This book is a study of mobility, image and identity in colonial India and imperial Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is a model for studies of migrant figures like K.S. Ranjitsinhji who emerged during the imperial period. Ranjitsinhji is an important figure in the history of modern India and the British empire because he was recognized as a great athlete and described as such. The book focuses on four aspects of Ranjitsinhji's life as a colonial subject: race, money, loyalty and gender. It touches upon Ranjitsinhji's career as a cricketer in the race section. The issue of money gave Indian critics of Ranjitsinhji's regime the language they needed to condemn his personal and administrative priorities, and to portray him as self-indulgent. Ranjitsinhji lived his life as a player of multiple gender roles: sometimes serially, and on occasion simultaneously. His status as a "prince" - while not entirely fake - was fragile enough to be unreliable, and he worked hard to reinforce it even as he constructed his Englishness. Any Indian attempt to transcend race, culture, climate and political place by imitating an English institution and its product must be an unnatural act of insurgency. The disdain for colonial politics that was manifest in the "small rebellions" at the end of the world war converged with the colonized/Indian identity that was evident at the League of Nations. Between the war and his death, it is clear, Ranjitsinhji moved to maximize his autonomy in Nawanagar.
Stories from a migrant city argues that a rethink of how the terms ‘immigration’, ‘migration’, ‘immigrant’ and ‘migrant’ are imagined and conceptualised is long overdue. It shows how moving away from a racialised local/migrant dichotomy can help to unite people on the basis of common humanity. The book also takes to task the idea that cosmopolitanism is necessarily an elite worldview: on the contrary, not only are axes of racialised difference often reinforced by the actions of economic and political elites, but, in certain spaces and at particular times, non-elite people of all backgrounds show themselves to be at ease with such difference, albeit that this is interwoven with ongoing racisms and the legacies of colonialism. Using a biographical approach and drawing on over one hundred stories and eight years of research by the author in the English city of Peterborough, Stories from a migrant city addresses the question of what Peterborough (and indeed England) stands for in the Brexit era, and to whom it belongs. Taken as a whole, the book’s tales from the city’s homes and streets, its 1970s and 1980s satellite New Towns, its older central neighbourhoods and its warehouse and food factory workplaces, together with its engagement with the cultural productions of residents, challenge middle-class condescension towards working-class cultures. They also reveal how the often-ignored stories from this and other provincial cities can be seen as gifts to richer, metropolitan places.
The NHS is traditionally viewed as a typically British institution; a symbol of national identity. It has however always been dependent on a migrant workforce whose role has until recently received little attention from historians. Migrant Architects draws on 45 oral history interviews (40 with South Asian GPs who worked through this period) and extensive archival research to offer a radical reappraisal of how the National Health Service was made. This book is the first history of the first generation of South Asian doctors who became GPs in the National Health Service. Their story is key to understanding the post-war history of British general practice and therefore the development of a British healthcare system where GPs play essential roles in controlling access to hospitals and providing care in community settings. Imperial legacies, professional discrimination and an exodus of British-trained doctors combined to direct a large proportion of migrant doctors towards work as GPs in industrial areas. In some parts of Britain they made up more than half of the GP workforce. This book documents the structural dependency of British general practice on South Asian doctors. It also focuses on the agency of migrant practitioners and their transformative roles in British society and medicine.
The book explores how we understand global conflicts as they relate to the ‘European refugee crisis’, and draws on a range of empirical fieldwork carried out in the UK and Italy. It examines how global conflict has been constructed in both countries through media representations – in a climate of changing media habits, widespread mistrust, and fake news. In so doing, it examines the role played by historical amnesia about legacies of imperialism – and how this leads to a disavowal of responsibility for the reasons people flee their countries. The book explores how this understanding in turn shapes institutional and popular responses in receiving countries, ranging from hostility – such as the framing of refugees by politicians, as 'economic migrants' who are abusing the asylum system – to solidarity initiatives. Based on interviews and workshops with refugees in both countries, the book develops the concept of ‘migrantification’ – in which people are made into migrants by the state, the media and members of society. In challenging the conventional expectation for immigrants to tell stories about their migration journey, the book explores experiences of discrimination as well as acts of resistance. It argues that listening to those on the sharpest end of the immigration system can provide much-needed perspective on global conflicts and inequalities, which challenges common Eurocentric misconceptions. Interludes, interspersed between chapters, explore these issues in other ways through songs, jokes and images.
