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The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant

The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant



The twentieth century has witnessed the rise of a large population of postcolonial intellectual migrants "willingly" arriving from formerly colonized countries into the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to pursue intellectual goals. Embedded in this movement from the formerly colonized spaces into the West is the vexed question of dislocation and displacement for these intellectual subjects. The Postcolonial Citizen traces how such modes of (un)belonging are represented within literary and cultural space and how migrancy, and in particular the postcolonial "intellectual" migrant, is symbolically and philosophically understood as a cultural icon of displacement in the West. Using literary texts, autobiographical narrative of displacement, and cultural criticism, this book treats the cultural reception of intellectual migrancy (particularly within America) as both an uneasy and ambiguous condition. What is timely about this book's treatment of migrancy is the current threat imposed on postcolonial writers and scholars in the United States post-9/11. The book examines and exposes the consequences of intellectually intervening into democratic ideals after the rise of the "national security state" - giving the migrant sensibility of dislocation a socio-political dimension. Thus, in dealing with the cultural reception of migrancy, The Postcolonial Citizenclearly marks the shift between pre- and post-9/11 migrant subjectivity and particularly addresses how the "third world" intellectual migrant has become synonymous with the voice of dissent and threat to the established democratic order in the United States.



Publication Date



Peter Lang


New York


Comparative Literature | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


Description, cover image, and reviews courtesy of Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

Subject Areas

Commonwealth literature (English) -- History and criticism; Emigration and immigration in literature; Immigrants in literature; Home in literature; Displacement (Psychology) in literature; Identity (Psychology) in literature; Postcolonialism in literature; Feminism in literature

Author/Editor Bio

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt is Associate Professor of English at Linfield College. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. from the College of St. Catherine.

Series Information

Postcolonial studies (New York, N.Y.) ; v. 3


"Immigrants rarely speak in one tongue alone, but, alas, academics often do. While laying claim to her postcolonial citizenship, Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt shows us that academia too can be a foreign country. The form of her book, its multiple registers and idioms, announces a new polyglot nation. This is the work of a true intellectual migrant." - Amitava Kumar, Professor of English, Vassar College, author of Passport Photos

Suspended in the complex constellations of planetary modernity, where migration and the migrant set the critical stage for a radical revaluation of "citizenship" and belonging, The Postcolonial Citizen bravely and brilliantly travels into the unfolding languages - both poetical and political - of the agonistic fusion of horizons which, however viciously resisted and cruelly denied, is the becoming of today's world." - Iain Chambers, UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale

The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant