Bodies in Motion: A Poetics of Home and Diaspora

Susan Stanford Friedman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Fall 2004), 189-212

This article not only analyzes a series of diasporic and nondiasporic situations and writings in order to theorize home and diaspora but also produces a prose poetry of its own around the affective body painfully on the move. At the heart of this creative essay is always the question, where and what is home? In order to explore the numerous answers, the essay juxtaposes stories and scholarship from a long list of friends, writers, and scholars from around the world. The essay navigates the many options for home: is home a place or a person? Is home still home if the place is no longer there, if traditions have changed, if you yourself have been displaced? Can you write home? Is home of the spirit or of the flesh? Is home a nation, or loyalty to a nation or place? These are the questions that the essay attempts to answer by utilizing such a variety of people and stories.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]