Refugee and Diaspora Memories: The Politics of Remembering and Forgetting

Lacroix, Thomas


Article written by DPDF 2012 New Approaches to Transnationalism and Migratory Circulation research director Thomas Lacroix and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh in the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

This special issue opens up a conversation between three multidisciplinary fields: memory studies, diaspora studies and refugee studies. The introductory paper articulates an analytical framework addressing various forms of memories of displacement. It defines the concepts of exilic and diasporic memories with regard to the classical and post-modern conceptions of diasporas and shows, beyond their formal opposition, the extent to which these two notions interrelate. The article continues by highlighting four themes that cut across the collection of papers in this special issue: the relationship between individual and collective memories; the diversity of actors (re)producing memory narratives; the transmission, negotiation and contestation of memory across space and between generations; and the confrontational and syncretic dynamics which between different types of memories. To conclude, the paper addresses the political implications of the production and dissemination of memories of displacement.