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The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
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The Characteristic of Immigration Literature
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In a meeting on identity and literature of migration;

The Characteristic of Immigration Literature: The Production of Identity-building Dualities

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2024

Dr. Hamed Habibzadeh; the assistant professor of the English language department of Kashan University in the third winter school of English literature of Khatam University, which was dedicated to the topic of "Identity and Migration Literature", considered one of the most important features of migration literature to be the production of identity-building dualities.

According to the public relations and website of Khatam University, the third winter school of English literature of Khatam University on the topic of "Identity and Migration Literature" with the speech of Dr. Hamed Habibzadeh; an Assistant Professor of the English Department of Kashan University and Dr. Hoda Shabrang; a faculty member and an assistant professor of English literature of Khatam University was held on Thursday, February 27th, 2024 at Khatam University.

 

In the beginning, Dr. Habibzadeh said in a speech that immigration literature is a daily topic for all of us and we can feel its existence in our daily conversations as well as in social networks. He further added: “What is happening in the academic world is very much related to immigration literature. There are a lot of pieces of work in this field. However, such works are usually in the field of literature and narratives.”

 

After reading the poem "On the Last Days of March..." by Mohammad Reza Shafiei Kadkani, he considered the things that happen to an immigrant and the questions that arise for them in the field of identity to be similar to the theme of this poem and added: “When we are talking about March, it is an image of staying, going and the connection between the end and the beginning.”

 

This faculty member of Kashan University considered identity as a specific concern that can be addressed in the field of immigration and referred to the opinions of Northrop Frye; the famous Canadian literary critic and added: “When Fry wants to talk about literature in particular and humanities in general, he says that questions must be raised but not in the hope that they will lead us to an answer.”

 

Habibzadeh added: “When we talk about immigration literature in the academic environment, we come across a concept called cosmopolitanism, when the topic is raised in the field of cultural studies, we come across the concept of interculturality and multiculturalism, and when it comes to post-colonial literature, immigration literature is presented as a part of it.”

 

He further added: "Literature, like a person who immigrates, finds a double identity, and in fact, this identity becomes like a bowl of salad or a carpet of a thousand colors, and of course this situation is challenging, and the most important challenge is identity."

 

Habibzadeh stated that identity is not questioned as long as it is not threatened, and emphasized: “If we examine the history of the identity debate in a place like England, we will see that until the 16th century, there was this idea that the people of England had a common national identity. They mostly considered themselves Christians and Catholics, and it was in the late 16th and 17th centuries that this idea was slowly formed among the people.”

 

According to him, identity is like a collage or a collection of images that a person chooses, and what shows my sense of belonging is the selections we make from this collage and these images.

 

Habibzadeh continued: “For immigrants, when they want to emigrate, all the things that bother them become meaningful to them at that moment and they become attached to them.”

 

He considered language to be one of the characteristics of identity, with emphasis on the mother tongue, and said: "Building identity is possible through education, and this education is done through language." In the West, during the Middle Ages, the common language was not modern English, but Latin. We must note that language has an untranslatable part and identity is the same untranslatable part of language.

 

This faculty member of Kashan University added: “Of course, we humans have many commonalities, but what creates our identity are our differences. The literature of immigration is the dualities that create identity; In fact, one of the characteristics of immigration literature is the production of identity-building dualities. A duality, for which many examples can be found in migration literature, is the movement from loneliness to solitude.”

 

​ Habibzadeh also described the nature of migration literature not as a monologue but as a dialogue and reminded: “Migration literature is not only a story of leaving but also a story of staying as it affects the life and identity of those who stayed and did not migrate.”

 

In the following, Dr. Hoda Shabrang, a faculty member and an assistant professor of Khatam University's English Department, who is also in charge of managing winter schools, had a speech on examining the acculturation and eclectic identity of migrant women in the novel "Exit to the West" written by Mohsen Hamid, a British-Pakistani poet.

 

First, while introducing this author whose work was nominated for the Booker Prize, she mentioned that his writings and perspective were influenced by Toni Morrison; the American Nobelist. She also talked about the novel "Exit to the West" which, according to her, is a work in the genre of migration literature. She further added: “When the discussion of migration literature is raised, it is mostly as if the experience of men who have migrated is discussed. The experience of immigrant women may be different from the experience of men as we see in Mohsen Hamid's book.”

 

This faculty member and assistant professor of the English language department of Khatam University added: “Usually, what is dictated to an immigrant in immigration is identification with the dominant culture, and as a result of this identification, identity changes, and although most theories of immigration believe that in the process of immigration, immigrants lose their identity and finally become ghosts who neither belong to their own culture nor have come to terms with the host culture. In the novel "Exit to the West", this does not happen to the female character and in the end, the migration is not so bad for her.”

 

While presenting a description of the opinions of people like Gayatri Spivak, Homi Baba, and Edward, Shabrang discussed immigration and the status of the lower classes in society. She also referred to the opinions of John Berry and said: “She believes that acculturation has some particular strategies and people do not deal with the phenomenon of immigration in the same way.”

 

She also added: “If immigrants can deal with the situation, everything in the destination society may even improve financially and educationally. However, it is not 100% true about their mental and psychological well-being.”

 

Shabrang expressed the ups and downs of the story "Exit to the West", especially the developments that take place in the two main characters of the novel (Saeed and Nadia), their different fates and the compatibility of the female character with the culture of the host society and at the same time the lack of compatibility which arises in the same context in the character of the man of the story.

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Hoda Shabrang
Immigration Literature
Khatam University
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