Transnational Identity and Memory Making in the Lives of Iraqi Women in Diaspora
Published: August 2020© 2020
200 Pages, 5.90 x 9.20 x 0.80 in
This book draws on an extensive archive of over one hundred oral narratives collected and recorded with Iraqi women in three sites: Amman, Detroit, and Toronto. Nadia Jones-Gailani demonstrates how the relationships between ethno-religious migrants, nation, and citizenship are shaped by the traumatic experiences of forced displacement and integration into new communities and national imaginaries. This book also examines the broader historical trends that have precipitated migration from Iraq.
While informed by research into the archival documentary record on Iraqis in North America, this book is first and foremost a study of gender and memory that focuses on women’s oral histories. By historicizing the process through which ethno-religious and ethno-national communities become fractured and remade, Jones-Gailani explores the expectations and realities of women as the supposed biological and cultural reproducers of the nation. The Iraqi women featured in this book assert their claims to belonging across three different generations, thereby opening up spaces to discuss how sites of migration shape the ability of migrants to lobby for "the homeland," even as they engage in daily struggles to advance their education and economic stability abroad.
Introduction: Narrative, Memory, and Identity
1. Gendered Narratives of State: The “Project for the Rewriting of History”
2. Resisting the State: Shi’i, Chaldean, and Kurdish Women’s Counter-Narratives
3. Towards an Affective Methodology
4. Qahwa and Kleiche: Metaphor, Memory, and Meaning
5. Embodied and Political Subjectivities
"The book is undoubtedly to become a core point of reference for researchers or anyone interested in the histories of Iraq beyond its national (both spatially and ideologically) borders."Enaya Hammad Othman, Ethnic and Racial Studies
"Transnational Identity and Memory Making in the Lives of Iraqi Women in Diaspora is well written, compelling, and theoretically sophisticated. Nadia Jones-Gailani skillfully and ingeniously explores multiple and intertwined themes in this work, such as diasporas, global networks of migration, complex ways of being, and gendered-focus transnationalism."Parin Dossa, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Simon Fraser University
"With nuance and sophistication, Nadia Jones-Gailani highlights the politics of generation and women's efforts to reconstruct family and identity. This work provides a glimpse into the subjectivities of Iraqi women who have resettled in the West. Jones-Gailani draws on and provides insights into the literature on oral history, racialization, food, generation and culture, and memory and, most notably, informs wider scholarly discussions of transnational migration and women and Islam."Pamela Sugiman, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University