Narratives of Citizenship

Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples Unsettle the Nation-State

Table of contents

Introduction: Narratives of Citizenship / Aloys N.M. Fleischmann & Nancy Van Styvendale

Part One | The Iconography of the Anti-Citizen
1 Citizens of the Exception: Obasan meets Salt Fish Girl / Robert Zacharias
2 Grazia Deledda’s The Church of Solitude: Enfolding Citizenship and Mussolini’s Demographic Politics / Dorothy Woodman
3 “Some of Course Married Them, which was Better”: Citizenship and a Traffic of Mixed-Race Women and Children in Tsimshian-Area Missionary Narratives / Aloys N.M. Fleischmann
4 Failed States and the Militarization of Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insecurity and the Crisis of Citizenship in Nollywood Movies / Paul Ugor

Part Two | The Melancholic Canadian
5 Affecting Citizenship: The Materiality of Melancholia / Lily Cho
6 “I am Enchanted”: The Home Country as Dead Lover in Myrna Kostash’s The Doomed Bridegroom / Lindy Ledohowski
7 A Citizen of Story: Wayne Johnston’s Baltimore’s Mansion and the “Newfoundland Diaspora” / Jennifer Bowering Delisle

Part Three | Envisioning Indigenous Citizenship
8 Imposing subCitizenship: Canadian White Civility and the Two Row Wampum of the Six Nations / Daniel Coleman
9 Camera Ready: Narration Through Photography in Hawai‘i / Sydney L. Iaukea
10 Imaginary Citizens: The White Paper and the Whitewash in the Press / Carmen Robertson

Part Four | Race and the Diasporic Re/turn
11 “Cracked tongue. Broken tongue”: The Incomplete, Resistant Translation of Language and Culture in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee / Laura Schechter
12 Whose Diaspora is This Anyway?: Peruvians, Japanese Perhaps, and the Dekasegi / Marco Katz
13 Black Canadas and the Question of Diasporic Citizenship / David Chariandy



Examining various cultural products?music, cartoons, travel guides, ideographic treaties, film, and especially the literary arts?the contributors of these thirteen essays invite readers to conceptualize citizenship as a narrative construct, both in Canada and beyond. Focusing on indigenous and diasporic works, along with mass media depictions of Indigenous and diasporic peoples, this collection problematizes the juridical, political, and cultural ideal of universal citizenship. Readers are asked to envision the nation-state as a product of constant tension between coercive practices of exclusion and assimilation. Narratives of Citizenship is a vital contribution to the growing scholarship on narrative, nationalism, and globalization. Contributors: David Chariandy, Lily Cho, Daniel Coleman, Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Aloys N. M. Fleischmann, Sydney Iaukea, Marco Katz, Lindy Ledohowski, Cody McCarroll, Carmen Robertson, Laura Schechter, Paul Ugor, Nancy Van Styvendale, Dorothy Woodman, and Robert Zacharias.


  • AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show - Book Design / Scholarly 2012


Scholars of English literature generally and of Canadian literature in particular explore attitudes about citizenship by people who are close to the border of it, on one side or the other. They cover the iconography of the anti-citizen, the melancholic Canadian, envisioning indigenous citizenship, and race and the diasporic re/turn. Among the topics are enfolding citizenship and Mussolini's demographic politics, the home country as dead lover in Myrna Kostash's The Doomed Bridegroom, narration through photography in Hawai'i, and Black Canadians and the questions of diasporic citizenship. Reference and Research Book News

". ..this volume comprises 13 essays in which established and rising scholars articulate the precarious social, political, and legal problems of citizenship faced by indigenous and relocated communities, mostly in Canada. ... The contributors' collective keen perspicacity and epistemological acumen will surely make this a model text for postnational theory. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. " R. Welburn, Choice Magazine

Narratives of Citizenship…presents several national perspectives on varying legal, cultural, and political constructions of citizenship… Outstanding contributions come from Daniel Coleman in ‘Imposing subCitzenship: Canadian White Civility and the Two Row Wampum of the Six Nations’ and David Chariandy in ‘Black Canadas and the Question of Diasporic Citizenship. ’” [doi: 10. 1093/ywes/mau008]

- The Year’s Work in English Studies

"What unites the essays is a recognition that citizenship involves both legal definitions and emotional responses. ... This collection reminds us how complex citizenship is, but citizenship at an individual level always is or was. .. [Narratives of Citizenship] has encouraged at least this reader (a historian) to seek out novels, look at photographs or listen to music that he was ignorant of, and has reminded him that broad generalisations obscure many individual differences. If only for that reason, with luck not merely an individual response, it deserves to be read and reflected upon. Artists and events may sometimes unsettle the nation-state but examined closely they almost always unsettle theories. " Peter D. Fraser, Transnational Literature, May 2012 [Full article at http://bit. ly/1ipb3Mq]

"The critical introduction by Fleischmann and Van Styvendale resonates with the newly released data from Statistics Canada 2008 on the Aboriginal population in Canada. Their study also draws on the Ethnic Diversity Survey released following the 2001 census. They wish to explore the themes of public and private, indigenous and diasporic resistance to assimilation. This is an excellent resource in Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and Citizenship. " Anne Burke, The Prairie Journal