On the global stage the British diaspora, proportionate to its population, remains one of the largest. This book is the first social history to explore experiences of British emigrants from the peak years of the 1960s to the emigration resurgence of the turn of the twentieth century. It explores migrant experiences in Australia, Canada and New Zealand alongside other countries. The book charts the gradual reinvention of the 'British diaspora' from a postwar migration of austerity to a modern migration of prosperity. It is divided into two parts. First part presents a decade-by-decade chronology of changes in migration patterns and experience, progressing gradually from the postwar migration of austerity to a more discretionary mobility of affluence. It discusses 'pioneers of modern mobility'; the 1970s rise in non-white migration and the decline of British privilege in the old Commonwealth countries of white settlement; 'Thatcher's refugees' and cosmopolitanism and 'lifestyle' migration. Second part shifts from a chronological to a thematic focus, by drilling down into some of the more prominent themes encountered. It explores the interplay of patterns of change and continuity in the migrant careers of skilled workers, trade unionists, professionals and mobile academics. The push and pull of private life, migration to transform a way of life, and migrant and return experiences discussed highlight the underlying theme of continuity amidst change. The long process of change from the 1960s to patterns of discretionary, treechange and nomadic migration became more common practice from the end of the twentieth century.
What role does memory play in migrants’ adaption to the emotional challenges of migration? How are migrant selfhoods remade in relation to changing cultural myths? This book, the first to apply Popular Memory Theory to the Irish diaspora, opens new lines of critical enquiry within scholarship on the Irish in modern Britain. Combining innovative use of migrant life histories with cultural representations of the post-war Irish experience, it interrogates the interaction between lived experience, personal memory and cultural myth to further understanding of the work of memory in the production of migrant subjectivities. Based on richly contextualised case studies addressing experiences of emigration, urban life, work, religion and the Troubles in England, chapters illuminate the complex and contingent relationship between politics, culture and migrant identities, developing a dynamic view of the lived experience of British–Irish relations after 1945. Where memory is often regarded as a mechanism of antagonism within this relationship, Life History shows how migrants’ ‘recompose’ memories of migration as part of ongoing efforts to adapt to the transition between cultures and places. As well as shedding new light on the collective fantasies of post-war migrants and the circumstances which formed them, Life History thus illustrates the cultural and personal dynamics of subjective change over time: migrants located themselves as the subjects of a diverse and historically evolving repertoire of narratives, signalling adaption, difference and integration as co-articulating features of the Irish experience in post-1945 England.
Missing migrants: deaths at sea and
unidentified bodies in Lesbos
Iosif Kovras and Simon Robins1
Migrant deaths at sea
In March 2013, a body was found on the shores of Eressos, the village where
Sappho the poetess was born, in the west of the island of Lesbos (Dimopoulou
2013). The young woman was the daughter of a Syrian family who had fled the
Syrian conflict and sought asylum in the European Union (EU) by crossing the
Aegean from Turkey. The girl’s mother and sister were also found dead on the same
day on the shores of neighbouring villages. The two girls
-existent insurgency and engage in embarrassing “intrigues,” Ranjitsinhji
could locate his movements within existing bodies of well-articulated political and cultural knowledge, and amongst
well-organized actors who would negotiate with him, support him or chastise him. It might be
argued, therefore, that while both men were generally unstable imperial migrants,
Ranjitsinhji’s instability was enacted within highly charged fields of public
discourse. In his time, the national was a viable alternative option of political maneuver,
African migrants in Ireland: the
negotiation of belonging and family life
The migration flows that transformed Ireland from a country of emigrants to
an attractive site of immigration between 1997 and 2007 have recently been
reversed. As a consequence, Ireland is again best seen as a peripheral emigrant
nursery in the globalized world economy, with Irish population patterns once
again moulded more significantly by the outflow of Irish-born people than by
any equivalent inflow of
Constructing migrant journeys
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown begins her memoir of ‘love, migration and food’ lamenting that ‘Our family tree is puny, barren in large part’. She notes in The
Settler’s Cookbook that the ‘human urge to trace long, biological bloodlines is
strong’. In the case of her ancestors, however, ‘our far past was swept away by
careless fate impetuously carrying off my folk across the seas, away to new beginnings’. This is true of many migrant stories, especially those whose journeys
were forced through persecution and economic