Category Literature

Displacing memories at Liverpool Street Station

It’s a rare thing: Liverpool Street Station is actually shimmering in London’s sunshine. Commuters trample and are trampled in return. This is one of the UK’s busiest railway stations. It’s clean, bright and corporate ─ just as it should be as the gateway to London’s financial district. But it’s still unmistakably Victorian: with lofty, glass-panelled […]

Trading Migrant Rights for Opportunity

The United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was signed by only 36 countries, all of which are primarily immigrant-sending countries.  Migrant rights, it would appear, is not a high priority for most immigrant-receiving countries, which instead struggle to implement immigration policies that address […]

The Man on the Tube and the Community of Value

Reading Us and Them: the dangerous politics of immigration control by Bridget Anderson The UK immigration debate has always seemed a bit of a shrill theatre to me. Populist scaremongering from the right finds its way into the mainstream in the form of outright crazy policy propositions like last month’s Go Home campaign and the […]

Review: Bengali Harlem by Vivek Bald

Vivek Bald’s Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America is a highly detailed and beautifully written account of the lives of South Asian immigrants who arrived in the United States between the 1890s and 1940s. In piecing together the stories of this early immigrant group, Bald draws on census records, marriage licenses, […]

Review: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration Isabel Wilkerson, 2011, Vintage Books: New York. Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk The United States is a nation of immigrants. What is often overlooked is that it has also historically been a land of dynamic internal movement. Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic […]

Governing Immigration Through Crime

  A frequent argument against the pathway to citizenship is the one used by Senator Cruz in his closing statements before the Senate Judiciary Committee on S.744.  He cited the rule of law, but most Americans would point to the simple fact that the illegal immigrants broke the law and should not be rewarded for […]

Mobility: Past, Present and Future – Inevitable and Desirable?

Exceptional People – How migration shaped our world and will define our future Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Merra Balarajan, 2011, Princeton Press: Princeton. Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk Exceptional People – How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future – the 2011 book by Economist and Professor Ian Goldin, Researcher Geoffrey Cameron and Dr […]

Finding the self in otherness: global journeys in autobiography

What happens when we work strictly within a genre or grouping? When it comes to literature, the outcome can be destructive and boring: we risk isolating creative works, huddling them too close together and becoming blind to their engagement with the outside world. In my last blog I suggested that a discussion of migrant literature […]

Teta Fatoum

By Nana Mahmoud My maternal great aunt Teta Fatoum is in her late nineties. We do not know her birthday or exact age. Her passport says she was born on January 1st, as do my grandmother’s and grandfather’s passports. She is frail, short, and wears colorful hand-stitched dresses. She is dark and has gray eyes, […]

Color Me English

I chose this book for the reflection of the author’s experiences in my own.  Caryl Phillips was born in one country, moved to the United Kingdom as an infant, grew up there, and relocated to the United States as an adult.  I was born in Canada, moved to the United States as an infant, grew […]