL/LSE lecture

 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Narratives of exile and identity: UEL/LSE lecture Reply with quote

Graduate Seminars in Narrative and Biographical Research
The Centre for Narrative Research, UEL and
The Gender Institute, London School of Economics


Narratives of exile and identity: experiences of Turkish and Greek Cypriot refugees in Cyprus and London



John Nassari, University of East London



Tuesday October 3, 2006, 5.00-6.30, LSE, Room Y002, St Phillips Building

London School of Economics, Aldwych, London



Nassari’s doctoral research explores the relationship between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot refugees in Cyprus and London. Through the analysis of autobiographical accounts, the research investigates the ways in which experiences of exile re-form identity. Central to the study is an examination of the similarities and differences of exile experiences between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, Internal Displaced People and “external” forced migrants (Cyprus to London). The thesis studies refugee narratives gathered twenty-nine years after an experience of forced migration and considers how social and cultural context determines the ways in which exile narratives are shaped.
Nassari argues that Cypriot refugee identity is heterogeneous and that the intercommunal, multiple and diverse cultural and social experiences in the transcultural London context give rise to alternative identity narratives, despite the dominant, powerful, political discourses in the homeland. The heterogeneous aspect of Cypriot refugee identities extends to refugees in Cyprus as well, making it difficult to standardise the Cypriot refugee experience, and problematising research studies and thinking that essentialise and homogenise refugee identity. This research contributes to debates on exilic subjectivities, suggesting that it is necessary to problematise the general thinking that refugees are singularly nostalgic about the home they were forced to leave. The study suggests that refugee identities may be subject to change, with significant various attachments and allegiances.
Finally, Nassari argues that many Cypriot refugees’ personal experiences do not correspond with the ruling authorities’ master narratives. They have recognised the master narrative as dominant hegemonic ideologies and have formed political action based on counter narratives that have been shaped from finding meaning from their life stories. These counter narratives are forms of resistance, offering new possibilities that contest the dominant narrative.


John Nassari is a PhD student in the School of Social Science, Media and Cultural Studies, University of East London



All welcome, especially graduate students. For further details contact Corinne Squire (c.squire@uel.ac.uk), Ros Gill (r.c.gill@lse.ac.uk) or Hazel Johnstone (h.johnstone@lse.ac.uk). Details are also on the CNR website: http://www.uel.ac.uk/cnr/home.htm, and the Gender Institute website: http://www.lse.ac.uk/depts/gender/narrative.htm
For directions, see the LSE map at http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/mapsAndDirections/findingYourWayAroundLSE.htm
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