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Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Symposium | Summer 2020

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Abstract

Immigrant experiences are often characterized by identity anxiety and a corresponding longing to identify a single place to call “home.” This paper examines how in each of these works, typically unbeknownst to the protagonists themselves, establishing a home regularly takes the form of securing what they perceive to be “wholeness” and “completion.” I argue that the texts reveal that the protagonists’ search for a fixed and static place to call home, derived from desires of identity completion, cannot be found, and rather their place of arrival can solely exist in the ambiguity of language, memory, and geography. As such, eventually, the reader is prompted to understand that not having a traditional essentialized notion of home to guide the protagonists frees them and allows them to embrace rather than reject their linguistic and spatial multiplicities.

Presentation

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