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Narrating diaspora across media
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posted on 26.02.2017by Jungbluth, Eva
The PhD thesis "Narrating Diaspora across Media" investigates narratives of diaspora in three distinct media formats: novels, feature films and graphic narratives. Its methodology brings together various branches from diaspora studies and narrative theory, both of which chronicle theoretical developments into various directions since the 1990s. Thus, diaspora and migration literatures have drawn increasing scholarly attention to literary representations of diasporic experiences and transnational and transcultural processes, which manifest very differently in various contexts of global migration. During the same period, narrative theory has undergone significant theoretical and methodological re-conceptions – from the structuralist and text-immanent approaches in the 1970s to today’s “postclassical” narratologies. Narrating Diaspora across Media connects culture-oriented and transmedial narratologies, and examines the ways in which recurrent themes in diaspora narratives are realised across media formats. With the particular interest in representations of space and time, the PhD thesis focuses on such themes as the journey, history and memory, and asks questions about relationships between content and form. How, for example, are movement, arrival and distance fictionally constructed and narratively realised? How are the tensions between ‘official’ history and individual histories and memories literarily discussed? How are the medium-specific properties of the novel’s written language, the film’s moving image, and the graphic narrative’s multimodal narrative resources utilised, how their aesthetic devices exploited for ‘staging’ these themes? Eventually, the narratives discussed in this thesis all enjoy certain popularity on the international market, which also raises interest in certain strategies that may be involved in making these narratives attractive to global audiences. Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Monash University, Australia.